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Suffrage - State - CT] Tracts of Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. #5

Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association.

Book

Issued by the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association
[Suffrage]. (Hooker, Isabella Beecher). Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. Held at Hartford, September 9, 1870. Report of the executive committee. Tracts of Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. No. 5. Hartford: Case, Lockwood, & Brainard, 1870.
8vo.; printed wrappers, string-tied; lightly foxed.
Together with:
Hooker, John. The Bible and Woman Suffrage. Tracts of Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. No. 1. Hartford: Printed by Case, Lockwood, & Brainard, 1870.
8vo.; printed wrappers, string-tied; lower wrapper lightly foxed.
Together with:
Hickox, George A. Legal Disabilities of Married Women in Connecticut. Tracts of Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. No. 1. Hartford: Printed by Case, Lockwood, & Brainard, 1871.
8vo.; printed wrappers, string-tied; lightly foxed; small tear on upper wrapper repaired with tape.
First editions of three slim pamphlets issued by the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. The Annual Report contains an update on the fight for women's suffrage in other countries as well as in the United States. The majority of the pamphlet is devoted to the recent developments in the England, and Beecher includes excerpts from the writings of John Stuart Mill and the London chapter of the National Society for Woman Suffrage. After this report was compiled, women were granted the vote in Wyoming, and Beecher includes information about this monumental election day, as gathered from media reports:
A dispatch to one of the New York papers, says: "The election passed off very quietly. There were no sneers, no profanity, no fighting. The women went to the polls as quietly as if they were going to church…"
A correspondent of an Iowa paper, writing from Cheyenne, says: "…One incident of the day is worth relating. The oldest woman-perhaps the oldest person-in Cheyenne, eighty years of age, went to the polls and voted her first ballot. When she alighted from the buggy the whole crowd surrounding the polls, Republicans and Democrats, took off their hats while she marched through and deposited her vote…" (p.7)
The report includes a list of the Conn. Woman Suffrage Association officers, both male and female; Hooker's sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, is listed as one of the Vice Presidents of the organization. Hooker organized the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. OCLC locates four copies; RLG locates one copy.
In The Bible and Woman Suffrage, John Hooker (Isabella's Beecher Hooker's husband), attempts to demonstrate the irrelevancy of Scripture with regards to the question of women's suffrage. Hooker decries anti-suffragists who use the Bible as their primary proof that women should not be enfranchised, stating that "the Bible can be put to better use…than to be thrown into the street to help for a barricade against every attempt to overthrow old dynasties of wrong" (p. 3). Hooker then analyzes the various Biblical passages that have been cited as evidence that women should not have the vote and logically deconstructs them. Hooker concludes that "the whole tenor of Christ's teachings…present a great law of liberty and personal responsibility, which can find its full application only in the perfect equality of man and woman in the home and in the state" (p. 17). Hooker's support of his wife's suffragist causes is well-documented: The History of Woman Suffrage notes that "Mrs. [Isabella] Hooker was ably sustained in her…position by her husband, a prominent lawyer of the state. Being equally familiar with civil and canon law…he was well-equipped to meet opponents of the reform at every point. While Mrs. Hooker held meetings in churches and schoolhouses throughout the state, her husband in his leisure hours sent the daily press articles on the subject. And thus their united efforts stirred the people of the state" (The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. II, p. 327). Krichmar 1727. OCLC and RLG locate no other copies.
George Hickox, a Vice President of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association, describes the legal disadvantages that married women face in his tract Legal Disabilities of Married Women in Connecticut. If a wife wishes to leave her husband, her husband has many legal courses of action to compel her against doing so, such as retaining her property and children. According to Connecticut state law, the rights of a husband over his wife mirror very closely the rights of a father over his children while they are still minors. In instances of divorce, wives have no legal means by which to protect their own interests. Hickox draws attention to the "peculiar harshness" (p. 21) of the marriage laws in Connecticut, citing precedents set by actual court cases over the years. Hickox points out that "in no other business firm is a single partner given the absolute control of the common property" and argues that "the plain remedy lies in the substitution of independence for dependence, of equality for subjection" (p. 40). Krichmar 513. RLG locates three copies.
(#9548, #9549, #9550)

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