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Woodhull, Victoria and Tennie C. Claflin)

Congressional Reports on Woman Suffrage.


Woodhull Addresses The House Judiciary Committee
Woodhull, Victoria and Tennie C. Claflin. Congressional Reports on Woman Suffrage. The Majority and Minority Reports of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives on the Woodhull Memorial. New York: Woodhull, Claflin & Co., [February?] 1871.
8vo.; 6 leaves, folded to make 24 pages; lightly used, some pages folded lightly at bottom corners; printed wrappers, string-tied. Housed in a specially made cloth slipcase.    
On December 21, 1870, Victoria Woodhull presented an appeal to Congress for woman suffrage. The following month, under the auspices of Benjamin F. Butler, she addressed the House Judiciary Committee. Caught by surprise by this development, the leaders of the women's rights movement delayed the start of the National Woman Suffrage Association convention in Washington, D.C. in order to attend the session. Thus began a short-lived romance between Woodhull and Claflin and the more mainstream representatives of American feminism, especially Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The latter disassociated themselves, however, from the radical duo once they understood the free-love implications of the sisters' remarks.
This pamphlet prints Woodhull's remarks in favor of female suffrage as they were originally delivered to the House and the Senate, and the responses to Woodhull's petitions from the House Majority and Minority Committees. The back wrapper prints Woodhull's animated and disdainful reply to the Congress, in the form of a page-long diatribe in which she provides her perspective of the events, entitled: "Equal Suffrage. Immense Meeting Last Night at Lincoln Hall-The Right of Women to Vote Discussed-Mrs. Victoria Woodhull and Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker Argue From A Constitutional Standpoint-General Butler's Remarks." Woodhull's highly partisan account begins: "A vast concourse of intelligent men and women sat in Lincoln Hall last evening, and listened with rapt attention to the masterly argument Mrs. Woodhull made upon the legal aspects of female suffrage..." and defiantly ends with the note that: "...Mrs. Woodhull's position on this question is indorsed [sic] by many members of Congress"; a list of nine members of Congress follows.

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