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Anthony, Susan B. and Susie A.G. Wiggins.

Report of the International Council of Women…


The Record Of A Historic Unifying Meeting
Inscribed To A Canadian Feminist Leader
Anthony, Susan B. and Susie A.G. Wiggins. Report of the International Council of Women, assembled by the National Woman Suffrage Association, Washington, D.C., U.S. of America, March 25 to April 1, 1888... Washington, D.C.: National Woman Suffrage Association, 1888.
Tall, thick 8vo; frontispiece illustration of Lucretia Mott, original tissue guard present; ochre cloth, stamped in gilt.
First edition of the massive, 471-page detailed record of the proceedings of the 1888 meeting of the International Council of Women, convened by the National Woman Suffrage Association in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the first Seneca Falls convention. Includes reports and speeches by nearly every living suffragist figure, including Anna Shaw, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Julia Ward Howe, Lucy Stone, and Antoinette Blackwell. Also includes addresses by such influential allies as Frederick Douglass and Henry Blackwell.
A presentation copy, inscribed: To Miss Susie A.G. Wiggins with thanks of Susan B. Anthony Rochester N.Y. September 27 1888. Susan Anna Gunhilda Wiggins was a Canadian participant in the international suffrage movement; judging from Anthony's inscription, Wiggins likely represented Canada at the historic 1888 International Council Meeting which successfully unified the North American suffrage movement. (In 1890, just two years later, the two factions were dissolved and one single group, the National American Woman Suffrage Association, emerged.) Wiggins was just past forty at the time of this inscription; Anthony was nearly eighty. Wiggins was best known for her efforts to modernize the antiquated and unjust Canadian marriage laws; as a result of her writings and personal appeals the Canadian senate passed several marriage reform bills including one which "legalized marriage with a deceased wife's sister" (Appleton Cyclopedia of American Biography). In the parliamentary library in Ottawa there is a statue of Wiggins which stands as a tribute to her feminist work.
The significance of this weighty volume is in its context as well as its content. From 1866 the suffrage movement was split by bitter disagreements over whether black suffrage or woman suffrage should take precedence. In 1869 the premiere suffragist organization, the American Equal Rights Association, folded and two new groups emerged: the National Woman Suffrage Association (led by Anthony and Stanton) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (led by Lucy Stone and husband Henry Blackwell). These groups represented the two polar factions in the ongoing "who's first" debate, with the latter being friendlier to a broader vision of voting rights than the former.

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