From Seneca Falls to the 15th Amendment

Conflicting Opinions and Strategies


We do not concur with those who predict that the question of Suffrage for women will speedily demand public action or engross public attention… 

New York Times, 8 March 1869


The question of woman suffrage, is, in my opinion, one of the most important of the political problems of this century. 

-Mr. Ewing, Ohio Constitutional Convention, 1874


Our political system is based on the doctrine that the right to self-government is inherent in the people…Women are portion of the people, and possess all of the inherent rights which belong to humanity. They, therefore, have the right to participate in the government. 

-Mr. Sears, Ohio Constitutional Convention, 1874


I deny, Mr. Chairman, that there is one scintilla of truth in the assertion that woman is repressed. Men shield and protect and defend her as being better than themselves…The male, at least in all species which form unions of any degree of permanence…defends and protects the female and her young ones. Thus, if a herd of elephants is menaced, the most powerful tuskers take their station on the side where danger appears… If bisons are attached by wolves, the bulls from a circle…A gorilla will encounter any danger in defense of his mate. 

-Mr. Caples, California Constitutional Convention, 1879