A Woman’s Write to Vote Script (so far) by Mr. Mac’s Class.
The right to Vote is something we as Americans take for granted. We live under the protection of the Constitution so when our founding fathers got together in Philadelphia and brainstormed those beautiful words that define America.” We hold these truths to be self – evident that all men are created equal and have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” They did not mean poor white men, They did not mean black men and they did not mean women.
African Americans got the vote with the end of slavery in 1870 and the 15th amendment but it would take another 50 years for women in America to get the vote.
To understand how important women getting the vote was you have to look at life at the time. Women could not legally own property, if she worked and made money she had to give it to her husband. In some states it was legal to beat your wife. Because women could not own property, if their husband died or left them the women and her children could be left to starve. Children worked long hours in factories instead of going to school. And worst of all women had no right to vote and change the laws.
Lucretia Mott like so many suffragists was a Quaker and an abolitionist. She belonged to the Quaker religion. The Quakers called the Society of Friends believed in non-violence and equality for all people regardless if they were black or white, male or female Lucretia was an active abolitionist and fought to end slavery in the United states.
In 1840 Mott was one of a band of women who went to London for a world antislavery convention. The orthodox Quakers and English abolitionists who dominated the meeting refused to seat the women, fearing the convention would seem ridiculous if females participated.
At the convention Mott met the young Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who attended it with her husband. Their friendship developed, although both were busy wives and mothers, and Mott was involved in promoting peace, and abolition along with woman’s rights. Mott inspired her young protégé, who in time grew more radical than her mentor. This became apparent at the Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y called by Stanton – the first such convention. Mott thought its resolution asking for woman’s suffrage to be too far in advance of public opinion But Stanton stood strong and insisted that the right for women to vote be included.
At the meeting Frederick Douglas spoke passionately about his belief that women should have the right to vote. His speech that day effected the people and all at the convention signed the petition in favor of women getting the right to vote.
Next on the Scene came Susan B. Anthony. She and Elizabeth cady Stanton would work tirelessly to get women the vote for almost 50 years.
Susan was one of the seven children in her family, five girls and two boys. Her father manufactured cotton. Susan was even able to work for a short time in the cotton mill as a young girl. Susan had
a strong Quaker background and therefore supported equality for everyone regardless of color or sex. Her father believed it was just as important for his daughters to receive a good education as it was for his sons. At an early age Susan was sent away to school to study. At that time one of the few jobs a woman could hold was a teacher. She began teaching school in New York, at the early age of 14. As a teacher, she earned $2.50 a week compared to the $10.00 a week her male colleagues earned. She felt equal pay should be received for equal work.
In 1851, Susan was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a women’s right advocate. The two women became great friends and worked side by side for many years in support of women’s suffrage. Susan B. Anthony felt very strongly about women’s right to public speech and gave many powerful speeches throughout the country. Often she would use the Constitution as a resource in her persuasive speeches. She was known for saying “the constitution says, We the people…’, not We the male citizens…’.”
In 1869 the Fifteenth amendment was ratified. This stated that black men were now allowed to vote. Women’s suffrage advocates were outraged that black men could now vote, yet women still could not. Following the ratification of the fifteenth amendment, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). The NWSA was open to all who wanted to join, both men and women. The NWSA published a newspaper, The Revolution, with its motto, “Men, their rights, and nothing more: women their rights, and nothing less”.
The fifteenth amendment stated that “all citizens” could vote. Susan B. Anthony along with other women felt they too should be classified as “citizens.” In 1872 Susan B. Anthony and 15 other women registered and voted in the 1872 presidential election in Rochester, New York. was set for June. Susan felt her voting was justified since she was a “citizen.” During the time prior to the trial, Susan was busy giving speeches and trying to persuade any potential juror. The trial was held in a small town outside of Rochester. Susan was not allowed to speak for herself and fined $100, which she vowed she would never pay. She never went to jail. However, no appeal was ever made to the Supreme Court. If an appeal had been made and had turned in Susan’s favor, women would have been given the right to vote then.
Susan B. Anthony became the president of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) in 1892 and served until 1900. Susan continued to keep the issue of women’s right to vote alive by touring nearly every state and giving public speeches wherever she went. During her 60 years of service for women’s suffrage, she gave approximately 75-100 speeches a year.
Eventually this hard work paid off but not before both ladies were gone.
In 1920 After a 70 year fight that began in Senaca Falls women got the right to vote. Finally all citizens of America Black or White, Male or female had the right to vote