A woman's rights conference, the first ever conducted in the United States, convenes in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York, with almost 200 women in attendance. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two abolitionists who met at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Meeting in London, organized the convention. The two feminists invited other women's rights activists from across the country to join them.
The meeting was called to organize opposition to a law that prohibited equal rights for women and men. The women's right to vote was also discussed, but not decided upon yet. The congress of women will meet again three months later in Syracuse, New York, to continue their work.
Attendees at the Seneca Falls Convention included important figures in the women's rights movement, such as Lucy Stone, Mary Ann McClintock, and Alice Paul. Famous men's rights activists also attended the convention, including Henry Blackwell and John Humphrey Noyes. A number of lesser-known men's rights activists were also present, including James McCune Smith, who would go on to publish an article about the event in the American Law Register.
Some men refused to be separated from their wives at the conference, so they were allowed to attend together. One man, Samuel Blanchard, was even granted permission by the conference organizers to bring his wife even though she was still living with him in Ohio.
The first women's rights conference in the United States was held on July 19 and 20, 1848, in the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, New York. Activist and leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton produced "The Declaration of Sentiments" at the convention, which advocated for women's equality and suffrage. The document was adopted by the attendees as their statement of purpose.
Stanton was an important figure in the early movement for women's rights. She worked with Susan B. Anthony to draft a new constitution for the American Woman's Association and served as its president from 1872 to 1873. In addition, she edited several major women's rights publications including The Revolutionist and The Woman's Bible.
Stanton is also known for her work with President Abraham Lincoln to pass legislation protecting women from violence at the state level. The Lecompton Constitution, which would have granted women's rights in Kansas and Nebraska, was rejected by voters there in 1857. But the Stantons later learned that if this constitution had been accepted by Congress instead, it would have prevented Lincoln from being elected president in 1860. They felt that this showed that women should be given the right to vote.
After the Civil War ended, Stanton continued to fight for women's rights in various ways. For example, she helped establish the National Women's Rights Convention in 1866 and the International Council of Women in 1876.
The first conference to address women's civil and political rights was convened in Seneca Falls, New York, on July 19–20, 1848. | Library of Congress. "First Women's Rights Convention." Accessed August 13, 2015.
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Taking up the cause of women's rights, she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton convened the first conference of its sort in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, "to explore the social, civil, and religious rights of women." The conference adopted a "Declaration of Sentiments" in the style of the Declaration of Independence, which said...
That men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This was not the first time that people had called for equality between men and women. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Women had been fighting for their rights forever but they were usually ignored by society at large and by the government officials who were supposed to be on their side. But now there was a growing group of women who weren't going to take any more abuse from male-dominated societies. They were going to fight back with evidence of what women could do if we were given a chance.
The problem was that most of the evidence showed that women were still seen as less than human, so it wasn't very convincing. For example, studies have shown that men will always prefer the company of other men to that of women. This is probably why there are so few female leaders - because they're usually just one accident or illness away from being cared for by someone else.