Seneca Falls Convention

Topics: Women's suffrage, Seneca Falls Convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pages: 6 (2048 words) Published: March 16, 2012
The Seneca Falls Convention of 1848
The Seneca Falls convention marked the first time in American history, where in an organized public setting, attention was brought onto the injustices women had endured for years. Women had been painstakingly succumbed to degradations for centuries and this convention, held in upstate New York, would bring them together to form a cause for their overall freedom from man’s idea of who they should be. The Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, would be the key to unlock those chains that had confined women for so long. The July 19th and 20th Seneca Falls convention would be the documented beginning of the struggle for women’s rights. Although there were many abolitionists and supporters of the women’s rights movement, Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott came to be remembered as the most significant. In 1840 they first met and created a bond at the World Anti-Slavery Convention held in London. They both, along with five other women, were asked by William Lloyd Garrison to attend. However, when they arrived in England the British abolitionists denied them opportunity to speak or voice their opinions on the matter they had put so much effort and passion into. Instead the female delegates were forced to sit in the gallery in silence. As they sat their fuming with resentment and humiliation, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Stanton came to a harsh realization that their rights were equivalent to those of the slaves they had been petitioning for. Stanton and Mott vowed to one another that they'd hold a convention for the rights of women and the injustices they were given at the hands of men. Despite their passion and drive, they did not put this plan into action for 8 years. Between 1840 and 1848 Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Stanton kept themselves busy by raising families and continuing to participate at the temperance and anti-slavery movements. Lucretia had been married to James Mott, a Quaker preacher and abolitionist. The Motts traveled often so that they could become more active in abolition. Elizabeth had been married to Henry Stanton, a lawyer and anti-slavery activist, and they had both picked up and moved from Boston to Seneca Falls due to financial issues. The town promised prosperity for them with its rich farm land, water power resources, and growing industry. The town was embedded with movements such as temperance, anti-slavery, and revivals, which meant that people from this area were more willing to listen to subjects such as women’s rights. The suggestion for the women’s rights convention resurfaced at a tea party located at Mary Ann M’Clintock’s home in Waterloo, New York on July 16, 1848. Of those attending were Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Martha Wright, Jane Hunt, and Mary Ann M’Clintock. The meeting started out as a normal get together for the elite and ended up on a deep rooted discussion about the injustices women endured. Jane Hunt’s husband advised them to take action rather than complain so the five well educated women put their brilliant minds together and brought Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott’s dream into a reality. They decided to hold the convention in Seneca Falls within the next week while Lucretia Mott was still in town because her fame was a key component in drawing in a crowd. They got to work immediately because they only had a few days to organize an event that was sure to be eye opening and life changing for most and a possible slap in the face for others. Controversy was expected, but would not deter their efforts. First, they contacted the Wesleyan Chapel’s minister and arranged for the convention to take place there. They also sent a notice to the Seneca County Courier stating the time and place the event would be held. The notice went through on July 11 and stated that the convention would be over the conditions and rights of women. Lucretia Mott was the only one mentioned because of her fame, and the others did...
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