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On this day – Seneca Falls Convention begins
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 19 of July, repeating indefinitely
On July 19, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention began in Seneca Falls, New York. The two-day convention for women’s rights is traditionally considered the beginning of the organized women’s rights movement in the United States. Figureheads Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott were inspired to organize the convention after being denied as delegates at the World Anti-Slavery Convention because of their sex.
The manifesto of the convention, the Declaration of Sentiments, called for American women to be given their constitutionally-guaranteed rights to equality under the law. Believe it or not, the ninth resolution – to secure the right to vote – was the most controversial at the convention.
Did you know? Only one signer of the Declaration of Sentiments would live to see American women receive the vote. Charlotte Woodward Pierce was only a teenager when she signed the Declaration and had reached her 90s by the time of the Nineteenth Amendment. Sadly, she never voted, being bed-ridden and ill on Election Day 1920.
Only women were allowed in the convention on its first day. Men (even famed orator Frederick Douglass!) had to wait to attend the second day, July 20th.
“I do not believe there was any community anywhere in which the souls of some women were not beating their wings in rebellion… Every fiber of my being rebelled, although silently, for all the hours that I sat and sewed gloves for a miserable pittance which, after it was earned, could never be mine.”
– Charlotte Woodward Pierce
The Red Book, John Lavery, c. 1892