[Editorial Note: The following editorial appeared in the Massachusetts Spy on the morning of the opening of the Convention, Wednesday, October 23, 1850. The Spy's editor/publisher, John Milton Earle, was the husband of Sarah Earle who signed the Call and called the convention to order.]

The Convention


A Convention will be held , today and tomorrow, at Brinley Hall, "to consider the question of WOMAN'S RIGHTS, DUTIES, and RELATIONS," a subject as important at least, as any other that claims the attention of the public, and one in which the welfare of society is most deeply involved.

Thoughtless persons may laugh [?] this subject off, as many have done and do with a sneer, but a sneer proves nothing, and in our opinion is poorly applied in such a case as this. To suppose that the laws and customs of the community, as they now exist, in relation to the relative and reciprocal rights, duties, and relations of the sexes, are not susceptible of improvement, is not wise or philosophical. And surely that system, the operation of which subjects THIRTY THOUSAND females in the city of New York alone, to lives of hopeless infamy, and adds, annually not less than five thousand fresh victims to the number -- that system which dooms still more thousands in the same city to lives of the most abject toil, both by day and night, for a pittance scarcely sufficient to keep soul and body together -- that system must be susceptible of improvement. If it is not, it must surely be able to stand the test of the freest and fullest discussion.

We are not among those, therefore, who would meet such a movement as this with either opposition or ridicule. We pity those who would. We wish those engaged in it a hearty Godspeed in the work, knowing it can do no harm, and hoping it may do much good. Ultraisms may be broached in the Convention -- it would be strange if they were not, for every movement that is worth anything has them as a matter of course; but where reason is free to meet them, and discussion open to combat them, they do no harm, and tend to elicit truth. We hope, therefore, that our citizens will attend the Convention and give a patient hearing to the discussions.