The National Aegis
Woman's Rights Convention. The Convention of Women and men to consider the rights, duties, and condition of woman, came off as was advertised last Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesday evening, Mrs. E. Oakes Smith of Brooklyn, N.Y. delivered a lecture in Brinley Hall, to a "beggarly account of empty boxes." But there were very good reasons why an audience could not be collected -- not a very extended notice was given, and those who did know of it did not know what she was going to talk about, and an admission fee was demanded at the door.
At ten o'clock on Wednesday, the Convention assembled, and organised by the choice of Paulina W. Davis, president, three ladies and two gentlemen as vice Presidents, two Secretaries, and a finance committee. The President addressed the convention, on taking the chair, and considered the progress and prospects of the cause, after which letters were read from Harriet Martineau, Horace Mann, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Ward Beecher, and others, most of them expressing sympathy with the objects of the meeting. The convention resolved that the Right of Suffrage for women is the corner stone of their enterprise -- that it will be woman's fault after that is secured, if they do not speedily repeal all the "barbarous, demoralising, and unequal laws relating to marriage and property -- that as women have to submit to be governed by certain laws, and pay taxes on labor or property to support government, they have an indisputable right to have a direct voice in making those laws -- that mankind are divided into two castes [men and women] the one rules the other, and that it is an unqualified mischief, and is an almost insuperable bar to the improvement in the character or social condition of the human race -- that because woman has so much influence she ought to possess full civil rights -- that no portion of the human species has a right to decide what is the "proper sphere" of another portion, that woman should not accept the "sphere" which man thinks proper to allow her, but should choose her own "sphere" and her own education -- that the declaration, that "all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their creator," et cetera, means all women as well as men -- that they see no weight in the argument that women should be excluded from civil life because domestic cares and Stump speaking are incompatible, nor in the statement that women do not desire a change, for it is on account of their superstitious fears and their dread of losing men's regard, that smothers the frank expression of their opinion on this point -- that it is as absurd to deny all women their civil rights on account of their household duties, as it would be to exclude men from Congress, because some are sailors, or soldiers, or merchants, whose business required their attention.
An address was read by Abby Price, of Hopedale. It is assumed that women were oppressed by old opinions and notions which deprived them of many natural rights, and that it was their duty to break through the musty theories that enshrouded them, and come up into new life and light -- that a large part of woman's nature has had no developoment -- no culture -- that she is weak and narrowed in her views in consequence, that woman should have a chance to practise law, medicine, and preach from the pulpit, and hold offices of trust and responsibility under government -- and that there were many obstacles to prevent the "better time" from hastening on. These obstacles were enumerated. One is that woman is contented with her present condition; another, the inconvenient style of woman's attire. Miss Lucy Stone of West Brookfielf, Mrs. Marcus Spring, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mrs. C.H. Nichols, of Vermont, and others addressed the convention. W.H. Channing, Wendell Phillips, Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Davis also spoke at some length.
The Convention met in three sessions each day, and was well attended thoughout.