RIGHTS DECLARATIONS AND CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS:
WOMAN'S RIGHTS STATE CONVENTION, WILLIAM H. CHANNING RESOLUTIONS, ROCHESTER, N. Y., CORINTHIAN HALL, NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 1, 1853.
RESOLVED, That the movement, now in progress throughout the United States, for securing the just and equal rights of women, in education, industry, law, politics, religion, and social life, is timely, wise, and practical; that it is authorized by all the essential principles of Republican institutions, and sanctioned by the spirit of the Christian religion; and finally that it is but a carrying on to completeness of a, reform, already begun, by legal provisions, in the most advanced States of the Union.
RESOLVED, That the design of all true legislation should be the elevation of every member of the community -- and that the violation of this legitimate design, in depriving woman of her just and equal rights, is not only highly injurious to her, but by reason of the equilibrium which pervades all existence, that man, too, is impeded in his progress by the very chains which bind woman to the lifeless skeleton of feudal civilization.
RESOLVED, That we do not ask for woman's political, civil, industrial, and social equality with men, in the spirit of antagonism, or with a wish to produce separate and conflicting interests between the sexes, but because the onward progress of society and the highest aspiration of the human race, demand that woman should everywhere be recognized as the co-equal and co-sovereign of man.
RESOLVED, That women justly claim an equally free access with men, to the highest means of mental, moral, and physical culture, provided in seminaries, colleges, professional and industrial schools; and that we call upon all friends of progress and upon the Legislature of New York, in establishing and endowing institutions, to favor pre-eminently those which seek to place males and females on a level of equal advantages in their system of education.
RESOLVED, That, inasmuch as universal experience proves the inseparable connection between dependence and degradation -- while it is plain to every candid observer of society that women are kept poor, by being crowded together, to compete with and undersell one another in a few branches of labor, and that from this very poverty of women, spring many of the most terrible wrongs and evils, which corrupt and endanger society; therefore do we invite the earnest attention of capitalists, merchants, traders, manufacturers, and mechanics, to the urgent need, which everywhere exists, of opening to women new avenues of honest and honorable employment, and we do hereby call upon all manly men to make room .~. their sisters to earn an independent livelihood.
RESOLVED, That, whereas, the custom of making small remuneration for woman's work, in all departments of industry, has sprung from her dependence, which dependence is prolonged and increased by this most irrational and unjust habit of half pay; therefore do we demand, in the name of common sense and common conscience, that women equally with men, should be paid ... according to the quality and quantity of the work done, and not the sex of the worker.
RESOLVED, That, whereas, the State of New York, in the acts of 1848 and 1849, has honorably and justly placed married women on the footing of equality with unmarried women, in regard to the receiving, holding, conveying, and devising of all property, real and personal, we call upon the Legislature of the State to take the next step -- so plainly justified by its own precedents -- of providing that husbands and wives shall be joint owners of their joint earnings -- the community estate passing to the survivor at the death of either party.
RESOLVED, That, whereas, the evident intent of the Legislature of the State of New York has for many years been progressively to do away with the legal disabilities of women, which existed under the savage usages of the old common law, therefore we do urgently call upon the Legislature of this State, at its next session, to appoint a joint committee to examine and revise the statutes, and to propose remedies for the redress of all legal grievances from which women now suffer, and suitable measures for the full establishment of women's legal equality with men.
RESOLVED, That, whereas, under the common law, the father is regarded as the guardian, by nature, of his children, having the entire control of their persons and education, while only upon the death of the father, does the mother become the guardian by nature; and, whereas, by the revised statutes of New York, it is provided, that where an estate in lands shall become vested in an infant, the guardianship of such infant, with the rights, powers, and duties of a guardian in soccage, shall belong to the father, and only in case of the father's death, to the mother; and, whereas, finally and chiefly, by the revised statutes of New York, it is provided, that every father may, by his deed or last will, duly executed, dispose of the custody and tuition of his children, during their minority, "to any person or persons in possession or remainder"; therefore, do we solemnly protest against the utter violation of every mother;s rights, authorized by existing laws, in regard to the guardianship of infants, and demand, in the name of common humanity, that the Legislature ... so amend the statutes, as to place fathers and mothers on equal footing in regard to the guardianship of their children. Especially do we invite the Legislature instantly to pass laws, entitling mothers to become their children's guardians, in all cases where, by habitual drunkenness, immorality, or improvidence, fathers are incompetent to the sacred trust.
RESOLVED, That, whereas, according to the amendments of the Constitution of the United States, it is provided that "in all criminal cases, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury" [in cases involving at least twenty dollars],; and, whereas, ... it is provided, that [citizens may not be disfranchised except by law]; ... do we demand, that women, as "members" and "citizens" of this State, equally with men, should be entitled to claim a trial by "an impartial jury of their peers." And especially do we remonstrate against the partial, mean and utterly inequitable custom, everywhere prevalent, that in questions of divorce, men, and men alone, should be regarded as "an impartial jury."
RESOLVED, That, whereas, in the Declaration of Independence ..., one of the "injuries and usurpations" complained of is Taxation without the consent of the persons taxed; and, whereas, it is provided in the revised statutes of New York, that "No tax, duty, aid or imposition whatever ... can be taken or levied within this State, without the ... assent of the people... by their representatives ..."; and that "no citizen of this State can be compelled to contribute to any [levy not laid by law] ...; therefore, do we proclaim, that it is a gross act of tyranny and usurpation, to tax women without their consent, and we demand, either that women be represented by their own appointed representatives, or that they be freed from ... taxes.
RESOLVED, That inasmuch as it is the fundamental principle of the Nation and of every State in this Union, that all "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed" -- it is a manifest violation of the Supreme Law of the land for males to govern females without their consent; and therefore do we demand, of the people of New York, such a change in the Constitution of the State, as will secure to women the right of suffrage which is now so unjustly monopolized by men.
RESOLVED, That Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Samuel J. May, [and 7 other men and women] be a committee to ... present an address to the Legislature of New York ... stating ... the legal disabilities of women, and to ask a hearing before a joint committee, specially appointed to consider the whole subject of the just and equal rights of women.
RESOLVED, That Horace Greeley and others] be a committee to prepare an address to capitalists and industrialists of New York, on the best modes of employing and remunerating the industry of women.