RIGHTS DECLARATIONS AND CONVENTION RESOLUTIONS:
RESOLUTIONS FROM THE FIRST NATIONAL WOMEN'S RIGHTS CONVENTION WORCESTER [MASSACHUSETTS] CONVENTION, 1850
Wendell Phillips presented the resolutions for the Business Committee; William Henry Channing offered -- again for the Business Committee -- a plan of organization and guiding principles].
Resolved, That every human being of full age, and resident for a proper length of time on the soil of the nation, who is required to obey law, is entitled to a voice in its enactment; that every such person, whose property or labor is taxed ... is entitled to a direct share in such government; therefore,
RESOLVED, That women are clearly entitled to the right of suffrage, and to be considered eligible to office; the omission to demand which on her part, is a palpable recreancy to duty, and the denial of which is a gross usurpation, on the part of man, no longer to be endured; and that every party which claims to represent the humanity, civilization, and progress of the age, is bound to inscribe on its banners, "Equality before the law, without distinction of sex or color."
RESOLVED, That political rights acknowledge no sex, and, therefore, the word 'male' should be stricken from every State Constitution.
RESOLVED, That the laws of property, as affecting married parties, demand a thorough revisal, so that all rights may be equal between them; that the wife may have, during life, an equal control over the property gained by their mutual toil and sacrifices, be heir to her husband ... and entitled at her death to dispose by will of the same share of the joint property as he.
RESOLVED, That since the prospect of honorable and useful employment ... for the faculties we are laboring to discipline, is the keenest stimulus to fidelity in the use of educational advantages, ... therefore, it is impossible that woman should make full use of the instruction already accorded to her, or that her career should do justice to her faculties, until the avenues to the various civil and professional employments are thrown open to arouse her ambition and call forth all her nature.
RESOLVED, That every effort to educate woman, until you accord to her rights, and arouse her conscience by the weight of her responsibilities, is futile, and a waste of labor.
RESOLVED, That the cause we have met to advocate -- the claim for woman of all her natural and civil rights -- bids up remember the two millions of slave women at the South, the most grossly wronged and foully outraged of all women; ... we will [remember] ... the trampled womanhood of the plantation, and omit no effort to raise it to a share in the rights we claim for ourselves. PLAN AND PRINCIPLES [Channing offered "a plan for organization, and the principles which should govern the movement for establishing women's co-sovereignty with man....")
RESOLVED, That as women alone can learn by experience and prove by works, what is their rightful sphere of duty, we recommend, as next steps, that they should demand and secure:
1st. Education in primary and high-schools, universities, medical, legal, and theological institutions, as comprehensive and exact as their abilities prompt them to seek and their capabilities fit them to receive.
2d. Partnership in the labors, gains, risks, and remunerations of productive industry, with such limits only as are assigned by taste, intuitive judgment, or their measure of spiritual and physical vigor, as tested by experiment.
3d. A co-equal share in the formation and administration of law, Municipal, State, and National, through legislative assemblies, courts, and executive offices.
4th. Such unions as may become the guardians of pure morals and honorable manners -- a high court of appeal in cases of outrage which can not be, and are not touched by civil or ecclesiastical organizations, ... and a medium for expressing the highest views of justice dictated by human conscience and sanctioned by holy inspiration.
RESOLVED, That a Central Committee by appointed by this Convention, empowered to enlarge its numbers, on (lst) Education; (2d) Industrial Avocations; (3d) Civil and Political Rights and Regulations; (4th) Social Relations; who shall correspond with each other and with the Central Committee, hold meetings in their respective neighborhoods, gather statistics, fact, and incidents ..., raise funds for the movement; and through the press. tracts, books, and the living agent, guide public opinion upward and onward in the grand social reform of establishing woman's so-sovereignty with man.... [The second national woman's rights convention was held at Worcester the next year; the first chair of the Central Committee was Paulina Wright Davis].