Anniversary of Seneca Falls Convention

On this and the following date in 1848, the very first woman's rights convention in the world met in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Feminist and freethinker Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with four friends, instigated and convened the the Seneca Falls Convention on July 19-20, 1848. Stanton was the first woman to call for "woman suffrage," as part of the "Declaration of Rights and Sentiments" adopted at the convention. Stanton, initially warned that the suffrage plank was almost too shocking to utter and would alienate supporters, prevailed. The suffrage plank won endorsement and galvanized U.S. women for the next 72 years. The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women's right to vote, was finally passed in 1920, after nearly a century of struggle to overcome religion-rooted objections toward women's civil equality.

“In the early days of woman-suffrage agitation, I saw that the greatest obstacle we had to overcome was the bible. It was hurled at us on every side.”

—-Elizabeth Cady Stanton, an Interview with the Chicago Record, June 29, 1897. For more on Stanton, read Women Without Superstition.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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