Rochester, NY: Published for the Convention, Steam Press of A. Strong & Co, Thursday, May 12, 1859. First edition. Original paper wraps printed on front. Small paper repair to foot of spine and tissue reinforcement to edges of rear wrap. Light spotting and soiling to edges. Stamp of Howard Tilton Memorial Library Tulane University to rear wrap and deaccession duplicate notation to title page. Measuring 8.75 x 5.75" and containing 20 pages. Internally clean and unmarked, and holding tight. An exceptional and early document of one of the early woman's rights conventions, the present title is reported at 15 institutions on OCLC and does not appear in the modern auction record.
Occurring only 11 years after the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY, the Ninth National Woman's Rights Convention drew together the most widely recognized leaders of the movement to formalize legislative strategies to accomplish a federal suffrage amendment, to address the possibility of state suffrage amendments, and to rally activists through a series of speeches. These proceedings document the events in great detail, recording votes and resolutions by the committees, reproducing speeches, and even noting audience reactions (such as silence, applause, and boos or hisses). Susan B. Anthony served as convention chair, calling events to order and making an oration during the event. Lucretia Mott, one of the most senior members of the movement, attended and spoke about the progress she witnessed across a decade. "The gradual intellectual advancement of women was evident in the literature of the country. Spheres of usefulness have opened to her, which she is filling with honor...She has found that the hill of science is not, after all, so steep as it had been represented, but could be accessible to her." Meanwhile, rising activist and first American female minister Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell considered the hurdles ahead: "Woman's condition is inferior owing to legal disabilities, and that public opinion which has prevented the unfolding of her powers. The laws which oppress women are few, but they disenfranchise her; they withhold from married women certain property rights, certain social rights, certain maternal rights. Woman asks only justice, only equality of rights -- her first demand is that legally she be made equal with man." Male allies also play a role here, and a speech by Wendell Phillips is transcribed in full. What the contents of this pamphlet make clear is how members' passion dovetailed with purposeful planning. Legal and legislative strategies were being developed, as were methods of putting pressure on male lawmakers and businessmen who would ultimately vote on women's right to vote.
Krichmar 803. Feminist Companion 766, 1022. (Item #2946)