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Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

A native of Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton became one of the leaders that organized the first American women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Held in 1848, this assembly brought together about three hundred people, including Frederick Douglass and some forty other men, to discuss the cause of women's rights. Stanton's interest in this matter had crystallized when she traveled with her husband to London to attend the World Anti-Slavery Convention in1840. Here Stanton met Lucretia Mott. Both were humiliated when the convention refused to recognize women as delegates, and they vowed to call a women's rights convention after they returned to America. Eight years later they realized their goal. The Seneca Falls meeting discussed "the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women." Acting as leader, Stanton wrote the meeting's manifesto, which included a women's bill of rights and demanded social equality, including women's suffrage. Word of the convention elicited a steady stream of abuse from journalists, ministers and other critics. As Frederick Douglass noted in his newspaper, The North Star: "A discussion of the rights of animals would be regarded with far more complacency by many of what are called the wise and the good of our land, than would be a discussion of the rights of woman."

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©Copyright 2002 Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project