Women’s Rights Convention

By: Cerone White

On this day in history, July 19, 1848, the first women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, New York. This was the first time a women’s rights convention had taken place where they were able to discuss social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman. This two-day event attracted media attention and soon after, other organizations around the United States began to follow suite.

Fredrick Douglass, an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, and statesman, spoke on behalf of women to be able to have the right to vote during the afternoon session on day 2 saying in his speech, “I could not accept the right to vote as a black man if woman could not also claim that right,” he further went on to say that the world would be a better place if women were involved in the political sphere.

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In the mid 1800’s black women formed groups in which they could co-ordinate to help fight for women’s right. Some of the women for the early movement were Mary Church Terrell, the president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and, Ida B. Wells, who founded the Alpha Suffrage Club of Chicago. Other leaders that helped make away for women to have the right to vote and let their vices heard were, Sojourner Truth, Mary Ann Shadd- Cary, Nadine Helen Burroughs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Daisy Elizabeth Adams Lampkin.