Happy Fourth of July!
Today we celebrate suffrage by looking at the Fourth of July in 1876. It was the centennial of our nation and a huge exhibition was created in Philadelphia. On this day in 1876, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Gage, Phoebe Couzins, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Sarah Andrews Spencer co-opted the event. They had given special passes to the event and after the Declaration of Independence was read, they made their move.
I found a wonderful reading of the event which was written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Here is a reading of her account.
This differs a bit by some things you may read on the internet. The women didn't make a scene at the event, simply and ceremoniously presented the Women's Declaration of Rights. The women left and Susan B. read the Declaration outside of Independence Hall. You can read the entire text here.
"And now, at the close of a hundred years, as the hour-hand of the great clock that marks the centuries points to 1876, we declare our faith in the principles of self-government; our full equality with man in natural rights; that woman was made first for her own happiness, with the absolute right to herself - to all the opportunities and advantages life affords for her complete development; and we deny that dogma of the centuries, incorporated in the codes of all nations – that woman was made for man – her best interests, in all cases, to be sacrificed to his will. We ask of our rulers, at this hour, no special favors, no special privileges, no special legislation. We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever."
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!