The Founding Convention of New Jersey Women’s Suffrage Association, 1867

The Founding Convention of New Jersey Women’s Suffrage Association, 1867
Source, Vineland Independent, December 4, 1867, p. 3.

This newspaper account records the proceedings of the first statewide convention of suffragists in New Jersey.  The meeting was held in Vineland and was attended by such notables as Lucy Stone, her husband Henry Blackwell, Lucretia Mott, and her husband James Mott of Philadelphia, reformer Robert Dale Owen, dress reformer Susan Pecker Fowler, and John Gage of Vineland, brother-in-law of reformer and journalist, Frances Dana Gage.   The following excerpt records the resolutions of the convention.

“….The committee on resolutions being prepared to report, H. B. Blackwell read the following Resolutions: WHEREAS, In the election of delegates to the Convention which framed the present Constitution of New Jersey, about one-half of the legal voters of the State were unconstitutionally excluded from voting, and whereas, the said constitution was submitted to about one-half of the legal voters of the State, and has thus failed to receive a legal majority of votes, and whereas, previous to the date of the adoption of the present Constitution, women were legally entitled to vote in the state; therefore,

Resolved, That woman’s right to vote in New Jersey has never been legally cancelled.[sic]

WHEREAS, “All political power inheres in the people” of whom woman [sic] constitute a part, and whereas, “governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed” of whom woman [sic] constitute a part, and whereas, “taxation without representation is tyranny” and women are taxed as well as men; therefore,

Resolved, That the one hundred and thirty-four thousand women of New Jersey are rightfully entitled to vote.

Resolved, That so long as the present government of the State excludes one-half of its citizens from all political power on account of sex, it is anti-Republican in form and anti-Democratic in fact. In view of the foregoing considerations, Resolved, That we hereby organize a NEW JERSEY STATE WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION, to membership in which, all adult citizens of the State shall be eligible and of which the object shall be to use all honorable means to secure to woman the same political rights which are now enjoyed by white men.

On motion, the Resolutions were laid on the table for consideration and were freely discussed….

Saturday morning, session opened at 9 o’clock….Mr. Blackwell, by request, again read the Resolutions of yesterday, which were unanimously adopted….After a short recess, session again opened, when letters were read…followed by a lecture from Lucy Stone giving us law and facts enough to arouse the indignation of the most thoughtless against such injustice and barbarity toward woman. Mothers are needed at the polls to protect their sons, no mortal living can work as woman can, when she has anything to work for, she would be a power for temperance, Purity or Justice, this is what we wait for, that man may make a law that will be like God’s law….”