Declaration of Sentiments. Seneca Falls, NY, July 19-20, 1848

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By Elizabeth Cady Stanton

	Whereas, the great precept of nature is conceded to be that 
"man shall pursue his own  true and substantial happiness." Blackstone 
in his Commentaries remarks that this law of nature being coeval with 
mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation
to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all
times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this, and such
of them as are valid, derive all their force, and all their validity, and 
all their authority, immediately from this original; therefore:
	Resolved, that all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a 
station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place her 
in a position inferior to that of man, are contrary to the great precept of 
nature, and therefore of no force or authority.
	Resolved, that woman is man's equal-was intended to be so by the
Creator, and the highest good of the race demands that she should be 
recognized as such.
 	Resolved, that the women of this country ought to be enlightened in 
regard to the laws under which they live, that they may no longer publish 
their degradation by declaring themselves satisfied with their present
position, nor their ignorance by asserting that they have all the rights
they want.
	Resolved, that inasmuch as man, while claiming for himself 
intellectual superiority, does accord to woman moral superiority,
it is preeminently his duty to encourage her to speak and teach, 
as she has an opportunity, in all religious assemblies.
	Resolved, that the same amount of virtue, delicacy, and
refinement of behavior that is required of woman in the social state, 
should also be required of man, and the same transgressions 
should be visited with equal severity on both man and woman.
	Resolved, that the objection of indelicacy and impropriety, which 
is so often brought against woman when she addresses a public 
audience, comes with a very ill grace from those who encorage, 
by their attendance, her appearance on the stage, in the concert, 
or in feats of the circus.
	Resolved, that woman has too long rested satisfied in the 
circumscribed limits which corrupt customs and a perverted application
of the Scriptures have marked out for her, and that it is time she
should move in the enlarged sphere which her great Creator has 
assigned her.
	Resolved, that it is the duty of the women of this country to secure
to themselves their saced right to the elective franchise.
	Resolved, that the equality of human rights results necessarily
from the fact of the identity of the race in capabilities and 
	Resolved, that the speedy success of our cause depends upon the 
zealous and untiring efforts of both men and women, for the overthrow
of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to women an equal 
participation with men in the various trades, professions, and commerce.
	Resolved, therefore, that, being invested by the Creator with the
same capabilities, and the same consciousness of responsibility 
for their  exercise, it is demonstrably the right and duty of woman,
equally with man, to promote every righteous cause by every 
righteous means; and especially in regard to the great subjects of 
morals and religion, it is  self-evidently her right to participate with
her brother in teaching them, both in private and in public, by 
writing and by speaking, by any instrumentalities proper to be used, 
and in any assemblies proper to be held; and this being a self-evident
truth growing out of the divinely implanted principles of human
nature, any custom or authority adverse to it, whether modern or
wearing the hoary sanction of antiquity, is to be regarded as a 
self-evident falsehood, and at war with mankind.

Women's Rights National Historic Park, Seneca Falls, NY

Report of the Woman's Rights Convention

Back to the Signers of the Declaration of Sentiments

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