The Seneca Falls convention was
the first women’s right convention held in Seneca Falls, New York between July
19 to 20, 1848. The convention was to raise awareness and launch the women’s
suffrage movement. On the first day of the meeting only women could speak which
brought in a crowd of 300 residents. This document was modeled after the
declaration of independence to outline the injustice women faced. It took
nearly 70 years before women were given the rights that they rightfully
Seneca Falls convention
was organized by five women abolitionist that supported anti-slavery, racial discrimination
and women rights. These women included: Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
Mary McClintock, Martha Coffin Wright, and Jane Hunt. Mott and Stanton first met
at the 1840 World Anti-Slavery convention in London where they thought of the
idea and later had Wright, McClintock, and Hunt help to send out a call for the
conference to be held at Seneca Falls. Stanton was responsible for the writing
and presentation of the Declaration of Sentiments. Stanton felt that women “felt
aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights”. Seventy-two
years before this convention the Declaration of Independence was signed by the
men of continental congress calling for reform and stating that “all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
rights…” not pointing out that women should have the same equal rights as men. Seneca
Falls Declaration was intended to express women’s right to education, property,
profession and vote.
men including Fredrick Douglass attended the Seneca Falls Convention and also
signed the Declaration of Sentiments. Husband of Lucretia Mott, James Mott
served as the chairman of the meeting. Everyone that was invited to the convention
didn’t sign and some felt that it would take away from the Temperance Movement.
More people signed the Declaration of Sentiments than the Declaration of Independence.
Many later decided to remove their name from the Declaration of Sentiments due
to criticism from family and peers. Stanton said “It will start women thinking
and men too; and when men and women think about a new question, the first step
is taken” meaning that she feel accomplished by what she has done for women and
feel that at some point women will gain the rights the deserve and treated
equally as the men.
After the Seneca Falls Convention national
women’s suffrage movements were held all over the United States. Activist Susan
B. Anthony met with Stanton to form organizations that raised public awareness which
later pressured the government to allow women to vote. In 1920 the 19th amendment was passed, and
women were given the right to vote. Only one signer of the Declaration of
Sentiments lived to see their hard work and dedication pay off. Charlotte
Woodward was only 18 during the time of the Seneca Falls Convention.