The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

Suffragist Susan B. Anthony

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Closely examine the document on the screen. After carefully analyzing the document, respond to the questions below. Click the magnifying glass to take a closer look at the document as you respond to the questions.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Suffragist Susan B. Anthony

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

Examine the documents included in this activity and write your response in the space provided.


Use the highlighted portions of this document to answer the following questions:

Who wrote this document?

To whom is the document addressed?

What do the creators of this document want?

How are the creators of this document exercising their First Amendment rights?

Your Response




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Activity Element

Petition of E. Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, and Others Asking for an Amendment of the Constitution that Shall Prohibit the Several States from Disfranchising Any of Their Citizens on the Ground of Sex

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Conclusion

Suffragist Susan B. Anthony

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

This petition is an example of just one way suffragists like Susan B. Anthony fought for women's rights. Susan B. Anthony died in 1906, but the fight for women's suffrage continued. Recall the other rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. What are some other ways people might have fought for women's rights?

Look at another example of how women exercised their rights to win the right to vote.

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote in 1920, over 50 years after the creation of petition that you looked at in the activity.

Your Response




Document

Petition Asking for an Amendment of the Constitution that Shall Prohibit the Several States from Disfranchising Any of Their Citizens on the Ground of Sex

1/29/1866

Declaring “we are governed without our consent,” this petition was part of the first national drive to focus on women’s voting rights and includes signatures of some of the most prominent advocates at the time: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ernestine Rose, Lucy Stone, and Antoinette Brown Blackwell. It asks for an amendment to the Constitution that shall prohibit the several states from disfranchising any of their citizens on the grounds of sex.

Transcript

A PETITION FOR UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

The undersigned, Women of the United States, respectfully ask an amendment of the Constitution that shall prohibit the several States from disfranchising any of their citizens on the ground of sex.

In making our demand for Suffrage, we would call your attention to the fact that we represent fifteen million people—one half of the entire population of the country—intelligent, virtuous, native-born American citizens; and yet stand outside the pale of political recognition.

The Constitution classes us as "free people," and counts us whole persons in the basis of representation; and yet are we governed without our consent, compelled to pay taxes without appeal, and punished for violations of law without choice of judge or juror.

The experience of all ages, the Declarations of the Fathers, the Statute Laws of our own day, and the fearful revolution through which we have just passed, all prove the uncertain tenure of life, liberty and property so long as the ballot—the only weapon of self-protection—is not in the hand of every citizen.

Therefore, as you are now amending the Constitution, and, in harmony with advancing civilization, placing new safeguards round the individual rights of four millions of emancipated slaves, we ask that you extend the right of Suffrage to Woman—the only remaining class of disfranchised citizens—and thus fulfill your Constitutional obligation "to Guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican form of Government."

As all partial application of Republican principles must ever breed a complicated legislation as well as a discontented people, we would pray your Honorable Body, in order to simplify the machinery of government and ensure domestic tranquillity, that you legislate hereafter for persons, citizens, tax-payers, and not for class or caste.

For justice and equality your petitioners will ever pray.

[List of names and residences]
E. Cady Stanton, New York
Susan B. Anthony, Rochester, NY
Antoinette Brown Blackwell, New York
Lucy Stone, Newark N. Jersey
Joanna P. Morse, 48 Livingston, Brooklyn
Ernestine L. Rose, New York
Harriet E. Eaton, 6 West 14th NY
Catharine C. Wilkeson, 83 Clinton Place New York
Elizabeth R. Tilton, 48 Livingston St. Brooklyn
Mary Fowler Gilbert, 293 W. 19" St New York
Mary E. Gilbert, New York
M. Griffith, New York
This primary source comes from the Records of the U.S. House of Representatives.
National Archives Identifier: 306684
Full Citation: Petition Asking for an Amendment of the Constitution that Shall Prohibit the Several States from Disfranchising Any of Their Citizens on the Ground of Sex; 1/29/1866; (HR 39A-H14.9); Petitions and Memorials, 1813 - 1968; Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, ; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/petition-prohibit-disfranchisement, October 31, 2020]


Petition Asking for an Amendment of the Constitution that Shall Prohibit the Several States from Disfranchising Any of Their Citizens on the Ground of Sex

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