The Declaration of Sentiments (short version)
In 1848 a group of 300 women and men, organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, met in Seneca Falls, New York to outline a list of demands for women’s equality. The Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the U.S. Declaration of Independence, included a list of grievances directed at the male-led government. It was signed by sixty-eight women and thirty-two men, including Frederick Douglass. Women’s rights activists held annual conventions until the Civil War broke out in 1861.
. . . We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . . The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, [in order to establish] an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to [the] world.
He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to [vote].
He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice . . .
Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the [vote], leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.
Now . . . we insist that [women] have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.
Creator | Various
Item Type | Pamphlet/Petition
Cite This document | Various, “The Declaration of Sentiments (short version),” SHEC: Resources for Teachers, accessed June 23, 2021, https://shec.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1690.