Hearing of the Woman suffrage association (1892)

Address of Miss Susan B. Anthony.

Miss Susan B. Anthony next addressed the committee. She said: Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the only words I would like to add to those spoken are that the committee recommend to the House the passage of the resolution which is before you. I was presented by the Hon. Mr. Greenleaf of New York. I am proud to say that it is my district which Mr. Greenleaf represents; we never send a man down here that is not right. Then I am proud to say about Mr. Greenleaf that he is not only right himself, but his wife is, too. She is president of the New York State Woman's Suffrage Society. The point we wish to make clear to you is this: We do not ask you to decide whether women in different States shall have the right to vote. We want simply to make it possible for the States to decide whether the women of their respective States shall have the right or not conceded to them. All that is within the power of Congress is to pass this resolution submitting the proposition to the State legislatures, and, as you know, it is a long way after that, because we have to a get a majority of three-fourths of the legislatures; and I wish gentlemen would dispossess their minds of the idea that they are saying whether women shall vote or not when they pass this resolution.

We expected to have had, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the committee on petitions that has been at work: We wanted them here in time to have, presented them to you, petitions representing various associations, Knights of Labor, etc., who are sending up appeals to Congress to pass it on the basis I have represented. The petitions so far gathered represent men who believe, not all of them, in suffrage, but in the right of each State to express itself on this point. As I said in the beginning, we have been coming here for a great many years. Mrs. Stanton, after the hearing before this committee of the Fifty-first Congress, declared that she would never come up here again “to talk to those boys.“ But here is a woman past her seventy-sixth year. When she was a young girl she began to make this demand. Most of you were not born when she and Lucy Stone determined to secure to women the right to vote in this country, and yet these aged women have been working for this reform for forty-five or fifty years. They plead before young men in Congress who have not thought upon the subject until they see them before the committee table. So we have come here to-day to make you think of this question, and we know you will think of it.

The Chairman. The committee is very much obliged for he speeches you have been kind enough to deliver before it.

Miss Anthony. We are exceedingly obliged, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, for the courtesy of giving us a chance once more of presenting our claims before you.