This statement by Mistress Margaret Brent is the epigraphs for “The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight,” Part I, Chapter 1, Unsettle the Statue Quo: 1648-1865 Vote . . . and Voyce.
The chapter begins with this: “Women’s fight for the vote in America is typically said to have lasted seventy-two years, a figure that is arrived at by subtracting two dates —1848 from 1920. The first date, 1848, is when the first women’s rights convention met in Seneca Falls, New York, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the sharp-minded, upbeat, thirty-two-year-old mother who had spearheaded the convention, moved this resolution: “That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.”1 The latter date is when the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified and added to the United States Constitution: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” That seventy-two year period, however, is just a slice of the story.The whole story begins two hundred years earlier on a bluff overlooking the St. Mary’s River.”