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Women’s Rights Convention

Yesterday and today I’ve been thinking about Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Seneca Falls, New York, because 165 years ago–July 19 & 20, 1848–ECS spearheaded the first women’s rights convention. In my book, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: A Friendship That Changed the World,  I quote Mary Bascom’s memory of the event that was held in Wesleyan Chapel, (she was 13-years-old at the time): “the old chapel with its dusty windows . . . the wooden benches or pews, and the platform with the desk and communion table, and the group gathered there; Mrs. Stanton, stout, short, with her merry eye and expression of great good humor; Lucretia Mott, whose presence then as now commanded respect wherever she might be; Mary Anne McClintock, a dignified Quaker matron with four daughters around her, two of whom took active part in the proceedings.”  I took the photo on July 19, 2011; it’s of the Waterwall which is in a park area between the visitor’s center/museum & Wesleyan Chapel at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. Carved on it are the Declaration of Sentiments and the names of the 100 women & men who signed it on July 20, 1848. The family members in the photo were walking slowly and reading thoughtfully and talking quietly with each other; watching them was a deeply moving experience for me.  ECS, I imagined, would have been delighted!

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