Wesleyan Chapel, Seneca Falls, home to the first Women’s Rights Convention, July 19, 20, 1848.
On a warm July day In 1848 in Waterloo, New York, five quite ordinary women gathered around a tea table in Jane Hunt’s parlor in to discuss their dissatisfaction with woman’s life in general. Jane was joined by Quakers Lucretia Mott and her sister Martha Wright, and by neighbors Mary Ann McClintock and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. While all five were frustrated by the inequities they faced as women, the most discontented of all was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who vehemently poured out her dissatisfaction with her life as wife, mother and housekeeper.
The discontent of those five women led to a daring call for a Women’s Rights Convention in nearby Seneca Falls to discuss the “Social, Civil and Religious Condition and Rights of Woman.” Convened over the two-day period of July 19 & 20th, the Seneca Falls Convention is considered to be the official beginning of the women’s rights movement, which ultimately resulted in issuance of the famous “Declaration of Sentiments,” stating in part that “all men and women” were created equal.
That convention led to other conventions; the message of Seneca Falls was carried by the human tide of hope and courage across the State and across the nation, involving thousands of women and men for many years to come, and ultimately resulting in women winning the right to vote.
And it all began 168 years ago today!