DECLARATION AND PLEDGE OF THE WOMEN OF THE UNITED STATES, INFORMALLY PROPOSED AND ADOPTED BY THE WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE CONVENTION, AT WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 12, 1871.

New York: Journeymen Printers' Co-operative Association, 1871. 4pp., printed on a folded quarto sheet. Moderate foxing, soft creases, minor edge wear. Very good. Item #WRCAM55357

A rare, historically significant and ephemeral suffragist statement, written by Isabella Beecher Hooker, and published just after the 1871 National Women's Suffrage Convention in Washington. Hooker was the half-sister of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Inspired by her half-sister's writings against slavery, Hooker began to champion the cause of women's suffrage and called for the publication of suffrage tracts in order to reach broader audiences. She also grew poltically active in the cause. In early January 1871, Isabella Beecher Hooker and several other notable suffragettes, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Julia Ward Howe, and Susan B. Anthony organized a national convention in Washington "for the purpose of pressing upon Congress the immediate passage of a Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution..." which would guarantee voting rights for women. They organized the convention at their own expense. In the present pamphlet, addressed to the editor of THE INDEPENDENT, Hooker provides background on the convention, describes its activities, and gives a call to action for the women's suffrage movement. She also describes Victoria Woodhull's petition to Congress, which "asked for the passage of such laws as Congress in its wisdom shall deem necessary and proper to carry into effect the rights vested by the Constitution of the United States in the citizens to vote, without regard to sex." Both Hooker and Woodhull spoke before the House Judiciary Committee considering the question, as did Susan B. Anthony, who insisted in her testimony that the committee should "report something that should bring on full and speedy debate in the House." The women of the convention continued with a plea for public support: "For we do not love fighting; even moral warfare against such unrelenting foes as prejudice has arrayed, in the years just gone, is a bitter trial. But to foster, to educate, to train virtuous citizens for the discharge of high and holy duties toward the State - this is congenial work...how weary has been the struggle, how precious the hope of deliverance." The group was given the use of a House committee room for the duration of their stay, where they formed the National Woman Suffrage Committee, and where they kept their new Declaration of Independence. The text of their declaration is included here, famously asserting that the framework of woman suffrage has already been laid by the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution. Hooker concludes the text by writing: "Friends, give us the funds, and we will guarantee the beginning of a new era in politics - a higher order of statesmanship. Henceforth Political Economy and Domestic Economy shall walk hand in hand." The text also contains a request to women all over the country to send money to Washington to help their cause. This money was intended to cover the costs of printing suffrage pamphlets, some of which are described on the final page. Not in Krichmar. A rare call for women's suffrage and political rights, with only four copies in OCLC, at the University of Oregon, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University, and Monash University in Australia. OCLC 768961799.

Price: $4,250.00

"We cannot venture to predict precisely when or how we shall be enfranchised but that the day is at hand...."