The Seneca Falls Convention Eight years passed before Stanton and Mott met again. Over afternoon tea at the home of Mott’s sister, they decided to send a notice to the local newspaper announcing a women’s convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The organized movement for women’s rights was about to begin.
On July 19, 1848, nearly 300 people, including 40 men, arrived for the Seneca Falls Convention. Many were abolitionists, Quakers, or other reformers. Some were local housewives, farmers, and factory workers.
The convention organizers modeled their proposal for women’s rights, the Declaration of Sentiments, on the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” the document began, “that all men and women are created equal.”
Just as the Declaration of Independence listed King George’s acts of tyranny over the colonists, the new declaration listed acts of tyranny by men over women. Man did not let woman vote. He did not give her the right to own property. He did not allow her to practice professions like medicine and law.
Stanton’s presentation of the declaration at the convention was her first speech. A few other women also spoke. One of them, Charlotte Woodward, was a 19-year-old factory worker. “Every fibre of my being,” she said, “rebelled [against] all the hours that I sat and sewed gloves for a miserable pittance [small amount of money] which, as it was earned, could never be mine.”