July 4, 1876
Woman Suffrage Centennial.---The American Woman Suffrage Association met yesterday, in Horticultural Hall, Broad street, to celebrate the adoption of the principle of equal political rights for women by the Province of New Jersey, on the 2d of July, 1776. At the morning session, Mrs. Lucy Stone, the presiding officer, made the opening address, after which the Hutchinson Family was introduced, and rendered some vocal music at intervals.
Mrs. Henry B. Blackwell next addressed the meeting on the political state of the country, and the need of the woman element in its government.
Mrs. Stone again spoke on the subject of woman's position, and opportunities during the last hundred years, and a speech from Mr. Raper, of England, closed the session.
In the afternoon, Mrs. Lucy Stone again called the meeting to order, and the Rev. Chas. G. Ames, of Germantown, spoke, arguing that neither man nor woman suffrage was needed, but impartial suffrage.
Mrs. Julia Ward Howe Followed, saying that the celebration was a very great and important event. All great events move the heart in some way, but the philosophy of events, their true significance, is known to very few. Heaven gives each of us two hands; one is meant to receive gifts of Providence, and the other is meant to give largely of what we receive to others. Ignorant, selfish human beings too often hold out but the one hand; they receive and are satisfied with that, and they do not give, but rather they seem to say to the Divinity "what is yours is mine, and what is mine is my own." The women of New Jersey lost their precious right, not through any wrong caused by them, but party spirit ran high in those times, and foreign elements changed the character of the state first settled by Puritans and Quakers. The women stood their ground and voted for John Adams, whose great-grandson joins us to-day, in the struggle against injustice. What a State we might have had in New Jersey if the legislation had been otherwise! What a shining light to the other States! But the light went out, and New Jersey, with all the other States, has to-day to foot up its adjourned hill, with the interest account. Mrs. Howe resumed her seat amidst applause.
Mrs. A. B. Blackwell, of Somerville, N. J., next spoke on "The Certainty of the Issue," and was followed by Mrs. Elizabeth K. Churchill, of Providence, R. I., who spoke of the work of women for freedom in 1776 and in 1860, and of the demands of this time. The speaker related several humorous anecdotes in illustration of her arguments, and closed with a description of the Queen of the new era, when women shall be free without relinquishing womanly grace.
These speakers were followed by Mrs. Matilda Hindman, of Pittsburg, Pa., Mr. Henry B. Blackwell and others, after which the following resolution was moved and adopted:
Resolved. "That on this Centennial Anniversary of American Freedom, we reaffirm the principle that " Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed"---women are governed without their consent; that "taxation without representation is tyranny"---women are taxed without representation. We celebrate the establishment of woman suffrage in New Jersey a hundred years ago, as the prophecy and forerunner of out American future. We point with pride to the existence of woman suffrage in Wyoming and in Utah, and we declare that as the first century of Independence has achieved equal rights and impartial suffrage for men, so the next century will achieve equal rights and impartial suffrage for all American citizens, irrespective of sex."