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THIRD DAY-EVENING SESSION.
Mrs. Gage, because of indisposition, resigned the chair in favor of Mrs. Severance.
Miss E. Wright.-In connection with the propositions of Mrs. P. W. Davis' letter, I wish to say, that Mrs. Martha Pillsbury of this city, has been in the practice of calculating Almanacs, although her work has passed under other persons names.
She would be glad to calculate the one proposed, if it is to be done.
The entire series of resolutions as now presented for final action.
Mrs. SEVERANCE.—(Mrs. Mott in the chair) I must beg leave to enter my protest against one phrase of the resolutions, which had, in some way, strangely escaped my notice until now. We wish our platform broad as the world, -as indeed it is,--so that men and women, of every shade of faith, may stand upon it, as indeed they now do. And while we accord liberty, during all our deliberations, for a free individual expression from all such, we should not suffer ourselves in our official acts, to brand, invidiously, any one sect. I move, therefore, that some less invidious phrase be substituted for that · which now reads, “The cant of Papal Rome.” I would add, also, that a woman ;
who advocated our cause ably and effectually upon this platform yesterday, is still a conscientious adherent of the Romish Church, a church indeed, which, whatever its other errors, has honored woman, and recognized her humanity as none other has done.
The resolution was therefore amended to read, “The cant of Theological Bigotry ;" and the series being submitted to the convention, with this amendment, was adopted unanimously.
A proposition was made to consider as next in order of business, the time and place of holding the next National Convention. James Mott, proposed Philadelphia, Mrs. Rose, proposed to hold the next convention at the very Seat of Government. Women have to do with government questions, and she thought it most proper to have the next convention in the city of Washington.
Mrs. Mott.—I do not think it of so much importance to go where we could produce the greatest political effect, as to produce the
greatest moral effect. You may rest assured, the political men of the country, the partizans of politics, will be ready enough to take up our movement, when, by making these moral appeals we have been instrumental in calling forth such a sentiment, that there shall be a demand for our rights before the people. Then, without our appealing "to the powers that be," directly, the powers that be will come to us, and be ready to yield what has been so long denied us. Miss STONE. — I prefer Philadelphia.
I prefer Philadelphia. We have talked about Washington, and we shall go there, sometime; but now, when in the District of Columbia they sell women—I think we had better wait till they are more civilized, before we go there. Let the next convention be at Philadelphia, and as that is so near on to Washington, perhaps the moral effect of it, may reach there, so that the next year we may go there. We have had conventions in New York, Massachusetts and Ohio, and it seems to me, the next state should be Pennsylvania.
The vote was taken upon the motion to adjourn to Philadelphia, and decided in the affirmative.
Mrs. EMMA R. COE.—I have very little to say this evening beyond reading a letter, received by me to-day. (Here follows the letter.)
I beg leave to inform the gentleman, if he is present, that I believe . I understand these laws, and this point particularly, very nearly as well as himself; and that I am as well acquainted with the laws passed since 1840, as with those enacted previous to that time. I would also inform him, that the committee, some of whom are much better read in law than myself, were perfectly aware of the existence of the statutes he mentions, but did not see fit to incorporate them into the petition, not only on account of their great length, but because they do not at all invalidate the position which the petition affects to establish, viz., the inequality of the sexes before the law. Their insertion, therefore, would have been utterly superfluous. This letter refers, evidently, to that portion of the petition which treats of the equalization of property, which I will now read. (Then follows the reading of one paragraph of the petition.) Again I refer you to the letter, the first paragraph of which, is as follows :
“Mrs. Emma R. Coe, will you look at Vol. 44, General Law of
Ohio, page 75, where you will find that the property of the wife, can not be taken for the debts of her husband, &c.; and all articles of household furniture, and goods which a wife shall have brought with her in marriage, or which shall have come to her by bequest, gift, &c., after marriage, or purchased with her separate money or other property, shall be exempt from liability for the debts of her husband, during her life, and during the life of any heir of her body."
Very true : we readily admit the law of which the gentleman has given an abstract; and so long as the wife holds the property in her hands, just as she received it, it cannot be taken for the husband's debts, but the moment she permits her husband to convert that property into another shape, it becomes his, and may be taken for his debts. The gentleman I presume will admit this at once.
The next paragraph of the letter, reads thus :
"Also in Vol. 51, General Laws of Ohio, page 499, the act regulating descent, &c., provides, that real estate, which shall have come to the wife by descent, devise, or gift, from her ancestor, shall descend—first, to her children, or their legal representatives. 2d, if there be no children, or their legal representatives living, the estate shall pass to the brothers and sisters of the intestate, who may be of the blood of the ancestor from whom the estate came, or their legal representatives, &c.”
True again :-So long as the wife holds real estate in her own name, in title, and in title only, it is hers ; (for her husband even then controls its profits) and if she leave it so, it will descend to her heirs so long as she has an heir, and so long as she can trace the descent. But if she suffers her husband to sell that property and receive the money, it instantly becomes his : and instead of descending to her heirs, it descends to his heirs. This the gentleman will not deny. Now, we readily admit, that while the wife abides by the Statutes, of which our article has given us an abstract, her husband cannot take the property from her, he can only take the use of it. But the moment she departs from the Statute, she comes under the provisions of the common law ; which, when they do not conflict, is equally binding in Ohio, as the Statute Law. And in this case, the common and Statute Laws do not conflict. Departing from the Statute, that is, suffering her property to be exchanged, the provision is thus : (Here follows the common Law, taken from the petition.)
I have nothing further to add on this point, but will quote the last paragraphs in the letter.
"If you would know what our laws are, you must refer to the laws passed in Ohio since 1840."
This has already been answered.
"You said last night, that the property of the wife, passed to the husband, even to his sixteenth cousin ! Will you correct your error ? And oblige
A BUCKEYE.” I should be extremely happy to oblige the gentleman, but having committed no error, there is nothing to correct; and I do not, therefore, see that I can in conscience comply with his request. I am, however, exceedingly thankful for any expression of interest from that quarter. There are other laws which might be mentioned, which really give woman an apparent advantage over men ; yet, having no relevancy to the subject in the petition, we did not see fit to introduce them. One of these is, that no woman shall be subject to arrest and imprisonment for debt: while no man, that is, no ordinary man, none unless he has a halo of military glory around his brow—is held sacred from civil process of this kind. But this exemption is of very little benefit to woman, since, if the laws were as severe to her as to man, she would seldom risk the penalty. For this there are two very good reasons. One is, that, conscious of her inability to discharge obligations of this kind, she has little disposition to run deeply into debt: and the other is, that she has not the credit to do it, if she wished ! If, however, she does involve herself in this way, the law exempts her from imprisonment. This, perhaps, is offered as a sort of palliation for the disabilities which she suffers in other respects. The only object of the petition is, I believe, that the husband and wife be placed upon a legal and political equality. If the law gives woman an advantage over man, we deprecate it as much as he can. Partiality to either, to the injury of the other, is wrong in principle, and we must therefore oppose it. We do not wish to be placed in the position which the husband now occupies. We do not wish that control over his interests, which he may now exercise over the interests of the wife. We would no sooner intrust this power to woman, than to man,
We would never place her in authority over her husband. For pity's sake, deliver me forever from the sight of a henpecked husband, a man who cowers and shrinks in the presence of his wife, as a mouse does in the presence of a cat. A lady near me, asks if there are any such. Yes, there are such, and my heart has ached sometimes, to see an authoritative woman exercising her skill over a little bit of a puny, insignificant man. I am not sure, that women, give them the power, might not at present prove the greatest tyrants of the two. Men's minds are more expanded, and more liberal, not only from education, but from a more extended field of observation. And the heart, as a general thing, grows big with the expansion of the intellect. So that if we must be under the rule of a tyrantwell, we won't be under the rule of any tyrant, so there's no use talking about that!
And, to change the subject, what is the reason that the petitions of women, are treated with less respect than those of men ? Simply because they've no vote to give. They cannot call their Legislators to an account ; and the race has not yet arrived at that pitch of perfection, when the whip of fear will not operate more powerfully, than the love of right.
We have heard discussed, since the session of this convention, the character of some of the opposition to this movement. But there is another kind which ought to be called into notice, and which really originates in cowardice. I wish to speak as little of personal experience as possible ; but, during the summer, happening to be where a Temperance Alliance was forming, I noticed that ladies were, without the slightest opposition, placed upon the Finance committee. Finally it was proposed to place the name of one of the first ladies in the town, on the list of Vice-Presidents. This was objected to, as taking her out of her sphere. Can any one tell me the difference, in principle, between a woman occupying the position of Vice-President, and that of Finance committee woman? It strikes me as drawing very close lines, a little like hair-splitting. However, it was objected to, not only for the reason above mentioned, but also because it might