TEST 2: Indiana's First Woman's Rights Convention

Image: "Amanda Way (1828-1914)," from Indiana Women: 150 Years of Raised Voices (Indianapolis: Indiana Women’s History Association, Inc 2001, permission for use originally granted by First Friends Church, Whittier, California, private collection.

Indiana’s First Woman’s Rights Convention focused on what women thought of as the largest injustices they faced: discriminatory property laws, wage inequality, and lack of educational opportunities.

Indiana women’s rights advocate Amanda Way produced the “Greensboro Resolution” in January of 1851, only three years after the historical Seneca Falls convention. The resolution stated:

Whereas, the women of our land are being oppressed and degraded by the laws and customs of our country and are in but little better condition than chattel slaves; therefore (be it) resolved, That we call a Woman’s rights Convention and that a committee be now appointed to make the necessary arrangement.

Nine months later, in October of 1851, the first Indiana Woman’s Rights Convention took place in Dublin, Indiana. Way was voted Vice President of the Indiana Woman’s Rights Association.

READ MORE + VIEW MORE IMAGES

STATE HISTORICAL MARKER:

Indiana's First Woman's Rights Convention

Indiana's First Woman's Rights ConventionIndiana's First Woman's Rights Convention

Location: 2224 Cumberland Road/US 40 & Davis Street, Dublin (Wayne County, Indiana).

Installed: 2003 Indiana Historical Bureau, Indiana Women's History Association, Indiana Commission for Women, and Town of Dublin

ID# : 89.2003.1

Text

Side one:

A convention was called for by reform-minded Congregational Friends meeting at Greensboro, Henry County, January 1851. Convention held October 14-15, 1851 at Dublin adopted resolutions for political, social, and financial rights for women. Women and men who favored abolition, temperance, and suffrage attended.

Side two:

The 1852 convention formed Indiana Woman's Rights Association to promote united action for woman's rights. Association's 1853 convention demanded equality in all political rights and functions. It voted to be auxiliary to American Woman Suffrage Association 1870. It became Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association.

Keywords

Women, Politics

Annotated Text

A convention was called for by reform-minded Congregational Friends meeting at Greensboro, Henry County, January 1851. Convention held October 14-15, 1851 at Dublin adopted resolutions for political, social, and financial rights for women. Women and men who favored abolition, temperance, and suffrage attended.(3)

The 1852 convention formed Indiana Woman's Rights Association to promote united action for woman's rights.(4) Association's 1853 convention demanded equality in all political rights and functions.(5) It voted to be auxiliary to American Woman Suffrage Association 1870. It became Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association.(6)

Notes:

(1) Ellen D. Swain, "From Benevolence to Reform: The Expanding Career of Mrs. Rhoda M. Coffin, " Indiana Magazine of History, 97 (2001), 201; Indiana True Democrat, September 25, 1851.

(2) Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association Records, typescript, Manuscript Section, Indiana Division, Indiana State Library, October 14, 1851 (Original and transcribed Association records are in the William Henry Smith Memorial Library, Indiana Historical Society, SCI1792, Department of Manuscripts and Archives); Indiana True Democrat, September 25, 1851.

(3) Thomas D. Hamm, The Anti-Slavery Movement in Henry Co. Indiana, (New Castle, Ind., 1987, 2nd. ed.), 21, 23-25, 73; Thomas D. Hamm, God's Government Begun, the Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform, 1842-1846 (Bloomington, Indiana, 1995), pp. 111-12, 217-18; Inez Haynes Irwin, Angels and Amazons: A Hundred Years of American Women (Garden City, NY, 1933), 91-92.

(4) Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association Records, October 15-16, 1852.

(5) Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association Records, October 12, 1853.

(6) Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association Records, June 9, 1869, June 9, 1870, May 26, 1875.