Garrison writes from London Convention, about exclusion of female delegates

Portions of a letter from Garrison to Oliver Johnson…..   July 3, 1840, after the Convention

”On our arrival, we found that the Convention had adopted a rule, excluding all female delegates from a seat in it, and thus refusing to let the voice of the American Anti-Slavery Society be heard in behalf of bleeding humanity except by proxy!   Could we do less  — by our regard for consistency and justice, and as representatives of a Society which makes no distinction among its members on account of complexion, condition or sex  — then to refuses (I means such of us as were allowed to become members) to connect ourselves with such a body?   No…no.  Accordingly, N.P. Rogers, Charles L. Remond, William Adams, and myself, came severally, spontaneously and unanimously to the determination, not to place our names upon the list of delegates.  Hence, were mere spectators during the sitting of the Convention.  All possible  entreaties were made to induce us to alter our decision, but in vain.  We felt that, by bearing such a testimony, on such an occasion, and under such circumstances, we should do incomparably more for the slaves of our country, and for the whole human race, than by consenting to recognize the principle, that the delegates sent to a ‘World’s Convention’ by any anti-slavery might properly be excluded from the same, and that the anti-slavery platform is to be measured by the corrupt usages of the world.  We could not consent to see any of those, who were associated with us to represent the American Society, thrust out of a meeting convened for the purpose of breaking the yokes and fetters of slavery, and ourselves permitted to enjoy rights and privileges at their expense.  We felt that, in excluding any one of our delegates, the Convention excluded all – and hence the decision to which we came.  How it will be viewed by those who sent us thither, I can scarcely entertain a doubt.  I believe they will sustain us by their approving voice.  Wishing to be affectionately remembered to all the beloved friends at home, I remain, in  much haste,

Yours for perfect freedom.   Wm.  Lloyd Garrison

(Liberator, July 24, 1840, pg 3)