Lucretia Mott and O’Connell

Here Mott, from London, June 17 requests O’Connell’s views on the question of women in the Convention.   O’Connell’s response includes that at first he was against the inclusion of women delegates, but, due to her inquiry he has examined his views on the subject, and now changes them.  His first view, he says, was “founded on no better grounds than on apprehension of the ridicule it might excite, if the convention were to do what is so unusual in England  — to admit women to an equal share and right of discussion.  I also, without difficulty, recognized that this was an unworthy, and indeed a cowardly motive, and I easily overcame its influence.  …. My mature consideration of  the entire subject convinces me of the right of the female delegates to take their seats in the convention, and of the injustice of excluding them. ….. that exclusion being unjust, it ought not to have taken place, even if it could also be politic.”…… He goes on to cite his reasons, including, “Mind has no sex; and in the peaceable struggle to abolish slavery, all over the world …. we rely entirely on both reason and persuasion common to both sexes, and on he emotions of benevolence and charity, which are more lovely and permanent amongst women, than amongst men.”

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