Manuscripts/Mixed Material Letter from Alexander Graham Bell to Mabel Hubbard Bell, March 28, 1901
The capitalist EARNS his income by utilizing his property for the good of the community, and if he did not utilize it he would have no income. I do not think therefore that your proposition to exclude persons who have inherited their wealth is a practicable one.
It is true he may have a vote — according to your plan — if he has the requisite amount of education. I do not see, however, why an ignorant man who has inherited a fortune has any less right to defend his property (by his vote) than one who has already aquired a good education.
As a final result, I am sorry to differ from you on every point you have raised, and I believe in universal suffrage, without qualification of education, sex, color, or property. I also believe that the safety of the republican form of government depends upin the education of the masses; and, as the interest of the community must outweigh those of the individual where they come into conflict it is the duty of the community to see that the individuals are educated, So that I believe in compulsory education and denying the right of parents to bring children into existence without
mixed up I am afraid.