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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Susan B. Anthony. Diary entry, January 1, 1872. Holograph manuscript. Susan B. Anthony Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (032.00.00)
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) and Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906), ca. 1870. Photograph. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (027.00.00)
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Declaration and Pledge of the Women of the United States concerning their Right to, and their use of, The Elective Franchise,” 1870s, Autograph book, NAWSA Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections, Library of Congress (031.01.00)
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Declaration and Pledge of the Women of the United States concerning their Right to, and their use of, The Elective Franchise,” 1870s, Autograph book, NAWSA Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections, Library of Congress (031.01.00)
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Declaration and Pledge of the Women of the United States concerning their Right to, and their use of, The Elective Franchise,” 1870s, Autograph book, NAWSA Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections, Library of Congress (031.01.00)
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Speech before U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, January 12, 1872. Holograph manuscript. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (031.00.00)
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Relentless Travel and a “New Departure”

As 1872 began, Susan B. Anthony summarized the previous year’s exhausting workload—“13,000 miles of travel and 170 meetings!” She referenced the huge debts incurred in publishing The Revolution and prophetically noted in her diary meeting U.S. senator-elect Aaron A. Sargent (R-CA), who in 1878 would introduce the first federal woman suffrage amendment. Also in 1871, she, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Julia Ward Howe, Paulina Wright Davis, and many others around the country signed this pledge, espousing the “New Departure” argument Victoria Woodhull (1838–1927) put forth to the House Judiciary Committee, whereby suffragists claimed the ballot as a right already conferred to them as citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Cady Stanton included this same argument in her address to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

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