Lucretia Mott (1793–1880)

"Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions," Seneca Falls Convention: July 19-20, 1848


The Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions was written by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martha C. Wright, Mary Ann McClintock, and Jane C. Hunt.


1. Not a revolutionary declaration because no power to back it up. A purely moral expostulation. Industrial Revolution, the Nineteenth Amendment, and Equal Rights Amendment. The feminist movement had a long way to go.


2. List of injuries:


a) franchise

b) no voice in articulating laws and basic laws

c) men withheld their rights

d) without representation

e) civilly dead when married

f) property taken by divorce laws and taxations

g) husband the master, making women morally irresponsible

h) divorce laws biased.

i) unfair taxation on property

j) jobs monopolized—no social mobility

k) college denied to her

l) exclusion from the ministry

m) differential codes of morality applied

n) men usurped prerogatives of Jehovah

o) men made her political, socially, and economically dependent


3. Petition and Convention to educate man about equal rights (Education and propaganda)


a) Rights to pursuit of happiness precept of nature—demanding equality of genders

b) Laws have no authority if do not render women equal.

c) God dictated equality

d) "inasmuch as man, while claiming for himself intellectual superiority, does accord to woman moral superiority, it is preeminently his duty to encourage her to speak and teach, as she has an opportunity, in all religious assemblies"—man claims intellectual superiority but grants women the authority to give religious instruction—abstract equality. False consciousness.

e) Equal before the law because equally virtuous—beneficent

f) Right to vote

g) Identity of the races in capabilities and responsibilities


These points in the petition are self-evident truths implanted by a divinely inspired human nature and its principles. Any customs or authority contradictory of it is at war with mankind. Sanctions?


Finally, it was resolved that men and women must cooperate so that the end result is equal participation of women with men in the trades, professions, and commerce. Commercial society in an Age of the Industrial Revolution—the year of the Communist Manifesto.