Sojourner Truth's speech at the Akron, Ohio, Women's Rights Convention of 1851.

I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman's rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if a woman have a pint, and a man a quart -- why can't she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, -- for we can't take more than our pint'll hold. The poor men seems to be all in confusion, and don't know what to do. Why children, if you have woman's rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won't be so much trouble. I can't read, but I can hear. I have heard the bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin. Well, if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again. The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right. When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother. And Jesus wept and Lazarus came forth. And how came Jesus into the world? Through God who created him and the woman who bore him. Man, where was your part? But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them. But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.

Original account published in the June 21, 1851 issue of the Anti-Slavery Bugle, edited by Marcus Robinson.

Look at Me! Look at my arm. I have plowed, I have planted and I have gathered into barns. And no man could head me. And ain't I a woman?

I could work as much, and eat as much as a man -- when I could get it -- and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne children and seen most of them sold into slavery, and when I cried out with a mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me. And ain't I a woman?

A later, different, account of the speech, published in the April 23, 1863 issue of the New York Independent by Frances Dana Gage, who had organized the women's rights convention in Akron.


Excerpt from Sarah Grimké's response to anti-feminist clergy

The Lord Jesus defines the duties of his followers in his Sermon on the Mount... without any reference to sex or condition... never ever referring to the distinction now being insisted upon between masculine and feminine virtues. Men and women are CREATED EQUAL! They are both moral and accountable beings and whatever is right for a man is right for a woman.

Grimké, Sarah. Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Woman: Addressed to Mary S. Parker. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1837.


Excerpt from Lucy Stone's speech calling for women to resist

It is the duty of woman to resist taxation as long as she is not represented. It may involve the loss of friends as it surely will the loss of property. But let them all go; friends, house, garden spot, and all. The principle at issue requires the sacrifice. Resist; let the case be tried in the courts; be your own lawyers; base your case on the admitted self-evident truth, that taxation and representation are inseparable. One such resistance, by the agitation that will grow out of it, will do more to set this question right than all the conventions in the world. There are $15,000,000 of taxable property owned by women of Boston who have no voice either in the use or imposition of the tax.

Stone, Lucy, speech from the Syracuse National Convention, 1852, in Buhle, Mari Jo and Paul Buhle, eds. The Concise History of Woman Suffrage: Selections from the Classic Work of Stanton, Anthony, Gage, and Harper. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1978.

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