« ПретходнаНастави »
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D. C., Tuesday, April 19, 1910. The committee met this day at 10.10 o'clock, a. m., Hon. Richard Wayne Parker, chairman, presiding.
Present: Representatives Parker (chairman), Sterling, Moon, Diekema, Goebel, Denby, Howland, Nye, Sheffield, Clayton, Henry, Brantley, Webb, and Carlin.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. Mr. Rucker, we will hear you.
STATEMENT OF HON. ATTERSON W. RUCKER, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO.
Mr. RUCKER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, on the 22d day of February of this year I had the honor of introducing House joint resolution 153, which I now ask the committee to take up and consider, and I shall not undertake, Mr. Chairman, to say one word in advocacy of the presentation of this resolution to the House. I expect to have that pleasure very soon after you have heard the distinguished advocates of this measure. They will doubtless tell you that there are 29 States in this Union that have given universal suffrage in school elections, and that there are 4 of the pivotal States in this Union which already have granted suffrage to the females, and it is our hope that a sentiment will be brought forth by the discussion here to-day before this committee by which there will be a unanimous agreement with this committee to present this resolution to the House. I thank you.
The CHAIRMAN. We have before us two resolutions, House joint resolution 151, introduced February 19, by Mr. Mondell, and House joint resolution 153, introduced February 22, by Mr. Rucker, of Colorado. They are in exactly the same terms. The clerk will read one of them.
(The clerk read as follows:)
[H. J. Res. 151, Sixty-first Congress, Second Session.]
JOINT RESOLUTION Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, extending the right of suffrage to women.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article be proposed to the legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said legislatures, shall be valid as part of said Constitution, namely:
ARTICLE -SECTION 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. "SEC. 2. Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provisions of this article."
The CHAIRMAN. I understand Mrs. Upton will have charge of this hearing.
Mrs. UPTON. Mrs. Florence Kelley, our second vice-president, has charge of the hearings and the order of speakers. I am very glad to present her.
STATEMENT OF MRS. FLORENCE KELLEY, SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT, NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION.
Mrs. KELLEY. Mr. Chairman, the petition which is to-day presented to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States has been signed by 404,825 persons, of whom 163,438 are women and 122,382 are men, and 119,005 are not classified as to which were men and which were women. The signers have been requested to give their post-office addresses and occupations, and the names have been classified by occupations so far as possible.
Among those who have signed the petition are 16 governors of States, a large number of mayors of cities, many state, county, and city officials. Among the signatures will be found many of the best known instructors and writers upon political economy, and many signatures of presidents of colleges and universities. It includes the names of many judges of supreme courts, and among them the chief justice and associate justice of the supreme court of Hawaii. It contains a long list of the names of persons engaged in various trades. It includes (from the 33 States classified) 7,515 professional people, lawyers, doctors, clergymen, artists, and others.
A special writers' petition has been secured, led by the name of William Dean Howells, the dean of American literature, containing also the signatures of the editors of the North American Review, Everybody's, Current Literature, Independent, McClure's, and Delineator. This petition includes the names of many well-known editors, journalists, and writers in all departments of literature. It contains 60 names from the writing force of the New York Herald, 20 from that of the New York Tribune, 12 from the Cincinnati Commercial-Tribune, 16 from the Cincinnati Post, 16 from the Baltimore Sun and American, 6 from the Minneapolis News, and hundreds from less well-known publications. Among women will be found the names of Gertrude Atherton, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Amélie Rives, Dorothy Dix, Mary Johnston, Ellen Glasgow, Marietta Holley, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Julia Ward Howe, Sarah Orne Jewett. Among men writers are James Lane Allen, Irving Bachellor, Booth Tarkington, Mark Twain, and many others. Probably no petition of the same length has ever been signed by so many distinguished, well-known, and influential people as this writers' petition for woman suffrage. It contains 702 names, and, in addition to the separate petition, 938 writers have signed state petitions. Among the signatures of the general petition will be found the names of 52,603 homekeepers. Among these there is no more significant name than that of Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Miller, who was one of the delegates of the first woman's rights convention in the world, held in Seneca Falls in 1848, and from which dates the organized movement to secure the enfranchisement of women. The sixty-two years which lie between that date and this measure a mighty change in popular opinion. Meanwhile the women of Australia,
New Zealand, Finland, the Isle of Man have been granted full political privileges equal to men; Norway has granted equal political rights to women, with the exception of a slight property qualification. All suffrage rights, except that of a vote for members of Parliament, have been granted to the women of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Iceland. In Canada and in Sweden the same privileges have been granted to unmarried women and widows. Full suffrage rights have been granted to the women of four American States-Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. Suffrage for the women of the civilized world is inevitable.
Believing that the first great republic in the world, founded upon the principle of self-government, and with equal rights for all and special privileges to none, should be among the leaders and not the laggards in this great world's movement, your petitioners pray this honorable body to submit to the legislatures of the several States for ratification an amendment to the Federal Constitution which shall enable American women to vote.
Total classified list of petitions sent in to Senate and House.
Only the total represents the whole list of States, the classification being incomplete.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I have pleasure in introducing as the first speaker to this resolution Mrs. Susan W. Fitzgerald.
STATEMENT OF MRS. SUSAN W. FITZGERALD, OF BOSTON, MASS.
Mrs. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I come here to speak for those 52,000 home makers that have signed the petition to Congress asking for equal political rights in this democracy. It is because I am a home maker and the mother of a family that I care so strongly to secure this right to help protect my family and to help make those conditions under which they and I must live. In the more general, broad sense we are already beginning to realize that no home to-day is restricted to the four walls of a house, but in a much more definite and special way the home maker realizes that it is entirely out of the question for her under our modern economic conditions to continue to do for her home what she has always in the past been expected to do for it unless she is given greater power and greater opportunity than she has at present. To ask a modern woman under our modern
industrial conditions to care adequately for her home and family without a right to share in the making of the laws and the electing of all those officers that are to enforce the laws is like asking people to make bricks without straw. It can not be done.
We must remember that in the early days of this country a family was practically self-supporting. It was independent of the rest of the community. In the early days a man and a woman working together could provide for their family all that was necessary for their sustenance and their maintenance. They could raise all food necessary for the family on their own little farm. Meats, vegetables, grains, milk, eggs, butter, cheese, all were home products. They provided their own lighting plant. They controlled their own water supply. The women spun the thread and wove the cloth, dyed it, and made the garments. In every way, if it was thought desirable, if it was necessary, the family could maintain its existence independent of the cooperation of society, except in the simple matter of defense from violence.
None of that is true to-day. These special occupations of women from time immemorial have changed, have been taken out of the home. We all know that these first duties of women they can no longer adequately perform by their own unaided efforts. Take the simple matter of furnishing wholesome food for her family. In the old days she raised it herself, she and her family; knew that it was pure, clean, wholesome, and such as she could afford to give her children. None of this is true to-day. We know not whence comes our food. We have a very fair idea, though, that much of it comes to us impure, unclean, and unwholesome, and yet the mother of a family is obliged to buy that food, taking the risk of giving to her children food that may bring to them sickness and disease. There is but one way to-day to control the food supply. That is through legislation; through legislation that can reach far beyond the distance that any individual home maker can reach with her own investigation and
We know from practical experience that the control of the food supply, of its purity and cleanliness, can not even be a matter of local or state regulation. We have been forced to face the fact that it must be regulated by national legislation. And so the woman who buys food for her family, if she is to be held responsible for the results coming from her feeding of her family, must have the right to use her intelligence, her strength, her judgment, in helping make those laws which control that food supply and in helping elect those officials who are to make those laws either of value or not of value.
Now, the same thing holds with regard to every other element of domestic life. The water supply is no longer an individual matter to be cared for by the head of the household. It is a town, city, or state supply. It may be pure or impure. It can only be kept pure and wholesome by the action of society, of society as a whole, and the woman of the home, the mother of the family, must be counted as one in that society which is to take the action which shall regulate the water supply that, if impure, threatens daily the welfare of her entire household.
So it is with the clothing supply. We no longer make our own stuffs. Few of us make our own clothes. Almost all of us to-day wear ready-made clothes, and any of you who have looked into the