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10 years ago, has had a trying and bitter experience with Federal interference in the franchise question. We shall never forget the reconstruction days, with the carpetbagger, the scallywag, and then negro suffrage was thrust upon us, and I beg this committee not to put it into the hands of these thoughtless enthusiasts to plunge the South again into such troublous and disagreeable times as we had in those days. [Hisses.]
Mr. Chairman, I heard the hisses of these women, and I recall that a distinguished writer once said, "Geese are the only things that ever hiss." But that doesn't apply to you ladies. I forgive you. It was a thoughtless act. If the committee and those present needed any evidence of the utter unfitness of hissing women for politics you have furnished it to-day.
Mr. Chairman, I want to say that the work that Mrs. Dodge is doing will live in this country long after she is dead, and I trust that she will be spared many more years. I know of women that you converted at the hearings before the Committee on Rules, and I am sure your statements there had influence on the members of the Democratic caucus when they said that it was the judgment of that caucus that suffrage-not woman's suffrage-but that suffrage is a State and not a Federal question. I am the author of the substitute adopted by the Democratic caucus. I would say to this committee I don't believe you have a right to submit this amendment to the country, and I don't believe this committee will take such action; but if you do that, pardon me if I say it, it will be against the highest and best interest of the American people, both men and women.
Mr. NELSON. Do you want this committee to sit on this resolution or do you want the House to vote on it?
Mr. HEFLIN. Mr. Chairman, in reply to that I will say that I agree with one of the ladies who spoke here in opposition to this amendment when she said that these hearings were largely for advertising purposes. I have heard some of these women say, "Well, whether they grant it or not, we are getting that much advertising out of it." I don't believe that Congress would pass this resolution or amendment, and I don't believe that this committee, when Congress is so troubled with Mexico on the one side and monopolies and trusts on the other, and the routine work of the House on hand, will usurp the functions of the State legislatures in this matter.
Just one thing further, Mr. Chairman, and I am through.
Mr. VOLSTEAD. We have a map here, submitted by some one, which shows that in three of the Southern States-Kentucky, Mississippi. and Louisiana-the women do vote.
Mr. HEFLIN. No, they don't.
Mr. VOLSTEAD. Well, I presume they do; the people who got up this map must know.
Mr. HEFLIN. Oh, they vote in township elections, for school trustees and things of that kind.
Mr. VOLSTEAD. Well, if they can vote in local affairs, if they can vote on matters that concern them so directly, why couldn't they vote on other questions?
Mr. HEFLIN. My position on that is that if the men are not doing their duty by the women of this country they ought to be urged to do it and not drag our women into politics; and if the women of this generation and those coming after them will produce such a race of
men and women as their mothers before them have, women who never had the ballot and never wanted it, they will render God's service to their country.
And my position is-referring again to the gentleman's questionthat getting out and voting for school trustees is quite a different proposition from dragging women into politics on everything; if you do that, you will find them neglecting duties more important than women voting. And further, in reply to the gentleman, the power to make law must carry with it the power to enforce law. If you are going to give women the power to make law with none of the responsibility of enforcing it, you will have them exercising the full power of making laws for the country with none of the responsibility of seeing that they are enforced. Then men would have only half the power to make the laws with all the responsibility of enforcing them. Is that right?
The women of this country, in their homes, free from the fret and the fever of politics, have been speaking through their children, and they have spoken through their husbands, and have contributed to the strength and glory of the Republic. Let me read here a poem entitled "The only regeneration."
THE ONLY REGENERATION.
[By Florence Goff Schwarz.]
There's no earthly use in prating of eugenics' saving grace
All the moral interdiction human logic can enforce
You may preach a thousand isms, you may pass a million laws,
And the mother sets the fashion for the youth to imitate;
When a man goes forth unarmored with the shield of self-control,
There is not a rule in science which with sin can arbitrate
For the child was started crooked and you can not make him straight.
There is no regeneration that will put a stop to sin
Save the righteous sense of humans working outward from within; There is naught in "votes for women" which will lead our steps aright, But a host of praying mothers are colossal in their might.
Here is woman's special duty-her's because she understands; She alone can solve the problem for she holds it in her hands. Man, amid life's tempest, tosses on the outward edge of things, And the loyal love of woman is the rock to which he clings. When the wider, deeper concepts of the soul are understood, When the jaded lusts and passions find in virtue greatest good, There will be no need of science-then will dawn the better day. But the mothers of the country must arise and lead the way. Mrs. DODGE. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to say a word or two about that school vote. It has not been mentioned before to-day, because we have said it so many times over and over that we thought
everybody understood it. The women don't vote on the school question. We believe that women should have something to say on the conduct of the schools, but even in the States where they have suffrage they don't vote on school questions. I can not give the exact States, but even when they do vote they vote in such small numbers it amounts to very little; it is less that half of 1 per cent in Connecticut, and not more than 41 per cent in the other States at the highest. Mr. VOLSTEAD. They are not returned, are they? They might be in some States, but I don't believe you could possibly get that vote in my State, nor in many other States.
Mrs. DODGE. In New York and Massachusetts they are absolutely recorded; they are the largest States where women vote on the school question, and the votes are recorded.
Mr. Chairman, I now have the pleasure of introducing Mr. John R. Dos Passos, of the Man Suffrage Association of New York, which is opposed to woman suffrage.
STATEMENT OF MR. JOHN R. DOS PASSOS, OF NEW YORK.
Mr. Dos Passos. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I know you have been subjected to a double ordeal to-day, and having had a great deal of experience in matters of this kind during my life as a lawyer I will not go further into the matters covered by the preceding speakers.
I represent the Guidon Society of New York, and I also represent the Man Suffrage Association, and in this connection I want to file a brief of Mr. Everett P. Wheeler.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you desire that to be printed in the proceedings?
Mr. Dos PASSOS. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. It will be so ordered, if there is no objection.
[Home Rule. Brief of Everett P. Wheeler on argument before Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, March, 1914, against proposition for constitutional amendment compelling the States to adopt woman suffrage.]
An association of women who favor political suffrage for women ask for the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting the States from denying to women the right to vote.
As chairman of the Man Suffrage Association which has been formed in New York, and expressing the convictions of many associations throughout the country who oppose the extension of political suffrage to women, I present this argument on their behalf.
In our judgment the regulation of the right and duty of voting at elections should be left where it is now, with each State, and should not be controlled by constitutional amendment.
Our country is the most prosperous in the world. It has increased in population, in wealth, in material comfort, in purity of domestic life, in the elevation of political and ethical standards, to a marvelous degree. It has been for more than a century, and still is, "the promised land" for millions in other countries who are attracted by the freedom, the prosperity, the opportunity of this. They have come hither and are rejoicing under our banner. This banner is one, but there are many stars in its field. Its motto, "E Pluribus Unum," expresses the fundamental law of our national existence. We are a union, but that Union is composed of many States. It is the right of each State to regulate its local affairs without interference from the other States. Thus we have succeeded in avoiding the jealousy and bitterness which have been a poisonous mixture in the union between Great Britain and Ireland. What the Irish people have for more than 100 years struggled to obtain is local self-government. Their argument for this is largely drawn from the suc
cessful experience of that system in the United States. It shows ignorance of history, and, above all, ignorance of the history and politics of the United States, to seek to change this fundamental principle of our Government. For this principle the Democratic Party has always loyally stood. In the platform of its last national convention it made the following declaration:
"Believing that the most efficient results under our system of government are to be attained by the full exercise by the States of their reserved sovereign powers, we denounce the efforts of our opponents to deprive the States of any of the rights reserved to them."
Nothing, to my mind, shows more clearly the absolute unfitness of most of the women who advocate woman suffrage to exercise that duty and responsibility than their appearance here to urge upon Congress the abrogation of this fundamental principle.
Let us consider first what the Constitution now declares:
"The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members, chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature." 1
The constitutional amendment as to the election of Senators is as follows: "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof for six years, and each Senator shall have one vote.
"The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for the most numerous branch of the State legislatures."
Here, then, we have a recent vote of Congress, ratified by the people, for the maintenance of the principle of American Federal Government that suffrage is to be regulated by the States.
The provision of section 1, article 2, in reference to the election of President is similar:
Article II, section 1: "Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress."
It is Thomas Jefferson to whom the Democratic Party has always looked as its founder. To the principles of democratic government formulated by Thomas Jefferson the party in the national convention of 1912 reaffirmed its devotion. This great man, in a letter to Madison, February 8, 1786, thus expresses himself: With respect to everything external, we be one nation only, firmly hooked together. Internal government is what each State should keep to itself."
But it was not alone Jefferson who advocated this doctrine. Whatever differences there might be in regard to the powers to be intrusted to the General Government, the Federalists as well as the Democrats were one in their devotion to the principle of local self-government. In the debates in Connecticut on the adoption of the Federal Constitution Oliver Wolcott said:
"The Constitution effectually secures the States in their several rights. It must secure them for its own sake, for they are the pillars which uphold the general system."
But we have on this subject the authority of a greater than Wolcott-one of the authors of the Constitution, one, who, with Madison and Jay, united in the composition of the celebrated letters now published in one volume as the Federalist, which advocated effectively the ratification of our Constitution-a man whom we delight to honor, Alexander Hamilton. In his speech in the convention in New York he used this memorable language:
Were the laws of the Union to new-model the internal police of any State; were they to alter or abrogate at a blow the whole of its civil and criminal institutions; were they to penetrate the recesses of domestic life and control in all respects the private conduct of individuals, there might be more force in the objection, and the same constitution which was happily calculated for one State might sacrifice the welfare of another."
"The blow aimed at the members must give a fatal wound to the head, and the destruction of the States must be at once a political suicide. Can the National Government be guilty of this madness?"
1 Article I, section 2, Constitution.
21 Tucker (J. Randolph) Const. U. S., 317.
32 Elliott Debates, 2 ed., 202.
Ibid., pp. 267. 269.
Ibid., p. 353.
These memorable statements of the fathers of the Republic were echoed by Chief Justice Marshall, delivering the judgment of the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. State of Maryland:1
"No political dreamer was ever wild enough to think of breaking down the lines which separate the States and of compounding the American people into one common mass."
And now to conclude my reference to the teachings of the wisest of American statesmen, let me quote from another great Virginian, who was for years chairman of the Judiciary Committee of this House, J. Randolph Tucker.2
"As the Representatives are, as we have shown, Representatives of the States according to their respective numbers, and are to be elected by the people of the several States, it is obvious that the people of the State should designate the voters who should voice its will."
By strict adherence to these sacred principles, fundamental in the United States Constitution, we have prospered. Where we have deviated from them we have suffered. The one great deviation from this principle, the fifteenth amendment, was adopted as a party measure amid the bitterness engendered by the Civil War, intensified by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This illstarred amendment undertook to ignore fundamental differences of race and to impose upon every State the obligation to put the blacks upon an equal footing with the whites. These zealous suffragists, a small minority of the women of America, are seeking to imitate this evil example.
Do not misunderstand me. When the blacks were emancipated it was obviously the duty of Congress and of the American people, whose representatives sit in Congress, to secure to them their civil rights. These were protected abundantly by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. The evils of the reconstruction period, its oppression, cruelty, and extravagance, mainly sprung from the partisan attempt to go farther and compel each State to submit its local suffrage to the jurisdiction of Congress.
It has been said that the subject of woman suffrage is one of great importance. This is undoubtedly true. But it is more important that each State should regulate the suffrage according to the judgment of its own citizens. The suffragists advocate the adoption of a Constitutional amendment, which would prevent each State from regulating this important subject in a manner suited to its needs.
How unjust and undemocratic that would be. Colorado, for example, has a population of only 799,024. The population of New York is 9.113,279, nearly 12 times as much. That of Texas is 3,896,524. That of Virginia is 2,061,612, that of Massachusetts, 3,366,416. The entire population of nine suffrage States is less than that of New York. Wyoming has only 145,965. Let them regulate their own affairs. But why, on a vote by States, allow the minority to impose on the women of New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Texas a burden which is odious to them.
This House is already burdened with momentous duties. It has been in almost continuous session since the inauguration of President Wilson. It has to Ideal with the annual expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars; it is charged with the duty of ascertaining how these sums, taken from the hardearned dollars of the American people, shall most wisely be expended for the good of the whole. It deals with great problems of interstate and foreign commerce. All these subjects are within its present jurisdiction. They require the most diligent study, the most serious consideration of every Member of this great representative body. These were the subjects debated in the campaign of 1912. Suffrage for women cut no figure then. Why take the time, the thought. the energy which should be devoted to the discharge of your duties and expend them elsewhere? It was not for this that the people sent you here. They knew very well the limits which the Constitution places upon your authority: they understod the powers of the several State legislatures; and they sent you here to do your duty under the Constitution and not to break down its fundamental principles.
It is most fitting that those who are opposed to the extension of political suffrage for women should appear here in defense of the principle of rule." We are the home-rule party, as my daughter styles us. We stand for the sacredness of the home, the security of the home, the protection of the mother and the family. The suffragist doctrine of the independence of woman
14 Wheaton, 316.
21 Tucker, Const. U. S., 394.