Douglass Participates in First Women's Rights Convention, Seneca Falls, New York

Frederick DouglassA crowd of about three hundred people, including forty men, came from five miles round.

No woman felt capable of presiding; the task was undertaken by Lucretia's husband, James Mott. All of the resolutions were passed unanimously except for woman suffrage, a strange idea and scarcely a concept designed to appeal to the predominantly Quaker audience, whose male contingent commonly declined to vote. The eloquent Frederick Douglass, a former slave and now editor of the Rochester North Star, however, swayed the gathering into agreeing to the resolution. At the closing session, Lucretia Mott won approval of a final resolve "for the overthrowing of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to woman equal participation with men in the various trades, professions and commerce." One hundred women and men signed the Seneca Falls Declaration-although subsequent criticism caused some of them to remove their names.

We hold woman to be justly entitled to all we claim for man. We go farther, and express our conviction that all political rights which it is expedient for man to exercise, it is equally so for women. ”

— Frederick Douglass, at the 1848 Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, according to Stanton et al in [History of Woman Suffrage]