A "Declaration of Sentiments" is Drafted

     Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a well known and involved member of the Women's Rights Movement, used the Declaration of Independence as the outline for writing  "Declaration of Sentiments." Stanton linked the campaign for women's rights directly to the Declaration of Independence. The similar words framed women's arguments for equality: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.                                      

    In this Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton specifically and purposely listed ways some were treated unfairly. She wrote "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world." Then she got deeper and more thorough:
Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
Women were not allowed to vote
Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
Married women had no property rights
Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men 

     Elizabeth Cady Stanton's also wrote: "Now, in view of this entire disenfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, -- in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States." 
      Newspaper editors were shocked and astonished by the women’s bravery. (Especially the ninth resolution, this was when they demanded the right to vote.) The newspaper editors made fun of them and criticized them as much as possible! 
      Many people signed: “The Declaration of Sentiments,” and it was frequently published. A majority of the women were very embarrassed and resulted in taking their signatures from this document. However, other women’s signature remained.      
      The negative feedback from the media about the Declaration of Sentiments and the Women’s Rights Movement backfired. The articles written were emotionally damaging and common. This ended up having a positive affect on the members of the Women’s Right Movement. This had a positive ending, people were then aware to many of the problems. It even led a lot people to join the debate on women’s rights.


Primary Source

The document states:

"With the hope that every student may read these pages and see that Elizabeth Cady Stanton made our whole claim for equal rights with men in the Declaration of Sentiments and the resolutions of 1848 and believe me.

Sincerely yours for justice,
Susan B. Anthony
17 Madison Street
Rochester, N.Y.
June 1, 1903"

The Declaration of Sentiments was written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It explanied the injustices women had to face. Stanton rewrote and justified the Declaration. After Stanton wrote the Declartaion,  she presented it at a convention in Seneca Falls, New York.  Susan B. Anthony’s letter was written after the convention. Susan B. Anthony’s letter states her hopes that children will read and understand The Declaration of Sentiments. The movemnt was a great part of her life and she wanted people to understand that the members of the Women's Rights Mvement had to work so hard. The Declaration of Sentiments showed so many differences of how women were treated differently then men and how being men had more benefits than women. All the memebrs agreed to the Declaration of Sentiments because it claimed equality and what they wanted.