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Woman Suffrage in Colorado

Document 2

Albina L. Washburn, a member of a farmers' organization called the Grange, expressed her anger and dismay at the Grange's failure to endorse a resolution in favor of woman suffrage in the following report:

       For the principles of universal liberty and justice are rapidly supplanting in the minds of the people the selfishness and intolerance of past ages; and he who rides not triumphantly in the car of progress must stand aside, or be crushed by its steadily moving wheels.

       They [woman suffrage opponents] have not the Constitution to uphold them--for not a word in that noble instrument can possibly be construed [interpreted] to mean that men alone shall rule. On the contrary there is evidently a most scrupulous avoidance of any such idea, the words "person" and "citizen" being used whenever practicable . . . Women are held responsible for all infringement [violation] of the laws which men make under this provision.

       And, further, do not all departments of public business and of government suffer from the withholding of the voice and the conscience of Woman? Is not the tender heart of the wife, the long-suffering and wise patience of the mother accustomed to govern her diverse family, -- the loyal affection and patrotism of the daughter needed in the affairs of government to-day?

--Excerpt from A. L. Washburn, "Minority Report of Committee on
Woman Suffrage," 1 September 1877

3. How did Washburn claim that the Constitution supported the idea of women participating fully in the United States government?

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4. Describe one other argument Washburn used to support suffrage for women.

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