Abby Kelley and womens’ rights

Appearing under Refuge of Oppression are minutes of a Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society,  from the New Haven Record.

Abby Kelley appears at the meeting, and her presence creates controversy.  She is “distinquished for her effrontery in practically asserting the right of her sex to an equal place with men.”   After some discussion, she is allowed to speak.  After her speech, the chairman of the meeting announced that he could no longer serve in that role, and expressed his views about her speech.  He is more than ever convinced “that it is dangerous to allow women to have a voice in public deliberations.  Their influence was too powerful; yet not by the power of their arguments, but by the fascination of their looks and the sorcery of their tongue, by taking advantage of the gallantry of the men, they would in all cases carry the day, whether their cause was right or wrong!”  Later, Kelley rises to speak again, the Chair objects and is sustained.  Then there is a vote not to allow women to vote.   Finally, midst some confusion, as the meeting adjourns, it is announced that Miss Kelley would speak at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.