“The Solitude of Self”

On January 18, 1892–120 years ago today in Washington, DC–Elizabeth Cady Stanton delivered her famous speech, “The Solitude of Self” in the morning to the House Judiciary Committee; in the evening at the convention of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association; and two days later before the Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage. Ten thousand copies of her speech were printed and distributed. Susan wrote on one that she gave to Elizabeth: “To Elizabeth Cady Stanton–This pronounced the strongest and most unanswerable argument and appeal ever made by mortal pen or tongue for the full freedom and franchise of women.”  In her diary, Elizabeth wrote, “I am very much complimented on its character, and I am much inclined myself to think it is the best thing I have ever written, at least in my declining years.” Her speech begins and ends with these words: “The point I wish plainly to bring before you on this occasion is the individuality of each human soul . . . . Who, I ask you, can take, dare take, on himself the rights, the duties, the responsibilities of another human soul?”

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