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The following program is produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. We present the American woman in fact in fiction from Colonial Times to the present day. A series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard and produced by Virginia Maynard and Charles levy for Lucretia Mott. In the early 19th century the group of reformers who were working for the abolition of slavery found little sympathy with their cause in the United States. They were ridiculed and persecuted everywhere. The clergy denounced them from the pulpit. Its politicians and newspapers charactered their leaders virtually all public meeting places were closed to their speakers but with undiminished resolution the abolitionists worked on in Philadelphia in 1835 a group of Quakers and their friends among them Lucretia Mott William Lloyd Garrison Oliver Wendell Holmes and John Greenleaf Whittier erected at their own expense and effort
their own hole in which to conduct their meetings. Pennsylvania hall was dedicated as a forum for free discussion. Virtue liberty and independence. During the first few days after its opening addresses were delivered there on slavery on the problems of the Indians. The right of free speech and similar subjects on the fourth day Lucretia Mott the valiant Quaker who was known as the soul of the abolition movement spoke for the woman's organization and brought up the subject of the widespread prejudice against women speaking in public. She expressed the hope that such false notions of delicacy and propriety would not long obtain in this enlightened country. Angelina grim one of the two sisters who had freed their slaves and come north to work for the cause of abolition. Likewise gave an address. The audiences were a man's and were made up both of sympathizers and many who were hostile to the movement as well as the merely curious who had come to hear of the crazy abolitionists or to witness the strange spectacle of women speaking in public.
The speakers were jeered and heckled continuously. And on the fourth day of the day the women spoke mob violence broke up. The police were summoned and the abolitionists departed with the assurances of the mayor that their hall would be protected if they called off their evening meeting. The leaders adjourned to the home of James and Lucretia Mott who was younger children were placed in the care of a neighbor. The eldest son Thomas had departed on a mission of reconnaissance back to the scene of violence and the little group of reformers sat quietly waiting his return with news of what was happening. Presently in the choir at St. Thomas is running footsteps could be heard coming toward the house. But out there come on. Close the door Thomas. But my neighbor Pennsylvania hall and now they're coming this way. They're coming to get the ball
and the Tupac. I have to say so much Pa. holding they must fly a mother they're bound to have the friend Garrison and friend Wendell Phillips and friend what do you all spoke on abolition they call us nigger lovers. They're coming this way now under about Starr cry and that's one man we talk on the street. That's the Nazi We have guests in the house call myself why I shall have to ask you to go next door with my brothers and sisters. Sit down Thomas we have nothing to fear. I think our son's advice is well taken system out. He must leave this place at once. We must hurry to doso it is only discreet good Dr. Perry. If he or any of our friends wish to fly it is the high privilege. As for my husband and myself we will remain. Will we not Jane. Yes indeed Lucretia I fear no mob. Tell us what happened. Thomas They broke down the doors of the hall with heavy timbers PA. They tore through the offices and took everything they could find and pile it up on the speaker stand in the auditorium of
all the friend would year's anti-slavery books and writings. Then all of a master garrisons pamphlets that they brought shavings and build a fire the fire carts came but no one even tried to put it out. It's burning to the grow much for free discussion liberty and independence. Do not be bitter friend who hear these virtues will live on the one thousand dollars which is so dedicated be burnt to the ground. We shall find other places in which to be honest about I fear we shall not. There is too much bitter feeling against us. The question is too fraught with emotion. There's too much feeling against the black man. The whole economy of the North is tied up with the product of his labor and poverty cannot be grown without slavery. The elements against us are too powerful. I for one think that the Anti-Slavery Society should be dissolved. C has seen what can happen. Dr. parish yet I do not think one far can hold just now we know they are under slavery agitation will continue if. Until the whole country be in flames for a good M.
gas and no talk of violence they think so cause we're not one half so much slander directed against it. If we did not allow women speakers to address on the ng like those who were not Quakers cannot understand the woman speaking in public they have to stand in as directed against this very thing. It goes against the grain of the whole country has a better right to speak than Lucretia Mott right or Angelina County white man knows more about the subject who can speak more persuasively and a friend. We must establish the rights of women as well as the right to freedom without like mass. Their right angry that SR-GR impugn my mother spoke today. They're common. Here usually do not. Peace peace friends peace tomorrow I bake did you leave this house at once. What a seething friend Mark should we not take the creature to a place of safety. Lucretia and I will remain as we are. They're coming fast. They're almost here. This is radio not exciting stuff my son he will do
us no harm. We must remain the creatures right. Friends we must read. But their hair right in front of the house he'll hardly know how to sort out the back door. There is yet time is good Dr. Perry rightly or Except Rihanna and not everyone here so I don't wave from the window Thomas. I run past. I saw them business loans of boys right. Friends but I know they were coming to our house to take the all with them. I heard them say so but they did not stop. They may yet turn back and not turning back. What are we to do Thomas. I will go to great show. From the vault. Why it's friend coffin. Welcome to our house was
quiet. But the very doorstep just moments passed. What was there to fan storm out is about all abiding faith that God speed from danger or is that the law of the US created in our hearts of all thy friends for one who was thy friend just as they reached the doorway put himself in the front of the crowd as a leader and taking up the cry on to the mobs from past the House and the not mob was quite deceived me thinks this man stocks leading them through the streets of Pennsylvania they were never lost a lawsuit for the tire on the whole that will say you know when really not good Dr Perry had you with me. Such was the intrepid spirit of this serene little Quaker woman who has been called the black man's Goddess of Liberty the soul of the woman's movement and the greatest American woman born in 1793 in
Massachusetts. Lucretia had been a Quaker preacher since she was a young woman. Her true vocation she finally decided was the cause of emancipation. She saw with a feeling of horror the great warehouses stocked with human flesh to be bought and sold. She had no patience with talk of gradual emancipation. She became with William Lloyd Garrison and immediate evolutionists and thus a virtual social outcast in her day. The Abolitionists were considered professional lunatics and reclaimed all their doctrine of visionary dog which holds that negro slaves cannot be the subject of property. Ministers are started from their pulpits that the negro was condemned by God's word and his curse to be the servant of man anti-slavery advocates were tarred and feathered and conquered was St.. Garrison was dragged through the streets of Boston. The end of a rope but Lucretia went quietly about her activities under her guidance the woman's organization raised large sums of money established a school for colored children endowed a negro
orphanage assumed all problems of the Negro is within their duty. But the American Anti-Slavery Association was sharply divided on the question of women participating in public meetings. Nevertheless at the meeting of 1840 despite some trouble over this question Lucretia mocked was chosen as one of the delegates to the world's anti-slavery convention to be held in London later that year. Eight women along with such men as Wendell Phillips George Brett Byrne of the Massachusetts legislature William Lloyd Garrison and Henry B Stanton attended as delegates but upon their arrival in London it soon became evident to the entire contingent that the British officials had no intention of allowing the women to be seated. They were advised to submit peaceably to the dictates of the committee which proposed to exclude them. But the American contingent chose to make an issue of the seating of the women on the morning of the first meeting. The women were admitted and seated in a part of the hall behind a bar and a curtain which had been reserved to ladies as guests. Young Wendell Phillips
arose and moved that a committee be appointed to prepare a correct list of delegates with instructions to include in this list the names of all persons bearing credentials from an anti-slavery society. This immediately opened the question of seating the women delegates. A delegate from Boston still has the radio proves Mr. Phillips thank you honorable German as I was saying Massachusetts for several years acted on the principle of admitting women to an equal seat with men in the deliberative bodies of anti-slavery societies. When the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society received your invitation to the London convention we interpreted your phrase friends of the slave to include women as well as men since it must be presumed you knew our customs. Under the circumstances we do not think it
equitable to that state nor to the women delegates here representing that state and others in America. That after the trouble the sacrifice the self devotion of those who have left their families and kindred occupations in their own land to come 3000 miles to attend this world's convention should be refused a place in its deliberations. It is nearly missed. As soon as we had the liberal interpretation the Americans had given the office invitation we should end up as early as February 15th which the description of those who were to form the convention to step forth that's come up. On our Dr.. I think the custom of excluding females is more honored in its breach than in its observance. In this country sovereign rule is placed in the hands of a female soldier and we as a society are associated with the
body of Christians. The Quaker those who have given to their women a great honorable and religious prominence. I look upon this delegation from America as one of the most interesting the most encouraging and the most delightful symptoms of the times. I cannot believe that we should refuse to welcome gratefully the cooperation which is here offered us. Reverend Bernard gentleman I pray you will be calm. I assure you gentlemen I have the greatest or the most profound respect for the ladies of the American delegation but I believe that an English interpretation should be put on English phrase the ologies ladies I appeal to you all to relinquish that which you call go right to be seated and put an end to this of dignified
controversy. It's never the card to the British hand for an anti-slavery society that they were inviting ladies when they if you will do their invitation to beto would it be that this convention should be dissolved it wants then that the Ababil delegate from Massachusetts motion to include the ladies in this body should be offered up to turn over the reception of women. The point of this convention where the rule of money be not only a violation of the customs of England one of the organs of Almighty God of the Honorable ridden governor of New York. In some part of the other side of this question. Reference has been made to you all somber and I most cordially approve of her policy and sound wisdom. I'm committed to the consideration of our American female friends who are so deeply interested in the subject. Yeah example of your noble queen who by sanctioning her concert His Royal Highness Prince Albert in taking the chair on the occasion not dissimilar to this
showed her Sam some propriety by putting her head. Foremost in an assembly of gentlemen I have no objection to a woman's being the neck the term the head Iraq I do not wish to see her assume the place of that have you. Joe recognizes Senator Rudman of Massachusetts. We are told that it would be out reaching the customs of England to allow women to sit in this convention. I have a great respect for the customs and habits of only England but I ask gentleman if it be right to set up the customs and habits not to say the prejudices of the Englishman as a standard for the government. On this occasion of Americans. And of persons belonging to several other independent nations I can see neither reason nor policy in so doing. Besides I deprecate the principle of the objection. In America it would
exclude from all conventions all persons of color for their customs habits tastes prejudices would be outraged by their own admission. And I do not wish to be deprived of the aid of those who have done so much for this cause. Purpose of gratifying any media custom or prejudice. Women have punished most essential aid in accomplishing what has been done in the state of Massachusetts. If if the legislature of that state. I have been able to do anything in furtherance of that cause. It was mainly owing to the valuable assistance I derives from the women. I don't hate and shows such women be denied seats in this convention. My friend George Thompson yelled up can testify to the faithful services rendered to this cause by those same women. He can tell you that when gentlemen of property and standing
undertook took to drive him from Boston putting his life in peril. It was only the women who made their own persons a bulwark of protection I don't hear him. And showed such women. He refused seats here up in a convention seeking the emancipation of slaves throughout the world. I was hooked on this nobody to cold piss of worms convention of evolutionists when some of the oldest and most liberal coing up illusionists in the world all denied the right to be represented in it by delegates up there no trucks. That. Recognize it as Mr Thompson. I've listened to the arguments advanced on this side on that side on this fix it question. I listened with profound attention to the arguments of the Honorable most of the net expecting that from him. Why should you have the strongest arguments that could be a deuced on the subject as when you know a subject
upon which you might be pleased to employ his talents. What are those strongest arguments. Which one of the greatest champions on any question which he chooses to espouse has brought forward. They are the first that English phrase ology should be construed according to English usage. Second that it was never contemplated by the anti-slavery Committee. That ladies should occupy a seat in this convention. Third that the ladies of England are not here as delegates and falsely that he has no desire to offer no affront to the ladies present here I presume although strongest arguments a gentleman has to do it for he never fails to use to the best advantage the resources within his reach. I look at these arguments and I place on the other side of the question the fact that they're all in this assembly and ladies who present themselves as
delegates from the oldest societies in America. I expected that Mr. Burnett would grapple with the constitutionality of their credentials. I thought he would dispute the right of a convention assembled in Philadelphia for the abolition of slavery consisting of delegates from different states in the union and comprised of individuals of both sexes to send one or all of the ladies now in our presence. I thought he would grapple with the fact that those ladies came to us who have no slavery from a country in which they have slaves as the representatives of two millions off of captives. But when I look at the arguments against the title of these women to sit amongst us I cannot but consider them frivolous and groundless. The simple question before us is whether these ladies taking into account our credentials the talent they have displayed the suffering they've
endured the journey they've undertaken should be acknowledged by us in virtue of these high titles. Or should be shut out for the reasons stated goal. That was a quote that I try. Again recognizes Mr. Boston gentleman. I've been asked to withdraw my motion which would have meant the legally elected woman delegates from America to participation in this body because this convention tells us that it is not ready to meet the ridicule of the morning paper and to stand up against the customs of England in America. We listen to no such argument. If we had done so we would never be as evolutionists say it is the custom there not to admit colored men into respectable society and we have been told again and again that we are outraging the decencies of
humanity when we permit colored men to sit by our side. When we have submitted to brick bats at the top Robin feathers in America rather than yield to the custom prevalent there of not admitting colored men into our friendship shall we used to parallel custom or prejudice against women in old England was we should not we cannot do you this question if we would for a just a matter of conscience. But we would not hear it on the ground of expediency in doing so. We should feel that we were striking off the right home of our enterprise. We could not go back to America to ask for any aid from the women of Massachusetts. If we had deserted them when they chose to send out their own sisters as their representatives here playing like we have argued it over and over again and decided it time after time in every society in the land in favor of the women we have
not changed. But crossing the wont of we stand here the advocates of the same principle that we contend for in America. We think it is right for women to sit by our side and we think its right for them to do the same. We ask the convention to ask them if they do not choose to grow to it. The responsibility rests on their shoulders. It is a matter of. Concerns British sports you ought not to ask us to use. Recognizes the grass grow. It was stated by our brother from a better luck with him. I just am not of conscience. Truth is a question I don't know the particular sphere in which to act. Whether I am right in my interpretations of the Word of God or not it could be if I were to give a vote in favor of
sitting and waiting in such an assembly as this time should be acting in opposition to the teaching talking. Here recognizes another American rep as a reverend. My vote is that we confirm the list of delegates that we take votes on that as an amendment and that we henceforth entertain this question no more law will not be met here pledge to sacrifice all hope in all of that we may do something against slavery and shall we be divided on this paltry question ended up on its own. Tired of benevolence to be stopped by a straw poll. We don't talk a big man now than be a man. Consider what is worthy of your attention.
The Rev. Dr. Matas I believe as I put it there in problematic and to many English friends do at this moment that we are treading on the brink of a precipice and that precipice is awaking you know all presumes by this discussion feelings that we will not only be a bus to the great object for which we have assembled but inconsistent perhaps in some degree with the Christian spirit which I trust with aid on meetings connected with the anti-slavery cause. We have been unanimous against the common folk but we all these stay in danger of creating division numb of the heart with all American bretheren put us in this position. Will they keep up a discussion in which the delicacy the all the respectability of those excellent females who have come from the Western will dockets and I tremble at the fault of
discussing the question in the presence of these ladies for whom I attained the most profound respect and I am to say that but for the introduction the question of women's rights it would be impossible for the shrinking nature of women to subject itself to the infliction of such a discussion as this. Recognizes mis rendered unfit. Mr. Chairman as the hour is late the arguments of the opposition. Though I should like to call your attention to the numerous misstatements of fact and the arguments of those who oppose the sitting of women delegates to this convention shall not do so. I called for the question last. QUESTION Just like you just been moved and seconded that the firing motion of Mr. Phillips
be produced before this convention and that a committee of five be appointed to prepare a correct list of the members of this convention here with instructions to include in such a list. Oh persons by credentials by many on display everybody. The chair which is to remind the delegates that an affirmative vote carries with it the implicit understanding that persons irrespective of Sacks may be seated as delegates to this convention. Are you OK. I was always in favor of the aforesaid immersion respond by a light version of the logo. With Philips motion voted down. The women delegates to the London world's anti-slavery
convention were compelled to remain behind the curtain in the ladies section of the hall. The women were allowed to take no part in a meeting that they had travelled 3000 miles to attend. This humiliating experience confirmed in Lucretia Mott a resolve to labor for another cause in addition to the emancipation of slaves after she should return home. The cause of the emancipation of women in 1848 in Seneca Falls New York with Lucretia mocked again the guiding spirit. The first women's rights convention was called and a declaration of rights for women modeled on the Declaration of Independence was adopted a document which would have startled even Thomas Jefferson. That was part 4 of the American woman in fact and fiction from Colonial Times to the present day series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard. The cast included Charles Levy and US Landauer William Matheson Collin Edwards Edwin Smith Theodore Hofmann George Maki and Virginia
Maynard engineering was by David L. Talcott and James Cano the American woman in fact and fiction was produced in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the ne Radio Network.
The American woman in fact and fiction
Episode Number
Episode 4 of 13
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This series, written and directed by Virginia Maynard, dramatizes various stories of women from colonial times to the Twentieth century.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-19-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:00
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Chicago: “The American woman in fact and fiction; Episode 4 of 13,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023,
MLA: “The American woman in fact and fiction; Episode 4 of 13.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <>.
APA: The American woman in fact and fiction; Episode 4 of 13. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from