On this day July 19, 1848

The two-day Women’s Rights Convention, the first women’s rights and feminist convention held in the United States, opened in Seneca Falls, New York.

Seneca Falls Convention

Seneca Falls Convention

The convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including organizer and featured speaker Lucretia Mott, as but a single step in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social, civil and moral rights, but it was viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men.

Afterward, Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the resulting Declaration of Sentiments as a foundational document in the American woman’s suffrage movement, and she promoted the event as being the first time that women and men gathered together to demand for women the right to vote.

Stanton’s authoring of the History of Woman Suffrage helped to establish the Seneca Falls Convention as the moment when the push for women’s suffrage first gained national prominence. By 1851, at the second National Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, the issue of women’s right to vote had become a central tenet of the women’s rights movement.

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