Early women’s rights activists were inspired by the egalitarian cultural system of their Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) neighbors, and by Black women’s rights activists working to abolish the institution of slavery in the United States. Female Anti-slavery Societies also provided training for early women’s rights activists; they were member organizations of both Black and White women.

Pouring out her “long-accumulating discontent” over being denied personal rights and freedoms as a woman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls, New York gathered with a few like-minded women in nearby Waterloo and wrote the Declaration of Sentiments in early July 1848. Hear all about what Mrs. Stanton and her “sympathetic friends” demanded just days later at the historic 1848 First Convention for Woman’s Rights in Seneca Falls. In this video, Elizabeth Cady Stanton is portrayed by historian, Melinda Grube, Ph.D.

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