Men Supported Women’s Suffrage

Male allies supported women in their efforts for greater social and political rights from the very beginning of the movement. Lucretia Coffin Mott’s husband James presided on the first day of the women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848. Frederick Douglass attended the 1848 convention, speaking fervently in support of women’s right to vote. The masthead of The North Star, his anti-slavery newspaper published in Rochester, read: “Right is of No Sex; Truth is of No Color”.

The Syracuse Unitarian minister, Samuel J. May, preached a woman’s rights sermon in 1846 – two years before the first woman’s rights convention. May consistently supported equal rights for African Americans as well as women. A regular attendee at women’s rights conventions, May attended the founding meeting of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, held in Saratoga in 1869. When the women asked him to be an officer of the new organization, he declined, saying that women alone should be the office holders.

Jermain Loguen, who ran the Syracuse Underground Railroad with his wife Caroline, served as one of the vice presidents at the 1853 New York State woman suffrage convention.

Portrait from James and Lucretia Mott. Life and letters. 1884. Courtesy of University of California via HathiTrust.

Frederick Douglass, circa 1879. Douglass was a strong supporter of women’s rights and attended the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848. Courtesy of National Archives at College Park.

Samuel J. May, pastor of the Church of the Messiah, known as "Syracuse's public conscience on the slavery issue". May preached in support of women’s rights two years before the first Women’s Rights Convention. Courtesy of Onondaga Community College Library.

Jermain Wesley Loguen, pastor, orator and abolitionist, whose efforts on behalf of fugitive slaves earned Syracuse the name of "Canada of the United States. Loguen served as a vice president at the 1853 New York State woman suffrage convention. Courtesy of Onondaga Community College Library.