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.