1848 Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls and Rochester
The first convention in the country called exclusively to discuss the need for women’s rights was held in Seneca Falls on July 19–20, 1848. Lucretia Coffin Mott joined her sister, Martha Coffin Wright and Quaker friends Mary Ann M'Clintock and Jane Hunt, along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton for tea on July 9 at the home of Jane Hunt in nearby Waterloo. The women decided to hold a women's rights convention while Mott was visiting. Their announcement, calling for a discussion of the “social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman," appeared two days later in the Seneca County Courier and was reprinted in other area papers, including Frederick Douglass's North Star.
The two-day convention resulted in the adoption of two documents, the Declaration of Sentiments and an accompanying list of resolutions. Drafted by the Quaker women and Stanton, the documents were discussed and modified by the convention before being adopted. The most contentious resolution was women’s right to vote. Frederick Douglass, the only African-American present, argued so convincingly for its inclusion that the suffrage resolution was adopted. The convention adjourned to meet again in Rochester two weeks later. This culmination of all the women’s previous work launched the organized women’s rights movement and led to other local conventions and yearly national women’s rights conventions beginning in 1850.