ABOVE: Amelia Bowen reads from the memoir of Elizabeth Cady Stanton about the July 4th protest in 1876 in Philadelphia. BELOW: More about what happened after the suffrage co-conspirators left the centennial hall:
“Passing out, these ladies made their way to a platform, erected for the musicians, in front of Independence Hall. Here, under the shadow of Washington’s statue, back of them the old bell that proclaimed “liberty to all the land and all the inhabitants thereof,” they took their places, and, to a listening, applauding crowd, Miss Anthony read the Woman’s Declaration.
“During the reading of the Declaration, Mrs. Gage stood beside Miss Anthony and held an umbrella overher head, to shelter her friend from the intense heat of the noonday sun. And thus at the same hour, on opposite sides of the entrance to the old Independence Hall, did the men and women express their opinions on the great principles proclaimed on the natal day of the Republic…
“These heroic ladies then hurried from Independence Hall to the church, already crowded with an expectant audience, to whom they gave a full report of the
morning’s proceedings. The Hutchinsons, of world-wide fame, were present in their happiest vein, interspersing the speeches with appropriate songs and
felicitous remarks. For five long hours on that hot midsummer day a crowded audience, many standing, listened with profound interest, and reluctantly dis-
persed at last, all agreeing that it was one of the most impressive and enthusiastic meetings they had ever attended.
“Through all the busy preparations of the Centennial, the women of the nation felt sure that the great national celebration could not pass without the con-
cession of some new liberties to them. Hence they pressed their claims at every point, at the Fourth of July celebration, in the exposition buildings, and in the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions, hoping to get a plank in the platforms of both the great political parties.”