Women's Rights
Special History Study
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This report was produced at the request of the Denver Service Center Northeast Team to provide basic historical background information on properties associated with Women's Rights National Historical Park. The scope of the study was determined by a series of questions compiled by the General Management Plan team. The buildings under consideration were the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, the Stanton House, and the Bloomer House in Seneca Falls, and the Hunt and McClintock Houses in Waterloo. The purpose of the study was to establish if possible, the historical significance of the people and events associated with these buildings as they relate to the Women's Rights Convention of 1848. Each building is examined in a separate chapter, with a general introductory chapter on the village of Seneca Falls. The study focuses on the people and events associated with the buildings, rather than the structures themselves. Architectural histories and details have been compiled by Barbara Pearson in a separate Architectural Survey.

Because the philosophies and public lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Amelia Bloomer are already well known, this study concentrates on examining their relationship with the community of Seneca Falls, and how their lives in the village affected their views on women's rights. Because there is comparatively little documentary material available on the Hunts, the McClintocks, and the congregation of the Wesleyan Chapel, these chapters necessarily employ a more general, ideological approach. By examining the philosophical tenets of the Progressive Quakers, we can gain some insights into the beliefs and concerns of the Hunts and McClintocks. By the same token, exploring the religious schism which produced the Wesleyan Methodist Church, enables us to draw some reasonable conclusions about the members of its congregation. Because each chapter is designed to stand as a separate unit, some minor repetition occurs throughout the report.

The introductory chapter is a general statement on conditions in Seneca Falls in 1848. It is by no means a complete or exhaustive study of this topic, and presents a few observations only. Time constraints did not allow for a similar chapter on Waterloo, but one should definitely be completed when possible. The information contained in this report indicates that the Waterloo Quakers, including the Hunts and McClintocks, probably played a more significant role in the initial conception and support of the Convention than was generally thought to be the case. Although Elizabeth Cady Stanton was most certainly the catalyst which produced the Convention, it is doubtful whether she could have successfully staged it without the energetic assistance of the Waterloo Quakers and the Seneca Falls Wesleyans.

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Last Updated: 10-Dec-2005