Although the Women's Rights Convention of 1848 is usually associated with Seneca Falls, it is important to remember that crucial events important to the story also occurred in nearby Waterloo. On July 16, three days after Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Ann M'Clintock, Martha Wright and Jane Hunt met at Hunt's Waterloo, NY house and conceived the idea of a women's rights convention, the same women met here, in Mary Ann M'Clintock's House, to write the now famous Declaration of Sentiments. Even with speeches, topics of debate to organize and a myriad of details to discuss, Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote years later that the most difficult task proved to be the writing of the convention's "declaration." As the women sat in M'Clintock's parlor pouring over different examples of speeches, reports and resolutions for inspiration, Stanton recalled that they "all seemed too tame and pacific for the inauguration of a rebellion such as the world have never before seen. . . . After much delay, one member of the circle took up the Declaration of 1776, and read it aloud with much spirit and emphasis, and it was at once decided to adopt the historic document, with some slight changes such as substituting ‘all men' for ‘King George.' In its final form, the Declaration of Sentiments closely followed the structure of Thomas Jefferson's 1776 Declaration of Independence, including a list of 18 grievances women had with American society. Just two days later, on July 18, in the Wesleyan Chapel, Elizabeth Cady Stanton officially began the Women's Rights Convention of 1848 (and the American women's rights movement) with the reading of the Declaration of Sentiments document composed in Mary Ann M'Clintock's front parlor. Today, this small two-story brick house with two chimney's at either end--a residence similar to thousands of others built in the 19th century--occupies a prominent place in American history, and is part of the Women's Rights National Historical Park.
Mary Ann M'Clintock House|
Photograph courtesy of the Women's Rights National Historical Park.
The Mary Ann M'Clintock House is part of the Women's Rights National Historical
Park. Ranger guided tours are available. Call 315-568-2991 or click
here for more information.
The M'Clintock House is
the subject of an online-lesson
plan produced by Teaching with Historic Places, a National Register
program that offers classroom-ready lesson plans on properties listed
in the National Register. To learn more, visit the Teaching
with Historic Places home page.
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