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Constitutional equality. To the Hon. the Judiciary committee of the Senate and the House of representatives of the Congress of the United States ... Most respectfully submitted. Victoria C. Woodhull. Dated New York, January 2, 1871.
Woodhull, Victoria C.
2 duplicate copies
Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 128, Folder 14. Copy scanned: 2
The memorial of Victoria C. Woodhull, to the honorable the Senate and House of representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, respectfully showeth [regarding women voting] Victoria C. Woodhull. Dated New York City, December 19, 1870.
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OF VICTORIA C. WOODHULL,
That she was born in the State of Ohio, and is above the age of twenty-one years; that she has resided in the State of New York during the past three years; that she is still a resident thereof, and that she is a citizen of the United States, as declared by the XIV Article of Amendments to the Constitution of the United States:
That since the adoption of the XV Article of Amendments to the Constitution, neither the State of New York nor any other State, nor any Territory, has passed any law to abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote, as established by said article, neither on account of sex or otherwise:
That, nevertheless, the right to vote is denied to women citizens of the United States by the operation of Election Laws in the several States and Territories, which laws were enacted prior to the adoption of the said XV Article, and which are inconsistent with the Constitution as amended, and, therefore, are void and of no effect; but which being still enforced by the said States and Territories, render the Constitution inoperative as regards the right of women citizens to vote:
And whereas, Article VI, Section 2, declares "That this Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and all judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution and Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding:"
And whereas, no distinction between citizens is made in the Constitution of the United States on account of sex, but the XIV Article of Amendments to it provides that "no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States," "nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws:"
And whereas, Congress has power to make laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution all powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States; and to make or alter all regulations in relation to holding election for Senators and Representatives, and especially to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of the said XIV Article:
And whereas, the continuance of the enforcement of said local election laws, denying and abridging the Right of Citizens to Vote on account of sex, is a grievance to your memorialist and to various other persons, citizens of the United States, being women,--
Therefore your memorialist would most respectfully petition your Honorable Bodies to make such laws as in the wisdom of Congress shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the right vested by the Constitution in the citizens of the United States to vote, without regard to sex.
And your memorialist will ever pray.
VICTORIA C. WOODHULL.
Dated New York City, December 19, 1870.