Saturday, August 07, 2004

Part of My Roots

I grew up in central New York. Ten years ago when I was so ready to leave, I referred to it as "a great place to be from." I couldn't wait to shake the dust (or rather, slush) from my shoes. Over time, however, the distance helped me to see what is special about upstate New York, a place of emerald-green lushness and abundant seasons.

One thing I take pride in about central New York is its rich economic, cultural, and political history. For instance, Seneca Falls is the seat of the National Women's Hall of Fame. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a driving force for the suffragist movement: "Oh my daughter, I wish you were a boy!" her father said, grieving at the death of his only son. Young Elizabeth vowed to prove him wrong. She worked hard to excel in Greek, Latin, and mathematics, and obtained the finest education then available to women at Troy Female Seminary. When she married Henry Stanton, an activist in the anti-slavery cause, the word "obey" was omitted from the ceremony at her insistence.

Stanton wrote and presented the Declaration of Sentiments on July 19-20, 1848 (one of the most eloquent and stirring declarations I've ever read). She also worked with Susan B. Anthony to win for women the right to vote. There are many other women highlighted at the web site.

Cross-posted at A Mindful Life

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