Seneca Falls Convention Declaration of Sentiments

(1848)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The Declaration of Sentiments echoes the language and structure of the Declaration of Independence's preamble. Its opening justifies the actions of those who support women's rights and prepares the reader for the litany of the wrongs perpetrated against womankind. Stanton uses the religious language of the Declaration of Independence when she refers to “nature's God” and points out that the rights women are demanding come not from government but from “nature” as well as the Supreme Being.

Stanton goes on to state, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal.” This ringing proclamation comes directly from the Declaration of Independence, with only the words “and women” added. Women, like men, are entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and the government was instituted to make sure that all people are guaranteed these rights. Stanton states that people who have been denied their...