Fighting Chance

History Forum: Fighting Chance: The Struggle for Woman and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America

Minnesota History Center

At the landmark Seneca Falls Convention (1848), Frederick Douglass helped Elizabeth Cady Stanton convince delegates to support the strange concept of woman suffrage. Twenty years later Cady Stanton's opposition to and Douglass' support for the Fifteenth Amendment (1869) brought these two civil rights' giants and their causes to a bitter parting of the ways, with Douglass believing that white women could wait for the vote, and Cady Stanton asserting that the political participation of uneducated black men would destroy America unless balanced by that of more civilized, educated white women. How did these two causes, so long allied, come to such a terrible rift?

With Faye Dudden, professor of History and a Presidential Scholar at Colgate University. She is the author of Fighting Chance: The Struggle Over Women Suffrage and Black Suffrage in Reconstruction America. Dudden has received fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Antiquarian Society and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. She chairs the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians book prize committee and is the winner of the George Freedley Memorial Prize given for exceptional historical scholarship.