Texts on The Origins of Liberty Rhetoric, 1770s-1820s

The poetry of Grace Growden Galloway, 1760s

". . . I am Dead
Dead to each pleasing thought each Joy of Life
Turn'd to that heavy lifeless lump a wife."

"never get Tyed to a Man
for when once you are yoked
Tis all a Mere Joke
of seeing your freedom again."

Abigail Adams, letter to her husband John Adams, regarding the Constitution, 1776

"...by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary to make, I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If perticular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebelion and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.
       "That your Sex are Naturally Tyrannical is a Truth so thoroughly established as to admit of no dispute, but such of you as wish to be happy willingly give up the harsh title of Master for the more tender and endearing one of Friend. Why then not put it out of the power of the vicious and the Lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity. Men of Sense in all Ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your Sex. Regard us then as Beings placed by providence under your protection and in imitation of the Supreem Being make use of that power only for our happiness."

Eliza Wilkinson, letter to a female friend, 1782

"The men say we have no business with [politics], it is not in our sphere! I won't have it thought that because we are the weaker sex as to bodily strength, my dear, we are capable of nothing more than minding the dairy, visiting the poultryhouse, and all such domestic concerns. . . . They won't even allow us the liberty of thought, and that is all I want...." (1782)

1797 Newark Centinel of Freedom

"Let Democrats with senseless prate,
maintain the softer Sex, Sir,
Should ne'er with politics of State
their gentle minds perplex Sir;
Such vulgar prejudice we scorn;
their sex is no objection. . . .
While woman's bound, man can't be free
nor have a fair election."