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Women's History in Mound City

 

Women have played integral roles in the development of Mound City and the surrounding areas. Many of the settling women were "cultured" and educated, from the East. They risked their lives in helping to establish Kansas as a free state and this area as a key point for the Western route of the Underground Railroad.

 

Moneka Women's Rights Association

Constitution - Adopted February 13, 1858

 

BECAUSE woman is constituted of body and mid and has all the common wants of the one and the natural powers of the other'

 

BECAUSE she is a social being and has all the relations of life to sustain which belong to an associated condition of existence;

 

BECAUSE she is a progressive being ever outgrowing the past and demanding a higher and greater future, or in other words,

 

BECAUSE by the present arrangement of the world she is shut out of colleges and the higher order of educational institutions, thereby deprived of great opportunities for intellectual improvement, shut out from most of the lucrative accumulation of wealth and enjoyment of social life--made subject to laws which she has no voice in making and which deprive her of the ownership of property or herself, and give even her daily earnings to the control of others; dragged before courts to answer for crimes against laws to which she has never give her assent, to be tried as a criminal in halls where she can neither sit as judge or juror, or officiate as counsel; and

 

BECAUSE from the pulpit and the rostrum woman is called upon to give character to the rising generation and charged with the responsibility of shaping the destiny of the race,

 

BECAUSE she is demanded to make statesmen to wield the fate of nations, and divines to wake the world to glory:

 

WE, THEREFORE, form ourselves into an Associations to be governed by the following constitution:

 

Article First. This association shall be called The Moneka Women's Rights Society.

 

Article Second. It shall be the object of the society to secure to woman her natural rights and to advance her educational interests. In furtherance of these objects the society shall consider what women's natural rights are and the means best calculated to secure them. It shall also encourage lectures on this subject in the society and elsewhere and give its support to some paper devoted to the elevation of women.

 

The Article was signed and officers were elected. The following resolutions were then offered and adopted:

 

1st Resolved, That we will exert whatever influence we can over the public sentiment of this Territory that the constitution about to be formed my prohibit the distillation of all alcoholic liquors within its boundaries.

 

3rd Resolved, That Kansas cannot be truly free while the words "white" or "male" are found within the limits of her constitution.

 

The following was also offered and adopted:

 

WHEREAS women can not vote and yet feel the necessity of just laws, therefore,

 

RESOLVED, That every woman in Kansas who believes that equal rights belong to women should consider herself a committee of one whose duty it is to do all in her power to convert to her views at least one legal voter.

 

The following forms of Petitions were then presented:

 

TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: We the undersigned citizens of Kansas respectfully petition the convention now assembled to frame the organic law of the State of Kansas for the citizens without any invidious distinctions.

 

TO THE LEGISLATURE OF KANSAS: We the undersigned citizens of Kansas respectfully petition your honorable body to enact such laws -

 

1st. As will secure to woman the property which she possesses before marriage.

 

2nd. Also a just proportion of the joint property of the husband and wife acquired during marriage.

 

3rd. Also at the death of the husband or wife that the same laws shall govern the widow or widower in the possession and disposal of the estate and children belonging to them jointly.

 

4th. That no bond or security given by the husband shall be valid without the signature of the wife.

 

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