Seneca Falls Convention Summary: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jenny Homer

Jenny has masters' degrees in public health and public administration.

The Seneca Falls Convention was a gathering of more than 300 individuals in Seneca Falls, NY, in 1848 that was organized by women to discuss women's rights in America. Learn about the leaders of the landmark convention, the participants, and the declaration of Sentiments that outlined the attendees' demands for change. Updated: 12/02/2021

Seneca Falls Convention

What would you do if you saw a group of people being treated unfairly? This was the question facing many men and women in the early 1800s. The Declaration of Independence, written in 1776 when the United States first proclaimed itself a country, says that ''all men are created equal.'' But back then, businesses, laws, and schools did not view every person equally. For example, many African-American men and women were slaves and treated like property. And women couldn't own a home or land.

Over time, some people began to feel this unfair treatment was wrong and came together to do something about it. On July 19th and 20th in 1848, over 300 men and women met at the Seneca Falls Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. This was the first large meeting focused on women's rights, and it started a movement that grew and resulted in real changes.

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  • 0:04 Seneca Falls Convention
  • 1:03 Leaders & Participants
  • 1:58 Declaration of Sentiments
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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Leaders & Participants

In 1840, a woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled to London to attend a meeting of abolitionists, or people who opposed the practice of slavery. While there, she met Lucretia Mott. Because they were women, they could not speak at the meeting, which inspired them to organize a women's rights movement. In 1848, Mott and Stanton along with Jane Hunt, Mary Ann M'Clintock, and Martha Coffin Wright organized the Seneca Falls Convention, which was held at the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

The meeting lasted two days; only women participated on the first day. Men participated on the second day. Frederick Douglass, a well-known African American writer and speaker and a leader of the abolitionist movement, was there. A newspaper article about the Seneca Falls Convention reported that there was a lot of ''spirited discussion'' at the meeting.

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