The Moneka Women’s Rights Association of Linn County was founded on February 2, 1858.  They had male and female members and dues were 25 cents.  Their first activity was to write a constitution. The preamble eloquently states their mission and outlines the rights women do not have.


“Because, Woman is constituted of body and mind 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

And Because she is a progressive being ever outgrowing the past and demanding a higher and greater Future –

or in other words, Because she is a Human Being and as such is endowed by her Creator with the full measure of human rights whether educational, social, or political; and 

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 professions and the mechanic arts, thereby deprived of the facilities for 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 and of 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 not given 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 Association to be governed by the following Constitution.”


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