I have seen in my time two enormous extensions of the suffrage to men—one in America and one in England. But neither the negroes in the South nor the agricultural laborers in Great Britain had shown before they got the ballot any capacity of government; for they had never had the opportunity to take the first steps of political action. Very different has been the history of the march of women toward a recognized position in the State. We have had to prove our ability at each stage of progress, and have gained nothing without having satisfied a test of capacity.
Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856–1940), British suffragist; born in the United States. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 18, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902).
Speaking before the thirtieth annual convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association, held February 13-19, 1898, in Washington, D.C. In her address, which was entitled "Woman as an Economic Factor," Blatch contrasted women with "the negroes in the [American] South" and "the agricultural laborers in Great Britain," who had won the right to vote before having had the opportunity to demonstrate political aptitude.