The representative women of the nation have done their uttermost for the last thirty years to secure freedom for the negro, and so long as he was lowest in the scale of being we were allowed to press his claims; but now, as the celestial gate to civil rights is slowly moving on its hinges, it becomes a serious question whether we had better stand aside and see "Sambo" walk into the kingdom first. As self-preservation is the first law of nature, would it not be wiser to keep our lamps trimmed and burning, and when the constitutional door is open, avail ourselves of the strong arm and blue uniform of the black soldier to walk in by his side, and thus make the gap so wide that no privileged class could ever again close it against the humblest citizen of the republic?
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902), U.S. suffragist, social reformer, and author. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 2, ch. 17, by Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and herself (1882).
In a letter to a newspaper editor written on December 26, 1865. Stanton was responding to a post-Civil War argument that women should temporarily cease their demands for universal suffrage because "this is the negro's hour."