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Ernestine L. Rose

  • Women's rights are human rights.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • speech ()
  • What rights have women? ... [they are] punished for breaking laws which they have no voice in making. All avenues to enterprise and honors are closed against them. If poor, they must drudge for a mere pittance — if of the wealthy classes, they must be dressed dolls of fashion — parlor puppets.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • speech in Boston ()
  • ... there is ten times more in the world than would maintain all in yet unknown luxury. Yet how much misery there is in our midst; not because there is not enough, but owing to the misdirection of it.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • speech in New York City ()
  • ... silence is consent. And silence where life and liberty is at stake, where by a timely protest we could stay the destoyer's hand, and do not do so, is as criminal as giving actual aid to the oppressor, for it answers his purpose ...

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • speech in New York City ()
  • ... even the best of constitutions need sometimes to be amended and improved, for after all there is but one constitution which is infallible, but one constitution that ought to be held sacred, and that is the human constitution.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • speech (1863), in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda J. Gage, eds., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. I ()
  • Agitate! Agitate! ought to be the motto of every reformer. Agitation is the opposite of stagnation — the one is life, the other death.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • c. 1854, in Annie Laurie Gaylor, ed., Women Without Superstition "No Gods -- No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()
  • Whatever good you would do out of fear of punishment, or hope of reward hereafter, the Atheist would do simply because it is good; and being so, he would receive the far surer and more certain reward, springing from well-doing, which would constitute his pleasure, and promote his happiness.

    • Ernestine L. Rose,
    • "A Defence of Atheism," lecture in Boston (1861), in Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition "No Gods -- No Masters": The Collected Writings of Women Freethinkers of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ()

Ernestine L. Rose, U.S. abolitionist, atheist, women's rights activist

(1810 - 1892)

Full name: Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose.