Suffrage In Sixty Seconds: Benson And Buchanan And The Eclectic Society Debate

Aug 6, 2019

The February 1883 debate by the Little rock Eclectic Society sheds light on a variety of male attitudes about suffrage for women. One of the debaters, Rabbi Benson of B’nai Israel in Little Rock, said this: “It is woman’s [duty] to love, cherish, and obey,” and “These masculine women traveling about the country crying for woman’s rights are a disgrace to their sex.”

Doctor S.H. Buchanan, pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, had a bit different opinion on who should vote. He argued, “The family, as a unit, should be entitled to the right to vote and it should be cast by the head of that family whether man or woman.”

To learn more about the debate on women’s suffrage, visit