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Women's Emancipation Petition with circular from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, January 25, 1864

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a national advocate for women’s rights, circulated this petition in 1864, hoping to present Congress with a million signatures supporting the abolition of all slavery. President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation had freed slaves only in Confederate-controlled areas. Stanton reminded women that, while they could not vote, they had the constitutional right to petition.

While slavery exists ANYWHERE there can be freedom NOWHERE. THERE MUST BE A LAW ABOLISHING SLAVERY.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Women's Emancipation Petition Circular from Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Creating the Panama Canal

Congress was central to creating the Panama Canal, one of the Progressive Era’s furthest-reaching strategic, trade, and technological achievements. In the 1890s Congress investigated potential routes for a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, deeming it essential for commerce and defense. After Congress authorized the purchase of a canal project initiated by France on the Isthmus of Panama, the Senate approved a treaty to acquire the Canal Zone in 1904. Appropriating $375 million for construction, Congress established a commission to oversee the project, which was completed in 1914.