“A Confession of Faith” (November 1914)


In “A Confession of Faith,” published by the Virginia Suffrage News in November 1914, Elizabeth Dabney Langhorne Lewis makes an argument for women’s suffrage based on the principles of a representative democracy.


I believe in the sovereign people, maker of all just human government, in whom all right to govern inheres—

And that “people” comprises men and women—

And that this right to govern is born of intelligence and morality—

And that different individuals should bring their differing gifts and powers to the formation of this government, which is of them and by them and for them—

And that maternity is an offering of even greater value than the battle axe—

And that the woman’s qualification for citizenship is as valid as the man’s—that her identity of interest, her intelligence, her morality, her patriotism and her proven efficiency furnish “sufficient evidence of permanent, common interest with, and attachment to, the community” (Vide Bill of Rights) to entitle her to full citizenship therein, of which full citizenship equal suffrage is an indispensable element—

And I believe genuine democracy to be the sanest and justest form of government—

And I believe a popular representative government is the best form of a democracy yet evolved—

And I believe that an aristocracy of sex does not fit into the plan of a popular government—

And I believe that taxation without representation is tyranny—

And that representation implies the conferred (not the usurped) right to represent, and that women should elect their representatives—

And I believe in justice, in its fearless application, in its regenerative power—

And in the immortality of righteousness—


APA Citation:
Lewis, Elizabeth. “A Confession of Faith” (November 1914). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Lewis, Elizabeth. "“A Confession of Faith” (November 1914)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 19 May. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
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