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Robert G. Ingersoll quotation from “Superstition” (1898)
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Walking Tour Stop 4

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Odd Fellows Hall, c. 1885
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Odd Fellows Hall, c. 1885

Odd Fellows Hall, 419 7th Street, N.W. (between D and E Streets)

Odd Fellows Hall
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Odd Fellows Hall

Built in 1845, the Odd Fellows Hall was renovated in 1872 and turned into one of the city’s most elegant Second Empire buildings. This three-story building housed shops on the first floor and a main hall (100 by 40 feet) on the second. It was razed in 1917 for the construction of the present seven-story Odd Fellows Hall.

Ingersoll was the main speaker at a suffrage meeting on January 23, 1880. “After speaking of the right of citizens to govern and select their rulers, he referred to the deprivation of suffrage here as an injustice,” reported the Washington Evening Star. Ingersoll delivered a plea for universal suffrage as well as self government for the citizens of the District of Columbia. Speaking before an overflow crowd, he said among other things:

Ad for Speech, Feb. 1878
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Ad for Speech, Feb. 1878

I do not believe that only the rich should vote, or that only the whites should vote, or that only the blacks should vote. I do not believe that right depends upon wealth, upon education, or upon color. It depends absolutely upon humanity .... If any woman wants to vote I am too much of a gentleman to say she shall not .... This Government was founded upon the idea that the only source of power is the people. Let us show at the Capital that we have confidence in that principle ....

Walking Directions (printable version)

To walk to tour stop #5:

Go back down to D Street and turn right to go west 2 blocks to 9th Street.

 
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