Despite the call's indication that the first day would include only women, the women opened the entire proceedings to men as well as women when several men sought admittance on the first day, including Frederick Douglass. Since the women were not experienced in conducting formal meetings, they appointed James Mott to preside and Mary McClintock was appointed secretary. The meeting lasted two days. Amazingly, one of the attendees, Charlotte Woodward, lived long enough to see women get the vote.

It was Stanton who insisted on demanding the vote for women at the Seneca Falls convention - a very radical idea at that time. It was she who wrote the convention's Declaration of Sentiments, a reworking of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence which included women in its vision of liberty. Stanton's speech, "Man Cannot Speak for Her," truly articulates the forces that operate to determine the status of women in society. It was the first step towards establishing Elizabeth Cady Stanton as one of the movement's most powerful and eloquent spokespersons. Her clear insight to human behavior and articulation of the myths surrounding the relations between men and women still has relevancy for today as we continue to work towards a more egalitarian relationship between the sexes. However, it is Stanton's reworking of the Declaration of Independence into the Declaration of Sentiments that has come to represent the spirit of this convention and defined the women's movement.