Women’s Suffrage: A Long and Layered Struggle, An Ursula C. Schwerin Library virtual exhibit, Fall 2020

Women's Suffrage A Long and Layered Struggle Title Slide
Women’s Suffrage A Long and Layered Struggle, An Ursula C. Schwerin Library virtual exhibit, Fall 2020
Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment in 1919. Tennessee ratified the measure on August 18, 1920. When it did the state became the thirty-sixth state to do so, thus ratifying the constitutional amendment giving American women the universal right to vote.
Slide 2 of the women’s suffrage exhibit
While many women had the right to vote in certain local, state, and other elections for years, the November 1920 presidential race was the first in which all American women, or at least all American white women, had the full right to vote on the national level.
Slide 3 of the women’s suffrage exhibit
In recognition of the centennial of women’s suffrage the Ursula C. Schwerin Library presents a virtual exhibit of photographs and documents highlighting some of the people who fought in the struggle to ensure women’s right to vote.
Slide 4 of the women’s suffrage exhibit
It had been a long stuggle: the women’s suffrage movement began with the Seneca Falls (NY) Convention of July 1848.
Slide 5 of the women’s suffrage exhibit
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, seen here circa 1880, was an organizer with Lucretia Mott and others of the Seneca Falls Convention.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1880, albumen card; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Slide 10 of the women's suffrage exhibit featuring an image of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, albumen card; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
In 1869 Stanton and Anthony founded the National Woman Suffrage Association.
Slide 11 of the women’s suffrage online exhibit
The two believed that the NWSA should focus not just on women’s suffrage but on gender issues as a whole, including such controversies as female participation in trade unions.
Slide 12 of the women’s suffrage exhibit
Later that same year Julia Ward Howe, the author of the Civil War anthem “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Lucy Stone, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, and others formed the American Woman Suffrage Association. The AWSA, unlike the NWSA, endorsed the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave African-American men the right to vote.
Slide 13 of the women’s suffrage exhibit.
African-Americans were active in both the race and gender struggles. Born into slavery with the name Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth delivered her “Ain't I a Woman?” speech at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
Slide 14 of the women’s suffrage online exhibit
“Narrative of Sojourner Truth” bookplate and cover page, Boston 1875
“Narrative of Sojourner Truth” bookplate and cover page, Boston 1875
Truth was one of many African-Americans—women and men—who were part of the women’s suffrage movement before and after the Civil War.
Slide 16 of the women’s suffrage online exhibit
Image depicting the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment
Image depicting the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment
The Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 gave African-American men the right to vote. Abolitionist and Civil Rights advocate Frederick Douglass had long supported equality for African-Americans and suffrage for all. Mr. Douglass had even attended the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY way back in July 1848. “In respect to political rights, we hold woman to be justly entitled to all we claim for man,” Douglass wrote in his newspaper North Star shortly thereafter.
Slide 18 of the women’s suffrage exhibit
Image of Fredrick Douglas
Image of Fredrick Douglas
And of course many women were active in leading the struggle.
Slide 20 of the women’s suffrage online exhibit
Frances E.W. Harper, 1898 portrait; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Frances E.W. Harper “Poems” cover page, Philadelphia1871
Frances E.W. Harper, 1898 portrait; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Frances E.W. Harper “Poems” cover page, Philadelphia1871
Mary Church Terrell, late nineteenth century; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Mary Church Terrell, late nineteenth century; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her children Charles, Herman, Ida, and Alfreda, 1909; source unknown via Wikimedia Commons
Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her children Charles, Herman, Ida, and Alfreda, 1909; source unknown via Wikimedia Commons
Mary McLeod Bethune, 1919 portrait; Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society
Mary McLeod Bethune, 1919 portrait; Woman’s American Baptist Home Mission Society
Mary McLeod Bethune with girls from the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona, circa 1905; State Archives of Florida
Mary McLeod Bethune with girls from the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona, circa 1905; State Archives of Florida
Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, circa 1900; NYPL Digital
Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, circa 1900; NYPL Digital
“Votes for Women,” Leslie’s: The People’s Weekly; NYPL Digital
“Votes for Women,” Leslie’s: The People’s Weekly; NYPL Digital
Men's League for Woman's Suffrage, 1913; NYPL Digital
Men’s League for Woman’s Suffrage, 1913; NYPL Digital
There were also many people—men and women—who opposed the suffragist movement.
There were also many people—men and women—who opposed the suffragist movement.
Some anti-suffragists felt that if women were allowed to vote—and granted equality in other areas such as land and home ownership—that these changes would disrupt society.
Some anti-suffragists felt that if women were allowed to vote—and granted equality in other areas such as land and home ownership—that these changes would disrupt society.
“I Want to Vote but my Wife Won’t let Me” card; Susan Krebs, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
“I Want to Vote but my Wife Won’t let Me” card; Susan Krebs, Smithsonian National Museum of American History “I Love My Husband, But—Oh You Vote” and “Suffragette Madonna” cards, Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA
Some women were part of the anti-suffrage movement because they feared potential changes in traditional gender roles. They testified against suffragism in Congress and advocated that a woman’s role in society should remain unchanged.
Some women were part of the anti-suffrage movement because they feared potential changes in traditional gender roles. They testified against suffragism in Congress and advocated that a woman’s role in society should remain unchanged.
These five anti-suffragist leaders are seen here leading a group of 1200 persons on a Hudson Valley excursion on Decoration Day 1913.
These five anti-suffragist leaders are seen here leading a group of 1200 persons on a Hudson Valley excursion on Decoration Day 1913.
Women’s suffrage was very much an international movement.
Women’s suffrage was very much an international movement.
International Woman Suffrage Alliance Meets in London, 1909; NYPL Digital
International Woman Suffrage Alliance Meets in London, 1909; NYPL Digital
1909 scrapbook clippings; Source Collection: Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; Repository: Rare Book And Special Collections Division; Digital Id: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbcmil.scrp5007903
1909 scrapbook clippings; Source Collection: Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; Repository: Rare Book And Special Collections Division; Digital Id: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbcmil.scrp5007903
The NWSA and AWSA merged in 1890 to form the the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
The NWSA and AWSA merged in 1890 to form the the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).
Woman suffrage Headquarters (Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage), Washington, Washington, D.C., July 1917, National Archives at College Park
Woman suffrage Headquarters (Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage), Washington, Washington, D.C., July 1917, National Archives at College Park
Lucy Branham holds a banner in support of suffragist Alice Paul, circa 1917.
Lucy Branham holds a banner in support of suffragist Alice Paul, circa 1917.
Woman Suffrage Postcard adding star representing California to a suffrage flag, 1911; Marjorie Longwell, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Woman Suffrage Postcard adding star representing California to a suffrage flag, 1911; Marjorie Longwell, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Woman Suffrage Postcard adding star representing California to a suffrage flag, 1911; Marjorie Longwell, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Woman Suffrage Postcard adding star representing California to a suffrage flag, 1911; Marjorie Longwell, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Suffragists kept vigil in Washington and picketed the U.S. Capitol Building and White House to keep up the pressure.
Suffragists kept vigil in Washington and picketed the U.S. Capitol Building and White House to keep up the pressure.
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, Washington, D.C., July 1917
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, Washington, D.C., July 1917
When ratification came in August 1920 American women were quick to seize the opportunities that receiving the franchise afforded and became actively engaged in civic affairs.
When ratification came in August 1920 American women were quick to seize the opportunities that receiving the franchise afforded and became actively engaged in civic affairs.
North Carolina League of Women Voters card, 1920; via Wikimedia Commons
North Carolina League of Women Voters card, 1920; via Wikimedia Commons
White House Conference Group of the National Women's Council (Mary McLeod Bethune, center; Mary Church Terrell, to her right), 1938; NYPL Digital
White House Conference Group of the National Women’s Council (Mary McLeod Bethune, center; Mary Church Terrell, to her right), 1938; NYPL Digital
Voting in Georgia, February 1946
Voting in Georgia, February 1946
Photo credits: The home of abolitionist and women's-rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Seneca Falls; New York, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1880, albumen card; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, albumen card; National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution International Woman Suffrage Alliance Meets in London, 1909; NYPL Digital 1909 scrapbook clippings; Source Collection: Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; Repository: Rare Book And Special Collections Division; Digital Id: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbcmil.scrp5007903 Men's League for Woman's Suffrage, 1913; NYPL Digital Frances E.W. Harper, 1898 portrait; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Frances E.W. Harper “Poems” cover page, Philadelphia1871 Mary Church Terrell, late nineteenth century; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Mary McLeod Bethune with girls from the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona, circa 1905; State Archives of Florida Mary McLeod Bethune, 1919 portrait; Woman's American Baptist Home Mission Society Ida B. Wells-Barnett with her children Charles, Herman, Ida, and Alfreda, 1909; source unknown via Wikimedia Commons Virginia Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage broadside, 1917; Virginia Commonwealth University National American Woman Suffrage Association, circa 1919; "History of Woman Suffrage” volume 5 page 632 “Votes for Women,” Leslie’s: The People’s Weekly; NYPL Digital Woman suffrage Headquarters (Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage), Washington, Washington, D.C., July 1917, National Archives at College Park Lucretia Mott, signed photo, by F. Gutekuns, circa 1870s; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Alice Paul, with others, sewing stars on suffrage flag, 1920; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Photo credits (cont’d): Harper's Weekly portrait of Frederick Douglass seated at desk holding newspaper, December 13, 1879; NYPL Digital National Association Against Woman Suffrage; Library of Congress Prints and Photographs An account of the proceedings on the trial of Susan B. Anthony, 1874, NYPL Digital North Carolina League of Women Voters card, 1920; via Wikimedia Commons Mrs. Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, circa 1900; NYPL Digital The Fifteenth Amendment. Celebrated May 19th, 1870 / from an original design by James C. Beard, Library of Congress To Ask Freedom for Women is not a Crime (Lucy Branham with a banner protesting the treatment of suffrage leader Alice Paul), circa 1917; Alice Paul Centennial Foundation, Inc., Smithsonian National Museum of American History “I Want to Vote but my Wife Won’t let Me” card; Susan Krebs, Smithsonian National Museum of American History “I Love My Husband, But—Oh You Vote” and “Suffragette Madonna” cards, Palczewski, Catherine H. Postcard Archive. University of Northern Iowa. Cedar Falls, IA “Narrative of Sojourner Truth” bookplate and cover page, Boston 1875 Woman Suffrage Postcard adding star representing California to a suffrage flag, 1911; Marjorie Longwell, Smithsonian National Museum of American History White House Conference Group of the National Women's Council (Mary McLeod Bethune, center; Mary Church Terrell, to her right), 1938; NYPL Digital Progress of Colored Women, Mary Church Terrell, 1898 Anti-suffrage leaders Mrs. George Phillips, Mrs. K. B. Lapham, Miss Burnham, Mrs. Everett P. Wheeler, Mrs. John A. Church lead 1200 people up the Hudson River for Decoration Day picnic, May 31, 1913; Library of Congress African-American voters in Fulton County, Georgia, February 1946; Georgia State University Library

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