Caroline A. Bassett
(1882–1926) Caroline attended several of the National Women's Rights Conventions in the 1850s. She signed a petition to urge voting against Leslie Russell, a New York State Attorney General—who opposed women's rights and whose recommendation was blocking women’s rights legislation in New York State. He was defeated. Caroline served as Michigan's state superintendent of the Women's Temperance Union for three years. Frances Willard, later president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, spoke of the problem in a 1874 speech known as “Everybody’s War:”
“There is a war about this in America, a war of mothers and daughters, sisters, and wives.” Frances described how a man goes to a bar and “loiters away his time” and “fritters away his earnings” and then goes home, “to the house where he is best loved…he inflicts atrocities which imagination cannot picture and no tongue dare describe.” As Anthony put it in 1899, “the only hope” for Prohibition was, “putting the ballot into the hands of women.”
In that way, Prohibition and women’s suffrage went hand in hand, with the latter actually happening when the 19th Amendment was ratified seven months after Prohibition went into effect on August 18, 1920. In addition to her Temperance work, Caroline trained as a teacher at Albany Normal School. Later she became the second woman to be an ordained minister in the Free Baptist Church and ministered in West Fall, NY, near East Aurora.
Bio by Mary Ellen Capineri.
Pine Hill Cemetery
Cemetery Hill Road, Gowanda, NY 14070