Isabel Howland

(1859–1942) Isabel was born into a family active in the abolition and suffrage movements. By her early 20s she was corresponding secretary of the Association for the Advancement of Women and active with the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, and communicated with key people including Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, William Lloyd Garrison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Booker T. Washington, and Julia Ward Howe.

In 1891 Isabel was a founding member of the Sherwood Equal Rights Association, (in what is now known as Aurora, rather than Sherwood NY) a chapter of the national Equal Rights Association. She helped to found the Sherwood Political Equality Club, a woman's suffrage group, which met in her parents' home. She served as treasurer of New York State Woman Suffrage Association’s important conventions, including the 1897 convention in Geneva, NY and the 1895 convention in Newburg, NY where the New York Times reported she was one of the “prominent” suffragists in attendance. In the 1910s Isabel served as an officer of NYSWSA during her Cornell University classmate Harriet May Mills’ tenure as president.

Because of its importance, well after her passing, the entire hamlet where her family lived, known as the Sherwood Equal Rights Historic District, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (in 2008). One of the parcels that has been restored is Opendore, Isabel's former estate.

Howland Cemetery

1180-1202 Sherwood Road, Aurora, NY 13026

Cayuga County

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This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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