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Anna Elizabeth Dickinson

(1842–1932) Anna was the first woman paid to campaign for political candidates, even though she couldn't vote for them. In thanks for her work getting Republicans elected in the 1860s, she was invited to address Congress. On January 16, 1864, with President Lincoln and Mary Todd present, Anna addressed a joint session of Congress. Speaking for more than an hour without notes, Dickinson critiqued Lincoln's generosity to Confederate states and his meager protection for those formerly enslaved. Grandly, she closed by endorsing Lincoln for a second term, as "the Hour" called for a steady hand.

After the war, Anna toured nationally, delivering a repertoire of 22 different lectures on women's suffrage and the rights of all African-Americans. At the height of her career, she made the equivalent of approximately $400,000 annually in today's dollars.

Anna was one of the most famous suffragists of the day, so the movement's leaders couldn't ignore her, but they couldn't control her either. Both the National and the American Woman Suffrage Association invited her to join their boards, but she wasn't a joiner. Anna did provide the movement with some financial support, though. Her image is the frontispiece of Volume II of the History of Woman Suffrage, with her inscription: "The world belongs to those who take it." Bio by Rachel B. Tiven.


Slate Hill Cemetery

South Church Street, Goshen, NY, 10924

Orange County

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