348 items found

  • Be Part of the Ongoing Story of Women's Suffrage|WomenAndTheVoteNYS.com

    Watch WATV on PBS: Mountain Lake—March 16, 1:30 pm WXXI Rochester—March 20, 7 pm WNED Buffalo—April 4, 10 pm Contact us about in-person or virtual screening opportunities of WOMEN AND THE VOTE. Contact your local public media stations about upcoming broadcasts in your area.

  • Harriet M. Lee Rathbun

    Harriet M. Lee Rathbun (1840–1929) Harriet was an author and businesswoman, Yet she seems to be an individual whose work on suffrage was not well documented. Google books makes reference to her as someone who supported an amendment to the New York State constitution allowing women to vote. Her name appears often in the records and in several volumes of The History of Women's Sufferage. After her first husband's death, Harriet relocated to Manhattan. Her name appears in a 1924 New York City voters list, so she was able to exercise her right to vote. Rathbunville Cemetery ​ Verona Mills Road, Rome, NY 13440 Oneida County Learn More

  • Romain Hayward Lusk

    Romain Hayward Lusk (1859–1945) Romaine, one of the founding members of the Pittsford Political Equality Club, hosted the Club’s meeting at her home on South Main street on December 2, 1902. This meeting memorably followed the sudden death of the Club’s first President, Mary Helen Shepard Light. At the meeting “letters from Mary Anthony (sister of Susan B. Anthony) expressing sympathy for us in our great loss were read and remarked upon. It was cordially agreed that each member would contribute a share of the flowers sent to Mrs. Light’s funeral in the name of the PEC.” Romaine Lusk’s life reflects the hardships women faced at the turn of the 20th century. Her husband died in 1891, leaving her to raise their only surviving child, 5-year old son Stephen, on her own. She supported herself and by working as a housekeeper in various homes in Rochester. Romaine spent her time in a quest for knowledge, taking classes on china painting and physical culture and participating in a Pittsford book club. "I am proud that Romaine Lusk was part of the effort to bring women a voice in the political system, including the right to vote—a right I recently exercised for the first time.”–Riley Jane Lusk (courtesy of www.townofpittsford.org/19thAcentennial) Pittsford Cemetery E 400 38 Washington Road, Pittsford, NY 14534 Monroe County Learn More

  • Helen Burr Cogswell Peckham

    Helen Burr Cogswell Peckham (1860–1932) Helen was an earnest believer in women’s suffrage from a young age. She wrote and spoke to advocate for enfranchisement in NY and other states. She was an officer of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association. From the book Families of Western New York, by William Richard Cutter. Forest Hill Cemetery ​ High Street, Attica, NY 14011 Wyoming County Learn More

  • Sarah Kirby Hallowell Willis

    Sarah Kirby Hallowell Willis (1818–1914) Sarah was a life-long advocate for abolition, women’s suffrage, and political equality. She became involved in social justice through her older sister, Amy Post, who was an ardent abolitionist and suffrage supporter. They were both frequent guests in the home of fellow abolitionists and suffrage supporters Lucy and Daniel Anthony; Susan B. Anthony’s parents. In 1848, Sarah, her sister Amy, Daniel and Lucy Anthony, Mary Anthony, and Frederick Douglass travelled from Rochester to Seneca Falls to attend the Women’s Rights Convention. At the conclusion of the conference, Sarah signed the Declaration of Sentiments. A few weeks later another convention was held in Rochester, and Sarah was designated as a secretary. In 1853 another convention was held in Rochester. Sarah attended and once again was a designated secretary. When the National Woman's Suffrage Association was formed, Sarah was one of its first members. She was also one of the first members of the Political Equality Club of Rochester. In 1872, she was one of the many women who attempted to register to vote (Susan B. Anthony and fourteen others succeeded in voting illegally). A year later, she was an officer in the Women’s Taxpayer Association--a short lived organization formed to protest the taxation of women without representation. Sarah could be counted on for financial contributions when needed. In 1900, when the fundraising campaign to admit women to the University of Rochester came up short, Sarah contributed $2,000. In 1888, she was invited by Susan B. Anthony to attend her newly formed International Council of Women. Susan proudly introduced Sarah as one of the signers of the Declaration of Sentiments. Sarah was a close friend of Susan and was a frequent visitor at the Anthony home for holidays and birthdays. Sarah died in 1914 at the age of ninety-six. Mount Hope Cemetery Section V, Lot 20 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More

  • Catherine Mary Douge Hicks Williams

    Catherine Mary Douge Hicks Williams (1832-1884) Catherine Mary was born in Albany, NY to activist parents, Susan and Michael Douge, who were dedicated to improving the status for the African Americans in their community. Catherine, also referred to as Mary, followed their example. After completing her education, she taught at the Wilburforce School for African American children. At a young age Mary lost her husband (Henry Hicks) and first child to illnesses. She herself contracted tuberculosis but continued to serve others. After the Civil War she spent several years teaching formerly enslaved adults and children in Virginia and South Carolina. Returning to Albany, Mary, now remarried to Andrew Williams, became involved in the suffrage movement. When NY passed the School Suffrage Law in 1880, she and her mother worked to have women of color register to vote. They proudly voted in the school commissioner election in April of that year. Mary was elected Vice President of the Albany Woman Suffrage Society. It was one of the few organizations that did not separate women of color from white. Mary addressed the statewide Woman Suffrage Convention in October, 1881. Her contributions to equality and social justice were noted in her obituary. Mary is included (under the name C. Mary Williams) in the 1998 book "Refusing Ignorance; The Struggle to Educate Black Children in Albany, New York 1816-1873" by Marian I. Hughes. Albany Rural Cemetery Sec. 99 Lot 3 123-125 Menand Road, Menands, NY 12211 Albany County Learn More

  • Edmonia Goodelle Highgate

    Edmonia Goodelle Highgate (1844–1870) Edmonia died young, at 26. She did a lot in her young life with the American Abolition Society and spoke at conventions headed by Frederick Douglass. Upon introducing her Douglass was "alarmed by reactions of men in the Syracuse streets" but "urged the convention to follow the thoughts of Miss Highgate declaring that what they were doing "gives offense to none but the sordid haters of our race". Edmonia was in the first class at Syracuse High School and graduated with honors as the only African American in 1861. If you know more about Edmonia Goodelle Highgate you can help us tell her story. Please use our Add a Suffragist form to submit your information. Oakwood Cemetery Section 6, Lot 89 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210 Onondaga County Learn More

  • Mary (Minnie) Sutherland True

    Mary (Minnie) Sutherland True (1856–1924) Mary “Minnie” was elected one of the vice- presidents of the Pittsford Political Equality Club at their first meeting in September 1902 and attended the state suffrage convention in Buffalo that year. The Club’s second and third meetings were held in her home at 42 Monroe Avenue. Minnie’s involvement with suffrage reflected the close ties between suffrage and temperance. The first suggestion to form the Club was made at a meeting of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Women particularly suffered from alcohol abuse when it contributed to domestic violence. Women had no legal recourse and no right to custody of their children, their own wages, or to own property. The right to vote was seen by many as a way to establish legal protections for women and their children. Although Mary died in Washington, D.C., she was buried in Pittsford, NY. (*courtesy of www.townofpittsford.org/19thAcentennial) Pittsford Cemetery A 66 38 Washington Road, Pittsford, NY 14534 Monroe County Learn More

  • Mary Post Hallowell

    Mary Post Hallowell (1823–1913) Mary was a leader in the suffrage movement. She became an anti-slavery activist as a young woman, and in 1842, joined the newly-formed Western New York Anti-Slavery Society (WNYASS), a group which her parents had helped to found. After she married, her home, like that of her parents, provided a refuge for fugitive slaves as part of the network of the Underground Railroad. Mary’s fight for suffrage and equality for women spans over sixty years. She was present at the first women's rights Convention held in Seneca Falls in July of 1848 and a signer of the Declaration of Sentiments. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Mary supported revisions to the 14th Amendment that would allow women, as well as African-American men, the right to vote. Mary attempted to vote in the presidential election of 1872 and was unable to register. She later donated to Susan B. Anthony’s defense after Susan was arrested for voting. She was also present at the founding meeting of Rochester's Women's Political Club (later the Political Equality Club) in Susan's home in December of 1885. Mary's suffrage activities were buttressed by a close personal friendship with Susan B. Anthony. Ida Husted Harper, Susan's biographer, describes the home of William and Mary Hallowell as a place where the "doors never were closed" to Susan. Mount Hope Cemetery Range 1, Lot 40 E 2/3 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More

  • Lillian D. Wald

    Lillian D. Wald (1867–1940) Born to an affluent family in Cincinnati, OH and raised in Rochester, NY, Lillian was afforded many educational opportunities. Instead of marrying and continuing her comfortable lifestyle, she moved to New York City and entered the New York Hospital School of Nursing. Along with her colleague, Mary Brewster, she opened the Nurse's Settlement House on Henry Street in 1895—the start of public health nursing—offering sliding scale for payment to ensure everyone could access medical treatment. Lillian also supported the suffrage movement. She campaigned for the 1915 state referendum and was named an honorary chair of the New York State Women's Suffrage Party. A pacifist, Lillian encouraged President Wilson to mediate rather than enter World War I. She continued to support Democratic ideals and was a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her last political campaign occurred in 1936 when she co chaired the Good Neighbor League. Lillian's work has had a lasting impact far beyond New York. Mount Hope Cemetery Range 3, Lot 34 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More

  • Catherine (Kate) Gleason

    Catherine (Kate) Gleason (1865–1933) Kate was born in Rochester, New York. Her parents were Irish immigrants and ardent women rights advocates. Her mother, Ellen, was friends with Susan B. Anthony. Kate Gleason led the kind of life that Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton dreamed would come true someday as the result of their work. To begin, in 1884, she attended Cornell University, a school that opened its doors to women due to Susan B. Anthony’s efforts. Equally significant, Kate was the first woman to enroll in their Mechanical Arts engineering program. It was extremely rare for women to enter the engineering profession. According to the Society for Women Engineers, “. . . it was rare for more than one woman a year (if any) to receive an engineering degree nationwide from 1876 until 1900.” She did not graduate from Cornell, having to return home to Rochester to assist in her father’s machine shop business. However, she continued to take engineering classes at Sibley College of Engraving and the Mechanics Institute, later to become the Rochester Institute of Technology. With the winds of the women’s rights movement at her back, Kate continued to become “the first” in many areas. With her confidence, keen business acumen, and engineering knowledge, she became the company’s first global sales woman, bringing in European business. Gleason Works exists to this day as a global provider of gear-cutting equipment. It is reported that Kate was the first woman to be appointed a receiver of a company in bankruptcy. She led Ingle Machine Company of East Rochester, New York out of bankruptcy, paying off its debts in eighteen months and returning it to profitability. In 1918 she was the first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Kate continued her work in roles traditionally held by men. She developed affordable housing for the working class by deploying mass production efforts and a unique concrete method that she developed. She continued her work in housing development, helping to rebuild a French village after World War 1, and starting building projects in California and South Carolina. As a fitting tribute to women’s rights, she and her father hosted a grand (and what was to be the final) birthday party for Susan B. Anthony in 1906. And in 1912 Gleason contributed $1,200 to the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. The amount was one of its largest pledges. In 1998, the Rochester Institute of Technology named its engineering school the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, the first college to name an engineering school after a woman. Riverside Cemetery ​ 2650 Lake Avenue Rochester, NY 14612 Monroe County Learn More

  • Daisy Robinson Tapley

    Daisy Robinson Tapley (1882–1925) Daisy moved to Chicago to study music and perform organ at Quinn Chapel, a congregation within the progressive African Methodist Episcopal faith. It was perhaps during this period that she first became exposed to the politics of gender and race. She married Green Tapley and moved to New York City in the early 1900s. She was already a budding contralto voice in the national music scene. Even as her career grew, Daisy became engaged in the women's rights movement. This included her attendance at the 1913 convention of the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs, where she and her fellow delegates would vote in favor of women's suffrage. Daisy remained active in the organization beyond this initial participation, including acting as the treasurer of the New York chapter. In 1915, while serving in this role, Daisy's name appeared on a resolution for the allocation of funds for a monument to Harriet Tubman. *Courtesy Alexanderstreet.com Oakland Cemetery ​ Jermain Avenue, Sag Harbor, NY 11963 Suffolk County Learn More

  • Gussie Mable (Narcissa) Cox Vanderlip

    Gussie Mable (Narcissa) Cox Vanderlip (1880–1966) Gussie was a leading New York suffragist and a co-founder of the New York State League of Women Voters. She was Chairman of the 24 and 25 Congressional Districts of the New York State League of Women Voters in 1918-1919. In 1919, Gussie was elected as State Chairman of the NYS League of Women Voters. She also recruited Eleanor Roosevelt to join the League of Women Voters board of directors, having previously worked with her on wartime relief projects; they were friends. Gussie helped found the Scarborough School, the the first Montessori school in the U.S., with her husband, Frank Arthur Vanderlip. During World War I, Gussie served as Chairman of the War Service Committee of the NYS Woman Suffrage Party. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Lot 3413, Section 65 Lebanon 540 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 Westchester County Learn More

  • Zaida Zoller

    Zaida Zoller (1882–1980) Little Falls was regarded as “the hot bed of Herkimer County” for women’s suffrage and Zaida Zoller was central to the activity. Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw were guests at meetings held in the Zoller home. Zaida was chairwoman of the Little Falls Suffrage Club. In 1916, the Herkimer County Suffrage Convention was held in Little Falls. In 1917, Zaida hosted a Suffrage School meeting. Zaida’s twin brother, Abram (Mayor of Little Falls), spoke on the benefits of women’s suffrage. A suffrage library was also established at the local YMCA. In that same year, Zaida invited Dr. Anna Howard Shaw (past-president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) to Little Falls to attend a suffrage party at her home. Zaida organized numerous meetings and parades. After the passage of the 19th amendment, she was president of the Little Falls Chapter of the League of Women Voters. Fairview Cemetery ​ 1274 NY-169 (West Monroe Street), Little Falls, NY 13365 Herkimer County Learn More

  • Louise Meyer Van Buskirk

    Louise Meyer Van Buskirk (1845–1915) On September 6, 1902, the first meeting of the Pittsford Political Equality Club was held at the Main Street home of Louise Meyer Van Buskirk, daughter of German immigrants. The Pittsford Club members felt a strong connection to the national and global movement. The following year the Club again met in the Van Buskirk home on February 13, 1903, “on account of a desire to make the February meeting an anniversary (in so far as we could) of the 83rd birthday of “The Grand Woman” Susan B. Anthony... The day is celebrated by Suffrage Societies throughout the world, on either Saturday or Monday. In large cities and towns they were to do some fine things, raise money, &c. to help the cause so dear to Miss Anthony’s heart, and for which she has toiled through a long life of self-denial...” Cortland Rural Cemetery Section W, Lot 86 110 Tompkins Street, Cortland, NY 13045 Cortland County Learn More

  • Eva Francis Curtiss Tousey

    Eva Francis Curtiss Tousey (1856–1934) From Rochester Times-Union, Tuesday, February 6, 1934: "Mrs. Tousey was born in Rochester more than 75 years ago and lived her entire life in this city and Pittsford. She was a member of the Irondequoit Chapter, Daughters of American Revolution; of the Rochester Colony of New England Women; Past Matrons Association of Northfield Chapter and was active in Reunion Group 8 School. For many years she taught 20th Century Women's Bible Class in the Presbyterian Church at Pittsford." Evan was a charter member of the Pittsford Political Equality Club, which was organized September 6, 1902 in Pittsford, NY. Pittsford Cemetery G 582 38 Washington Road, Pittsford, NY 14534 Monroe County Learn More

  • Margaret Cameron Topliff

    Margaret Cameron Topliff (1878–1972) Margeret was a fearless leader and effective advocate for women’s suffrage. In 1912, she was president of the “Votes for Women Club” in Binghamton, New York. In that same year she attended the New York State Women’s Suffrage Convention in Utica. Due to her intense lobbying efforts, the convention was hosted in Binghamton the following year. From 1913 to 1915 she and her colleagues, Ida Wales Gitchell, Catherine Bartoo, and Lillian Huffcut, kept the discussion uppermost in the minds of Broome County citizens. Debates (pro and con) and activities were reported in the local press. As a result of their efforts, Broome county voted “yes” on the 1915 referendum to add suffrage to the New York State constitution. It was one of only five counties to approve of the measure. Unfortunately, the state-wide vote was rejected with 57.49% “No” and only 42.51 percent “Yes.” Even though the amendment was defeated, she remained undeterred. She, along with Ida, Catherine, and Lillian, formed the “The Broome County Woman Suffrage Party.” They raised funds, spoke at meetings, held dances, and parades. They also conducted a Suffrage School, which trained women on how to advocate for women’s suffrage. A newspaper article reported that she was “one of the best speakers of the city.” Margaret demonstrated her fearlessness at one of Binghamton’s suffrage parades. A male trolley driver deliberately headed right for the marchers. As the leader of the parade, she continued marching straight into the path of the oncoming street car. The trolley driver backed down. After passage of the 1917 New York State suffrage amendment, Margaret continued to remain active in civic affairs. She served as a Canteen Captain for the Red Cross in Broome County and participated in local social clubs. Margaret died at the age of 94. Glenwood Cemetery ​ 1 Pixley Drive, Afton, NY 13730 Chenango County Learn More

  • Beulah Bailey Thull

    Beulah Bailey Thull (1891–1975) Beulah campaigned for women's suffrage and later was a member of the Democratic State Committee. She was a founding member of the League of Women Voters of New York State, and was the first President of the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County. Oakwood Cemetery Section U1 50 101st Street, Troy, NY 12182 Rensselaer County Learn More

  • Adelaide Thompson Williams White

    Adelaide Thompson Williams White (1864–1917) Adelaide was the first president of the Political Equality Club of Rome, NY. She helped raised money for the National Woman's Party. Although the club did not picket, they were part of a 50-member area women's group supporting Alice Paul and her efforts to secure the vote. In 1931 the New York State League of Women Voters presented a memorial tablet to the State of New York to hang inside the State Street entrance to the Capitol to commemorate the women foremost in the cause of women's suffrage. Four women from Oneida County appear on the tablet: Miss Lucy Carlile Watson, Miss Janet Price, Mrs. Samuel J. Bens and Adelaide William White. Forest Hill Cemetery Plot M/64 55 Lambert Avenue, Fredonia, NY 14063 Chautauqua County Learn More

  • Mary Edwards Walker, MD

    Mary Edwards Walker, MD (1832–1919) The only woman ever awarded the Medal of Honor—the US military's highest decoration—was a gender-queer Civil War surgeon named Dr. Mary Edwards Walker. Mary was a suffragist, a veteran and POW, and a talented doctor who challenged convention in every way. Turned down in her attempts to join the Union army, Mary volunteered at first. She finally got a contract, and proved able and unflappable—but still couldn't get a formal commission. The American Medical Association tried hard to block her, both with outright sexism and more veiled critique of her training in "eclectic" or what today we'd call alternative & homeopathic medicine. In the 1850s traditional medical schools wouldn't admit women, so the distinction between credentialing & sexism was a thin line. Dr. Mary was a committed suffragist who used her public profile to advance the cause. She is the first woman known to try and vote in New York, in her hometown of Oswego. It was 1867, early in what became known as the New Departure, a strategy of voting as civil disobedience. She campaigned for dress reform for decades, before and after the war and as a longtime officer of the Dress Reform Association. She was very close to Belva Lockwood, landmark lawyer and presidential candidate, and they worked together for suffrage through the 1870s. Dr. Mary's contributions to the movement were all but erased from the historical record by Stanton and Anthony, who were threatened by her and uncomfortable with her gender-bending. She was arrested repeatedly for her clothing, and charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace in both New York City and Baltimore. At that point she was still wearing long hair and a mid-calf dress over pants. By the 1870s, Walker cut her hair short and wore unambiguously male clothing for the rest of her life. She sat for photos and had portraits painted in those years—in top hat & dinner jacket, Dr. Mary wanted to be seen clearly for who she was. There are two children's books about Dr. Walker: Mary Walker Wears the Pants and Mary Wears What She Wants. But the most fitting tribute is Washington DC's Whitman-Walker Clinic, named for Walt Whitman and Mary Walker. The clinic has been serving the health and well-being of LGBTQ in Washington for more than 40 years. (Biographical info from Dr. Mary Walker: An American Radical by Sharon Harris.) Bio by Rachel B. Tiven. Rural Cemetery ​ 242 Cemetery Road, Oswego, NY 13126 Oswego County Learn More