328 results found

  • SuffragistsHelen Probst Abbott

    Suffragist Gravesites in New York State Helen Probst Abbott (1879–1970) Helen was President of Rochester Political Equality Club and Chair of Monroe County Woman Suffrage Association. She was also one of the founders of the Woman's City Club, a leader in women's civic activities, and served as Vice Chair of the City Manager Committee. Named on the Democratic ticket in 1927, Helen ran unsuccessfully as the first female city council candidate of the East District of Rochester. Very active in civic and political affairs, she occupied the office of chairman of the Christmas Bureau, Council of Social Agencies, was president of the Rochester Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and served on the Board of Directors of the YMCA. Her work in organizing the Rochester Woman's City Club attracted the attention of Miss Anne Morgan, founder and the executive director of the American Woman's Association and daughter of financier J. P. Morgan. In 1932, Helen left Rochester for New York City when Anne Morgan appointed her as the executive director of the American Woman's Association (AWA), an organization which helped women invest their own money for leisurely pursuits. Helen directed the activities for over 4,000 women of the AWA, who took part in study groups, lectures, and other activities ranging from art to music and drama. Helen challenged women not to hide behind their roles as homemakers. She reminded women that the modern woman does not have to choose one role over the other, but to embrace the idea that she can have a career and a family. She urged women to get involved in politics and civic matters on a consistent basis and, plan to meet the challenges of modern times and modern freedom. *courtesy alexanderstreet.com Riverside Cemetery Section I William Street, Gouverneur, NY 13642 St. Lawrence County Learn More Mary Jane Ashley Abel (1867–1957) Mary Jane Ashley was born in Richmond Center and died in Canandaigua, New York. She was a member of the Political Equality Club where her sister Alice Ashley was President. There were only 15 club members in 1906 when they agreed to help Harriett May Mills, the President of the New York State Women's Suffrage Association in Syracuse bring the issue of suffrage to their group in Honeoye. Mary Jane was 41 in 1906 when the Honeoye Political Equality Club was formed. She was Captain of the First Election District of Richmond, and in 1909 served a term on the Executive Committee of the Ontario County Woman Suffrage Association. That same year she attended the State Convention as a delegate. Her daughter Theresa, at age six, was recognized in 1910 as the youngest member of the Club. Lakeview Cemetery Memorial ID #62579133 West Lake Road, Honoeye, NY 14471 Ontario County Learn More Bella Savitzky Abzug (Battling Bella) (1920–1998) Born in the Bronx, Bella predated women’s right to vote by one month. A tireless and indomitable fighter for justice and peace, equal rights, human dignity, environmental integrity and sustainable development, she advanced human goals and political alliances worldwide. Known by her colleagues as a “passionate perfectionist,” Bella believed that her idealism and activism grew out of childhood influences and experiences. From her earliest years, she understood the nature of power and the fact that politics is not an isolated, individualist adventure. At a time when very few women practiced law, Bella graduated from Columbia University’s law school, was admitted to the bar in 1947, took on civil rights cases and was also an activist in the Woman's Movement. Known as "Battling Bella" in the 1960s, she became involved in the antinuclear and peace movements and helped organize the Women Strike for Peace. Carrying on as a feminist advocate, in 1971, she was elected as a Democrat to the 92nd Congress and to the next two succeeding Congresses, serving until 1977. She was the first Jewish woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to co-chair the National Advisory Committee for Women, serving from 1977–79. After leaving politics, she remained active in the feminist movement, addressed international women's conferences as well as establishing the global organization, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). As co-creator and president of WEDO, Bella galvanized and helped transform the United Nations agenda regarding women and their concerns for human rights, economic justice, population, development and the environment. WEDO represented the culmination of her lifelong career as public activist and stateswoman. Bio based on the work of Blanche Wiesen Cook and John J-Cat Griffith. Mount Carmel Cemetery Section 1, Block C, Map 14, Grave 28 83-45 Cypress Hills Street, Glendale, NY 11385 Queens County Learn More Edith Mary Ainge (1873–1948) Edith was an American suffragist and a Silent Sentinel, the title given to the women because of their silent protesting. She joined the National Woman's Party (NWP) led by Alice Paul, aiming to get the 19th Amendment ratified. From September 1917 to January 1919, she was arrested approximately five times for unlawful assembly at NWP protests. Edith worked for the movement to gain suffrage in New York state in 1915. She spearheaded participation in The Torch of Liberty event where suffragists from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, organized events to gather more participation and awareness about the cause, and to raise funding for the suffragist movement and for the political rallies. With suffrage in New York secured, Edith rallied for national voting rights for women. On November 10, 1917, she and Eleanor Calnan were two of 33 suffragists arrested after stationing themselves in peaceful protest in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. They carried a sign that read, "How Long Must Woman Be Denied a Voice in a Government Which is Conscripting Their Sons?" Edith and other suffragists were sentenced to 60 days in jail at the Occoquan Workhouse in Lorton, Virginia, for Unlawful Assembly. She was given solitary confinement while others endured torture. The event has been named the Night of Terror. On August 15, 1918 at the Watch Fire Demonstrations in Lafayette Square, members of the NWP burned copies of President Woodrow Wilsons speeches in urns. Edith was the first to light her urn. Lake View Cemetery Sect LLA, Lot 9, Row SP, Grave 4NE 907 Lakeview Avenue, Jamestown, NY 14701 Chautauqua County Learn More Margaret Livingston Chanler Aldrich (1870–1963) Margaret became president of the Woman's Municipal League. She founded the Churchwoman's Club, a suffrage club; headed the Law Enforcement League, and was treasurer for the Woman's Suffrage Party in New York. In 1917, she was elected president of the Protestant Episcopal Women's Suffrage Association. When she met Susan B. Anthony, she asked her advice for a suffrage speaking engagement in Albany. Anthony told her, "Always address the farthest man on the farthest bench. Some of those in between are agreeing with you." She is noted as one of Carrie Chapman Catt's capable officials in the campaign for suffrage in New York State. Trinity Church Cemetery ​ 770 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10032 New York County Learn More Nellie Grainger Aldrich (1838–1920) An article appeared in the Geneva Daily Times on Saturday, October 25, 1913 stating that a political equality club had been formed with the assistance of Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Beard from Geneva. Mrs. Nellie (Nettie) Aldrich was chairman. If you know more about her, you can help us tell her story. Please use our Add a Suffragist form to submit your information. Little Church Cemetery ​ 4948 Little Church Road, Stanley, NY 14561 Ontario County Learn More Zobedia Alleman (1848–1940) Zobedia she served multiple terms as an officer in the Cayuga County Political Equality Club, was a delegate to the State Suffrage Convention, and was the state chair of the School Suffrage Committee of the NYS Woman Suffrage Association (NYSWSA). At the age of 90, Zobedia was still active in community affairs, giving, according to newspaper accounts, a “pleasing senior program” at a meeting of the Sherwood Orange Grange No. 1034, which described her as the oldest Granger in Cayuga County. A side note: Her obituaries misspelled her last name as Allerman; a mistake that perhaps helped to obscure her legacy in the movement. (Ruth Bradley April 2020 auburnpub.com) Maple Grove Cemetery ​ 41 W Main Street, Waterloo, NY 13165 Seneca County Learn More Lucy Phillips Allen (1851–1946) Lucy was a founding member of the Easton Political Equality Club in 1891. She was president of the club during its most active years. Here is her quote from 1910 regarding the women of the PEC: "The majority of us are farmers' wives here in Easton and our husbands are perfect - we are so well-housed, so soft-bedded, and so loving cared for that our tendency is to forget that Easton isn't the whole world, that there are other women not as we are. Yet industrial [economic] conditions are open to some slight criticism even in this paradise of Easton. First of all, we want to get rid of this fallacy that marriage is a state of being supported. Since our men are mainly the gatherers of money - we mistakenly assume that they are the creators of wealth. They are not. The man gives his daily labor toward earning board and clothes, but what he receives cannot be eaten or worn. It is nothing till he puts it into his wife's hands and her intelligence, energy, and ability transforms the raw material. Until this is done no man can receive anything worth having. He begins and she completes the making of their joint wealth. The man turns his labor into money, the woman turns the money into usable material. Their dependence is mutual. She supports him exactly as he supports her." (Information and quote from Strength Without Compromise, Teri Gay 2009) Easton Rural Cemetery Section 5, Row 8 Meeting House Road, Easton, NY 12154 Washington County Learn More Hannah Marble Angel (1819–1888) Hannah signed a petition to urge voting against Leslie Russell, NYS Attorney General, who opposed women's rights and whose recommendation was blocking women's rights legislation in New York State. Until the Day Dawn Cemetery Near lot 697 NY Rt-16 East Main Street, Angelica, NY 14709 Allegany County Learn More Lucy Read Anthony (1793–1880) Lucy attended the Rochester Woman's Rights convention in August 1848 and signed the Declaration of Sentiments. She supported her husband's temperance and abolitionist activism, as well as Susan's reform work and decision not to marry. Miss Anthony eulogized her mother. "My mother always said, Go and do all the good you can." Mount Hope Cemetery Section C, Lot 93 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) Susan was the driving force behind the 19th Century women’s rights movement. She was born in 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts to Quaker parents, who believed in abolition, temperance, and the equality of men and women. Susan's work in women’s rights began in 1852, when she co-founded the Woman’s New York State Temperance Society. Their goal was to advocate for state legislation to regulate the sale of alcohol, allow women to divorce their husbands for drunkenness, and permit women the right to vote. For the next half century, Susan labored ceaselessly for women’s rights on the state, national and international levels. She founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association and the International Women’s Council and lectured throughout the United States and lobbied lawmakers for women’s property rights, divorce laws favorable to women, and women’s suffrage. In fact, Susan drafted the language of the 19th Amendment first introduced to Congress in 1878. She voted illegally in the 1872 federal election for which she was fined $100 but did not pay. In 1906, Susan gave her last speech, where she concluded with her famous quote “Failure is Impossible.” She passed away one month later at the age of 86. It would be another fourteen years before the passage of the 19th amendment. Nonetheless, her efforts laid the foundation for its enactment. Two organizations that she founded exist today and are carrying out her legacy. The National Woman Suffrage Association became the League of Women Voters. The International Council on Women serves in a consultative capacity to the United Nations. In 1921, Susan was commemorated with a statue of her, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott, which is on display in the U.S. Capitol Building. In 1979, the Susan B. Anthony dollar was issued making it the first coin with a woman’s likeness. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan has a sculpture honoring four spiritual heroes of the twentieth century: Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, and one woman—Susan B. Anthony. " Mount Hope Cemetery Section C, Lot 93 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More Mary Stafford Anthony (1827–1907) The youngest surviving sister of Susan B. Anthony, Mary was an American women suffragist who played a strong role during the women's rights movement in the 19th century. Anthony was a teacher who was promoted to the position of principal; she was the first woman known to receive equal pay with males in this position in the Rochester City School District in Western New York. She grew up in a Quaker family and became involved in several suffrage and other progressive organizations, such as the New York Women's Suffrage Association, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and the National Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony founded the Women's Political Club, later renamed in 1880 as the Political Equality Club. Mount Hope Cemetery, Section C, Lot 93 Section C, Lot 93 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More Jessie Ashley (1861–1919) A devoted Socialist, suffragist, and feminist, Jessie was the daughter of a railroad magnate and descended from the Mayflower. She sought to use her resources to make the country more just. Jessie bridged worlds: she was national treasurer of the very mainstream National American Woman Suffrage Association while also an active member of the International Workers of the World (the Wobblies) - not a common combination. Jessie was a 1902 graduate of NYU Law School, and she encouraged the handful of elite women who were gaining traction in the clubby world of New York lawyers. At the same time she was devoted to labor: she was a mainstay of support for striking workers in New York and beyond, notably women striking in Lawrence & Lowell, Massachusetts to Patterson, New Jersey. Her suffrage and feminist activities began with leadership of the College Equal Suffrage League and continued with co-founding, with Margaret Sanger and Ida Rauh, the National Birth Control League in 1915. She was arrested for violating the Comstock Law distributing literature about birth control at a rally in Union Square. In her memoirs, Anarchist Emma Goldman called Jessie Ashley a “valiant rebel.” Jessie died of pneumonia in 1919 at age 57 or 58. Woodlawn Cemetery Section 70, Lawn Plot, Lot 1059 4199 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10470 Bronx County Learn More Harriett Newell Austin, MD (1829–1891) Harriett graduated from Mary Gove Nichols American Hydropathic Institute in 1851. Because mainstream medical schools did not admit women, she and the other women physicians of the era had to seek training at such irregular institutions. Harriett and her contemporaries saw the water cure as the basis for a larger reform movement. They were attempting to expand the role of women in society and improve their status in the public sphere by bolstering their health, through hygienic regimens and reformed modes of dress that minimized restriction of movement for women. At Our Home, female patients wore an American costume that Austin designed: a tunic or shortened dress, with hem landing at the knee, worn over loose pants. It was called American costume as a rhetorical contrast with the fashionable, restrictive French costume that the dress reform movement sought to eradicate. The garments were designed to minimize restrictions on women's movement and promote health and hygiene. Green Mountain Cemetery Jackson lot 10071 Greenmount Avenue, Dansville, NY 14437 Livingston County Learn More Maude Lena Cook Babbitt (1873–1946) Maude lived in Gorham for the duration of her life. Along with additional Babbitt family members, she joined the Ontario County League of Women Voters in 1919. If you know more about her, you can help us tell her story. Please use our Add a Suffragist form to submit your information. Gorham Cemetery ​ Route 245, Gorham, NY 14561 Ontario County Learn More Hannah Francisco Babbitt (1850–1931) Hannah was born in Canada. Her husband was a minister at the Gorham Presbyterian Church and Hannah was active in church affairs until her death. Hannah, along with her daughter and daughter in law, were members of the Ontario County League of Women Voters in 1919. If you know more about her, you can help us tell her story. Please use our Add a Suffragist form to submit your information. Gorham Cemetery ​ Route 245, Gorham, NY 14561 Ontario County Learn More Caroline Lexow Babcock (1882–1980) From the time she graduated from Barnard College in 1904, Caroline Lexow Babcock was committed to woman's rights. She was a leader in the long campaign to extend voting rights to women, in the National Women's Party, which fought for the Equal Rights Amendment, and in peace movements. When she died at age 98 in 1980, she was wearing an ERA button. Caroline Lexow was born in 1882 in Nyack, New York; after college she became active full-time in the suffrage movement, as Executive Secretary assisting Harriot Stanton Blatch in running the Women’s Political Union, and as President of the National College Equal Suffrage League of New York. “On the day of my graduation,” she told audiences while touring as a suffrage organizer in 1909, "I became actively interested in suffrage work and a member of the League, and I expect to devote the most of my time to the cause until it wins." In 1921, Caroline was one of the members of the Women’s Peace Society who left to start the Women’s Peace Union. In that same year, she chaired a Women’s Peace March in New York City. Caroline and Elinor Byrns drafted a constitutional amendment calling for the power to declare or prepare for war to be removed from the powers of the U. S. Congress. She included the Boy Scouts among her targets, calling scouting a “kindergarten for war”. Caroline was on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Birth Control Federation of America. Her life is explored in a book published by the Historical Society of Rockland County entitled: “Ladies Lib: How Rockland Women Got the Vote” by Isabelle Keating Savell (Historical Society of Rockland County 1979). Oak Hill Cemetery ​ 140 N Highland Avenue, Nyack, NY 10960 Rockland County Learn More Elnora Monroe Babcock (1852–1934) In 1889, Elnora helped to found the Political Equality Club of Dunkirk and was voted its first president. She was later elected president of the Chautauqua County Political Equality Club. Under her leadership, the county suffrage club expanded to more than 1,400 members, making Chautauqua County the best organized county in the nation for women’s suffrage. Babcock also was noted for convincing the Chautauqua Institution’s management to “proclaim the one day a year that they devoted to discussions of political rights as Political Equality Day.” In 1894, she was instated as the New York State suffrage association’s Chairman for Press Work and in 1899 she rose to the position of Superintendent of Press Work for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). In announcing her appointment to the national post, a NAWSA publication pointed to the “wonderful results” she had achieved in her parallel responsibilities in the “conservative state” of New York. It also extolled her “courage, persistence, consecration, tact and level-headed judgment.” *Compiled by Sara Kibbler Levant Cemetery Lot 2, 14E Falconer, New York 14733 Chautauqua County Learn More Mary Elizabeth Redfield Bagg (1823–1898) Mary was a director of the Association for the Advancement of Women; she represented New York State in this national organization and attended the 13th Annual Congress in October, 1885. Without a doubt, Mary "did the work", fighting for equality in her time. And yet her story is still untold. If you know more about Mary Elizabeth, you can help us tell her story. Please use our Add a Suffragist form to submit your information. Oakwood Cemtery Sect 3 plot 21 940 Comstock Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210 Onondaga County Learn More Edith Lawrence Black Bailey (1869–1912) Edith's suffrage work included a stint as the acting president of the Equal Franchise Society, a home for upper-crust women who were uncomfortable with the increasingly public, rabble-rousing suffrage work that was coming into fashion in New York. Though Edith came from wealth, she was drawn to more vigorous public organizing. In 1909, she spoke at a rally at Madison Square, introduced by Harriot Stanton Blatch. In addition to publishing other works, Edith wrote a tract called "Some Ideals of Suffrage." Her speech at the 1909 rally gives a clue to her suffrage politics: [Suffragists are housekeepers who] do not want to confine our housekeeping to our own homes. We feel that there is housekeeping for us in the streets, in the prisons, and on our school boards. There are old and young bachelors on the school boards, and there ought to be a mother or two." Reynolds (Cross River) Cemetery ​ Cross River Road, Cross River, NY 10518 Westchester County Learn More First Prev 1 2 3 ... 16 1 ... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ... 16 Next Last Back to Top

  • Honor Your Hometown Suffragists in NYS | WomenAndTheVoteNYS.com

    Susan B. Anthony Didn't Do It Alone. WOMEN AND THE VOTE NEW YORK STATE provides a growing suffragist directory and gravesite map to help you explore New York's rich and influential suffragist history. You'll find famous individuals and those you've never heard of whose grassroots efforts resulted in passage of milestone legislation including the 19th Amendment (1920), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)—proposed in 1923—remains one state shy of ratification to this day. On Election Day, we hope you’ll cast your vote and then visit suffragists gravesites in your community wearing your “I Voted” sticker to show your gratitude for their tireless work. Our filmmakers will be at many cemeteries asking visitors how the past and the fragility of suffrage inspires them to honor Susan B. Anthony's call to continue the work for a just and equitable society for all. Inspired by the Indigenous way of life. Long before Europeans set foot in what is now New York state, the Haudenosaunee considered women sacred. They created space for women to walk alongside men and share equally the burdens and the blessings of carrying forth a community. For EuroAmerican women who legally had no voice, no rights, and belonged to their fathers or husbands, this Indigenous model of democracy inspired dreams of freedom and equality. ​ Some early suffragists in Upstate New York, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Lucretia Mott, befriended their Haudenosaunee neighbors. Witnessing democracy based on equity, not power over another, shaped the women's thinking and inspired their writings throughout the suffrage movement.

  • Visit Suffragists' Graves Across New York State | WomenAndTheVote NYS.com

    Who Were Your Hometown Suffragists? For full functionality, click the purple link Suffragist Gravesites in NYS located below the map. Once the full screen map opens, click on a pin or use the search function to find a person, place, or town. Some cemeteries have more than one gravesite to visit, as indicated by the number that appears below the purple pin AND in the pop-up box that opens when you hover over it. The map's GPS coordinates are for the cemeteries, not individual gravesites. During your visit, please respect the posted rules and hours of operation. Click for helpful cemetery etiquette. here

  • Guelma Penn Anthony McLean

    Guelma Penn Anthony McLean Although there is no record that she participated in the women's rights movement or other social reforms, Guelma was in complete sympathy with Susan's activism. In November, 1872, though very ill, she left her sickbed and walked with her sisters Susan, Hannah Anthony Mosher, and Mary Anthony to the voter registration site to register to vote. Four days later, she again walked to the polls to cast her ballot. At the conclusion of Susan's trial for voting, the United States v. Susan B. Anthony, Susan spent the rest of that summer and fall of 1873 at Guelma's bedside, taking complete charge of her nursing care. By all accounts, she was a superb nurse and was determined to make her beloved sister's final days as comfortable as possible. Mount Hope Cemetery Section C, Plot 93 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More

  • Visit Suffragists' Graves Across New York State | WomenAndTheVote NYS.com

    Who Were Your Hometown Suffragists? To access the map's full functionality, click the purple link Suffragist Gravesites in NYS located below the map. Once the full screen map opens, click on a pin or use the search function to find a person, place, or town. Some cemeteries have more than one gravesite to visit, as indicated by the number that appears below the purple pin AND in the pop-up box that opens when you hover over it. The map's GPS coordinates are for the cemeteries, not individual gravesites. During your visit, please respect the posted rules and hours of operation. Click for helpful cemetery etiquette. here

  • Jessica (Judy) McCullough Weis

    Jessica (Judy) McCullough Weis (1901–1963) “Judy” was Rochester’s first Congresswoman. She served as a representative from 1959 to 1963. She began her work in Republican party affairs in the 1930s, serving successively as a local fundraiser and campaigner, then as a county committeewoman, and finally as a member of the state executive committee. In the ‘40s she began attending national conventions and seconded Thomas Dewey’s nomination in 1948. Though her career in Congress was tragically cut short by illness, she was well respected in national circles. She served for a time on the new House Committee on Space and Aeronautics. Once, she refused her $600 “stationery allowance,” arguing that Congressional expenses were becoming bloated. Mount Hope Cemetery Section W, Lot E 1/2 142 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More

  • Katharine Bowden Cunningham

    Katharine Bowden Cunningham (1890–1972) At just 23 years old, Katharine reforms the dormant Political Equality Club of Glens Falls in 1914, and is elected President. She is then elected Vice Leader of Warren County Suffrage under Susan M. Bain, former president and co-founder of the original PECGF. In 1915, Katherine was vice president, and served on the finance committee. Meetings were often held at the Bowden family home on Maple Street, where her mother, Margaret McEchron Bowden was also active in the cause. Under Katharine’s leadership, the club participated in the June 1914 Suffrage Parade in Albany. “The Political Equality Club of Glens Falls had the largest delegation in line in the big suffrage procession in Albany Saturday. The local suffragettes led by Miss Catharine Bowden, president of the club, made a fine showing. More than 500 women marched in the parade, the first of its kind in the Capital district, and later a mass meeting was held in Odd Fellows’ hall, during which addresses were delivered by Mrs. [Gertrude] Brown, president of the New York Suffragette [sic] association; Miss Elsie Lincoln Vandergift, of Colorado, Mrs. [Harriet Burton] Laidlaw, George Foster Peabody, James Less Laidlaw, president of the National Men’s League; and Miss Florence Roberts. Mrs. Katherine H. Gavit presided.” Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY Warren County). June 8, 1914. P.5. Bio by Tisha Dolton. Pine View Cemetery Wah-tah-wah, Row 1C, Plot 64 21 Quaker Road, Queensbury, NY, 12804 Warren County Learn More

  • Ella Cunningham

    Ella Cunningham (1878–1945) Ella was an African American activist who worked for black women's suffrage in the early twentieth century. She was especially active in 1917, when suffragists in New York State organized to pressure the state's voters to pass a women's suffrage amendment. Born in South Carolina, Ella spent her adult life in New York City. She married at 19, but it ended in divorce. Despite her busy family and work life, as a domestic servant and laundress, Ella made time for political activism. She had no formal education; still she was literate and was determined to help black women gain the right to vote. During World War I, Ella and other African Americans in New York City contributed $350 to the war fund for the Colored Men's division of the YMCA; remarkable considering her own income. At this same time, Ella was a member of the Colored Women's Suffrage Club of New York, participating in a statewide suffrage convention in August of 1917. The New York Age wrote an article about the event, which met in Saratoga in hopes of garnering support for a suffrage amendment, which was on the November ballot in New York State. Women—black and white—traveled together to Saratoga. While suffragists had separate organizations, for this meeting, they united as affiliates of the New York City Woman Suffrage Party. The governor of New York and the mayor of New York City also attended the meeting. A reporter for The New York Age wrote that woman suffrage is one of the vital issues of the day to be given serious consideration. The State Suffrage party now has one million women enrolled under its banners. The state convention was significant for black women in particular. While black and white women united to garner support for women's suffrage, black women had long been treated as inferiors to their white counterparts. Some black women openly demanded equal treatment, nonetheless, they supported the New York Woman Suffrage Party because it was their best opportunity to gain the right to vote. The efforts of Ella and the other members of the Colored Women's Suffrage Club of New York City paid off. After hosting and attending meetings, sending postcards, knocking on strangers' doors, and even finding transportation for male allies to get to the polls on Election Day, Black women suffragists succeeded as New York voters made women's suffrage the state law in November 1917 three years before the Nineteenth Amendment required all states to grant women the right to vote. Ella continued to live in New York City with her adult children and worked the same jobs that she had before she won the right to vote. But she experienced a significant difference: she was able to—and did—vote. (Bio courtesy Alexanderstreet.com) Holy Cross Cemetery St. Augustine, System: CEM, Section: AUGU, Row: 23, Plot: 42 3620 Tilden Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203 Kings County Learn More

  • Dorothy Kenyon

    Dorothy Kenyon (1888–1972) Dorothy was a New York attorney, judge, feminist and political activist who worked and fought in support of civil liberties. She was a charismatic speaker and she regularly travelled throughout the U.S. lecturing about civil liberties. During the era of McCarthyite persecution, she was falsely accused of being affiliated with 28 communist front organizations. Dorothy graduated from Horace Mann School in 1904, and studied economics and history at Smith College, graduating in 1908. In reflection Dorothy felt that she "misspent" the years 1908 to 1913 as a "social butterfly." After spending a year in Mexico and observing poverty and injustice at a close range, she decided to focus on social activism. She graduated from New York University School of Law in 1917, one of just a handful of U.S. law schools enlightened enough to enroll women. Dorothy gained national prominence as a feminist activist in 1938 when she was named the U.S. representative to the League of Nations Committee for the Study of the Status of Women, a group of seven lawyers charged with studying women's legal status internationally. Although World War II interrupted the committee's work and it was never completed, Dorothy resumed her commitment to improving women's status around the world through her work as the U.S. delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women from 1946–1950. Dorothy had lengthy and intense romantic relationships with various men throughout her adult life. Fiercely independent, she made a conscious decision not to marry. She participated in various aspects of President Johnson's War on Poverty and at age 80, she worked tirelessly and almost single-handedly to establish legal services for the poor on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. A 2018 article in The Washington Post ran with the headline "Ruth Ruth Bader Ginsburg was inspired by a forgotten female trailblazer"; referring to Dorothy Kenyon. Woodlawn Cemetery ​ 4199 Webster Avenue, Bronx, NY 10470 Bronx County Learn More

  • Lucretia A. Freeman

    Lucretia A. Freeman (1866–1946) Lucretia was consistently involved in civic and community affairs, primarily supporting black women. In 1913 she was a delegate to the Empire State Federation of Women's Clubs. 1921 found her as the director of the Red Cross Women's Auxiliary for Harlem Hospital, a hospital she had been employed by. A few years later, she was named a deaconess of her church, Nazarene Congregationalist. In 1931, she was elected vice president of the Northeast Federation of Women's Clubs. Ten years later, she represented the Brooklyn's Mother's Club at the annual convention of the New York Federation of Colored Women's Club. Examples of their work include caring for Harriet Tubman until the time of her death in 1913. This group corresponded with presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman on civil rights topics such as unequal treatment of black Americans in the Armed Forces and housing discrimination. Lucretia did her part to have her community be a place where children could thrive. Saint Michael's Cemetery Section 13, Plot 20, Grave 11 7202 Astoria Boulevard, East Elmhurst, NY 11370 Queens County Learn More

  • Hannah Marble Angel

    Hannah Marble Angel (1819–1888) Hannah signed a petition to urge voting against Leslie Russell, NYS Attorney General, who opposed women's rights and whose recommendation was blocking women's rights legislation in New York State. Until the Day Dawn Cemetery Near lot 697 NY Rt-16 East Main Street, Angelica, NY 14709 Allegany County Learn More

  • Sarah Elizabeth Birdsall Otis Edey

    Sarah Elizabeth Birdsall Otis Edey (1872–1940) A woman born into the spotlight to political parents, Sarah was considered a socialite and activist; she used her platform for purpose, serving as an officer in a number of county and state suffrage organizations and was most notably recognized for her lifelong work with the Girl Scouts of America. In June 1916, she served on the reception committee for the annual Suffrage County Suffrage Convention in Riverhead, NY. In January of 1917, she and several other women prominent in the suffrage movement attended the opening of the state legislature in Albany and witnessed the introduction of a resolution favoring the resubmission of the ‘votes for women' proposal to the voters of the state next November. On September 14, 1917, Sarah hosted the Campaign Conference of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party of Suffolk County at her family summer home in Near-the-bay in Bellport, Long Island. The delegates celebrated having enrolled 15,005 women for suffrage in the county. Edey announced that, "We must not fail to bring home to the voters of this county the fact that such a tremendous sentiment for Suffrage exists among their own women. We have enrolled almost as many women as the combined vote for and against Suffrage in 1915. We have the indisputable argument in the fact that they want Suffrage to a number as large as the combined 'yeas' and 'nays' of the men in 1915.” In a 1917 letter to the editor of the East Hampton Star, Sarah chastised the women picketing President Wilson and bemoaned that their “misguided doings” be “laid on the shoulders of all Suffragists.” She spoke at a rally in Mt. Vernon that same month and “emphasized the need for persistent, systematic work on the part of every suffragist, saying that New York state may be won over to exhibit the spectacle of democracy that will inspire the sons of American women in the trenches abroad.” After women acquired the vote in New York State, Sarah was active in the League of Women Voters, serving as chair of the intelligence committee of the NYS League. She is reported as stating that she had learned three things during the successful campaign for women's suffrage in New York: “how to organize groups to do a special piece of work; to speak in public; to get along with people.” Sarah also realized that women for whom she had worked to acquire the vote, “were not ready for their enfranchisement, that people needed to be trained to be citizens early in life.” (Bio courtesy of alexanderstreet.com) Woodland Cemetery ​ 193 Bellport Avenue, Bellport, NY 11713 Suffolk County Learn More

  • Helen Pitts Douglass

    Helen Pitts Douglass (1838–1903) Helen was born in Honeoye, Ontario County, to abolitionists and suffragists parents. She went to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in Lima, NY, and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1859. She taught at the Hampton Institute in Virginia until poor health forced her to return home. In 1882, Helen moved to Washington D.C. where she was active in the women's rights movement and co-edited the Moral Education Society's paper, The Alpha. Helen was hired as a clerk in the recorder of deeds office, run by Frederick Douglass. They were married on Jan. 24, 1884. He was 66 and she, 46. Neither his children nor her family approved. When asked about her marriage, she responded, "Love came to me, and I was not afraid to marry the man I loved because of his color." Helen and Frederick traveled extensively and lived in Haiti when Douglass was appointed Minister by President Benjamin Harrison. After Frederick's death in 1895, Helen worked to save their home in Washington, named Cedar Hill, as a memorial to her husband's legacy. She died there in 1903. No services were held and her remains were interred in the Douglass family plot in Mount Hope. (Bio by the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery) Mount Hope Cemetery Section T Lot 26 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 Monroe County Learn More

  • Helen Hoy Greeley

    Helen Hoy Greeley (1878–1965) Helen was an attorney who was an early member of the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women, emphasizing a militant, aggressive form of activism in support of women's enfranchisement. Over her activist career, she was also a founding member of the College Equal Suffrage League of New York and the Original Woman Suffrage Party. Helen held leadership roles in the Nineteenth Assembly District, Borough of Brooklyn and Borough of Manhattan Woman Suffrage Parties, and served on committees of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She marched in the first New York suffrage parade, and is credited with beginning the practice of intensive district street speaking, demonstrating its effectiveness by speaking 56 consecutive nights on one street corner, 96th Street and Broadway. Albany Rural Cemetery Section 108, Plot 83 Cemetery Avenue, Menands, NY 12204 Albany County Learn More

  • Harriet Pratt

    Harriet Pratt (1853–1938) Harriet was an educator and active in civic affairs in Manchester and the surrounding area. She was a member of the Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Church, and a lead member of the Shortsville Political Equity Club (established in 1915). They hosted the well-attended Ontario County Political Association Convention. While her exact contributions were not documented, it appears that Harriet dedicated herself to suffrage and serving her community. If you know more about her, you can help us tell her story. Please use our Add a Suffragist form to submit your information. Manchester Village Cemetery ​ 64 South Main Street, Manchester, NY 14504 Ontario County Learn More

  • Asenath Carver Coolidge

    Asenath Carver Coolidge (1830–1915) Asenath was a well known author who lived in Watertown, NY, serving as a representative to New York State Woman Suffrage Association. She applied her writing skills to drafting letters in support of or against those running for office, and she promoted women continuing to be able to vote in their local school elections. Hillside Cemetery ​ 12 Maple Avenue, Antwerp, NY 13608 Jefferson County Learn More

  • Mary C. Larkin

    Mary C. Larkin (–1920) Mary was a member of the Women's Political Union. That organization was founded by Harriet Stanton Blanche in 1906. It was also known as the Equality League for Self-Supporting Women. Their goal was to engage the support of women in wage-supporting occupations. During the great campaign of 1915, the Union was always looking for new ways to draw attention to the amendment. One of the ways was to gain the support of the Catholic clergy. The Saint Catherine Association of Catholic Women (founded by Sarah McPike) was a key part of the Catholic initiative. 500 Catholic women marched in the last suffrage parade in New York City in 1917. Mary was among a group of women who were cited for unceasingly writing and speaking up. Source: History of Womens Suffrage. Vol. 6. St. Agnes Cemetery of Utica ​ 601 Arthur Street, Utica, NY 13501 Oneida County Learn More

  • Helen Miles Rogers Reid

    Helen Miles Rogers Reid (1882–1970) A distinguished woman of the 19th century in large part for her position as President of the New York Herald Tribune, Helen is featured in a book with the title Notable American Women, where we learn of her women’s suffrage involvement. She was the state treasurer for the New York suffrage campaign, raising more than half a million dollars for the passage of New York State women’s suffrage legislation in 1917. In speeches throughout her life, she advocated that women should work and be economically independent from their husbands and that men should take greater responsibility in the home and for raising their children. After her husband died in 1947, she took over the presidency of the New York Herald Tribune until 1953. She was a well-regarded individual who received accolades and honors and was an accomplished manager and role model for women when there were few women in leadership roles. Helen was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1950. An active supporter of her alma mater, she served for nine years as chairman of the board of trustees, and in 1963, she helped raise funds for a dormitory at Barnard, which was then named for her. She was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, active in the New York Newspaper Women's Club, and was president of the Reid Foundation, an organization funded and established by her husband to give journalists fellowships to study and travel abroad. Her funeral, presided over by The Right Rev. Paul Moore Jr., the Bishop of New York, was attended by over 300 people including John Hay Whitney, who purchased The Herald Tribune, August Heckscher, the Parks Commissioner who was chief editorial writer, Mayor John Lindsay, David Rockefeller, Robert Moses, former head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, Andrew Cordier, the president of Columbia University, and Kingman Brewster Jr., the president of Yale University. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery ​ 540 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591 Westchester County Learn More

  • Anna McCarthy McCann Higinbotham

    Anna McCarthy McCann Higinbotham (1861–1942) For at least two decades, Anna was an outstanding figure in public life in her community and county. She was an active member of Unity Club, and was sent as a delegate to Albany for a meeting of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. For many years Anna was a member of the Ontario County Commission on Tuberculosis and Public Health and a member of the Board of Directors of Oak-Mount Sanitarium. She also served as local Welfare administrator. During the World War, she was a leader in the work done by the women of this community, and a building on her premises served as headquarters for Red Cross activities , to which she gave untiring effort. At the close of the war, Anna's work was recognized by the award of a special medal. She continued to be a local Red Cross chairman. Saint Patrick's Cemetery Section 1, Row 15 215–301 High Street, Victor, NY 14564 Ontario County Learn More

  • Elizabeth Best Ford

    Elizabeth Best Ford (1869–1953) Elizabeth was the founding mother of the St. Lawrence County League (of Women Voters). She was the chair for several years, and the regional chair for the area. In a letter in the League archive, the author describes being motored to Ogdensburg by Mrs. Elizabeth Ford, to call upon each of the members to rejoin and to recruit new members. Evergreen Cemetery ​ 2455 NY-68 at US 11, Canton, NY 13617 St. Lawrence County Learn More

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