"Wesleyan Chapel 10" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Women's Rights

National Historical Park - New York

Women's Rights National Historical Park is located in Seneca Falls and nearby Waterloo, New York. The park consists of four major historical properties including the Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was the site of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, and the homes of other early women's rights activists (the M'Clintock House and the Richard Hunt House) are also on display. The park includes a visitor center and an education and cultural center housing the Suffrage Press Printshop.



Official Visitor Map of Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (NHC) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Erie Canalway - Visitor Map

Official Visitor Map of Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor (NHC) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).


Official Park Brochure of Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Women's Rights - Brochure

Official Park Brochure of Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official Park Map of Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Women's Rights - park Map

Official Park Map of Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about the Wesleyan Chapel at Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Women's Rights - The Wesleyan Chapel

Brochure about the Wesleyan Chapel at Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about the First Wave Statue Exhibit at Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Women's Rights - The First Wave Statue Exhibit

Brochure about the First Wave Statue Exhibit at Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Life in Seneca Falls for Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Women's Rights - Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Life in Seneca Falls

Brochure about Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Life in Seneca Falls for Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Brochure about the Quaker Influence on the Seneca Falls Convention for Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Women's Rights - The Quaker Influence on the Seneca Falls Convention

Brochure about the Quaker Influence on the Seneca Falls Convention for Women's Rights National Historical Park (NHP) in New York. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/wori/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_Rights_National_Historical_Park Women's Rights National Historical Park is located in Seneca Falls and nearby Waterloo, New York. The park consists of four major historical properties including the Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was the site of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, and the homes of other early women's rights activists (the M'Clintock House and the Richard Hunt House) are also on display. The park includes a visitor center and an education and cultural center housing the Suffrage Press Printshop. Women’s Rights National Historical Park tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, New York on July 19-20, 1848. It is a story of struggles for civil rights, human rights, and equality, global struggles that continue today. The efforts of women’s rights leaders, abolitionists, and other 19th century reformers remind us that all people must be accepted as equals. From the New York State Thruway (I-90) take exit 41 (Waterloo, Route 414). Turn right onto Route 414 South after exiting the tollbooth. Follow Route 414 South for approximately four miles. At the intersections of Route 414 and Routes 5 & 20, turn left onto Route 5 & 20 East. Follow for approximately one and a half miles into the Village of Seneca Falls. The Visitor Center is on the left at 136 Fall Street, Seneca Falls, NY 13148. Women's Rights National Historical Park Visitor Center Women's Rights NHP has one Visitor Center at 136 Fall Street in Seneca Falls NY. The Visitor Center contains the museum, theater, bookstore, and administrative headquarters. Wesleyan Chapel The Wesleyan Chapel in summer The Wesleyan Chapel, site of the first Women's Rights Convention Waterwall and Mural A gold and purple mural featuring faces of historic figures, over a stone wall. Women's Rights NHP celebrates the American Women's Rights Movement and its inception in Seneca Falls, New York. Visitor Center Front of Women's Rights National Historical Park Visitor Center Visitors can come to learn about the largest social movement in history, the women's rights movement. First Wave Statue A bronze statue group of people wearing 19th-century clothing. The First Wave Statue is one of the iconic sites of Women's Rights NHP. Elizabeth Cady Stanton House The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House with a tree and National Park Service sign in the front yard Take a ranger led tour in the home where Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the women's rights movement and raised 7 children Nineteenth Century Activism Women's Rights National Historical Park commemorates the First Women's Rights Convention of 1848 and key figures at the forefront of the efforts for women's equality: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, her sister Martha Wright, Mary Ann M'Clintock, and Jane Hunt. The term social justice was not widely used in the nineteenth century, but this small group in Seneca Falls, New York, along with their supporters, were keenly aware of the social importance of equal rights. A long bluestone wall contains with the names of those who signed the Declaration of Sentiments. The Declaration of Sentiments The Declaration of Sentiments was a clarion call in celebration of women’s worthiness—naming their right not be subjugated. Most prominent among the critiques Stanton advanced were: women’s inferior legal status, including lack of suffrage rights; economic as well as physical subordination; and limited opportunities for divorce. These offences were particularly ironic considering the expansive civic wartime roles women performed. printed copy of the Declaration of Sentiments from the Library of Congress Women Amidst War The extreme demands of wartime industry and the loss of traditional family breadwinners to military service caused hardship, but also presented opportunities to women for employment, volunteerism, and activism that previously had been unavailable to them. While many of these gains would be temporary, the Civil War nonetheless represents an important step forward in American society's view of the role of women. Women were increasingly seen (and saw themselves) as the foundat Photo of women at a house on the Cedar Mountain battlefield Designing the Parks: Learning in Action The Designing the Parks program is not your typical internship. Each year since 2013, this program at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation has introduced a cohort of college students and recent graduates to NPS design and planning professions through projects related to cultural landscape stewardship. In the internships, made possible by partner organizations, participants focus on an in-depth project that directly engages with a national park unit. A group of young people stand on forest trail and listen to two maintenance employees The “Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States” Philadelphia’s July Fourth, 1876 celebration kicked off the nation’s one-hundredth birthday celebration to large, enthusiastic crowds. Among those in the city for the festivities was the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA), an organization founded in 1869 to advocate for a constitutional amendment insuring women’s right to vote. An illustration of Richard Henry Lee reading the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1876. Maud Malone: Places Associated with Her Story For those interested in visiting some of the sites where Maud Malone helped to reinvigorate the suffrage movement, there are a number of National Park Sites and New York City locations where one can stand where Maud once stood. Suffragists at Grant's Tomb, LOC June: A Month of Milestones The times are a changin’, and there’s no better time to honor those moments of change than in June. Over the course of America’s history, the month of June is filled with cultural changes, and some seasonal ones too. So just before the season changes and summer begins, take some time to visit these parks that commemorate extraordinary moments. Painting of suffragist on a horse The 19th Amendment: A Crash Course After years of petitions, protest, and activism, votes for women is recognized with the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This crash course introduces the pivotal moments and people who worked to secure women's voting rights. Suffragists marching through the street wearing white dresses and holding flags. 11 Ways National Parks Influenced World War I (and vice versa) Uncover the hidden history of World War I in the national parks! A Renault tank and infantry move through a field Did You Know: Women and African Americans Could Vote in NJ before the 15th and 19th Amendments? The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, but some New Jersey women could vote as early as 1776. African Americans in the state could vote if they met the residency and property requirements. They lost these rights in 1807, only to fight to regain them. women carrying suffrage banners greet each other on the street. Photo @ Library of Congress Erie Canalway NHC Hosts World Canals Conference From September 24 to 28, delegates from around the world convened in Syracuse, NY to discuss the many facets of canal development, and to learn firsthand about the engineering and economic marvel that is the Erie Canal. Erie Canalway NHC hosted the 2017 World Canals Conference Sojourner Truth: Ain't I A Woman? After experiencing a religious conversion, Isabella became an itinerant preacher and in 1843 changed her name to Sojourner Truth. She became involved in the growing antislavery movement, and by the 1850s she was also involved in the woman’s rights movement. At the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth delivered what is now recognized as one of the most famous abolitionist and women’s rights speeches in American history, “Ain't I A Woman?" Sojourner Truth portrait Did You Know? Alice Paul Versus Carrie Chapman Catt Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, stands on the balcony of the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association on April 2, 1917. But look closely. Do you see the alterations to the photo on her right? What--or who--has been erased? Jeannette Rankin speaking from the balcony of the National American Woman Suffrage Association US Women's Suffrage Timeline 1648 to 2016 This is an extended timeline of the fight for women's suffrage in the United States. It includes information on failed and successful attempts at changes in law, including at the state and federal levels, how women's suffrage has been interlaced with quests for other civil rights, and some key court cases. It spans the years from 1648 through 2016. National Woman's Party Watchfire Outside the White House. LOC The Story of the "Jailed for Freedom" Pin Authorized for wear on NPS uniforms only during August 2020—the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment—the "Jailed for Freedom" pin is a reminder of previous struggles and protests which led to real and lasting change to our evolving democracy. metal pin in the shape of a jail cell door The Civilian Experience in the Civil War After being mere spectators at the war's early battles, civilians both near and far from the battlefields became unwilling participants and victims of the war as its toll of blood and treasure grew year after year. In response to the hardships imposed upon their fellow citizens by the war, civilians on both sides mobilized to provide comfort, encouragement, and material, and began to expect that their government should do the same. Painting of civilians under fire during the Siege of Vicksburg National Park Getaway: Women's Rights National Historical Park Located in the heart of New York State’s Finger Lakes Region, Women’s Rights National Historical Park’s visitor center is the perfect spot to orient yourself to the park and the surrounding area. benches in a chapel Suffrage in 60 Seconds Woman Suffrage Procession "We demand an amendment to the Constitution of the United States enfranchising the women of this country." Marching women, floats, equestrian units--and a surprising ally participate in the first event of its kind on March 3, 1913. Enjoy this one-minute video story with Ranger Mannie. Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession March 3 1913 Suffrage in 60 Seconds: Nina Allender As the official cartoonist of the National Woman's Party, Nina Allender changed public perception about what feminists looked like. But her political cartoons, while witty and provocative, excluded many people who were fighting for the vote. Combined photo of park ranger and Nina Allender with Suffrage in 60 Seconds logo Suffrage in 60 Seconds: African American Women and the Vote African American women often found themselves marginalized by both Black men and white women in the fight for equality. How did they ensure that their voices were heard? Ranger Titus has the story. Photo collage of several African American suffragists. Suffrage in 60 Seconds logo Suffrage in 60 Seconds: How Women Won the West Women in the western states and territories won the first victories in the fight for woman suffrage. But there were difficult battles marked by reversals, defeats, and questionable alliances. Largo group of women wearing white carrying shields with names of western states Suffrage in 60 Seconds: Deadly Political Index Maud Younger, chief lobbyist of the National Woman’s Party, greased the gears of democracy. While the unrelenting force of the National Woman's Party protests kept the momentum of the movement, would the 19th Amendment have gotten through Congress without suffragist lobbyists? Ranger Lorne has the details of the Deadly Political Index. Painting and photo of Maud Younger with Suffrage in 60 Seconds Logo Suffrage in 60 Seconds: Colors Why did the National Woman's Party choose Gold, White, and Purple as their signature colors on sashes, flags, and banners in their fight for the 19th Amendment? In this episode of Suffrage in 60 Seconds, Ranger Lauren has the answer. Alice Paul unfurling Ratification Banner. Suffrage in 60 Seconds logo Suffrage in 60 Seconds: NAWSA Versus NWP Carrie Chapman Catt led the National American Woman's Suffrage Association (NAWSA) which had more members, more power, and more money than the National Woman's Party. Although Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt were both fighting for woman suffrage, they often fought each other as they worked for passage of the 19th Amendment. Enjoy this one-minute video telling a story of the tension. Whose side are you on? Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul. Suffrage in Sixty Seconds logo Suffrage in 60 Seconds: Equali-Tea How did women who were excluded from the political process work for change? Before they marched in the streets and stood on soapboxes to get the word out, women encouraged each other and spread the radical message of women's equality in their parlors. Ranger Lauren spills the tea about equali-tea. Ranger Lauren holding a tea cup that reads Suffrage in 60 Seconds Introduction When was the last time you voted? Enjoy one-minute videos that highlight suffrage subjects and the heroes who made woman suffrage a reality—including those women who continued the fight for full enfranchisement beyond 1920. Alice Paul in front of Ratification Banner. Suffrage in Sixty Seconds logo Lobbying for Suffrage NWP Lobby Committee at the time of Tennessee ratification of suffrage amendment- Washington, D.C., 1920. National Woman's Party Ten women suffragists at US Capitol Walk in the Footsteps of Suffragists American women demanded their right to vote in a Declaration of Sentiments issued at the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. By the 1913 inauguration of President-elect Wilson, women were still waiting for that democratic right. Explore the spectacular pre-inauguration parade that filled Pennsylvania Avenue in DC with 5,000 marching women, colorful floats and banners, ladies on horseback, and mayhem delivered by opposing forces. Nurse Contingent in the 1913 Suffrage March LOC From Indifferent to Cosmopolitan: Transportation and Social Change in Seneca Falls To some, it may seem surprising that Seneca Falls, a relatively small community in western New York, served as the site of the First Women’s Rights Convention and the start of the formal women’s rights movement. People in the nineteenth century, however, would have recognized Seneca Falls and western New York as a hotbed of reform activity and a plausible location for the start of a major social movement, thanks to advancements in transportation that spurred community growth B&W etching of mill and waterfalls Belmont-Paul Virtual Tour Join Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument staff as we explore the exhibits and objects on display in the museum. Do you see yourself in the Hall of Portraits? What treasured items connect you with the past? Interior photo of the Belmont-Paul Hall of Portraits with paintings and a large mirror National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment the National Park Service has developed a number of special programs. This includes online content, exhibits, and special events. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) announces the release of a story map that highlights some of these programs and provides information for the public to locate and participate. Opening slide of the 19th Amendment NPS Commemoration Story Map A Great Inheritance: Introduction The abolition movement was one of the leading factors in the formation of the 19th century women’s rights movement. This series explores the connections between the abolition movement and the women’s rights movement to reveal the relationship between the two campaigns. Black and white photo of a tall building. Site of the 1869 AERA meeting. Library of Congress A Great Inheritance: Abolition and the Women's Sphere Prior to the 1830s, American antislavery organizations were formed and controlled by white men. This changed in December of 1833 when African American men were invited to participate at the first convention of the American Anti-Slavery Slavery Society (AASS) held in Philadelphia. Some women were also invited to the convention, but as spectators rather than as members. Excluding women from full participation was customary of the period’s social conventions. Drawing of the exterior of a five story, rectangular building A Great Inheritance: Conclusion and References The abolition movement helped form and influence those who built and led the women’s rights movement. The beliefs and practices of the abolition movement provided a backdrop against which antislavery women could challenge gender roles and leave the woman’s sphere to enter the public sphere. Black and white drawing of the exterior of a building, three stories with a peaked roof A Great Inheritance: Abolitionist Practices in the Women's Rights Movement Some abolitionist women found the confidence needed to reject social conventions and participate in public activities by denying the authority of clerical rules. Abolitionist feminists also found resolve to contradict gender roles in the abolitionist belief of the common humanity of all people. The belief in common humanity was used by abolitionists to argue for the definition of African American slaves as people, not property. Color drawing of Pennsylvania Hall, a three story building with peaked roof A Great Inheritance: The Abolition Movement and the First Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls The Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention is regarded as the beginning of the US women’s rights movement. The organizers of the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls were neighbors, friends, and relatives who decided to arrange the convention over their shared convictions. Each had backgrounds in the abolitionist movement and were dedicated to the anti-slavery cause which prepared them to organize the first women’s rights convention in 1848. Portrait of Lucretia Mott wearing a bonnet A Great Inheritance: Prejudice, Racism, and Black Women in Anti-Slavery Societies The establishment of Female Anti-Slavery Societies in the 1830s facilitated the formal beginnings of women’s political participation in the abolitionist movement. One women’s antislavery society that formed in the wake of the first American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS) convention was the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society (PFASS). The AASS organized itself as an interracial organization, and PFASS was founded in the same manner. A Black woman kneels, her hands are chained and raised asking for help "Am I Not A Woman" How Native American Women Inspired the Women’s Rights Movement “Never was justice more perfect; never was civilization higher,” suffrage leader Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote about the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois Confederacy, whose territory extended throughout New York State. black and white head and shoulders portrait of Matilda Joslyn Gage. Library of Congress The Prequel: Women’s Suffrage Before 1848 Most suffrage histories begin in 1848, the year Elizabeth Cady Stanton convened a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. There, she unfurled a Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, seeking religious, educational and property rights for women – and the right to vote. While Seneca Falls remains an important marker in women’s suffrage history, in fact women had been agitating for this basic right of citizenship even before the first stirrings of the Revolution. drawing of a group of women in front of a counter A Noble Endeavor: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and Suffrage On March 3, 1913, the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, Ida B. Wells-Barnett was in a Washington, D.C. drill rehearsal hall with sixty-four other Illinois suffragists. She was there representing the Alpha Suffrage Club (ASC)-- which she had founded as the first black suffrage club in Chicago just two months before. Ida planned to march with the women in what promised to be a parade of unprecedented scale and significance. photo portrait of Ida B Wells “Failure is Impossible!” The Battle for the Ballot Harry T. Burn had a secret. Everyone assumed he was an “anti,” meaning he would vote against ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. After all, the 24-year-old first-term member of the Tennessee House of Representatives was from a conservative district, and he was running for reelection in the fall. Black and white portrait photo of a young Harry Burn in a starched collar and tie "To the wrongs that need resistance:” Carrie Chapman Catt’s Lifelong Fight for Women’s Suffrage When Carrie Lane Chapman Catt was 13-years-old and living in rural Charles City, Iowa, she witnessed something that would help to decide the course of her life. Her family was politically active and on Election Day in 1872, Carrie’s father and some of the male hired help were getting ready to head into town to vote. She asked her mother why she wasn’t getting dressed to go too. Her parents laughingly explained to their daughter that women couldn’t vote. black and white portrait of catt speaking into an old fashioned candlestick phone. LOC Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-Ša): Advocate for the "Indian Vote" When suffragist and voting rights activist Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-Ša) passed away in Virginia in 1938, she and her husband chose as their final resting place Arlington National Cemetery. Her tombstone reads: "Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, 'Zitkala-Ša of the Sioux' 1876-1938" This statement left an enduring message: she could be both a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the Yankton Sioux Nation. She did not have to choose. black and white profile portrait of zitkala sa Fraught Friendship: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass News of the death of Frederick Douglass reached Metzerott’s Music Hall in Washington, D.C., in the early evening of February 20, 1895. There, at a session of the National Council of Women’s triennial meeting, sat Susan B. Anthony. After remarking on her usual “wonderful control over feeling,” a reporter noted, “last night she could not conceal her emotion.”[1] Just hours before his death, Anthony and Douglass had been in the same room. black and white photo of frederick douglass Nemesis: The South and the Nineteenth Amendment The South was the nemesis of the woman suffrage movement, the long-term, impassioned adversary that, in 1920, almost kept the Nineteenth Amendment from being ratified. Regional hostility to the women’s rights movement long delayed the development of a southern suffrage movement and precluded state suffrage victories. Powerful resistance from white southern Congressmen and Senators for many years precluded Congressional approval of a federal woman suffrage amendment. Cover of the NAWSA Headquarters Newsletter, "Winning Plan" LOC A Centennial Reflection During my lifetime Black people were deeply entrenched in the struggle for voting rights. As a child of the 1960s I heard a constant emphasis on how important it was to vote. To make our voices heard. I went with my parents to polling places when they voted, where I was surrounded by adults who grew up in the Jim Crow South and knew that voting was not something to take for granted. Michelle Duster is the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells. Color portrait of Michelle Duster, courtesy Michelle Duster (copyright) On This Day August 26, 1920: The Significance of Ratification of the 19th Amendment “The Secretary has signed the proclamation,” the Secretary of State’s office told Carrie Chapman Catt over the phone on August 26, 1920. “So quietly as that,” lobbyist Maud Wood Park, who was there, later wrote, “we learned that the last step in the enfranchisement of women had been taken, and the struggle of more than seventy years brought to a successful end.” Women celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment. Black and white photo. LOC Alice Paul’s Crusade: How A Young Quaker from New Jersey Changed the National Conversation and Got the Vote On March 2, 1918, a news item appeared on the front page of the Alaskan newspaper The Seward Gateway. Under the headline, “Alice Paul Has Measles,” was a report that the “militant suffrage leader” was confined to her room but carrying on her campaign through the door’s keyhole. Paul was largely unknown five years earlier when she arrived in Washington to work for an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting voter discrimination based on sex. Black and white portrait of Alice Paul seated at a desk. LOC Mary McLeod Bethune, True Democracy, and the Fight for Universal Suffrage Mary McLeod Bethune -- educator, club woman, and stateswoman -- asserted the universality of equality in and through all things. Her contributions to the women’s suffrage movement were evident in her rhetoric challenging American society to become a true democracy, as well as in her utilization of institutional spaces to plan, strategize, and allocate resources. black and white portrait of bethune, seated. NMAH Mary Church Terrell: Black Suffragist and Civil Rights Activist Born a slave in Memphis, Tennessee in 1863 during the Civil War, Mary Church Terrell became a civil rights activist and suffragist leader. Coming of age during and after Reconstruction, she understood through her own lived experiences that African-American women of all classes faced similar problems, including sexual and physical violence, inadequate access to health care, limited opportunities for meaningful and fairly compensated work, and no constitutional right to vote. Black and white profile portrait of Mary Church Terrell LOC “All Men and Women Are Created Equal:” The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) was the leading activist-intellectual of the nineteenth-century movement that demanded women’s rights, including the right to education, property, and a voice in public life. Among those rights was the right to vote, which Americans of her era increasingly understood as an important mark of citizenship. To those who were beginning to demand an end to women’s subordinate status, gaining suffrage came to be seen as an essential step. Portrait of a woman holding a child. LOC Should We Care What the Men Did? “Who cares what the men did?” That was all the book editor’s rejection note said. Yet in real time, during the 1910s, women cared deeply about the men in their fight. That all-important decade brought the campaign new momentum as state pro-suffrage referenda passed in California in 1911; Kansas and Oregon in 1912; Montana and Nevada in 1914; New York in 1917; and Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Dakota in 1918. Black and white portraits side by side of du bois and malone. Library of Congress Jeannette Rankin: One Woman, One Vote Only one woman in American history – Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin – ever cast a ballot in support of the 19th Amendment. In 1916, Rankin represented the citizens of Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives, and she wanted American women nationwide to enjoy the benefits of suffrage. “If I am remembered for no other act, I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote,” Rankin said. Black and white photo of Jeannette Rankin; library of congress Suffrage in Spanish: Hispanic Women and the Fight for the 19th Amendment in New Mexico At three o'clock on an October afternoon in 1915, the suffragists of Santa Fe, New Mexico, took to the streets of the capital city to make "a public act of faith in the cause of woman suffrage." One hundred and fifty women joined the parade, Anglos (the term New Mexicans used to refer to whites) and Hispanics (which referred to the Spanish-speaking citizens of the state). Some marched; others rode in gaily decorated automobiles. New Mexico Suffragists, 1915. Collections of the National Woman's Party The Very Queer History of the Suffrage Movement The women’s suffrage movement allowed women to re-examine, question, and begin to systematically rebel against the many restrictions they had lived under for centuries – including oppressive gender and sexual norms. There are, of course, more serious examples, besides Laughlin’s demand for pockets, of how suffragists defied the gendered conventions of their day. newspaper clipping do you want the vote or a husband Mabel Ping-Hua Lee: How Chinese-American Women Helped Shape the Suffrage Movement Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was a feminist pioneer. She was the first Chinese woman in the United States to earn her doctorate and an advocate for the rights of women and the Chinese community in America. However, due to discriminatory immigration laws, she was unable to become a citizen of the United States. Despite this injustice, she played an important part in the fight for voting rights both in the United States and in China. Newspaper photo of Mabel Lee LOC Suffragette & Suffragist: The Influence of the British Suffrage Movement “I am what you call a hooligan,” Emmeline Pankhurst announced to the standing-room only crowd of women packed into Carnegie Hall in October 1909. Hundreds more gathered outside, hoping to hear the famous “suffragette” speak. The American suffrage and labor activists in attendance cheered as Mrs. Pankhurst regaled the audience with stories about the fight to win the vote for British women. Black and white portrait of emmeline pankhurst LOC How Susan B. Anthony Became the Most Recognizable Suffragist When I ask my college students to name a suffragist, most of them name Susan B. Anthony. Over a century after her death, many even recognize her picture. In 1979, she became the first woman whose portrait appeared on a circulating coin in the United States. A recent study by the National Women’s History Museum reveals that many states require students to learn about her. How did Anthony’s face become so visible? Susan B Anthony sitting at her desk 1900 Library of Congress Sister-Wives and Suffragists: Mormonism and the Women’s Suffrage Movement “Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?” So spoke Eliza R. Snow in 1870, the year when women in territorial Utah became among the tiny minority of nineteenth-century American women to win the right to exercise the franchise. Head and shoulders portrait of emmeline wells, black and white. library of congress The Great Suffrage Parade of 1913 On the afternoon of March 3, 1913, the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson as the nation’s 28th president, thousands of suffragists gathered near the Garfield monument in front of the U.S. Capitol. Grand Marshal Jane Burleson stood ready to lead them out into Pennsylvania Avenue at exactly 3:00, in what became the first civil rights march on Washington, DC. It also proved to be turning point in the fight for the vote. A woman in white sits atop a white horse 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession The Woman Suffrage Procession along Pennsylvania Avenue on March 3, 1913, the day before Woodrow Wilson's presidential inauguration, used pageantry to raise awareness about women's exclusion from the nation's political process. The publicity following the event re-energized the woman suffrage movement in the United States. Cover of the Woman Suffrage Procession program with herald on horseback Women in World War I Five million men were mobilized for war. Nine million women mobilized themselves. Joy Bright Hancock in navy uniform A Great Inheritance: Reflected Shortcomings in Abolition and the Women's Rights Movement It is a disservice to consider the abolitionist movement for all of its triumphs and none of its problems. It is likewise naïve to consider the positive influences of abolition on the women’s rights movement without acknowledging the negative. The following is an examination of the problems within the abolition movement and how these issues are reflected in the early women’s rights movement. Series: A Great Inheritance: Examining the Relationship between Abolition and the Women’s Rights Movement This series was written by Victoria Elliott, an intern at Women's Rights National Historical Park. The abolition and women’s rights movements are deeply connected. This series looks at the connections, as well as how the movements differed for Black and white women. Drawing of a Black woman kneeling, her hands chained. Text: "Am I Not A Woman And A Sister?" Series: On Their Shoulders: The Radical Stories of Women's Fight for the Vote These articles were originally published by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission (WSCC) as a part of the WSCC blog, The Suff Buffs. The Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission was created by Congress to commemorate 100 years of the 19th Amendment throughout 2020 and to ensure the untold stories of women’s battle for the ballot continue to inspire Americans for the next 100 years. In collaboration with the WSCC, the NPS is the forever home of these articles Logo of the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission Series: Suffrage in Sixty Seconds When was the last time you voted? For the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution enfranchising women, park rangers at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument created these one-minute videos that highlight suffrage subjects and the heroes who made woman suffrage a reality—including those women who continued the fight for full enfranchisement beyond 1920. Alice Paul raises glass above ratification banner Series: Maud Malone - New York City Librarian and Suffrage Powerhouse Series by Dan Meharg. The fight to win voting rights for American women began in 1848, but by 1905 the effort was about dead. The movement’s founders were passing away and only four western states allowed women to vote. Maud Malone, a New York City librarian, was determined to revive the dying movement. Single working women like herself paid taxes but had no say in how that money was spent. America prided itself on being a free country but... Maud Malone speaking in New York City. Library of Congress Plant Profile: Horse Chestnut at Women’s Rights National Historical Park The horse chestnut beside the Stanton House was likely planted in the 1830s, making it the only tree on the property old enough to have been present during the residence of suffrage and abolition activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Horse chestnuts are popular specimen trees for lawn and street planting. Considering its age, condition, and significance, this tree was genetically propagated by cuttings, which have successfully grown into young horse chestnut trees. The branches of a large, leafless horse chestnut reach over a white house, surrounded by lawn. The Final Desperate Battle for Suffrage in Tennessee Everyone knew that Tennessee was a dangerous place to stage the decisive battle for ratification of the 19th Amendment, but the suffragists had no choice. It was their last, best hope to secure ratification before the fall 1920 national elections; it was their only feasible prospect for gaining the elusive 36th ratification state to make women’s suffrage part of the Constitution. After seven decades of struggle, it would come down to Tennessee, and that was terrifying. Exterior photo of the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville. Courtesy Hermitage Hotel Lesson Plan: Ain't I A Woman? Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist, women's rights activist, and dynamic speaker. Her speech at the Ohio Woman's Rights Convention known as "Ain't I A Woman?" had a powerful effect on the audience. But did she ever say "Ain't I A Woman?" In this learning activity, 4th and 5th graders analyze two versions of the speech. How do speakers engage audiences to make their argument? How do we make sense of conflicting versions of the same event? Sojourner Truth, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly left. Experience the Erie Canalway Corridor in 360 Degrees The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is currently undertaking an exciting media project that will expand virtual visits and experiential learning in the region using 360-degree video tours. To do so, the Heritage Corridor is teaming up with local parks and educators, with help from the National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids initiative. Aerial photo of vibrant sunset over horizon. Light reflects on canal below in center. Josie Fernandez Born in Cuba, Josie Fernandez emigrated to the United States with her family when she was 12 years old. She became a US citizen in 1976 and was inspired to join the US Air Force. She wore two uniforms throughout her careers with the US Air Force Reserves and the National Park Service (NPS). Starting as a public affairs officer in 1993, she quickly rose to superintendent positions while continuing to serve her country. Josie Fernandez poses outside in her NPS uniform with a gold badge on her shirt. Shaping the System Under President Jimmy Carter President Jimmy Carter oversaw one of the largest growths in the National Park System. Explore some of the parks that are part of the legacy of the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who served as the 39th president of the United States from January 20, 1977, to January 20, 1981. Historic photo of Jimmy Carter walking through a crowd at Harpers Ferry
Women's Rights Women's Rights National Historical Park New York National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior _______________________ F ■ I was born and lived almostforty years in South Bristol, Ontario County—one of the most secluded spots in Western New York, butfrom the earliest dawn of reason I pinedfor that freedom of thought and action that was then denied to all womankind.... But not until that meeting at Seneca Falls in 1848, of the pioneers in the cause, gave thisfeeling of unrestform and voice, did I take action. ” —Emily Collins For Emily Collins, who went on to start a local equal rights organization, and for Other women of 1840s America, the news of a women's rights convention was a vivid reminder of their inferior status. By law or by custom an unmarried woman generally did not vote, speak in public, hold office, attend college, or earn a living other than as a teacher, seamstress, domestic, or mill worker. A married woman lived under these restrictions • F fete and more: she could not make contracts, sue in court, divorce her husband, gain custody of her children, or own property, even the clothes she wore. Though middle-class wives reigned over the domestic sphere, legally their husbands controlled them. Individual women publicly expressed their desire for equality, but it was not until 1848 that a handful of reformers in Seneca Falls, New York, called "A Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of Woman." based on the Declaration of Independence, demanding equality in prop­ erty rights, education, employment, religion, marriage and family, and suffrage. The demand for the vote was so radical that even Mott protested, but Stanton had her way. On July 19 the Declaration of Sentiments was presented to an audience of about 300. "We hold these truths to be selfevident: that all men and women are created equal," announced Stanton at the First Women's Rights Convention. Why Seneca Falls? A significant reform community emerged in western New York in the 1830s and 1840s. Among these reformers were aboli­ tionists who joined relatives and started businesses in Seneca Falls and Waterloo. Here and elsewhere, Quaker women like Lucretia Mott took an active role in the effort to end slavery. For Mott, her sister Martha Wright, Jane Hunt, Mary Ann M'Clintock, and 32-year-old Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the next logical step was to demand rights for women. In July 1848 they planned the convention and hammered out a formal list of grievances The women expected controversy. True ladies, a Philadelphia newspaper wrote after the convention, would be foolish to sacrifice their status as "Wives, Belles, Virgins and Mothers" for equal rights. Many signers of the declaration removed their names. But 12 days later a second convention was held in Rochester. By 1900 armies of women marched for suffrage. Today many of the convention's most radical demands are taken for granted. The Declaration of Sentiments was the start; its words reach far beyond that warm July day in Seneca Falls. The Hunt House was the home of Jane and Richard Hunt, Quakers active in the Waterloo reform community. Stanton, Mott, Wright, M'Clintock, and Jane Hunt gathered here on July 9 to plan the con­ vention. Stanton defied many of the day's housekeeping and child-rearing cus­ toms. For many years she dressed in an outfit popularized by Amelia Bloomer, loose pants and a knee-length skirt, which allowed freedom of movement. "The First Wave" sculp­ ture group by Lloyd Lillie. Facing row, left to right: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Doug­ lass, two unidentified women, Martha Coffin Wright. In profile at right: Thomas and Mary Ann M'Clintock, uniden­ tified woman. © JEFF GNASS Planning Your Visit The setting for the First Women's Rights Con­ vention and the homes of some participants are preserved at Women's Rights National Histori­ cal Park, established by Congress in 1980. From 1-90 (New York State Thruway) take exit 41; go south on NY 414; east on US 20, (becomes Fall St.); follow signs to the visitor center. There is no fee for admission. Begin at the visitor center, 136 Fall St., open daily except fall and winter federal holidays. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm. M'Clintock House There are exhibits, a film, and a schedule of activi­ ties. The visitor center is accessible for visitors with disabilities; ask about access to the other sites. Service animals are welcome. The M'Clintock House was owned by the Hunts, who rented it to rela­ tives and fellow Quaker abolitionists Mary Ann and Thomas M'Clintock. Convention planners met here on July 16,1848, to draft the Declaration of Sentiments. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton House was the family's home for 15 years. Stanton's activism was based in large part on her experiences as a Seneca Falls housewife. She was 31 years old when she moved here in 1847 with her hus­ band Henry Stanton, a Hunt House lawyer and abolitionist lecturer, and three boys. Th
To Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge 3mi 5km 20 5 ay a r d West B Cemetery S E N E C A Waterloo Memorial Day Museum li a m s E as St r AN GA e et t M a in St r e et Hunt House AY U Wi l C S t r ee t North 414 River Road 0 0 0.1 0.5 Kilometer 0.1 0.5 Mile FA L L S et Sene ton ing Wa sh Seneca Falls Visitor Center and Seneca Museum S t r ee t Lock 96 Cay e Stat People’s Park CANAL D CA 20 Ovid Street t Stree rch Chu NE 414 National Women’s Hall of Fame S t ree t et Bridge Stre 20 Eas t Thurber Drive S t r e et VAN CLEEF LAKE Elizabeth Cady Stanton House ca t SE Waterloo Library and Historical Society Washington West n Pa Strerk et Stree Street WAT E R LO O M ai Locks Wesleyan Chapel F a ll 5 M’Clintock House Seneca Falls Historical Society Declaration Park 414 HISTORIC AREA OF WATERLOO SENECA FALLS HISTORIC DISTRICT Stre Visitor Center Clinton Street Virginia Women’s Rights National Historical Park Mynderse Street 96 uga Stre Stre et et To Exit 41, New York State Thruway 90 3mi 5km East rd Baya Stre et To Cayuga Lake State Park 2mi 3km
Women’s Rights National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Women’s Rights National Historical Park The Wesleyan Chapel 72 years after ‘The Declaration of Independence’ was signed, 300 people met at the Wesleyan Chapel to protest the laws and customs that discriminated against women. Here they signed a new document, ‘The Declaration of Sentiments’. Both of these documents challenged the status quo and both of them were just the beginning of a years-long struggle for freedom. It would take another 72 years after the convention before women were given the right to vote. Like the movement, the chapel underwent many changes, but its significance as a cradle of liberty was not forgotten. Origins In 1843 a small group of reform-minded Seneca Falls residents declared they were forming a Wesleyan Methodist church. This followed a national trend that had begun several years earlier when antislavery members of the Methodist Episcopal Church decided to break away and organize a new church that condemned slavery. The Seneca Falls Wesleyan Methodists set to work building their new church, and by October 1843 the building was completed. An article about the church published in the True Wesleyan described its appearance: “[The Chapel is] of brick, 44 x 64, with a gallery on three sides, and is well finished, though, as it should be, it is plain.” The spirit of reform that inspired the Seneca Falls First Woman’s Rights Convention was already present in the early use of the chapel. Antoinette Brown, the first ordained female minister in America, spoke about the violence in Kansas Territory at the chapel in May 1855. Noted abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass also spoke in the chapel. During the turbulent period leading to the Civil War, the Wesleyan Chapel played a pivotal role in keeping the issue of slavery front-and-center in the village of Seneca Falls. Minutes of the First Woman’s Rights Convention held in the Wesleyan Chapel, July 19 and 20, 1848. Transition The year 1872 marked the beginning of the chapel’s conversion from a place of worship to a series of businesses, almost symbolically at the time the women’s rights movement splintered. After the Wesleyan Methodists moved into a new church on Fall Street, the chapel was transformed into Johnson Hall, a public auditorium where speeches, fairs, and performances were held. By the end of the nineteenth century the building’s name had changed to the Johnson Opera House, and through the first half of the twentieth century it was used for a number of purposes, including furniture store, movie theater, car garage and repair shop, and laundromat. Although the building underwent numerous renovations during this time, its connection to the women’s rights movement was not forgotten. Harriot Stanton Blatch, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s youngest daughter, returned in 1908 to place a commemorative plaque on the wall of the opera house, and celebrations held in 1915 and 1948 marked the 100th anniversary of Stanton’s birthday and the Seneca Falls Convention, respectively. A marker was placed on the corner of Fall and Mynderse Streets in the 1930s to give silent testimony to the historic importance of the site. Despite many changes, the building continued to be associated with the women’s rights movement. National Park The Seneca Falls Garage on the corner of Fall and Mynderse Streets, ca. 1920. The 1960s and ‘70s witnessed a resurgence in women’s rights activism. Renewed interest in the Seneca Falls Convention led to an effort to preserve the Wesleyan Chapel in recognition of its importance in American history. In 1980 President Jimmy Carter signed legislation authorizing the establishment of Women’s Rights National Historical Park, and in 1985 the National Park Service acquired the chapel and held a design competition to determine the chapel’s preservation treatment. The winning architects, Ann Wills Marshall and Ray Kinoshita, created a monument incorporating material from the original building to commemorate the First Woman’s Rights Convention. The Chapel Today Wesleyan Chapel around 1890 when it was used as an opera house. Beginning in 2009 the Wesleyan Chapel underwent another alteration, one that ensures that future generations can visit the site of America’s second revolution for freedom. Weather-related damage to the historic fabric of the monument led the National Park Service to determine that the best course of action was to enclose the space and extend the roof over the entire structure. Because no period photographs of the original chapel exist, this design is considered a rehabilitation rather than a faithful re-creation. The new design allows for quiet contemplation and helps visitors connect with the site where the crusade for women’s rights formally began. The location of the seating that adorned the Wesleyan Chapel from its inception in 1848 is unknown. The pews inside the Wesleyan Chapel were constructed for the First Con
Women’s Rights National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Women’s Rights National Historical Park The First Wave Statue Exhibit The statues in the lobby of the Visitor Center represent the first wave of women’s rights activists in the United States: more than 300 women and men organized and participated in the first Women’s Rights Convention. The sculpture includes statues of twenty people: Mary Ann and Thomas M’Clintock, Lucretia and James Mott, Jane and Richard Hunt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Martha Wright, and eleven “anonymous” participants who represent the men and women who attended the Convention but did not sign the “Declaration of Sentiments.” The Convention On July 19 and 20, 1848, more than 300 people attended the first Women’s Rights Convention in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Seneca Falls, New York. The guiding theme of the Convention presented in the “Declaration of Sentiments” declared that “all men and women are created equal.” The document went on to demand equal rights for women in property and custody laws, educational opportunities, and participation in the church, professions, and politics. This Convention was the beginning of a seventy-two year battle to gain the right for women to vote in the United States. Despite the active leadership of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Martha Wright, many people still do not know who these women, or their male supporters, were. The bronze statues executed by Lloyd Lillie are the near life-size rendition of the first wave of the women’s rights activists. The Artist Lloyd Lillie, Professor Emeritus, Boston University, and two assistants sculpted the statues out of clay. Photographs and live models were used to create the movement, facial expressions, and size of the statues. In a foundry owned and operated by a woman, the figures were cast in bronze, an alloy of copper and tin. The weight process caused the statues to lose five percent of their size. The sculpture was commissioned by the National Park Service for Women’s Rights National Historical Park Visitor Center, which opened in August, 1993. If you would like to view the eight-minute video Portrait of a Sculpture, documenting the making of the statues, please ask the ranger at the information desk. Key to the Statues The statues of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass face the main entrance to the Visitor Center. Represented are the five women who organized the first Women’s Rights Convention and the men who supported them.. Organizers of the Convention Men who supported the Organizers Unidentified Convention Attendees Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton spearheaded the call for the Convention and wrote the first draft of the “Declaration of Sentiments” out of a strong sense of injustice and righteous indignation at the plight of women. She later became one of the most important and persistent leaders of human rights in United States history. Frederick Douglass Frederick Douglass, a former slave and prominent abolitionist lecturer, published the North Star, one of the few African-American antislavery newspapers in the United States. At the first Women’s Rights Convention, he publicly seconded Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s highly controversial motion for the right of women to vote. Lucretia and James Mott Lucretia and James Mott were influential Quaker abolitionists and merchants from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Motts refused to sell slave-made products, including cotton and sugar, in their store. Lucretia Mott was a respected Quaker minister. During the Convention, Lucretia presented a lecture and James chaired one of the sessions. Mary Ann and Thomas M’Clintock Mary Ann and Thomas M’Clintock, leaders in Quaker reform and abolition, moved to Waterloo in 1836. Mary Ann and Lucretia Mott wrote the Female Anti-Slavery Society’s appeal in 1832. In response to the call for women’s rights, the M’Clintocks hosted a meeting in their home where the “Declaration of Sentiments” was written for the first Women’s Rights Convention. Martha Wright Martha Wright participated in the Convention activities while pregnant with her seventh child. She later embarked on a distinguished career in human rights, presiding over several conventions and holding office in women’s rights associations. She was Lucretia Mott’s sister. Jane and Richard Hunt Jane and Richard Hunt were Waterloo philanthropists who supported human rights causes. They hosted the tea party that led to the call for the first Women’s Rights Convention in the United States. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA
Women’s Rights National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Women’s Rights National Historical Park Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Life in Seneca Falls Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her growing family lived in Seneca Falls from 1847 to 1862. During that time Stanton helped organize the 1848 First Woman’s Rights Convention and launched the reform movement for women’s rights to which she dedicated the rest of her life. Growing Up Elizabeth Cady was born in Johnstown, New York on November 12, 1815, the daughter of Daniel Cady, a lawyer, a judge, and land speculator, and Margaret Livingston Cady. Elizabeth was educated at a local boys school and graduated from the Troy Female Seminary in Troy, New York in 1832. She met Henry Brewster Stanton in Peterboro, New York, at the home of her cousin, philanthropist Gerrit Smith. Henry was a popular abolitionist speaker and frequently stopped at the Smith home in the course of his lecture circuit. Against her family’s wishes, she married Henry on May 1, 1840, in a ceremony that omitted the vow “to obey.” Their honeymoon was a trip to the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, where Henry was a delegate representing the American Anti-Slavery Society. Life in Seneca Falls that the women would sit at the rear of the hall, but not participate. Lucretia Mott, the Quaker reformer, was among the group sent from the floor. In the women’s section she met Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who shared her indignation at this treatment of women. Stanton and Mott became friends, and vowed to hold a convention, immediately upon returning to the United States, to discuss the injustices against women. At the 1840 Convention, elected women delegates were refused admission because of their sex. After a prolonged debate, it was decided Elizabeth Cady Stanton (center) with her sons Daniel (right) and Henry (left) in 1848. When the Stantons finished with their London trip, they returned to Johnstown, where Henry studied law with Judge Cady. After Henry passed the bar exam, they set up housekeeping and started a family in Albany and then moved to Boston. Henry joined a law practice and they both became active in reform circles. They moved to Seneca Falls in 1847, as Henry was in poor health and needed a change. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s father invited her and her family to live in a house he owned at 32 Washington Street. In June 1847, Daniel Cady transfered the deed to the property to his daughter. She later wrote in her autobiography: “The general discontent I felt with women’s portion as wife, mother, housekeeper, physician, and spiritual guide, the chaotic conditions into which everything fell without constant supervision, impressed me with a strange feeling that some active measures should be taken to remedy the wrongs…of women.” In Seneca Falls Elizabeth Cady Stanton first experienced the difficulties facing a wife and mother in an isolated 19th-century household. She lacked the intellectual and cultural stimulation she had enjoyed in Boston and found herself overwhelmed by childcare and housework. Henry B. Stanton in 1840. Elizabeth Cady Stanton with her second daugher Harriot in 1856. The Stanton family nearly doubled in size while in Seneca Falls. The three brothers who arrived in 1847 were joined by another in 1851, then two sisters in 1852 and 1856, then another brother in 1859. The First Woman’s Rights Convention Alongside Susan B. Anthony: I forged the thunderbolts and she fired them This newfound understanding of women’s “proper sphere” led Stanton to complain vehemently to four other women friends about its injustice at a gathering held July 9, 1848, at the home of Jane and Richard Hunt. These four women (Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann M’Clintock, Martha Wright, and Jane Hunt – all wives and mothers) understood Stanton’s frustrations. Also, as active anti-slavery and temperance reformers, they had experienced discrimination by male coworkers. Together they decided to call a woman’s rights convention to publicly discuss these injustices against women. Lucretia Mott later reminded Stanton, “Remember, the first convention originated with thee.” For Elizabeth Cady Stanton, actually taking the first step to change her unhappy state made all the difference. She began to write, recruit, strategize, network, and organize for the cause of women’s rights. By 1859 her family responsibilities kept her at home with her husband and seven children to look after. Stanton managed to combine her public and private lives by opening her home to those who were free to travel and speak about advocating equal rights for women. She called her home “The Center of the Rebellion.” In May 1851, Amelia Bloomer introduced Susan B. Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Thus began a friendship which lasted over fifty years. As a single woman, Anthony was free of many of the domestic duties that tied Stanton to her home, which allowed Anthony to travel and make speeches promoting women’s rights. To give Stanton t
Women’s Rights National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Women’s Rights National Historical Park The Quaker Influence on the Seneca Falls Convention The women’s rights movement was rooted in the fertile ground of central New York. This area was known for sweeping reform, which burned across the landscape through village, town, and city like a prairie on fire. Much of this reform was due to the numerous members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who made their homes here. At a time in America when women had virtually no rights, these Quakers provided model relationships where men and women worked and lived in equality. How did their influence help make the first Women’s Rights Convention a success? How did their progressive way of living affect us? A look at two of these Quaker families provides the answer. M’Clintock and Hunt Connection Thomas and Mary Ann M’Clintock came from a Quaker community in Philadelphia where Thomas had been acknowledged as a minister. The Quakers did not ordain ministers, but instead recognized certain individuals as gifted. Following a migration of Quakers to new settlements in western Abolition The M’Clintock and the Hunt families were bound together by more than family relations. Both families adamantly opposed slavery and believed their lives should reflect their religious convictions. Richard Hunt’s textile mill produced woolen cloth, purposely avoiding the use of cotton because it was cultivated by southern slaves. This mill once supplied cloth for a suit worn by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840, a suit Garrison proudly proclaimed as having been manufactured free of slave labor. Jane Hunt, organizer of the Seneca Falls Convention Courtesy of Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College Public Action Though Quakers supported abolition, not all did so publicly or participated in discussions of slavery. Thomas and Mary Ann M’Clintock, however, were active supporters of the abolition movement. They had been founders of Philadelphia’s Free Produce Society. Just as a person today might decide to purchase goods manufactured free of child labor, the Free Produce Society promoted a boycott of all goods produced through slave labor. The M’Clintocks continued their boycott of slave-made goods after they moved to Waterloo. Thomas took out ads in the Seneca County Courier which proudly announced that all merchandise carried in his store was made without the use of slave labor. Mary Ann M’Clintock, organizer of the Seneca Falls Convention Courtesy of Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College New York, the M’Clintock family (including Thomas’ niece, Sarah) settled in Waterloo in 1836. They rented a home and store from Waterloo’s wealthiest and most prominent citizen, their in-law Richard Hunt. The Hicksites By 1828, Quakers had separated into two branches: the Orthodox, and the more progressive Hicksites. Most Quakers in the Waterloo area belonged to the Hicksite branch and met in the Junius Monthly Meeting, northwest of the village. The M’Clintocks took an active part in these meetings. Lucretia and James Mott, from Pennsylvania, were also members of the Hicksite Friends. The Progressive Friends and Women’s Rights Among the more traditional Friends, men and women met separately when making decisions in faith affairs. Many Hicksites thought of this as a flaw in Quaker practice, which viewed men and women as equal in the eyes of God; if men and women were equal, why shouldn’t they meet together? By the 1840s, some Hicksite Quakers yearned to correct this and explored the extension of further power to women in the faith. were paid for the same work. Much of the world’s doors were closed to women, and husbands and fathers directed their lives. But women were beginning to clamor for rights and yearned to break free of society’s shackles binding them to kitchen and cradle. These explorations occurred at the same time that many women in America were reaching out for greater control of their lives. Society prohibited women from inheriting property, signing contracts, serving on juries and voting in elections. Most colleges refused to admit women, expecting them to become housewives. Opportunities for employment were limited to teaching or working in textile mills. On average, women were paid only half of what men The Convention The Progressive Friends came into existence just weeks before the groundbreaking event of the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls. Visiting central New York that summer for a variety of reasons, Lucretia Mott attended the yearly gathering in which the Progressive Friends left the Hicksites. On July 9 she joined Mary Ann M’Clintock, Jane Hunt, Martha Wright, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton at a gathering at the Hunt home in Waterloo and heard Stanton vent a lifetime’s worth of pent-up frustration and her “long accumulating discontent” about women’s place in society. Mo

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