A joint session of Congress, 1864


A joint session of Congress, 1864


Initially popular as a curiosity, Anna Dickinson gradually established a reputation as a political thinker whose endorsement was in demand. She stumped for Republicans across four states during the Civil War, the first woman ever paid to campaign. Photo: Mathew Brady c.1863

In gratitude for her successful electioneering, the party invited her to speak to Congress, the first woman ever.

On January 16, 1864, with Pres. Lincoln & Mary Todd present, as well as VP Hamlin, Senators, and Representatives, Anna Dickinson spoke for more than an hour.

While Lincoln listened, Dickinson enumerated his shortcomings: namely, his generosity to Confederate states and his meager protection for those formerly enslaved. Grandly, she closed by endorsing Lincoln for a second term, as “the Hour” called for a steady hand.

Can we take another minute for this? A 21-year-old woman dressed down Abraham Lincoln in front of a joint session of Congress, in the middle of the Civil War. She spoke for 70 minutes without notes while the President listened. And no one’s ever heard of her. #Suffrage100

@DaphneW84611349 Yes, definitely. Plus she alienated a lot of people, and had a long, sad end. Stay tuned over the next few days!

In Gallman's bio he says that she irritated Stanton & Anthony by siding against them in the 15th Amdt fight. She fought with Frances Willard and refused to support temperance. She was an alcoholic for many years, FWIW. So when things were hard, she had few friends.


Daily Suffragist






Daily Suffragist, “A joint session of Congress, 1864,” Daily Suffragist, accessed June 24, 2024, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/175.

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