History of Woman Suffrage


History of Woman Suffrage


I got some questions about what the heck these books are, which I’ll take as an invitation.

The History of Woman Suffrage was originally intended as one volume, to be edited in the centennial summer of ‘76.

It ended up 3,000 pages published throughout the 1880s (& more later).

It’s the story of the movement from the POV of ElizCadyStanton, Susan B Anthony & Matilda Joslyn Gage - in other words, the National Woman Suffrage Association and its tactics and strategies.

It omits most of what Lucy Stone and the American Assoc. were doing, and the History scarcely mentions African-American suffragists - about whose work they didn’t know or didn’t bother to include. Probably some of both.

What it does include is awesomely detailed: Proceedings of conventions - with a strong emphasis on Seneca Falls as The Beginning.

Important correspondence, details of state campaigns. An essay about women of the Revolutionary period, like Phillis Wheatly & Anne Hutchinson. Stanton’s 25-page eulogy for Lucretia Mott, and her reminiscence of the day she first met Susan B.

Each volume has its own epigraph:

Volume I: "Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Volume II: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.

Volume III: “Women are citizens of the United States, entitled to all the rights, privileges and immunities guaranteed to citizens by the national Constitution."

Lisa Tetrault describes the History as a “valentine to the movement” - a record of the past & a prod for the future.

Stanton & Anthony were in their 60s when it was published. The 3d volume begins: “our earthly endeavors must end in the near future...Into younger hands we must soon resign our work.”

I imagine they woke each day believing they would live to see victory-- knowing they might not. 


Daily Suffragist




-10- Daily Suffragist on Twitter- -I got some questions about what the heck these books are- which I’ll take as an invitation- The History of Woman Suffrage was originally intended as one volume- to be edited in th.png


Daily Suffragist, “History of Woman Suffrage,” Daily Suffragist, accessed June 20, 2024, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/202.

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