Beyond Susan B. Anthony: Who really won the vote for the women of New York State?
Millions of American women contributed to the drive for the vote in the United States, and New York State was home to many leaders of the movement. However, the suffrage leaders who are most recognized today – Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton – did not actually achieve their goal, since they were both dead before the suffrage victory. And most New Yorkers do not realize that women in NYS won the vote in 1917 – three years before the national constitutional amendment was passed.
So who was responsible for winning the vote for women, and why was New York the first state east of the Mississippi to allow women full suffrage in all elections? This talk will move beyond the well-known Seneca Falls Declaration of 1848 to introduce a new set of strategies and cast of characters: Miriam Leslie, Carrie Chapman Catt, Mary Garret Hay, Rose Schneiderman, Mary Talbert, and a flock of leaflet-dropping aviatrixes, among others.
Susan Ingalls Lewis is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz, where she teaches courses in both New York State History and Women’s History. Dr. Lewis is currently co-editing of a volume of essays (Suffrage and its Limits: The New York Story, for SUNY Press) examining how women gained the vote in New York, what they did with it, and exploring the unfinished agenda of women’s rights in New York State.