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Women's Suffrage Movement in the U.S.

Selected Primary Sources in the Sophia Smith Collection
and College Archives

Ames Family Papers (1844-2005). Including Blanche Ames Ames (1844-1991; Smith Class 1899), suffragist and birth control advocate. Her papers include correspondence, subject files, and political cartoons created by Ames for Suffrage publications.
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Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906),suffragist, abolitionist, temperance leader. Papers (1894-1970) include correspondence, photographs, biographical articles, clippings, memorabilia, and information about Anthony memorials.
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Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947), suffragist, pacifist, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Papers (1902-1920) include speeches, circa l900-l920, and correspondence, mainly l9l8-l920, of this national leader.
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Madeleine Z. Doty Papers (1877-1963), lawyer, suffragist, journalist. Papers (1880-1984) include correspondence and an incomplete typescript of her unpublished autobiography.
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Ethel Eyre Valentine Dreier (circa 1872-1958). Papers (1902-1957) include correspondence and publications reflecting her suffrage activity in New York, principally l9l6-19l8.
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Portia Willis (Fitzgerald), with elephants Jennie and Lena carring the 'suffrage plank', 1916
Portia Willis (Fitzgerald) with elephants, carrying the "suffrage plank," at Chicago Republican National Convention, 1916 (Suffrage Collection)
This image is available in SSC Postcards

Portia Willis Fitzgerald (circa 1887-?), suffragist, pacifist, lecturer. Papers (1868-1966) include correspondence, clippings and memorabilia. Known as "The Prettiest Suffragette in New York State," Fitzgerald was an organizer of the New York State Suffrage Association and was especially active 1911-1917.
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Garrison Family Papers (1773-1997) document the abolitionist, women's rights, and other reform activities of William Lloyd Garrison II (1838-1909), Martha Coffin Wright (1806-1875), Lucretia Coffin Mott (1793-1880) and James Mott (1788-1868), and many of their descendants. In the first and second generations there is significant correspondence within the family and with such other leaders of the women's rights movement as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and members of the Blackwell- Stone family. The less prominent but nonetheless interesting suffrage activities of second and third-generation family members are documented in correspondence, speeches, clippings, and printed ephemera. Particularly noteworthy in this second group are papers of William Lloyd Garrison II, active as a speaker and writer from the l880s to his death in l909, and his daughter Eleanor (1880-1974) (see box 24) and two daughters-in-law (see boxes 73-74), active as organizers in the l9l0s in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
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Isabel Howland (1859-1942), suffragist, social reformer. Papers (1888-1903) contain more than 500 letters from suffrage leaders and other activists received by the secretary of the Association for the Advancement of Women and the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, l888-l898.
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Alice Morgan Wright (1881-1975), suffragist, animal rights advocate. Papers (1880s-1978) contain correspondence and printed materials that document her suffrage activities. In addition to the radical suffrage movement in England, Wright was involved in the Collegiate Equal Suffrage League and the New York state suffrage campaign.
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There are many other manuscript collections containing small amounts of material relating to the women's suffrage movement. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection for more information on our holdings.

Suffrage buttons, n.d.
Suffrage buttons, n.d. (Suffrage Collection)
Subject Collections:

The Suffrage Collection consists mainly of printed materials (manuals, proceedings, reports, speeches, broadsides, legislative documents, postcards, etc.) in the following categories: Congressional Documents (l867-l9l7), National Organizations, National American Woman Suffrage Association, Biographical Material, Organizing by States, Anti-Suffrage, and Miscellaneous; and some international material as well, especially from Great Britain.  View finding aid

The Women's Rights Collection contains pamphlets, convention programs, and other printed materials from the l840s onward.  View finding aid
Oral History Collections:

Suffragist Oral History Project conducted and published by the Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley (1974). Series of bound transcripts.

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The Suffragist from Tea Parties to Prison: five published oral history transcripts, bound in one volume. Feminist History Research Project; Berkeley, University of California (1975).

The Smith College Archives contain a large collection of materials relating to students' suffrage activities, especially circa l900-1910, including scrapbooks, letters, and college publications.
The Sophia Smith Collection has over thirty periodical titles relating to the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements. Scattered issues of other suffrage periodicals can also be found in the Frances Casement Collection.  View Periodicals title list

For secondary sources, see the Browsing and Reference collections in the SSC Reading Room.


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