The Long Road to the 19th Amendment

The Long Road to the 19th Amendment was the topic of the July 7, 2020, League of Women Voters Topeka-Shawnee County Tuesday Topics presentation by Diana Carlin, Professor Emerita of Communication at Saint Louis University. Normally these public meetings are held at the library, however, with COVID-19 the meeting was held virtually. We’ve included Carlin’s recorded presentation and provided highlights of the presentation below. The library is a partner with the League of Women Voters Topeka-Shawnee County in sharing non-partisan civic information.

Women faced many barriers to speaking out, including:

  • Religious barriers
  • Education
  • Political
  • Cultural
  • Anti-Suffrage Arguments

Early advocates for women’s rights include:

  • Abigail Adams
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Abigail Kelly Foster
  • William Lloyd Garrison
  • Sarah and Angelina Grimke
  • Jane and Richard Hunt
  • Mary Ann and Thomas M’Clintock
  • Lucretia Coffin Mott
  • Alice Paul
  • Maria Miller Stewart
  • Sojourner Truth
  • Frances Wright
  • Martha Coffin Wright

Watch Diana Carlin’s presentation for an overview of these early advocates for women’s rights. Learn more about those people who most interest you using library Research Databases like History Reference Center and Gale in Context: Biography

Leaders at Seneca Falls and beyond include:

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Lucretia Coffin Mott
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • Abigail Kelley Foster
  • Lucy Stone (married to Dr. Henry Blackwell)
  • Matilda Joslyn Gage (mother of L. Frank Baum)
  • Clarina Howard Nichols – Kansas
  • Susanna Medora Salter, Argonia Ks elected 1887, First woman mayor in country

Did you know that British Suffragettes were more militant than the American Suffragists? This article from the British Library explains some differences between how the terms Suffragist and Suffragette were used in Britain. Read more in books and articles about these women leaders in the American Suffragist movement.

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Suffrage Work in Kansas

Kansas led the way with early efforts for full suffrage in Kansas. Suffragists faced divisions and compromises to get the vote. “Women’s Suffrage” from the Kansas Historical Society highlights Kansas participation in the national movement.

Women who were active in Kansas efforts to secure women the right to vote

  • Ida B. Wells Barnett
  • Carrie Lane Chapman Catt
  • Alice Paul
  • Mary Church Terrell
  • Dr. Anna Howard Shaw
  • Frances Willard

Did you know that Phoebe Burn is called “The Mother Who Saved Suffrage” for her role in Tennessee in the ratification of the 19th amendment? Find her story and many more in books and articles about women’s suffrage and women’s rights for kids.

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Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book discussion leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, and frequent library customer. She loves her kids, being a librarian, living in Topeka, and helping people form connections and community. (She's the Community Connections Librarian!) She reads a new book every few days, but is enjoying the audiobook of "Empress of Forever" by Max Gladstone, the ebook "When We Were Magic" by Sarah Gailey and is eagerly awaiting John Scalzi's "The Last Emperox" in April!