Women's Suffrage History Trail
This trail is a work in progress- more entries will be added soon along with a nationwide route divided into regional sections.
This building has been the home of the National Women's Party since 1929. This historic structure is also the home of the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument which preserves and shared the histories of women who dedicated their lives to the promotion and advancement of equal rights for women. Permanent exhibit galleries, the first feminist library, and hundreds of artifacts are on display in addition to special programs and events throughout the year. The monument is named after women's suffrage leaders Alva Belmont and Alice Paul, and visitors can explore the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument free of charge thanks to the National Park Service and others who helped to make this building a national monument in 2016.
This monument honors the leading advocates of women's suffrage in Tennessee. The 19th Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote to all Americans, became law when the Tennessee legislature became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920. On August 26th, 2016, the Women’s Suffrage Monument was unveiled to pay tribute to all of the women who advocated on behalf of ratification. The statue will later be moved to the grounds of the state capitol and features four leaders of the movement: Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville, J. Frankie Pierce of Nashville, Sue Shelton White of Jackson, and Abby Crawford Milton of Chattanooga. The monument also features national suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt.
Dedicated in 2006, this monument honors leading advocates of women's suffrage in Tennessee. The 19th Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote to all Americans, became law when the Tennessee legislature became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920. Between 1995 and 2006, Tennessee's Suffrage Coalition worked to raise awareness of this history, as well as secure funds to create this lasting memorial to the suffragists from Tennessee. On August 26, 2006, the Suffrage Coalition celebrated their success and dedicated this life-size, bronze statue featuring three of the most influential Tennessee suffragists. The statue depicts Lizzie Crozier French of Knoxville and Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville, two leading advocates of women's rights who both served as Presidents of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association. Also depicted is Elizabeth Avery Meriwether of Memphis. In 1876, Meriwether followed Susan B. Anthony and other women who attempted to register and vote. She also called the first public meeting on the subject of women's rights in Tennessee in that same year.
The Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 was a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1913, organized by the suffragist Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The march was scheduled on the day before President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration to "march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded", as the official program stated. The parade included ten bands, five mounted brigades, 26 floats, and around 8000 marchers, including many notables such as Helen Keller, who was scheduled to speak at Constitution Hall after the march. After a non-eventful beginning to the march, the marchers encountered crowds, mostly male, who jeered and harassed the women. Over 200 women were treated for injuries at local hospitals. The violent actions of the mob discredited the arguments of anti-suffragists who in the past had claimed that they were concerned about the physical welfare of women who might be injured when they tried to cast votes.
On August 18, 1920, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed – by one vote – a motion to ratify the 19th Amendment, a federal measure that extended suffrage to all American citizens regardless of gender. With that vote and the support of the governor, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. With support for the Amendment being fairly limited in other Southern states, Tennessee's action was both symbolic and historically significant--it meant that the 19th Amendment had been ratified by three-fourths of the states--the requirement set forth in Article V of the Constitution prior to the adoption of any Constitutional Amendment. In response, some of the opponents of women’s suffrage, known then as “Antis,” held a protest meeting that saw the extension of suffrage by federal action through the lens of state's rights. On the day following the vote, August 19th, the “Antis” held an historic mass rally at the Ryman Auditorium – later famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry – to protest the result and try somehow to overturn it. Speakers appealed to notions of patriarchy and "traditional" gender roles, as well as playing to anger against the perception that women's suffrage would erode the power of Southern whites. One pro-suffrage newspaper gleefully reported that the meeting failed to attract an audience, while the leading paper of the Antis reported a "monster" crowd in attendance. Well-attended or not, this rear-guard action failed, as Governor A.H. Roberts supported the decision of a majority of state legislators and added his signature to the bill.
The Silent Sentinels were members of the National Woman's Party advocating for women's suffrage. They picketed outside the White House for six days a week from January 10, 1917 to June 4, 1919, the day the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in Congress. They received the nickname "Silent Sentinels" for choosing to remain silent while picketing, the words on their banners and their stoic nature making the most powerful statements. They were subjected to harassment and violence while picketing and were later arrested and jailed. President Woodrow Wilson released them from jail and publicly supported women's suffrage for the first time in 1918. Their work help lead to the passing and ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment and contributes to a larger history of women's rights in the United States.
This historical marker was dedicated in 2014 and commemorates the February 23, 1913 meeting that occurred here as leaders and supporters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association during the march between New York City and Washington, DC. On February 12, a group of women called "The Army of the Hudson" began marching from New York City to the Capital. They were met by supporters at Overlea Town Hall on February 23, after a journey of 230 miles. While only sixteen women completed the entire march, thousands of women participated in a segment of the 17 day, 230-mile trek. In addition, a total of 8,000 women travelled to Washington for the March 3, 1913 Women's Suffrage Parade. Between the seventeen day march that included numerous participants and observers and the parade in Washington DC, the march and parade brought national attention to voting rights for women.
Women's suffragist Alice Paul was introduced to the suffrage movement on a sprawling 265-acre family farm called Paulsdale where she was born in 1885. Paul's spacious family home boasted electricity, indoor plumbing, and a telephone, but the Pauls still lived simply and according to Quaker teaching: isolated from society but not completely closed off. Alice Paul's childhood on the farm shaped her future steadfastness with an adage about farm work: "When you put your hand to the plow, you can’t put it down until you get to the end of the row.” The home is now both a museum with exhibits related to Alice Paul's life and the women's suffrage movement, as well as the Alice Paul Institute which works to promote gender equity. The museum's permanent exhibit, "Alice Paul: In Pursuit of Ordinary Equality" is open for self-guided tours while the organization also offers guided tours with reservations.
The Pickens-Salley House is a historic home thought to built in c.1829 by Governor Andrew Pickens (1779-1838) for his son Francis W. Pickens (1807-1869), who also served as governor. The house, which was originally located in Edgefield County, is also significant for its association with suffragist and real estate developer Eulalie Chafee Salley (1883-1975), who moved it to Aiken in 1929. Salley was one of the first women in the state involved in historic preservation and she led the effort to convince the state to ratify the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The house was relocated here in 1989 and is now known as the Alumni House for the University of South Carolina Aiken.
The Portrait Monument depicts Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. It was commissioned by the National Woman’s Party and sculpted by Adelaide Johnson. The sculpture was given to the US Capitol in February 1921 after the passage of the 19th Amendment and was installed in the Rotunda in 1997.
In 1919, members of several women's suffrage associations held a series of rallies at this precise location. For example, several hundred students joined the University of Wisconsin Suffrage Association in 1919 and held a series of protests in front of the state capitol in April. These rallies, along with many previous years of effort, led the state legislature of Wisconsin to become the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919.
Theodora Winton Youmans was a prominent journalist and suffragist in both Waukesha and the state of Wisconsin. She served as a writer, editor, and publisher for the city's newspaper, "The Waukesha Freeman" for approximately fifty years, using her platform to advocate for women's suffrage and promote active citizenship among the city's women. In 1913, she was elected as president of the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association and as a member of the executive board for the Waukesha County Equal Suffrage Association. Part of her legacy lives on today through the Waukesha Area League of Women Voters.
The Women's National Historic Park commemorates the first Women’s Rights Convention, which was held here in Seneca Falls on July 19-20, 1848. The convention was organized by a group of women's rights activists led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), who was a Quaker and known for her excellent oratorical skills. The convention marked the beginning of the women's rights and suffrage movements in the country. Elizabeth Cady Stanton fought for these issues for the majority of her adult life and was one of the foremost political figures of the 19th century. Just over six acres in size, the park consists of two properties associated with the convention and the women's suffrage movement—Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House—and a Visitor Center, which is located next to the church. Other landmarks related to the convention are on the Votes for Women History Trail, including the M'Clintock House and the Richard Hunt House, both of which are located just to the west in the town of Waterloo. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Located in a community that is widely regarded as the birthplace of the women's rights movement, the National Women's Hall of Fame offers exhibits that share the stories of women who have made significant contributions in a wide range of areas including science, sports, education, arts, business, government, and philanthropy. The organization was established in 1969 and is currently housed in the Helen Mosher Barben Building in downtown Seneca Falls. The Hall is the oldest membership organization in the country devoted to showcasing the achievements of women. In 2020, the Hall relocated to the newly renovated Seneca Knitting Mill. It is contributing property of the Seneca Falls Village Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located in the former home of the famous women's right's activist the museum is named after, the National Susan B. Anthony Museum offers exhibits that interpret the history of women's suffrage and the life and influence of Susan B. Anthony. One of the most influential Americans of the late 19th century, Anthony challenged the assumption that men and women should occupy different classes of citizenship. She was arrested for voting in 1872 and used the event to publicize the lack of political rights for women. Anthony worked with other suffragists such as close friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton and created the National Woman Suffrage Association. The museum has a variety of artifacts related to this organization, as well as a collection of documents for researchers.
1916-1917 headquarters for Broome County Women's Suffrage Party. 1st Assembly District Director: Margaret C. Topliff, 2nd Assembly District Director: Catherine R. Bartoo. (Original building demolished.)
Located at the southern end of the Mall in New York City’s Central Park, the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument honors the lives and work of Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony. Sponsored by the all-volunteer non-profit group Monumental Women and designed by renowned sculptor Meredith Bergmann, the monument consists of three over-life-sized bronze likenesses of the early women’s rights advocates on an elongated oval granite pedestal. Unveiled in August 2020, it commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees women the right to vote. The first to be added to Central Park since 1965, the Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument is also the first in the park’s history to depict actual women, as opposed to fictional female characters.
Originally constructed in 1840 for the family of General Simon Perkins, this house in Warren, OH is better known for its most famous owner, women's suffrage leader Harriet Taylor Upton. Upton occupied the house from 1887-1931, and from 1903-1905 the home served as the headquarters of the National American Woman's Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The house deteriorated in the second half of the 20th century and would have been demolished, had it not been for the efforts of local preservationists who refurbished the home. The Upton House was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 for its significance to the Women's Suffrage Movement.
Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland, OH was the site of the Cleveland Woman's Suffrage Party headquarters starting in 1912. On June 7, 1916, the Plain Dealer verified the location of the Woman's Suffrage Party headquarters, and reported a jubilant celebration after East Cleveland voters approved a Charter Amendment extending suffrage rights to women in municipal elections. Ohio became the first state east of the Mississippi to vote on issues of universal suffrage (1912), and East Cleveland became one of the first cities to grant woman suffrage for municipal issues (1916); a decision that was upheld the following year by the Ohio Supreme Court. Following the ratification of the 19th Amendment for women's suffrage, the Cleveland Woman's Suffrage Party disbanded in May 1920 and reorganized as the Cleveland League of Women Voters.
Susan B. Anthony, one of the most important figures of the 19th century, was born in this house in 1820. Born into a Quaker family, Anthony was a staunch abolitionist, a supporter of temperance, and an advocate for women's rights. Over time, she became best known as one of the most significant leaders in the movement to pass laws that would recognize and guarantee women's right to vote. The house now serves as a small museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built by Anthony's father in 1817. The museum features period items, literature, and memorabilia related to Susan's early life and legacy as a suffragist. Her Quaker upbringing is central to her life and work and is a central theme in the museum. Perhaps the most striking part of the museum is a visit to the room in which Susan was born.
Constructed in 1807 and home to Margaret Fuller until the age of 16, this home become one of the first settlement houses in the United States in 1902. At that time, the staff of the Margaret Fuller House worked to help women who had recently arrived in the United States with a variety of services. Today, the historic home is still operating programs that fulfill the vision of Progressive reformers with an emphasis on education and social services.
This marker commemorates the National Women's Conference on November 18-21, 1977, which was held here in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts (then called the Sam Houston Coliseum). The conference was the first large-scale political gathering of women since the Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Around 2,000 delegates from all fifty states and six territories participated, and between 15,000-20,000 others were present as observers. Generally speaking, the purpose of the conference was to address the discrimination against women. Participants assessed the role of women in American society by examining several issues including reproductive rights, sexual orientation, national healthcare, education reform, and the Equal Rights Amendment—the proposed amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee equal rights for all Americans regardless of gender. The conference produced a pamphlet called the National Plan of Action that listed 26 demands to improve women's lives. The conference contributed significantly to the women's rights movement and also to Houston's social and cultural development.
A Texas Historical Marker honoring the role of Dallas women in achieving full suffrage rights for Texas women was dedicated October 14, 2010, outside the Dallas County Old Red County Courthouse. The marker is located in front of the 1892 Dallas County Courthouse, also known as the Old Red Museum.
The girlhood home of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt; suffragist, founder of the League of Women Voters and activist in the cause for world peace. The site, located on 10 acres, includes a museum and an interpretive/education center.
The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial was erected by the Nineteenth Amendment Celebration Committee of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota. Planning began in 1994 and the memorial was dedication on August 26, 2000. The memorial consists of a garden planted in the suffragist colors and a 90-foot trellis honoring 25 leaders of the suffrage movement in Minnesota.