New York State Women's History

ABOUT

The New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network is producing this website as an endeavor to recognize and promote women’s heritage in New York State and in particular, to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote that came to fruition in 1917. This website is a direct result of Network members and others associated with the history of the women’s right to vote and those women who made it happen.

The main goals of this collaborative effort include promoting the woman suffrage trail across New York State.

OUR STORIES

1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse
All out of proportion to their numbers, people affiliated with the 1816 Farmington Quaker Meetinghouse changed America. Believing deeply that "all men and women are created equal," they challenged the country to implement ideals of equality and respect for African Americans, Native Americans, and women. Come and see the place where Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Seneca leaders, and many other reformers debated the future of the country and the world.

Freethought Trail
During the 19th century, west-central New York was what southern California would become in the 20th: the nation’s laboratory for social experimentation. Credit the Erie Canal. Opened in 1825, the Canal flooded the area between Rochester and Syracuse with newcomers, some seeking prosperity, others pursuing a religious or social ideal. Called the Burned-over District for its religious ferment, the region also hosted secular radicalisms. The Freethought Trail celebrates this forgotten history.

Long Island Woman Suffrage Association
The woman suffrage movement found fertile ground in which to grow and flourish on Long Island and many of the women who were responsible for its success call Long Island home. From the west, with its proximity to the excitement of New York City, to the east with it bucolic agricultural and recreational treasures, Long Island played an important role in the battle for equal rights for women. My book, "Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement" tells the story of these wonderful women.

Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation
"Write down those stories you tell your children," Matilda Joslyn Gage instructed her son-in-law. He listened, and we have the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 13 other OZ books. Visit the only home in the country open to the public where Baum lived and see his 1887 photos that guided the restoration of the Gage home.

Suffrage Wagon News Channel
The 1848 women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY was part of of a 72-year struggle leading to the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920.

KEY WOMEN

Louisine Elder Havemeyer
1855-1929
Louisine Elder Havemeyer of New York City and Islip, Long Island was a militant suffragist. She was a suffragist speaker, activist and contributor. She was a co-founder of the National Women’s Party. She created a popular symbol, the "Torch of Liberty” She tried to burn an effigy of Woodrow Wilson, was arrested, jailed and then traveled across the country on the “Prison Special" train raising awareness to influence legislators.

Matilda Joslyn Gage
1826-1898
Matilda Joslyn Gage was a suffragist, Native American activist, an abolitionist, freethinker, & a prolific author, who “was born with a hatred of oppression”.
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Margaret Fuller
May 23, 1810 - July 19, 1850
Margaret Fuller was a Transcendentalist, women's rights advocate, and first woman reporter, foreign correspondent, and war correspondent for the Roman Revolution of 1848-1849 with Horace Greeley's New York Tribune. She initiated "Conversations for Women" in Boston as well as wrote the first American feminist tract, "Woman in the Nineteenth Century," in New York State which inspired the 1848 Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention.

Key Places
Fishkill Landing, New York: Before beginning her new job as first woman reporter for the New York Tribune in December 1844, Margaret spent seven weeks here to transform her Transcendental Dial article, "The Great Lawsuit," into her international bestseller, "Woman in the Nineteenth Century." She regularly visited the women prisoners at Sing Sing to dialogue with them about her book.

The Greeley Home, East 49th Street and Lexington Avenue, Turtle Bay, Manhattan, New York City: Margaret lived with the Greeleys in the countryside just outside the city at this location. Her room looked out onto the East River.

30 Ann Street (rear second floor) near Nassau Street, adjacent to City Hall Park, Manhattan, was the original site of the New York Tribune building where Margaret wrote for and worked with Horace Greeley. Horace Greeley's statue, which was in front of his newspaper building, is now facing it from City Hall Park.

The Margaret Fuller memorial was located at Point O' Woods, Fire Island, New York, but was swept into the sea like Margaret was in 1913. That site was selected because Margaret could see that point from the sinking ship in the hurricane as she drowned on July 19, 1850. Lillie Devereux Blake organized the creation of the memorial in 1901.
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Sarah Birdsall Otis Edey
1872-1940
A resident of New York City and Bellport, Long Island she was a leader in the suffrage cause. At the Edey house in Bellport many functions were held to make women aware of the movement. She was a talented poet and playwright who presented her works there. After suffrage was achieved, Edey became well-known as an early organizer and later President of the Girl Scouts of America.

Ruth Carpenter Litt
Ruth Carpenter Litt, a Patchogue, LI suffragist was an innovative farmer and wealthy landowner who went on to become a major political force.  Her political savvy and generosity helped get the vote for women.  She led a highly organized district campaign to enroll her newly enfranchised sisters.  Her work led to a revolutionary change in the election districts of Brookhaven, LI. She encouraged women to run for office too.
Edna Buckman Kearns
1882-1934
Edna Buckman Kearns was a grassroots suffrage organizer in New York City and Long Island, a Quaker writer and speaker best known for her “Spirit of 1776” suffrage campaign wagon, a symbol of the movement’s patriotic protest theme.

Rose Schineiderman
1882-1972
Rose Schneiderman was a renowned feminist, labor activist, talented organizer and speaker. The Women’s Trade Union League, of which she was a leader, supported woman suffrage as a means of achieving gains for working class women. Rose traveled NY State promoting suffrage and unionism.

Suffrage Tent
The Suffrage tent at the Suffolk County Fair at Riverhead, L I, NY was a place for child care. In 1913, Suffragists could go about campaigning for women’s rights confident their children were well cared for in the Suffrage tent.
Rosalie Gardiner Jones
1883-1978
Rosalie Jones, a tireless Long Island suffragist, was famous for doing the unusual and unexpected. Rosalie used marches, parades and wagons to lure crowds and draw attention to the suffrage movement. Two notable marches took place in 1913 as supporters hiked, with Jones leading them, to Albany to deliver a petition to the new governor and to Washington, DC to participate in a protest parade before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration.

Hester C. Jeffrey
1832-1934
Worked with Susan B. Anthony
National Association of Colored Women
Susan B. Anthony Suffrage Club

Mary Burnett Talbert

1866-1923
Founder of the Buffalo Phyllis Wheatley Club
National Council of Colored Women
Empire State Federation of Women’s Clubs
Good will ambassador during WWI

Lillie Devereux Blake
Lillie Devereux Blake (August 12, 1833 - December 30, 1913) was a writer, reporter, and suffragette who signed the 1876 Centennial Women's Rights Declaration. She was president of the New York State Woman's Suffrage Association from 1879 to 1890 and of the New York City Woman's Suffrage League from 1886 to 1900. Lillie spearheaded the creation of the Margaret Fuller Memorial Tablet and Pavilion at Point O'Woods, Fire Island, in 1901.
Alva Vanderbilt Belmont
1853-1933
Belmont, who lived in New York City and Long Island, She was a strategist, organizer and major financial supporter of the Suffrage Movement. She founded the Political Equality League and co-founded the National Women’s Party for whom she bought headquarters in Washington, DC. She wrote, had suffrage settlement houses, held retreats, paid fines, sponsored rallies, marched and more to give women the vote.

Sarah J. Smith Thompson Garnet
1835-1911
First black woman in NYC to be named as a principal, did so for almost 40 years
Organized the only black Equal Suffrage League in Brooklyn
Woman’s Loyal League, honoring the work of Ida B. Wells
National Association of Colored Women

Elizabeth Oakes Smith
1806-1893
Elizabeth Oakes Smith lived in Patchogue, Long Island. She was an eloquent speaker and writer who championed women’s rights. She spoke at the 1852 Women’s Rights Convention. Also she was the presidential and vice presidential candidate on the Woman’s Suffrage ticket in the 1860’s

Horace Greeley
Horace Greeley hired Margaret Fuller as the first woman social and literary critic, then as first woman foreign and war correspondent in Europe. He was an important man who supported women's rights.
Victoria Earle Matthews

1861-1907
Journalist and author
Founder, Women’s Loyal Union of New York and Brooklyn to assist Ida B. Wells
“The Value of Race Literature”
National Federation of Afro-American Women
National Association of Colored Women
White Rose Mission

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