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Longings seized her

Sarah Grimke, born in 1792, was studying with a tutor when she reported: “Increasingly, during those classes, longings had seized me, foreign, torrential aches that overran my heart. I wanted to know things, to become someone. Oh, to be a son.” I am reading about Sarah Grimke, an early activist for abolition and women’s rights, […]

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Let them be sea captains

“We would have every arbitrary barrier thrown down,” said Margaret Fuller, writer and women’s rights advocate, who was born in 1810. “We would have every path laid open to women as freely as to men. If you ask me what offices they may fill, I reply—any. I do not care what case you put; let […]

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A little progress

Women still hold only about one-fourth of the seats in Congress, concludes Ms. magazine in its winter 2021 issue. They hold 27 percent of the seats in the House—and 24 percent of the seats in the Senate. That’s progress—but not enough progress.

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Was the battle over on August 26, 1920?

In 1921, Alice Paul answered: “It is incredible to me that anyone should think that the fight for women’s equality has been won.” And, as we all know, the larger battle for diversity and equality in this country is still ongoing.

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Susan B. Anthony votes

Susan B. Anthony and more than 150 other women around the country voted—illegally—in 1872. The judge at Susan B. Anthony’s trial was federal Judge Ward Hunt. Anthony described him as “a small-brained, pale-faced, prim-looking man.” Judge Hunt made one BIG mistake when he asked: “Has the prisoner anything to say why sentence shall not be […]

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Who couldn’t vote in 1891?

The Illinois state constitution stated: “Idiots, lunatics, paupers, felons and women shall not be entitled to vote.” That law, we think, provides an indication of the status of women in the United States—and of the need for women’s suffrage.

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Suffragette or suffragist?

The term suffragette was most often used to refer to British women. American women generally preferred to be called suffragists—because they wanted to distance themselves from the more militant suffragettes in Great Britain. When the term suffragette was used in the United States, it was usually a term of derision or disrespect. The distinction between […]

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Who can vote?

In 1891, the Illinois constitution declared: “Idiots, lunatics, paupers, felons and women shall not be entitled to vote.”

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Trust in God

During the struggle for women’s suffrage, some men—and even some women—seemed to think that the Bible says that women shouldn’t vote. “Trust in God,” Emmeline Pankhurst said. “She will provide.”

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We, the people

“It was we, the people,” declared Susan B. Anthony. “Not we, the white male citizens. Nor yet, we, the male citizens, but we, the whole people, who formed the Union….Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.”

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