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All Men and Women Are Created Equal: The National Woman Suffrage Movement

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  • Report of the Woman's Rights Convention, held at Seneca Falls, New York, July 19th and 20th, 1848. Proceedings and Declaration of Sentiments. Rochester, New York: John Dick at the North Star Office. Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897–1911; Scrapbook 6; page 68. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., LOC
    Seneca Falls Convention
  • “The Age of Iron: Man as He Expects to Be.” lithograph. [New York]: Currier & Ives, 1869. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C., LOC
    The Age of Iron
  • “The Age of Brass: Or the Triumphs of Woman's Rights.” lithograph. [New York]: Currier & Ives, 1869. Library of Virginia. Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    The Age of Brass
  • The progress of colored women / by Mary Church Terrell, Washington, D.C.: Smith Brothers, Printers . . ., [1898], Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Daniel A. P. Murray Pamphlets Collection, Library of Congress, Washington D.C., LOC
    Mary Church Terrell Speech
  • February 20, 1915, <em>Puck</em> [New York, Keppler & Schwarzmann, etc.], Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Broadside Satirizing Anti-Suffragists
  • “The Rights of the People—Women are People. Suffrage Victory Map.” 1920. Broadside. Equal Suffrage League of Virginia Papers, Acc. 22002. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Suffrage Victory Map
  • <em>Journal of the Senate (Extra Session) of the Commonwealth of Virginia Begun and Held at the Capitol in the City of Richmond on Wednesday, August 13, 1919</em>. Richmond: Davis Bottom, Superintendent of Public Printing, 1919. Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Nineteenth Amendment
  • Put Women in the Constitution poster, Virginia Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Council. Records, 1970–1982. Accession 31486. Organization  Records  C ollection, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., LVA
    Equal Rights Amendment
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All Men and Women Are Created Equal:
The National Woman Suffrage Movement

The woman suffrage movement in the United States began in 1848 at the first woman's rights convention, which was held in Seneca Falls, New York, with the participants calling for political equality and the right to vote. As the movement gained more support throughout the country, it also brought about a great deal of public scrutiny. Many people, including some women, questioned how women would be able to continue completing their domestic duties in the private sphere while participating in the public sphere. Since women had always been seen as inferior to men, many were also concerned about the implications of women gaining the right to vote and becoming one step closer to equality.

By the late nineteenth century woman suffrage groups were split over a fundamental issue. The National Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, argued for a constitutional amendment to achieve suffrage nationwide. They had seen and participated in the debates and movements that achieved the Thirteenth through Fifteenth Amendments and had witnessed the effectiveness of making change in the very foundation of United States government. Other, less radical organizers, such as the American Woman Suffrage Association, believed that change needed to be achieved state by state. Even though these two groups merged in 1890 as the National American Woman Suffrage Association, tensions between advocates of these two strategies continued almost to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

People Featured in This Unit:

  • Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)
  • Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)
  • Lucretia Mott (1793–1880)
  • Anna Whitehead Bodeker (1827–1904)
  • Lila Meade Valentine (1865–1921)
  • Pauline Adams (1874–1957)
  • Elizabeth Bermingham Lacy (1945–)
  • Mary Sue Terry (1947–  )
  • Mary Church Terrell (1863–1954)
  • Maggie Lena Walker (1864–1934)