Why we need more biographies of suffragists

August 26, 2019

Women's suffrage march"One of the most striking characteristics of the American women’s suffrage movement is that its history has traditionally been told through the lives of its leading figures. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Anna Howard Shaw, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Alice Paul and the organizations they founded and led dominate the story to an extent that may be unique in the historiography of any other political or social movement. Historian Jean Baker called this “the presidential model of suffrage history.”

This process dates back to the nineteenth century, when the different factions competed to cement their role in the historical record of the still evolving movement."

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Image credit: Youngest parader in New York City suffragist parade by the American Press Association, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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