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Anneke, Mathilde Franziska Giesler (03 April 1817–25 November 1884), suffragist, author, and educator, was born in Lerchenhausen, Westphalia, Germany, the daughter of Karl Giesler, a Catholic landlord and mine owner, and Elisabeth Hülswitt. She grew up comfortably and was well educated, more through learned company than tutors and schools. In fact, as a teacher in later years she would read “Fridjhoff’s saga to her pupils and recite from memory the translation she had read when eleven years old,” given to her by a prince (Heinzen, p. 3)....

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Conway, Katherine Eleanor (06 September 1853–02 January 1927), author and editor, was born in Rochester, New York, the daughter of James Conway and Sarah Agatha (maiden name unknown). Educated at Sacred Heart academies in Rochester and New York City and at St. Mary’s Academy in Buffalo, New York, Conway began her writing career in 1875 as a reporter for the ...

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Gordon, Laura de Force (17 August 1838–05 April 1907), suffragist, newspaper publisher, and attorney, was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Abram de Force and Catherine Doolittle Allan. Her mother helped support the family through needlework because her father suffered from rheumatism and could not work. Gordon was educated in the public schools, and at age seventeen she changed her religious affiliation from Congregationalist to Christian Spiritualist. She soon began a career as a traveling trance speaker, touring New York and her native Pennsylvania. Her lectures were well received by audiences and the press, and she expanded her territory in the 1860s to include Maine, Massachusetts, and New Jersey....

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Harper, Ida Husted (18 February 1851–14 March 1931), suffragist and journalist, was born in Fairfield, Indiana, the daughter of John Husted, a saddler, and Cassandra Stoddard. When Ida was ten years old the Harpers moved to Muncie, Indiana, seeking a better school system. She graduated from the local high school and then entered Indiana University as a sophomore in 1868. A year later she withdrew from college to become a high school principal in Peru, Indiana....

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Lape, Esther Everett (8 Oct. 1881–17 May 1981), journalist, World Court advocate, and medical care activist, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Henry Lape and Esther E. Butler, both Quakers. Receiving her primary and secondary education in public schools in Philadelphia, she attended Bryn Mawr College on a scholarship but transferred to Wellesley College where she received a bachelor’s degree in ...

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Malkiel, Theresa Serber (01 May 1874–17 November 1949), trade union leader, woman suffragist, publicist, and educator, was born in Bar, Russia. In 1891 she emigrated with her parents to the United States.

Soon after her arrival, Theresa Serber became a pioneer in the Jewish workers’ movement and socialist labor agitation in New York City. Employed in the garment industry, she joined the Russian Workingmen’s Club in 1892. In October 1894 she was among a group of seventy women who founded the Infant Cloak Makers Union (ICMU). Although it was a depression year, she and her associates decided not to accept wage cuts and deteriorating labor conditions any longer. Their action was front-page news. Eventually the ICMU became part of the Socialist Trades and Labor Alliance. In 1896, Serber was among the delegates to the first convention of the latter alliance; in 1899, along with many others, she broke with labor leader ...

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Parker, Jane Marsh (16 June 1836–13 March 1913), author, was born Permelia Jenny Marsh in Milan, Dutchess County, New York, the youngest daughter of the Reverend Joseph Marsh and Sarah Adams. When Parker was born, her father was pastor of the Christian Campbellite Church in Milan, but the family moved in 1838 to the Campbellite church at Union Mills in Fulton County, New York, where the Reverend Marsh was made pastor as well as editor of the Christian Publishing Association and of the sect’s weekly newspaper, the ...

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Elizabeth Cady Stanton Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-29801).

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Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (12 November 1815–26 October 1902), woman suffragist and writer, was born in Johnstown, New York, the daughter of Margaret Livingston and Daniel Cady, a distinguished lawyer, state assemblyman, and congressman. She received her education at the Johnstown Academy and Emma Willard...

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Waite, Catharine Van Valkenburg (30 January 1829–09 November 1913), lawyer, suffragist, and writer, was born in Dumfries, Canada West, the daughter of Joseph Van Valkenburg and Margaret Page, presumably farmers. Very little is known about Van Valkenburg’s early schooling. When she was seventeen, her family immigrated to the United States, settling in Fort Madison, Iowa. She studied at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and then at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, graduating in 1853. In 1854 she married Charles Burlingame Waite, a judge whom she had met at Knox. The couple had six children, five of whom survived childhood....