There are at least three dates that are of particular interest to New Hampshire regarding suffrage. It was 100 years ago today, on 4 June 1919 that the 19th Amendment was passed by the United States Congress. This amendment granted women the right to vote. Victory was not easy. Decades of women and suffrage supporters tirelessly “lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience.”
Women however could still not vote or run for office. After passing Congress at least 36 states were needed to vote in favor of the amendment for it to become law. On September 10, 1919, New Hampshire voted in favor of the 19th Amendment. Continue reading
Women picketing for suffrage. From Suffragist magazine 1918.
I remember my grandmother proudly speaking about the day that she had the right to vote. In 1920 when she first could, she was forty-one years of age, married and would within the next few years give birth to her 12th child.
I never asked her if she was a suffragist. I suspect she was, but probably not an activist–she would have been too busy taking care of all her household of children. My mother was only a year old in 1920. Continue reading
This year  is the 35th anniversary of the National Women’s History Project. The group grew from a few concerned educators and history activists in California, to a more substantial collective of both women and men today. Since 1909 various “Women’s Days” have been held, but it was not until 1987 that the entire month of March was designated as Women’s History Month. Continue reading
Likeness of Marilla M. Ricker from I Don’t Know, Do You? by Marilla M. Ricker
“I’m going to run for governor [of New Hampshire], although I have not the slightest idea of ever becoming governor,” announced Mrs. Ricker… I’m running for governor in order to get people into the habit of thinking of women as governors. You know people have to think about a think several centuries before they can get acclimated to the idea. I want to set the ball rolling. There isn’t a ghost of a reason why a woman should not be governor or president if she wants to be and is capable of it.” [1910, Marilla M. Ricker–found in Grand Forks Daily Herald (Grand Forks, ND) newspaper dated Tuesday October 11, 1910] Continue reading
Photograph: Miss Sallie W. Hovey, Chairman, New Hampshire National Woman’s Party. Just returned from Washington where she has been lobbying recalcitrant Senators from the New England States; ca 1917; Records of the National Woman’s Party, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Washington DC; Digital ID: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mnwp.152009
Sallie W. Hovey was the daughter of a prominent New Hampshire minister, and the sister of a navy Ensign who lost his life in the Philippines. In her own right she worked tirelessly to make sure that the poor and unfortunate of Portsmouth were not forgotten. One of her passions was to improve the the status of women. Both her father and brother have monuments to commemorate their actions. Let this story serve as hers. Continue reading