Tuesday, March 28, 2023

History of the Suffrage Movement in the US – by Donna Schlachter – with Giveaway

Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B Anthony 1869

Smithsonian Magazine, April 2019

The movement to gain the right for women to vote began in the 1840s, at a time when women still had no right to own property, possess a bank account, sign for a loan, or even control her own wages. The notion of a woman acting outside her rightful place—the home—was foreign, although many worked alongside fathers, brothers, or husbands on farms, in fishing boats, in shops, and in many other businesses. The general consensus was that granting women the right to vote would only clutter the election process with twice the votes but still produce the same outcome, since the belief was that most women would vote as their husband or close male relative did. In fact, at one point, unmarried women were excluded from the discussion altogether as they were so marginalized that the notion of giving them a say in politics wasn’t even considered.

In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights unanimously passed resolutions that favored a woman’s right to her own wages, to divorce an abusive husband, and to be represented in government. However, the notion that women should be able to vote, while the resolution passed, had many dissenters. How these attendees thought women might be represented in government without being able to vote apparently didn’t come up.

The movement continued gaining traction, but by the end of the Civil War, another obstacle emerged: racial division. White abolitionist men said that white suffragette women should wait their turn and allow the black man to be gain the vote. This happened in 1870, but fundamental differences in how to achieve the right for women constrained the movement for another forty years.

Police Protection for Suffrage Procession

Perhaps one of the most exciting events in suffrage history came in 1913, when young radicals held a parade down Washington DC’s Pennsylvania Avenue that attracted more than five thousand marchers, as well as bands, floats, and mounted brigades. They’d skillfully chosen the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, and attracted tens of thousands of spectators. However, what happened next was completely unplanned.
Lucy Barns on hunger strike (Smithsonian 4/2019)

The women picketed the White House by the hundreds, partly in response to slurs—and more—hurled at them by spectators. Police were called, and more than 100 women were arrested. When some went on a hunger strike, they were force-fed via a tube jammed into the nose. While they underwent a horrible ordeal, the event proved to be the publicity they needed to further the movement.

On June 10, 1919, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin were there first states to ratify the amendment. With The Great War (World War 1) just a few months in the past, President Woodrow Wilson, recognizing the contribution women made to the war effort by performing jobs normally done by men, acknowledged that a country that would rely on women in wartime, yet deny them such a fundamental right, was foolish, to say the least.

In my recent release, Rollie’s Riddle: The Suffrage Spinsters, Book 10, Rollie, my heroine, is a member of the suffrage movement and the owner of a newspaper in Whispering Pines, Colorado, a small town west of Colorado Springs, in 1883. Her brother Paul owns the livery. A string of bank robberies in the area has everybody on alert. Lucas Bryant, a young attorney, is running for state senate in 1884, but figures he needs a wife if he’s to succeed. When Paul is arrested on suspicion of bank robbery, any notion Lucas had that Rollie might be his choice goes out the window. Desperate to free her brother, Rollie enlists Lucas’s help. However, he’s not certain where he stands on suffrage. Can God bring these two opposites together? Or will one of them have to give in to the other?

You can check out the book here: : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BMW1MCQY and the rest of the Series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B9YF8CC5

Giveaway: Leave a comment in response to this question: Do you think that granting women the right to vote has improved the election process? Please remember to cleverly disguise your email address so the ‘bots don’t get you. For example: Donna AT LiveByTheWord DOT com I will draw randomly and one winner will win an ebook of Rollie’s Riddle

About Donna:

A hybrid author, Donna writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than 60 times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter. She also coaches writers who struggle to get their first draft done. Learn more at www.donnaschlachter.com/Tapestry

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  1. This article caught my eye because I just taught my 3rd graders about Susan B. Anthony. They were excited to see a coin with her on it. Yes, the voting process has improved due to her influence on getting women the right to vote. I love to learn about history and pass my tidbits of knowledge on to my students. Susan in NC - susanluluATyahooDOTcom

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the drawing! And thank you for serving our children.

  2. Thank you for posting today. I hadn't heard before about the controversy with black men being given the right to vote before women. In this day and age it sounds so odd that such a distinction would be made, but of course it's because of these efforts in our history that we now find this notion absurd. Yet I do realize that in other parts of the world this discrimination, and many others, still takes place. bcrug AT twc DOT com

    1. Hi Connie, I didn't know about it either, until I found it in the Smithsonian article. Good luck in the drawing, and thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi Donna, I think granting women the right to vote has definitely changed the process. We hear from many women today on issues they believe in. Your post is great and right on time for Women's History Month. jenningskaren 1973 AT gmailDOTcom

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for the encouragement, and good luck in the drawing.

  4. Donna, I just finished Maeve's Pledge another book in the Spinister Suffragette series. Sometimes as Christian women we forget how far we have come in the areas of respect for our intelligence and equal pay for equal work. It took hundreds of years and sometimes women don't bother to vote and that is so sad after the battle was so hard fought. Thanks for sharing. cindyhuff 11 at gmail dot com

  5. Hi Cindy, yes, we do take our rights for granted, too often. Good luck in the drawing.

  6. Susan was the winner in March of an ebook copy of "Rollie's Riddle".