Winning the Vote in New York State
The Rochester Political Equality Club was founded by Mary S. Anthony in 1885. Shown are the minutes taken during the first meeting of 1894, which was held at the Anthony House. One of the topics discussed was the campaign to send pro-suffrage petitions to the New York State Constitutional Convention, which was scheduled to meet later that year in Albany.
From the collection of the Susan B. Anthony House
Anna Howard Shaw, the President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, is the fourth from the left. Standing to her left is Ella Hawley Crossett of Warsaw, New York, who was elected President of the New York Woman Suffrage Association at this convention.
In 1915, a referendum was held in New York State on the suffrage issue. Despite rallies, parades, speeches, and broadsides, the amendment was defeated 18,297 to 13,340 in Rochester, and by a similar margin throughout the state.
Badges worn by delegates to various conventions of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association.
As chair of the Empire State Campaign Committee, Catt led the effort to win the vote for women in New York State in 1915. Later that year she became the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and under her leadership the nineteenth amendment was passed in 1920.
Sweet, a young woman from Rochester, often helped Susan B. Anthony with her secretarial work.
Helen Kendrick Johnson's father, Asahel Clark Kendrick, was a member of the University of Rochester's first faculty. Johnson opposed women's suffrage because she believed that men and women belonged by nature in separate spheres. If women were engaged in politics, she argued, they would neglect their duty as moral leaders, and the Republic would soon collapse.
Helen Kendrick Johnson's husband, Rossiter Johnson, was also an anti-suffragist.
An author and editor, Rossiter Johnson was born in Rochester and graduated from the University of Rochester in 1863. In this essay he asserts that a vote must be backed up with a gun and, because women do not bear arms, they should not vote.
Anti-suffrage broadside from the 1915 New York State referendum
Broadside from the New York State suffrage referendums