No date

MS 23 Carpenter Sash Votes for Women

MS 23 Carpenter Sash Yellow white purple

MS23 Carpenter A Note of Joy poem


American women started a unified national campaign for equal voting rights in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention where over 300 people listened to suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Women, with the support of few men, hosted several women’s rights conventions and worked closely with supporters of abolitionists until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. Once peace returned to the nation, women quickly organized women’s newspapers and local and national organizations and clubs. When the 15th Amendment passes in 1870 granting African American men voting rights, suffragists were infuriated because women were not included. Also, at this time, states west of the Mississippi slowly grant women voting and property rights, but thirty-six states needed to ratify the amendment for it to become a national law. In 1920, Tennessee took that honor. 

Although women gained the right to vote, many women still could not, particularly women of color and women of lower economic status. Some of the obstacles that women faced included state-issued poll taxes, literacy tests, or threats of violence at polling stations. It was not until the 1965 Voting Rights Act that women (and men) of color achieved full voting rights.

The efforts of women to pass suffrage were segregated along race lines after the passing of the 15th Amendment that neglected women. After 1870, white suffragists rarely included women of color in their pickets, marches, or protests, let alone private events or discussions held in homes. Women of color acted on their own under the leadership of Mary Terrell Church, Sojourner Truth, Frances Watkins Harper, Augusta Chissell, Estelle Hall Young, and Margaret Gregory Hawkins. They fought not only for women’s right to vote, but for other issues involving race and housing. The Progressive Woman’s Suffrage Club and the DuBois Circle met in the homes of leaders and the local Colored Y.M.C.A. on Druid Hill Avenue. They hosted speakers and worked on civic projects for community welfare as well as women’s right to vote. After the 19th Amendment was ratified, Augusta Chissell wrote a weekly article for the Baltimore Afro-American called “A Primer for Women Voters” to educate women on the voting process and their new civic role.

Some men supported suffrage and formed official groups like the 

Men’s League for Woman Suffrage whose members included Dr. Donald R. Hooker of Hopkins, Dr. J. William Funck (husband to Emma Maddox Funck), Dr. Howard Kelly a founding doctor of Johns Hopkins, and Dr. O.E. Janney.


Not everyone supported suffrage. In 1911, the Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was presided by Mary Frick Garrett, famed suffragist Mary Elizabeth Garrett’s sister-in-law. The organization used its money to oppose suffrage bills by sending money out of state to stop the ratification of the 19th amendment. It was affiliated with the National Anti-Suffrage Association.