New York Celebrates Women’s Suffrage Centennial

On November 6th, 1917, New York State granted women the right to vote, three years before the 19th Amendment was ratified. The push for women’s suffrage in the United States was first popularized at the Seneca Falls Convention, held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, N.Y.  The convention was organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two abolitionist women who were barred from speaking at the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention in London. It was the first women’s rights convention held in the United States. The two hundred women in attendance were ridiculed for declaring their suffragist aims. It took nearly seventy years of activism for their work to come to fruition.

In commemoration, the New York History Museum in Albany is staging an exhibit, Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial, which opened November 4th.  Among the artifacts on display is Edna Kearns’ famous “Spirit of 1776” wagon, which she used to drum up support for the movement from 1915 until 1917. Votes for Women will remain on view until May 13, 2018.

Lucy Davis is the Digital Media Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities. She studies public history at Rutgers University, Camden.