On July 28, a new exhibit telling the story of the fight for women’s suffrage, and New Jersey’s unique role in that fight, opened at the Eden Woolley House in Ocean, NJ.
The exhibit “Votes for Women: The Story of Suffrage” tells the tale of women’s suffrage starting from the 1848 Women’s Convention in Seneca Falls. At this convention, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott voiced their frustration with women’s subordination to men both politically and socially. These women, along with Susan B. Anthony, advocated for women’s suffrage as the 16th Amendment to the US Constitution.
The next part of the exhibit focuses on the second wave of suffragists, some of whom used more militant strategies to fight for women’s voting rights. These women led marches and pickets and faced arrest for their actions. Their efforts led to the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
The Eden Woolley House exhibit highlights the unique role of women from New Jersey in the suffrage campaign. The US Constitution initially gave each state the right to decide who could vote. New Jersey was the only state that extended the vote to property-owning women. However, New Jersey legislators repealed this voting provision in 1807. Thus, for some women in New Jersey, suffrage took on a unique meaning as a fight to regain the vote.
“Votes for Women: The Story of Suffrage” is currently on view in the Richmond Gallery of the Eden Woolley House.