If necessity is the mother of invention, then conflict both presents new challenges and opportunities and requires us to consider what our necessities actually are.
In this episode of Hindsight, we will explore the development of the woman’s movement between 1850 and 1875.
While we might be prone to focus on this period’s most extreme conflict — the American Civil War — in point of fact, this 25-year period is also a dynamic and critical one for the development of the woman’s movement and its push for political, legal, economic, and suffrage rights.
It’s a period in which we see the newly acquainted Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton begin to organize a movement around a fully articulated statement of woman’s rights in the context of the larger, international movement for abolition and human rights, but struggle to move it beyond white, middle-class women’s issues. It’s a period in which lesser-known married partners Francis and Virginia Minor challenge the U.S. Supreme Court to declare what rights women have as citizens under the 14th Amendment. And it’s a period in which racism and regionalism will bitterly divide the nation, the movement, and many friendships, shaping and reshaping the goals of the woman’s rights movement for decades to come.
So hold on for a bumpy ride. This is Hindsight, Episode Two: Conflict and Compromise.
For further exploration:
- National Women’s History Museum
- National Park Service: Travel Where Women Made History
- Boston Women’s Heritage Trail
- Iowa State University: Archives of Women’s Political Communication
- Turning Point Suffragist Memorial
- Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, “W Are All Bound Up Together,” May 1, 1866 speech at Eleventh National Women’s Rights Convention, New York, NY
- First National Woman’s Rights Convention Ends in Worchester, October 24, 1850
- Journal of Charlotte Forten Grimké: Free Woman of Color
- Susan B. Anthony birthplace and homestead
- Mary Ann Shadd Cary House
- Letter to Congress from Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Others in Support of Women’s Suffrage (1871)
- American Equal Rights Association Memorial, January 3, 1867
- National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, Library of Congress
- Woman Suffrage history collection, 1867-1891, Kansas Historical Society
- Women’s Suffrage in Kansas
- Susan B. Anthony Comes to Olathe, State Impartial Suffrage Association, March 1867
- The State Historical Society of Missouri: Historic Missourians, Virginia Minor
- Statement, brief, and petition in the case of Virginia Minor, et. Al vs. Reese Happersett (1873), Library of Congress
- New Departure of the Woman Suffrage Movement, Library of Congress