From Parlor to Politics: Woman’s Fight for the Right to Vote (Virtual Show – Online Zoom)

Event details

  • Monday | August 24, 2020 to Tuesday | August 25, 2020
  • 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
  • Headquarters Library, Barrett Room, 151 S Church St, Spartanburg, SC
  • (864) 596-3503

 View Map  |  Cost: Free

“From Parlor to Politics: Woman’s Fight for the Right to Vote ” presented by Annette Baldwin

Vision, courage, strategic planning, networking, and tenacity of thousands of women drove the 72-year battle for women’s right to vote. The struggle culminated in August 1920 with ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing American women their right to vote.

From Parlor to Politics is a portrait of four brilliant, dedicated leaders in the woman suffrage movement: LUCRETIA MOTT, Quaker minister, gifted and inspiring orator, and one of America’s most respected social reformers; ELIZABETH CADY STANTON, brilliant leader of the 19th century woman’s rights movement, who spoke and wrote on every “radical” reform of the day; SUSAN B. ANTHONY, the most recognized and beloved leader in the fight for women’s equality; ALICE PAUL, militant suffragist of the early 20th century, celebrated for her parades, picketing, and imprisonment for the Cause. A full evening performance of CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT will be presented the following evening.  More . . . 

From Parlor to Politics is a visual journey narrative, with the Woman Suffrage Leaders sharing their experiences and expressing their views presented in historical chronological order, although the individual suffragists may move back in time as they tell their story. What these courageous, dedicated women have to say will remind us that the social, political, educational and professional freedom and advancement of women was a long and dedicated commitment by the leaders and their thousands of followers.

Link to reserve space and attend this FREE online event will be posted soon.

(After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing additional information about joining the meeting. If this is the first time you have attended a Zoom event, you may be directed to download the Zoom app. You do NOT need a Zoom account to attend.)

This event is presented by the Spartanburg County Public Libraries.

Annette Baldwin, presentor

Annette Baldwin has been researching and performing first-person monologues since 1986 when she launched her portrayal of humanitarian and peace advocate Jane Addams. Baldwin’s First Person Portrayals, Visual Journeys Lectures and Readers Theater have been presented to audiences in 20 states. She has appeared at public libraries, educational institutions, community organizations, professional associations, state and federal government agencies, to the business community, at state and national conferences, special events and at historical societies and museums, including the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Baldwin, who resides in the Chicago suburbs, is also a former Illinois Humanities Road Scholar.

Annette’s past professional experience as well as personal discovery have inspired and guided her choices for performance and lecture topics. A deep admiration for the courage and devotion to advocacy for social change by 19th century through early 20th century women is the foundation for many of her programs, such as her portrayal of Jane Addams, as well as The Long Road to Victory, in which she brings to the stage five woman suffrage leaders in the battle for women’s right to vote: Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt. Susan B Anthony is also portrayed solo, and to further celebrate the Centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020, Baldwin developed a full portrait of League of Women Voters founder Carrie Chapman Catt speaking on the day of ratification. While editor at the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, producing the monthly membership newsletter, Baldwin became interested in developing discussions on the California architect Julia Morgan, known to the general public primarily as architect of William Randolph Hearst’s estate at San Simeon, California. In addition to Morgan, Baldwin has also researched and visited the work of Mary Jane Colter, architect and designer for the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railroad. Having traveled the State of Illinois to photograph each of the 85 extant Carnegie library buildings, she offers the Visual Journey The Carnegie Library: Treasures on the Illinois Landscape. Baldwin’s research and development of a monologue for performance as Coco Chanel was influenced by her past experience as a fashion director for Marshall Field’s, Chicago. Her background at the AIA, her work for Field’s and a small vintage clothing collection heightened her respect and passion for design, thus her Visual Journeys discussion The Arts and the Art of Dressing: 1920s Style.

Baldwin’s experience at many levels in community theater – directing and acting in particular – was not only the original driving force behind inaugurating her work as a solo performer and a lecturer, but it inspired her Readers Theater productions, Literary Lovers, By Necessity/ By Choice: Women in the Early Workplace, and Living the War: Women Inside the Confederate Capital. Having performed and lectured in the state Humanities Council Chautauquas of Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nevada, Maryland, New Hampshire and Ohio, Baldwin has led dozens of programs with discussions on themes involving women’s social and political history and as well as fashion and architecture.

At the first women’s rights conference held at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood on the public platform and stated that it was “the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” And so began a 72-year battle for women’s right to vote. It ended in August, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to our national constitution was ratified, guaranteeing that right.

The woman suffrage movement actually began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that launched the suffrage movement. For the next 50 years, woman suffrage supporters worked to educate the public about the validity of woman suffrage. Under the leadership of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women’s rights pioneers, suffragists circulated petitions and lobbied Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women.

At the turn of the century, women reformers in the club movement and in the settlement house movement wanted to pass reform legislation. However, many politicians were unwilling to listen to a disenfranchised group. Thus, over time women began to realize that in order to achieve reform, they needed to win the right to vote. For these reasons, at the turn of the century, the woman suffrage movement became a mass movement.

In the 20th century leadership of the suffrage movement passed to two organizations. The first, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt, was a moderate organization. The NAWSA undertook campaigns to enfranchise women in individual states, and simultaneously lobbied President Wilson and Congress to pass a woman suffrage Constitutional Amendment. In the 1910s, NAWSA’s membership numbered in the millions.

The second group, the National Woman’s Party (NWP), under the leadership of Alice Paul, was a more militant organization. The NWP undertook radical actions, including picketing the White House, in order to convince Wilson and Congress to pass a woman suffrage amendment.

In 1920, due to the combined efforts of the NAWSA and the NWP, the 19th Amendment, enfranchising women, was finally ratified. This victory is considered the most significant achievement of women in the Progressive Era. It was the single largest extension of democratic voting rights in our nation’s history, and it was achieved peacefully, through democratic processes.

1840 Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are barred from attending the World Anti-Slavery Convention held in London. This prompts them to hold a Women’s Convention in the US.

1848 Seneca Falls, New York is the location for the first Women’s Rights Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton writes “The Declaration of Sentiments” creating the agenda of women’s activism for decades to come.

1849 The first state constitution in California extends property rights to women.

1850 Worcester, Massachusetts, is the site of the first National Women’s Rights Convention. Frederick Douglass, Paulina Wright Davis, Abby Kelley Foster, William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone and Sojourner Truth are in attendance. A strong alliance is formed with the Abolitionist Movement.

1851 Worcester, Massachusetts is the site of the second National Women’s Rights Convention. Participants included Horace Mann, New York Tribune columnist Elizabeth Oaks Smith, and Reverend Harry Ward Beecher, one of the nation’s most popular preachers.  At a women’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth, a former slave, delivers her now memorable speech, “Ain’t I a woman?”

1852 The issue of women’s property rights is presented to the Vermont Senate by Clara Howard Nichols. This is a major issue for the Suffragists. “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, is published and quickly becomes a bestseller.

1853 Women delegates, Antoinette Brown and Susan B. Anthony, are not allowed to speak at The World’s Temperance Convention held in New York City.

1861-1865 During the Civil War, efforts for the suffrage movement come to a halt. Women put their energies toward the war effort.

1866 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony form the American Equal Rights Association, an organization dedicated to the goal of suffrage for all regardless of gender or race.

1868 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Parker Pillsbury publish the first edition of The Revolution.  This periodical carries the motto “Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less!”

Caroline Seymour Severance establishes the New England Woman’s Club.  The “Mother of Clubs” sparked the club movement which became popular by the late nineteenth century.

In Vineland, New Jersey, 172 women cast ballots in a separate box during the presidential election.

Senator S.C. Pomeroy of Kansas introduces the federal woman’s suffrage amendment in Congress.

Many early suffrage supporters, including Susan B. Anthony, remained single because in the mid-1800s, married women could not own property in their own rights and could not make legal contracts on their own behalf.

The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified. “Citizens” and “voters” are defined exclusively as male.

1869 The American Equal Rights Association is wrecked by disagreements over the Fourteenth Amendment and the question of whether to support the proposed Fifteenth Amendment which would enfranchise Black American males while avoiding the question of woman suffrage entirely.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony found the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), a more radical institution, to achieve the vote through a Constitutional amendment as well as push for other woman’s rights issues.  NWSA was based in New York

Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, Julia Ward Howe and other more conservative activists form the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) to work for woman suffrage through amending individual state constitutions.  AWSA was based in Boston.

Wyoming territory is organized with a woman suffrage provision.

1870 The Fifteenth Amendment gave black men the right to vote.  NWSA refused to work for its ratification and instead the members advocate for a Sixteenth Amendment that would dictate universal suffrage.  Frederick Douglass broke with Stanton and Anthony over the position of NWSA.

The Woman’s Journal is founded and edited by Mary Livermore, Lucy Stone, and Henry Blackwell.

1871 Victoria Woodhull addresses the House Judiciary Committee, arguing women’s rights to vote under the fourteenth amendment.

The Anti-Suffrage Party is founded.

1872 Susan B. Anthony casts her ballot for Ulysses S. Grant in the presidential election and is arrested and brought to trial in Rochester, New York.  Fifteen other women are arrested for illegally voting.  Sojourner Truth appears at a polling booth in Battle Creek, Michigan, demanding a ballot to vote; she is turned away.

Abigail Scott Duniway convinces Oregon lawmakers to pass laws granting a married woman’s rights such as starting and operating her own business, controlling the money she earns, and the right to protect her property if her husband leaves.

1874 The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is founded by Annie Wittenmyer. With Frances Willard at its head (1876), the WCTU became an important proponent in the fight for woman suffrage.  As a result, one of the strongest opponents to women’s enfranchisement was the liquor lobby, which feared women might use their vote to prohibit the sale of liquor.

1876 Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage disrupt the official Centennial program at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, presenting a “Declaration of Rights for Women” to the Vice President.

1878 A Woman Suffrage Amendment is proposed in the U.S. Congress. When the 19th Amendment passes forty-one years later, it is worded exactly the same as this 1878 Amendment.

1887 The first vote on woman suffrage is taken in the Senate and is defeated.

1888 The National Council of Women in the United States is established to promote the advancement of women in society.

1890 NWSA and AWSA merge and the National American Woman Suffrage Association is formed. Stanton is the first president. The Movement focuses efforts on securing suffrage at the state level.

Wyoming is admitted to the Union with a state constitution granting woman suffrage.

The American Federation of Labor declares support for woman suffrage.

The South Dakota campaign for woman suffrage loses.

1890-1925 The Progressive Era begins. Women from all classes and backgrounds enter public life. Women’s roles expand and result in an increasing politicization of women. Consequently the issue of woman suffrage becomes part of mainstream politics.

1892 Olympia Brown founds the Federal Suffrage Association to campaign for woman’s suffrage.

1893 Colorado adopts woman suffrage.

1894 600,000 signatures are presented to the New York State Constitutional Convention in a failed effort to bring a woman suffrage amendment to the voters.


Elizabeth Cady Stanton publishes The Woman’s Bible.  After its publication, NAWSA moves to distance itself from Stanton because many conservative suffragists considered her to be too radical and, thus, potentially damaging to the suffrage campaign.

1896 Mary Church Terrell, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and Frances E.W. Harper among others found the the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs.

Utah joins the Union with full suffrage for women.

Idaho adopts woman suffrage.

1903 Mary Dreier, Rheta Childe Dorr, Leonora O’Reilly, and others form the Women’s Trade Union League of New York, an organization of middle- and working-class women dedicated to unionization for working women and to woman suffrage.

1910 Washington State adopts woman suffrage.

The Women’s Political Union organizes the first suffrage parade in New York City.

1911 The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS) is organized. Led by Mrs. Arthur Dodge, its members included wealthy, influential women, some Catholic clergymen, distillers and brewers, urban political machines, Southern congressmen, and corporate capitalists.

The elaborate California suffrage campaign succeeds by a small margin.

1912 Woman Suffrage is supported for the first time at the national level by a major political party — Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party.

Twenty thousand suffrage supporters join a New York City suffrage parade.

Oregon, Kansas, and Arizona adopt woman suffrage.

1913 In 1913, suffragists organized a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. The parade was the first major suffrage spectacle organized by the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

The two women then organized the Congressional Union, later known at the National Women’s Party (1916).  They borrowed strategies from the radical Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in England.

1914 Nevada and Montana adopt woman suffrage.

The National Federation of Women’s Clubs, which had over two million women members throughout the U.S., formally endorses the suffrage campaign.

1915 Mabel Vernon and Sara Bard Field are involved in a transcontinental tour which gathers over a half-million signatures on petitions to Congress.

Forty thousand march in a NYC suffrage parade.  Many women are dressed in white and carry placards with the names of the states they represent.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts continue to reject woman suffrage.

1916 Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. Woodrow Wilson states that the Democratic Party platform will support suffrage.

1917 New York women gain suffrage.

Arkansas women are allowed to vote in primary elections.

National Woman’s Party picketers appear in front of the White House holding two banners, “Mr. President, What Will You Do For Woman Suffrage?” and “How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?”

Jeannette Rankin of Montana, the first woman elected to Congress, is formally seated in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Alice Paul, leader of the National Woman’s Party, was put in solitary confinement in the mental ward of the prison as a way to “break” her will and to undermine her credibility with the public.

In June, arrests of the National Woman’s party picketers begin on charges of obstructing sidewalk traffic.  Subsequent picketers are sentenced to up to six months in jail.  In November, the government unconditionally releases the picketers in response to public outcry and an inability to stop National Woman’s Party picketers’ hunger strike.

1918 Representative Rankin opens debate on a suffrage amendment in the House. The amendment passes. The amendment fails to win the required two thirds majority in the Senate.

Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma adopt woman suffrage.

President Woodrow Wilson states his support for a federal woman suffrage amendment.

President Wilson addresses the Senate about adopting woman suffrage at the end of World War I.

1919 The Senate finally passes the Nineteenth Amendment and the ratification process begins.

August 26, 1920 Three quarters of the state legislatures ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. American Women win full voting rights

Lucretia Mott said… What would this nation be, of what could not this country boast, if she were free of the enormous system of injustice? Statesmen and politicians and editors need constant watching, as indeed who or what class among us does not?

Elizabeth Cady Stanton said… Nature never repeats itself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another. Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility

Susan B. Anthony said… I do not assume that woman is better than man.  I do assume that she has a different way of looking at things. The true woman will not be exponent of another, or allow another to be such for her.  She will be her own individual self – do her own individual work – stand or fall by her own individual wisdom and strength.

Alice Paul said… I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction.  Most reforms….are complicated.  There is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.

Carrie Chapman Catt said… In matters of principle go against the current, but in matters of custom go with it. I hope some day the world will return to sanity.

Suffrage : women’s long battle for the vote by Ellen Carol Dubois (2020)

The Womens’ Suffrage Movement Sally Roesch Wagner

The Woman’s house, the great fight to win the vote by Elaine Weiss

Not for ourselves Alone the Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, PBS video by Ken Burns

The Myth of Seneca Falls by Lisa Terault

The Concise History of Woman Suffrage by Mari Jo Buhle & Paul Bubhle