The Fierce Fight for the Vote

SBA1905cartoon0001Re women’s fight to participate in the political arena, e.g., winning the right to vote: Today, 2/16, in 1904, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to hear testimony in support of a 16th Amendment, enfranchising women. Referring to the first congressional hearing granted in 1869, Susan B. Anthony said: “Of all those who spoke here then I am the only one living today and I shall not be able to come much longer.” Then one by one, she introduced the esteemed activists, including a woman from Australia, where women had already won the vote, who said: “It seems very odd to me to come to America to speak on self-government.” In closing, SBA pointed out that she had “appealed to committees of seventeen Congresses.” She urged that this one would make a favorable report. Not surprisingly the committee didn’t even bother to issue a report. Congress would pass three more amendments (income tax, direct election of senators, prohibition) before approving the 19th: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The image is a 1905 cartoon of SBA’s response to former President Grover Cleveland’s anti-woman suffrage article, published in the “Ladies Home Journal,” depicted rolled up under SBA’s arm.

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