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History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V   By: (1851-1931)

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First Page:


Edited by


Illustrated with Copperplate and Photogravure Engravings

In Six Volumes


1900 1920


National American Woman Suffrage Association

Copyright, 1922, by National American Woman Suffrage Association


The History of Woman Suffrage is comprised in six volumes averaging about one thousand pages each, of which the two just finished are the last. While it is primarily a history of this great movement in the United States it covers to some degree that of the whole world. The chapter on Great Britain was prepared for Volume VI by Mrs. Millicent Garrett Fawcett, leader of the movement there for half a century. The accounts of the gaining of woman suffrage in other countries come from the highest authorities. Their contest was short compared to that in the two oldest countries on the globe with a constitutional form of government the United States and Great Britain and in the former it began nearly twenty years earlier than in the latter. The effort of women in the "greatest republic on earth" to obtain a voice in its government began in 1848 and ended in complete victory in 1920. In Great Britain it is not yet entirely accomplished, although in all her colonies except South Africa women vote on the same terms as men.

Doubtless other histories of this world wide movement will be written but at present the student will find himself largely confined to these six volumes. This is especially true of the United States and many of the documents of the earliest period would have been lost for all time if they had not been preserved in the first three volumes. These also contain much information which does not exist elsewhere regarding the struggle of women for other rights besides that of the franchise. That the materials were collected and cared for until they could be utilized was due to Miss Susan B. Anthony's appreciation of their value. The story of the trials and tribulations of preparing those volumes during ten years is told in Volume II, page 612, and in the Preface of Volume IV. They were written and edited principally by Miss Anthony and Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and covered the history from the beginning of the century to 1884. The writers expected when they began in 1877 to bring out one small volume, perhaps only a large pamphlet. When these three huge volumes were finished they still had enough material for a fourth, which never was used.

Miss Anthony continued her habit of preserving the records and in 1900, when at the age of 80 she resigned the presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, she immediately commenced preparations for another volume of the History. She called to her assistance Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, who had recently finished her Biography, and in her home in Rochester, N. Y., they spent the next two years on the book, Mrs. Stanton, who was 85 years old, taking the keenest interest in the work.[1] When the manuscript was completed hundreds of pages had to be eliminated in order to bring it within the compass of one volume of 1,144 pages.

Miss Anthony then said: "Twenty years from now another volume will be written and it will record universal suffrage for women by a Federal Amendment." Her prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. She put upon younger women the duty of collecting and preserving the records and this was done in some degree by officers of the association. In 1917, after the legacy of Mrs. Frank Leslie had been received by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the association, she formed the Leslie Suffrage Commission and established a Bureau of Suffrage Education, one feature of which was a research department. Here under the direction of an expert an immense amount of material was collected from many sources and arranged for use. After the strenuous work for a Federal Suffrage Amendment had brought it very near, Mrs. Catt turned her attention to the publishing of the last volume of the History of Woman Suffrage while the resources of the large national headquarters in New York and the archives of the research bureau were available, and she requested Mrs... Continue reading book >>

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