University of Delaware Library

Woman Suffrage collection


(bulk dates 1900-1920)

Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 477

Title: Woman Suffrage collection

Inclusive Dates: 1869-1955

Bulk Dates: 1900-1920

Extent: 1 linear foot and 1 oversize box (4 boxes)

Abstract: The Woman Suffrage collection comprises ephemera, pamphlets, books, and realia that relate to the campaign for a woman's voting rights.

Language: Materials entirely in English.


MSS 477, Woman Suffrage collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Box 3: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes

F27-F30: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)

F32: Shelved in SPEC VAULT MSS wall


Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL:


Purchase, 2002.


Processed by Laura Cochrane, March 2003. Encoded by Lora J. Davis, August 2011.

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

The fight for woman suffrage in the United States began in the early nineteenth century, growing out of the Anti-Slavery campaigns of that period. Women who were actively involved in Abolitionism found themselves treated as second class-citizens even within that movement, being denied variously the right to serve as delegates at conventions and to speak publicly to a mixed audience. The discrimination shown to women who were fighting for the rights of African Americans caused Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott to begin a campaign for woman's rights.

The first major event of the woman suffrage movement was the Seneca Falls Convention, which took place in New York State in July of 1848. At the convention the delegates demanded suffrage for woman as well as improved access to educational and employment opportunities.

Early campaigns for woman suffrage focused on state voting rights. However, by 1869 it was apparent that an amendment to the federal constitution was preferable. In that year two organizations were formed to work toward that end: The National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and The American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Lucy Stone. In 1890, the two organizations joined under the name: National American Woman Suffrage Association.

In 1890, Wyoming entered the Union and became the first state in which women had the Vote. Over the next three decades various states changed their constitution to give women voting rights. However up until the 1910s, there was little progress toward a constitutional amendment.

After World War I, the major oppositions to woman suffrage had been broken down. In January of 1918 the House voted to amend the constitution, followed by the Senate in June of 1919. The Nineteenth Amendment was enacted August 26, 1920 after Tennessee became the 36th State to ratify it.

Scope and Content Note

The Woman Suffrage collection comprises ephemera, pamphlets, books, and realia that relate to the campaign for women's voting rights. Many of the materials are propagandistic in nature, including literature explaining the rational behind the idea of woman suffrage. The collection also includes various pieces of realia that represent the material culture of the movement. These include buttons, pennants, posters, and other objects such as a fan and a watchband.

Most of the materials date from the 1910s and document the movement in the last decade before woman suffrage was achieved.

Selected Search Terms

Topical Terms
Women--Suffrage--United States--19th century.
Women--Suffrage--United States--20th century.
Form/Genre Terms
Buttons (information artifacts)

Materials Cataloged Separately

The items listed in this bibliography have been removed from the Woman Suffrage collection and cataloged separately with the print holdings of Special Collections.

Björkman, Frances M., and Annie G. Porritt, eds. Woman Suffrage: History, Arguments, and Results. New York: National Women's Suffrage Publishing Co., 1915.

Brackett, Anna C., ed. Woman and the Higher Education. New York: Harper & Bros., 1903.

The Case Against Woman Suffrage: The Most Important Question on the Ballot at the State Election, November 2, 1915. Boston: Massachusetts Anti-Suffrage Committee, 1915.

Clarke, Ida Clyde, ed. Women of 1924. New York: Women's News Service, 1924.

Crepaz, Adele. The Emancipation of Woman and Its Probable Consequences. London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1893.

Harper, Ida Husted. The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony. 2 vols. Indianapolis and Kansas City: The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1898.

Hoar, George F. Woman's Right and The Public Welfare: Remarks of Hon. George F. Hoar, before a Joint Special Committee of the Massachusetts Legislature. Boston: New-England Woman's Suffrage Association, 1869.

Inman, Mary. In Woman's Defense. Los Angeles: The Committee to Organize the Advancement of Woman, 1940.

Inman, Mary. Woman-Power. Los Angeles: The Committee to Organize the Advancement of Woman, 1942.

Oakley, Violet. Cathedral of Compassion: Dramatic Outline of the Life of Jane Addams. Philadelphia: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (privately printed at the Press of Lyon and Armor), 1955.

Pankhurst, Emmeline Sylvia. My Own Story. New York: Hearst's International Library Company, 1914.

Pankhurst, Emmeline Sylvia. The Suffragette: the History of the Woman's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910. New York: Sturgis & Walton, 1912.

Pinkham, Lydia E. Famous Woman of History. Lynn, Mass.: Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Company, ca. 1920s.

R., L. N. The True Institution of Sisterhood: or, A Message and Its Messengers. London: James Nisbet, 1862.

Sanger, Margaret H. Family Limitation. S.l.: Privately printed for the author, ca. 1914.

Taylor, Edward T. Speech of Hon. Edward T. Taylor of Colorado in the House of Representatives, April 24, 1912. Washington, 1912.

  • I. Handbills, flyers, and broadsides, 1908-1948, undated
  • II. Postcards and other ephemera, 1910-1915, undated
  • III. Realia, 1915, undated
  • IV. Posters, banners, and pennants, 1915-1917, undated

Detailed Contents List

Series I. Handbills, flyers, and broadsides , 1908-1948, undated

Anne Martin. "Call to Women Voters by Anne Martin, Chairman National Woman's Party." , undated   [Box 1 F1]

Asking that women vote against Mr. Wilson and the Democratic candidates in the United States Senate and House.

"Votes for Women a Success, The Map Proves it." , circa 1915   [Box 1 F2]

Depicts a map of the United States indicating where women have the vote and to what degree.

National American Women Suffrage Association. "People say" and "We say." , undated   [Box 1 F3]

"Catholic Opinions." , circa 1914   [Box 1 F4]

National American Women Suffrage Association.

"10 Women Anywhere Can Start Anything." , 1948   [Box 1 F5]

Congress of American Woman.

Carrie Chapman Catt. "A Bit of History." , 1908   [Box 1 F6]

New York: Interurban Suffrage Council.

"Suffrage as a War Measure." , 1917   [Box 1 F7]

New York State Woman Suffrage Party.

Empire State Campaign. , circa 1915   [Box 1 F8]

Depicts a young woman at a chalkboard on which is written "Question. How can this be a government of the people, by the people if only ½ the people vote?" Before her sits a man labeled "anti-suffragist." The bottom of the handbill reads "Empire State Campaign" and "Vote for the Amendment in 1915."

Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. "The Change in the Status of Women Makes Votes for Women the Next Natural Step." , circa 1911   [Box 1 F9]

"Woman in the home." , 1912   [Box 1 F10]


"Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Socialism." , undated   [Box 1 F11]

Girard Kansas: The Socialist Woman.

"Instructions to Workers for the Woman Suffrage Petition to Congress." , circa 1912   [Box 1 F12]

New York: Privately Printed.

Series II. Postcards and other Ephemera , 1910-1915, undated

The Pennsylvania Limited Equal Suffrage League. Ballot. , 1914   [Box 1 F13]

Announces an annual election of officers at the Merion Cricket Club, Haverford, Pa. on June 2, 1914.

Program of the 19th Assembly District of the Woman's Suffrage Party for April and May, 1911. , 1911 April-1911 May   [Box 1 F14]

Lists events such as speeches by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Fanny Garrison Villard, a parade, pageant, and benefit concerts.

Postcards , undated

1."Votes for women / I want to speak for myself." , undated   [Box 1 F15]

Image of a little girl in a pink dress and green hat, holding an umbrella. Signed by Wall.

2. "By Gum! Them Suffragettes be gittin everything." , undated   [Box 1 F15]

3. "The Suffragette question." , undated   [Box 1 F15]

Postcard: Image of an American Flag with four stars. , undated   [Box 1 F16]

Reads: "United Equal Suffrage States of America / Wyoming1890 / Colorado 1893 / Utah 1896 / Idaho 1896 / A star will be added to the flag as each state enters / The union of States as the ought to be."

Set of ten postcards: "Think it over … An ounce of Persuasion proceeds a pound of coercion." , 1910   [Box 1 F17]

Each postcard has a different quote printed on it.

Flyer: "Votes for women: Woman needs the ballot; but more than that, the time has now come when the ballot needs the woman. – Clifford Howard." , undated   [Box 1 F18]

American flags frame the text.

Pledge Form: "I am opposed to Woman's suffrage"; signed by Mrs. Mary L. Watts. , undated   [Box 1 F19]

Paper cup. , undated   [Box 1 F20]

"Votes for Women" and "Drink to the Success of the Empire State Campaign, Headquarters 303 5th Ave., New York."

Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association. Invoice. , 1915 September 22   [Box 1 F21]

Addressed to Mrs. R. B. Thompson, Millerstown, Perry County Pa for 500 "Liberty Bell Fliers", 100 "Suffrage maps", 100 "Women on the farm", and 2 pompons with a note that two pennants will also be sent.

Series III. Realia , 1915, undated
Buttons , 1915 and undated

1. "Votes for Women" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

2. "Votes for Women" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

3. "Full Suffrage for Women" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

4. "Forward/Denver" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

5. "I am a Citizen" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

6. "Vote Yes Women Suffrage October 19" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

7. "Penna. Votes for Women 1915" , 1915   [Box 1 F22]

8. "Votes for Women" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

9. "Votes for Women" , undated   [Box 1 F22]

Watchband and brass woman suffrage watch fob shaped like the Liberty Bell. , 1915   [Box 1 F23]

On reverse: "Woman's Library Bell / Justice / Equality / 1915 / Pennsylvania.

Tin and Enamel Window hanger in the shape of a blue bird. , 1915   [Box 2 F24]

Reads: "Votes for Women" (1915).

Josephine Preston Peabody. Sheet music titled: "The Woman's Party Song." , undated   [Box 2 F25]

Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. Fan. , 1915   [Box 2 F26]

Reads "Baseball fans, movie fans, political fans, all good fans everywhere favor votes for the women of Massachusetts."

Series IV. Posters, Banners, and Pennants , 1915-1917, undated

Poster: "Vote Yes for amendment no. 1 Woman Suffrage." , 1915   [Box 2 F27] (Removed to: SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches))

Poster: "Vote for Woman Suffrage Nov 2nd." , undated   [Box 2 F28] (Removed to: SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches))

Poster: "Inez Milholland Boissevain who died for the freedom of woman." , circa 1917   [Box 2 F29] (Removed to: SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches))

Published by the National Women's Party. Depicts a woman on horseback holding a banner reading "…into light."

Pennant: "Votes for Women." , undated   [Box 2 F30] (Removed to: SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches))

Purple and gold felt.

Banner: "Votes for Women." , undated   [Box 3 F31]

Gold linen.

Pennant: "Vote yes on the Woman's Suffrage Amendment June 5, 1916." , 1916   [Box 3 F32] (Removed to: SPEC VAULT MSS wall)

Framed with a card reading: "Yourself and a lady are cordially invited to attend the suffrage play ["How the Vote was won"] and Ball … Boone County [Iowa] Suffrage Association."