No Votes for Women
The New York State Anti-Suffrage Movement
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Illinois Press
Series: Women in American History
This project began several years ago at the University at Albany. Richard F. Hamm, Iris Berger, Amy Murrell Taylor, all of the University at Albany History Department, and Sally Roesch Wagner, Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center in Fayetteville, New York, offered encouragement and support as well as professional vigilance...
As the founders of the United States debated the role of government and its relationship to the people, as they composed their documents establishing a unique and enduring nation, they gave virtually no thought to the rights and position of women in the polity. The Constitution never directly mentioned women. Women’s participation in citizenship was not even implied...
1. Anti-Suffragists at the 1894 New York State Constitutional Convention
The New York World called it an “insurrection.” In anticipation of the New York constitutional convention to be held in the summer of 1894, women all over the state responded to the call for the enfranchisement of women. For months, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt, Dr. Mary Walker, Anna Howard Shaw, Lillie Devereux Blake...
2. Establishing New York State Anti-Suffrage Organizations, 1895–1911
Within the year following the 1894 constitutional convention in New York, the colors of the suffrage and anti-suffrage factions again “streamed from Camp Sherry and Camp Waldorf.” Male observers, “to whom it is all very incomprehensible, though very amusing,” awaited the coming struggle between antis and suffragists “from such safe points of view as they may be...
3. Antis Win the New York State Campaign, 1912–1915
When the Titanic plunged 1,513 passengers and crew members to their deaths on April 12, 1912, people ascribed various meanings to the event in an attempt to make sense of the tragedy. Even before the survivors made it to New York City, belief in the exemplary behavior of the “first-cabin” men aboard the ship provided evidence for anti-suffragists that men would follow the law...
4. Suffragists Win the New York State Campaign, 1915–1917
On April 23, 1914, Josephine Jewell Dodge, president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, sent telegrams to President Woodrow Wilson and Mabel Boardman of the Red Cross affirming that anti-suffragists believed in leaving the “decision of the policy of peace or war to the men of the nation, but in case of war” the organization stood...
5. Using Enfranchisement to Fight Woman Suffrage, 1917–1932
Alice Hill Chittenden vacillated as she contemplated her response to the November 1917 woman suffrage referendum. Her initial public reaction to the lost battle indicated her perspective on the proper role of women during wartime: “Let us all quit being suffragists and anti-suffragists, and just be women backing up the men...
6. Antis Adjust to Enfranchisement, 1917–1932
After spending twenty-five years opposing woman suffrage, Annie Nathan Meyer had some difficulty adjusting to her changed political status. Meyer, an intellectual maverick and one who never backed down from criticism or an argument, fired off an editorial to the New York Times ordering anti-suffrage women not to...
During the presidential campaign of 1928 the women of the Women’s National Republican Club held a mock convention to poke fun at the men who refused to let women into the inner sanctums of real power. It was not unusual for male Republican Party members to hold a “Gridiron Day” or “Amen Corner meetings” to poke fun at themselves...