Rights for Women: The Suffrage Movement and Its Leaders

Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856-1940)

Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch, suffrage leader, introduced innovative publicity, organizational, and political tactics to the lagging suffrage drive at a critical juncture, an effort that helped win suffrage in New York, the most populous state.

Born into the movement as Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s daughter, Harriot married and moved to Europe where she witnessed the radical tactics of British suffrage. Returning to the U. S. in 1902, she was convinced that organizing labor women was crucial to winning the vote. She founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women (1902), later the Women’s Political Union, whose membership of 20,000 women in factories and garment shops was its strength. The Equality League introduced outdoor meetings, suffrage parades, and sent working women to testify to the legislature. Finding it difficult to work with Mrs. Catt, Blatch’s group merged with the Congressional Union, later the Woman’s Party. Convinced that the U. S. should enter World War I, she directed the Food Administration’s Speakers Bureau and the Woman’s Land Army and published Mobilizing Woman-Power.  Post war, she supported the Woman’s Party’s drive for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Influenced by socialism in England, she joined the Socialist Party and made several unsuccessful runs for public office in the 1920’s. She enjoyed a great celebration of her 80th birthday, as did her mother. She collaborated with her brother Theodore in editing the book Elizabeth Cady Stanton, As Revealed In her Letters, Diary and Reminiscences (a strangely edited work, expurgating many of her mother’s most radical views). Her daughter, Nora, and the women in generations since, provided staunch support for the woman’s movement.

Blatch
Harriet Stanton Blatch , Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-USZ62-116259)

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