The Lewis collection includes a diverse assortment of materials that document the expanding role and status of women from the early nineteenth century until after women won the right to vote in 1920. Correspondence, conference programs, speeches, position papers, newsletters, sheet music, congressional reports, stock certificates, printed materials, and more present a view of the individuals and organizations that fought for and against political, economic, and social rights for women.

The records primarily document the American suffrage movement; but also include material on the suffrage movement in England and several other European countries, as well as a wide range of issues including education, organized labor, social welfare, temperance, voter education, slavery, wartime experiences, and the women’s club movement.

Collection Items

Pamphlet : Why the home makers do not want to vote
The author makes the argument against women's suffrage that in order to preserve and advance family life and happiness in the home, women should focus entirely on their work in the home and leave political participation to the wage-earning…

Pamphlet : Suffrage and anti-suffrage; a woman worker's appeal. 1909
Reprinted from The National Review, 52, January 1909.

Simkins makes the argument that it would be unfair to place the additional burden of voting on working women: "A twenty years experience of steady work has led her to the conclusion that it…

Pamphlet : The blank-cartridge ballot. [Circa 1900]
Rossiter Johnson was a prominent author and editor whose wife, Helen Kendrick Johnson, also a writer, was active in the anti-suffrage movement.

The author discusses reasons why women's suffrage would be a mistake, including the idea that African…

Pamphlet : The status of woman; a letter to the Richmond, Virginia Times-Dispatch. December 11, 1909
Mary Johnston was a successful author, historian, playwright, and feminist. In this essay, published in the Times-Dispatch on December 12, 1909, Johnston discusses the relationship between husband and wife from early civilization to the present.…

Pledge form : National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies Election Campaign in Cumberland, Carlisle, Whitehaven, and Cockermouth Divisions. 1909
Campaign pledge form with original tear-off slip attached to appeal for monetary donations or services toward the women's suffrage campaign in preparation for an upcoming election.

The form is signed by Catherine E. Marshall, Organizing Secretary…

Pamphlet : Woman's Rights in America : a retrospect of sixty years, 1848-1908
This short essay was reprinted by the Illinois Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women courtesy of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.

The back page contains a list of the officers of the Illinois…

Pamphlet : Woman Suffrage Throughout the World. 1907
Reprinted from the North American Review September, 1907.

The author provides a summary of woman's suffrage movements and existing voting rights for women in countries throughout the world.

On the United States, the final sentence of her essay…

Program : Thirty-Ninth Annual Convention of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, First Baptist Church Geneva, New York. 1907
The program contains lists of officers, committees, speakers. schedule of events, and advertisements. It also includes photomechanical prints of the First Baptist Church, Seneca Lake, and portraits of Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Howard Shaw, Ella…

Program : 5th Triennial Meeting of the National Council of Women of the United States : to be held at the Pythian Temple, Washington, D.C. 1905
The National Council of Women of the United States was founded in 1888 by Susan B. Anthony. It was composed of national organizations and affiliated associations all pledged to work for issues concerning women including the right to vote. The…
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