History

Historical Background – Illinois

Ahead of Their Time: A Brief History of Woman Suffrage in Illinois by Mark Sorensen gives a brief overview of the story.

The History of Woman Suffrage by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper – Chapter on Illinois – can be found here. It has lots of great information, though it does not tell the whole story, missing much of the work of the temperance movement and also of African-American women suffragists in the state. It does include this description of the final vote in 1919 and why there was some confusion about the Illinois vote –

  •  “… the mistake was made in copying the introductory resolution and not in the amendment itself. This opinion was accepted in the Secretary of State’s office at Washington [D.C.]. So Illinois, the first State east of the Mississippi River to grant suffrage to its women, was the first to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment.”

Chicago Political Equality League – entry in The Encyclopedia of Chicago. Search Suffrage for other entries in the encyclopedia. Also look for the entry on the Alpha Suffrage Club.

An online exhibit from the Illinois State Archives highlights the achievement of partial voting for women in the state in 1891. That year, Illinois women were able to vote in school board elections.

The National Park Service highlights Illinois and suffrage in this online exhibit.

Historical Background – National

This exhibit from the National Park Service provides an overview of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. There are many sources of information for the overall story of women’s suffrage.

The Women and Social Movements research project has created an online biographical dictionary of women suffrage activists including many from Illinois. The project includes members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, members of the National Woman’s Party, and Black Women Suffragists.

The 1913 Suffrage March in Washington D.C. is highlighted in this online exhibit from the Library of Congress. Illinois women, including Ida B. Wells and Grace Wilbur Trout were present at the march. Wells objected to the call for African-American suffragists to march at the end of the state delegations and successfully integrated the march by joining her fellow Illinois suffragists.

Suffragists or Suffragettes – Here’s a link to a great article that explains why in the U.S. the suffrage activists were called Suffragists. From the Massachusetts Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition.

African American Women and the Nineteenth Amendment – article on the National Park Service website with extensive bibliography.

Crusade for the Vote is an online resource created by the National Women’s History Museum that covers the history of the women’s rights movement from the early Republic through the passage of the 19th amendment.

The National Votes for Women Trail can be found here. It is a creation of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and state coordinators in all 50 states mapping the women’s suffrage movement.

Bibliography

This brief bibliography provides a list of published resources on the Illinois suffrage story.