8 Historical Suffragist Places To Visit If You’re Feeling All The Feelings On Election Night
Of course, today is a huge day for not only the nation, but the world. If Hillary Clinton, is elected as the first female president of the United States, history will be made. Just the fact that we had a female presidential candidate on the ballot is ~huge~, too. If you’re feeling all the feelings over the end of this election, there are several suffragist places to visit once this is all over. After all, before 1920, women in the U.S. did not have the right to vote. And some of those women are still alive today and in even more awe that not only can they vote these days, but also for a female presidential candidate. (Cue victory music here.)
Women were fighting for women’s voting rights since 1848, when they held the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The suffrage movement began and the people behind it were referred to as suffragists, while the females were known as suffragettes. If you want to learn even more about it, ICYMI, a historical drama, Suffragette , came out last year, too.
Just because you weren’t around at the turn of the century doesn’t mean you can’t trace the footsteps of those who were. Here are eight historical places you can check out.
1. Susan B. Anthony’s Grave, Rochester, NY
People have been plastering Susan B. Anthony’s grave with “I voted” stickers today. NYup.com even has a live post keeping track of it all and reported that people began waiting outside of the cemetery gates before 6 a.m. on Election Day. Aww. Aside from leaving their “I voted” stickers, people are taking pictures with Anthony’s grave, too. Of course, Anthony spent her life dedicated to the cause of giving women the right to vote, and was even arrested in 1872 for voting in an election in Rochester, NY. Now, that spot is a cafe in memory of her. Incidentally, the cemetery where she’s buried is called Mt. Hope — and Anthony sure did give decades of female voters hope.
2. Woodlawn Cemetery, The Bronx, NY
Anthony had help in her suffrage movement, and four suffragists are buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. There, visitors are being asked to place their “I voted!” stickers onto a sign at the grave site versus directly onto the granite. And, the cemetery even has “I voted!” stickers available in case you don’t want to give up yours. The women are:
Elizabeth Cady Stanton — A co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association, as well as a friend of Anthony’s who spent decades working with her on behalf of women’s rights and women’s suffrage.
Alva Vanderbilt Belmont — A multimillionaire socialite who helped with the suffrage movement, including donating to the cause. In 1909, she founded the Political Equality Association in New York, which was affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). In 1909-1910, she organized and funded the move of the NAWSA headquarters from Ohio to NYC.
Carrie Chapman Catt — Not only was the teacher/superintendent of schools in Iowa the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) from 1900 to 1904 and from 1915 to 1920, but she also founded the League of Women Voters in 1920.
Mary Garrett Hay — She was closely associated with Chapman Catt — in fact, the two are buried next to each other. In addition, Garrett Hay was President of the New York Equal Suffrage League and the New York City Woman Suffrage Party and was instrumental in getting women the right to vote in New York in 1917.
3. Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, Rochester, NY
If going to the cemetery’s not your thing, you can go to the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. Aside from having been the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association when Anthony was president of it, it was also where she was arrested for voting in 1872. In addition, Anthony lived and died there. She lived there “during the 40 most politically active years of her life,” states the house’s website.
4. Susan B. Anthony Park, Rochester, NY
Across the street from Anthony’s home-turned-museum, you’ll find the famous “Let’s Have Tea” statue in Susan B. Anthony Park. There, you’ll see the statue of Anthony having tea with Frederick Douglass, who’d been a leader in the abolitionist movement. The two were also close friends.
5. 1872 Cafe, Rochester, NY
After being a tourist, you’ll probably get hungry and want to check out the 1872 Cafe. Aside from coffee, you can also get pizza at the themed-cafe. And, yes, it’s named after Anthony — since she voted at a polling place there on November 5, 1872. A total of 15 women voted at the location. Throughout Rochester, 50 more women tried to vote that day, but were turned away by election inspectors.
6. National Women’s Hall Of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY
If Seneca Falls sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because it was the site of the first women’s rights convention back in 1848. And the National Women’s Hall of Fame is chock full of admirable women who will definitely inspire you (so much so that you may shed some tears, so have some Kleenex ready). In the institution, you’ll find inductees such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and none other than Clinton (who was inducted in 2005).
7. Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, Seneca Falls, NY
Also in Seneca Falls, you can check out the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House. As mentioned above, she was a co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association and a ~huge~ advocate regarding women’s rights and women’s suffrage. A couple of her famous quotes, among many, are “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal” and “Because man and woman are the complement of one another, we need woman's thought in national affairs to make a safe and stable government.”
8. The Gage Home, Syracuse, NY
Aside from being known as a suffragist, Matilda Joslyn Gage was also an abolitionist, author, and activist for Native American rights who grew up in a home on the Underground Railroad. She had many accomplishments in the name of the suffrage movement, such as speaking at the third Women’s Rights Convention, which was held in Syracuse in 1852, and co-authoring the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage with Stanton and Anthony. In Syracuse, you can go to The Gage Home — parts of it are even preserved in a suffrage-era style. In other parts of the home, you’ll find interactive exhibits and the best best best gift shop ever.
Interesting fact: Gage spent her entire life within a 30-mile radius of Syracuse, New York. Wow, right?! Nearby, you can also go check out Joslyn Gage’s grave, where you’ll find one of her famous quotes engraved on the headstone, “There is a word sweeter than Mother, Home or Heaven; that word is Liberty.”
If you do check them out, chances are, you’ll feel all the feels, as well as the presence of some of the most important women from the suffrage movement.
Images: Emma Lord/Bustle; Sarah Maslin Nir/Twitter; Annie Marie Pratt/Twitter; Emma Lord/Bustle; BVFoundation/Twitter; Emma Lord/Bustle; Wikimedia (National Women’s Hall Of Fame); Friendswori/Twitter; Wikimedia (Matilda Joslyn Gage); Emma Lord/Bustle