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American Women: Resources from the Manuscript Collections

The Next Generation

In 1890, the competing wings of the women's suffrage movement reunited as the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Ideological differences remained, but the need for two national organizations seemed less important to a new generation of women entering the movement, including Lucy Stone's daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell (1857-1950), and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's daughter, Harriot Stanton Blatch, both of whom helped to broker the merger.

Alice Stone Blackwell's papers, dating from 1848 to 1957, constitute the largest group in the Blackwell Family Papers, and they reflect her significant role in the women's suffrage movement, her editorship of the Woman's Journal, and her literary endeavors translating and promoting the work of Armenian, Russian, and Spanish poets.

Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856–1940) hanging posters for lecture by Sylvia Pankhurst (1882–1960). December 29, 1910. Harriot Stanton Blatch Papers. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

Harriot Stanton Blatch (1856-1940) helped to pave the way for the 1890 merger by insisting ten years earlier that her mother and Anthony include a discussion of Stone and the American Woman Suffrage Association in their History of Woman Suffrage. They consented and asked Blatch to write the chapter. She later helped to revitalize the suffrage movement in the early 1900s, when she returned to the United States after living in England for many years and introduced to American suffragists some of the militant street tactics that characterized the British campaign. As founder of the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women (later renamed the Women's Political Union), Blatch attempted, at least initially, to blend varying class interests of suffragists and was successful in pushing a suffrage amendment through the New York state legislature in 1913, which became law four years later by state referendum. Her papers (14 volumes; 1907-15) document the New York campaign, the centennial celebration of her mother's birth, and her efforts to bring Emmeline Pankhurst and other British suffragists on speaking tours of the United States.

A third source of information about the 1890 merger is the papers of William Dudley Foulke (2,500 items; ca. 1470-1952; bulk 1868-1935), president of the American Woman Suffrage Association from 1886 to 1890 and chairman of the woman's suffrage congress at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

Manuscript Resources Referenced

The following collection titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.