The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote

Join us for a virtual Zoom lecture

The story of how and why a group of prominent and influential men in New York City and beyond came together to help women gain the right to vote. Presented by Brooke Kroeger. 

The Suffragents is the untold story of how some of New York’s most powerful men formed the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage, which grew between 1909 and 1917 from 150 founding members into a force of thousands across thirty-five states. Brooke Kroeger explores the formation of the League and the men who instigated it to involve themselves with the suffrage campaign, what they did at the behest of the movement’s female leadership, and why. She details the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s strategic decision to accept their organized help and then to deploy these influential new allies as suffrage foot soldiers, a role they accepted with uncommon grace. Led by such luminaries as Oswald Garrison Villard, John Dewey, Max Eastman, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and George Foster Peabody, members of the League worked the streets, the stage, the press, and the legislative and executive branches of government. In the process, they helped convince waffling politicians, a dismissive public, and a largely hostile press to support the women’s demand. Together, they swayed the course of history.

Please register and a Zoom link will be sent to you the day before the event.

The 19th Amendment in Connecticut: Zoom lecture

This lecture will now take place via Zoom. Please register and a link will be sent to you!

In the late 19th Century, the women’s rights movement split between those favoring a time-consuming, state-by-state legislative approval, and those who took to the streets and risked arrest, to obtain a federal law on votes by women, mandatory for every state. The divisions among various factions did not resolve until after World War I, when all factions committed to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The U.S. Constitution required ratification by 36 states, and the suffragists were faced with objections in several states.

This talk will focus on the ratification effort and will rely on historic documents from our state archives. It will describe the role that Connecticut played in this effort as opposed to other states, such as Tennessee. This fascinating story includes descriptions of government officials both “pro” and “anti” suffrage, as well as the confrontations between the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements. The talk ends on a happy note with the 19th Amendment in effect for the vote for president in 1920. Read Weiss’s book, The Woman’s Hour ahead of time to learn more about this state-by-state process.

Lecture presented by Honorable Henry S. Cohn. Judge Henry Cohn was appointed to the Connecticut Superior Court in 1997, and is presently a Judge Trial Referee.  He has served as elections attorney, deputy secretary of the state (briefly secretary of the state) as well as an assistant attorney general and adjunct professor at UConn Law School.  He is co-author of a legal history of the Hartford Circus Fire and has written and spoken extensively on a variety of topics.

Deeds Not Words Suffrage Film Series: One Woman One Vote

All films begin at 1:30 pm and will be shown in the Library Community Room

March 4, 2020 One Woman, One Vote  PBS documentary chronicles the 70 year struggle leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment   (2005 ; NR ; 1 hr.) shown with : Equality Contemporary women introduce women of the past (2007 ; NR ; 30 min.)

April 1, 2020 Susan B. Anthony Archival photographs and dramatic recreations of Anthony’s fight for women’s rights (1995 ; NR ; 50 min.)

May 6, 2020 America’s Victoria: Remembering Victoria Woodhull Chronicles the life of one of the most important and unrecognized women in US history (2007 ; Rated G ; 2 hrs.)

June 3, 2020 Mary Poppins  Walt Disney’s classic film provided the first exposure to the suffrage movement for many children (1964 ; Rated G;    2 hrs. and19 min.)

Meet Isabella Beecher Hooker: one of Connecticut’s suffragettes

Tempest-Tossed is the first full biography of the passionate, fascinating youngest daughter of the “Fabulous Beecher” family—one of America’s most high-powered families of the nineteenth century. Older sister Harriet Beecher Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Brother Henry Ward Beecher was one of America’s most influential ministers, and sister Catherine Beecher wrote pivotal works on women’s rights and educational reform. And then there was Isabella Beecher Hooker—”a curiously modern nineteenth-century figure.” She was a leader in the suffrage movement, and a mover and shaker in Hartford’s storied Nook Farm neighborhood and salon. But there is more to the story—to Isabella’s character—than that.

Susan Campbell is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a widely read Hartford Courant columnist, and the author of three books. She’s worked across the media landscape as an award-winning print journalist, a regular commentator on WNPR, and a guest on CBS’ “Sunday Morning,” the BBC, WTNH-TV, and the local news show “Face the State.” She is also part of the Connecticut Health Investigative Team, an award-winning health and safety website.

Her work at The Courant – where she was a staff writer and columnist for 25 years and is currently a freelance columnist – has been recognized by the National Women’s Political Caucus, the New England Associated Press News Executives, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and the Society for Professional Journalists, among numerous other organizations. She’s also written for Connecticut Magazine, Salon.com, the Ms. Foundation blog, and Patheos.com.

Susan’s book will be for sale at this event, $16.00.  Cash or check payable to “Avon Library”

A sign language interpreter will be present at this event.

From Seneca Falls to the 19th Amendment: Songs of the Woman Suffrage Movement

The struggle for woman suffrage was an important and hard-fought step toward gender equality. Music  was one of the significant tools used in the crusade for a woman’s right to vote. Songs were composed to advance (and to oppose) the agenda that culminated in the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. This program presents some of the most engaging and interesting songs of the movement, with historical commentary, in commemoration of the approaching centennial of a woman’s right to vote.

Please note that due to the 72 year struggle for woman suffrage, (1848-1920) this program runs 70 minutes.

Rick Spencer and Dawn Indermuehle develop and present a series of theme-based music and history programs. They present songs that give cultural insight into interesting times, places and events in
American history.  Rick and Dawn carefully craft their vocals and accompaniment to sound as true to a song’s era or style as possible.  Their vast repertoire includes music from the Colonial era to the present day.  Rick and Dawn use these songs to illustrate the evolution of our nation’s culture and history in an informative and entertaining way.

A sign language interpreter will be present at this event.

This event made possible by a grant from CT Humanities

Snow date: Friday, February 28. 2020, 2:00 pm

The 19th Amendment: A Tale of Suffrage, Sacrifice & Success

The 19th Amendment: A Tale of Suffrage, Sacrifice & Success” presented by Mariann Millard.  The grass-roots story of women’s suffrage is a fascinating and a remarkable one: how it happened, who the players were, the obstacles they faced, the setbacks and personal hardships they endured, and the nail-biting race in the final state necessary to ratify the amendment. Lively and engaging, this presentation is designed to better understand and appreciate how difficult and how long the fight was for all women to become fully-fledged citizens of America.

Deeds not Words: Suffrage Film Series: The Divine Order

All films begin at 1:30 pm and will be shown in the Library Community Room

November 6, 2019 Suffragette  In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanized into radical political activism supporting women’s right to vote. Starring Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, and Helena Bonham Carter (2015 ; PG-13 ; 1 hr. 46 min)

December 4. 2019  Iron Jawed Angels  The story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns played by Hillary Swank and Frances O’Connor (2004 ; NR ; 2 hr. 3 min.)

January 8, 2020 The Divine Order  The Suffrage movement in Switzerland where women got the right to vote in 1971 (2017 ; NR ; 1 hr.36 min.)

February 5, 2020  Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan  B. Anthony  Two women, one allegiance (2004 ; NR ;  3 hrs.)

March 4, 2020 One Woman, One Vote  PBS documentary chronicles the 70 year struggle leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment   (2005 ; NR ; 1 hr.) shown with : Equality Contemporary women introduce women of the past (2007 ; NR ; 30 min.)

April 1, 2020 Susan B. Anthony Archival photographs and dramatic recreations of Anthony’s fight for women’s rights (1995 ; NR ; 50 min.)

May 6, 2020 America’s Victoria: Remembering Victoria Woodhull Chronicles the life of one of the most important and unrecognized women in US history (2007 ; Rated G ; 2 hrs.)

June 3, 2020 Mary Poppins  Walt Disney’s classic film provided the first exposure to the suffrage movement for many children (1964 ; Rated G;    2 hrs. and19 min.)

Fashioning Women’s Suffrage: How Suffragists Used Dress to Win the Vote

Contrary to stereotype, many suffragists were fashionable women.  They used chic attire and suffrage-themed accessories to advance their cause. They hoped to “sell” the movement by affiliating it with femininity, good looks, and style.

Prescott photoHeather Munro Prescott is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University. Her research and teaching interests include U.S. women’s history, history of medicine and public health, history of childhood, and disability history. Her most recent book is The Morning After: A History of Emergency Contraception, published by Rutgers University Press in 2011. She has also published articles on the history of medicine in the Bulletin of the History of MedicineJournal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, and Technology and Culture. She is currently working on a book on the a cultural history of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Snow date is 12/10

Suffrage Series Launch Event: Lecture with Susan Ware

A distinguished lecture presentation by Susan Ware, author of Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote (May 2019).
A pioneer in the field of women’s history and a leading feminist biographer, Susan Ware, an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer, is the author and editor of numerous books on twentieth-century U.S. history.  Her newest book, Why They Marched, uncovers a broader and more diverse story of suffrage, providing a fresh account of one of the most significant moments of political mobilization in American History. Feminism and women’s rights are an ongoing struggle with no clear endpoint in sight and the women’s suffrage movement is a vital part of that story.  Books will be available at this event, $20, cash or check payable to “Avon Library.”
This event is made possible by a grant from CT Humanities.  Additional sponsorship provided by the Connecticut Bar Association.

Deeds not Words: Suffrage Film Series

All films begin at 1:30 pm and will be shown in the Library Community Room

November 6, 2019 Suffragette  In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanized into radical political activism supporting women’s right to vote. Starring Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, and Helena Bonham Carter (2015 ; PG-13 ; 1 hr. 46 min)

December 4. 2019  Iron Jawed Angels  The story of Alice Paul and Lucy Burns played by Hillary Swank and Frances O’Connor (2004 ; NR ; 2 hr. 3 min.)

January 8, 2020 The Divine Order  The Suffrage movement in Switzerland where women got the right to vote in 1971 (2017 ; NR ; 1 hr.36 min.)

February 5, 2020  Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan  B. Anthony  Two women, one allegiance (2004 ; NR ;  3 hrs.)

March 4, 2020 One Woman, One Vote  PBS documentary chronicles the 70 year struggle leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment   (2005 ; NR ; 1 hr.) shown with : Equality Contemporary women introduce women of the past (2007 ; NR ; 30 min.)

April 1, 2020 Susan B. Anthony Archival photographs and dramatic recreations of Anthony’s fight for women’s rights (1995 ; NR ; 50 min.)

May 6, 2020 America’s Victoria: Remembering Victoria Woodhull Chronicles the life of one of the most important and unrecognized women in US history (2007 ; Rated G ; 2 hrs.)

June 3, 2020 Mary Poppins  Walt Disney’s classic film provided the first exposure to the suffrage movement for many children (1964 ; Rated G;    2 hrs. and19 min.)