Women won the right to vote in New York State in 1917, but the story really began much earlier and with particular fervor in the mid 19th century.
In the 1840’s, upstate New York was a hotbed of radicalism. The “Second Great Awakening” brought with it spiritual revivalism, penal and education reforms, abolitionism and the temperance and women’s right movements. This turbulent atmosphere of ideas and events was not unlike the cultural upheaval of the 1960s.
In 1848 Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Coffin Mott and several other women gathered around a tea table in Waterloo, New York and drafted the “Declaration of Sentiments” based upon the Declaration of Independence. By inserting into the text that women, as well as men, were created equal, they renewed the revolution that was started seventy two years earlier in 1776. The protracted and arduous road to women’s right to the elective franchise took until 1917 to be realized in New York State and not until 1920 in the entire United States. Continue reading