2017 marks the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York State. The first state east of the Mississippi River to pass woman suffrage, New York granted women the vote three years before a federal amendment extended this right across the United States. The campaign that began in Seneca Falls and Rochester in 1848 took nearly 70 years to achieve.
Rochester-area women—and men—played an important role in this historic victory. In addition to universally recognized leaders like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, countless others worked at the local level to organize meetings and lectures, carry petitions door to door, and generally serve as the “boots on the ground” to drum up support for the cause.
As the Rochester region joins in the statewide effort to celebrate New York’s Suffrage Centennial and the history behind it, we bring together historical artifacts from throughout our community to help tell the stories of the different people and ideas that moved woman suffrage forward. Our theme, “Because of Women Like Her,” honors the legacy of our past while inspiring us towards an even better future.
This digital exhibition is a companion to the physical exhibit on display at the Rochester Public Library beginning on June 2, 2017. Thank you to all the organizations who contributed time and material to this exhibit, and to our funders.