New Year's Suffrage GenealogyBank.com

While the new year kicks off months of campaigning culminating in the 2020 presidential election, it also launches a year of celebrating the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote 100 years ago in 1920.

When did the women’s suffrage movement begin? Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights conference in Seneca Falls, New York, from July 19-20, 1848. Of the 300 attendees, 100 women and men signed the Declaration of Sentiments.

Illustration: portrait of Lucretia Mott by Joseph Kyle, 1842
Illustration: portrait of Lucretia Mott by Joseph Kyle, 1842. Credit: National Portrait Gallery; Wikimedia commons.

Expanding the Declaration of Independence to include ladies, the sentiments declared: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal.”

Photo: Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848 with two of her three sons, Daniel and Henry
Photo: Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848 with two of her three sons, Daniel and Henry. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

The most controversial plank identified the injustice that denied women the right to vote: “He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.” The ladies planned to educate the public and petition the government to give them the right to vote.

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