Grit Chronicles: Suffrage in Williamsport

2016-11-29T12:24:42+00:00By |

On occasion, I share historic news reports and here’s one of interest, in honor of Women’s History Month. People don’t often think of Suffrage as a community effort, but without commitment on the local level, the 19th Amendment would never have passed.

Thanks to the dedication of women in smalltown America, as well as the “Silent Sentinels” who picketed the White House and went on Hunger Strikes in our nation’s capitol, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, granting American women the right to vote.

Below is a news article from Grit, America’s Best-Loved Family Newspaper, documenting local Suffrage activities that helped propel the Amendment forward. Enjoy!

Suffrage Campaign Launched

Suffrage in Williamsport: Grit Chronicles

Suffragists march in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in support of Women’s Rights and ability to vote. This support eventually led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

May 9, 1915

An active campaign for the suffrage amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution was launched at a mass meeting in the Lycoming County Court House.

The meeting is in charge of Mrs. R. Fleming Allen, county chairman, and addresses are to be made by Miss MacAlarney, who is aiding in organizing the women of the county, and by four gentlemen who will appeal on different phases of the question.

The Rev. Charles Bikle will discuss the duty of women to aid in the care and protection of all children, in addition to their own sons and daughters. He takes the position that the ballot will make possible this broader duty. James B. Krause and Clarne E. Sprout will also speak in favor of suffrage, answering objections that are being raised by opponents of the proposition.

On Wednesday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Clinton B. Coleman, about 75 women interested in the suffrage movement met and organized for an active campaign locally.

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About the Author:

I’m Robin Van Auken, an author, researcher and educator specializing in communications, the publishing industry, as well as cultural heritage projects. I teach at Lycoming College, and when I'm not teaching, I write. I've authored more than a dozen books, ranging from nonfiction history to fictional novels. I'm also a public archaeologist. Learn more about my books projects on the web at: www.RobinVanAuken.com.