On Sunday, September 10, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., Mount Gulian Historic Site, Beacon, N.Y., will host a special event open to the public celebrating the 100th anniversary of women in New York State winning the right to vote.
The event is for the entire family and will feature presentations by famous suffragists Lucretia Mott and Alice Paul, both expertly portrayed by actresses from the American Historical Theatre of Philadelphia.
Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) was a leading voice of the abolitionist and feminist movements of her time. Born in Nantucket, MA, she was raised in a Quaker family. As a teenager she attended the Nine Partners School in Millbrook, predecessor to the Oakwood Friends School in Poughkeepsie. She helped organized the first Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848, and outlined her feminist philosophy in her Discourse on Women (1850), in which she argued for equal economic opportunity and full voting rights for women. After the abolition of slavery at the end of the Civil War, Lucretia Mott remained a close friend of suffragist Susan B. Anthony, and a key figure in the women’s suffrage movement until her death in 1880.
Alice Paul (1885-1977) also grew up with a Quaker background. Blunt speaking, no-nonsense Paul graduated from Swarthmore College, went to law school and received a Master of Legal Letters and a Doctorate of Civil Law from American University. Inspired by Britain’s Christabel Pankhurst to speak out for women’s right to vote, she joined the successful fight for suffrage in Great Britain. Paul returned home to work with the National American Woman Suffrage Association and founded the National Woman’s Party. She campaigned against President Wilson’s refusal to support woman suffrage, went on hunger strikes, and was jailed while fighting to secure the 19th Amendment. When that passed in 1920, Alice Paul wrote and worked for an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), helping to introduce the bill in 1923. The ERA has been introduced in Congress in every session since 1982, but has yet to become law.