“President Wilson, how long must we wait for liberty?”
This is the story of women’s suffrage.
According to the legal doctrine of coverture, a married woman is “covered” by her husband. Legally, economically, politically—she largely ceases to exist. Yet, does widowed colonial Lydia Taft get to vote? And why does Revolutionary New Jersey buck the system, specifically writing a voting law that describes voters as “he or she,” then later disenfranchise women?
Decades pass, but the idea of women’s suffrage is resurrected. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Alice Stone, and staunch male supporters, like Henry Blackwell and Frederick Douglass, fight for it. But relationships fray as other women, anti-suffragists, fight against women’s suffrage.
Entering the twenty-first-century women picket, march, face forced feedings, and endure abuse; in one case, a beloved suffragist dies. But their sacrifices won’t be in vain.
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