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Books, films and links on the history of the Women's Suffrage Movement and more! 



Sisters in Spirit Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists-Sally Roesch Wagner

"Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women fired the revolutionary vision of early feminists by providing a model of freedom for women at a time when EuroAmerican women experienced few rights. Women of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy possessed freedoms far beyond those of their white sisters: decisive political power, control of their bodies, control of their own property, custody of the children they bore, the power to initiate divorce, satisfying work, and a society generally free of rape and domestic violence. The thoughts of Elizabeth Cody and Matilda Joslyn Gage were shaped by their involvement with the indigenous women neighbors in upstate New York." 

Intrepid historian Sally Roesch Wagner recounts the compelling struggle for freedom and equality waged by women in the United States and documents the influence and inspiration Native American women gave to this dynamic social movement. The personal and political changes unleashed by the Iroquois/feminist relationship continue to transform our lives. 

Princess of the Hither Isles: A Black Suffragist’s Story from the Jim Crow South, Adele Logan Alexa

Born in the late nineteenth century into an affluent family of mixed race—black, white, and Cherkee - Adella Hunt Logan (1863-1915) was a key figure in the fight to obtain voting rights for women of color. A professor at the Tuskegee Insitiute in Alabama and a close friend of Booker T. Washingtown, Adella was in contact with luminaries such as Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and W.E.B. Du Bois. Despite her self-identification as an African American, she looked white and would often pass for white at segregated suffrage conferences, gaining access to information and political tactics used in the “white world” that might benefit her African American community.

Written by Adella’s granddaughter Adele Logan Alexander, this long-overdue consideration of Adella’s pioneering work as a black suffragist is woven into a riveting multi-generational family saga and shines new light on the unresolved relationships between race, class, gender, and power in American society.

The Women's Suffrage Movement - Dr Sally Roesch Wagner, Editor & Introduction

An inter-sectional anthology of works by the known and unknown women that shaped and established the suffrage movement, in time for the 2020 centennial of women’s right to vote, with a foreword by Gloria Steinem (Penguin Random House 2019).

Comprised of historical texts spanning two centuries, The Women's Suffrage Movement is a comprehensive and singular volume with a distinctive focus on incorporating race, class, and gender, and illuminating minority voices. This one-of-a-kind inter-sectional anthology features the writings of the most well-known suffragists, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, alongside accounts of those often overlooked because of their race, from Native American women to African American suffragists like Ida B. Wells and the three Forten sisters. At a time of enormous political and social upheaval, there could be no more important book than one that recognizes a group of exemplary women--in their own words--as they paved the way for future generations. The editor and introducer, Sally Roesch Wagner, is a pre-eminent scholar of the diverse backbone of the women's suffrage movement, the founding director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation, and serves on the New York State Women's Suffrage Commission. 

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote - Susan Ware

Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, an acclaimed historian gives voice to the thousands of women from different backgrounds, races, and religions whose local passion and protest resounded throughout the land. 

For far too long, the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born. But Susan Ware uncovered a much broader and more diverse story waiting to be told. Why They Marched is a tribute to the many women who worked tirelessly in communities across the nation, out of the spotlight, protesting, petitioning, and insisting on their right to full citizenship.

Ware tells her story through the lives of nineteen activists, most of whom have long been overlooked. We meet Mary Church Terrell, a multilingual African American woman; Rose Schneiderman, a labor activist building coalitions on New York’s Lower East Side; Claiborne Catlin, who toured the Massachusetts countryside on horseback to drum up support for the cause; Mary Johnston, an aristocratic novelist bucking the Southern ruling elite; Emmeline W. Wells, a Mormon woman in a polygamous marriage determined to make her voice heard; and others who helped harness a groundswell of popular support. We also see the many places where the suffrage movement unfolded―in church parlors, meeting rooms, and the halls of Congress, but also on college campuses and even at the top of Mount Rainier. Few corners of the United States were untouched by suffrage activism.

Ware’s deeply moving stories provide a fresh account of one of the most significant moments of political mobilization in American history. The dramatic, often joyous experiences of these women resonate powerfully today, as a new generation of young women demands to be heard.

Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement - Robert P.J. Cooney, Jr

Winning the Vote captures the color and excitement of a central, inspiring but nearly forgotten chapter in American history. This beautifully designed hardback presents the American woman suffrage movement clearly and chronologically with emphasis on the fascinating personalities and turbulent political campaigns of the early 20th century. Nearly 1,000 photographs, posters, leaflets and portraits illustrate this fascinating account of the expansion of American democracy. Large format images and a fast paced text highlight key developments between 1848 and 1920 including over 52 state electoral campaigns and the final, controversial drive for the 19th amendment. Winning the Vote shows how women have long been active participants in U.S. history and how many became politically powerful before winning the right to vote. There are profiles of 78 American women and men, black and white, who led the drive for equal rights, and an unprecedented display of the symbolism, color, and imagery used by the increasingly sophisticated suffrage movement. The opening three chapters, out of eighteen, cover efforts for full democracy in the 19th century, and an Epilogue follows suffragists into government and other influential areas after 1920. 




Annenberg Classroom released this video in August 2019 and provides this forward: 

Voting is the most basic right of a citizen and the most important right in a democracy. When you vote, you are choosing the people who will make the laws. For almost a century and a half of our nation’s history, women were barred from exercising this fundamental right. This is a film about their long, difficult struggle to win the right to vote. It’s about citizenship, the power of the vote, and why women had to change the Constitution with the 19th Amendment to get the vote. 

Featuring Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy and other legal scholars. 

Length: 26 minutes Link: 


Iron Jawed Angels is a 2004 American historical film drama directed by Katja von Garnier. The film stars Hilary Swank as suffragist leader Alice Paul, Frances O'Connor as activist Lucy Burns, Julia Ormond as Inez Mulholland, and Anjelica Huston as Carrie Chapman Catt. It received critical acclaim after the film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

The film focuses on the American Women's Suffrage movement during the 1910's and follows women's suffrage leaders Alice Paul and Lucy Burns as they use peaceful and effective nonviolent strategies, tactics, and dialogues to revolutionize the American feminist movement to grant women the right to vote. 

Length: 125 minutes


Selma is a 2014 Drama/Historical drama directed by Ava DuVernay. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Also starring Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper and Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B Johnson. 

Length: 128 minutes


Premiered on PBS on November 7, 1999 by Master documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and Paul Barnes. They use stunning black-and-white archival footage that shows both the excitement and the challenges civil rights activists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony faced almost a century ago. Actors Ann Dowd, Sally Kellerman, Julie Harris and Amy Madigan provide commentary. 

Length: 180 minutes 

Women Suffragists and the Men Who Supported Them:The Suffragents & Their Role in the Struggle ...

The hour long video online first aired live on October 17, 2019.  A panel of speakers moderated by Betsy Fischer Martin, Executive Director, Women and Politics Institute, American University School of Public Affairs, panelists include Brooke Kroeger, author of The Suffragents: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote; Johanna Neuman, author of Gilded Suffragists:The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote; and Susan Ware, author of Why They Marched

What role did men play in the women's suffrage movement, and how did they aid in the fight for the 19th Amendment? At a time when public support for women’s issues could cause men ridicule, their backing of the movement was significant. A distinguished panel will discuss the men who involved themselves in the suffrage movement, including the Men's League of Women's Suffrage. Presented in partnership with the 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative and the One Woman, One Vote 2020 Festival.

Watch on YouTube here: and Fast Forward to approximately 6:25:00 for the beginning.

California Women Win the Vote

Using both historical materials and live reenactments, this film presents the dramatic Suffrage campaign that won the women of California the right to vote nine (9) years before the Federal Amendment. The campaign becomes a role model and motivation for the rest of the country; today, the tactics and spirit of these women are a guide and an inspiration for citizen activism in a democratic society.

California Women Win the Vote was the centerpiece for the state-wide celebration of California’s Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote in 2011. It reveals a close-in study of a State’s campaign strategies.

Length: 39minutes

LWV Sonoma County "Winning the Vote for Women" Celebrating 100 Years of Voting" with Molly MacGregor

The League of Women Voters of Sonoma County's kick-off event "Winning the Vote for Women - Celebrating 100 Years of Voting" on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at the Rincon Valley Library. Presented a guest panel of speakers including the following (left to right): Mary Paul Dodgion - West County Museum, Peggy Rogers - Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women, Moderator, Gaye LaBarron - Local Historian/Author/Columnist, Ann Galantine - Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee and Molly MacGregor - Co-Founder/Executive Director of National Women's History Alliance. This video starts with Molly MacGregor speaking. 



Register/Pre-register to Vote

Register or pre-register to vote online HERE and check your voter registration status HERE

The deadline to register or re-register to vote for any election is 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Time on the 15th calendar day before that election. 

Get acquainted with our local Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office either on their website or their Facebook Page HERE

Women's Suffrage History Timelines

Learn more from 1776 to 1923 by visiting this TIMELINE on the National Park Service website compiled by E. Susan Barber 

Voting Rights in America 1776 through present day TIMELINE ... there is still  much work to be done. 

Source: Business Insider 

National Women's History Museum

Discover the stories of women left out of history by visiting the National Women's History Museum's website

2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative

 The 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative (WVCI) is a collaborative effort created to share information and stimulate activities around the country in the years leading up to 2020.  Our fiscal sponsor, National Women's History Alliance is one of the over 40 Task Force Partners involved in this Initiative. Visit the Initiative's website HERE

Women and the Media

WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE AND THE MEDIA In June 2017, an online database and resource site was created by members of the American Journalism Historians Association to serve as a multimedia resource companion to their special suffrage issue. 

WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER In 2005, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem founded the Women’s Media Center (WMC), a progressive, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media and, thereby, ensuring that their stories get told and their voices are heard.  

Chronology of Women's Suffrage Movement Events

A historical timeline for teachers, from 1776 through the 19th Amendment in 1920 - for grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

Online at SCHOLASTIC with information courtesy of National Women's History Alliance