The project will encompass all petitions relating to women’s rights in the legislative collections at the MAC from 1619 to 1925. This includes between 2,500 and 2,800 petitions on women’s rights—including suffrage, but also rights regarding marriage, property, school committees and jury participation. Some of the most important leaders of state and national suffrage movements – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone – appear in these petitions. (See http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL:10956316 for a petition in which these signatories appear. It is an anti-segregation petition and hence fell within the scope of our existing project.) We have already discovered the names of signatories and canvassers from African-American and Native-American women. The relevance of these patterns of black and Native women’s petitioning in Massachusetts is not only of historical interest but also of relevance to the value of creating digital archives, education materials and research collections today.
The President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Dr. Daniel Carpenter
1619 - 1925
The petitions concern issues of women's rights in Massachusetts and Maine (part of Massachusetts until 1820).