Women’s History Month Feature – Suffrage

Women’s Suffrage

March is Women’s History Month! As part of our recognition we’re featuring a book list this month related to women’s suffrage, and the drive to get women the right to vote.

When the Nineteenth Amendment—stating that the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”—was ratified in 1920, it was the culmination of years of effort. In 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the Seneca Falls Convention, which called on women to seek equal rights. Throughout the following decades, suffragists circulated petitions, organized demonstrations, and lobbied Congress, and, influenced by the British suffrage movement, engaged in civil disobedience. An amendment to the Constitution was introduced in in Congress in 1878 but not approved until 1919. It was ratified by the states the following year. This mini-bibliography gives the history of the movement and biographies of the women who made change happen.

Digital braille and talking book titles can be downloaded from the NLS BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) service. Contact your local cooperating library to register for BARD. Registered users may also download audio titles on iOS and Android devices using the BARD Mobile app. Braille titles may be downloaded using the app on a device linked by Bluetooth to a refreshable braille display. TADL houses your local cooperating library at tadl.org/tbl. For more information call toll-free 888-NLS-READ (888-657-7323).

History Titles

  • A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War by Patricia Fara  
    • Science historian profiles the work of women scientists during World War I and the ways their work impacted the suffrage movement in the United Kingdom. Topics include the traditional roles of women, routes to power through science, wartime work, post-war readjustment, and more. 2018 
    • Download DB90840
  • Women Will Vote: Winning Suffrage in New York State by Susan Goodier  
    • An account of the efforts of activists from a wide variety of backgrounds across the state of New York, leading ultimately to the 1917 referendum granting women the right to vote. Discusses how the various factions both did and did not collaborate. 2017.
    • Download DB89598
  • The Ladies of Seneca Falls: The Birth of the Woman’s Rights Movement by Miriam Gurko  
    • A panoramic view of the birth of the feminist movement in 1848. Reveals the struggles of the leaders, the ideas they borrowed from such forerunners as Mary Wollstonecraft, and the movement they inaugurated. For junior and senior high readers. 1974.
    • Download DB10531
  • The Rise of the New Woman: The Women’s Movement in America, 1875-1930 by Jean V. Matthews  
    • A social and political history of the suffrage movement in the critical years leading up to and after ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 that gave women the right to vote. Discusses the role of feminist pioneers in changing public attitudes and the ideas and values engendered by their debates. 2003.
    • Download BR14851
  • The Golden Lane: How Missouri Women Gained the Vote and Changed History by Margot McMillen
    • A condensed history of the women’s suffrage movement and in particular the definitive march that took place in St. Louis during the Democratic Convention of 1916. 2011.
    • Download DBC16318
  • Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement by Sally Gregory McMillen
    • History of the 1848 Seneca Falls convention that galvanized the women’s rights movement in America. Highlights the work of suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone. Describes the social and legal injustices women faced and the Civil War’s effect on the movement. 2008.
    • Download DB67259
  • Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony by Geoffrey C. Ward
    • Historian Ward examines the lives of Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and their campaign for American women’s voting rights. Puts suffrage in the context of social movements including abolition, temperance, and social justice. Companion to the PBS documentary. 1999.
    • Download DB64389
  • The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss
    • An account of the battle to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment when, in 1920, Tennessee was the last state whose assent was needed. Discusses the women fighting for ratification and the opposing forces, including politicians, liquor companies, and railroad magnates. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2018.
    • Download DB90697

Biographies

  • Sisters: The Lives of America’s Suffragists by Jean H. Baker
    • Profiles the private and public lives of five women who championed women’s right to vote: Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, and Alice Paul. Examines the histories and backgrounds that motivated their activism, including their families, friends, lovers, companions, education, and accomplishments. 2005.
    • Download BR17487
  • Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist by Kathleen Barry
    • Using letters, diaries, and papers from Anthony’s personal library, the author shows Anthony’s place in the feminist movement. She explores the interaction of Anthony’s Quaker background, education, and early teaching career with the temperance movement to produce a woman who strived for social justice. Also discusses Anthony’s friendship with other feminists. 1988.
    • Download DB29392
  • Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists by Dyana Z. Furmansky
    • Rosalie Edge (1877-1962), the first American woman to achieve national renown as a conservationist, was a progressive New York socialite and veteran suffragist who joined the conservation movement in her early fifties. Her legacy of achievements —called “widespread and monumental” by the New Yorker —forms a crucial link between the eras defined by John Muir and Rachel Carson. She was an early voice against the indiscriminate use of toxins and pesticides, played key roles in the establishment and expansion of several national parks, and founded the world’s first refuge for birds of prey. 2009.
    • Download DBC12902
  • The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe by Elaine Showalter
    • Biography of the woman who wrote the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Through letters and journals, explores how her literary ambitions and fight for women’s rights led to conflict with her husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, founder of the Perkins School for the Blind. 2016.
    • Download DB85111
  • Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights From the Vote to the Equal Rights Amendment by Deborah Kops
    • Recounts the work and accomplishments of suffragist and activist Alice Paul (1885-1977). She was the leader of the National Women’s Party and the author of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would make all the laws that discriminated against women unconstitutional. For junior and senior high and older readers. 2017.
    • Download DB88775
  • Alice Paul: Equality for Women by Christine A. Lunardini
    • Biography of suffrage movement leader Alice Paul (1885-1977), who helped American women gain their right to vote in 1920. Highlights her Quaker upbringing, work with the British suffragettes, and organization of the National Woman’s Party. 2013.
    • Download BR20209
  • Jeannette Rankin, 1880-1973: Bright Star in the Big Sky by Mary Barmeyer O’Brien
    • Chronicles the life of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress and the only woman who voted to give all United States women the right to vote. She was a leading advocate for both woman’s suffrage and world peace. For junior and senior high. 1995.
    • Download DBC01244
  • Loving Warriors by Lucy Stone
    • Intensely human story of the courtship and marriage of the mid-nineteenth-century founder of the American woman’s suffrage movement, Lucy Stone, and businessman, Henry B. Blackwell. Both protested the injustice of marriage laws that made a woman subservient to her husband. 1981.
    • Download DB19459
  • The Scarlet Sisters by Myra MacPherson
    • Journalist examines the lives of sisters Victoria Woodhull (1838-1927) and Tennessee (Tennie) Claflin (1844-1923). Details their advocacy of the suffragist movement, their time as owners and editors of a weekly newspaper, and the founders of the first woman-run Wall Street brokerage firm. Some descriptions of sex. 2014.
    • Download DB78811
  • The Woman Who Ran for President by Lois Beachy Underhill
    • From an early age, Victoria Claflin Woodhull defied tradition. She and her sister, Tennessee, were 1850s spiritualists. They went to New York City, established themselves as fortune-tellers, received the backing of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and founded the first brokerage firm run by women. They also established a newspaper, where in the 1870s, Victoria began a fight for women’s rights that led her to bid for the presidency. 1995.
    • Download DB42766

Children’s Titles

  • Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote by Susan Zimet
    • American women won the right to vote when the controversial Nineteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was finally ratified in 1920, after Tennessee’s House of Representatives approved it by a mere one-vote margin. Recounts the history of the brave women who risked everything and made it happen. Commercial audiobook. For grades 6-9. 2018.
    • Download DB86963
  • Susan B. Anthony: Champion of Women’s Rights by Helen Albee Monsell
    • Focuses on the childhood of a pioneer in the crusade for human rights, particularly those of women. High interest/low vocabulary. For grades 3-6. 1960.
    • Download DBC03002
  • Lucretia Mott: A Guiding Light by Jennifer Bryant
    • Biography of the Quaker minister, abolitionist, and feminist who became a leading advocate of the antislavery movement during the early nineteenth century. She continued her fight for social equality by organizing the first women’s-rights convention in 1850. For grades 6-9. 1996.
    • Download DB46028
  • Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote by Dean Robbins
    • Recounts the story of suffragist Alice Paul (1885-1977) and her campaign to win women the right to vote. Highlights Alice’s spunk and perseverance in her effort to convince President Woodrow Wilson and a stubborn country that it was time to change the Constitution. For grades K-3. 2016.
    • Download DB85899
  • You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton by Jean Fritz
    • Biography of Elizabeth “Lizzie” Cady Stanton. Born in 1815, Lizzie rebelled against the unjust treatment of women from the time she was a child. Later she fought alongside her friend Susan B. Anthony for the right to vote, but died in 1902, before women’s suffrage came to pass. For grades 4-7. 1995.
    • Download BR10778
  • The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully
    • In 1880, feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton tells her young friend Cordelia about her efforts to win for women the right to vote. Cordelia listens to her neighbor’s talk of women’s suffrage even though she doesn’t believe it has anything to do with her. Then Mrs. Stanton tells a story from her own childhood. For grades 4-7. 1996.
    • Download BR11316
  • Sojourner Truth: A Self-Made Woman by Victoria Ortiz
    • Biography of the northern slave who became an ardent and vocal fighter for the rights of African Americans and women after she gained her freedom. For grades 6-9. 1974.
    • Download DB10115
  • Sojourner Truth: In Their Own Words by Peter Roop and Connie Roop
    • Biography of a woman who was born a slave in 1797 and struggled through many heartaches to become a free human being. Known as Belle until she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, she endured years of cruel treatment before running away to freedom. For grades 3-6. 2002.
    • Download DB56798