Catherine Braddock Lippincott (1850-1933)
By Mary Athey, Independant Historian
This biographical sketch was first published on the Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States and appears here by permission. That database is accessible at https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/VOTESforWOMEN
Vice President of Orange Political Study Club
Catherine Ann Braddock Lippincott was born in Burlington County, New Jersey, on November 8, 1850. She was the daughter of Job and Elizabeth Braddock, prosperous members of the Society of Friends. She married William B. Lippincott on February 13, 1873. Lippincott also came from a family of Quakers, and Catherine Lippincott officially applied to be received into the Society after her marriage in 1873. She and William had three children; Elizabeth (1874), Levi (1876), and Ada (1878).
Her religion played a key part in Mrs. Lippincott’s developing interest in women’s suffrage. In 1745, Burlington County, which lies just across the river from Philadelphia, had a population that was 50 percent Quaker. With this large migration from Pennsylvania came the Quaker principles of equality in family life. Women were not just appendages, they were equal partners who could vote, serve as spiritual leaders, and administer their own property.
Mrs. Lippincott’s father was a gentleman farmer who had large tracts of farmland as well as investments, including the local railroad serving Trenton, Camden, and Philadelphia. At his death, he divided his estate equally among his children. Mrs. Lippincott received shares in the railroad and had sufficient funds to make her independent regarding her interest in women’s rights. One of her first public positions was as a church clerk, recording minutes of the monthly meetings of the Salem Quaker community. She was then appointed to the oversight committee to manage daily operation of the Quaker School in Moorestown.
By 1888, following her father’s death, she and her family were living in Chester, New Jersey. She began attending meetings of the Orange Political Study Club formed under the auspices of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association. She became a friend and colleague of Minola Graham Sexton, who was elected president of the New Jersey association in 1898. Mrs. Lippincott served as one of five vice-presidents in Mrs. Sexton’s cabinet.
For the next several years, the New Jersey suffrage movement met great opposition, but Mrs. Sexton and her colleagues spoke throughout the state to women’s organizations and other societies. They also arranged suffrage events in large New Jersey cities, including the two-day events held every year at the Ocean Grove Auditorium at the invitation of the Camp Meeting Association.
When their terms ended in 1905, the Association was large and flourishing. Mrs. Sexton would go on to other prominent offices, but Mrs. Lippincott retired from public record. Then in 1925, she appeared again as a recent widow when she applied for a passport at the age of 74. She indicated on her application that she intended to take a four-month pleasure cruise to see Spain, Turkey, Egypt, France, Italy and England. Details on the application indicate that she was 5 feet 2 inches tall, had gray eyes and light brown hair.
Catherine Lippincott lived in Moorestown until her death November 14, 1933. She is buried in the Moorestown Friends Cemetery near her daughter Elizabeth.
Anthony, Susan B., and Ida H. Harper. History of Women’s Sufferage Trilogy – Part 2:The Trailblazing Documentation on Women’s Enfranchisement in USA, Great Britain & Other Parts of the World–With Letters, Articles, Conference Reports, Speeches, Court Transcripts & Decisions
Burlington County New Jersey Death Index 1814-2010; November 14, 1933
Find A Grave Index, 1600s to Current; Catherine Braddock Lippincott
New Jersey Wills and Probate Records for 1739-1991;Job Braddock; Burlington Wills, Vol T-U, 1887-1890
Report of the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union, October 23-28, 1908, New Jersey Chapter
US Quaker Meeting Notes; Woodstock and Moorestown, New Jersey, Monthly Meeting Minutes, 1873
US Passport Applications 1795-1925; issued December 12, 1924