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Develops curriculum guides, resources, and events to engage K-12 students in NJ’s suffrage history.
Coordinates NJ Women Vote’s marketing, website development, and social media campaign.
Organizes events that illuminate and celebrate the stories of NJ women for a public audience.
Plans activities that encourage voter registration and civic participation on behalf of state residents within the context of women’s suffrage.
Strategizes and implements efforts to garner support for the NJ Women Vote initiative.
Women who owned property were allowed to vote under the New Jersey Constitution (which was unique in the nation at the time).
The New Jersey Legislature stripped that right when it passed an act eliminating the property requirements for voting rights but limited the ballot to white males.
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) delivered her famous speech which demanded equal human rights for all women as well as for all blacks known as “Ain’t I a Woman” at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention. Her speech was later published by New Jersey suffragist Frances Dana Gage. Sojourner was originally named Isabella Baumfree and was born into slavery in New York. She escaped into freedom in 1828 and renamed herself Sojourner in 1843.
Lucy Stone & Harry Blackwell organized the first formal association devoted to gaining full suffrage for women in New Jersey. This early version of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association (NJWSA) was one of the first state suffrage associations in the nation.
Portia Gage tries to vote in Vineland in a municipal election.
Alice Stokes Paul is born in Mount Laurel, NJ. Paul would become a major leader in the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment and the Equal Rights Amendment.
A National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) board meeting was held in Orange, NJ in conjunction with the state association. Reverend Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt spoke at the meeting. Having contact with national leaders helped to energize New Jersey state suffrage organizations and draw new members and leaders to the cause. The Orange Political Study Club was formed after the convention.
Reverend Florence Spearing Randolph (1866-1951) was one of the first women to be ordained as a deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. In 1915 she founded and became the first president of the New Jersey Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs. She served on the executive board of the New Jersey Suffrage Association.
NAWSA organizer Harriet May Mills organized Summer Suffrage Meetings at various locations along the Jersey shore.
New Jersey’s first open air suffrage rallies were held in Orange & Newark led by Dr. Emma O. Gantz and Martha Klatshchken. During this time of change, NJWSA conducted a successful petition drive and got 5000 signatures on a petition drive in support of the federal amendment.
NJWSA opened its first official state head quarters in Newark and printed its first yearly reports. They also joined forces with several other suffrage groups to form a Joint Legislative Committee to create a united front and work toward achieving a state referendum on woman suffrage.
Hearings for a suffrage referendum were held in the senate and assembly and were well attended by vocal suffragists. Even though the measure was soundly defeated in both houses, it marked a turning point in the tactics of the New Jersey suffrage movement.
An automobile rally led by “General” Rosalie Jones started in New York and traveled through New Jersey on the way to Washington D.C. The rally participants joined the massive Suffrage Parade that was being organized in Washington D.C. by Alice Paul which featured over 8000 marchers including many women from New Jersey.
A second suffrage constitutional referendum was waged in NJ, NY, PA, and MA with active campaigns by many suffrage organizations. One of the memorable events staged was the “Passing of The Torch of Liberty” via tug boats on the Hudson River from NY to NJ by Mrs. Havemeyer to Mina Van Winkle on August 7, 1915. After a very heated fight, the referendum was defeated in all four states October 1915.
The Silent Sentinels who picketed in front of the White House, including New Jersey suffragists Allison Turnbull Hopkins, Julia Hulburt, Beatrice Reynolds Kinkead, and Minnie D. Abbott, were arrested and imprisoned.
Mary Dubrow (1896-1984), a member of the National Women’s Party (NWP), participated in the Watchfire demonstrations and was jailed for 10 days. She also marched in many protests outside the NWP headquarters. Mary was a Russian Jewish immigrant who settled with her family in Passaic, New Jersey.
On February 10, 1920 New Jersey became the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment and on August 26, 1920, Alice Paul celebrated the Amendment’s victory in front of the ratification banner in Washington D.C.
Alice Paul first introduces the Equal Rights Amendment into U. S. Congress.
An equal rights clause is added to the new State Constitution reading: “Wherever in this Constitution the term ‘person,’ ‘person,’ ‘people’ or any person pronoun is used, the same shall be taken to include both sexes.” (Article X, Paragraph 4).
April 17, 1972: New Jersey ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman. The ERA is designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex and seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in terms of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.