History of Woman Suffrage
History of Woman Suffrage was produced by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage and Ida Husted Harper in six volumes from 1881 to 1922. It is a history of the suffrage movement, primarily in the United States.
The project was conceived in 1876 by Anthony and Stanton when they realized that the earliest pioneers of the women's movement were passing on or would soon be. Originally envisioned as much smaller publication, it evolved into a work of nearly 6000 pages that was written over a period of 41 years.
In addition to chronicling the movement's activities, the earlier volumes contain analyses of the historical causes of the condition of women, including the role of religion, and they also include reminiscences of movement leaders. The later volumes focus on documenting the activities of the movement, sometimes on a state-by-state basis.
The first three volumes, which bring the history of the movement up to 1885, were written and edited by Stanton, Anthony and Gage. Volumes 1 and 2 were published in 1881 and Volume 3 in 1886. Volume 4, which covers the period from 1883 to 1900, was published in 1902 by Anthony and her younger protégé Ida Harper, who also wrote Anthony's biography. Volumes 5 and 6 are companion volumes that cover different aspects of the period from 1900 to 1920, the year that the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Published in 1922 after Anthony's death in 1906, these two volumes were edited by Harper.
Quoting Wendell Phillips, the authors write in the introduction: "We hope the contribution we have made may enable some other hand in the future to write a more complete history of 'the most momentous reform that has yet been launched on the world—the first organized protest against the injustice which has brooded over the character and destiny of one-half the human race.'" The first volume is dedicated to the memory of several pioneering women in the movement, with the name of Mary Wollstonecraft listed above all other names.
The History of Woman Suffrage only partially portrays the role of Lucy Stone, a pioneering women's rights advocate. Stone was a leader of the American Woman Suffrage Association, which for twenty years was a rival to the National Woman Suffrage Association led by Anthony and Stanton. The two organizations merged in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association with Anthony as its dominant figure. Stanton urged Stone to assist with the history project by writing an account of her own role in the movement. Stone, however, said the project should be left to a later generation because it would be impossible for the leaders of either of the two rival groups to write an impartial history of the movement as a whole. Stone provided Stanton with only minimal information about her activities, saying she had not kept records of her work. She also asked Stanton not to attempt to write a biographical sketch of her for inclusion in the history. The history was used as the standard scholarly resource in that field for much of the 20th century, causing Stone's contribution to the movement to be overlooked in many histories of women's causes.
The History of Woman Suffrage similarly does not give a full accounting of the activities of the militant National Woman's Party, founded in 1913 by Alice Paul and other activists who were formerly members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
- "History of Woman Suffrage". Women in American History. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved May 15, 2012.
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 1. New York: Fowler & Wells. 1881. pp. 8,227. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Kerr, Andrea Moore (1992). Lucy Stone: Speaking Out for Equality. Rutgers University Press. pp. 1, 196. ISBN 978-0813518602.
- Barry, Kathleen (1988). Susan B. Anthony: Biography of a Singular Feminist. New York: Ballentine Books. p. 272. ISBN 0-345-36549-6.
- Cullen-DuPont, Kathryn (1996). The Encyclopedia of Women's History in America. New York: Da Capo Press. pp. 96, 165. ISBN 0-306-80868-4.
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I (1848–1861) at Project Gutenberg, Google Books and Internet Archive
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II (1861–1876) at Project Gutenberg, Google Books and Internet Archive
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume III (1876–1885) at Project Gutenberg, Google Books and Internet Archive
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV (1883–1900) at Project Gutenberg, Google Books and Internet Archive
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V (1900–1920) at Project Gutenberg, Google Books and Internet Archive
- History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI (1900–1920) at at Project Gutenberg, Google Books and Internet Archive
- Kelly, Martha, "A Little History of The History of Woman Suffrage," IOBA Standard Online, Volume VI, Number 1, Spring Edition 2005.