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Tracking Connections: On Writing & The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight

While writing The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight, I was interested in tracking connections to my own life. For example, I was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in North Warren, Pennsylvania, a small community north of the city of Warren, where I went to junior and senior high school. Whereas women in Colorado won equal suffrage in 1893. Pennsylvania was one of the states where women were not able to win even a shred of suffrage; despite generations of suffragists’ persistent efforts, including speeches by Anna Elizabeth DIckinson and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Roscoe Hall in Warren, and an overnight stay of suffragists campaigning with the Justice Bell in 1915.

In 1919, Pennsylvania, was the seventh state, of the required 36, to ratify the 19th Amendment.  Dora Lewis from Philadelphia, the chair of the National Woman’s Party ‘s Ratification Committee who had served jail terms for peaceful picketing, survived the “Night of Terror,” hunger strikes and forced feedings, stood beside the governor as he signed the certificate of ratification.  Today, June 21, the state Capitol in Harrisburg will be lighted in the purple and gold suffrage colors through the 24th, the date the legislature ratified the amendment. The image is the front-page headline in the Harrisburg Telegraph, June 24, 1919.

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