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FJI Author Series – Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers

Thursday, June 7, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

“In her accessible history, Berenson focuses her spotlight on Bay State women who catalyzed the effort to gain women’s right to vote on a local and national level … . The book makes a case for determination, perseverance, and patience to bring about necessary change.” – The Boston Globe

From the publisher: “Few know Massachusetts was at the center of the nation’s revolutionary struggle for woman suffrage. A battle waged over historical memory obscured the state’s role—until now.

Long before the Civil War, Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850. Throughout the 1850s, Stone and her allies held annual national women’s rights conventions.

After the Civil War, Stone founded the Boston-based American Woman Suffrage Association and the Woman’s Journal to lead woman suffrage campaigns across the country—and in Massachusetts. Their work laid the foundation for the next generation of local leaders, including Radcliffe graduate Maud Wood Park (whose papers formed the nucleus of today’s Schlesinger Library), to recruit college-educated women, build alliances with the labor movement, lobby in Congress, and picket the White House. The Nineteenth Amendment was finally adopted in 1920.

Learn too why Massachusetts suffragists have not received the attention they deserve. After the Civil War, an acrimonious post-war schism divided Lucy Stone, who supported the 15th Amendment that enfranchised black men, from her former allies Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who did not. During the years of bitter rivalry, Anthony and Stanton wrote an influential one-sided account of the first decades of the movement. This book raises Lucy Stone and her local allies to their rightful stature in the national suffrage narrative.”


About the Author: Barbara F. Berenson

Barbara F. Berenson is the author of Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution (The History Press 2014) and Walking Tours of Civil War Boston: Hub of Abolitionism (The Freedom Trail Foundation 2011, 2nd edition, 2014). She is the co-editor of Breaking Barriers: The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts (Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2012). A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, she works as a senior attorney at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She serves on the Boards of Boston By Foot and the Royall House & Slave Quarters.


Please note: Program participants will have the opportunity to read and discuss Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement: Revolutionary Reformers with the author in an informal round table setting. Participation will be limited, so please register early. A complimentary copy of the book will be distributed prior to the program. A light dinner will be available at the program.