TABLE OF CONTENTS
RG 101, Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Copyright © 2008 by the Connecticut State Library
The Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association (CWSA) was organized at a meeting in Robert’s Opera House in Hartford on October 28th and 29th, 1869. Called to order by the Hon. John Hooker and a group of community leaders including Isabella Beecher Hooker, Frances Ellen Burr, Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, the meeting was addressed by such eminent people as the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Julia Ward Howe and William Lloyd Garrison. The association carried on a spirited and energetic campaign to obtain the vote for women, first in school and local elections and then on a state and national level, working in collaboration with many other “equal rights,” “equal franchise” and “constitutional union” groups. Its primary aim was achieved with the ratification by Connecticut of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution on September 14, 1920. Accomplishing its goal, the association voted to dissolve itself on June 3, 1921, and the records were transferred to the Connecticut State Library.
The CWSA collection not only contains records of meetings, correspondence, photographs and pamphlets, but also numerous scrapbooks that include relevant newspaper clippings. This material dates from the association's inception on October 28, 1869, to its dissolution on June 3, 1921. Organized first by subject, the materials in the collection are arranged in chronological order.
The records of the meetings chronicle the business of each meeting from 1869 to 1914. Frances Ellen Burr, recording secretary of the association for forty-one years, kept handwritten records until 1910. The vitality and determination of the group, registering 138 members on October 28, 1869, and swelling to 21,000 by 1914, is evident in the many scrapbooks of mounted newspaper clippings. Frances Ellen Burr was responsible for putting together most of these scrapbooks. While association records in this collection actually begin in 1869, Miss Burr's newspaper clippings documenting the early suffrage movement are dated as early as 1849. Newspaper clippings in scrapbooks that are in an extremely fragile state have been photocopied and placed in folders.
Membership and attendance registers are included in the collection and date from 1869 to 1920. This collection also contains a number of photographs of members - groups and executive board members, parades, demonstrations, campaigns and local political press photos. Publications such as pamphlets, leaflets and campaign literature date from 1870 to 1920.
The material in the oversized container (photographs, broadsides and political cartoons) appeared in an exhibition in the Museum of Connecticut History in June 1995. For the exhibit, the staff utilized acid-free mounting.
Restrictions on Access
Items numbered 13 and 14 of the "Container List" have been restricted because of their extremely fragile condition, especially the scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings. All restricted material has been photocopied and placed in the appropriate folder (noted as a copy).
Items considered fragile but remaining in the collection include the following:
Restrictions on Use
See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.
RG 069, Manuscript Collection - assorted manuscripts
Woman's Journal and Suffrage News. Boston, Mass., 1916 [Spec Coll. JK 1880 W56]
Polci, Mari Waters. "The role and development of the League of Women Voters in Connecticut: an organizational response to the changing status of women." microfilm [324.3 P 757ro SL]
Sashes and banners: Yellow/white/blue sashes (23) and banners (6), 2 "Vote for Women" sashes and 1 "Marshall" sash. Museum of Connecticut History collection.
Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association
Burr, Frances Ellen
Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association -- Records and correspondence
Women -- Suffrage -- Connecticut
Bills (legislative records)
The Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association offered its records and archives to the State Library of Connecticut with the agreement that the League of Women Voters should be residuary legatee of its other property.
The scrapbooks of Frances Ellen Burr, Volumes A, B, C, and E, containing mounted clippings pertaining to woman suffrage and related subjects dated 1858 - 1900 have been in the State Library since 1924. Previously a part of the book collection, the four volumes were added to the association archives. Similar material had already been included in CWSA archives.