University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

National Woman’s Party collection, 1853, 1914-1923, undated

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

This collection includes numerous documents relating to both the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and the National Woman’s Party. This encompasses personal diaries, organizational reports, legislative guides, posters, pamphlets, leaflets, and broadsides. These documents chronicle the development of both the national and Massachusetts chapters of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and the National Woman’s Party. Some noteworthy items in the collection are an anonymous diary kept by a woman who was arrested during a suffrage protest, a complete guide to Massachusetts legislation relating to women, a collection of broadsides campaigning for women’s suffrage, and numerous photos of some of the women who fought for suffrage and further rights for women before and after the passage of the 19th amendment.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage was an organization dedicated to the passage of a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. The organization was created in April 1913 and was active until 1916. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns were the key organizers of the union. The group was composed of a smaller executive committee and a larger advisory committee as well a larger group of general members. Paul and Burns were the chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the executive committee. This group eventually gave way to the National Woman’s Party. That group was organized along similar lines as the union, and shared the same goal. The party lasted past the passage of the 19th amendment and worked to further equalize the position of men and women in both Massachusetts and national law. Though the National Woman’s Party ceased its lobbying efforts in 1997, it continues to exist as a non-profit educational organization with the mission of sharing the untold stories of women’s history.