Nawsa Presidency, Part I (1904–1908)
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter examines the early years of Anna Howard Shaw's National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) presidency. With little scholarship on Shaw's leadership, most historians follow the position originated by Eleanor Flexner that Shaw's tenure was chaotic and that Shaw an ineffective administrator. The only major challenge to this view comes from the late Sarah Hunter Graham and her argument that these were the years of a suffrage renaissance. The tensions and conflicts under Shaw's leadership were essential for the change that revitalized the NAWSA. Key challenges involved economic and racial issues, the focus on the federal amendment, and what the move to New York and the professionalization of the staff meant. Feminist suffrage scholarship generally has concluded that a conservative and racist NAWSA and Shaw were finally challenged by younger, more radical leaders. However, a close examination of Shaw's presidency finds that the dynamics within the NAWSA and the suffrage struggle to be far more complex.
Aunt Susan, love for you is all that would make me do this. You have borne so much and been to me more than a mother, and after your letters came I could not let you have one more hour of anxiety on my account. I only hope my acceding to your request will not make more anxiety in the end. I hope for the best and yet fear it is very unwise in me to even try it.
Anna Howard Shaw had dreamed of succeeding her mentor, Susan B. Anthony, as leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).1 That hope had crashed against the economic realities of Shaw’s life. In 1900 and still in 1904, she was in no position to assume the unpaid position of the NAWSA presidency. In 1900, however, Anthony and the NAWSA had another choice in the independently wealthy Carrie Chapman Catt. But personal and political stresses had worn Catt down to the point where she felt she had no option but to refuse reelection. As 1904 opened, Anthony, soon to be eighty-four, immediately started a campaign to convince Shaw that she had to take the post.
The last years had been hard on the entire suffrage movement. They had been hard years for Shaw too. The usually robust leader was physically tired and emotionally drained from two decades of constant traveling, speaking, and campaigning for woman suffrage. Though she usually greeted each New Year with an optimistic prayer, this year that prayer was accompanied by the worst headache of her life.2
The United States was in the middle of a transformation, but not one that favored the reforms Shaw, Anthony, and their colleagues envisioned. Theodore Roosevelt had become the country’s youngest president in 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley in Buffalo. Although Roosevelt was willing to confront the monopolies and trusts, he was pro-growth and a great backer of U.S. expansion. It wasn’t clear whether dealing (p.95) with the country’s increasing racial, ethnic, and class tensions was high on his list of initiatives. What was most important as far as Shaw and her colleagues were concerned was that Roosevelt was not a supporter of woman suffrage at this time.3
Tensions between the established and new Americans as well as rich and poor citizens had hardly abated. Immigration, industrialization, and urbanization challenged the rural and Protestant identity of the nation. The current European immigrants were predominantly from Italy, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Poland, yet continued migrations from Ireland, Germany, and Great Britain, as well as Mexico, Japan, Canada, and the West Indies, added to the new demographics of the country. The percentages of Jewish and Roman Catholic Americans increased, challenging the Protestant hegemony. New industries producing ready-made consumer goods kept workers in the cities, leading to the emergence of urban ghettos and sweatshops that employed immigrant fathers, daughters, and sons. Labor unrest highlighted the broadening wealth gap and the questioning of the “American dream.” Racial violence—lynchings, harassment, and sexual terrorism against African Americans—women, and men—and economic limitations that followed the disenfranchisement of African American men in the South and disempowerment of African Americans generally in that region were pushing individuals and families toward the cities of the north.4
American women had established themselves in the public sphere, addressing these societal problems. However, most of these organizations were racially segregated. African American women, who had long organized their own clubs on local levels, had founded the National Association of Colored Women in 1896. Working-class women, who had been organizing since joining the Knights of Labor, participated in both union activities and women’s organizations such as the Women’s Trade Union League, founded as a cross-class coalition in 1903 by Jane Addams, Mary Anderson, and others. Women’s history has traced the activities of middle-class white women as they founded clubs, schools and colleges, settlement houses, and other social organizations.5
Though its origins had been as part of earlier reforms, the movement to extend the franchise to women had taken a conservative turn. In what the leaders felt was a move essential for success, during the 1890s the NAWSA followed the Southern Strategy. As a result of this courting of southern white women along with other efforts to become respectable and mainstream, it had abandoned controversial positions and marginalized African Americans. Yet this plan brought no tangible results. The years without a new suffrage state had stretched to eight. There were no new monies coming in; the suffrage constituency as a whole was aging; and the now entrenched officers were split by both ideology and personal styles. The national movement seemed (p.96) stalled. Catt, the most accomplished organizer among this generation, had found that the majority of her officers resisted her efforts for reform. With no consensus among them and strengthening opposition throughout the country, the NAWSA verged on becoming ineffective and irrelevant.6
These next chapters follow Shaw’s life and her NAWSA presidency. With little scholarship on Shaw’s leadership, most historians follow the position originated by Eleanor Flexner that Shaw’s tenure was chaotic and Shaw an ineffective administrator. The only major challenge to this view comes from the late Sarah Hunter Graham and her argument that these were the years of a suffrage renaissance. This research leans more toward the latter, finding that the growth and transformation of the NAWSA and movement as a whole between 1904 and 1915 are undeniable. The tensions and conflicts under Shaw’s leadership were essential for the change that revitalized the NAWSA. Key challenges involved economic and racial issues, the focus on the federal amendment, and what the move to New York and the professionalization of the staff meant. Feminist suffrage scholarship generally has concluded that a conservative and racist NAWSA and Shaw were finally challenged (and in Shaw’s case, ousted) by younger, more radical leaders. This close examination of Shaw’s presidency finds that the dynamics within the NAWSA and the suffrage struggle to be far more complex.7
Initially, Anna Howard Shaw’s personal solution to the suffrage problems was to work ever harder for the cause. Even into her sixth decade, Shaw had yet to learn moderation as she juggled the demands of her paid and her political work. Her pattern was to work until she couldn’t do anymore. In the culture at large, fifty-seven-year-old women may have been considered old or elderly, but among suffrage women she was still part of the younger generation. Yet, as the NAWSA faced this succession crisis, she was so exhausted that her doctor told her that she had to take a real break from her demanding schedule. Shaw’s response was to plan an extended trip to Europe during the summer of 1904, with her suffrage family—Susan B., Mary S., and Lucy Anthony. They were to attend the International Council of Women in Berlin and remain to be part of the founding of the International Suffrage Alliance. Their beloved friend, Rachel Foster Avery, was moving to Switzerland with her family, and they looked forward to spending time there with Rachel and her daughters. In between the meetings and time with the Avery family, they would tour the British Isles and other sites. The trip would start in Italy, where Shaw could fulfill her childhood dream of seeing Pompeii.8
Plans changed. On January 29, 1904, Susan B. Anthony wrote to her longtime friends and fellow activists William Lloyd Garrison Jr. and his wife, Ella, “Now dear friends I am going to tell you what is at present a secret with the business committee only. Mrs. Catt has in a formal letter, declined to stand for the presidency another year.” Catt insisted that it wasn’t because of the (p.97) organization, but her “nerves” that necessitated rest, and that she must be freed from all responsibilities. Anthony’s letter to the Garrisons continued, explaining why, among all the officers, only Anna Howard Shaw could be president. But, Anthony continued, Shaw was a working woman and needed a salary to take the job. Anthony was pleading with the Garrisons. Garrison controlled the Mrs. E. K. Church Fund, one of the sources for suffrage funding. She needed him to make a commitment to help pay Shaw.9
Shaw was now the suffrage star. For so many reasons she stood out among the movement’s leaders. Most of the current leaders came from genteel backgrounds, so taking up the suffrage cause was a radical step for them. For Shaw, who had embraced nontraditional roles since childhood, the suffrage movement at the turn of the century was a comparatively tame choice of activism. And Shaw’s public persona, especially her humor, certainly contradicted the suffrage stereotype. Over the last fourteen years, Shaw had grown a bit grayer, having more white hair than dark now, still pulled up into the basic coil on the top of her head. She had grown stout in the decade that had been prosperous for her, but she was still physically agile and strong for the most part. She was a woman for whom leisure meant chopping wood, gardening, long walks, and home repairs rather than reclining on the divan. This energy and her irreverent wit endeared her to her followers and entertained most of her audiences. Tough, frequently blunt, passionate, and mercurial, Shaw embraced those aspects of her identity that separated her from the other suffrage leaders. She proudly wore her identity as a working woman. At home and among her closest friends, she happily tolerated the nickname “Ladee,” a sarcastic nod to what she certainly was not. As she later explained the nickname to young Eleanor Garrison, “I am less like a lady than anything else in the world.”10
In her fifties, Shaw did have to face some of the inevitable consequences of her hard life and of pushing herself physically, traveling through heat and cold and surviving on little sleep and questionable food. The headaches—they might have been migraines—and other ailments came with increased frequency. When tired or unwell, Shaw worried, mostly about her health and money. Every worker knew how connected these were. Though always presenting an optimistic and energetic face to the public, in private she tended toward pessimism, perhaps even episodes of depression.11
Given her very real differences from the other national and often international leaders, Shaw felt removed from whatever tight circles of friendship formed among her colleagues. Her extant letters are devoid of the gossip and unsubstantiated rumors common among some of the suffrage leaders. Throughout her life she had always relied on a few very close friends, mostly women. Since she had dedicated herself to women’s rights, she had been a deeply loyal, though not unquestioning, apprentice to Susan B. Anthony. (p.98) She had come to know the leaders Anthony had recruited and cultivated. Most importantly she most trusted the people Anthony trusted.12
Now her beloved Aunt Susan needed her to take the leadership of the NAWSA. Shaw’s diaries from the beginning of 1904 until the NAWSA Convention in Washington in February give little hint of her reaction to this inevitable change. The first mention of Catt’s decision came from Iowa when Shaw wrote to Lucy for her thoughts on this. As usual, her schedule was so tight that she had to travel all night just to get to Washington, D.C., in time for the preconvention meetings. “Reached Washington two hours late, but before Lucy was up; found Aunt Susan in our bed at Shoreham and Lucy in hers. …B.C. [Business Committee] meeting called at 10 am.”13
Shaw was not convinced about taking the presidency, but in the end, she could not resist Anthony’s pleas. She agreed to stand for the office for one year, as a placeholder until Catt was again well enough to retake the reins. Since she would be gone for four months that summer, she refused to accept any compensation for this year. Harriet Taylor Upton, who now ran the headquarters that had been relocated to Upton’s hometown, Warren, Ohio, a small town in eastern Ohio, was already handling much of the routine office work. The general NAWSA constituency was more than happy to elect Anthony’s choice and their favorite speaker.14
The aging Anthony might have imagined that the presidency would allow or force Shaw to take a break from her traveling, but the presidency only added to Shaw’s responsibilities. After the 1904 convention, Shaw went right back out on her lecture schedule. Maybe she really had convinced herself that this was only a one-year or, at the most, two-year position and that she really didn’t need to change her life; maybe she saw no other option. From the end of the convention in February until a few days before she sailed for Europe in April, she stayed on the road, visiting and encouraging state leaders and local organizations, speaking in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. On April 9, 1904, she returned home to Philadelphia with only four days to prepare for the four-month trip to Europe. In addition to all the necessary packing, between April 10 and April 13, she and Lucy worked at a hectic pace to send out over one hundred and forty letters. Finally on board, she collapsed, sick and exhausted. She remained confined to her bed for the first five days of the voyage.15
Now, as the official leader of the U.S. movement, Shaw needed to represent the NAWSA at various international meetings. There would be no more summers at The Haven, her summer home on the south shore of Cape Cod, but these trips abroad were something of a break from her usual routine. Shaw, most often accompanied by Lucy, combined business and leisure on what became annual voyages. In 1904, the ruins of Pompeii and the visits to Naples and Rome all delighted her. In June, Anna and Lucy joined Susan B. (p.99) and Mary S. Anthony in Berlin for the meetings of the International Council of Women and the celebratory founding of the International Suffrage Alliance. From the end of those meetings until they sailed for home three months later, Lucy and Anna split their time between visiting friends and suffrage colleagues and touring continental Europe, London, and Scotland. Though this was certainly one of the longest breaks Anna had ever taken from work, suffrage issues were never far from her consciousness. With each trip Shaw drew closer to various European women leaders, developing friendships that she sustained through a correspondence that merged business and personal concerns.16
Only upon her return did the new president gather all the NAWSA officers at their headquarters for one of their regular Business Committee meetings. Warren, Ohio, was hardly an impressive site for the headquarters of the leading woman suffrage organization, but it was the best the organization could manage at this point. This small-town location was symbolic of the state of the movement; woman suffrage hardly seemed to have a presence as a national issue. Though there is no record of any substantive discord, as had marked Catt’s first such meeting—perhaps the continuing presence of Susan B. Anthony as the Honorary President forced a surface cohesion—it isn’t clear whether this group of women agreed on many issues beyond some basic dedication to woman suffrage.17
Of course there were no shrinking violets among the NAWSA leaders. Each was formidable in her own right, though Alice Stone Blackwell was more forceful with her pen than in person. Alice, with her delicate health and rather severe demeanor, was most comfortable and talented as the editor of the Woman’s Journal. Shaw had known Alice from her days as an organizer with the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. Though once close and probably still closest in terms of their political views on issues of race and universal suffrage, Blackwell’s reserve and resistance to change grated on Shaw. Shaw complained of Alice’s “New England cussedness.” In return, Blackwell tended to be hard on Shaw, perhaps never having forgiven or again fully trusted Shaw for shifting her allegiance from the AWSA to the NWSA shortly before the union of the two associations. Blackwell’s greatest power came from the Woman’s Journal, where she controlled what was published and what was not.18
The treasurer, Harriet Taylor Upton, was generally remembered as a large and competent woman whose laughter was loud and frequent. Married but childless, this daughter of a Republican congressman was gregarious and known as the NAWSA’s biggest gossip. She was hard-working and dedicated but not particularly intellectual or creative.19
It is interesting that by temperament the Republican Upton was drawn most to the two single southern women, Laura Clay and Kate Gordon, (p.100) who constituted that region’s representatives on the Official Board. It was in the letters that passed among them that many of the personal opinions and candid views among the board emerged. The tall and imposing Clay was a member of one of the leading political families of Kentucky. Her father was related to Henry Clay and had served as ambassador to Russia. After her parents’ divorce, Clay had used her family inheritance to establish herself as an independent businesswoman. She knew herself to be part of the Kentucky aristocracy and carried herself with a sense of noblesse oblige, always supporting philanthropic efforts for the less fortunate. The pleasantly attractive appearance of Louisiana leader Kate Gordon masked a fiery and determined personality. One of three active Gordon sisters who were all involved in community improvement efforts in New Orleans, she was an unapologetic racist. Carrie Chapman Catt, vice president, and Dr. Cora S. Eaton, in the one office that saw yearly turnover, filled out the board of officers that Shaw inherited. In Susan B. Anthony’s estimate these women were all good workers in their positions, but none was of presidential caliber except Catt or Shaw. Although labeling any suffrage leader as “conservative” in 1904 is problematic, with the exception of Shaw, these women, all of the same generation, were far less radical in their views and lifestyles than the earlier suffrage cohort of women that included Olympia Brown, Abigail Duniway, and Matilda Joslyn Gage, to name a few.20
Though Kentuckian Laura Clay has generally been remembered as a moderate voice from the South, something in her bearing and political positions put off both Susan B. Anthony and Shaw. Certainly her racial politics and states’ rights positions clashed with Anthony’s and Shaw’s commitments to equal suffrage via a federal amendment. It had been Clay who had most adamantly pushed to hold the NAWSA Conventions away from Washington, D.C. And, with equal fervor, she had argued down a consideration of Black women’s issues at the 1899 NAWSA convention. In a handwritten postscript to her January 1904 letter to the Garrisons, Anthony, after praising all of the other longtime officers, had stated that Clay could not be considered for the NAWSA presidency because of her “negro equality-hating”: “We should never have another colored woman on our stage if she could have her way.” Clay, perhaps with the goal of leading the organization herself, would prove to be a frequent thorn in Shaw’s side for years.21
Now Shaw was the leader of this group. Unlike Catt who had come into her presidency full of ideas for reforming and modernizing the NAWSA, Shaw leaves us no evidence of a grand vision for change. Her first letter to the state presidents was hardly inspiring. She solicited their concerns and suggestions while urging them to work to increase the number of members and local organizations, an approach in keeping with Hunter Graham’s assessment of Shaw as an egalitarian leader. Then Shaw was back on the road (p.101) earning her living. From September through the end of the year she kept up a rigorous travel schedule, attending numerous state suffrage and WCTU conventions. In December, for two weeks, she worked in Oklahoma during their Constitutional Convention, but once again the advocates of woman suffrage faced defeat.22
Anthony soon recognized that Shaw’s original agreement with her and the Business Committee was void. Any realistic expectation that Catt would resume the NAWSA presidency in 1905 had been dashed when the founding convention of the International Suffrage Alliance elected Catt president. Catt refused to stand for reelection in the NAWSA, even as vice president. As Anthony‘s health deteriorated, she became increasingly adamant that Shaw continue in the office.
Yet with Shaw on the road most of the time and Harriet Upton handling the day-to-day responsibilities at the NAWSA Headquarters in Warren, most people within the organization, including Upton and maybe even Shaw herself, might have conceived of Shaw as the titular and ceremonial head of the organization but not the real power. Yet the person who was still the most powerful voice in the struggle didn’t see it that way. Anthony believed in Shaw even if Shaw didn’t have a full belief in herself. Determined that Shaw would be the true leader of the NAWSA, but knowing that Shaw needed a regular income, Anthony’s focus in 1905 was finding the needed money. A resolute Anthony was still formidable.
Anthony didn’t have to just raise the money, a significant task for the ailing leader, but she had to convince the NAWSA that this step was justified. For the NAWSA to consider paying its officers was a radical step. Most women’s organizations were still voluntary associations, the domains of elite women. If a woman didn’t have a father, husband, or even brother to support her, she might find a benefactor, become a writer or journalist, or lecture, as Shaw did. Ladies assumed that a class difference separated them, women who didn’t need to work, from the women who had to earn a living. Now for Anna Howard Shaw to be its president, the NAWSA could no longer follow such a model. Shaw’s economic situation disrupted this old arrangement and forced twentieth-century realities onto the veteran suffrage organization. Yet suffrage scholarship has left this major organizational dilemma largely unacknowledged, almost completely glossing over the fact that the NAWSA instituted salaries for certain officers beginning in 1907.23
Shaw wasn’t just a working woman, she was an immigrant. In an era when class and immigration tensions remained high, what did it mean that such an individual was leading the U.S. suffrage movement? To the most broad-minded women such as Catt, Anthony, and Anthony’s closest allies, it meant nothing. In fact Anthony was indignant that it was so hard to get the money for Shaw’s salary. “It is a disgrace to the Association that Miss Shaw (p.102) has to work through the heat and swelter of the dog days to earn her living expenses. There are plenty of rich women who ought to enable her to give her whole time to the needs of the Association.” Yet to others it brought their unexamined class prejudices as well as long-standing jealousies to the fore. Although few left direct comments about her status at the time, over the course of her presidency, Shaw’s financial relationship with the NAWSA was the basis of some of the nastiest attacks against her.24
The issue of salaries is also significant because it did allow other working women to hold offices in the organization, changing further who held power in the NAWSA. Among the women who would be salaried officers in the next years were several divorced, single mothers. The growth of the organization and the growth of paid positions within it were interdependent. Yet tensions between paid and unpaid leaders were never fully resolved.25
This was background when, in June 1905, Shaw visited Catt at her home in Bensonhurst-by-the-Sea (now Bath Beach, Brooklyn). Catt was charged to act on behalf of the Business Committee to find out what salary level Shaw would need to continue leading the NAWSA. In a confidential letter to the committee, Catt described how she finally forced Shaw to name the income she would need to continue as the NAWSA President. “We badgered her so much that she was driven to take counsel of her account books, and to think what she could do. Then she hated to speak of it. So, I abused my hospitality, drove her in a corner, and at the point of a bowie-knife, metaphorically speaking, succeeded in getting this very reluctant information.” At this point and for this reason, Shaw’s private finances became the business of the organization.26
Anna Howard Shaw was willing to make great and deep sacrifices for women’s rights. She regretted needing to be paid, but she was not willing to impoverish herself. Shaw was not a poor woman by this time in her life, but she never felt financially secure. Her frequent expressions about money-related anxieties argue that she not only was haunted by her memories of poverty, but also that she had a consciousness that others were dependent on her. She was the financial foundation of her extended family. This type of economic awareness was one that most of the newer leaders, with their comfortable lives, their substantial homes, and numerous servants, could avoid.27
Shaw also knew that the NAWSA never had surplus funds and suspected that any salary granted her would be given grudgingly and that she would be viewed as a drain on the organization. Nevertheless, Catt persisted and after much resistance, Shaw admitted to average yearly earnings of $3600 over the previous decade with expenses of $1000 annually. Shaw paid Lucy’s salary, which had been $600/year in 1889, out of what she earned. Shaw told Catt that she could maintain her current lifestyle on $2400 a year. Why she agreed to this low amount isn’t clear. Maybe she didn’t want to burden (p.103) the NAWSA or thought that she could forgo savings. The great irony was, after all these intense discussions, practically forced disclosures, and hard-argued agreements, the NAWSA still didn’t have the money for this salary anyway. With Anthony promising to find the money, Shaw agreed to stand for reelection. With this agreement hammered out, the NAWSA leaders boarded a transcontinental train and headed for Portland, Oregon.28
Shaw would never have chosen Oregon as the first NAWSA Convention under her leadership. This was the home turf of Abigail Scott Duniway, the longtime suffrage powerhouse of the Northwest. The formidable, irascible Duniway seldom got along with anyone for very long, but her animosity toward Shaw was extreme even for her. Believing that the suffragists’ association with the temperance movement, especially with WCTU, had and would continue to doom the movement in the West, Duniway had always objected to Susan B. Anthony’s close friendship and working partnership with the former WCTU organizer Shaw. Nevertheless it was in Oregon where Shaw would have to prove that she was Anthony’s worthy successor. One can only imagine what each was thinking when the veteran Duniway faced Shaw, each a tough pioneer, to extend the official welcome and give her the gavel made of Oregon wood on June 28, 1905. By all accounts, all the women were on their best behavior at this convention. Possibly they realized just how vulnerable the whole organization was.29
At the western boundary of the country, Shaw gave her first presidential address. In “Our Ideal,” a speech that runs sixty-five typewritten pages, Shaw defined the values that would guide her presidency. Using the belated honoring of Sacajawea, whose statue the women dedicated here, as an example, Shaw sought to frame her analysis with the question of “how do great republics reward the toil and sacrifices of women?” Shaw argued that, in spite of women’s broadening involvements in the republic, women’s work, paid and unpaid, in the domestic sphere, in the public marketplace, or through voluntary civic organizations, was ignored, undervalued, or even condemned. Echoing Stanton’s argument from “A Solitude of Self,” Shaw noted the “reactionary movement against women’s economic independence” that denigrated women workers “who are simply following their work where changed industrial conditions have taken it.” In terms of women’s familial responsibilities, Shaw was no sentimentalist, but argued that, “motherhood is a service to the State,” and the state should realize its debt “to the citizen who rears children.” Though European feminists used this argument to fight for social welfare legislation, Shaw only asked for the ballot.30
As the length of Shaw’s speech suggests, she covered a wide range of topics from education and prostitution to marriage and divorce. She returned again and again to the issue of citizenship and the importance of women (p.104) having full rights. Shaw praised the idea of the “School City” where public schools taught the rights and responsibilities of being part of a republic.31
In a critique of “sordid materialism and corruption,” Shaw condemned “Corporate power [that] has so blocked the wheels of national legislation that the people and their interests are subordinated to the greed of millionaire lords.” She called upon the suffragists to “guard against the reactionary spirit which marks the present time” and stand “unfalteringly for the principle of perfect equality of rights and opportunities for all.” While she did not argue that women alone would change this culture, she believed women could and should be a part of this change, that women could help create a true republic. In a closing that challenged the racist and anti-immigrant sentiments of many of even her own colleagues, Shaw asked women to dedicate themselves to a society “in which men and women together shall in perfect equality solve the problems of a nation that knows no caste, no race, no sex in opportunity, in responsibility, or in justice.” These were Shaw’s beliefs.32
Shaw may have envisioned and articulated change but, officially president or not, she was only one voice. When the NAWSA elections took place, almost all of the same women were reelected, including most importantly both Laura Clay and Kate Gordon. While scholars have seen the long tenure of many of the officers as indications of stability, it could also indicate the inertia of the organization. The one surprising addition to the board was the remarkable scholar/activist Florence Kelley, who replaced Catt as vice president. Kelley had the same sort of class background as many of the other officers—she was a member of a Progressive Quaker family and the daughter of a congressman—but she had a broader education and was a more radical thinker and progressive reformer than any of the other women of her generation serving with the NAWSA. Far from new to suffrage work, Kelley came from a family of suffrage supporters and had been a voice and a presence at annual gatherings for years. Head of the National Consumers’ League and a persistent voice for workers, especially child laborers, Kelley’s election marked a shift toward the inclusion of more progressive women on the NAWSA Board. No one ever used the adjective “conservative” to describe Florence Kelley, who would serve from 1905 until 1910.33
Now that the office was truly hers, Shaw began to address some of the concerns that she believed were limiting the movement, especially the lack of age and racial diversity among the membership. Shaw wrote, “I very much like Mrs. Parke’s [sic] plan of organizing the college women. … She is just the one to put at the head of the college work in our association, and I am going to try to have that department made with her at its head at the next national convention.” In a note to Emily Howland, Shaw discussed asking Anna Julia Cooper, who had so strongly challenged her fifteen years before, or “Mrs. Booker T. Washington” to speak at the next convention. “However (p.105) I shall do my best to have the colored women represented.” While a decade earlier many of the suffragists, Shaw among them, had feared the vote of Chinese American men, Shaw hoped to have Chinese and Japanese women at the next NAWSA. “I would like to have a representative there from all the races.”34
One wonders what happened to these goals. Were these just words to reassure one of the more progressive suffragists or were Shaw’s honest intentions blocked by her NAWSA colleagues? Certainly the next NAWSA gathering, the 1906 convention in Baltimore, did not have representatives of all the races, though it did have its inaugural College Night. On racial issues the NAWSA continued to bow to the concerns of southern women, so a diverse representation of women would have been remarkable in this conservative southern city where few of the leading citizens supported suffrage.35
The 1906 NAWSA Convention became one of the most important conventions in suffrage history for a broad range of reasons, the most obvious being that it was Susan B. Anthony’s last. Those closest to her knew that Anthony’s heart was weak. After so many years of dedication to the struggle, of ignoring the physical demands of her body, and of eschewing the comforts of home and leisure, Anthony knew she couldn’t carry on much longer.
Susan B. Anthony had one last job to finish before the 1906 convention. In the seven months between the Portland meeting and the gathering in Baltimore, Anthony finalized an arrangement that would have far-reaching consequences for Shaw and the NAWSA. What Anthony did was create a fund that would pay Shaw’s and other officers’ salaries as well as finance other suffrage activities. This fund would pay Shaw as head of the premier suffrage organization, but it was a fund that was controlled not by the officers of the NAWSA, but by two women who had no official connection to the NAWSA before that year: President M. Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr College and her partner, Mary Garrett. There was no smoking gun proving that Anthony deliberately engineered all the changes this development produced; Anthony may simply have done what she could to ensure that Shaw remain as leader of the NAWSA. Nevertheless, power follows money, and this new arrangement would change the NAWSA.36
M. Carey Thomas, another of the fascinating and original women of this era, had struggled to have her family support her education, which eventually included a PhD from the University of Zurich. Even before she had completed that degree, Thomas set her sights on the new women’s college her Quaker relatives helped to found outside of Philadelphia. Dean at the age of twenty-seven, Thomas became president of Bryn Mawr College in 1894 at thirty-seven. Thomas had learned how to assess and use power when the founders of Bryn Mawr had resisted her ambitions. Once in office, Thomas pursued her vision of women’s education with an almost single-minded (p.106) focus. In 1906, though a very visible leader in women’s educational circles, Thomas was not a public suffrage supporter. Unlike Vassar’s President Taylor, she had however welcomed suffrage leaders as speakers to her campus. Anthony and Shaw had visited Bryn Mawr together a few years earlier.37
The official narrative of this process is that Anthony, in the process of planning for the 1906 NAWSA Convention in Baltimore, had called on Thomas and Garrett, heir to the impressive B&O Railroad fortune, to ask these native Baltimoreans’ assistance in persuading the society women and men of that city to embrace the NAWSA during their time there. In the course of their discussions about the convention, the women had expressed surprise at the antiquated methods the NAWSA used to raise money through convention pledges and solicitations to established supporters. They volunteered to demonstrate a better approach. Thomas and Garrett proposed that they would raise the monies to pay the NAWSA officers. They set a total of $60,000 over five years as the goal of this fund; annually the NAWSA would have $4500 for salaries and $7500 for other expenses.38
What this story doesn’t capture is how Anthony converted Thomas and Garrett from women who had zero involvement in the NAWSA to major players in the organization and the overall struggle. Although Thomas’s biographer attributes Thomas’s emergent interest in suffrage to her acquiescence to Garrett’s stronger suffrage sentiments, given the college president’s life and her life’s work it makes sense that she could have had an interest in women’s rights and woman suffrage. Perhaps she only needed Susan B. Anthony to persuade her. On the other hand, Thomas was an incredibly independent leader with an already demanding set of responsibilities. Garrett also had diverse commitments. It makes sense that she and Garrett accepted their new roles only with guarantees that they could run this fund as they saw fit. Both women were experienced in what Garrett’s biographer calls “coercive philanthropy.” What they then held was the power to support, in many ways, Anthony’s protégé.39
The official story also fails to address how Anthony sold this concept to the rest of the NAWSA leadership, if she did at all. The History of Woman Suffrage states that the rest of the board could never agree to guarantee Shaw’s or others’ salaries. Perhaps the carrot was that the fund would provide for two additional salaries beyond Shaw’s. One of those was for the treasurer, at that time Harriet Taylor Upton.40
After much work, the Baltimore Convention was both a tremendous success and a bittersweet trial, especially for Anna and Lucy. At one point, it seemed Susan B. Anthony might not be able to make it to Baltimore. In the end she rallied enough to make the journey, but once there she was too ill to attend the opening session. Thanks to the efforts of Thomas and Garrett, the program was elaborate with impressive attendance from the leaders of (p.107) the city, suffrage elders, and college leaders. Mary Garrett opened her mansion to the leaders, especially for Susan B. Anthony, who grew frailer with each day. Garrett arranged for round-the-clock nurses to care for Anthony, while other honored veterans, Clara Barton and Julia Ward Howe, gave a sense of continuity to the first night’s proceedings. A determined Anthony attended the second night, the NAWSA’s first “College Evening,” with numerous college presidents and students in attendance. At this changing of the generations with such a large show of college women, Anthony spoke her last public words, “Failure is impossible.”41
Shaw’s speech, only thirty-four pages this time, continued the focus on education as well as on women in industry. Shaw also responded to the debate among male “oracles”—former President Cleveland, President Roosevelt, Reverend Lyman Beecher, and others—about how women should not stray from their empire, the home. Shaw noted how women around the world were responding to changing realities by demanding the right of self-determination. She argued that while many women were homemakers, they were first individuals and citizens, a frequent refrain in her talks.42
From the Baltimore Convention, Shaw moved on to the annual congressional hearings while the ailing Susan B. Anthony returned home. For the next three weeks Anna and Lucy anxiously waited on each day’s mail, receiving one day indications of Aunt Susan’s recovery and then the next, news of a relapse. Anthony never wanted visitors when she was ill, but finally an anxious Shaw had reached her limits; she needed to go to Rochester. Her decision was prescient; while she was en route, Mary S. Anthony sent for her to come.43
From March 8th until Anthony’s death on March 13th, Shaw kept a vigil. She recorded the days in her diary. “Another day full of loving little visits with precious Aunt Susan. Oh, how can we let her go?” Anthony was intermittently conscious, and when she was, Anna sat at her bedside. “This is more than I deserve and the sorrow of it is so hard to bear. It will inspire my life with a longing for the cause I have never known before.” It was during one of these deathbed exchanges that Anthony demanded from Shaw that she stay at the head of the struggle as long as she was physically able. “She asked me if I could promise to never give it up and I gladly made the promise. … In the night she pressed my hand and laid hers in blessing on my head kissing me three times. It was my work’s benediction and charge.”44
On March 13th, the end came. Shaw wrote, “Early this morning, in the darkness, the spirit of the greatest woman and most noble patriot flickered like a fading light. Slowly her life ebbed away and dark as the night darker still is the night of our sorrow. What shall we do without her?”45
The whole nation mourned the passing of this great woman leader, joined by supporters of women’s rights from around the world. In Rochester the (p.108) flags were at half-mast and ten thousand people passed by her bier. Ida H. Harper described Shaw sitting at the service for Susan B. Anthony with “a white face and tremulous lips, showing more plainly than others how she was bereaved.” After the addresses of some of Anthony’s closest and most famous allies in the struggle, Shaw gave the final and now well-known eulogy.46
One can only imagine the depth of Shaw’s grief. Susan B. Anthony had been the single most important person in her life, her only great passion, her model and her mentor. There was hardly then, and probably still isn’t now, an adequate term to describe so complex a connection that was an all-encompassing love based equally in personality and politics. Yet once again, Shaw had little time to reflect on her loss. She had to move on with the work, and in many ways, this was the most appropriate way to mourn “Aunt Susan.”
Shaw left Rochester soon after the funeral to resume the life she had led since 1886, one of boarding trains, traveling at least half the year, and staying in a different place almost every night of those months. Even more so than Anthony, Shaw needed to be in the field, talking with leaders, addressing the wide diversity of people who came to her lectures. And as she traveled she observed the changes in their lives and attitudes. One of the realities Shaw pondered in 1906 was how to modernize the NAWSA now that Anthony was gone.
Susan B. Anthony had predicted that her death would change the power hierarchy within the suffrage movement and warned Shaw to expect more intense jealousy and challenges. As she imagined, without her dominating presence and especially her support for Shaw, soon other longtime leaders began to position themselves as the next NAWSA president. Anthony’s friends and foes alike may have been waiting for such an opportunity for years. Yet Shaw was the anointed successor, and she felt deeply her promise to Anthony to stay in the office. Consequently, rather than hesitate without her guiding spirit, Shaw claimed the leadership of the NAWSA. Predictably, the reactions against her and the resistance to her initiatives grew. At a time when the NAWSA needed all its energies to reinvigorate the struggle, when it needed to decide its course for the new century and find new methods and new constituencies, the leaders fell into a period of internal dissention. Shaw was the most common target of these complaints, but challenges came from all sides and all political positions.
Often the complaints were personal. The first rumblings came from Harriet Taylor Upton. Upton wrote to other board members, as she was wont to do with her complaints, that Shaw didn’t stay in close enough touch with her and that Shaw had treated her “terribly” in Baltimore. Given all the tensions and pressures on Shaw to hold the organization and herself together during the 1906 convention, it isn’t surprising that she failed to show sufficient public (p.109) appreciation for the work that had been done at the Warren Headquarters. Or possibly Shaw was trying to distance herself from Upton.47
Next came Florence Kelley’s criticisms. Kelley was impatient. She wanted to see more new women in the leadership and more activity in Washington. Shaw agreed on both points but felt a bit bullied. To Lucy, Shaw confessed, “Your letter to Mrs. Kelley was all right. I just do not like her attitude toward our people. She does not know much about us and our work and jumps at conclusions.” Shaw also worried that Harriet Upton was “dazzled” by Kelley.48
The next challenge was far more serious than the others and could have changed the course of the movement. The white suffrage leaders from the South, emboldened by the NAWSA’s support for the Southern Strategy under Catt’s leadership, wanted the NAWSA to endorse their plan for a new southern-based organization. This would be a white organization, of course, because its explicit strategy was to gain woman suffrage in the South by linking it to a guarantee of white supremacy. This wasn’t a new idea. There had been talk of this plan for over a decade. Now the women thought it was time to act, perhaps expecting that Anthony’s death had removed a final barrier. The fact that the southern suffragists approached the NAWSA speaks to the power they believed they had in the movement.49
On this, Anna Howard Shaw and the NAWSA drew a line in the sand. Finally Shaw had the power to act on her principles, so there was no equivocating. After years of the NAWSA retreating on the issue of racial equality, Shaw gave an immediate and unconditional refusal. Shaw was clear: “[I]t would be impossible for us to be allied with any movement which advocated the exclusions of any race or class from the right of suffrage.”50
Shaw’s unambiguous decision ended the expansion of influence and power of this cohort of southern white suffragists and the NAWSA’s slide away from supporting universal suffrage. It wasn’t quite a complete turnaround, but it set a boundary. Though a number of the women behind this proposal continued to be active and often opposed to Shaw, never again during Shaw’s presidency could they presume that they could dictate the NAWSA’s policy in the South. And there were other active suffragists in the South who had less extreme positions. Nevertheless, Shaw still had to work with two of the women who were in sympathy with this plan, Clay and Gordon, on the Official Board. This would not be the last confrontation between Shaw and her southern colleagues—not by a long shot. So, two years into her presidency, Shaw had challenges from Kelley, Clay, Gordon, and Upton, representing ideologically left, right, and center.
Anna Howard Shaw celebrated her sixtieth birthday presiding over the 1907 NAWSA Convention in the city of Chicago. The celebration, focusing on the fact that more women than ever before were enfranchised and that the (p.110) NAWSA’s membership was the largest ever, was tempered by the mourning for both Anthony sisters—Mary S. Anthony had died eleven months after her sister and just days before the convention. The next day, February 15, 1907, what would have been Aunt Susan’s eighty-seventh birthday, was devoted to the deceased leader. Rachel Avery Foster, who had returned from Europe the previous year, announced a plan for a $100,000 Susan B. Anthony Memorial Fund. An additional vice presidency was created to allow this longtime leader to rejoin the board. As would be expected in Chicago, social and labor issues were front and center. The program included tours of Hull House, a day devoted to Industrial Conditions of Women and Children, and a eulogy to Susan B. Anthony by African American leader, Fannie Barrier Williams.51
During this period when tensions between Shaw and veteran officers were growing, Shaw was constructing a new network of allies. Her most deliberate and effective outreach efforts were to college and working women’s organizations. Harriot Stanton Blatch, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s daughter, had returned from England full of ideas for the American suffrage campaign. By 1907, Blatch had organized the League of Self-supporting Women and, through this group, pressured the NAWSA to give greater recognition and support to wage-earning women. Shaw was personally fond of “Hattie,” though she found working with her difficult. Nevertheless Shaw strongly supported Blatch’s efforts to reach out to and include working women in the New York State and national associations and conventions. Shaw went so far as to direct that her usual pay and expenses be used for the expenses of getting the working women to the conventions. To Shaw this was both the right and smart thing to do.52
As would be expected from someone for whom working was the most consistent aspect of her life, Shaw had definite views on women and work that varied little over her lifetime. Central to her analysis was the idea that became very familiar to many in the contemporary women’s movement—almost all women worked even if only a percentage of those women worked for wages.
There are more men doing the work which women formerly did than there are women doing the work which men formerly did; all the carding, weaving, and spinning, all the churning, cooking and table waiting, the washing, the knitting, the preserving and baking, the dressmaking and millinery, every industry of the home men have taken to the factories and shops of the country, and when women start out to find their grandmothers’ work, ten to one, they find a man doing it. It is not that men object to women working, for they have always worked,—ceaseless, grinding toil has been their lot, and no one complained until they set a price upon their labor and demanded payment for their service. We have never been denied work, it is only the pay to which objection is made.53
(p.111) In Shaw’s analysis women weren’t supported by their husbands. Reflecting a preindustrialization view of women’s domestic work, she believed that women contributed as much to a family’s maintenance through their unwaged work as men did through their waged work. This analysis of the value of women’s labor had lost ground during the nineteenth century with the emergence of an urban, middle-class ideal in which women were seen as too delicate to engage in strenuous or productive activities. The work of most women was invisible.54
College women were the other targeted constituency. The College Equal Suffrage League (CESL) was now officially affiliated with the NAWSA. Part of its increased strength and visibility came from the energy of M. Carey Thomas. An organizational powerhouse, Thomas took the lead of the CESL at this time, a move that was not appreciated by its founder, Maud Wood Park.55
At the same time that Thomas was positioning herself to be the leader of the CESL, she was also completing the fund-raising for the Thomas-Garrett Fund. By the May 1, 1907, deadline, the pledges were in, and Thomas could telephone Shaw and tell her that her salary of $2500 for the next five years was guaranteed. Few things rattled Shaw, but she was overwhelmed by this news. Not since her brief stint with the MWSA in 1886 had Shaw had the luxury of a guaranteed income. At sixty, Shaw now had some degree of financial stability. Further, Shaw, Thomas, and the NAWSA were now bound together for at least five years in a complex relationship involving power, politics, and money.56
As if to complete her lifelong struggle for economic stability and a middle-class lifestyle, Anna and Lucy moved into their first full-time permanent home on Lucy’s forty-eighth birthday. Twenty years after they first started living together, they finally had the home they had wanted, the domestic refuge Shaw had dreamed of on all those journeys around the United States and abroad. Shaw had purchased this tract of land back in 1905. For $8500 she gained twenty acres in Rose Valley, Upper Providence Township, in Delaware County outside of and to the west of Philadelphia. It was close to a train station, of course, and not far from Swarthmore College. After engaging in some minor land speculating, selling off sections of this land, including a parcel to Rachel Foster Avery, Shaw retained a little over two acres for herself. At that time the Wianno cottage had been on the market for over a year, but it had not yet sold.57
That it took this long for Anna and Lucy to build the home of their dreams suggests again just how cautious Shaw was about her finances. The first architect they employed was told to design a home that would cost no more than $9000, but she brought in a plan for a $20,000 home that the women knew they couldn’t afford. Another plan of a less expensive design (p.112) was completely unsatisfactory to the two women. A third plan, one that fulfilled their requirements, was affordable after Mary Anthony left the two women $5000 each.58
Shaw’s and Anthony’s emotional investment in this home was great. Numerous photographs of it at its various stages of construction make up a significant part of the Schlesinger Library Anna Howard Shaw photographic collection. The Dutch Colonial house sits, as Shaw had required, on a hill overlooking woods and a creek. Though the area was quite underdeveloped at the time, Shaw ensured that it would remain as private as possible, removed from the demands of her work and eyes of the world. The house was at the end of a long curved driveway with a large lawn separating it from the road. The front entry had only a small covered portico. This was a home that definitely faced away from the public.
The back of the house was as homey as the front was austere. A large porch spanned the entire length of the house. So spacious was the porch that it could function as several additional rooms, accommodating numerous chairs and tables, both an outdoor living room and dining area. A smaller second-floor porch looked out from the space Shaw called “Peter Pan,” since standing there she felt she was in the treetops. This was the gracious home of Shaw’s dreams, one with a big kitchen, a large living room, and numerous bedrooms with lots of light and air. Anna’s own touches were a play space for visiting children and a separate room where their housekeeper could visit with her guests. Anna and Lucy had settled on the name “Alnwick Lodge” after the town in Northumberland where Shaw’s grandparents had lived and her mother had been born.59
One month after the completion of their home, Lucy and Anna hosted a memorable family Christmas that Shaw gleefully described to her old friend Clara Osborn. “When the packages were taken off the Christmas tree yesterday yours was taken off among the first, and I opened the package at once and found a splendid great apron. I immediately put it on and wore it the rest of the day … and carved our turkey in it. … We had a family of twenty-four and for two nights we had fifteen sleeping in the house, so that you see for spinsters we are doing pretty well.”60
Among the guests were Rachel Foster Avery and her family with whom Shaw and Anthony had boarded in Swarthmore while they were waiting for their home to be completed. At this point these women were still very close. In fact, a map at the Delaware Court Archives from 1908 identifies the land adjacent to Shaw’s as belonging to “Mrs. Avery,” though the local courthouse records contain no documentation of a sales transaction between Shaw and Avery.61
After four and a half years in the presidency and as the sixtieth anniversary of the Seneca Fall Convention approached, on one level, Shaw’s leadership (p.113) seemed to be gaining some solid footing. The movement had new members if not new suffrage states. Shaw accepted that the struggle would have to develop new tactics. While in London in June, Shaw was among the women who led one of that city’s large suffrage parades. She found this expression of support for the franchise exhilarating and believed it would be useful in the United States. In October of 1908, in the unlikely locale of Boone, Iowa, Shaw backed the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association leaders’ decision to hold a march on the last day of their state convention. This may have been the first such march in the United States, although a small march of about twenty-three women occurred earlier in 1908 in New York City. Though much suffrage scholarship has cast Shaw as opposed to such innovative strategies, her own words and the historical records argue otherwise.62
The 1908 annual convention of the NAWSA’s theme was the progress woman had made since that meeting at the Wesleyan Church. Scheduled for Buffalo, New York, in October 1908, it had been almost twenty months since the association members had gathered. While much of the movement was in an optimistic mood, Shaw remained unsettled about the future direction of the NAWSA, but she rose to the occasion as she usually could. As the local newspaper reports remarked, “The Rev Anna Howard Shaw has set a new standard for womanhood. She is one of the most wonderful women of her time, alert, watchful, magnetic, earnest, with a mind as quick for a joke as for the truth. … Even unbelievers are carried away with her brilliancy, eloquence and mental grasp.”63
Appropriately, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s daughter, Harriot Stanton Blatch, had a major presence at this convention that marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention. In addition to speaking on her mother’s vision on the opening Pioneers’ Night, she spoke as president of the League of Self-supporting Women. Among these working and celebratory aspects of the convention, the internal conflicts of the organization emerged into the public only in Upton’s treasurer’s report, where she sounded a strong note of caution and concern. Pledges and contributions were less than they had been in previous years, and Upton expressed the fear that some felt that the NAWSA had “unlimited funds” and that the planned $100,000 Anthony Fund had already been raised. Though Shaw supported Upton’s plea for contributions, she was also able to announce that she had received a $10,000 check from Mrs. George Howard Lewis of Buffalo, a wealthy and consistent supporter of Susan B. Anthony and now Shaw. The rest of the convention had no serious controversy or drama. All the longtime officers were reelected.64
This was the last harmonious convention of Anna Howard Shaw’s NAWSA presidency. Shaw was already well aware of the growing tensions. In November she noted that Mrs. Blatch was “furious” over the “$10,000 going to (p.114) the National out of the State of New York.” Shaw sensed that the support she had among her board was eroding even more; none had expressed their appreciation of her work from the previous year. Shaw herself was angry with Harriet Taylor Upton for voting for some unspecified New York measure, which Shaw had opposed. Finally she wrote, “I am so tired of being bossed and bullied by Miss Clay who does not digest a thing but hops at anything to get out of organization.” What isn’t clear is whether Shaw still wanted the support of this board, or if she wanted a new board.65
By 1908 the once hesitant Shaw had accepted the burden of her office, honoring her promise to the dying Susan B. Anthony. The money raised by M. Carey Thomas and Mary Garrett financially allowed her to keep this commitment. With Lucy maintaining the home Shaw had long dreamed of, her presidency still popular among the general NAWSA constituency, and her reelections uncontested, Shaw at sixty-one seemed poised to stand as the new elder stateswoman of the woman suffrage movement. Such a static view of Shaw and the movement would have been misleading. Shaw was never satisfied with the status quo, and she was willing to risk the apparent accord among the leaders if that was what was needed to make progress. She knew she had the power and some level of means with which to truly change the NAWSA.
(1.) Anna Howard Shaw to Susan B. Anthony, February 3, 1904, in Ida Husted Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript, Biography of Anna Howard Shaw” (Ann Arbor: Bentley Library, University of Michigan, n.d.), 118.
(2.) Shaw wrote, “Such a sick head, I think the worst I ever had. I do not see how I can keep up this way. It is so hard not to be well and have to work. Today Lucy and Nicolas took such good care of me.” Diary 1904, January 10, 1904, Shaw Papers, Series X of the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1863–1955, A-68, Folder 380, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
(3.) Roosevelt did create some stir when he invited Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House in 1901. Jacqueline M. Moore, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and the Struggle for Racial Uplift, African American History Series (Questia.com: Scholarly Resources, 2003 [accessed April 14, 2013]).
(4.) John Whiteclay Chambers and Vincent P. Carosso, The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive Era, 1900–1917, St. Martin’s Series in Twentieth Century United States History (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980).
(5.) Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850–1920, Blacks in the Diaspora (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998); Elizabeth Anne Payne, Reform, Labor, and Feminism: Margaret Dreier Robins and the Women’s Trade Union League, Women in American History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988); Susan Levine, “Labor’s True Woman: Domesticity and Equal Rights in the Knights of Labor,” Journal of American History 70, no. 2 (1983); and Paula Baker, “The Domestication of Politics: Women and American Political Society, 1780–1920,” American Historical Review 89, no. 3 (1984).
(6.) Jacqueline Van Voris, Carrie Chapman Catt: A Public Life (New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1987); Susan E Marshall, Splintered Sisterhood: Gender and Class in the Campaign against Woman Suffrage. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1997); and Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Rogers Shuler, Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement (New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1926).
(p.231) (7.) See, for example, Christine Stansell, The Feminist Promise: 1792 to the Present, 1st ed. (New York: Modern Library, 2010); and Ellen Carol DuBois, Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).
(8.) Why the Avery family moved to Europe isn’t clear. What is clear is that Cyrus Miller Avery was a disappointment to Shaw, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Anthony. Anna Howard Shaw to Lucy E. Anthony, August 8, 1905, Shaw Papers, Folder 506.
(9.) Susan B. Anthony to William Lloyd Garrison Jr., January 4, 1905, Garrison Family Papers, 1694–2005, MS 60, Folder 26, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. It isn’t clear what action the Garrisons took in response to Anthony’s letter.
(10.) Anna Howard Shaw to Eleanor Garrison, December 10, 1911, Garrison Family Papers, 1694–2005, MS 60, Box 127, File 13, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. Shaw had written about this earlier, of how hard it was to “hobnob” with society women. Ida Husted Harper and Susan B. Anthony, The History of Women Suffrage, Volume IV, 1883–1900 (Indianapolis: Hollenbeck Press, 1902), 352.
(11.) Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript,” 64, 106, 156. Harper makes this argument, but it isn’t clear that any depressive episodes were severe enough to keep Shaw from her work except perhaps in December 1909.
(12.) Anna Howard Shaw to Isabel Howland, March 5, 1899, Box 2, Folder 46, Isabel Howland Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.
(13.) This is an interesting note because it further complicates any easy analysis of Anna Howard Shaw’s relationship with Lucy; in this case, Shaw shared a bed with Susan B. and not Lucy. Diary 1904, February 7, 1904, Shaw Papers, Folder 380.
(14.) Anna Howard Shaw, The Story of a Pioneer (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1915), 286; Susan B. Anthony to William Lloyd Garrison Jr., February 1904, Garrison Family Papers, Folder 21; and Paul E. Fuller, Laura Clay and the Woman’s Rights Movement (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1975), 113–115.
(16.) See, for example, Leila J. Rupp, Worlds of Women: The Making of an International Women’s Movement (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997); and Patricia Greenwood Harrison, Connecting Links: The British and American Woman Suffrage Movements, 1900–1914 (Westport Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2000).
(18.) Geoffrey Blodgett, “Alice Stone Blackwell,” in Edward T. James et al., Notable American Women, 1607–1950: A Biographical Dictionary (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971), 156–158.
(19.) Philip R. Shriver, “Harriet Taylor Upton,” in James, Notable American Women, 500–501; and Upton and Dunn, Harriet Taylor Upton’s Random Recollections.
(20.) Paul S. Boyer, “Laura Clay,” in James, Notable American Women, 346–348; and L. E. Zimmerman, “Kate M. Gordon,” in James, Notable American Women, 66–68.
(21.) Susan B. Anthony to William Lloyd and Ella Garrison, January 29, 1904, Garrison Family Papers, 1694–2005, MS 60, Folder 26. In Bitter Harvest, Upton (p.232) is quoted as describing Clay as a bulldog. Clavia Goodman, Bitter Harvest: Laura Clay’s Suffrage Work, Kentucky Monographs 3 (Lexington, Ky.: Bur Press, 1946). See also Fuller, Laura Clay and the Woman’s Rights Movement. Clay’s scrapbooks from this period are online. Laura Clay Photographic Collection, Ca. N.D.—1933, Kentuckiana Digital Library. There is less research on Kate Gordon and even tracing her family is difficult. B. H. Gilley, “Kate Gordon and Louisiana Woman Suffrage,” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 24, no. 3 (1983); Elna C. Green, “The Rest of the Story: Kate Gordon and the Opposition to the Nineteenth Amendment in the South,” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 33, no. 2 (1992).
(22.) Anna Howard Shaw to “State Presidents,” November 7, 1904, Ella H. Crossett Papers, Special Collections, University of Rochester Library, Rochester, New York; and Sara Hunter Graham, Woman Suffrage and the New Democracy (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1996).
(23.) Ellen DuBois argues that the term for most of the NAWSA leaders should be elite, to designate the women who didn’t have to work for a living. Ellen Carol DuBois, Woman Suffrage and Women’s Rights (New York: New York University Press, 1998), 178–179. The suffrage movement had recognized that some women needed to earn a living only to the extent of paying salaries to clerical and field workers. See, for example, DuBois, Harriot Stanton Blatch, 113.
(25.) Both Frances Squire Potter and Mary War Dennett were divorced, self-supporting mothers when they ran the NAWSA headquarters.
(26.) Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript,” 118–119. For how some other NAWSA officers viewed Shaw’s need to work, see Mary Gray Peck, quoted in Rebecca J. Mead, How the Vote Was Won: Woman Suffrage in the Western United States, 1868–1914 (New York: New York University Press, 2004), 217, n. 58.
(27.) Shaw had already reached the personally significant amount of $10,000.00 in 1896. Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript,” 100. See Kraditor and O’Neill on the class backgrounds of these women. Aileen S. Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1890–1920 (New York: Norton, 1981); and William L. O’Neill, Everyone Was Brave: A History of Feminism in America (New York: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co., 1976).
(28.) It is pretty clear that Shaw underestimated both her living expenses and the expenses of being the NAWSA president. The fact that Shaw agreed to this lesser amount ended up causing problems later. See Rachel Foster Avery to M. Carey Thomas and Mary Garrett, February 12, 1909, M. Carey Thomas Papers, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.
(29.) Moynihan’s biography of Duniway contains some of this background. Ruth Barnes Moynihan, Rebel for Rights, Abigail Scott Duniway, Yale Historical Publications, 130 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983).
(30.) The History of Woman Suffrage doesn’t give a title, but “Our Ideal” is handwritten on the copy included in Shaw’s papers. In the Linkugel dissertation, the title is “Heroic Service in the Case of the Truth.” Ida Husted Harper, History of Woman Suffrage, Volume V (Rochester, N.Y.: Susan B. Anthony: Charles Mann, 1922), 125; Shaw Papers, Folder 428; and Wil A. Linkugel, “The Speeches of Anna Howard Shaw” (PhD Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1960), 433–474.
(32.) Harper, History of Suffrage V, 124.
(33.) Ibid., 145. On Florence Kelley, see Kathryn Kish Sklar, Florence Kelley and the Nation’s Work (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).
(34.) There is no evidence that any African American woman spoke at the 1906 convention, but Fannie Barrier Williams spoke at the 1907 Chicago Convention. This note is important also as an indication that after the entire “Woman versus the Indian” exchange, Shaw and Anna Julia Cooper remained in contact with each other. Anna Howard Shaw to Catherine W. McCulloch, November 13, 1905, Catharine Waugh McCulloch, Series VI of the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1869–1945, A-68, Folder 164, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; Anna Howard Shaw to Emily Howland, September 26, 1905, Isabel Howland Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts; “Race Suicide Heresy,” Washington Post, April 12, 1905.
(35.) It is possible that Shaw’s ideas for speakers were opposed by the more conservative members of the board. There is no record of how these decisions were made.
(37.) Additionally Shaw, Anthony, and Thomas had all participated in the celebration of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s eightieth birthday. “Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” New York Times (1857–1922), November 13, 1895, http://0-www.proquest.com.library.albion.edu/ (accessed July 15, 2012); and “In Honor of Mrs. E. C. Stanton,” New York Times (1857–1922), November 12, 1895, http://0-www.proquest.com.library.albion.edu/ (accessed July 15, 2012).
(39.) The two most complete sources on Thomas are M. Carey Thomas and Marjorie Housepian Dobkin, The Making of a Feminist: Early Journals and Letters of M. Carey Thomas (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1979); and Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994). Kathleen Waters Sanders, Mary Elizabeth Garrett: Society and Philanthropy in the Gilded Age (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 3.
(40.) Horowitz, Power and Passion; and Shaw, Story of a Pioneer, 225–226. Both M. Carey Thomas and Mary Garrett became life members after the convention in 1906, though Mary Garrett had contributed to the NAWSA as early as Catt’s first presidency. MCT to Elizabeth Hauser, April 7, 1906, M. Carey Thomas Papers, Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library. This fund, which was raised by the next year, went by various names. For the sake of clarity, I will refer to it as the Thomas-Garrett Fund.
(43.) Shaw devotes a full chapter of her autobiography to the “Passing of Aunt Susan” in Shaw, Story of a Pioneer, 218–238. Scholars, especially Graham argue that such stories re-created Anthony as the suffrage “saint.” Sara Hunter Graham, Woman Suffrage and the New Democracy (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1996), 47–52.
(44.) Diary 1906, March 9, 1906, Shaw Papers, Folder 382.
(47.) Harriet Taylor Upton to Laura Clay, July 6, 1906, Laura Clay Papers, Box 3, Folder 39, University of Kentucky Library Special Collections, Lexington, Kentucky. Anna Howard Shaw to Lucy E. Anthony, September 27, 1906, in Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript,” 259–260.
(48.) Anna Howard Shaw to Lucy E. Anthony, September 27, 1906, in Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript,” 259–260.
(49.) Marjorie Julian Spruill, New Women of the New South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 120–122.
(51.) By 1907 there were three funds that had some claim as memorials to Susan B. Anthony. The first involved a building for women students at the University of Rochester, the second was the one announced by Rachel Foster Avery called the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Fund, and the third was the one that Thomas and Garrett handled called the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Guarantee Fund. M. Carey Thomas to Mrs. William M. Ivins, April 27, 1907, M. Carey Thomas Papers; and Harper, History of Suffrage V, 235, 253.
(52.) Anna Howard Shaw to Ella Hawley Crossett, May 13, 1908, Susan B. Anthony House, Inc., Papers, Suffrage Manuscript Collections, University of Rochester Library, Rochester, N.Y.
(55.) Harper, History of Suffrage V, 229; and Strom Sharon Hartman, “Leadership and Tactics in the American Woman Suffrage Movement: A New Perspective from Massachusetts,” Journal of American History 62, no. 2 (1975).
(56.) In her autobiography, Shaw puts this event in 1908, while in the unpublished biography Harper seems to put it in 1906. A number of M. Carey Thomas’s letters determine that the fund was completed May 1, 1907. Shaw, Story of a Pioneer, 295–296; Harper, “Unpublished Manuscript,” 146; and M. Carey Thomas to various benefactors, April 27, 1907, M. Carey Thomas Papers.
(57.) Diary 1905, Shaw Papers, Deed, February 27, 1905, Between Henry Lewis and Anna Howard Shaw, 1905 Deed Book, 46–48, Register of Deeds, Delaware County Courthouse, Media, Pennsylvania; and 1906 Map of Upper Providence Township, Delaware County Archives, Lima, Pennsylvania.
(58.) It is ironic that Shaw writes little about this home in her autobiography. Her other sources document how long she and Lucy wanted such a home and how happy Shaw was to finally have it. They had discussed the naming of their home in 1906. There are many photographs of Alnwick Lodge on file at Harvard. Shaw, Story of a Pioneer, 268.
(60.) Anna Howard Shaw to Clara Osborn, December 26, 1907, Shaw Papers, Folder 527.
(62.) This was also the beginning of mass meetings, especially in New York. There is a photograph among the Harvard collection that shows a march and identifies it as one welcoming Shaw to her hometown. The buildings in the photograph didn’t match those in Shaw’s hometown of Big Rapids, Michigan. That same photograph was used by the Boone County Historical Society when members planned a reenactment of the 1908 march, http://www.uiowa.edu/~humiowa/BooneSuffrageMarch.html (accessed April 14, 2013) and http://www.celebratesuffrage2008.org/History.php (accessed April 14, 2013). DuBois, Harriot Stanton Blatch, 123.
(63.) Buffalo Express report quoted in Harper, History of Suffrage V, 216.
(64.) Ibid., 236.