Abbey Scott Baker (1871-1944)
Officer and Organizer for Woman Suffrage


Abby Scott Baker, of Washington, D.C., came from a multi-generational military family. She was one of Alice Paul's earliest associates and helped Paul and Burns plan their first major event�the March 3, 1913, national suffrage parade on the eve of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. She served as treasurer of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU) in 1914 and quickly became one of the most effective lobbyists for both the CU and its successor, the National Woman's Party (NWP).

Baker traveled the country as part of the CU's �Suffrage Special� train tour of western states in April-May 1916. The envoys set off with fanfare from Union Station in Washington, D.C., and Baker was in charge of handling the press for the tour. The support that she helped raise from women in states that had already granted women's suffrage culminated in a June 1916 meeting in Chicago to form what was at first called the Woman's Party of Western Voters, or Woman's Party, for short (later, the NWP). When the NWP was more formally organized in relation to the CU in March 1917, Baker was elected to the NWP executive committee and served as its press chairman (1917-18) and political chairman (1917; 1919-21).

Baker was among the first demonstrators to picket the White House; she was arrested in September 1917 and sentenced to 60 days in the Occoquan Workhouse. In February-March 1919, she served as publicity manager and speaker for the �Prison Special,� a three-week lecture tour by NWP activists who spoke to packed audiences about their jail experiences in an effort to generate support for the suffrage cause.

Baker was an important lobbyist during the key years (1917-20) that the NWP pressured for passage of what became the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Known as the diplomat of the NWP, Baker was a significant presence in the organization's ongoing tactic of asserting personal influence upon leading authorities in public and private life. When the NWP's patriotism was challenged, she reminded critics that her three sons were fighting in World War I. In the midst of the ratification process for the 19th Amendment, Baker was among the NWP members who attended the Democratic National Convention of 1920 in San Francisco and successfully brokered a pro-suffrage plank as part of the party platform. She subsequently lobbied the presidential candidates from both political parties, James M. Cox and Warren G. Harding, to support the women's rights cause.

After suffrage was achieved, Baker became a member of the NWP's Committee on International Relations and the Women's Consultative Committee of the League of Nations. She also represented the NWP at the League's 1935 international conferences in Geneva where the issue of equal rights was discussed.

Abby Scott Baker in prison dress. 1917.
Abby Scott Baker in prison dress

Jailed
Jailed for Freedom
by: Doris Stevens

Dramatic documentation of women's struggle to win the vote is brought to light by a firsthand witness who reveals, among other facts, the imprisonment, vilification and brutality women experienced during their fight





Century of Struggle
Century of Struggle
The Womans Rights Movement

Young suffragists who helped forge the last links in that chain were not born when it began. Old suffragists who forged the first links were dead when it ended. It is doubtful if any man, even among suffrage men, ever realized what the suffrage struggle came to mean to women

Women of the American Suffrage Movement
Womens Suffrage Timeline
American Civil War Women
Womens Civil War Reading Titles
American Civil War Recipes
Civil War Exhibits



The Concise History of Woman Suffrage: Selections from History of Woman Suffrage, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and the National American Woman Suffrage Association

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Two heroic women who vastly bettered the lives of a majority of American citizens. For more than fifty years they led the public battle to secure for women the most basic civil rights and helped establish a movement that would revolutionize American society

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Amy E. Butler expertly deals with the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment, and two of the more important figures in the early ERA debate.

Woman Suffrage and the New Democracy
The woman suffrage movement achieved its goal by forging a highly organized and centrally controlled interest group, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), one of the most effective single-issue pressure groups in the United States
Equal
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The woman's movements and work in American history was dramatic. It dealt with the past, with pageants and politics; with organizations and with conflict from within
Mary Livermore
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The Life of Mary Livermore

A leading figure in the struggle for woman's rights as well as in the temperance movement, she was as widely recognized during her lifetime as Susan B. Anthony, and for a time the most popular and highly paid female orator in the country
Kindle Available

Hit: Essays on Women's Rights
by Mary Edwards, M.D. Walker

The only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for her service during the Civil War, Dr. Mary E. Walker (1832-1919) was a surgeon, a public lecturer, and an outspoken champion of women's rights. One of the first women in the country to be awarded a medical degree, she served as an assistant surgeon for the Fifty-second Ohio Infantry

One Woman One Vote
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This program documents the struggle which culminated in the passing of the 19th Amendment in the U.S. Senate by one vote. Witness the 70-year struggle for women's suffrage. Discover why the crusaders faced entrenched opposition from men and women who feared the women's vote would ignite a social revolution. DVD

Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony
Together they fought for women everywhere, and their strong willpower and sheer determination still ripples through contemporary society. Here lies the story of two of our century's most celebrated pioneers Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. DVD
Fathers House
Out of Our Fathers House
Broadway Theatre Archive

This play presents the true stories of women who sought independence at any cost. The compelling text is taken entirely from the diaries, journals and letters of the characters portrayed.

Sources:
U.S. Library of Congress



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