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Women of the Hall

Year Honored: 1982
Birth: 1859 - Death: 1947
Born In: Wisconsin, United States of America
Died In: New York, United States of America
Achievements: Humanities
Educated In: Iowa
Schools Attended: Iowa State College
Worked In: Iowa, California, New York, Tennessee, Ohio, District of Columbia

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Carrie Chapman Catt

Growing up on the Iowa frontier, young Carrie Lane was active and self-reliant. She worked to put herself through Iowa State College, and become a principal and school superintendent, which were unusual posts for a woman. When she married Leo Chapman, she joined him to co-edit a newspaper, but their marriage was cut short by his sudden death. As a young widow, she took to the lecture platform and began to work for woman suffrage, first in Iowa and them nationally. Her second husband, George Catt, agreed she should devote two months each spring and fall to suffrage. She became a dynamic speaker, and exhibited a great talent for organization. Under her leadership, the days of isolated efforts and lost causes would end. More than any other woman except Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt was responsible for securing women's right to vote. In 1915, on the heels of a remarkable effort in New York State, Catt became the head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and put into effect a secret "winning plan". She led a push for an amendment to the federal constitution and at the same time continued campaigns in the states to increase the pressure and the numbers of suffrage states. A series of state victories followed in 1917 and 1918. They were only the prelude to a tough national ratification battle until Tennessee finally put the Nineteenth Amendment "over the top" in August 1920. Carrie Chapman Catt also did international work for woman suffrage, repeatedly touring Europe and presiding in international suffrage groups.
Additional Sources:

Van Voris, Jacqueline. Carrie Chapman Catt: a public life. New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1987. NOTES: Includes index. Bibliography: p. 274-293.

Fowler, Robert Booth. Carrier Catt: feminist politician. Boston: Northeastern University Press, c1986. NOTES: Includes index. Bibliography: p. 201-218.

Peck, Mary Gray. Carrie Chapman Catt, a biography. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1944.

Women in the Industries and Professions. New York: G.P. Putnam, 1901.

Woman Suffrage by the Federal Constitutional Amendment . New York: National American Women Suffrage Publishing Co., 1917.

The Home Defence. New York: National American Women Suffrage Publishing Co., 1918.

Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1923.

Then and Now. New York: Leslie Women Suffrage Continuing Committee, 1939.

Diary 1911-1912, 1 ft. Papers 1890-1947, 12 ft. (ca. 9480 items). Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. Washington D.C.

Papers ca. 1898-1959, 24 folders. Iowa State Historical Department, State Historical Society. Iowa City, Iowa.