May 19, 1916

Lucy Stone.
Lucy Stone.

In 1916, the U.S. Congress proposed to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow women to vote and stated, “the right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by an State on account of Sex.”

The proposal came more than 60 years after women first called for the right to vote at the Seneca Falls Convention. The 1848 convention was organized by a group of Quakers, including Lucretia Coffin Mott, a native of Nantucket. Among the many resolutions debated at Seneca Falls was the idea of giving women the right to vote. The convention issued a “Declaration of Sentiments,” which became the blueprint for the young movement.

On Nantucket, an island comfortable with having women leaders, the Suffragette movement had many supporters. In 1853, famed orator Lucy Stone gave one of her first speeches on women’s rights at the Nantucket Atheneum.

Excerpted from On This Day In Nantucket History
By Amy Jenness
The History Press
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The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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