Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association records
Scope and Content
The CWSA collection not only contains records of meetings, correspondence, photographs and pamphlets, but also numerous scrapbooks that include relevant newspaper clippings. This material dates from the association's inception on October 28, 1869, to its dissolution on June 3, 1921. Organized first by subject, the materials in the collection are arranged in chronological order.
The records of the meetings chronicle the business of each meeting from 1869 to 1914. Frances Ellen Burr, recording secretary of the association for forty-one years, kept handwritten records until 1910. The vitality and determination of the group, registering 138 members on October 28, 1869, and swelling to 21,000 by 1914, is evident in the many scrapbooks of mounted newspaper clippings. Frances Ellen Burr was responsible for putting together most of these scrapbooks. While association records in this collection actually begin in 1869, Miss Burr's newspaper clippings documenting the early suffrage movement are dated as early as 1849. Newspaper clippings in scrapbooks that are in an extremely fragile state have been photocopied and placed in folders.
Membership and attendance registers are included in the collection and date from 1869 to 1920. This collection also contains a number of photographs of members - groups and executive board members, parades, demonstrations, campaigns and local political press photos. Publications such as pamphlets, leaflets and campaign literature date from 1870 to 1920.
The material in the oversized container (photographs, broadsides and political cartoons) appeared in an exhibition in the Museum of Connecticut History in June 1995. For the exhibit, the staff utilized acid-free mounting.
Language of Materials
The records are in English.
Restrictions on Access
Researchers should first consult use copies when available. See Alternate Form Available Section below.
Items numbered 13 and 14 of the "Container List" have been restricted because of their extremely fragile condition, especially the scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings. All restricted material has been photocopied and placed in the appropriate folder (noted as a copy).
Items considered fragile but remaining in the collection include the following:
Item No. 3 Constitution and Members, 1869
Item No. 8 Scrapbook Volume A, 1849-60
Item No. 9 Scrapbook Volume B, 1860's
Item No. 10 Scrapbook Volume C, 1858-70
See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.
Restrictions on Use
See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.
The Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association (CWSA) was organized at a meeting in Robert’s Opera House in Hartford on October 28th and 29th, 1869. Called to order by the Hon. John Hooker and a group of community leaders including Isabella Beecher Hooker, Frances Ellen Burr, Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, the meeting was addressed by such eminent people as the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Julia Ward Howe and William Lloyd Garrison. The association carried on a spirited and energetic campaign to obtain the vote for women, first in school and local elections and then on a state and national level, working in collaboration with many other “equal rights,” “equal franchise” and “constitutional union” groups. Its primary aim was achieved with the ratification by Connecticut of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution on September 14, 1920. Accomplishing its goal, the association voted to dissolve itself on June 3, 1921, and the records were transferred to the Connecticut State Library.
7 cubic feet
The Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association was organized at a meeting in Roberts’ Opera House, Hartford, October 28-29, 1869. The Association carried on a spirited and energetic campaign to obtain the vote for women, first in school and local elections and then on a state and national level, working in collaboration with many other equal rights, equal franchise, and constitutional union groups. Its primary aim having been achieved with the ratification by Connecticut of the 19th Amendment on September 14, 1920, the Association voted to dissolve itself on June 3, 1921.
The Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association offered its records and archives to the State Library of Connecticut with the agreement that the League of Women Voters should be residuary legatee of its other property.
The scrapbooks of Frances Ellen Burr, Volumes A, B, C, and E, containing mounted clippings pertaining to woman suffrage and related subjects dated 1858 - 1900 have been in the State Library since 1924. Previously a part of the book collection, the four volumes were added to the association archives. Similar material had already been included in CWSA archives.
Alternative Form Available
Links to digital scans of the meeting records are provided in the "Container List" section and are to be considered the use copies.
- Bills (legislative records) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association -- Records and correspondence Subject Source: Local sources
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Membership lists Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Minutes Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- News clippings Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Pamphlets Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Reports Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Scrapbooks Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Women -- Suffrage -- Connecticut Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association (RG 101)
- Inventory of Records
- Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository