We Demand the Right to Vote: The Journey to the 19th Amendment

Meneese Wall‘s new book, recently published on August 3, 2020, presents the 72-year-long struggle of achieving women’s suffrage in the United States in an approachable, conversational tone, accompanied by gorgeous illustrations. Giving an overview of the movement that is accessible to readers of all ages, especially given that women’s suffrage is an area of American history often forgotten, ignored or underrepresented in school curricula. It looks ahead to a future era when women’s history is recognized as the essential pillar of U.S. history that it is, examining American women’s journey toward gaining the right to vote through a national lens.

Buy the book today!

SUFFRAGE COVERS AND AN EDITORIAL: Leslie’s Magazine, 7 August and 11 September 1920

These are the covers of Leslie’s Magazine, an illustrationand photo–rich recursor of Life magazine as Congress was ratifying the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. Read also the editorial of September 11, 1920,  titled, “Women as Voters.”
















Meneese Wall’s Suffrage Art Prints and Notecards

Meneese Wall, a graphic artist and designer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has created a series of signed art prints and notecards to commemorate and celebrate the upcoming 2020 centennial of the 19th Amendment’s passage.

Inspired by historical events, people, quotes and memorabilia from the suffrage movement, Meneese’s graphic illustrations are paired with text that give historical context to her work. To date, Meneese has featured the likes of Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and pro-suffrage journals like The Suffragist and The Woman Voter, and she continues to create new pieces throughout the lead-up to the centennial.

To learn more about Meneese and her work, visit her website here and her artwork catalogue here.  Meneese encourages communication, so you can email her at meneese@meneesewall.com.

Meneese has graciously allowed this website to feature 17 of her suffrage pieces:




Digital Exhibit: Arkansas Women’s Suffrage Centennial

This virtual exhibit is part of the Arkansas Women’s Suffrage Centennial, a project that “commemorates the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women in Arkansas by promoting events, encouraging research and education programs related to women’s suffrage, and helping to preserve the history of women’s suffrage within the state.”

The exhibit features a number of galleries, which include information as well as photographs and original documents from the suffrage era and focus on topics ranging from African-American suffragists to suffrage fashion.

Of particular interest is the exhibit’s media gallery, which features documents, cartoons, drawings, and photographs and includes this delightful suffrage fashion gallery.

Women’s Suffrage Teaching Resources from the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress contains a trove of online materials for students and teachers of all grade levels and subjects. The 100-plus teaching-suffrage resources listed on the site—many of which feature primary sources and activities related to them—include:

Additionally, teachers can search by teaching standards to find resources that adhere to various state standards, the Common Core, and more.

Want to find your own teachable primary sources? Check out the Selected Suffrage Images from the Library of Congress archive.

Thesis: Drawing on Women: Representations of Women and Suffrage Imagery in The Masses, 1913-1917

This masters thesis examines depictions of female suffragists and other women in the now-defunct socialist magazine The Masses. The following excerpt comes from the paper’s abstract:

This study examines the ways that suffrage imagery and other depictions of women were mobilized as political symbols in the graphics of The Masses, a socialist literary magazine published monthly in Greenwich Village from 1911 to 1917. The Masses, whose roster of artists included John Sloan, Stuart Davis, and Charles Allen Winter, typically invested in images of women to signify the “lyrical” left’s re-working of socialist and suffragist ideologies. Thus the magazine’s drawings of women shed light on shifts in American socialist iconography and ideologies from the high point of the movement in 1912, to its fragmentation in the mid-1910s, to its decline in 1917 following the nation’s entry into World War I. Similarly, they also provide insight into the fluctuating discourse surrounding women’s drive for the ballot.

Representations of suffragists, New Women, working-class women, as allegorical female figures were used as a point of identification and differentiation for the lyrical left from not only orthodox socialists, but other political forces as well. This project demonstrates that the role these pictures played in this process of signification is complicated and contradictory.

Interested in learning more about (alleged) connections between socialism and suffrage? Click here to read some anti-suffrage arguments rooted in opposition to socialism.


Lesson Plan: The Role of the Media in Women’s Suffrage Movements

This 19-page lesson plan is designed to help teachers introduce seventh graders to the history of the Progressive Era, with a particular focus on the US suffrage movement and the 19th Amendment. It uses primary sources like cartoons and propaganda posters to help students consider the media’s crucial role in the struggle for women’s enfranchisement.

The plan includes guiding questions, lesson objectives, assessment tools, instructions for how to get students’ attention and run the activities, accommodations for Diverse Learners, and teaching materials in the form of primary-source documents from the suffrage era.

The lesson is designed to meet National Council for the Social Studies standards and should take about 90 minutes to complete.

Note: The Virginia Tech website that used to host the plan has been closed down, but you can download its as a .pdf by clicking on the button below.  

The Suffrage Postcard Project

The Suffrage Postcard Project is a digital humanities initiative by Kristin Allukian, assistant professor of English at the University of South Florida and Ana Stevenson, a postdoctoral research fellow in the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State, South Africa.

This impressive compilation of images from the suffrage era is unique in its highlighting of representations of masculinity, manhood, and fatherhood—such as “Mother’s Got the Habit Now,” a print depicting a suffragette dressed in her husband’s clothing—instead of primarily focusing on representations of women.

From the site:

This project looks at illustrations and images of masculinity and fatherhood that circulated in early twentieth-century pro- and anti-suffrage postcards and utilizes a range of digital tools including Omeka, ImagePlot, Gephi, Tableau Public, and Iconclass to explore how feminist digital humanities practices engender new visual historical narratives of masculinity and manhood.

The primary goal of The Suffrage Postcard Project is to provide an easy-to-search archive for research and teaching on the suffrage era. The site provides options to browse images by title or creator, or to browse collections like this delightful Cats and Suffrage Collection. Images are downloadable and citations are provided.

The Ann Lewis Women’s Suffrage Collection

The Ann Lewis Women’s Suffrage Collection is a privately owned collection of over 1,200 postcards, books, periodicals, and more on the suffrage era.

Readers can browse the following collections:

Each item includes a detailed description, permissions, and citation information.

Some gems from the site include this 1924 clipping from The Literary Digest declaring suffrage a failure and this 1915 postage stamp labelled, “Votes for Women, Pennsylvania.”

About the collector (from the website):

Ann F. Lewis was Senior Advisor to the 2008 Presidential Campaign of Hilary Rodham Clinton. She served as White House Communications Director for President Bill Clinton; as Vice President for Planned Parenthood Federation of America; as Political Director of the Democratic National Committee; and as Chief of Staff to then Congresswoman, now Senator Barbara Mikulski. Lewis has been a visiting lecturer at Brandeis University, and at the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania. She was one of the founding members of the National Women’s Political Caucus.


A Gallery of Suffrage, for Your Voting Pleasure: Political Cartoons From Before Women Could Vote

This small digital gallery from The Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum and The Archive (published online on The Nib) showcases full-color political cartoons from the suffrage era.

If you’d like to see more suffrage-era cartoons, check out the Catherine H. Palczewski Suffrage Postcard ArchivePuck magazine’s suffrage issue, and Jill Lepore’s book The Secret History of Wonder Woman.