Suffrage Supporters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1890-1920

Beginning in June 2015, we at Women and Social Movements in the United States launched a crowdsourcing project that will result in the online publication of the “Online Biographical Dictionary of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States.”  When completed in 2021 this resource will include about 3,500 biographical sketches of women supporters of woman suffrage campaigns in the first two decades of the twentieth century.

The Online Dictionary will include three distinct groups of woman suffragists: about 420 supporters of the militant suffrage group, the National Woman’s Party, including women who picketed in 1917-1919 in Washington, D.C., New York and Boston to protest the slowness with which the administration of President Woodrow Wilson embraced the woman suffrage cause; about 330 Black women suffragists whose writings have been collected and published on the website; finally, 2,800 mainstream suffrage supporters affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), whose names are listed in state reports printed in volume 6 of the History of Woman Suffrage (1922).

NAWSA supporters are recorded in reports covering state-level suffrage activism between 1900 and 1920. Taking advantage of the state residence information in these reports, we have organized this part of the work by state and are seeking historians, librarians, museum professionals, students, and others interested in researching and writing roughly 500-word biographical sketches of suffrage activists.  We have been particularly interested in finding faculty who might assign biographical sketches to their students as part of courses they are teaching.  In the first phase of our work we have received excellent sketches written by high school, community college, and four-year college students, working under the direction of their history faculty.  We also have had volunteers who are graduate students or independent historians, who have written one or two biographical sketches.  If you have strong editorial skills, perhaps you would volunteer to serve as copyeditor for sketches written by undergraduate students.

To facilitate research on NAWSA activists, we have posted a .pdf version of The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, 1900-1920 on this site. Click here to view the volume. For access to a research guide for volunteers preparing bio sketches, click here. To view a sample biographical sketch to use as a template, click here. This sample includes further suggestions for sketch writers.

If you are in a position to join in one of these capacities, please contact project director, Tom Dublin at  We need volunteers who can write biographical sketches between now and  the end of 2020 in order to post the sketches on the website in time for the centennial of the passage of the nineteenth amendment which assured all women in the United States the right to vote.   Please join us in this important work and let others know about this prospect.

In March 2019 we posted the first  biographical sketches for our Online Biographical Dictionary. As of July 2019 we have 1,350 sketches accessible at It is also be accessible through the libraries of colleges and universities that subscribe to the online journal and database, Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000.