One of Indiana’s most noteworthy manuscript collections on women’s suffrage is now available to the public in the ISL Digital Collections. Researchers can freely access letters from leaders of the American suffrage movement such as Susan B. Anthony, May Wright Sewall and Carrie Chapman Catt, along with other materials, in time for the women’s suffrage centennial in 2020.
Grace Julian Clarke was a noted clubwoman, journalist and suffragist hailing from Irvington, now a neighborhood on Indianapolis’s east side. Clarke came by her political and social activism honestly, due to the examples set by her father, George Washington Julian, and grandfather, Joshua Reed Giddings, both abolitionists and U.S. congressmen. She helped establish and lead several state women’s organizations, including the Indiana General Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Legislative Council, and the Woman’s Franchise League of Indiana, the forerunner to the League of Women Voters of Indiana.
Before the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote in 1920, Clarke demonstrated her agency as a woman in politics on numerous occasions, such as this 1912 women’s suffrage automobile tour and the GFWC presidential race in 1915. After passage of the suffrage amendment, she contributed to the American peace movement as a staunch proponent of the League of Nations.
Explore the Grace Julian Clarke collection and many more items regarding women’s suffrage in the state library’s Women in Hoosier History digital collection, which holds a diversity of materials “from and about Indiana women, both ordinary and extraordinary.” More information on the upcoming women’s suffrage centennial in Indiana can be found here.
This blog post was written by Rare Books and Manuscripts Librarian Brittany Kropf. For more information, contact the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division at (317) 232-3671 or via the “Ask-A-Librarian” service.