Suffrage Ribbon. Women's Suffrage Ephemera Collection, Bryn Mawr College Library

The National American Woman Suffrage Association

The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association, both founded in 1869, were the main suffrage organizations in the U.S. during the 19th century. They pursued the right to vote in different ways, but by 1890 it became necessary to combine efforts to keep the cause alive. The newly formed organization, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), became the most mainstream and nationally visible pro-suffrage group. Its strategy was to push for suffrage at the state level, believing that state-by-state support would eventually force the federal government to pass the amendment.

 

The Presidents of the NAWSA were:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1890-1892
Susan B. Anthony, 1892-1900
Carrie Chapman Catt, 1900-1904
Anna Howard Shaw, 1904-1915
Carrie Chapman Catt, 1915-1947
Caroline McCormick Slade '96, 1947-1951


State Presidents and Officers of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1892. C.C. Catt Albums, Bryn Mawr College Library
  State Presidents and Officers of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1892. C.C. Catt Albums

National American Woman Suffrage Association March, New York, May 3, 1913.  C.C. Catt Albums, Bryn Mawr College Library

The National American Woman Suffrage Association represented millions of women and was the parent organization of hundreds of smaller local and state groups. The NAWSA hosted and participated in large and theatrical suffrage parades, and held major annual conventions that helped to keep its members energized.

It also sponsored several newspapers and a suffrage press that published pamphlets, broadsides and books. The Library has an interesting collection of these publications, which illustrate the strategies employed by the NAWSA in its attempts to win over various constituencies.

Coming Eventually-Why Not Now? New York: National American Woman Suffrage Publishing Co., Inc., ca. 1914.
This leaflet contains statements of support from governors of enfranchised states, a map showing states with full, partial or no suffrage, and a "Do You Know" section with facts on suffrage in other countries.
Coming Eventually-Why Not Now! Women's Suffrage Ephemera Collection, Bryn Mawr College Library
An American Plank for An American Platform. Bryn Mawr College Library. An American Plank for An American Platform. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Publishing Co., Inc., [1916].
These booklets were distributed at the Democratic National Convention, 1916.
Organizing to Win by the Political District Plan: A Handbook for Working Suffragists. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, c. 1910. Organizing to Win by the Political District Plan: A Handbook for Working Suffragists.  Bryn Mawr College Library

Members of the earliest Bryn Mawr classes were officers at all levels of the NAWSA and its affiliates. Others gave speeches, sold suffrage newspapers, helped with canvassing, marched in parades, and raised money for the cause.

Back The NAWSA AlumnaeForward


NCESL Bryn Mawr Activism
NAWSA
NAWSA Alumnae
Picketing


Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

NAWSA Delegate ribbon, Women's Suffrage Ephemera Collection, Bryn Mawr College Library