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Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Mieography


Carrie Clinton Lane was born in Wisconsin, in 1859, the second of three children. Both of her parents, Lucius and Maria had graduated from high school, which was a rare accomplishment of that time. She attended elementary education in a one room school house in Charles City, Iowa, and finished all the way through high school, herself When she was thirteen, she was bright enough to ask her mother how come she wasn't getting dressed up to go and vote? Her father, and his hired man were. Her mother laughed at her, and told her that voting was too important of a civil duty to be left to a woman. Carrie was also always skeptical of traditional religion, and, during high school one of her teachers introduced her to the works of Charles Darwin. Carrie embraced this philosophy, However, her father refused to provide any more money for furthering her education, so she worked as a teacher to earn enough to go to the Iowa State Agricultural College, where, not only did she attend college, she worked in the state library, and the college kitchen. She graduated in 1880, as the only woman among 18 graduates.
She wanted to be a lawyer, so she went and tried it for a year, with an attorney in Charles City. She liked it, enough that she got a job to teach high school to earn enough money to put herself through law school. Once she started teaching, She found that she loved it. All ideas of becoming a lawyer left her mind. In less then two years, she had made her way up to principal, and superintendent.
In 1885 Carrie had to resign her job, so that she could get married. Married women were not allowed to teach. Her husband, Leo Chapman was the editor of a newspaper, and she became his business partner, writing a column called "Woman's World". It was about a woman's political and labor issues, and encouraging them to organize well enough to gain the right to vote. Her husband was eventually sued for libel for criticizing a politician, and had to sell the newspaper. He went to San Francisco to find work, where he caught Typhoid Fever, and died. She was a widow at 27.
Carrie had followed her husband to SF, and decided to stay there, where she got work as as a freelance journalist. She barely made ends meet. One evening, a male associate grabbed her, and began kissing her, against her will. She got away from him, and, began to turn her eneries towards doing something about the vulnerability of working women. During this time, she met George Catt, a civil engineer working with a bridge building company. He inspired her to become a public lecturer, and, after hiring him to be her agent, she began speaking on the West Coast.
She eventually moved back to Iowa, and began working for the suffrage movement. She traveled and held many offices for both the Iowa association, and NAWSA (National American Woman Suffrage Association). In 1890, she went to Seattle, Wa, and married George Catt, who was totally supportive of his wife's suffrage career. She has been quoted saying "My husband used to say that he was as much of a reformer as I, but that he couldn't wrk at reforming and earn a living at the same time; but what he could do was to earn a living enough for for two and free me from all economic burden, and thus I could reform for two". His work had him traveling the country, so Carrie accompanied him, and on her own, to further the suffrage campaign. She became president of NAWSA in 1900, a position she held for four years. She also founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, which involved the US, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Norway and Sweden. She was it's first president, holding that role until 1923.
Her husbands health, as well as her own, had begun to deteriorate, George died in 1905, followed by the death of her good friends Susan B. Anthony, then her brother, and, her mother Carrie was grief stricken, and stopped her work completely. Her doctor, and her friends, encouraged her to travel abroad, and she did, going to work mainly on behalf of IWSA, for which she was still the president of. She actually remained the vice president of NAWSA at the same time. She ended up, in 1915, becoming it's president again. It was in disarray, and it needed her. She was torn. However, the activities of IWSA were suspended, so she focused her attention on NAWSA. In 1914, Carrie was left about two million dollars, for women's suffrage. She used it well. Carrie spent the rest of her life working tirelessly for both NAWSA, and IWSA, during and through WW I, and WW II. She held office in both organizations for 40 years. She never got a salary. She died, at age 88 of a heart attack, in her home in New Rochelle, New York. By the time she died, women in most developed countries around the world had equal voting rights.

4 comments:

K said...

We owe so much to these women.

It amazingly what they did at a time when nobody thought it was possible.

Daryl said...

Another blog bio worthy woman!

Eaton Bennett said...

Mie, The letter 'P' is yours. Can't wait to see what your favorite things in P are.

Eaton. :)

holly said...

what a great gal!

i appreciate her suffrage.

she suffr'ed so much that we now suffer very little. probably.