Women’s Suffrage

Leading up to the 100th Anniversary of the Passage of the 19th Amendment, Preservation Maryland will focus on researching and documenting the tangible connections to the extraordinary fight to gain women the right to vote. This project will update the existing historic record with new and inclusive information about Maryland’s suffragists.


Partner: Maryland Historical TrustMaryland Legislative Women’s Caucus, Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP, PreserveCast

The Problem

The suffrage history  of Maryland’s historic site is often overlooked. The need is there to research and document the tangible connections to the extraordinary fight to gain women the right to vote. This information can then be used to update the existing historic record for more inclusive information about Maryland’s suffragists.

The Fix

In preparation for the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which gave women the right to vote, Preservation Maryland in undertaking a project to emphasize the struggles, achievements and personal contributions of a once disenfranchised majority as part of a larger story of civil rights movements in Maryland and America.

LISTEN NOW

Preservation Maryland is using our 21th-century tools and an inclusive historic approach to elevate the complex history of Maryland’s suffragists and their lasting legacy on equality in the United States. The Ballot & Beyond multi-media public history project is powered by Preservation Maryland’s Six-to-Fix program with additional support by Gallagher, Evelius & Jones. Biographical sketches and historic images of over two dozen remarkable Maryland women are now streaming for free on Ballot & Beyond. You’ll learn about many Maryland women of note including suffragists, legislators, judges, philanthropists, and more.

GO TO BALLOT & BEYOND NOW

HISTORY & SIGNIFICANCE

On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was signed into law and officially granted twenty million American women the right to vote. This mass expansion in voting rights was the result of over 70 years of intense activism known as the women’s suffrage movement. The success of this campaign was driven by the hard work and commitment of a nationwide pool of women of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, including thousands of Marylanders.

Maryland’s suffragists played an important role in the passage of the 19th Amendment. Even though the Maryland legislature failed to ratify the suffrage amendment at the time, the women’s suffrage movement had a powerful impact on the state. Mass activism by suffragists throughout Maryland permanently changed the social and political roles of women by bringing them into new spheres of civic and political engagement. The diversity of sites associated with the suffrage movement reflects the breadth of suffragists’ work and the wide range of strategies they used to marshal social and political power in the face of entrenched institutional opposition.

THREAT & GOALS

This project’s goals are to update and amend the listings for numerous National Register Historic Districts, multiple individually listed National Register historic properties, document previously overlooked historic sites that are important to the women’s suffrage movement and widely promote the contributions of Maryland’s suffragists to this landmark civil rights struggle.  Since women’s suffrage organizations were racially segregated in the years leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment, this project will pay particular attention to historic sites associated with Maryland’s African American women who were active in the suffrage movement.

Updates

AUGUST 2020

Citizens across the country celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment this August and Preservation Maryland contributed to the expansion of new research and interest on the complex history of the Women’s Suffrage movement and legacy by releasing a new season of biographies on the organization’s Ballot & Beyond podcast and online exhibit.

LISTEN NOW

AUGUST 2020

Preservation Maryland was invited to present a brief history of Maryland’s Suffrage Movement as part of the organization’s multi-year Six-to-Fix initiative to bring one the most important – but overlooked – civil rights movements in Maryland and America to light. Meagan Baco, Director of Communications gave the presentation in August 2020 at the invitation of the Baltimore Architecture Foundation.

WATCH LECTURE

MARCH 2020

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Preservation Maryland is using our 21th-century tools and an inclusive historic approach to elevate the complex history of Maryland’s suffragists and their lasting legacy on equality in the United States. The Ballot & Beyond project is powered by Preservation Maryland’s Six-to-Fix program with additional support by Gallagher, Evelius & Jones.

LISTEN NOW

RESOURCES

National Votes for Women Trail
Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission

State Planning Guide
Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission

Interactive Map of Women’s Suffrage Sites in Maryland
Maryland Historical Trust

Women’s Suffrage History Timeline
National Park Service

Woman Suffrage in Maryland Digital Collection
Enoch Pratt Free Library

Save History Today

The Six-to-Fix program allows Preservation Maryland to take direct action to fulfill its mission to protect the best of Maryland. Your donation helps provide technical assistance through Preservation Maryland staff and preservation experts to threatened and underutilized historic places – your donation has a direct impact on saving Maryland architecture and history.

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Be Part of the Fix

You can help. Six-to-Fix rallies the Maryland preservation community around discrete and necessary tasks and projects to advance each project. Folks with all skills and interests are encouraged to sign-up. You will receive periodic announcements with opportunities to participate, and we hope you can join us to save history together.

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