Place

Site of the New England Woman Suffrage Association (NEWSA) Office

A multi-story building. First floor exterior is black molding around windows between stone columns.
Several women's suffrage organizations once occupied 3 Tremont Place at this location.

NPS Photo/Woods

Quick Facts

The New England Woman Suffrage Association (NEWSA) formed at a women’s rights convention held in Horticultural Hall in November, 1868.1 Elected the organization’s president, Julia Ward Howe gave her first known public address on women’s rights at this meeting.2 Howe, along with Lucy Stone and other regional leaders, formed NEWSA as the suffrage movement began its initial split over the question of whether African American men should get the right to vote before women. Most members of NEWSA supported the 15th Amendment as a safeguard for African American men’s right to vote, believing it necessary to preserve their rights before working on women’s suffrage.3 Many NEWSA members later founded the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) in 1869, followed by the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association in 1870.

NEWSA collaborated alongside state and national organizations in suffrage activity through producing publications, submitting petitions, and participating in suffrage hearings.4 It often shared the same office space with other local suffrage organizations throughout its history, with offices located at 3 Tremont Place, 3 Park Street, 6 Beacon Street, and 585 Boylston Street.5

NEWSA organized the first Suffrage Bazaar in Boston, held in 1870 at Music Hall, as well as the New England Woman’s Tea Party in 1873.6 Please read “New England Woman’s Tea Party” for more information on the 1873 event.

Footnotes:

  1. Lois Bannister Merk, “Massachusetts and the Woman Suffrage Movement” (Phd diss., Radcliffe College, 1961).
  2. Harriet Hanson Robinson, Massachusetts In the Woman Suffrage Movement: A General; Political, Legal And Legislative History From 1774 to 1881 (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1881), 50-51.
  3. Barbara Berenson, Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement (Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press, 2018), 50.
  4. Robinson, Massachusetts In the Woman Suffrage Movement, 50-51.
  5. Independent Historian Lyle Nyberg has tracked many of the locations of Boston suffrage organizations. For more information, please visit the webpage Suffrage Organizations of Boston.
  6. Lois Bannister Merk, “Massachusetts and the Woman Suffrage Movement” (Phd diss., Radcliffe College, 1961).

Last updated: March 12, 2021