20 Suffragists To Know

These individuals fought for women's suffrage. They lived across the United States, and came from around the world. Some were active in the battle for women's right to vote in the early 1800s; others worked to educate and enroll voters and for voting rights into the late 1900s and beyond. Men and women, young and old, you may know some of them for other parts of their histories. Some you may never have heard of before.

We invite you to explore the stories of women's access to the vote across America, through the histories of these 20 people who were among those who made it possible. Looking for more histories of suffragists? Scroll to the bottom of the page!
  • Portrait of Jane Addams. Library of Congress
    Jane Addams

    Jane Addams was a suffragist, social activist, and author.

  • Portrait of Susan B. Anthony, c. 1855. Public Domain
    Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony was a suffragist, abolitionist, and activist for women's rights.

  • Carrie Chapman Catt (right) in 1917. Library of Congress
    Carrie Chapman Catt

    Carrie Chapman Catt was a suffragist, peace activist, and co-founder of the League of Women Voters.

  • Courtesy Avery Research Center. NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN
    Septima Poinsette Clark

    Septima Poinsette Clark was an educator and civil rights activist. She worked to register African American voters.

  • Frederick Douglass by Samuel_J_Miller, 1847-52 Art Institute of Chicago
    Frederick Douglass

    Frederick Douglass, formerly enslaved, was an abolitionist, suffragist, publisher, and author.

  • Jack and
    Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Dowsett

    Wilhelmina Kekelaokalaninui Widemann Dowsett was a suffragist in Hawai'i.

  • 1st Territorial Legislature. Courtesy Archives of Alaska not public domain
    First Territorial Legislature of Alaska

    The first act of the just-formed Territorial Legislature of Alaska in 1913 was to grant women the vote.

  • Dolores Huerta, Eric Guo, CC-BY-2.0 (Wikimedia).
    Dolores Huerta

    Dolores Huerta is a labor organizer; co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association; and works to register agricultural workers to vote

  • Helen Keller. Collections Library of Congress
    Helen Keller

    Helen Keller was a civil rights activist, women's rights activist, author, and speaker.

  • Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, Library of Congress
    Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

    Dr. Mabel Lee advocated for women's suffrage for years, even though as a Chinese immigrant, she was unable to vote.

  • Nina Otero-Warren. Collections Library of Congress
    Adelina "Nina" Otero-Warren

    Nina Otero-Warren was a suffragist, author, business woman, and homesteader.

  • Alice Paul toasting the passage of the 19th Amendment. Library of Congress
    Dr. Alice Paul

    Alice Paul was a suffragist and activist for women's rights.

  • Jeannette Rankin. Collection of the US House of Representatives.
    Jeannette Rankin

    Jeannette Rankin was a suffragist, and the first woman elected to US Congress.

  • Tye Leung Schulze. Photo courtesy of LA Public Library (not public domain)
    Tye Leung Schulze

    Tye Leung Schulze was the first Chinese person in the United States (and perhaps in the world) to vote in a democratic election.

  • Anna Howard Shaw. Library of Congress
    Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw

    Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw was an activist, physician, clergy, and President of the National American Women's Suffrage Association.

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    One of the driving forces behind the First Women's Rights Convention in 1848

  • Mary Church Terrell. Collections of Library of Congress
    Mary Church Terrell

    Mary Church Terrell was a suffragist, activist, businesswoman, and educator.

  • Sojourner Truth. Collections of the Library of Congress
    Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree. She was an abolitionist, activist, and supporter of women's rights including suffrage.

  • Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, c. 1911. Library of Congress
    Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

    Dr. Mary Walker was a physician, women's suffrage advocate, Civil War veteran, and the only woman to receive the US Medal of Honor.

  • Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Public Domain.
    Ida B. Wells-Barnett

    Ida B. Wells-Barnett was an anti-lynching advocate, author, suffragist, founder of the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago.

  • Zitkala-Sa, Smithsonian Institution

    Zitkala-Ša was a writer, political activist, teacher, intellectual, and musician. She fought for Native American suffrage.

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    Explore the list below to learn about more suffragists.

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