Happy International Women’s Day

Tomorrow, March 8, honours the economic, political, and social achievements of women around the world.  What would life for women have been like in Nineteenth Century New York at the time our site in Riverside was occupied?  Here’s what was going on in the US Women’s Rights Movement during the 1870s:

Portrait_of_Susan_B._Anthony_on_her_50th_birthday

1872:

– Congress passes a law that mandates federal female employees receive the same pay as their male counterparts.  Pay conditions for female employees in private companies, local, and state goverments, however, would have remained much the same.  Equal pay was not applied to women in this sector until the 1960s.

– Victoria Chaflin Woodhull becomes the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States, even though women were not yet even allowed to vote.

– This did not stop Susan B. Anthony from attempting to vote and see whether the 14th Amendment would be applied broadly to allow women to vote.  The 14th Amendment guaranteed basic rights to all American citizens, who were defined as “persons” born or naturalized in the United States.  Miss Anthony received her answer when she was arrested and tried the next year in Canandaigua, NY, and convicted of “unlawful voting.”

1874:

– Just in case the message didn’t reach everybody, the Supreme Court officially denies women the right to vote in Minor v. Happersett.  While it was agreed that women were “persons” as defined in the 14th Amendment, they were deemed to belong to a special category of “persons” who don’t vote.  While many feminists would continue pushing over the years for the right to vote, it would be almost 50 years until 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified and their goal was finally achieved.

Pre-election Parade for Suffrage in NYC, 1915 Image from Wikimedia Commons

Pre-election Parade for Suffrage in NYC, 1915
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Happy Friday!  We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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