New York was home to the first-ever Women's Rights Convention, held in Seneca Falls, on July 19 and 20, 1848 and organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Sixty-nine years later, on Nov. 6, 1917, women in New York State won the right to vote.
"As someone who benefitted greatly from the suffragists' efforts, I am proud that OGS is highlighting their accomplishments in these special tours and exhibits," Commissioner RoAnn Destito said. "I encourage everyone to take the time and learn about New York's place in history as the birthplace of the women's rights movement and as one of the first states where women were granted the right to vote."
As part of New York's recognition of Women's History Month, a number of exhibits will be available for public viewing in both the Empire State Plaza and the New York State Capitol Building. The exhibit "Women's Suffrage in New York State," located in the Capitol corridor which connects the state house to the Empire State Plaza, will include imagery of pro- and anti-suffrage propaganda with historic photographs of the women who organized and marched until the vote was won. The exhibition offers a glimpse of this historic struggle and groundbreaking victory for women's rights.
The exhibit, "New York State Women's Suffrage 1917 - 2017 | The Fight for the Vote and the March for Full Equality," is located in the East Gallery on the second floor of the Capitol and traces the almost 70-year struggle for the vote. The exhibit highlights the lives of 12 influential Suffragists and the critical role they played in securing the vote by African Americans and working women. This month-long exhibit features the "Spirit of 1776" wooden suffrage wagon in which a Long Island Suffragist and her eight-year-old daughter traveled throughout Long Island and Manhattan during the summer of 1913 to spread the importance of votes for women, a 1917 banner carried by Suffragists, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's 1854 address to the New York State Legislature.
Also on view outside the Visitor Center is the mural Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, which was created by students from the Monroe Community College Art Department in Rochester. Known for being a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, Tubman later became a strong supporter of the women's rights movements.
Throughout the month of March, special one-hour Capitol tours focused on the suffrage movement will be available to visitors. The tours will feature artifacts selected to showcase the suffragists' journey. For more information about the Capitol tours, visit www.empirestateplaza.org.