New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage

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1915 poster circulated by the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.

The New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NYSAOWS) was an American anti-suffrage organization in New York. The group was made up of prominent women who fought against the cause of women's suffrage by giving speeches, handing out materials and pamphlets and also publishing a journal. There were several auxiliaries of the group throughout New York and it was considered one of the most active anti-suffrage groups in the state.


The New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NYSAOWS) was one of the most active women's anti-suffrage groups in the state of New York.[1] The group was first known as the New York State Association Opposed to the Extension of the Suffrage to Women and was formed in April 1895.[2] The name was changed sometime between October 27, 1908 and November 4, 1908.[3] The group had many "prominent" women from New York as members.[4] There were several auxiliary organizations in different parts of the state, including in Albany, Brooklyn and Buffalo.[5][6][7] Dues were taken from each member, starting at $3 per person.[5]

The president of the organization would bring together the executive committee every year, either in December or April.[8] Officers would be elected and reports on their previous years' activities would be shared.[8] The report would also include information about women's suffrage efforts across the country.[9] The group met at the home of Mrs. George Phillips (Mary E. Phillips)[10] for many years, but in October 1908 opened an office in the Engineering Societies Building.[11][12] In July 1908, NYSAOWS started a quarterly journal called The Anti-Suffragist which was published through April 1912.[13]

NYSAOWS members believed that women participating in politics would be "disruptive of everything pertaining to home life."[14] They also felt that women's roles as mothers and caregivers meant they did not have to do "further service" as citizens.[13] Overall, the members believed that more people were on their side and all they had to do was help "women to recognize the vital need for 'a division of the world's work between men and women.'"[8] In 1896, NYSAOWS believed that only 10% of women actually wanted the vote.[5] NYSAOWS also used tactics such as associating women's suffrage with "support for socialist causes."[15]

The group would receive requests for information, advice or assistance from women in other states.[16] They also sent petitions to the New York State Assembly, asking them not to grant suffrage to women.[17] The association drew large crowds, like the one at Glens Falls City Hall in February 1915, when NYSAOWS president, Alice Hill Chittenden, spoke.[18]

Petition from Women Voters Anti-Suffrage Party of New York to the Senate, 1917

After women in New York won the right to vote in 1917, NYSAOWS reorganized to work towards the repeal of women's suffrage.[19][20] They also decided to fight against a country-wide granting of women's suffrage.[21] After the 19th Amendment passed, the Brooklyn Auxiliary of the NYSAOWS met in the home of Carolyn Putnam (Mrs. W.A Putnam) to discuss working against the federal amendment.[22] NYSAOWS eventually decided to transition into a new organization, the Women Voters' Anti-Suffrage Party.[23]


Several women served as presidents of the group. Abby Hamlin Abbot filled in for Scott and Dodge left to lead the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.[8]

  • Lucy Parkman Scott (1895-1910)
  • Abby Hamlin Abbott parts of 1902 and 1907
  • Josephine Jewell Dodge (1910)
  • Carolyn Putnam (1911-1912)
  • Alice Hill Chittenden (1913-1917)

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Schaffer, Ronald (1962). "The New York City Woman Suffrage Party, 1909-1919". New York History. 43 (3): 178. JSTOR 23153512. (Registration required (help)).
  2. ^ "Active Campaign to Oppose the Granting of Suffrage to Women". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1 March 1896. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  3. ^ "NYSA Opposed to Woman Suffrage Collection: Manuscripts and Special Collections: New York State Library". New York State Library. 25 September 2017. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  4. ^ Goodier 2013, p. 59.
  5. ^ a b c "Against Woman Suffrage". New-York Tribune. 22 May 1896. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  6. ^ "Opposed to Woman Suffrage". New-York Tribune. 28 April 1896. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  7. ^ "Anti-Woman Suffragists". Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express. 8 May 1900. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  8. ^ a b c d Goodier 2013, p. 44.
  9. ^ "State Anti-Suffragists Report Work for Year". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 6 January 1908. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  10. ^ "Mrs. Mary E. Phillips". New York Herald. 14 February 1919. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  11. ^ New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage 1908, p. 4-5.
  12. ^ "N.Y. 'Antis' Open Headquarters". New-York Tribune. 1 November 1908. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  13. ^ a b Wayne, Tiffany K. (2015). Women's Rights in the United States: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Issues, Events, and People. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 17. ISBN 9781610692151.
  14. ^ New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage 1908, p. 11.
  15. ^ "Anti-suffrage Poster: The Red Behind the Yellow, 1915 - Women's Suffrage and the Media". Women's Suffrage and the Media. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  16. ^ Goodier 2013, p. 45.
  17. ^ "Evidently woman suffrage is not very". The Salt Lake Herald. 26 January 1898. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  18. ^ Daley, Fred (20 August 1995). "Glens Falls Suffragists Claimed Victory 75 Years Ago". The Post-Star. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  19. ^ Levine, Alexandra S. (2017-11-06). "New York Today: A Century of Women Voting". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  20. ^ "Anti-Suffrage Party Plans to Reorganize". Pittsburgh Daily Post. 3 April 1918. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  21. ^ "Anti-Suffrage Meeting". The Record-Argus. 3 April 1918. Retrieved 2018-05-04 – via
  22. ^ "Anti-Suffragilsts Meet". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 17 January 1919. Retrieved 2018-05-08 – via
  23. ^ Goodier 2013, p. 13.


External links[edit]