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Harriot Stanton Blatch

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Harriot Stanton Blatch calls for a White House protest, 1916

Harriot Stanton Blatch calls for a White House protest, 1916

Women of Protest: Photographs, National Woman's Party, Manuscript Division, US Library of Congress

Harriot Stanton Blatch Facts:

Known for: daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Henry B. Stanton; mother of Nora Stanton Blatch Barney, first woman with a graduate degree in civil engineering (Cornell)

Dates: January 20, 1856 - November 20, 1940

Occupation: feminist activist, suffrage strategist, writer, biographer of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Also known as: Harriot Eaton Stanton, Harriet Stanton Blatch

Harriot Stanton Blatch Biography:

Harriot Stanton Blatch was born in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1856. Her mother was already active in organizing for women's rights; her father was active in reform causes including anti-slavery work.

Harriot Stanton Blatch was educated privately until her admission to Vassar, where she graduated in 1878 in Mathematics. She then attended the Boston School for Oratory, and began to tour with her mother, in America and overseas. By 1881 she'd added the history of the American Woman Suffrage Association to Volume II of the History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I of which was largely written by her mother.

On a ship back to America, Harriot met William Blatch, an English businessman. They were married on November 15, 1882. Harriot Stanton Blatch lived primarily in England for twenty years.

In England, Harriot Stanton Blatch joined the Fabian Society and noted the work of the Women's Franchise League. She returned to America in 1902 and became active in the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) and the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

In 1907, Harriot Stanton Blatch founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women, to bring working women into the women's rights movement. In 1910, this organization became the Women's Political Union. Harriot Stanton Blatch worked through these organizations to organize suffrage marches in New York in 1908, 1910, and 1912, and she was the leader of the 1910 suffrage parade in New York.

The Women's Political Union merged in 1915 with Alice Paul's Congressional Union, which later became the National Woman's Party. This wing of the suffrage movement supported a constitutional amendment to give women the vote and supported more radical and militant action.

During World War I, Harriot Stanton Blatch focused on mobilizing women in the Women's Land Army and other ways to support the war effort. She wrote "Mobilizing Woman Power" about the role of women in support of war. After the war, Blatch moved to a pacifist position.

After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, Harriot Stanton Blatch joined the Socialist Party. She also began work for the constitutional Equal Rights Amendment, while many socialist women and feminist supporters of working women supported protective legislation. In 1921, Blatch was nominated by the Socialist Party as Comptroller of the City of New York.

Her memoir, Challenging Years, was published in 1940.

William Blatch died in 1913. Intensely private about her personal life, Harriot Stanton Blatch's memoir doesn't even mention the daughter who died at age four.

Religious Associations:

Harriot Stanton Blatch attended Presbyterian then Unitarian Sunday School, and was married in a Unitarian ceremony.

Bibliography:

• Harriot Stanton Blatch. Challenging Years: The Memoirs of Harriot Stanton Blatch. 1940, Reprint 1971.

• Ellen Carol Dubois. Harriot Stanton Blatch and the Winning of Woman Suffrage. 1997.
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