Author Information

Sarah R. Fuller


It was not until 1920, 72 years after the birth of the suffrage movement, that Massachusetts women gained the right to vote. While other state suffrage associations succeeded in persuading their governments to pass laws securing the vote for women, Massachusetts reformers were met with an overwhelming amount of resistance. The forces behind much of this resistance were the white, middle-class women active in small cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth. Women in support, as well as in opposition, to suffrage in Massachusetts at the turn-of-the twentieth century were the same women swept up in the changing gender roles of the time. It was this confusing social, and in turn, political climate in Massachusetts that created some of the most dynamic and fascinating suffrage discourse in the nation. And there is no better place to find this rich dialogue than in the primary sources of the small cities and towns of Massachusetts. It is the small historical societies of towns like Beverly, MA that provide insight into the complexity of the local suffrage debate.

Note on the Author

Sarah R. Fuller is a senior majoring in History with a minor in Secondary Education and Art History. This research was performed during the Summer of 2010 as an Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Grant. Sarah’s studies were completed under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Margaret Lowe.

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