American Woman and her Political Peers, 1893. Henrietta Briggs-Wall. 1911. Manuscript Division. exhibit display
The long and difficult struggle for women's suffrage is one of the best-documented, most widely researched, and most seriously
debated topics in American women's history. That historians know as much as they do about the suffrage campaign is in large
part because of its participants' conscious efforts to record their movement's history. In the late 1870s, in the very midst
of their campaign, leading suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Matilda Joslyn Gage began chronicling
the movement in The History of Woman Suffrage, published in three monumental volumes between 1881 and 1886. The early leaders supplemented this history by publishing various
autobiographies and memoirs and by assiduously collecting clippings, books, and pamphlets about their efforts.
In 1903 Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford convinced his friend Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) [catalog record] to donate her collection of books and other printed matter to the national library, where they now reside in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Following receipt of these printed sources, the Library's curators began amassing manuscripts, photographs, and other papers
relating to the struggle for women's rights, assembling in the process a compelling documentary history of the suffrage campaign
from its early connections to the abolition and temperance campaigns to its final victory in August 1920.