Ohio Women's Rights Association

From Ohio History Central

The Ohio Women's Rights Association was an early women's rights association in Ohio.

After the Seneca Falls Convention in New York in 1848, Ohio women became more and more interested in the subject of women's rights. A number of conferences met in the years that followed. In 1852, a number of people met in Massillon, Ohio, at the Womens Rights Convention. Participants voted to establish the Ohio Women's Rights Association, which held its first statewide meeting in Ravenna on May 25, 1853. Anyone who was "interested in equal rights for all human beings in all endeavors" was invited to join the organization. Caroline Severance was elected president of the convention of 1853. Those people who attended this meeting helped to draft a petition to the state legislature, requesting legislation that would grant women more rights. Severance presented the draft to the Ohio Senate on April 1, 1854.

The efforts of these Ohio women were similar to those of women in other states. Although Ohio women were becoming more organized and vocal in their demands for improved rights, they did not achieve any significant legal success during the years before the Civil War. As the war loomed ever closer, abolitionism took away some of the focus on women's issues. Once the war was over and women recognized that they would not benefit from the Fourteenth Amendment and the Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, they began to reorganize and push for the right to vote. Despite little advancement in the early years of the women's rights movement, women and their supporters continued to seek equality with men.

See Also


  1. Benedict, Michael Les, and John F. Winkler. The History of Ohio Law. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.
  2. Geary, Linda L. Balanced in the Wind: A Biography of Betsey Mix Cowles. Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1989.