Ohio Woman Suffrage Association

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Revision as of 14:24, 23 May 2013 by Admin (Talk | contribs)

Let Ohio Women Vote.jpg
Postcard with a color image of the Seal of Ohio with a woman's face in the center. The woman's face is framed by the rising sun and the slogan "Let Ohio Women Vote." The postcard was sent from Columbus, Ohio by Elizabeth J. House to Mrs. C. L. Martzolff in

Athens, Ohio, 1915.

The Ohio Woman Suffrage Association was an early woman's suffragist group in Ohio.

After the end of the American Civil War, some people believed that women would be granted the right to vote when former slaves were given the franchise. When this did not occur, women across the United States began to organize and call for the right to vote. By the 1870s, there were thirty-one different women's suffrage organizations in Ohio, each focused on one community or one county. At this time, there was no effective statewide organization.

It was not until May 1885 that the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association (OWSA) was formed in Painesville. To avoid partisan politics, its members chose not to affiliate the organization with any of the national woman suffrage groups of this era. Instead, they focused primarily on a campaign to change local and state laws that prohibited women from voting. Unlike many organizations of women in the late nineteenth century, the OWSA did not discriminate and encouraged African-American women to participate in its efforts.

In the early twentieth century, the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association became even more vocal. The group organized a woman suffrage parade in Columbus on August 27, 1912. In that same year, the association also began to campaign for a state constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. Despite a number of fundraising problems and other challenges the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association continued to hold meetings and parades until the beginning of World War I. Although they were unsuccessful in obtaining their goals prior to the war, women ultimately received the right to vote with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920. Ohio was the fifth state to ratify this amendment.

See Also


  1. Booth, Stephane Elise. Buckeye Women: The History of Ohio's Daughters. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2001.
  2. Jordan, Philip D. Ohio Comes of Age: 1874-1899. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1943.  
  3. Lindley, Harlow. Ohio in the Twentieth Century: 1900-1938. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1942.  
  4. Roseboom, Eugene H. The Civil War Era: 1850-1873. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1944.  
  5. Anderson, Greta. More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Ohio Women. N.p.: TwoDot, 2005.
  6. Benedict, Michael Les, and John F. Winkler. The History of Ohio Law. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004.
  7. DuBois, Ellen Carol. Feminism and Suffrage: The Emergence of an Independent Women's Movement in America, 1848-1869. N.p.: Cornell University Press, 1999.
  8. Flexner, Eleanor, and Ellen Fitzpatrick. Century of Struggle: The Womans Rights Movement in the United States. N.p.: Belknap Press, 1996.
  9. Wheeler, Marjorie S. One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Women's Suffrage Movement. N.p.: NewSage Press, 1995.