The Monmouth County Clerk’s Office commemorates the Centennial of the 19th Amendment

1914—A group of women stand at their booth on the Asbury Park Boardwalk for the New Jersey Suffrage Campaign
Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress, Corbis Historical Collection


Message from Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon:

As you may be aware, 2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Since my office oversees a large part of the elections process for Monmouth County, I am very excited to launch a recognition program of the 19th Amendment Centennial, to commemorate this historic milestone.

Throughout the next year, I encourage you to visit this page on our elections website, www.MonmouthCountyVotes.com, and to follow the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We will update our pages about the latest events and with historic flashbacks honoring the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, using the hashtag #WomensVote100Monmouth.

In addition, please be on the look out for future editions of this booklet in the coming months, available on our website and at our offices, which will provide updated information about 19th Amendment Centennial events and programs in our area.

Very truly yours,

 

Christine Giordano Hanlon, Esq.
Monmouth County Clerk

Winners of the Middle School 19th Amendment Centennial Essay Contest Honored

At the County Clerk’s 24th Annual Archives and History Day on Saturday, October 14, 2019, Clerk Hanlon honored the First, Second, and Third Place Winners of the Middle School 19th Amendment Centennial Essay Contest, sponsored by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office.

In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, seventh and eighth grade students in Monmouth County were asked to highlight an activist who had a connection to Monmouth County or New Jersey and explain the importance of his or her role to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Clerk Hanlon was extremely impressed by the numerous entries we received from students across Monmouth County. Congratulations to our winners:

First Place: Isabelle Chapman
Eighth Grader at Maple Place Middle School, Oceanport
Teacher: Mrs. Cathy Kornek
“Alice Paul’s Fight for Suffrage”
Click here to read her First Place essay.

Second Place: Ayush Bobra
Eighth Grader at Marlboro Memorial Middle School
Teacher: Mrs. Amanda Hendrickson
“Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Push for Women’s Rights”
Click here to read his Second Place essay.

Third Place: Jillian Basile (pictured left)
Eighth Grader at Saint Jerome School, West Long Branch
Teacher: Mrs. Madeline Kerns
“The Fight for Women’s Rights” about Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony
Click here to read her Third Place essay.

Third Place: Amanda Sun (pictured right)
Eighth Grader at Marlboro Memorial Middle School
Teacher: Mrs. Amanda Hendrickson
“Alice Paul: The Journey of a Leader”
Click here to read her Third Place essay.

Local Centennial Events
Alice Paul Institute’s “Alice Paul: In Pursuit of Ordinary Equality
Ongoing, Tuesday – Friday @ 12 P.M. – 4 P.M.
128 Hooten Road, Mount Laurel, NJ

Alice Paul Institute’s Second Saturday Tours @ Paulsdale
Monthly on the Second Saturday @ 12 P.M.
128 Hooten Road, Mount Laurel, NJ

Township of Ocean Historical Museum’s “Votes for Women: New Jersey and Beyond” Exhibit
Through June of 2020
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday @ 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.
Thursday @ 7 P.M. – 9 P.M.
1st and 2nd Sundays of the month @ 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.
703 Deal Road, Ocean Township, NJ

Local History Room of the Long Branch Public Library’s “Reclaiming our Voice: NJ’s Role in Women’s Suffrage” Performance by Actress Carol Simon Levin
Saturday, March 28, 2020 @ 2 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.
328 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon to Honor 19th Amendment Centennial
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Stay tuned for more details.

Vision 2020’s “Toast to Tenacity
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Independence Mall, Philadelphia, PA with regional celebrations 

Monmouth County and the Suffrage Movement

Ocean Grove
Ocean Grove was a vibrant center for women’s suffrage and temperance activism. Women in the community were uniquely independent as early as the Civil War; women owned 69 percent of properties in Ocean Grove, and a female doctor practiced medicine there. Sarah Jane Corson Downs, New Jersey’s second state president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), moved to Ocean Grove in the 1880s and served the organization when it endorsed women’s suffrage in 1887. Some of the most famous suffragists, among them Carrie Chapman Catt and Alice Paul, visited Ocean Grove. Margaret Wilson, President Wilson’s daughter and a prolific singer, performed in the community in 1916 and in 1919.

Shrewsbury
New Jersey was a popular destination for Quakers as early as the 1670s. The Quakers’ emphasis on the “equality of souls” contributed to an early recognition of women’s value in colonial communities, where women performed in leadership roles and engaged in social activism in regard to abolition, family counseling, and education. Harriet Lafetra, a Hicksite Quaker whose views and practices were more liberal than those of orthodox Quakers, was, according to records, the first known woman to petition the New Jersey state legislature for women’s political rights in 1857. Lafetra was heavily involved in Shrewsbury Quakers’ meetings and is buried at the cemetery located at the Shrewsbury Friends meetinghouse.

Keyport
Three generations of women’s suffrage activists called Keyport home. Therese Walling Seabrook lived on West Front Street and offered fervent support for both temperance and women’s suffrage. Seabrook joined other suffragists, including Jersey City’s Phebe Hanaford, at a meeting of the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee in 1884 to advocate for a resolution for women’s suffrage. Seabrook’s daughter, Annie Seabrook Conover, lived on Main Street and was an active WCTU member in the group’s Monmouth County chapter. Conover also served as the first president of the Keyport Literary Club, which joined the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1909 and participated in the Keyport Lyceum, now the Keyport Public Library. Her daughter, Vera Conover, was a genealogist and served as Keyport Borough’s historian. She preserved and recorded local history pertaining to women’s suffrage and other progressive initiatives. The Monmouth County Historical Association possesses much of her written work.

General History of the 19th Amendment Centennial
General History
The 1848 Seneca Falls Convention marked the formal beginning of the American women’s suffrage movement. Notable suffragists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, demanded legal recognition of women’s political rights and sought to educate the public about women’s suffrage. An outgrowth of the abolitionist movement, women’s suffrage efforts recognized each individual’s political liberty regardless of gender. The movement coincided with other reforms in a period of American history known as the Progressive Era, which featured public and legislative initiatives to protect laborers, ensure children’s rights, improve public education, mandate temperance, and advance consumer protection.

Multiple organizations formed to support women’s suffrage. Prominent leaders included Carrie Chapman Catt, who led the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and Alice Paul, a New Jersey native, who headed the National Woman’s Party (NWP). Numerous demonstrations, which occasionally involved arrests and physical harm, and lobbying efforts occurred in the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. Finally, with support from President Woodrow Wilson, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment on June 4, 1919. New Jersey ratified the Nineteenth Amendment on February 9, 1920 and the States ratified the amendment on August 18, 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment prevents the federal government and the states from denying any individual the right to vote on the basis of sex, ultimately extending the right to vote to women and marking the success of a sustained movement that lasted more than seven decades.

Timeline of Key Events
1848, July 19-20: Seneca Falls Convention held in New York
1857: Harriet Lafetra petitions New Jersey state legislature to support women’s suffrage
1869: Wyoming becomes first territory to grant women voting rights
1872, November 5: Susan B. Anthony illegally votes in presidential election; later arrested
1873, December 23: Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) founded
1878: Woman Suffrage Amendment proposed to Congress
1884: Therese Walling Seabrook meets with New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee
1887: WTCU’s New Jersey chapter endorses women’s suffrage
1890, February 18: National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) founded
1913, March 3: Suffragists parade on Pennsylvania Avenue
1916, November 7: First congresswoman, Jeannette Rankin, elected
1918, January 9: President Wilson announces support for women’s suffrage
1919, May 21: House passes Nineteenth Amendment
1919, June 4: Senate passes Nineteenth Amendment
1920, February 9: New Jersey ratifies the Nineteenth Amendment
1920, August 18: States ratify Nineteenth Amendment
1920, August 26: Nineteenth Amendment is officially signed into law

County Clerk's 19th Amendment Centennial Commemorative Booklet

Based on the information available on this webpage, Clerk Hanlon will also provide a printed 19th Amendment Centennial booklet outlining local events, the Clerk’s student contests, and Monmouth County’s connection to the Centennial. The booklet will be printed a few times throughout next year to include updated information and events. The First Edition Booklet printed on September 26, 2019 is available at our offices and in a PDF format by clicking here.