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- Women in the Conventions | March 8, 2017
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Women DelegatesView Fullscreen
Mr. Charles L. Remond, of Mass., moved that we admit
Miss Mary A. Shadd, of Canada, a corresponding member.
This question gave rise to a spirited discussion, after which the motion was passed.
This map shows the largely blank history of women at the conventions if we only pay attention to the delegate rolls.
Only three women were ever served as recognized delegates to a convention. All of them were at Philadelphia's 1855 National Colored Convention: Mary Ann Shadd, Elizabeth Armstrong, and Rachel Cliff. The minutes of the 1855 national convention, quoted above, show the debate that went into even recognizing women as delegtes.
Women served on committees at two other conventions, at Cazenovia's Fugitive Slave Law Convention in 1850 and at Boston's New England Colored Citizens' Convention in 1850.
A forthcoming map will argue that women's participation in the convention movement was much more central, vibrant, and crucial than the delegate rolls show.
Here below is the complete list of women recognized as delegates / committee members at conventions.
1850 - Cazenovia
Fordyce Rice, Business Committee
Phebe Hathaway, Fundraising Committee
Louisa Burnett, Fundraising Committee
Caroline Brown, Business Committee
Mary Springstead, Business Committee
Anne V. Adams, Secretary
1855 - Philadelphia
Elizabeth Armstrong, delegate from Pennsylvania
Rachel Cliff, delegate from Pennsylvania
Mary Ann Shadd, delegate from Canada
1859 - New England
Ruth Rice Remond, Business Committee
Eliza Logan Lawton, Business Committee