HS – Connecticut Women and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Suffragists

TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Social Movements, Women
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Hartford, Norwalk, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Women’s Rights, Suffrage, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Voting, Reform Movements, Politics, Anti-Suffrage Movement, 19th Amendment
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History

Historical Background
The National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) argued that together the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution actually guaranteed women the right to vote, but the idea was rejected by the Supreme Court in the 1870s, leading to the push for an all new amendment securing women’s right to vote. The proposed Nineteenth Amendment passed the House on May 21, 1919, and the Senate on June 4, 1919. Both Connecticut senators voted against the amendment. Thirty-six state legislatures needed to ratify the amendment; the last of these did so August 18, 1920. Connecticut did not ratify the legislation until September 14, 1920, after the Nineteenth Amendment had already gone into effect.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How have American concepts of freedom and equality changed since the 1870s?

How might the changes be perceived differently by different segments of the population?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Who had the right to vote in the United States in 1870?
  • What strategies or arguments did supporters of women’s suffrage use to win the right to vote?
  • Are the voting rights of traditionally under-represented groups protected in contemporary America?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States
“Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States concerning their right to, and their use of the elective franchise.” Isabella Beecher Hooker, 1871 – Connecticut Historical Society

In 1871 Isabella Beecher Hooker, an advocate for women’s rights from Hartford, Connecticut, organized the convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington D.C. This document was written and signed the same year.

page

 

Download a transcription of the document – pdf

 

You may wish to add one or more of the following photographs to your inquiry investigation:

Arrest of White House pickets
Arrest of White House pickets Catherine Flanagan of Hartford, Connecticut (left), and Madeleine Watson of Chicago (right), August 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Records of the National Woman’s Party

 

helenaweed_loc275034r
Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk, Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed,” 1917 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Records of the National Woman’s Party

 

Party members picketing the Republican convention
Party members picketing the Republican convention, Chicago, June 1920 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Using SOAPSTone analysis, the Library of Congress Analyzing Primary Sources process, or another method of your choice, have students investigate the “Declaration and pledge of the women of the United States concerning their right to, and their use of the elective franchise.”

  • Who created this document?
  • Who was the intended audience?
  • When and where was it created?
  • What was going on in the country at the time?
  • What was the context?
  • What is the subject matter?
  • Which sentences or phrases particularly stand out?
  • What arguments are being made?
  • What does this document make you wonder?

Discuss the questions raised by the document and help students shape them into stronger questions to guide further inquiry. Discuss what sources (both primary and secondary) might help students learn more.

You may then choose to introduce one or more of the later photographs listed above into your inquiry, following investigation of the document. Use a similar process of OBSERVING, REFLECTING, and QUESTIONING to guide students’ exploration and analysis (Download Library of Congress teacher guide – PDF or student worksheet – PDF).

Together the document and photographs can help students develop a richer response to the supporting question above (“What strategies or arguments did supporters of women’s suffrage use to win the right to vote?”), as well as to the compelling question.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

1) Students will use historic Connecticut newspapers available through the Connecticut State Library Digital Collection or Chronicling America, as well as other primary-source materials found online, to learn more about the arguments posed by both the suffrage and anti-suffrage movements in the early 1900s and the reaction to these arguments in the media. Students will then imagine themselves in 1919 and write a letter to the editor of one of the Connecticut newspapers advocating a position based on evidence gleaned from various primary sources of the time.

Additional sets of primary sources relating to national women’s suffrage can be found at:

2) Students will research contemporary voter registration and voter turnout data and create a video, billboard design, or social media campaign encouraging a target audience (which they will identify) to register and vote.

Here are a few online resources that are available:

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO

HS – African Americans in Progressive-Era CT: The Battle over the Jack Johnson Fight Film

Frank Jonientz, Library Technical Assistant, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Popular Culture, Social Movements, Sports & Recreation
Theme
Cultural Diversity and an American National Identity
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Censorship, Racism, Morality, African American, Sports, Civil Rights, Progressive Era
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What does the battle over the Johnson-Jeffries fight film tell us about the social position of African Americans in Progressive-Era Connecticut?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • Why was the film censored?
  • Who was pushing for censorship?
  • What were some of the responses by government officials to the controversy?
  • How did the companies that controlled the film respond to the banning of the film?
  • How did the African American community respond to the censorship of the film?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

"Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin's Fight Returns". Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910
“Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin’s Fight Returns,” Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download the image “Portion of the Crowd Listening to The Bulletin’s Fight Returns,” Norwich Bulletin, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the newspaper.
Detail of the article "Buckingham's Attitude On Fight Pictures," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Buckingham’s Attitude On Fight Pictures,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 6, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article "Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures," Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910 . Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Download an image of the article “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “Jeffries-Johnson Fight Pictures,” Norwich Bulletin, July 8, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
"Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
“Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download the image of the article “Negro Parson Wants Fight Pictures Shown,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail from the article "War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People ," Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail from the article “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910. Click on the image to read the entire article – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910 , or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “War Against Pictures Leads To Prohibition Before 25,000,000, People,” Bridgeport Evening Farmer, July 11, 1910 , or click on the image above to link to the article.
Detail of the article "The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada". Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910 - Click on the image to read the entire article. - Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Detail of the article “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910 – Click on the image to read the entire article. – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Download a pdf of the entire page including the article, “The Aftermath of the Great Johnson and Jeffries Fight at Reno, Nevada,” Broadax (Salt Lake City UT), July 16, 1910, or click on the image above to link to the article.
Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson, Bain News Service, ca. 1910-1915 – Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

In July 1910, Jack Johnson, an African American prizefighter, beat Jim Jeffries, a white prizefighter, for the World Heavyweight Championship. A commercial film of the bout was made and distributed. Before the film could be widely shown, state and local governments passed laws banning it.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

If you choose, start by showing the 3:37 clip of the Johnson-Jeffries fight from 1910.

You may choose to use the full set of resources provided or focus on two or three articles. There is also a photograph of Jack Johnson available to share with the class.

Break the students into groups and have each group work with one or even a set of resources. Have students gather evidence and inferences about the controversy over the Johnson-Jeffries fight film. You may wish to use some of the supporting questions to guide the inquiry:

  • Why was the film censored?
  • Who was pushing for censorship?
  • What were some of the responses by government officials to the controversy?
  • How did the companies that controlled the film respond to the banning of the film?
  • How did the African American community respond to the censorship of the film?

Bring the class together to share their findings and remaining questions. Discuss how or where students could find answers or learn more.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS

Students, acting as if they were living in Connecticut in 1910, will write a letter to the editor of the Bridgeport Evening Farmer or the Norwich Bulletin in response to any of the articles provided, arguing for or against the showing of the film in their town or in the state.

Students will compare the Johnson fight film controversy to a contemporary controversy over popular culture or censorship and prepare a short oral or written presentation on the comparison.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ

HS – Black World War I Veterans Demand Civil Rights

W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis

by Christine Gauvreau, Project Coordinator, Connecticut Digital Newspaper Project
Connecticut State Library


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
World War I
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
African Americans, Veterans, Civil Rights, World War One, The Great War, Equal Rights, W.E.B. Dubois
Social Studies Frameworks
High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

How did World War I impact the struggle for civil rights in Connecticut and America?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • From the primary sources provided, what can you deduce about African Americans’ access to “places of public accommodation” (facilities used by the public—hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, movie theaters, hospitals, etc.) in Connecticut in 1919?
  • What arguments for Connecticut Senate Bill 199 did its supporters present?
  • Based on his 1920 speech in Bridgeport, Connecticut, what did W. E. B. Dubois believe the World War I experience meant for African Americans?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Colored Men Lodge Protest
Detail of the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919. Click on the image to read the entire article.  – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Colored Men Lodge Protest,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 3, 1919, or click on the image above to link to the article.
image Download an image of the photostat – “An Act Concerning Equal Rights in Places of Public Accommodation, Amusement, Resort, Refreshment, and Education, and Providing Penalty for the Violation Thereof,” [photostat of page 1. Page 2 missing in bill room files, Connecticut State Library], SB 199-2-1-C (1919).
page Download a pdf of the photostat – “An Act Concerning Equal Rights in Places of Public Accommodation, Amusement, Resort, Refreshment, and Education, and Providing Penalty for the Violation Thereof,” [photostat of page 1. Page 2 missing in bill room files, Connecticut State Library], SB 199-2-1-C (1919).
Plea for Equal Justice
“Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
image Download an image of the article “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
page Download a pdf of the entire page including the article “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920, or click on the image above to link to the article.
W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis
“W. E. B. Dubois in the office of The Crisis.” – New York Public Library Digital Collections
page Download the excerpted article by W. E. B. DuBois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, May 1919.

In the spring of 1919, black World War I veteran J. L. Morgan, accompanied by Connecticut African American leaders, appealed to the state legislature to grant his community equal access to “places of public accommodation” (facilities used by the public—hotels, restaurants, stores, parks, movie theaters, hospitals, etc.) and education.  The proposed civil rights bill was defeated by both houses in April 1919.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Have students read the first two sources (“Colored Men Lodge Protest” and page 1 of SB199) individually, with a partner, or as a class.

  • What information can they gather from these sources?
  • What can they deduce/infer about the civil rights of African Americans in Connecticut following World War I?
  • What is the significance of the timing of the proposal of SB199 (immediately following World War I)?
  • What questions do they have after reading the sources?
  • How might students find answers to their questions?

For further inquiry, have students read  W. E. B. DuBois, “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis, May 1919 and “Plea for Equal Justice,” Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer, March 1, 1920.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • The legislative debate over SB199 (and even half of the text of the bill) is lost to us. Students will use what they have learned from the inquiry to complete the cut-off paragraph that begins at the bottom of page 1, in which penalties for denying access are spelled out. – OR – Students will create their own protest signs that might have been brought to the capitol in 1919. Signs should make a clear, catchy, historically accurate argument relevant to the bill.
  • Students will research civil rights issues affecting veterans and members of the military today and use their new understanding of the historical context to enrich a letter to the editor or to legislators.
  • Students will develop strategies or guidelines for identifying biases in newspaper accounts, both historical and contemporary, and then practice using these in future research and assignments.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT

This TeachITCT.org activity is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University.