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 – 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.

Grade 8 – The Amistad Incident and the Face of Slavery


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Crime & Punishment, Law, Slavery & Abolition, Social Movements
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Farmington, New Haven, New London, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Slavery, Abolition, Amistad, Revolt
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History

Historical Background
Most people in Connecticut in 1839 probably understood very little about Africa or Africans when the schooner La Amistad was brought into New London Harbor with dozens of Africans—Mende men, boys, and girls—on board. Even among those residents who supported the abolitionist cause, few had ever met a person born in Africa. Locals came to the prison in Westville (New Haven) and paid to gawk at the captives, who were awaiting trial. While in Westville, eleven-year-old Kale—one of the youngest of the Mende captives—studied English. Kale wrote to John Quincy Adams, who was to defend the Amistad Africans before the Supreme Court. Following the trial, the Mende lived with families in Farmington for eight months as they sought funds to return home to Africa.  The Cowles family supported the abolitionist movement and hosted one of the little girls from the Amistad. The letters written by Charlotte Cowles (who was about twenty-one at the time) to her brother Samuel reveal both her preconceived ideas and growing understanding of the Mende living in her community.

D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What role did the Amistad incident play in the abolitionist movement in the United States?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What kinds of personal interactions did the Amistad Africans and Connecticut residents have?
  • In what ways did the Amistad incident help people in Connecticut—and in the United States—view enslaved Africans as “real people”?
  • How did these two young writers use language to elicit particular emotions about the Mende and their situation?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

amistad_kale_letter_pg1
Page 1 of a 4 page letter from Kale to John Quincy Adams, January 4, 1841. Written from Westville (New Haven), CT. – Adams Family Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Click on the letter above to access all 4 pages.
page Link to a more complete transcription here or download the transcription as a PDF.
Letter from Charlotte to Samuel Cowles, April 8, 1841
Page 1 of a 4 page letter from Charlotte to Samuel Cowles, April 8, 1841. Written from Farmington, CT – Connecticut Historical Society. Click on the letter above to access all 4 pages.
page Download the transcription of this letter as a PDF.
Letter from Charlotte to Samuel Cowles, April 12, 1841
Page 1 of 4 page letter from Charlotte to Samuel Cowles, April 12, 1841. Written from Farmington, CT – Connecticut Historical Society. Click on letter above to access all 4 pages.
page Download the transcription of this letter as a PDF.
D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY

Divide the class into pairs or groups and assign each group one of the three letters from the toolkit. The original letters are best viewed online. The transcriptions can be downloaded and printed.

Note that because of the length of the Charlotte Cowles letters, certain less-pertinent sections have been “greyed-out.” Students need not focus on those portions in their analysis.

Using SOAPSTone analysis, the Library of Congress Analyzing Primary Sources process, or another method of your choice, have students investigate their assigned source.

  • What can students KNOW from the source? What is the evidence?
  • What can they GUESS or infer? Based on what?
  • What does the source make them WONDER?

Students can then piece together their findings or rotate sources until each group has investigated each source.

Revisit the supporting and compelling question, as well as the questions students have developed and shared. Improve/fine-tune the new questions and discuss what other sources might exist to help answer these questions.

Once students have examined the letters, you may want to share portraits of some of the Mende people mentioned. Links to William H. Townsend’s drawings, John Warner Barber’s silhouettes and biographical sketches, and Nathaniel Jocelyn’s portrait of Cinque/Sengbe Pieh referenced by Charlotte Cowles can be found below in the “Additional Resources” section.

D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
The Mende stayed in Farmington for months while they and their supporters worked to raise money to help them return to Africa. Writing from the perspective of Charlotte Cowles or one of the Mende children, students will write a letter to the editor of the Charter Oak, an abolitionist newspaper in Connecticut at the time, to convince the newspaper’s readers to contribute money to the cause.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Websites to VISIT

Save

HS – “Making Munitions is a Woman’s Job” During World War I

by Edward Dorgan
Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Women, World War I, Work
Theme
Gender Roles in Economic, Political, and Social Life
Town
Bridgeport, Statewide
Related Search Terms
WWI, The Great War, Womens Rights, Defense Work, Equality in the Work Place

Social Studies Frameworks

High School – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What impact did the women of Connecticut have on the Great War (WWI)?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What is the message of the “Every American Woman” advertisement?
  • Who is being targeted?
  • What emotional reactions does the writer seem to be looking for from readers?
  • Why do you think this broadside was published in the Bridgeport Times & Evening Farmer?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

Advertisement from The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress
Advertisement from the Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer. Bridgeport, Connecticut, September 20 ,1918 – Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Advertisement from the U.S. Employment Bureau published in The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer newspaper on September 20, 1918, page 12, that offers arguments for why American women should work in armament factories during the Great War (WWI).

image

Download the image.

 

image

Download the Library of Congress – Analyzing Newspapers – PDF.

 

 

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  1. Students will analyze the U.S. Employment Bureau’s advertisement, “Every American Woman,” and answer the supporting questions.
  2. Students will annotate the words and images in the primary source, including those linked to patriotism and making connections to earlier historical events (previously studied).
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  1.  Students will create their own advertisement/poster to recruit residents of Connecticut to assist in the effort to help win the Great War (WWI).
  2. Students will design a WWI monument that recognizes the war efforts of Connecticut residents on the home front.
  3.  Extended Learning: Students will research other primary-source materials (see below for suggestions and links) and write an editorial for the Hartford Courant arguing the importance of the role Connecticut women played in the Great War (WWI).
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Articles to READ

Grade 8 – The Black Law in Connecticut

ConnecticutHistory.org


TEACHER'S SNAPSHOT
Topic
Education, Slavery & Abolition, Politics & Government
Theme
The Struggle for Freedom, Equality, and Social Justice
Town
Canterbury, Statewide
Related Search Terms
Prudence Crandall, Education, Law, Women
Social Studies Frameworks
Grade 8 – United States History
D1: POTENTIAL COMPELLING QUESTION

What is social justice?

D1: POTENTIAL SUPPORTING QUESTIONS
  • What was the Black Law? How did it affect Prudence Crandall’s school?
  • What did Prudence Crandall do to break this law?
  • Was it possible for Prudence Crandall to fight this law? Why or why not?
D2: TOOL KIT

Things you will need to teach this lesson.

“The Black Law of Connecticut (1833).” Citizens ALL: Africans Americans in Connecticut - The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, Yale University
“The Black Law of Connecticut (1833).” Citizens ALL: Africans Americans in Connecticut – The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, & Abolition, Yale University

What later became known as the “Black Law” was enacted to prevent “the instruction of colored persons belonging to other states and countries, which would tend to the great increase of the colored population of the State, and thereby to the injury of the people.”  This law was in response to Prudence Crandall’s establishment of a school to educate African American girls in Canterbury, Connecticut.

D3: INQUIRY ACTIVITY
  • What does “inequality” mean to you? How may people be treated unequally?
  • What would you have done if you were Prudence Crandall in 1833? How would you have handled the injustices?
  • How would you go about letting others know about unfair laws?
D4: COMMUNICATING CONCLUSIONS
  • Brainstorm things happening in your community that you consider wrong, unjust, unfair, or unkind. Decide as a class to take on one of those injustices and find appropriate solutions.
  • Research the education of girls in other parts of the world. Are girls receiving an equal education to boys? Is this a result of local laws?
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Places to GO
Things to DO
Websites to VISIT
Articles to READ