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Posts Tagged ‘suffragist’

Henry Rogers Selden

Henry Rogers Selden was a lawyer, judge and politician, serving in such positions as Lieutenant Governor of New York. But the reason I photographed his grave marker is that Selden defended Susan B. Anthony in 1873. Anthony and a number of her fellow suffragists decided to test the constitutionality of denying women the right to vote, and Anthony presented her research and arguments to Selden. He found them compelling and told her that he thought she had a right to vote. She voted in the national election of 1872 and was arrested for illegal voting. Selden defended her during the case pro bono, and was extremely disappointed at her conviction.

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Grave of Helen Pitts Douglass

Helen Pitts Douglass was the 2nd wife of Frederick Douglass. Douglass’ first wife, Anna Murray, died in 1882 after over 40 years of marriage. Helen Pitts, an advocate for women’s rights and a graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary, met Douglass when he hired her as a clerk. After his first wife’s death, he married the white woman who was 20 years his junior, their interracial marriage exposing tensions with long time friends and colleagues. After Frederick Douglass’ death in 1895, his widow dedicated herself to the creation of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association.

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