WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE AND ABOLITION MOVEMENT

TIMELINE

1860-1869

1860
Frances Watkins
marries young widower Fenton Harper at age of 35; "retires" from abolition circuit; buys small farm near Grove City, Ohio with earnings from her writing; has baby Mary.

12 April 1861
Firing on Fort Sumter; Civil War begins.

12 April 1861
Abby Kelly Foster
is in Columbus lobbying the Ohio General Assembly for passage of bill to enlarge tights of women; exclaims "Glory to God!" upon hearing about the firing on Fort Sumter; welcomes war as the final blow to slavery.

1861
Women agree to suspend suffrage agitation for the duration of war; last national women's rights convention held in Albany, New York.

1861
Elizabeth Greer Coit
helps establish the Columbus Soldiers' Aid Society (forerunner to Red Cross) to care for discharged, wounded soldiers.

15 August 1862
At age of 18, Sophia Kelton's oldest son Oscar is mustered into the 95th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; two weeks later they engage the Rebel Army at Richmond, Kentucky to prevent Kirby Smith's Confederates from invading Cincinnati.

1862
New York State Legislature repeals certain sections of the Married Woman's Property Bill of 1860 (women no longer entitled to equal guardianship of their children; widows are denied certain property rights).

1 January 1863
Emancipation Proclamation
takes effect; "frees" slaves held in rebel territory; does not abolish slavery in border states (Missouri, Delaware, Maryland, and Kentucky).

Emancipation Proclamation is viewed as a mockery of principles to abolitionists. Complaining bitterly, Abby Kelly Foster writes:

"The administration has lost sight of its goal. It is trying to save the country and not liberate the slave."

1-4 July 1863
Battle of Gettysburg: 23,000 Union, 28,000 Confederates are killed; Draft Riots in New York City: 1,000 casualties; 105 are killed; Siege of Vicksburg ends: 10,000 Union, 38,600 Confederates are killed.

Summer 1863
Oscar Kelton and the 95th are with Ulysses S. Grant at Siege of Vicksburg; then march out through Tennessee to Northern Mississippi.

Summer 1863
Abby Kelly Foster
is confined to her home suffering from exhaustion, depression, a badly-strained throat, and failing eyesight -- all sustained during her strenuous antislavery campaign undertaken in Ohio in 1861 on the eve of the War.

Summer 1863
Susan B. Anthony
and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form National Woman's Loyal League to collect 1 million signatures for adoption of 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.

10 June 1864
Oscar Kelton
and the 95th Ohio Volunteer Infantry are protecting Union supply-lines from being severed by Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederates; Oscar is mortally wounded by a Mini ball in the neck and chest during the Battle of Brice's Crossroads: 2,612 Union, 493 Confederates are killed.

August 1864
National Women's Loyal League
disbands after having collected 400,000 signatures on its petition for adoption of 13th amendment.

9 February 1865
Two tall black men carry enormous bundles of petition rolls into Senate chamber; place them on desk of Senator Charles Sumner, sponsor of the 13th Amendment.

9 April 1865
Robert E. Lee
surrenders approximately 13,000 Confederates to Ulysses S Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia; Civil War ends.

14 April 1865
President Abraham Lincoln
is assassinated by Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth.

26 April 1865
Joseph E. Johnson
surrenders 30,000 Confederates to William Tecumseh Sherman at Bentonville, North Carolina.

1865
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
is awarded the Medal of Honor for her service to the Union Army as a medical officer; she is the only woman to have ever received such an honor.

NOTE: In 1919 Congress revokes medal and asks Mary Edwards Walker to return it; the 85 year-old refuses; she dies six days later; Congress restores her medal in 1977.

18 December 1865
Eight months after Civil War, 13th Amendment is ratified and added to the Constitution.

1866
New York passes revised Married Woman's Property Act; women have certain rights to property and wages but cannot vote and are not considered equal to men under the law.

8 May 1866
Sophia Stone Kelton's
husband Fernando Cortez Kelton dies after sustaining a head injury from a wagon accident during a trip to northern Mississippi. He was on a mission to bring the body of his son Oscar (killed during the Battle of Brice's Crossroads) back to Columbus, Ohio.

1867-1871
Frances Watkins Harper
travels through war-torn South with her young daughter lecturing on equal rights for newly liberated slaves.

28 July 1868
Fourteenth Amendment,
which is supposed to guarantee U.S. citizenship to black males, is ratified by proclamation of the Secretary of State.

December 1868
Fifteenth Amendment
is introduced in Congress: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."

Elizabeth Cady stanton and Susan B. Anthony are furious and feel betrayed; they feel it would have been so easy to add the word "sex" to the amendment; little did they know the difficulities that lay ahead.

Former male abolitionist allies "counsel" women to postpone work for women suffrage and to concentrate instead on obtaining voting rights for frees slaves because "now is the Negroes hour!"

Republican politicians have designs on control of 2,000,000 male black voters, do not wish to jeopardize this windfall by stirring up hornets' nest of woman suffrage.

Woman suffrage movement splits; Frances Watkins Harper and Lucy Stone work for passage of 15th amendment; Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony do not; the latter swears:

"I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman."

December 1868
A federal amendment for woman's suffrage is first introduced in Congress by Kansas Senator Pomeroy.

May 1869
Split in woman suffrage movement is formalized when National Women's Suffrage Association is organized for women only with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as chair.

1869
Territory of Wyoming adopts woman's suffrage -- vote in tiny Senate is 6 to 2, vote in House is 6 to 4; tremendous anti-suffrage pressure is brought to bear on Governor Campbell (a bachelor).

As a young boy Governor Campbell had sneaked into the 1850 Salem, Ohio Women's Rights Convention where men were prohibited from speaking and observed the amazing phenomenon of women conducting business for and by themselves; Governor Campbell does not hesitate to sign woman suffrage into law!

NEXT: TIMELINE 1870-1899


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