Although it was more than 30 years after Louisa May Alcott’s death that women finally won the right to vote in a national election, Alcott was the first woman to register to vote in the town of Concord, and the first to cast a vote in the town’s special election for School Committee.
Her attempts to rally the women of Concord to petition the town to grant a “municipal vote” for women were documented in a series of articles she wrote for Lucy Stone’s Woman’s Journal as well as The Concord Freeman. Alcott was frustrated with Concord, however -- “a town which ought to lead if it really possesses all the intelligence claimed for it” -- and with the majority of its women, to whom she felt “cake and servants are more interesting.”
To celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed the national vote for American women, this year’s Summer Conversational Series adult and teacher education will explore the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the journey toward securing woman suffrage both here and abroad.
Pennsylvania State University
Brandeis University / Robbins House
Emerson College / Pulitzer Prize Winner