Seneca Falls, New York, The Hub of Women’s History in the U.S.

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The “mecca” of feminism in the U.S.

The history of women gaining the right to vote is receiving new attention with the release of the movie Suffragette.

That movie takes place in England, but earlier this year, I visited the mecca of women’s suffrage in the U.S., Seneca Falls, New York, located  in the state’s Finger Lakes region, at the tip of Seneca Lake. There, Women’s Rights National Historical Park depicts the women’s journey to equal citizenship in this country, particularly the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, on July 19-20,1848.

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Women’s history on display in Seneca Falls

Get up to speed on women’s rights struggle at the Visitors Center with a great film on the first conventions and its leaders, exhibits on that event and our progress since then, and a book store selling a variety of books on the topic.

The park also includes the Wesleyan Chapel next door the convention took place and the houses of other prominent leaders of the movement including Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She helped launch the reform movement for women’s rights to which she dedicated the rest of her life. She was born on November 12, 1815, (Happy 200 birthday!) and lived in Seneca Falls.

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Mingling with Heroes–At the National Women’s Rights Historic Park you’ll find a collection of life-size statues that represent the first wave of womens rights activists in the U. S. The group includes statues of twenty people including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Fredrick Douglass. Many people involved in the women’s rights movement were also ardent abolitionists.

Down the street from the Visitors Center, you can also tour the National Women’s Hall of Fame, where plaques and photos pay homage to America’s famous women.

It’s all very inspiring, especially if you’ve ever felt like Elizabeth Cady Stanton who, isolated at home with three small children, described herself as a “caged lioness.”

For an excellent list of books about women’s suffrage and other travel reading, go to Longitude Books and search under “women’s suffrage.” And be sure to read my article about Jack London State Park in their “Favorite Spot” section.

 

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