This year, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of New York State signing woman’s suffrage into law. New York’s legislation became law three years before the U.S. passed the 19th Amendment– which ensured the right to vote for women across the country– and is an example of the Empire State’s ongoing role as a pioneering advocate for women’s rights.
Fittingly, our 2017 volume of Women’s History in the Hudson Valley: Ten Stories from Columbia and Dutchess Counties includes the story of Lucretia Coffin Mott, a Quaker minister and abolitionist who helped organize the Seneca Falls Convention and fought for women’s suffrage. Several women included in our booklet this year were activists on other fronts: Gail Webster was an affordable housing advocate; Earline Patrice was a community activist who raised money, collected holiday gifts and prepared meals for her city’s needy residents. Susan Nye Hutchinson and Ida Helen Ogilvie were pioneering educators who taught advanced math and broke ground in science when there were very few women drawn to these fields.
It has been said that those that record history control what gets remembered. Our office, in partnership with the Mid-Hudson Library District, produces and distributes these booklets each year as part of Women’s History Month to do our part to ensure that the lives of women and girls from our region that came before do get remembered. Please enjoy these stories of 10 Hudson Valley women who made a difference. We stand on their shoulders.