November 3, 2016 by Amy Elliott Bragg
#VisitASuffragist in Michigan this election season
A quick note to share a project I’m working on, and to encourage you to get involved:
In the lead up to the election on Tuesday, I am paying my respects at the gravesites of suffragists. This started out as an effort to find and visit one suffragist in particular, Clara B. Arthur, but it spiraled from there. Now I’m adding suffragists from all over Michigan to a big map. For future reference, in case I’m in the neighborhood and want to pay a visit. But more importantly, for your reference, in case you would like to #VisitASuffragist. Many of these gravesites were a little hard to find, and I’m still working through a shortlist of suffragists whose whereabouts are so far unknown to me, so this is a work in progress. Definitely get in touch if you have any tips on suffragists who should be on this map (especially if you know where they’re buried!).
I’ve dropped a pin wherever I’ve actually visited a grave and noted it in the description text. For graves that I haven’t visited (yet!), I added section / lot info where I could find it. All of the cemeteries I’ve visited have been really helpful in looking up exact location information for me — my car is littered with cemetery maps now — so if you want to track down a suffragist with a little more precision, try making friends at the front office!
Clara Arthur was president of the Michigan Equal Suffrage Association and leader of the movement to amend the state’s constitution and give women the right to vote. The amendment passed in 1918. “Defeat did not confuse her; convinced that she could win, she kept on fighting until doubts were removed, the hesitant were assured, the stupid were outvoted. And having won a victory in one field, she moved to another.” – The Detroit News #visitasuffragist
I’m posting photos of my daily visits on Instagram and on Twitter with the hashtag #VisitASuffragist. If you do visit a suffragist, please post a photo with the hashtag so I can love the heck out of it! And if you care to share your coordinates, that’d be great too — we can add it to the map.
I wish I’d thought of this more than a week before the election, but fret not — 2018 is just around the bend, and the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment in 2020 isn’t too far off either. We have time to add so many more suffragists — maybe from across the country! — to this visitor’s guide.
More notes on this soon and some stories about the women I’ve gotten to know this week. Until then, happy visiting!