New Jersey Women's History



Notable Facts



 Material Objects


 Topical Index






Pioneer Suffragist Casts G. O. P. Ballot, 1920
Source, Elizabeth Daily Journal, November 3, 1920, p. 6

At the age of 95, Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) of Elizabeth was perhaps the oldest suffragist to go to the polls in New Jersey. Blackwell, a Unitarian minister, was a founder of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association (NJWSA) in 1867 with her close friend and sister-in-law, Lucy Stone. She served as president of the NJWSA from 1891 to1892. This article from the Elizabeth Daily Journal describes Blackwell voting.



Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, 95, Votes in

Fourth District of Tenth Ward---Mrs.

Sheridan, 93, Also at Polls

Among the votes cast by Elizabeth women yesterday none was more significant than that deposited at the polling place of the Fourth district of the Tenth ward by Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, D.D. of El Mora avenue, co-worker with Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the other pioneers of the woman suffrage movement. Dr. Blackwell came from Montclair, where she has been visiting since the recent fire at the home of her daughter, Mrs. S. T. Jones.

Dr. Blackwell went to the polls prepared to take her place in line and had made provision for a wait by carrying a camp stool in the auto, for this veteran suffrage worker, clergyman and author was 95 years old on May 20 last. Her hearing and sight are impaired, but there is no impairment of mind or spirit and Dr. Blackwell took keen interest in the opportunity afforded her after so many years of work and waiting. She voted about 1 P.M.

There was no need for the camp stool for as soon as the long line of men and women realized that Dr. Blackwell was in the room the voters immediately gave way to her and insisted that she take first place. For those who stood near it was an impressive moment when Dr. Blackwell wrote her name on the registry book. She was accompanied by her daughter, Mrs. Jones.

Dr. Blackwell voted the straight Republican ticket, an election official assisting her because of her failing sight. For many years she has been an ardent Republican, and she has been deeply interested in both the National and local tickets. The fulfilment of her long-deferred hope that all American women would be enfranchised brought to her a great sense of satisfaction, and the fact that she could personally exercise the right of franchise yesterday made the day a particularly happy one for the aged minister. Her name is known throughout the Nation and in many States she has been heard from the suffrage platform. Dr. Blackwell's ringing voice and her utterance of strong convictions on the question of woman's enfranchisement did much for the cause in the years when she was able to take an active part, while since that time in smaller groups she has frequently been called upon to speak. As pastor emeritus of All Souls Unitarian Church she is held in high regard by the members of this congregation to which she formerly ministered as active pastor.

Only two years her junior is Mrs. Ellen Sheridan of 428 Grier avenue, who also voted yesterday. When Mrs. Sheridan, 93 years of age, registered in September, her friends were delighted, and about 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon she went across the street to the Grier Avenue Public School and there cast her vote for the Democratic nominees. She had announced at the time of registering that she was "an Irish Democrat", and yesterday she voted in accordance with that statement, taking much pleasure in the fact that she could have a part in the Election Day privilege.



Women's Project of New Jersey
Copyright 2002, The Women's Project of New Jersey, Inc.

This page was last updated on 09/21/2006.  Questions or concerns regarding this website? Please contact the web manager.
To view this website correctly, it is recommended you set your screen resolution to 1024 x 768.