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Carrie Chapman Catt

Mary Eliot Foote1927

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Born Ripon, Wisconsin

Carrie Chapman Catt's organizational talents are credited with making the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) an effective force in winning the struggle for women's right to vote. In NAWSA, she worked with such leaders as Susan B. Anthony to win the franchise state by state, and also for a constitutional amendment. Initially condemning America's flood of immigrants, whom she believed were influenced by their paternalistic Old World cultures to vote against women's suffrage, Catt eventually discarded such xenophobic simplifications, founded the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and became a crusader for internationalism and world peace. In 1900 she replaced Anthony as president of NAWSA and was again elected president in 1915, leading the organization during the successful passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, which guaranteed all American women the right to vote.

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