Elizabeth Cady Stanton Chair

Date(s): Circa 1850 - 1870
Material: Wood

This Victorian chair originally belonged to Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  Stanton was a key organizer of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention and produced the “Declaration of Sentiments” which officially began the fight for women’s rights in the United States.  A tireless fighter, Stanton worked throughout her lifetime to promote women’s equality.  With Susan B. Anthony, Stanton founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association in 1869 and served as president, and helped found the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) in 1890.  She served as president of NAWSA from 1890 to 1892.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton died in 1902, and like Susan B. Anthony, did not live to see women’s suffrage in the United States. After the Nineteenth Amendment passed in 1920, granting women the right to vote, Alice Paul returned to the “Declaration of Sentiments” to determine which women’s equality issues to pursue next. Inspired by the pioneering women before them, the National Woman’s Party honored them in print, ceremony, and spirit.

The chair features an extra deep seat; popular in the mid and late 1800’s to accommodate the women’s fashion of the bustle.  This seat allowed Stanton to sit comfortably while wearing a bustle without crushing it or falling forward out of the chair.  The red upholstery seen today is not original.

The chair was acquired by the National Woman’s Party sometime before 1929 and was used in both the National Woman’s Party Headquarters in the Old Brick Capitol as well as the Alva Belmont House.  An article in the July 27th, 1929 issue of Equal Rights mentions the Stanton chair as one of the significant items moved to the new headquarters.

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