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Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage in Illinois at the St. Charles Public Library

  • St Charles Public Library 1 South 6th Avenue St. Charles, IL, 60174 United States (map)

Free program presented by the Illinois Road Scholars Speaker Bureau and co-sponsored by the St. Charles Public Library

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Prior to 1920, women were denied the vote in the majority of elections in the United States. The struggle for enfranchisement began with the birth of our nation and was strategized differently in our local, state, and federal elections. Despite what people today believe to be a straightforward goal, the path to women’s suffrage was infused with sexism and racism and triggered a fear of feminism whose roots are still seen today. While wealthy women advocates played a vital role in the suffrage movement, they were not the only ones seeking enfranchisement. From attorney Ellen Martin, the first woman to vote in Illinois, to Ida B. Wells, a woman who did not let racism stop her voice, women’s suffrage has been a battle hard fought by a diverse group of activists in Illinois.

About the Presenter

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Jeanne Schultz Angel received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in history at Illinois State University. In 1994 and 1996, she worked at a historical archaeology excavation in County Roscommon, Ireland under Dr. Charles E. Orser Jr. She worked at the St. Charles Heritage Center before completing her master’s in history on the anti-slavery movement in northeastern Illinois while being an at-home mother. Her thesis was awarded the “Cavanaugh Award” by ISU in 2005.

In late 2006, she became the Executive Director of the Lombard Historical Society, where she managed two historic house museums in Lombard, Illinois, including the Sheldon Peck Homestead, listed on the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Angel is a 2010 graduate of the prestigious Seminar for Historical Administration and was the Illinois State representative for the American Association of State and Local History “Leadership in History” awards program from 2012-2015. She served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Museums, a statewide museum professional organization with offices in Springfield and Chicago from late 2013 to 2015. In May 2015, she became the Executive Director of the Nineteenth Century Charitable Association in Oak Park, Illinois.

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Registration is required, to register please click here or call the St. Charles Public Library 630-584-0076.

This program is co-sponsored by the St. Charles Public Library.