On Senate Floor: Shaheen Pays Tribute to American Suffragettes, Celebrates 100-Year Anniversary of Senate Passage of 19th Amendment to Secure Women’s Right to Vote

June 04, 2019

CJS on Senate floor

On the Senate floor this afternoon, Senator Shaheen celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Senate passing the 19th amendment to secure women the right to vote, and highlighted the personal story of Armenia S. White, a New Hampshire suffragette.

(Washington, DC) – On the Senate floor this afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined a bipartisan group of female Senators to honor American suffragettes and celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Senate passing the 19th amendment to secure women the right to vote.

“Today, we celebrate not only the passage of the 19th amendment, but the countless women who fought for decades before 1919 so that women would one day realize the full rights protected under the Constitution… We remember women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott who organized the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls in 1848; Susan B. Anthony who took up the fight following the first convention; and Harriet Tubman, Ida Wells and Sojourner Truth who worked tirelessly for women’s rights all while battling the forces of slavery and racism,” said Shaheen.

She continued, “This pursuit for equality continues today and it is in the spirit of our trailblazers that women carry on the fight for full equality under the law… These figures are an important part of our history and because of the generations of women they inspired, their legacy lives on today. We must remember their stories and honor their sacrifices; those sacrifices have helped shape the identity of our nation.”

In her remarks, Shaheen emphasized the importance of giving our Founding Mothers the same recognition as our Founding Fathers– underscoring that the United States was not shaped exclusively by men. Referencing her effort to redesign the $20 bill with the likeness of Harriet Tubman, Shaheen stressed the importance of women’s representation in our living history – our currency – and ensuring Harriet Tubman and women leaders get the recognition they deserve.

Shaheen also shared the story of Armenia S. White, who spent most of her life in Concord, New Hampshire as an activist, supporting the abolitionist and temperance movements. Armenia was the first signer of the call for an equal suffrage convention in New Hampshire, which was held in Concord in 1868. She was also the first president of the New Hampshire Woman Suffrage Association, a position which she held for nearly 50 years. Though Armenia never lived to see women secure the right to vote through the passage of the 19th amendment, her steadfast efforts to improve equality in New Hampshire and throughout the country left an enduring impact on the movement.

In closing, Shaheen said, “Alice Paul, a leader of the women’s suffrage movement, once described women’s suffrage saying, ‘I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.’ As we recognize and celebrate the passage of the 19th amendment we must remember that there is still so much work to do and that even the smallest stones contribute to this great mosaic.”

There are currently 25 women serving in the U.S. Senate. Senator Shaheen was the first woman elected Governor of New Hampshire and the first woman elected to the United States Senate from New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen is the first woman in American history to serve as both Governor and U.S. Senator.

Shaheen’s remarks can be viewed in full here.