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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Carrie Chapman Catt (1859–1947). “An Address to the Congress of the United States.” National Woman Suffrage Publishing Company, Inc., 1917. NAWSA Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (092.00.00)

“She Has Given Me to Democracy; Give Democracy to Her”

Carrie Chapman Catt’s presidential address was the highlight of NAWSA’s 49th annual convention. Given on December 13, 1917, it was framed as an address to Congress although never delivered there. The audience, jubilant from New York’s recent suffrage victory, roared when she began, “Woman suffrage is inevitable. Suffragists knew it before November 6, 1917; opponents afterward.” The published speech, padded with testimonials of women’s wartime contributions from British statesmen, shows a soldier telling Uncle Sam to extend democracy to women. NAWSA sent copies to all Congressmen and state legislators.