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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Henrietta Briggs-Wall. American Woman and Her Political Peers, 1893. Postcard. Hutchinson, Kansas, 1911. NAWSA Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (047.00.00)

Women and Their Political Peers

Frances E. Willard (1839–1898) turned the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union into a powerful force for social reform, including women’s suffrage. In a painting displayed at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the accomplished and respectable Willard, representing the “American Woman,” was surrounded by exaggerated stereotypes of other disenfranchised citizens of society—“idiots, convicts, the insane, and Indians.” Henrietta Briggs-Wall, a member of the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, commissioned the provocative painting and sold photographic postcards of it for years thereafter.