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Catt, Carrie Chapman (1859–1947)

Catt, Carrie Chapman (1859–1947)

American suffragist and pacifist. Born Carrie Clinton Lane, Jan 9, 1859, in Ripon, Wisconsin; died Mar 9, 1947, in New Rochelle, New York; dau. of Lucius (farmer) and Maria (Clinton) Lane; Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University), BS, 1880; m. Leo Chapman (editor of Mason City [Iowa] Republican), Feb 12, 1885 (died 1886); m. George Catt (d. 1905), June 10, 1890; no children.

Activist for women's rights and crusader for world peace, who was president of National American Woman Suffrage Association, founder and 1st president of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, and organizer of the League of Women Voters; began teaching high school in Mason City, Iowa (1881); promoted to principal and city school superintendent (1883); resigned to marry Leo Chapman and became his business partner (1885); widowed (1886); established suffrage clubs in Iowa (1887–90); elected secretary of Iowa Woman Suffrage Association (1889); played major role in successful campaign for woman suffrage in Colorado (1893); served as president of National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA, 1900–04, 1916–20); founded International Woman Suffrage Alliance (1902); traveled to Europe, Africa and Asia, observing conditions of women, speaking, and organizing women's rights groups; helped to found the Woman's Peace Party (1915); while continuing work on the international scene, organized and led the unsuccessful "Victory in 1915" New York suffrage campaign (1915); led the successful "Victory in 1917" campaign (1917); assisted in creating League of Women Voters (1919); founded Committee on the Cause and Cure of War (1925); helped to establish the Protest Committee of Non-Jewish Women Against the Persecution of Jews in Germany (1933); writings include The Home Defense (1918), Then and Now (1939), War Aims (1918), (with Nettie Rogers Shuler) Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement (1923) and Women in the Industries and Professions (1901). Given "Distinguished Service" award of National American Woman Suffrage Association (1920); awarded American Hebrew Medal (1933).

See also Robert Booth Fowler, Carrie Catt: Feminist Politician (Northeastern U. Press, 1986); Jacqueline Van Voris, Carrie Chapman Catt: A Public Life (Feminist Press, 1987); and Women in World History.

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