Object of the Week: Image from “Mobilizing Woman Power” by Harriot Stanton Blatch

Image from:   Harriot Stanton Blatch
Mobilizing Woman Power.
New York:  The Womans (sic) Press, 1918.



Since 1995, successive Presidents of the United States have issued annual proclamations to honor women each March for Women’s History Month.[1]  What had begun in 1978 as a local celebration with students in Santa Rosa, California has become a national acknowledgment of the roles, accomplishments and contributions of women in society.[2]  The foundation of these celebrations is rooted in International Women’s Day which has been observed annually on March 8 since the turn of the 20th century.[3]

This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Title page from the book "Mobilizing Woman Power"Refusing to be Silenced” in recognition of the centennial anniversary of the Suffrage Movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote.  On this occasion, women-centered institutions, organizations, and scholars from across the United States work to ensure this anniversary, and the 72-year fight to achieve it, are commemorated and celebrated nationally.[4]


Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s voting rights. Page from the book "Mobilizing Women Power" The daughter of famous suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Henry B. Stanton, an abolitionist, politician and journalist, Blatch was uniquely positioned to champion the cause.[5]   Though Blatch dedicated herself to women’s suffrage, she was also concerned with broader related issues of women’s economic power, independence and enfranchisement.[6]  She wrote many books articulating her thoughts on the suffrage movement and the implications of free women in society. Some of the images in this blog post are from her book “Mobilizing Woman Power” published in 1918.  The book emphasizes women’s contributions to World War I, which ended the year Blatch’s book was published.  The volume focuses on women’s sacrifice for the war effort as well as their disenfranchisement.[7]  That same year in the United Kingdom, where Blatch had lived for 20 years previously, women were granted the right to vote in Parliamentary Elections.[8]  Labor strikes and movements made news around the world, and the Bolshevik Revolution spurred further momentum for women’s and labor rights.

These global events did not go unnoticed in the United States.  With more women in the work force due to industrialization and the war effort, Blatch’s ideas gained traction with the larger public.  In another interesting note about her book, the foreword was written by Theodore Roosevelt, a strong ally and visible partner for women’s rights since 1912.  In the New York State Assembly, the trail-blazing Roosevelt introduced a bill to punish perpetrators of domestic violence against women and appointed women to executive positions in the government.[9]

Image of Blatch giving a speech in Union Square, NYC
Harriot Stanton Blatch addressing Union Square suffrage meeting, photomechanical print
Library of Congress, National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division (26,530)

Blatch also contributed a 100-page chapter to the book “History of Women’s Suffrage” on the subject of Lucy Stone’s American Woman Suffrage Association[10].  The organization was considered a rival to the National Woman Suffrage Association, founded by her mother and social reformer, Susan B. Anthony[11]. The volume was produced collectively by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage and Ida Husted Harper.[12] Published in six volumes from 1881 to 1922, it is a history of the women’s suffrage movement, primarily in the United States.

Blatch speaking to crowds at Wall Street, NYC
Harriot Stanton Blatch speaking to large crowd of men, Wall Street, New York City.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

The outspoken Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch was affiliated with both the Women’s Trade Union League and her mother’s National American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1907, she founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women. Under her leadership the league enrolled thousands of working women who had never considered themselves political or rebellious.  The burgeoning suffrage movement resulted in large, open-air meetings at which Blatch orated on the cause.  On May 21, 1910, a mass parade down Fifth Avenue in New York City publicized the campaign, the first of many such public demonstrations which brought more visibility and support to the cause of women’s rights.[13]   In her later years Blatch worked tirelessly for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), first drafted in 1923 by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman and introduced in Congress in December 1923.  Still not ratified into law, The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in matters of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.[14]  Blatch, who lived until November 20, 1940 would not see the passage of this amendment which has yet to be ratified over 80 years after her death.


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 


[1] https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/womens-history-month, accessed 3/2/2021.

[2] https://www.etonline.com/womens-history-month-how-it-started-and-how-to-celebrate-161258, accessed 3/2/2021.

[3] https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Activity/15586/The-history-of-IWD, accessed 3/2/2021.

[4] https://www.2020centennial.org/, accessed 3/2/2021.

[5] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriot-Eaton-Stanton-Blatch, accessed 3/2/2021.

[6] https://www.amazon.com/Harriot-Stanton-Blatch-Winning-Suffrage/dp/0300080689, accessed 3/2/2021.

[7] https://www.loc.gov/item/18012004/, accessed 3/2/2021.

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/gnmeducationcentre/2018/feb/05/womens-suffrage-february-1918-first-women-gain-right-to-vote-in-parliamentary-elections, accessed 3/2/2021.

[9] https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/tr-gable/, accessed 3/2/2021.

[10] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriot-Eaton-Stanton-Blatch, accessed 3/2/2021.

[11] http://www.crusadeforthevote.org/nwsa-organize, accessed 3/3/2021.

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Woman_Suffrage, accessed 3/3/2021.

[13] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriot-Eaton-Stanton-Blatch, accessed 3/3/2021.

[14] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment, accessed 3/3/2021.

Object of the Week: Image from “The Bible and Its Story” by Josephine Pollard

Image from: Josephine Pollard
The Bible and Its Story
New York: Ward and Drummond, 1889



“My Jesus, I accept all the crosses, all the contradictions, all the adversities that the Father has destined for me. May the unction of Thine grace give me strength to bear these crosses with the submission of which Thou gavest us the example in receiving Thine for us. May I never seek my glory save in the sharing of Thine sufferings!”[1]

Lent is a period of fasting, prayer and giving.  At this time, we remember the importance of opening our hearts to God’s love and one another.  This year, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is especially important to care for those who are suffering or to reassure those who are fearful.[2]  These practices improve our spiritual well-being.  By stripping away what is unnecessary, we become more mindful of how God is working in our lives.[3]  Against this backdrop of spiritual reflection and acts of care, the natural cycles of life continue, and winter slowly yields to spring. Days are getting longer, songbirds are returning and the trees are showing the first signs of budding.  Nature shows us there is promise and hope amidst the pain. Similarly, Lent invites us into a 40-day journey of renewed faith, hope, love, discovery and recovery on the worldly and spiritual planes.[4]

The cross is perhaps the most powerful and recognizable symbol of Christianity, especially during the Easter season for its significance Image of Jesus carrying a Crosswith Jesus’ crucifixion. For Christians, the cross symbolizes Christ’s victory over sin and death and God’s love.[5] The engraved images in this post are taken from a rare book in the university’s Department of Archives and Special Collections.  Published in 1889 and authored by Josephine Pollard, “The Bible and Its Story” contains many detailed illustrations including these of Jesus bearing the cross.

Pollard was an American author, hymn writer and poet.  She was born in New York City in 1834 and was educated at the Spingler Institute for Girls in New York[6].  The school was founded by Gorham Dummer Abbott, an American clergyman, educator, and author who seemingly had a profound impact on her life.[7]  Both Pollard and Abbott were dedicated to education, as well as their shared Christian faith and writing.  Abbott also influenced Matthew Vassar, founder of the eponymously named college which was the second degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States.[8]

Pollard was a founding member of Sorosis, a professional organization of women founded “to promote ‘mental activity and pleasant social intercourse,’ and in spite of a severe fire of hostile criticism and misrepresentation, it has evinced a sturdy vitality, and really demonstrated its right to exist by a large amount of beneficent work. … These ladies pledged themselves to work for the release of women from the disabilities which debar them from a due participation in the rewards of industrial and professional labour … I believe it has been the stepping-stone to useful public careers, and the source of inspiration to many ladies.”[9]

Black and white portrait of Josephine Pollard
Portrait of Josephine Pollard – Buffalo Electrotype and Engraving Co., Buffalo, N.Y, – http://www.librarything.com/pic/147520

Early members of Sorosis were participants in varied professions and political reform movements such as abolitionism, suffrage, prison reform, temperance and peace. The organization expanded into local chapters beyond New York City in the early twentieth century and the various divisions went on to organize war relief efforts during both World Wars. Peacetime activities included philanthropy (such as support for funding the MacDowell Colony), scholarship funds, and social reforms (such as literary training for immigrant women). In later years, Sorosis focused its activities on local projects, raising money for the aid of other women’s clubs, funding scholarships for women, and aiding local rescue missions.

Image of Jesus carrying the crossThough she died at the age of 57, the trailblazing Josephine Pollard left behind an extensive legacy of books, hymns and poems, as well as a history of activism that reverberates today through educational and professional opportunities for students and women in the form of scholarships and residencies.  Pollard’s hymns remain popular as well and continue to inspire congregants.  One of Pollard’s best-known hymns is “I Stood Outside the Gate.”  Intended for the Lenten season, its words remind us of Jesus’ mercy and his sacrifice for humanity:

“In Mercy’s guise I knew
The Savior long abused,
Who often sought my heart,
And wept when I refused;
Oh, what a blest return
For all my years of sin!
I stood outside the gate,
And Jesus let me in.”[10] 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 



[1] Marmion, Dom Columba. Christ in His Mysteries: A Spiritual Guide Through the Liturgical Year. Leominster: Gracewing Publishing, 2016.

[2] https://catholicphilly.com/2021/02/lent2021/pope-francis-lenten-message-a-time-to-renew-faith-hope-love/, accessed 2/24/2021.

[3] https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/25-great-things-you-can-do-for-lent, accessed 2/24/2021.

[4] https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/young-voices/season-renewal-recovery-discovery, accessed 2/25/2021.

[5] https://omaha.com/special_sections/from-lilies-to-lambs-easter-symbols-hold-special-significance-for-christians/article_fe75f253-6966-55c7-958053acdd014f89.html#:~:text=The%20cross%20is%20perhaps%20the,humiliation%20in%20the%20Roman%20Empire, accessed 2/25/2021.

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Pollard, accessed 2/25/2021.

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorham_Dummer_Abbott#Biography, accessed 2/25/2021.

[8] https://www.vassar.edu/about/, accessed 2/25/2021.

[9] Faithfull, Emily (1884). Three Visits to America. New York: Fowler & Wells Co., Publishers. pp. 18–21.

[10] https://hymnary.org/text/i_stood_outside_the_gate, accessed 2/25/2021.