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Elizabeth Cady Stanton, photograph by H. Rocher, Chicago, n.d.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped organize the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. She devoted her life to securing full rights for women.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Split over Sufferage

Many 19th-century woman suffragists also sought to end slavery. They flooded Congress with petitions for abolition and for voting rights for all citizens, including women and African American men. After the Civil War the movement temporarily split: some worked for the immediate goal of suffrage for black men; others pursued universal voting rights for woman suffrage. In 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment secured voting rights for men regardless of race; women fought another 50 years for the right to vote.