Hearing stories of the suffragette movement at the turn of the 20th Century and seeing it remembered all these years later is both incredibly important and gratifying to me. And it’s more than just the fact that the promise of America – where every citizen has a say in the direction of the country – was one step closer to being fulfilled at that time (but that is incredibly important). My personal connection to this movement comes from the fact that my great aunt, Ella Hawley Crosset of Wyoming County, was an integral part of the movement. Her example has helped guide me throughout my life.

            Taking a look back at the era that these suffragettes were living in, there’s no doubt that they were in the fight for their lives in many cases. Political and social pressure undoubtedly kept pushing these brave women back, pressuring them to give up their cause. Despite the trials and tribulations, women continued to push back for a seat at the table. They galvanized Albany legislators to push for further constitutional changes that had already been started in states lying to the west, and New York was the driving force to make Congress hear these women and grant them their wishes.

            Today, my great aunt’s name is listed on the plaque in the Capitol on the first floor as you enter from State Street. Her name is listed alongside other notable women of history and suffragettes, including Susan B. Anthony. To know that members of my family have been fighting throughout our history to ensure that freedoms and liberties are granted to all citizens fills me with a lot of pride, and makes me honored to continue their legacy. We should all look back to their example of fighting for rights and liberties to help us decide how we act today.


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