“The Awakening,” is one of the most famous suffrage maps. It was published in Puck Magazine in 1915 and illustrated by German-born artist Henry Mayer. The map shows desperate women reaching out to Lady Liberty and the light that she is bringing to them. Her robes say, “VOTES FOR WOMEN.”
By 1915, women could already vote in the Western states marked in white. In the eastern states, you can see the desperation on the women’s faces and in their gestures, as they stretch towards the votes that ought to be theirs.
The map was published during the fight to amend New York’s gender-based voting restrictions.
Suffrage maps were printed on posters, pamphlets, and paper fans and distributed across cities. They were painted on walls in prominent public places, such as state buildings. They were printed on items like drinking glasses and baseball programs.
The women on the map were white women only, and they belonged to an upper middle class movement.
Beneath the map is a poem by Alice Duer Miller, a feminist writer. The final verses of Miller’s poem read:
“They came from toll and want, from leisure and ease, Those who knew only life, and learned women of fame, Girls and the mothers of girls, and the mothers of theseNo one knew whence or how, but they came, they came.
The faces of some were stern, and some were gay, And some were pale with the terror of unreal dangers; But their hearts knew this: hereafter come what may, Women to women would never again be strangers.”
Source: The 1915 Map that Helped All Women Get the Vote
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