Notable Women Ancestors - Politicians, Political Wives & Suffragists
Political Women

CLAY, Lucretia Hart
Daughter of Col. Thomas and Susanna (Gray) Hart, Lucretia married politician Henry Clay. Though she hated the social whirl in Washington that attracted her husband, Lucretia was a competent business woman in her own right.

DAVIS, Katharine Bement
Graduating from Vassar in 1892 at the top of her class, Katharine's appointment as Correction Commissioner in 1914 made her the first woman to head a major NYC agency. That same year she ran as the suffragists' candidate for delegate-at-large to the state constitutional convention on the Progressives' statewide ticket. She apparently was the first woman ever to run for NY statewide office on a major party slate.

FAIRCLOUGH, Ellen Louks Cook
Ellen was the most prominent woman ever to hold office in the Canadian Parliament, and indeed, was Canada's first woman Cabinet Minister. Among the many offices she has held, Ellen has served in the Privy Council, as Secretary of State, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Postmaster General.

MADISON, Dorothea "Dolly" Payne
Dolly was the wife of James Madison, 4th President of the United States. Here is her letter to her sister, Anna, written the day before Washington, D.C. was burned by British forces during the War of 1812.

RYLAND, Bertha
A medal for valour that turned up at the "Antiques Roadshow" in 2000 led to this interesting biography of an Englishwoman who helped bring the vote to women in the United Kingdom.

STANTON, Elizabeth Smith Cady
Recognizing the discrimination that existed against women in American in the 1800's early in her life, Elizabeth became the leading force behind Women's Rights Movement along with her lifelong friend, Susan B. Anthony. Her advocacy for suffrage led directly to the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.

WOODHULL, Victoria Claflin
A controversial publicist, Victoria advocated women's rights and free love and precipitated the Tilton-Beecher scandal by accusing Rev. Henry Beecher Ward of adultery with a parishioner. Victoria was also the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1872.

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