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Evanston and the Fight for the Vote

Empowering Women

Elizabeth Boynton Harbert

When she came to Evanston in 1874 she helped found the Evanston Political Equality League and later served as president of the Illinois Woman’s Suffrage Association. In the national movement, she was a close associate of both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and a firm supporter of their approach which was to emphasize women’s equal rights and status with men.

In 1889, Harbert founded and served as the first president of one of Evanston’s oldest organizations: The Woman’s Club of Evanston. Though the Woman’s Club never explicitly endorsed women’s suffrage, women could discuss various issues and form friendships with other women in the community. The Woman's Club of Evanston exists to this day.