From her homes in New York City and upstate Seneca Falls, suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the 19th-century fight to win women the right to vote.
But for the last 2 years of her life, Stanton worked from her summer home in Shoreham. Her children, Harriot Stanton Blatch and Robert Livingston Stanton, continued her work there after she died.
Village historian Mimi Oberdorf last week called Shoreham’s role in the suffrage movement “this little piece of history that nobody knew about.”
That history was recognized earlier this month with a plaque at Village Hall. Similar markers are to be affixed to the still-standing homes of Stanton and her children.
Organizers from the Islip chapter of the American Association of University Women said they ultimately hope to create a trail of Long Island locations linked to the suffrage movement.
“Ten years from now, they can follow this trail and see where the suffragists lived,” Nancy Mion, a Bayport resident and AAUW member, said.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not live to see her dream come true. She died in 1902 — 15 years before New York granted women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which enfranchised women nationally, was passed in 1920.
Stanton is pictured in an undated photo. Here’s a look at each of the Shoreham locations associated with Stanton and her family:
Elizabeth Cady Stanton's home
Stanton’s house originally stood on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound. It later was moved to its current location on Woodville Road.
It was in this house that Stanton wrote her autobiography, “Eighty Years and More.”
She spent summers there for the last two years of her life.
Harriot Stanton Blatch house
Blatch, who lived in Shoreham for 15 years, organized events such as the 1913 “Frolic at Shoreham,” a weeklong gathering celebrating a successful suffrage campaign on Long Island. Blatch lived at the house on Tower Hill Road with her daughter, Nora Stanton Barney, one of the few female civil engineers in that era.
Robert Livingston Stanton house
Barbara Daddino, the home’s current owner, said she knew little about Shoreham’s role in the suffrage movement before she bought the house on Thompson Street five years ago. Now she is an enthusiastic booster of the village’s link to the movement.
“It’s just wonderful,” she said. “It so rich and so wonderful to live here.”
Shoreham Village Hall
The plaque that will be installed at Village Hall identifies Shoreham as the “Summer capital of the suffrage movement” and “cradle of suffragist strategy.”
“There were thousands of women who were going door to door and saying, ‘Please support the right of women to vote,’ ” Mion said. “The important message to me is that women have the vote because they fought for it.”