Fayette Equal Rights Association hosts booth in Lexington Manufacturers Exposition Hall

Randolph Hollingsworth's picture

Under the direction of Josephine Henry, the Fayette County Equal Rights Association (FERA) set up a booth in the Lexington Manufacturers Exposition that opened on 17 December 1894 and lasted for three weeks. According to the FERA report in the minutes of the Eighth Annual Convention of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (1895), the book was "in a desirable locality, prettily fitted up and decorated with appropriate mottoes - plenty of choice suffrage literature, which was gladly taken - a book in which all who favored Equal Rights could sign a petition for school suffrage for the whole State. Said petition shows 800 signatures (14)." In early January, the last week of the Exposition, they hosted a lecture by Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Chapman Catt in the Exposition Hall. This lecture by both women leaders from the National American Woman Suffrage Association was the first of a series of lectures they conducted throughout the South, ending up in Atlanta. The next stop was in Louisville at the First Unitarian Church (see the ExploreKyHistory webpage about this site.) The Southern tour had been organized by Laura Clay as a way to bring the national agenda into the Southern campaign for women's suffrage. Catt's main job was to finish Anthony's speeches since by this time, "if Aunt Susan did not get a cup of strong coffee with dinner, she would sometimes fade out within five minutes (Van Voris, 43)." 


Fayette Equal Rights Association. Pages 14-15 in Reports of Local Associations. Minutes of the Eighth Annual Convention of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, December 10th, 11th and 12th, 1895, Court-House, Richmond, KY. Special Collections Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

Roe, Amy. “First Unitarian Church,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed December 11, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/338.

Van Voris, Jacqueline. Carrie Chapman Catt: A Public Life. New York: Feminist Press at CUNY, 1996.

N.B. This entry is to support the digital timeline for the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project (KWSP).