The Woman Suffrage Statue

A History of Adelaide Johnson’s Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony at the United States Capitol


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About the Book

Relegated to the Crypt of the Capitol building for 76 years, the Portrait Monument has stood in the Rotunda since 1997. Often referred to as the Suffrage Statue, it memorializes pioneering feminists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and is the sole sculptural representation of women in the Rotunda. From its conception by sculptor Adelaide Johnson as three separate busts to its laborious execution and celebrated placement in the Rotunda, the seven-ton sculpture has provoked frustration, jubilation and hullabaloo. Drawing on diaries, letters, newspapers and historic photographs, this first-ever history of the monument explores the controversy, myths and artistry behind this neoclassical yet unconventional work of art.

About the Author(s)

Sandra Weber is an author, independent scholar, lecturer, and storyteller who enjoys exploring and writing regional history and women’s history. She lives in Elizabethtown, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Sandra Weber
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 70 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6346-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2422-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Terminology viii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

PART ONE—Adelaide Johnson and the Great Three 7

1. A Sculptress 7

2. Making the Great Three 13

3. The Woman Movement 20

4. 1893 World Fair 29

5. Of Eminent Women and Bridesmaids 38

6. Bust Fund Conflict 43

PART TWO—A Monument to Woman 51

7. New Face of Suffrage 51

8. Of Carrara Marble and Hard Luck 66

9. With Ratification Goes the Rotunda 79

10. Up the Steps of the Capitol 86

11. The Supreme, the Wonderful Day 95

12. Down in the Crypt 102

PART THREE—An Entity to Be Reckoned 111

13. Golden Words 111

14. A Work of Art 119

15. Resurrecting Equal Rights 129

16. Forward into Light 137

17. Import of the Woman Movement 142

18. Glory of Washington 152

PART FOUR—Take Up the Song 161

19. Semantics 161

20. In the Halls of the Capitol 167

21. Raise the Statue 174

22. Adding Truth 185

23. Unfinished Work 192

Conclusion 199

Timeline 201

Brief Biographies 203

Chapter Notes 207

Bibliography 223

Index 227