Anne Gass

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In 1919, Maine faced an unusual conflict between ratifying the nineteenth amendment to the United States Constitution that would grant full voting rights to women, and approving a statewide suffrage referendum that would permit women to vote in presidential campaigns only. Maine’s pro-suffrage forces had to head off last-minute efforts by anti-suffragists to sabotage the Maine legislature’s ratification vote. Led by Florence Brooks Whitehouse, with support from Alice Paul and other National Woman’s Party organizers, suffragists fought down to the wire to ensure that Maine became the nineteenth state to ratify the federal amendment. Anne B. Gass is an independent researcher and is the great granddaughter of Florence Brooks Whitehouse. She led the effort to get Whitehouse inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2008, and has recently completed a longer work on Whitehouse’s suffrage activities, entitled Voting Down the Rose: Florence Brooks Whitehouse and Maine’s Fight for Woman’s Suffrage.