JULY 29, 1867–MARCH 1, 1956
Gertrude Foster Brown was born in Morrison, Illinois, in 1867. After finishing high school at age 15, she traveled to Boston, Berlin, and Paris to study piano. After returning to the United States, she taught and performed music for several years.
In 1909, Brown visited the headquarters of a women’s suffrage organization and was inspired to start a suffrage study club in her own home. Over the following years her passion grew, and in 1913 she was elected president of the New York Woman Suffrage Association. She spent the next few years organizing with that group and, in 1917, celebrated the passage of state suffrage in New York, a major victory for the national women’s voting rights movement.
After the New York suffrage victory, Brown became vice president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She held that position through 1920, when the 19th Amendment was ratified. Hoping to encourage women to become engaged citizens, Brown wrote a book called Your Vote and How to Use It. She died in 1956 at age 88.
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