Votes for Women sash made for the College’s 1916 Suffrage Day

Votes for Women sash

This white cotton dress and handcrafted “Votes for Women” sash were part of the student-curated exhibit “Mount Holyoke Votes: The History of Student Activism for Voting Rights” on view in Archives and Special Collections in the fall.

The dress, part of Mount Holyoke’s Historic Dress Collection, belonged to Louise Dunbar, class of 1916, president of the Equal Suffrage League on campus. The sash, constructed from paper and cotton, belonged to Florence Tuttle Chandler, class of 1916. Tuttle and two of her classmates made their sashes for the College’s Suffrage Day on May 9, 1916, and marched in a band to promote their cause. More than 300 Mount Holyoke students were members of the Equal Suffrage League at that time.

Last summer Lynk interns Eva Jeffers ’20, Ellie Norman ’20 and Gabrielle Spano ’21 researched materials in the archives, interviewing alums and assembling the exhibit, which explored student activism on campus for voting rights from the 1890s through the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and included other objects, such as buttons, personal letters, photographs and printed materials.

The full exhibit can be viewed online.

This article appeared as “Dressed for Activism” in the winter 2020 issue of the Alumnae Quarterly.


Follow Mount Holyoke Archives and Special Collections on Instagram: @mhcarchives.

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