Born Carrie Clinton Lane in Ripon, Wisconsin to Lucius and Maria Louisa (Clinton) Lane, Catt spent her childhood in Charles City, Iowa. She moved to Iowa at the age of seven where she began preparatory schooling. As a child Catt was interested in science and wanted to become a doctor. After graduating from high school, she enrolled at Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in Ames, Iowa.
Catt's father was initially reluctant to allow her to attend college, but he relented, contributing only a part of the costs. To make ends meet, Catt worked as a dishwasher, in the school library, and as a teacher at rural schools during school breaks. Catt’s freshman class consisted of 27 students; six of whom were female. Catt joined the Crescent Literary Society, a student organization aimed at advancing student learning skills and self-confidence. Because only men were allowed to speak in meetings, Catt defied the rules and spoke up during a male debate. This started a discussion about women’s participation in the group, and ultimately led to women gaining the right to speak in meetings. Catt was also a member of Pi Beta Phi, started an all girls' debate club, and advocated for women's participation in military drill.
The Carrie Chapman Catt House, also known as Juniper Ledge, is located on Ryder Road in the town of New Castle, New York, United States. It is an Arts and Crafts-style building from the early 20th century. In 2006 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places; five years later it was designated a town landmark as well.
Carrie Chapman Catt was in a relationship with Mary Garrett Hay, a suffragist leader from New York. It is uncertain whether Catt was a lesbian, as she was reserved and did not care for public displays of emotional affection. Despite being married twice, Catt did not live with her husband full time. After the death of Leo Chapman, she and Hay lived together. Hay was not a part of the international circle of elites that Catt aligned herself with; however, everyone knew that they had a special love for one another. Catt requested burial alongside Hay, rather than either of her husbands.
Carrie Chapman Catt & Mary Garrett Hay are buried side by side in the Bronx's Woodlawn Cemetery marked by a single monument inscribed in block letters: "Here lie two, united in friendship for 38 years through constant service to a great cause."
After three years, Catt graduated on November 10, 1880 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She was the valedictorian and only female in her graduating class. She worked as a law clerk after graduating then he became a teacher and then superintendent of schools in Mason City, Iowa in 1885. She was the first female superintendent of the district.
In 1885 Carrie married newspaper editor Leo Chapman, but he died in California on February 1885, soon after of typhoid fever. She remained in San Francisco where she worked as the city's first female reporter. In 1890, she married George Catt, a wealthy engineer and Alumnus of Iowa State University. He encouraged her being involved in suffrage. Their marriage allowed her to spend a good part of each year on the road campaigning for women's suffrage, a cause she had become involved with in Iowa during the late 1880s. Catt also joined the Women's Christian Temperance Union.
On March 9, 1947, Catt died of a heart attack in her home in New Rochelle. She was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York alongside her longtime companion, Mary Garret Hay, a fellow New York state suffragist, with whom she lived for over 20 years.
Catt attained recognition for her work both during and after her lifetime. In 1926, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine and, in 1930, she received the Pictorial Review Award for her international disarmament work. In 1941, Catt received the Chi Omega award at the White House from her longtime friend Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1975, Catt became the first inductee into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. In 1982, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. In 1992, the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation named her one of the ten most important women of the century. The same year, Iowa State University established the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and in 1992, and the Old Botany building on central campus was renovated and renamed Carrie Chapman Catt Hall in 1995. In 2013. she was one of the first four women to be honored on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge in Des Moines.
Catt was in a relationship with Mary Garrett Hay, a suffragist leader from New York. It is uncertain whether Catt was a lesbian, as she was reserved and did not care for public displays of emotional affection. Despite being married twice, Catt did not live with her husband full time. After the death of Leo Chapman, she and Hay lived together. Hay was not a part of the international circle of elites that Catt aligned herself with; however, everyone knew that they had a special love for one another. Catt requested burial alongside Hay, rather than either of her husbands.
Mary Garrett Hay (August 29, 1857 - August 29, 1928), temperance worker, club woman, and suffragist from Indiana, politically organized the state and city of New York to pass suffrage, winning the most populous state for the suffrage ranks. As President of the New York Equal Suffrage League and the New York City Woman Suffrage Party, she directed the city’s suffrage groups in the state campaigns of 1915 and 1917. Parades, street rallies, and infinite organization won New York for suffrage in 1917. Respected for her consummate political skills, her close association with Carrie Chapman Catt (January 9, 1859 – March 9, 1947) gave her enormous political clout within the suffrage ranks.
Attending political meetings with her father and entertaining politicians in their home, Hay pursued her political interests through reform. She joined the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and a suffrage club, developing a close, life-long association with Mrs. Catt. Organizing California along political lines for the state referendum (1896) gave her experience for the later victory in New York. Hay became Catt’s chief assistant and, after Catt was widowed, they made their home together. As president of the New York State Federation of Women’s Clubs (1910-12) and director of the General Federation (national) of Women’s Clubs (1914-18), Hay brought the woman’s club movement to suffrage. Hay headed NAWSA’s suffrage lobbying with Republican congressmen. Active in the party, she chaired the Republican convention platform committee – unprecedented for a woman. After winning the vote, Hay chaired the New York city League of Women Voters.
Carrie Chapman Catt was an American women's suffrage leader who campaigned for the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. Mary Garrett Hay was an active suffragist who worked closely with Carrie Chapman Catt. Hay became Catt’s chief assistant and, after Catt was widowed the second time, they lived together. According to the 1910 U.S. census, Ms. Hay resided with the widowed Mrs. Carrie Catt at 257 Central Park West in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.
257 Central Park West, constructed between 1905 and 1906, currently is a co-op apartment building located on the southwest corner of 86th Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. It has been the residence of several famous pianists, musicians, composers and people in other such notable professions over the years: Carrie Chapman Catt - U.S. women's suffrage leader and first President of the International Women's Suffrage Alliance and Mary Garrett Hay - temperance worker and U.S. women's suffrage leader. According to the 1910 U.S. census, Ms. Hay resided with the widowed Mrs. Carrie Catt.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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