Harriet Taylor Upton
|Harriet Taylor Upton|
December 17, 1853
|Died||November 2, 1945
|Occupation||Suffragist, women's rights advocate|
Harriet Taylor Upton (December 17, 1853 — November 2, 1945) was an American political activist and author. Upton is best remembered as a leading Ohio state and national figure in the struggle for women's right to vote and as the first woman to become a vice chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Harriet Taylor was born December 17, 1853 in Ravenna, Ohio, the daughter of Ezra Taylor, an Ohio judge. In 1861 the Taylor family moved to Warren, Ohio, and it was there that Harriet attended school. Her formal education was limited to the public schools of Warren.
In 1880 Harriet Taylor Upton's father was elected as a member of the United States Congress as a Republican from Ohio, succeeding President James Garfield in the position. This entrance into the world of high politics provided Harriet with an opportunity to meet leading political leaders of the day, including Susan B. Anthony — the person who brought Upton into the movement to win the right to vote for women.
Upton was a key organizer and the first president of the Suffrage Association of Warren. She was also a member of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) from 1890. In 1891, Upton hosted a conclave of women seeking equal rights with men, Ohio Women in Convention, in her home.
In 1894 Upton was elected as the treasurer of the NWSA, the leading national woman suffrage organization. She brought the headquarters of that organization home to Warren, Ohio from 1903 to 1910, the end of her tenure in that position. Additionally, Upton served as president of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Organization from 1899 to 1908 and again from 1911 to 1920.
In 1920 Harriet Taylor Upton was elected Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee. She was the first woman to serve on that highest national body of Republican Party politics. She stepped down from this position in June 1924 in an attempt to follow her father into the halls of Congress, running unsuccessfully in the August Republican primary election in the Ohio 19th District for the House of Representatives.
In 1928 Upton served as the assistant campaign manager for the Republican Party of Ohio. For all her successes and honors on the national stage, Upton's personal electoral success was modest, being the first woman to be elected to the Warren Board of Education.
Throughout her life Upton participated in a number of other organizations, including the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Women's Relief Corps, and the Episcopal Church.
Death and legacy
Harriet Taylor Upton died in Pasadena, California on November 2, 1945. She was 91 years old at the time of her death.
Harriet Upton was inducted into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in 1981, in the category of Government and Military Service. In early 2010, Upton was proposed by the Ohio Historical Society as a finalist in a statewide vote for inclusion in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol.
- Fess, Simeon D., ed. (1937). Ohio, A four volume reference library on the History of a Great State. 4. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. p. 435. OCLC 418516.
- Aileen S. Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1890-1920 . New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1981; pg. 268.
- "Ohio Women of Note," Ohioana Library Association, www.ohioana.org/
- "Mrs. Upton Resigns Post: Will Leave Republican National Committee to Run for Congress," New York Times, June 6, 1924. (Paywalled.)
- "Ohio Women's Hall of Fame Bio: Harriet Taylor Upton," Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, www.odjfs.state.oh.us/
- The Foster-Children of Washington. Boston: D. Lothrop, 1888. —Children's book.
- The Household of Andrew Jackson. Boston: D. Lothrop, 1889. —Children's book.
- Our Early Presidents, Their Wives and Children: From Washington to Jackson. Boston: D. Lothrop Co., 1890. —Children's book.
- The Family of Jefferson. Boston: D. Lothrop, 1891. —Children's book.
- A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County, Ohio: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests. Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1909.
- A History of the Western Reserve and Its People. Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1910.
- Militancy: An Excuse. Warren, OH: Ohio Woman Suffrage Association, n.d. [c. 1910].
- Japanese Gardens. London : Methuen & Co., 1912.
- Random Recollections of Harriet Taylor Upton: An Autobiography. n.c. [Columbus, OH?]: n.p., n.d. [1920s].
- Media related to Harriet Taylor Upton at Wikimedia Commons
- Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1917-1925. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.