Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage for Women in Illinois At the Princeton Public Library


The Princeton Public Library and the Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Speakers are hosting a program on March 14, 2023, at 6:30 PM for Jeanne Schultz Angel as she presents a program entitled “Casting a Historic Vote: Suffrage for Women in Illinois”.

In honor of Women’s History Month, this presentation will explore when women, prior to 1920, were denied the vote in the majority of elections in the United States. According to the presenter,  the struggle for enfranchisement began with the birth of our nation and was strategized differently in our local, state and federal elections.  Despite what people today believe to be a straightforward goal, the path to women’s suffrage was infused with sexism and racism and triggered a fear of feminism whose roots are still seen today.

While wealthy women advocates played a vital role in the suffrage movement, they were not the only ones seeking enfranchisement.  From attorney Ellen Martin, the first woman to vote in Illinois, to Ida B. Wells, a woman who did not let racism silence her voice, women’s suffrage has been a battle hard fought by a diverse group of  activists in Illinois.

Jeanne Schultz Angel is the Director of Learning Experiences & Historical Resources for Naper Settlement.  She is a nonprofit administrator and museum professional with more than 24 years working within cultural institutions.  She holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in History from Illinois State University. 

Angel has been the executive director of three Chicagoland historical organizations: St. Charles Heritage Center, Lombard Historical Society/Sheldon Peck Homestead and the Nineteenth Century Club in Oak Park.  In addition, she served as the executive director of the Illinois Association of Museums.  Most recently, she was the lead historian in Seeking Charlie: Connecting the Dots Left by a Freedom Seeker in Illinois, a grant funded by the Association of African American Life & History and the National Park Service.

Illinois Humanities is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly (through the Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA)), as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by speakers, program participants, or audiences do not necessarily reflect those of the NEH, Illinois Humanities, IACA, our partnering organizations or our funders.

For additional information, contact the Princeton Public Library at 815-875-1331 or visit our website at

Submit a Comment