By Brianna Davey, undergraduate student, Central Connecticut State University
Sarah C. Grant was born in Canada between 1878 and 1880 to Isaac A. Grant and Anna M. Grant. Sarah and her family moved to Minnesota in 1886. She graduated from the St. Paul High School in 1895. During the commencement exercises, she read an essay she had written entitled "Types of Evil Geniuses" where she described the depictions of evil in the writings of Milton, Dante, and Goethe as being drawn from the behaviors of the people that the three authors were surrounded by. In the essay she stated, "If an American were to paint an ideal Satan it would be a man selling gold even at the foot of the cross". Even at a young age Grant was outspoken in her beliefs.
After high school, she attended Minnesota State University and graduated in 1902 with an interest in social work. She then attended John Hopkins Hospital Training School for Nurses where she graduated in 1908 and according to census records moved back to Ramsey, MN from Maryland by 1910. She later relocated to Boston. Miss Grant worked as a director of nursing and one of her places of employment was in the Massachusetts Hospital in Boston where she worked in the social services department. Grant was mentioned in the hospital's Eleventh Annual Report of the Social Service Department of the Massachusetts General Hospital January 1, 1916-January 1, 1917 where her work was described as being "excellent." She was mentioned in the report because in April 1916 she fell ill and left the hospital after three and a half years of work.
During her involvement in the suffrage movement, Sarah Grant was a member of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CUWS), later the National Woman's Party and was very involved with the CUWS in the Fourteenth Congressional District in Illinois. She was a vocal supporter of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Grant advocated for women to have the rights of full citizenship and therefore suffrage. In a speech she gave in Illinois she said, "The time has arrived when women should become citizens of their own country." She had apparently lived in Illinois, where women could vote for president, long enough for residency. She urged other suffragists to remain non-partisan even though she threatened to vote for Republican candidate Charles Evans Hughes instead of President Wilson in the 1916 election. This is because Hughes had been a vocal supporter of the constitutional amendment. Sarah Grant's jobs within both the NWP and the Congressional Union included being an organizer for the active committee for the Union, and a booster for the NWP. She also was involved in press work as she helped set up Union meetings in Nevada. She sent out letters, gave speeches on the street and worked with people such as Elsie Hill, the daughter of Connecticut congressman E.J. Hill, to speak out for the cause.
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"Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.) 1893-1920, September 18, 1916, Page 7, Image 7." News about Chronicling America RSS. Accessed May 01, 2017.
"Sarah C. Grant in the 1910 Federal Census." Ancestry Library. Accessed May 01, 2017.
"St. Paul Daily Globe. (Saint Paul, Minn.) 1884-1896, June 14, 1895, Image 1." News about Chronicling America RSS. Accessed May 01, 2017.
"St. Paul Daily Globe. (Saint Paul, Minn.) 1884-1896, September 13, 1895, Page 4, Image 4." News about Chronicling America RSS. Accessed May 01, 2017.