Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Mary Hutcheson Page, 1860-1940
By Meg Panetta, student, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Founding member, Chairman of Executive Committee, President, Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government; Founder, Committee for Work; Founding member, Chairman, President, Brookline Equal Suffrage Association; President, National American Woman Suffrage Association; Chair of Executive Board, Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association; National Executive Committee, Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage; Chairman, Industrial Committee, Massachusetts Equal Suffrage Association
Mary Hutcheson Page was born in 1860 in Columbus, Ohio to Lucretia Deshler Hutcheson and Joseph Hutcheson. She spent part of her childhood in Europe and became an orphan in her teens. Page was one of the earliest women students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied chemistry and biology as a special student. She married George Hyde Page in 1890 and had four children: Hutcheson, Anne, Katharine, and Richmond. A resident of Brookline, Massachusetts, she was active in women's suffrage organizations from the 1890s until her retirement and move to California in 1918. After her husband's death in 1923, she returned to Massachusetts. She died in 1940.
Page was a leader and member of numerous state and national suffrage organizations. She founded the Discussion Club of Brookline which grew into the Brookline Equal Suffrage Association in 1895, of which she was Chairman, President, and member. To help fund the Colorado suffrage campaign, Page founded the Committee for Work in the late 1890s, leading to the 1901 founding of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government (BESAGG), one of the most important twentieth-century Massachusetts suffrage groups. BESAGG focused on both women's suffrage and improving the community, altering the tack of Massachusetts suffrage work. Page was member and Chair of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA), 1910 President of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and member of the National Executive Committee of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. Page organized the Massachusetts delegation to the 1904 NAWSA convention and traveled with prominent suffragists to the 1906 International Woman's Suffrage Alliance convention. She helped to organize the 1912 Ohio state suffrage campaign.
Page specialized in raising funds and drawing women to suffrage organizations. Maud Wood Park declared that she had an "actual genius" for engaging selected people in suffrage work. Not an eager public speaker, she excelled at acquiring money and assistance from individual contacts. As chairman of the Industrial committee of the Massachusetts Equal Suffrage Association, she acquired Massachusetts labor unions' endorsement for woman suffrage.
Page wrote articles in suffrage-focused and wider-interest periodicals. She examined women's current and historical roles in society in "The Subjection of Sex" in The Woman's Journal and "The Position of Women" in the one-time periodical Ye Odde Number. One of the earliest American suffragists to embrace British militant suffrage tactics, she hosted Emmeline Pankhurst at her home in 1909, and in the same year wrote a letter to the editor of the Boston Herald emphasizing the respectability and social prominence of English suffragists. Drawing on her interest in British suffragism, Page pushed MWSA and BESAGG to open a storefront in Boston, transitioning from scheduled formal events to informal public action. She became head of the Votes For Women Committee, a joint project of MWSA and BESAGG which sent members to travel among towns giving speeches, a more radical and effective tactic of gaining support which signaled a shift in approach by Massachusetts suffrage groups.
"Biography," Mary Hutcheson Page Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1869-1935; Finding Aid. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. http:// oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~sch01034
Park, Maud Wood. "Mary Hutcheson Page: Supplementary Notes." April 1943. Mary Hutcheson Page Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1869-1935. WRC, folder 653. M-133, reel D29. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
"Mary Hutcheson Page." Katherine Hersey, May 1943. Mary Hutcheson Page Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1869-1935. WRC, folder 653. M-133, reel D29. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
Rogers, John A. "Mrs. Mary Page is Dead at 80". Publication unknown. Mary Hutcheson Page Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1869-1935. WRC, folder 653. M-133, reel D29. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
Schlesinger, Mary, Genevieve Starr, Janet Cumston Bearse, and Mary Hutcheson Page. "An Equal Suffrage Association was formed in Brookline…" Leaflet. Date Unknown. Mary Hutcheson Page Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.
Anthony, Susan B. "SBA to Mary Hutcheson Page." Mar 15, 1899. The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Vol. 6, p. 279-280. Ed. Ann Gordon. Rutgers University Press, 2012. https://muse.jhu.edu/book/19453
"New England Women: Mary Hutcheson Page, Who Is A Leader in the Suffrage Association." Boston Daily Globe, Oct 7, 1915, p. 14
Tonn, Joan C. Mary P. Follett, Creating Democracy, Transforming Management. Yale University Press, 2008.
Upton, Harriet Taylor and Elizabeth J. Hauser, eds. Proceedings of the Thirty-Sixth Annual 2 of 4 Convention of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association held at Washington, D.C., February 11th to 17th, Inclusive, 1904. W. M. Reitzel & Company, Ohio, 1904.
"Note And Comment," Springfield Republican, published as Springfield Daily Republican, Jan 27, 1904, p. 6.
"Office-Holding in Women's Clubs," Boston Herald, published as Sunday Herald, Jul 8, 1906, p. 30.
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. "First national convention, Washington, D. C. December 6-13. Convention headquarters…". Leaflet. Washington, D. C., 1915.
Page, Mary Hutcheson. "The Subjection of Sex," The woman's journal, Vol. 25, Issue 52 (1894), p. 409-10.
Page, Mary Hutcheson. "The Position of Women," Ye Odde Number, pp. 2-9. Boston: George E. Crosby & Co, 1895.
Mary Hutcheson Page Papers. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.;
Page, Mary Hutcheson. "Birth of Suffrage Crusade," San Diego Union, published as The San Diego Union AND DAILY BEE, May 23, 1909, p. 4.;
Strom, Sharon Hartman. "Leadership and Tactics in the American Woman Suffrage Movement: A New Perspective from Massachusetts," Journal of American History, Vol. 62, No. 2 (Sep 1975), pp. 296-315.
"Long an Ardent Worker." Boston Daily Globe, Oct 3, 1909, p. 51.
"Suffragette Leader Has Day of Rest," Boston, Massachusetts: Oct 23, 1909, Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collection Division, Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911; Scrapbook 8; page 137.
Page, Mary Hutcheson. "Plead For Me," Boston Herald, Mar 23, 1906, p. 6.
The History of Woman Suffrage, Edited by Ida Husted Harper, Volume VI 1900-1920 [LINK]
J. E. Purdy & Co., Boston. "Mrs. Mary Hutcheson Page of Boston, Mass. Mrs. Page is President of the Brookline Woman Suffrage Association. She is one of the most active workers for the national suffrage amendment." Photograph. Library of Congress, National Woman's Party Records, Group I, Container I:155, Folder: Page, Mary.