Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Laura Moore, 1836-1906
By Libby Camp, student, and Melanie Gustafson, professor, University of Vermont
Secretary, Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association
Laura Moore was born in Barnet, Vermont, on March 9, 1836, to John Moore, a farmer, and Harriet Wright Moore. Laura Moore never married and lived with her parents until their deaths in 1887 and 1896. She then lived with Caroline Scott, who worked with her in the suffrage movement. The other suffragists called Scott, who was born in 1815, Moore's "companion . . . and her co-worker." Laura Moore died in 1906.
Moore was one of the most active members the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association (VWSA). She was known as the "Saint of Barnet." She served as the VWSA's secretary for twenty-two years and was a member of the finance committee from 1887 to 1899. In December 1887, Moore represented the VWSA at their assigned table at the Woman's Suffrage Bazar in Boston. Newspapers reported that the VWSA wasn't "stingy" and Moore hosted at her table quite well.
As secretary of the VWSA, Moore often took care of duties such as organizing the annual meetings, writing and distributing the annual meeting minutes, and mailing pamphlets. Many saw her as the leader of the organization. At the 1907 annual meeting, the Association acknowledged its debt to Moore, praising "her timeless efforts." According to The History of Woman Suffrage, U. S. Senator Carroll S. Page said at the time of her death: "If the cause of equal suffrage should ever prevail in Vermont it will be largely because of the seed sown by Laura Moore."
Vermont Equal Suffrage Association Papers, 1883-1927, MSC 144-146, Leahy Library, Vermont History Center, Barre, Vermont.
The Report of the Vermont Equal Suffrage Association and Minutes of the 23rd Annual Convention At Burlington 1907 (Bethel, Vt.: Bethel Printing Co., 1907).
U.S. Census, 1880, 1900, Ancestry.com
Caledonia County, Vermont. Death certificate (1906), Moore; Ancestry.com
Caledonian (St. Johnsbury, Vt), February, 3, 1887, p. 1 Chronicling America
Ida Husted Harper, ed., History of Woman Suffrage, 6:652-653 [LINK].
Deborah Clifford, "The Drive for Women's Municipal Suffrage in Vermont, 1883-1917, Vermont History 47:3 (Summer 1979): 173-190.