Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Kate A.R. Chapman (Mrs. Maxwell K.), 1865-?

By Christina Larocco, Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Chapman, Kate A.R. (Mrs. Maxwell K. 1865-?) was a vice president of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association (PWSA), president of the Scranton Equal Franchise League, and chair of the Lackawanna County division of the PWSA. In 1913, she was responsible for securing an endorsement from the Central Labor Union of Scranton, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor, for a state-level referendum on suffrage. The following year, the Scranton Equal Franchise League successfully mobilized to defeat anti-suffrage state senator Walter McNichols. In 1916, Chapman was a candidate for president of the PWSA, supported by a faction of the organization that felt leaders Jennie Roessing and Hannah Patterson were exercising too much power. However, her support declined when prominent suffragists Lucy Kennedy Miller and M. Carey Thomas, fearful that her presidency would upset the geographic balance of the state, said they would not serve with her. Chapman was defeated by Mary Orlady (Mrs. George B. Orlady).


Information about Chapman can be found in Henrietta Louise Krone, "Dauntless Women: The Story of the Woman Suffrage Movement in Pennsylvania, 1910-20" (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1949); and in Ida Husted Harper, ed., "Pennsylvania," chapter XXXVII in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920 (New York, NY: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), pp. 550-64. [LINK]

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