Biographical Sketch of Anna Hamilton Pitzer

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biographical Sketch of Anna Hamilton Pitzer, 1840-1926

By Lauren Howery, student, Colorado State University

Mrs. Anna (Annie) Hamilton Pitzer, was born Annie Bennett in 1840, in Callaway County, Missouri. She was the oldest of seven children born to Joel Davis Bennett and Mary McClung McAfee. She was well-educated and studied at Eastern College. She married William Washington Pitzer and had one daughter, Anne Hamilton Bennett Pitzer, who grew up to be a suffragist, member of the Women's Club of Colorado Springs, and published writer. After William's death, she moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1890. Her daughter later died in 1914, yet Anna continued her suffragist work.

Pitzer was sister-in-law to Speaker of the House of Representatives, James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark, who married her younger sister Genevieve. She was an adamant supporter of her brother-in-law as he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1912 election, saying that "never in my life have I made a speech, bit it is quite possible that if I saw Champ losing out in the convention I would get up before all those people and tell them what I know about this big, honest brother-in-law of mine." She was chosen to represent Colorado at the National Democratic Committee in 1908, in preparation for the 1912 election. She was one of two women chosen as a delegate for the second district in Colorado.

In Denver, she campaigned for Democratic support for Champ Clark's nomination and used her influence within the women's suffrage movement to bring voters to the Democratic Party. She was also the first woman in the United States to announce a state's vote at a national convention in support of Clark. Her political and philanthropic work gained her a nomination for the position of Postmistress of Colorado Springs in 1913. Despite its esteemed position in the community, she declined her nomination, choosing instead to focus on what she saw as more important issues: politics and philanthropy.

Pitzer served as the Honorary President of the Women's Democratic League in Washington, D.C. which brought together progressive leaders and supporters to discuss suffrage. Starting in 1913, Pitzer was also a member of the National Council of Women Voters and met President Wilson in December, 1915, with a small group of women from the council to discuss suffrage. She died at the age of 86 on March 13, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sources

Brown, Lewis, and L.C. Brown, eds. "Parker's Election Claimed But Opposition Deny This: Clark's Sister in Law There." The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, FL, June 24, 1912. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=950&dat=19120624&id=ZIwLAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_VMDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1713,816206&hl=en.

"Democratic Delegates to Baltimore Convention." Weekly Courier, May 3, 1912. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

"Hamilton Archives." RootsWeb: An ancestry.com community. Jan. 12, 1999. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/HAMILTON/1999-01/0916155233.

Harper, Ida Husted. The history of woman suffrage. Vol. VI. National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922. [LINK]

Kit Carson County Record, June 13, 1912. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

"Pike County Historical Society: Watson Seminary." Pike County Historical Society. http://www.pcgenweb.com/pchs/watson_seminary.htm.

"Results of Democratic State Convention." Middle Park Times, May 10, 1912. Accessed April 14, 2017. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

St. Louis Dispatch, April 1, 1926. Accessed May 1, 2017. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/140616311/.

Semple, James Alexander. Representative women of Colorado. A pictorial collection of the women of Colorado who have attained prominence in the social, political, professional, pioneer and club life of the state. Denver: CO, 1911.

"Should Organize Craig Mothers' Club." Craig Empire. Nov. 15, 1912. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

Taylor, Edward T. "Equal Suffrage in Colorado." Speech, House of Representatives, Apr. 24, 1912. https://archive.org/details/equalsuffrageinc00tayl.

"Week's Events in Colorado." Routt County Republican. Oct. 31, 1913. https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org

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