Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Pauline Waddington Holme, 1848-1940

By Marsha Nathanson, independent historian

Pauline W. Holme (November 12, 1848 - June 14, 1940) was elected vice president of the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association in 1900. She served as a state officer for more than ten years.

Pauline Waddington Holme was the eldest of seven children born to Joshua and Ann Waddington of Salem County, New Jersey. The Waddingtons were a prominent New Jersey family dating back several generations. Joshua Waddington owned a 140-acre farmstead in the Elsinboro Township of Salem County, and 500 acres along the Rappahannock River in Richmond, Virginia. An accomplished woman, Pauline graduated from Vassar College in 1869, and built a reputation as a social reformer. She was 34 in 1883 when she married Richard Henry Holme (1849-1921), a milk and butter dealer from Maryland, who also operated a canning factory in Virginia. The couple had three children, Anne, Henry, and Hilda, before moving to Baltimore. Pauline and Richard were devout Quakers. Pauline was a presenter at the 1895 National Purity Congress, an assembly of social purity leaders convened to discuss moral and purity issues. Richard was a frequent speaker at local suffrage events. A Prohibition party advocate, he campaigned unsuccessfully for Maryland comptroller in 1905 and 1913 and for U.S. senator in 1914. Pauline lived to the respected age of 91. She and her husband are buried at Friends Cemetery, Baltimore.


History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 6, 1900-1920. Written by Ida Husted Harper. [LINK to Md. State report.]

Vassar College Bulletin, The Fifth General Catalogue of the Officers and Alumnae of Vassar College, 1861-1920. Accessed via Google Books.

Waddington family history from Biographical, Genealogical and Descriptive History of the First Congressional District of New Jersey, Vol. 1. The Lewis Publishing Company, 1900. Accessed via Google Books.

The National Purity Congress: Its Papers, Addresses, Portraits. Published in 1896, and edited by social reformer Aaron Macy Powell, the book is an illustrated record of the National Purity Congress, held in Baltimore Oct. 14-16, 1895. Includes presentation (with photo) by Pauline W. Holme. Accessed via Google Books.

"Purity Congress Meets," The New York Times, 15 October 1895, p. 16.

Special Collections Department, Woman Suffrage in Maryland Collection, Enoch Pratt Free Library. Accessed via

Maryland election records from and

Cemetery records from

New Jersey and Maryland U.S. Census records. Accessed via

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