Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of ANNIE L. FITCH,1868-1940
By Donna Greene, independent historian
Queens, New York Activist and Vice President of the Equal Franchise Association of Flushing.
Annie Loraine Fitch is one of the many women who collectively played a role in the effort to get women the right to vote, but whose individual contributions are not well-documented.
Perhaps this is because she was widowed in 1917, the same year New York gave women the right to vote and her energy was diverted. Or perhaps it is because it appears she had no grandchildren or great-grandchildren who would document her life on a genealogy site.
Indeed, so obscure is she that some of the limited records call her Annie Loraine, others Annie Loriane and still others L. Annie.
Nonetheless, this is what is known (or possibly known) about her life in general and her suffrage activities in particular:
Annie L. Rose was born in Yonkers, NY, the daughter of L.F. and Annie Rose, in September 1868, according to the 1914-15 woman's edition of Who's Who in America. Census documents say she was born "about" 1868 in New York.
In 1886, she married Joseph Fitch, a Democrat, who went on to become a prominent lawyer and city magistrate in the Flushing section of Queens, NY. The couple was listed in the Social Registry at the time. They had two daughters: Avis (or Avia) Loraine Fitch Storb and Dorothy (or Dorothea) Fitch. Joseph died in April 1917. According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (April 21, 1917), he left his family an estate valued at $30,000.
Annie Fitch moved from Queens after her husband's death. The 1920 Census says she resided in Manhattan as a "border" at the time. Daughter Avis married in 1914, but it does not appear she had any children. No record of any marriage of Dorothea could be found.
Two references to Mrs. Fitch's activities on behalf of votes for women were found:
The women's edition of Who's Who cited above says in part: "Favors woman suffrage; vice-pres Equal Franchise Ass'n of Flushing, Queens County, N.Y." The listing also describes other charitable work she did.
Volume six of the History of Woman Suffrage (p. 462) lists Mrs. Joseph Fitch as one of many "capable officials" who in 1915 helped with various activities on behalf of the cause, including canvassing and clerical work.
Her date of death cannot be stated by this writer with certainty. An Annie L. Fitch of about her age died in 1940 in Kirkland, NY.
"Fitch Left $30,000." 21 April 1917. Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p 3.
The History of Woman Suffrage (vol 6) (p. 462) [LINK]
Fitch, Annie Lorraine. Woman's Who's Who of America . . . 1914-1915, p 293. American Commonwealth Co [LINK]