Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Harriet Lang Hubbs, 1879-1960
By Andrew Michaels, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Penn.
Harriet Lang Hubbs was born on September 24, 1879, to John F. Lang and Catherine B. Lang in Schenectady, New York. She and her husband, William Weld Hubbs, had no children.
As a member of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association in 1917, Hubbs was responsible for polling members of the state legislature to insure they would vote to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. She then became executive secretary of the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters, a position she held until her resignation on April 11, 1927. As executive secretary, one of Hubbs's interests was women's education. She said, "Citizenship, schools and cases are to be established throughout the state to make every woman an intelligent voter familiar with the processes of government and voting." As head of the Anna Howard Shaw Memorial Fund Drive, she helped raise $40,000. The money was divided between Bryn Mawr College and the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, which made Hubbs a board member in 1928.
Hubbs also reported on women in politics for the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger. She gave advice to new women voters and encouraged women to register despite antagonism from men. In one article, she supported women's participation in party committees because they could help the party at the polls. In another, Hubbs claimed that "men have been exceedingly unsympathetic toward the new women voters" and that, even though the secretary of state had certified the suffrage amendment, there still was a "concerted effort to prevent women from voting in large numbers." It was hypocritical, she noted, for men to accuse women of being uninterested in voting while simultaneously throwing obstacles at women to prevent them from registering. Hubbs's writing educated the public on the challenges women faced in exercising the franchise, even after the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, and offered strategies for overcoming these challenges.
Harriet Lang Hubbs and her husband lived in Philadelphia until she died on November 12, 1960, of a carcinoma.
The best sources on Hubbs are the articles she wrote for the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, though information also exists in other newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer. See also, 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]