Biographical Sketch of Liliane Stevens Howard

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Liliane Stevens Howard, 1872-1967

By Joshua Slater, Rosemont College, Rosemont, Penn.

Liliane Stevens Howard was born November 8, 1972, to Alonzo and Emma Pierce Howard. As a child, Liliane Howard grew up in Indiana before attending DePauw University, graduating in 1894 and receiving a master's degree the following year. She and her widowed mother moved to Pennsylvania, where Liliane Howard was a school teacher. She never married.

By 1914, Howard had moved to Philadelphia, and she had been elected as the general organizer for the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association. Among her other duties, she spent time touring the state, speaking at various suffrage meetings. In her speeches, she argued that the cause of suffrage was proceeding slowly because the suffragists were working in a dignified and deliberate manner rather than working hastily and making mistakes. Some of her main focuses in early 1914 were the establishment of suffrage clubs in Indiana County, York, Altoona, and other western counties. Notably, she permitted and even encouraged to join these clubs in order to boost the organizations' membership numbers. In some of her other speeches, she did not disabuse the idea of women remaining in the home, but she used it as a springboard to point out that, to protect the rights of motherhood and childrearing, women needed the vote. She also became recorder of deeds on the Pennsylvania grand jury.

Liliane Stevens Howard died on May 19, 1967, and was buried in Arlington Cemetery, Delaware County, Penn., outside of Philadelphia.

SOURCES:

As the PWSA state organizer and on her own initiative, Lillian Howard kept notes on many suffrage associations and published some of her own writings. Her papers are held at the archives of DePauw University in Indiana. These papers include personal correspondences, an autobiographical sketch, articles written under a pseudonym (Sarah Curtis Mott), and a scrapbook. Documents related to her Pennsylvania suffrage work are kept in the Liliane Stevens Howard Collection at the Pennsylvania State Archives. Researchers will find additional information in the Altoona (PA) Times, York (PA) Daily, Indiana (PA) Gazette, Monongahela (PA) Daily Republican, and Scranton (PA) Republican. 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]

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