Biographical Sketch of Zara DuPont

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Zara DuPont, 1869-1946

By: Andrew Troyer, undergraduate, and Leslie Heaphy, faculty sponsor, Kent State University, Stark, North Canton, Ohio

First Vice President, Ohio Woman Suffrage Association

Zara "Zadie" DuPont was active in the suffrage movement in Ohio. She was born on February 24, 1869, in Louisville, Kentucky. She was the fourth of eight children born to Antoine Biderman DuPont and Ellen Susan Coleman DuPont. Zara DuPont lived to the age of 77, dying on May 13, 1946.

The DuPont family created their wealth in the gunpowder industry in the early nineteenth century. Being born to one of the richest families of the time, Zara DuPont was afforded the opportunity to attend private school in Philadelphia. After moving to Ohio, DuPont began her efforts in support of woman suffrage, and she worked closely with fellow Ohio suffragist, Elizabeth Hauser. She was an advocate for child welfare and a strong supporter of the labor movement later in her life.

DuPont and Hauser sought to gain woman suffrage under Ohio's new state constitution in 1910. The pair, along with others, garnered enough support to get an amendment, Amendment 23, submitted for a special election to be held in 1912. She solicited her brother, Pierre S. DuPont, for funds to support the campaign, but he refused. Although the amendment failed, this action put the foundation in place for future campaigns to gain woman suffrage in Ohio. Zara DuPont travelled the state, speaking on woman suffrage after joining the Cuyahoga Woman's Suffrage Association in 1911. She served as the First Vice President of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association. She continued to work for woman suffrage in Ohio until her move to Cambridge, Mass., where she continued her efforts. Although she died in Massachusetts, she was buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

SOURCES:

Cantarow, Ellen, Susan Gushee O'Malley, and Sharon Hartman Strom. Moving the Mountain: Women Working for Social Change. New York, NY: Feminist Press, 1980.

Catanese, Lynn Ann. Women's History: A Guide to Sources at Hagley Museum and Library. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997, p. 280.

"Du Pont, Zara." The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed April 18, 2018. http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=DPZ.

Find a Grave. Zara "Zadie" du Pont. Accessed April 18, 2018. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/68962334.

Harper, Ida Husted, ed. "Ohio." Chapter XXXIV in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, 508-19. [LINK]

Memories of Zara duPont, April 1943, as dictated to Edna Stantial, in "One Woman, One Vote Papers—Biographies of Suffragists—Zara Dupont," Sarah Lawrence College Archives.

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