Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Gertrude Nelson Andrews, 1864-1938

By Natalie Reyes, undergraduate student, State University of New York at Oneonta

Member, National American Woman Suffrage Association

Gertrude Nelson Andrews was a middle-class white woman born in Ohio in 1863 or 1864. She married Fred G. Andrews from Ohio, a man in the hotel business, and eventually moved to New York. She wrote plays such as Kate Shannon, Or the Dawn of Tomorrow, Through a Window, Back Home, and others. She presented her play Through a Window on November 9, 1909 at the Park Theater in Boston. This play portrayed how women were victims of a corrupted political system and it made such an impression that the Harrisburg Daily Independent described Gertrude Nelson Andrews as possibly being “the first dramatist to succeed in getting a suffrage play of American life before the public.”

Gertrude Andrews belonged to the National American Woman Suffrage Association and served as head of the Second District of the Chautauqua County Suffrage Association. She was in charge of the branch that organized study classes in connection with local clubs. Participants studied civics, sociology, and other subjects relating to the suffrage movement. She traveled extensively, presenting plays, giving speeches, and conducting classes in public speaking and suffrage principles to women. In 1913, she published “Discussion Topics for Suffrage Clubs: With Significant Facts Pointedly Presented.”

As she got older, her focus remained on public speaking and publishing books, which her husband helped her distribute through a press called the Andrews Press in Brooklyn, New York. The couple moved to California by the time of the 1920 census. She continued to write until her death on October 10, 1938 in Monterey, California at the age of 75.


Ida Husted Harper, ed., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922), 449 [LINK]

Charles F. Lummis, Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, 32 (Los Angeles: Land of Sunshine Publishing Company, 1910)

John Phillips Downs and Fenwick Y. Hedley, eds., History of Chautauqua County, New York, and Its People, vol. 1 (Boston: American Historical Society, 1921), 356

“An Interesting Inn,” The Hotel World: The Hotel and Travelers Journal, vol. 85, no. 17 (October 27, 1917), 20

Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 12, 1908, 10

“A Suffragist Playwright,” Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick), October 8, 1909, 11

“A Suffragist Playwright,” Harrisburg Daily Independent, October 9, 1909. 8

“Woman Suffrage Question of the Hour,” Los Angeles Herald, January 8, 1910

“Suffragists Do Not Give Thanks,” Rochester and Chronicle (New York), August 8, 1912, 13

“Well-Known Author,” Buffalo Commercial, October 22, 1912, 12

Sun (New York), March 20, 1913, 9

“Suffragists Take First Lessons in Making Speeches,” Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY), April 3, 1913, 5

“Impetus to Suffrage Movement,” Silver Creek News (New York), May 1, 1913

St. Lawrence Republican and Ogdensburg Weekly Journal, May 28, 1913, 5

Westfield Republican, October 13, 1915, 4

Baltimore Sun, December 04, 1918, 4

“Suffrage Workers Honor Mrs. Andrews,” Dunkirk Evening Observer (New York), September 26, 1934, 8;;


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