Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Caroline Scott, 1815-1907
By Sascha Ridgewell, student, and Melanie Gustafson, professor, University of Vermont
Finance Committee, Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association
Caroline Scott was born on August 15, 1815 in Craftsbury, Vermont to Elijah S. Scott and Mindwell Brigham. She was one of ten children. She never married and outlived all of her siblings. Scott died on February 2, 1907 at the age of ninety-two in Barnet, Vermont.
Caroline's niece Mary Scott became involved in the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association (VWSA) before Caroline. Mary Scott (identified also as Miss M. A. Scott) appears in the VWSA's annual reports as the head of the Local Committee for Craftsbury from 1889 until 1900; she died in January 1901. Caroline Scott first appears in the VWSA reports in 1897 as one of three members of the Finance Committee. The other two members were Laura Moore of Barnet and Mrs. A. D. Chandler of Barton Landing, both long-serving committee members. In 1898 Miss Frances Walker of Burlington replaced Scott but in 1902 Scott was again on the Finance Committee.
Caroline Scott's VWSA activism was connected to her family situation. Her brother Amasa Scott was an honorary member of the VWSA until his death in 1897, the year Caroline Scott first appears as an officer. Amasa Scott was described as “a life-long apostle of woman's enfranchisement” and with his death “the cause he defended so nobly is deeply afflicted.” Caroline Scott's absence from 1898 to 1902 may have been due to her niece's situation, while her relocation from Craftsbury to Barnet in 1899 may have accounted for her return. Laura Moore, the VWSA's long-time secretary, lived in Barnet and the two women were described as “companions and coworkers.” From 1903 to 1906, Scott was the head of the Local Committee for Barnet.
Scott participated in the annual VWSA meetings. In 1902, at her request, the meeting opened with the singing of a specific hymn. In 1904, her paper “The Ballot for Woman, Expedient,” was read by Vice-President and Superintendent of Press Work Inez Campbell of Bellows Falls.
Caroline Scott donated a fair amount of money to the association over the years and she is listed as a life-long member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. According to the History of Woman Suffrage, Scott left $1000 to the VWSA when she died in 1907.
In addition to her suffrage activism, Scott worked for the Christian church, temperance, and, according to a memorial printed in 1907, “every good cause.” She was described as “a true messenger of the gospel of justice” and as a friend to humanity and justice. The same report had a memorial to Scott's “companion” Laura Moore.
Vermont Equal Suffrage Association Papers, 1883-1927, MSC 144-146, Leahy Library, Vermont History Center, Barre, Vermont.
“News of Vermont.” Burlington Weekly Free Press, June 5, 1902. Chronicling America
"Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908," FamilySearch, Caroline Scott, 15 Aug 1815.
Minutes of the Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association, Held at Burlington, Vermont, June 14 and 15, 1897 (Jericho, Vt.: Roscoe Printing House, 1897).
Minutes of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association, Held at South Royalton, Vermont, June 28 and 29, 1898 (Jericho, Vt.: Roscoe Printing House, 1898).
Minutes of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association held at Bellows Falls, Vermont, June 1 and 2, 1899 (Jericho, Vt.: Roscoe Printing House, 1899).
Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting of the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association held at Waterbury Center, Vermont, June 12 and 13, 1900 (Jericho, Vt.: Roscoe Printing House, 1900).
Minutes of the Nineteenth Annual Meeting of the Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association held at Barton, Vermont, June 9 and 10, 1903 (Jericho, Vt.: Roscoe Printing House, 1903).
Minutes of the Twentieth Annual Meeting of Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association held at Woodstock, Vermont, June 22 and 23, 1904 (Jericho, Vt.: Roscoe Printing House, 1904).
Minutes of the Twenty-First Annual Convention of Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association at Springfield, Vermont, June 7 and 8, 1905 (Lyndonville, Vt.: H. B. Davis & Co., 1905).
Minutes of the Twenty-Second Annual Meeting of Vermont Woman's Suffrage Association at Brattleboro, Vermont, June 6 and 7, 1906 (Lyndonville, Vt.: H. B. Davis & Co., 1906).
The Report of the Vermont Equal Suffrage Association and Minutes of the 23rd Annual Convention at Burlington, 1907 (Bethel, Vt.: Bethel Publishing Co., 1907).
Ida Husted Harper, ed., History of Woman Suffrage, 6:653 [LINK] on Scott's bequest to NAWSA.