Biographical Database of Militant Woman Suffragists, 1913–1920
Biography of Antoinette Eno (Mrs. Charles) Wood, 1842-1930
By Amelia Koford, Texas Lutheran University
Antoinette Eno Wood, who often used her married name, Mrs. Charles Boughton Wood, was a major donor to suffrage organizations. She was born in New York City on January 20, 1842 to a prominent family from Simsbury, Connecticut. Her father, Amos Eno (1810-1898), built a fortune as a real estate developer in Manhattan. He established the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York's largest skyscraper at the time. Amos Eno was a philanthropist; he endowed the Simsbury Free Library in 1874 and donated a farm to house poor residents of Simsbury. Antoinette's grandfather, Salmon Eno (1779-1842), was a member of the Connecticut legislature, and previous generations were early settlers, farmers, and civic leaders in Simbsury.
Antoinette married Charles Boughton Wood in 1870, when she was 28 and he was 48. They lived in Washington, DC. They had no children. Charles's family business was Wood Brothers Carriage Manufacturers of New York.
After 19 years of marriage, Charles died in 1889, leaving Antoinette a widow at the age of 47. She never remarried and she had an active life as a widow. She hosted guests in her private boxes at Washington horse shows and the National Theater. After her father died in 1898, she spent summers in Simsbury and hosted an annual Fourth of July ice cream social for the town.
As a donor to the Congressional Union and later the National Woman's Party, Antoinette was generous and consistent. In 1912, The Suffragist listed her as contributing $100 to a fund for securing the passage of a federal suffrage amendment. In 1914, she was a patroness of a suffrage ball and of a lecture series. In 1916, she took part in a reception for the third anniversary meeting of the Congressional Union. She was a member of the Headquarters Maintenance Committee, which raised money to maintain the national headquarters in Washington, DC. She was named in a 1919 article recognizing those who had contributed $1,000 or more to the work of the National Woman's Party. She also contributed to the National American Woman Suffrage Association; she is listed as a member of the Honorary Council for the NAWSA Convention in Washington, DC, in 1917.
Antoinette hosted the founding meeting of the Simsbury Equal Suffrage League in 1915 and served as its honorary president. In 1917, the Simsbury Equal Suffrage League partnered with the town's Red Cross to support the war effort. Antoinette covered the expenses for a prominent national speaker, Rabbi Stephen Wise, who spoke on "The World War for the Liberation of Humanity." Antoinette served multiple times as a delegate to the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. In 1919, she donated $5,000 to the Connecticut association to fund the effort for ratification of the 19th Amendment.
According to the Simsbury Historical Society, a letter to Antoinette from her brother Amos Frederick Eno shows a difference of opinion in the family regarding suffrage. Amos agreed that one of Antoinette's friends in town for a suffrage parade could stay at his New York home while he was away, but stated that his housekeeper would "see that there are no suffragette symbols hung out from the house I do not want to have the house have a bad name."
After the passage of the 19th Amendment, Antoinette continued to contribute to the National Woman's Party's new mission to remove discrimination against women in all its forms. The journal Equal Rights reported contributions from her in 1923, 1925, and 1928, for example; one 1923 contribution alone was for $1,000.
Antoinette died January 11, 1930, at the age of 87, at her home on Rhode Island Avenue in Washington, DC. In her will, she left money and possessions to relatives, established two scholarships at Yale University in memory of her husband, established a new Town Hall for Simsbury in honor of her parents, and donated to the Red Cross, Audubon Society, Institute for the Blind, and other organizations. She is buried in Simsbury.
"Anniversary Meeting of Congressional Union." The Suffragist 4, no. 5 (1916): 5.
"Congressional Union Campaign Propaganda Work." The Suffragist 2, no. 9 (1914): 8.
"Connecticut." The Woman Citizen (December 13, 1919): 580-581.
"Diplomats Entertained at Capital Horse Show." The Washington Post (May 17, 1924): 2.
"The Eno Family and Simsbury." The Simsbury Free Library. https://simsburyfreelibrary.org/exhibits/
Hamilton, Anne M. "Residents Argue over Old Painting." Hartford Courant (March 15, 1999). https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-1999-03-15-9903150290-story.html
"Honorary Council for NAWSA Convention." The Woman Citizen (November 10, 1917): 453.
Find A Grave memorial page for Charles Boughton Wood. Maintained by M. Cooley. https://www.findagrave.com
Marriage record. U.S. Newspaper Extractions from the Northeast, 1704-1930. www.ancestry.com
"Meeting of the Committee of Two Hundred." The Suffragist 7, no. 29 (1919): 9.
"Society." The Washington Post (January 18, 1919): 7.
"The Suffragettes and Rabbi Stephen Wise." Simsbury Historical Society. http://www.simsburyhistory.org/SimsHistory/suffragettes.html
"Washington Society Women Wear Smart Coats of Velvet." Women's Wear 30, no. 18 (January 22, 1925): 14.
"What It Has Cost." The Suffragist 7, no. 25 (1919): 9-11.