Biographical Sketch of Lizzie Norton French

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Lizzie Norton French, 1856-1929

By Cindy Ingold, Gender Studies and Multicultural Services Librarian, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.

Lizzie Norton was born in Farmington, Maine on November 22, 1856 the daughter of James I. and Lydia Ann (Cutler) Norton. She attended school in Farmington, graduating from the Farmington State Normal School in 1872. She then taught for fourteen years mainly in Lewiston and Portland. On July 20, 1886, Lizzie married George F. French who was a bookseller in Portland. Lizzie's many interests included writing. She wrote a chapter on Lillian Nordica, a native of Farmington, who went on to have an illustrious career as an opera singer. Lizzie was involved in several civic organizations within her local community and at the state level, including the Maine Prison Association, the Maine Institute for the Blind, and the American School Peace League. Lizzie was chair of the Legislative Committee of the Maine Federation of Women's Clubs. She also served as treasurer of the Maine Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA) for many years, and was a delegate to National Suffrage conventions. Digitized records indicate that Lizzie served as a Maine delegate at the 1893 annual meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and that between 1905 and 1913 she served as treasurer of the MWSA. In a letter to Jane Addams dated November 25, 2015, Lizzie spoke passionately about peace and asked Ms. Addams to support cooperation between national peace organizations. She also sent a telegraph to President Woodrow Wilson on the same date on behalf of the Maine Federation of Women's Clubs saying they were appreciative of his effort to maintain peace. Lizzie Norton French died in 1929.

Sources

Leonard, John William. "Spink, Mary Angela" in Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women in the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. New York: American Commonwealth Company, 1914, p. 308.

Lizzie Norton French to Jane Addams, Jane Addams Digital Papers, https://digital.janeaddams.ramapo.edu/items/show/10883

Lizzie Norton French to Woodrow Wilson, Jane Addams Digital Papers, https://digital.janeaddams.ramapo.edu/items/show/10953

Maine Genealogical Archives, https://archives.mainegenealogy.net/2010/02/graduates-of-farmington-normal-school_03.html

Maine Writers Research Club. Just Maine Folks. Lewiston, Maine: Maine Writers Research Club, 1924.

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