Biographical Sketch of Catherine "Kate" Cubbage Havens

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Catherine "Kate" Cubbage Havens, 1861-1939

By Colleen Seale, Selector for Women's, Gender and LGBT+ Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida

Woman Suffrage Activist

Catherine M. Cubbage was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 19, 1861. She was married in April 1885 and she and her husband, Thomas Clifford Havens, raised a son and three daughters.

The Havens lived for several years in Chicago where she was prominent in the Theosophy movement.*The Theosophy Movement was founded in the United States in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott. The tenants of Theosophy are that a knowledge of God may be achieved through a variety of means including spiritual ecstasy. Its teachings follow Buddhist and ancient Indian religious theories. In Chicago, she was also actively involved with a group of women who helped to initiate several reforms including improving the disposal of city garbage and lowering the speed limit of city streetcars. After moving to Miami, Florida, she continued her civic and spiritual activities and in 1919 became the President of the Miami Lodge of the Theosophical Society. She regularly lectured on Buddhism, Orientalism, and spirituality. She was a frequent contributor of articles published in the "Voice of the People" in the Miami Herald.

Kate C. Havens was a vigorous and dynamic participant in the suffrage movement in Florida. An April 1914 article published in the Miami Herald noted she was to deliver a talk on her connection to the suffrage movement at a Miami Women's Club suffrage meeting and described her as an active worker for the cause of suffrage. In May 1914, she and a colleague were appointed to draft the constitution and bylaws for the Miami Women's Suffrage League. She also served as the President of the Miami Mothercraft Club. In 1916, she was named Chairman of the 4th Congressional District of the Florida Equal Suffrage League.

On March 14, 1917, Kate was a Miami delegate to the Florida State Suffrage Association meeting held in Miami and led a discussion on what women could do with the ballot. In January 1918, as Chairman of the 4th Congressional District of the Florida Equal Suffrage League, she was one of many women (and men) who wrote the Hon. John Raker, US House of Representatives, Chair of the Committee on Woman Suffrage. Her letter noted that a resolution to adopt the federal suffrage amendment was unanimously adopted at the State Convention of the Florida Federation of Women's Clubs held in November 1917. And she declared that the statement that "the women of Florida do not want the ballot" was untrue. In 1923, she was appointed as the state chairman of a newly created department, The Legal Status of Women, of the National League of Women Voters. She was a member of the National Women's Party and helped to organize a Florida Branch in 1928. In addition, she is noted as being prominent in the suffrage work in the State of Florida in the History of Women's Suffrage.

Kate and her husband also lived part time at a mountain retreat in Cloudland, Georgia. While there, on August 29, 1939, she passed away and was quickly followed by her husband who died on September 17.

Some of her letters and papers are held as part of the Michelsen and Havens Family papers collection at the University of Miami Libraries Special Collections


Kate C. Havens, 1924 Passport Photo, Courtesy of


Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women: Hearings Before the United States House Committee on Woman Suffrage, Sixty-Fifth Congress, Second Session, on Jan. 3-5, 7, 1918.

Harper, Ida H. The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume Vi. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922. [LINK]

Miami Herald, 12 Oct. 1939, p. 4. NewsBank: Access World News Historical and Current, Accessed 20 Dec. 2019.

"Miami Will Have Woman's Suffrage Organization to Meet Here May 11." Miami Herald, vol. 4, no. 154, 3 May 1914, p. Page Two. NewsBank: Access World News Historical and Current, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

"United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 March 2018). Kate C. Havens in entry for Thomas C. Havens, 1924; citing Passport Application, Florida, United States, source certificate #425530, Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925, 2536, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

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