Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Lucia Ellen Camp Blanchard, 1851-1933
By Kailey Loughran, student, University of Vermont
Vermont Equal Suffrage Association: President, Treasurer
Lucia Ellen Camp was born on October 7, 1851, in Stowe, Vermont, to Asa and Adeline Sheldon Camp. Lucia Camp's father was a merchant born and raised in Stowe. As a well-known Vermonter, he was also a senator for Lamoille County, a director of the Waterbury Bank, and the State Inspector of Finance. He was popular in the Stowe community and frequently honored with municipal offices and served as city council president. Lucia Camp and her older brother, Henry, spent their childhood in Stowe. When she was eight years old, her mother died of smallpox and her father remarried to Harriet Camp. Lucia Camp had four younger siblings, all of whom moved to Minnesota with Asa and Harriet in 1872. Lucia Camp stayed in Vermont.
Lucia Camp was an accomplished student who consistently received awards and high marks, becoming a schoolteacher in 1869 after turning eighteen. She was an active community member in Stowe, organizing and participating in fundraisers and other events during her teaching years. Camp performed at many public functions in town. One newspaper noted, "she is possessed of a good degree of histrionic talent" after she participated in a play at a Universalist Society Festival. In 1874 Camp began teaching at the Green Mountain Seminary in Waterbury Center and soon became assistant principal. After only six years of teaching experience, she became the superintendent of the common schools of Stowe, at the age of 24.
Lucia Camp married Fred Blanchard on October 17, 1876. The couple moved to his home in Montpelier, and they had the first of three daughters a year later. Fred Blanchard owned and operated a hardware store at 35 Main Street. He was a well-known and respected businessman in the town, serving on the ward committee of the Ward Caucuses of the Vermont Republican Party in 1899 and on the board of school commissioners in Montpelier in 1900. Lucia Blanchard was active in the Montpelier community as well, serving on the school board committee for buildings and repairs in 1900.
In 1915, Lucia Blanchard served as president of the Vermont Equal Suffrage Association (VESA). She stepped down the following year to fill the treasurer position, a role she held until the Nineteenth Amendment passed in 1920. Blanchard main cause was writing to legislators, a form of political activity she promoted in the press. In 1917 she urged women in the Rutland area to write their legislators expressing their desire to vote. One of her most notable moments as a suffragist was organizing the annual state convention of VESA in 1919. This was held in Burlington on March 11-12, 1919, with Carrie Chapman Catt in attendance.
Lucia Camp Blanchard lived in Montpelier the rest of her life and died February 21, 1933, at the age of 81.
Burlington (VT) Free Press, various articles, 1909-1937. Newspapers.com.
"Deplores Suspension of the Child Labor Law." Montpelier (VT) Evening Argus. June 30, 1917. Newspapers.com.
"Equal Suffrage League." Montpelier (VT) Evening Argus. March 23, 1915. Newspapers.com.
Harper, Ida Husted, ed. "Vermont," chapter 44 in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6: 1900-1920. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, pp.667-80. [LINK]
"Hospital Ladies' Aid." Montpelier (VT) Evening Argus. January 20, 1915. Newspapers.com.
Lamoille (VT) Newsdealer, various articles, 1860-1876. Newspapers.com.
Montpelier. Burlington (VT) Free Press. February 23, 1933. Newspapers.com.
Montpelier (VT) Evening Argus, various articles, 1897-1922. Newspapers.com.
"Say Militants Hurt the Cause." Burlington (VT) Free Press. June 29, 1917. Newspapers.com.
"Suffrage Head." St. Johnsbury (VT) Republican. July 4, 1917. Newspapers.com.
"Suffragists Convention." Rutland (VT) News. September 1, 1916. Newspapers.com.
United States Census 1870, s.v. "Lucia Camp, Stowe, Lamoille, VT." Ancestry Library.
United States Census 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, s.v. "Lucia Blanchard, Montpelier, Washington, VT." Ancestry Library.
Vermont Death Records, 1909-2008. Lucia Ellen Camp Blanchard, February 21, 1933. Ancestry Library.
Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908. Lucia E. Camp, marriage October 17, 1876, Montpelier. Ancestry Library.