Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Elizabeth D. Bacon, 1844-1917

By Kathryn Watt, undergraduate student, Central Connecticut State University

Elizabeth Daken Bacon was a dedicated Connecticut activist for the women's suffrage movement during the late nineteenth century into the twentieth century. She was born in Cranston, Rhode Island on March 19, 1844. Her parents were Solomon and Elizabeth Kenyon. Her grandfather, John Wilbur, was a prominent Quaker minister who preached and traveled to the British Isles twice. He led a schism in his church and his followers were known as the Wilburites. She attended Providence, Rhode Island public schools and she graduated and received her diploma from Providence High School in 1864. After she graduated high school, she married her husband James Gillispie Bacon in Providence, Rhode Island on October 6, 1869 when she was twenty-five years old. They had one daughter when she was twenty- eight years old in February 1873 and named her Alice Carey Bacon.

She was very interested in the temperance question and the abuse of alcohol. She became a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Woman's Alliance, a society connected with the Unitarian Church of Hartford. She was a passionate advocate of woman suffrage and she addressed various organizations on the subject. Around 1880, Elizabeth and her family moved to Hartford, Connecticut. She also became the Vice President of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association from 1892-1906. Then she became the President of the Hartford Equal Rights Club, one of the oldest suffrage clubs in the state at the time. She spoke at an outdoor suffrage rally in Plainville in July 1910 at a Chautauqua event.

She was active well beyond the suffrage cause. She was a member of the First Unitarian Congregational Church of Hartford. She was an affiliate of the Woman's Alliance, Connecticut Peace Society and the director of the Consumers League. For several years, she was a member of the Hearthstone Club of Hartford and eventually became President for two years. She was also a member of the High School Board of Hartford from 1895-1897 and the Board of School Visitors of Hartford and from 1910-1917. She was the first and only woman on the board for both associations.

Elizabeth Daken Kenyon Bacon dedicated her life and asserted herself in different associations to advocate equality and rights for women. Her husband passed away on November 9, 1916 and she passed away one year later when she was seventy- three years old on December 12, 1917. They were both buried in Old North Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut.

Sources:

"Bacon, Elizabeth Daken, 1844-." biographical sketch in John William Leonard, Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915, Volume A-D (New York, NY: American Commonwealth Company, 1914), p. 48, reprinted in Thomas Dublin and Kathryn Kish Sklar, eds., Women and Social Movement in the United States, 1600-2000 [LINK]

"Elizabeth Daken Bacon." Ancestry Library. Accessed May 01, 2017.

Foss, Gwen. "Elizabeth Daken Kenyon Bacon." Find A Grave. Accessed May 01, 2017. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&%3BGRid=143211100&%3Bref=acom.

"Connecticut Women and the Right to Vote," a virtual exhibit, summer 2020, accessed online at http://files8.webydo.com/95/9549048/UploadedFiles/5791F331-2D6F-F884-EDFC-A043667B009F.pdf

back to top