Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of S. Augusta Armstrong, 1847- ?

By Lisa Butler, Independent Historian

S. Augusta Armstrong was born in New York in 1847. She married during the Civil War to Dr. J. Stone Armstrong. The couple resided in Philadelphia while her husband studied at the Jefferson Medical School. After her husband's graduation in 1879, the couple relocated the Buffalo, New York.

Armstrong was a spiritualist. Her spiritualist endeavors included the restoration of the home of the Fox sisters who established American spiritualism. Mrs. Armstrong served as president of the Buffalo Political Equality Club. In 1894 she was reported as treasurer of the Erie county branch of the New York Woman Suffrage Association and served as an Erie County delegate to the NAWSA annual convention in Washington, DC in February 1894. An entry in Susan B. Anthony's diary in January 1894 notes her participation in a local suffrage meeting to no good effect. Anthony accused Armstrong of "thrusting herself into the niche of Chairman--which she was wholly incompetent to fill."

In 1896 Anthony and Armstrong both voted against a resolution at the National American suffrage convention disclaiming any connection between NAWSA and Elizabeth Cady Stanton's recent publication, The Woman's Bible.

After the death of her husband in 1901, Mrs. Armstrong relocated to Florida, where Armstrong served as president of the Political Equality Club of Lake Helen, FL sometime after 1913. The 1930 Federal Census reveals that Mrs. Armstrong was 82 years old and a resident of Volusia County, FL.

Sources:

Buffalo Evening News, 24 Feb. 1894, p. 14 accessed via Newspapers.com.

Gordon, Ann D, ed., The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: Their Place Inside the Body Politic 1887-1895 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2009), 570-71.

Harper, Ida Husted, et al. eds., The History of Woman Suffrage,1900-1920 (New York: J.J. Little and Ives, 1922), 114, 252.

United States Census, 1930, generated by Lisa Butler; using Ancestry.com, January 15, 2020.

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