Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Anne Macomber Gannett, 1882-1951
By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University
Anne Macomber was born in Augusta, Maine in December 1882 to George and Sarah J. Macomber. She grew up in Augusta and completed four years of high school. Her father was employed in insurance.
In 1905 Anne married Guy P. Gannett, son of the publisher William Gannett, who became a major publisher himself. In 1910 the young couple and daughter Alice lived with Anne's parents in Augusta. In 1920 the Gannetts lived on their own in Augusta and the 1930 and 1940 censuses found the family residing in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Guy Gannett represented Augusta in the State Senate and supported woman suffrage as Maine became the nineteenth state to ratify the 19th Amendment in November 1919. He occupied a conflicted place in the suffrage debates as his mother, Mrs. William H. Gannett, was a leading anti-suffragist and his wife, Anne Gannett, was a notable suffrage advocate.
Anne M. Gannett lobbied the legislature in 1917 for a woman suffrage bill and was among the "prominent suffragettes" who took part in the official signing of the resolution by Governor Milliken in February 1917. Maine voters got to pass judgment on woman suffrage that September and resoundingly defeated the proposal by an almost 2:1 vote. Later she served on the Legislative Committee of the Maine Woman Suffrage Association in 1919 and as a member of the Women's Republican Advisory Committee she lobbied for expedited registration for women in the November 1920 election. She traveled some 4,000 miles criss-crossing Maine that year, visiting 350 cities and towns on behalf of the Republican party. To a Bangor newspaper she commented, "I am convinced that the great majority of the women of this state realize that in the republican party they will find the best medium for attaining their highest ideals and aspirations." In both 1920 and 1922, Anne Gannett took a leading role in registering women to support Republican candidates. She was quoted in the New York Tribune: "The Republican women are better organized this year  than every [sic] before, and are showing a great deal of interest. Two years ago it was really hard to get women to attend meetings, while this year a great many more women than men have attended the organization gatherings and rallies. The women realize that politics is the science of government and they want to do their part."
Like many other suffragists, Anne Gannett was active in war work during World War I. She served as assistant chairman of the Maine Woman's Liberty Loan Committee, helping to raise funds to support the war effort.
After the passage of the 19th Amendment, Anne Gannett was elected chair of the Republican Woman's Advisory Committee, and between 1922 and 1938 she represented Maine on the Republican National Committee. In 1940 she was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention. As late as September 1949, Guy was listed as President of the Portland Press Herald and Anne was Vice-president and Treasurer.
Anne Gannett died in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in 1951.
First Amendment Museum, "100 Years of Votes for Women," accessible online at https://firstamendmentmuseum.org/100-years-of-votes-for-women.
Anne Gass, "Insight: 1919--The Year Maine Women Won the Vote," Portland Press Herald, 21 July 2018, accessible online at https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/21/insight-1919-the-year-maine-women-won-the-vote.
"Governor to Sign Suffrage Bill Today," Bangor Daily News, 23 February 1917, p. 14.
"Liberty Loan Committee," Bangor Daily News, 16 August 1917, p. 2.
"Both Parties for Special Session," and "Maine Suffrage Leaders Voice Their Sentiments on Suffrage Ratification," Bangor Daily News, 20 August 1920, p. 16.
"Big Increase in Woman Vote Expected in Maine," New York Tribune, 11 September 1922, p. 6.
Music in Her Sphere: A Biography of Anne Macomber Gannett. Intro by Guy P. Gannett, author not noted. (Portland: Guy Gannett Pub., 1953), 90 pp.