Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Anna S. Abbott, 1865-1925

By Amy O'Neal, independent historian

Anna S. Abbott was born in May of 1865 in Virginia, to a railroad laborer named David Abbott and his wife Lucinda, where she was among the youngest of at least six children. At an early age, Anna moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where she grew up with her aunt Isabella and uncle William. Anna left her childhood home and began teaching in Baltimore public schools during the 1890s. One of Anna's sisters, Julia F. Abbott, took up residence with her in Baltimore. Julia, who also taught school, remaining Anna's companion until her death.

Anna and Julia were both active in the cause of suffrage. Both of the sisters represented Baltimore County in state conventions of the Maryland chapter of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the Maryland Woman Suffrage Association (MWSA). In 1909, the MWSA proposed an amendment to the constitution of Maryland granting state suffrage to women on the same terms as men. Although it was ultimately unsuccessful--indeed, Maryland only ratifed the Nineteenth Amendment in 1941--the MWSA president, Emma Maddox Funck, specially thanked Anna and Julia for their assistance. The Abbott sisters continued to work with the Woman's Suffrage Club of Baltimore, where they assisted with the coordination of lectures by Sylvia Pankhurst and the Rev. Olympia Brown, among others.

Anna S. Abbott died on December 3, 1925, survived by Julia.

Sources: United States Federal Census, 1870-1920. Provo, UT, 2009. Images reproduced by ImageSearch.

Baltimore County Death Records Index, 1925.

Directory of All Officials and Employes of the City Government. Baltimore [n.d., ca. 1898]

Forty-Second Annual Report of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association. New York, 1910.

Harper, Ida Husted, ed. The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. VI. New York, 1922. [LINK]

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