Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Rebecca Moore Avery, 1821-1909

By Amanda Spiller, writer and creative coach, and Thomas Dublin

Rebecca Moore was born in 1821 in Gouldsboro, Maine to Moore Moore and Prescott Moore. She married Myrick Avery, a retail grocer, in 1848 and lived in Ellsworth, Maine between 1850 and her death in 1909. They had two children.

Avery signed a letter with other suffragists to the assessors of Ellsworth on March 1, 1872, protesting taxation without representation. The women objected to getting taxed without the right to vote. Their protest read,

We the undersigned residents of the city of Ellsworth, believing in the declaration of our forefathers, that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," and that "taxation without representation is tyranny," beg leave to protest against being taxed for support of laws that we have no voice in making. By taxing us you class us with aliens and minors, the only males who are taxed and not allowed to vote, you make us the political inferiors of the most ignorant foreigners, negroes, and men who have not intellect enough to learn to write their names, or to read the vote given them. Our property is at the disposal of men who have not the ability to accumulate a dollar's worth and who pay only a poll-tax. We therefore protest against being taxed until we are allowed the rights of citizens.

The signees included Ann F. Greely, Sarah Jarvis, C. B. Grant, E. E. Tinker, A. D. Hight, M. J. Brooks, C. W. Jarvis, E. B. Jarvis, and Rebecca M. Avery.

Avery died in 1909 in Ellsworth, Maine.

Sources:

Risk, Shannon M. 'In Order to Establish Justice': The Nineteenth-Century Woman Suffrage Movements of Maine and New Brunswick (Unpublished doctoral diss, University of Maine, 2009).

Death record for Rebecca M. Avery, 1906, accessed online in Ancestry Library Edition.

Federal manuscript census of Maine for Rebecca Avery in Ellsworth in 1900.

"Transitions: Follow the Money, Follow the Blood," A Sermon Delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ellsworth on February 9, 2014 by Church Historian Dr. Wayne H. Smith. Accessible online at https://uuellsworth.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Transitions-%E2%80%93-Illustrated.pdf.

Matilda Joslyn Gage, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, eds.; in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 3: 1876-1885 (Rochester, NY: Privately Published, 1886), 599-614 [LINK]

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