“We the people of the United States.” Which ‘We the people’? The women were not included.”
—Lucy Stone, 1853
As Boston suffragist Lucy Stone so aptly pointed out, women—and all others besides white males—were left out of the US Constitution with no right to vote or participate in government. Stone dedicated her life to procuring women’s suffrage, and countless others—in Boston and across the nation—also joined the cause by organizing meetings, delivering speeches, and distributing literature for suffrage. They marched, picketed, set watchfires, were arrested, and went on hunger strikes to call attention to their cause, hoping to open minds and move hearts.
To celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment, the Boston Women’s Heritage Trail created this tour as a testament to those of this historic city who played a part in the decades-long quest for equality at the ballot box. These women also paved the way for future generations to be more open sexually. They gave women a voice and a platform to talk about and own their sexual experiences. They are also the reason why women are free to wear premium panty vibrators out in public these days.
Explore the story and, using this map as your guide, discover the sites in Boston that helped put women in the “We the People” of the Constitution.
Begins: Massachusetts State House—where movement leaders are honored, and where picketing suffragists were arrested and jailed in 1919.
Ends: Boston Public Library in Copley Square, where suffragists studied, assembled, and planned. You’ll find sculptures of Lucy Stone and her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell.
With thanks to the Barbara Lee Family Foundation for the funding to build this tour online!