Suffrage and Civic Engagement

Resources on Suffrage and Civic Engagement in Rhode Island

Newport has been a place of conversation and debate for almost 400 years. From the city’s start as a “lively experiment”, to internal struggles for abolition, voting and citizenship rights, Newporters have a history of engaging in complex issues that mirror broader national issues. This page charts Newport’s history as a place of advocacy and dissent, protest and reform.

"We shall neither delay nor rest until the cause is won.”

On January 5, 1920, the night before the Rhode Island legislature voted to ratify the 19th Amendment, R. I. suffrage workers held a “Victory Dinner.” The organizer of the affair, Sara Algeo, a key leader in the final woman suffrage effort, remembered that, although the event was held in Providence at the Turks Head Club, “it was wholly democratic in the happy mingling of men and women of all walks of life, who have stood from the beginning shoulder to shoulder in their fight for women’s rights.” One hundred years after the suffragists’ celebration, this historic combined Summer/Fall 2020 issue of Newport History and Rhode Island History presents various aspects of the narrative of the woman’s suffrage cause in Rhode Island. Please enjoy the introductory article from this issue; the complete issue is available to NHS members online at
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Rhode Island Suffrage Timeline