March 4, 2013
Benjamin Harrison and Equal Rights

Today we commemorate the Inauguration of President Benjamin Harrison on March 4, 1889, with the following blog, written by David Pleiss, a staff member at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site.


Benjamin Harrison by T.C. Steele

Benjamin Harrison was not only running against Grover Cleveland in the 1888 campaign, he was also running against Belva Lockwood, the first woman to run an organized campaign for the presidency.  She was also the first woman to acquire votes, which meant that men voted for her.  At that time, a woman could legally run for president in the U.S. but was officially excluded from the voting process, and Belva’s Equal Rights Party was making a statement about this disparity. 

 How did Harrison feel about equal voting rights for women?  Interestingly, he never mentioned it in his letters or speeches.  However, his actions show a patriotic inclination toward equality.  He tried to push through the Force Bill during his presidency, which would have eliminated Jim Crow laws in southern states that prohibited the black vote.  Also, he wrote several articles for the Ladies Home Journal, explaining the functionality of the U.S. government and informing his female readership about the goings on in the nation’s capital.   


A town, a county, schools, a college, and a Day are all named after Benjamin Harrison.  But where in Indy can you Tour an authentic, 16-room Victorian U.S. President’s home, Raise the Hem on dresses from our past, experience one-of-a-kind Candlelight Theatre, and swing the mallet in a Croquet tournament?

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has a tour or activity for the wee to the wise.  We are conveniently located at 12th and Delaware with free parking.

Visit soon and often!  317-631-1888

Posted In: Miscellaneous

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