Local Efforts

Supporting Organizations

The Prohibition Party was a longtime supporter of women’s suffrage. The party’s platform in 1884 included the belief in the civil and political equality of the sexes and women’s suffrage rights. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which began as the women’s branch of the Prohibition Party, also supported that right. Locally, the WCTU hosted pro-suffrage speakers and events. Other statewide groups such as the New York State Federation of Labor officially supported women’s suffrage, as did smaller local groups including the Chemung County Pomona Grange No. 1. The Daughters of the American Revolution never took an official stance on women’s suffrage, but individual members were active in the movement.

Helen L. Bullock

Helen L. Bullock was an activist involved in temperance, prison reform, and women’s suffrage. She moved to Elmira in 1885 and, a year later, established the city’s first chapter of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. In 1890, Bullock established The Anchorage, a reform and vocational training school for young women who had been arrested or experienced unplanned pregnancy. In addition to her local work, she also served as the superintendent of the New York WCTU anti-narcotics division and delivered lectures on temperance across the United States and Europe. In Bullock’s essay “The Power and Purpose of Women,” she wrote that equal participation by both sexes in public life was a requirement for the ideal Christian society.