Seeing Suffrage: Two Ladies from Iowa

October 3, 2012 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.
Two Ladies from Iowa

One of the great pleasures of putting together the book Seeing Suffrage: The 1913 Washington Suffrage Parade, Its Photographs, and Its Effect on the American Political Landscape was taking a close look at the photographs that were available for the book. They were interesting and beautiful.

There was one that stood out as my favorite.

I call it Two Ladies from Iowa.

The photograph shows two women standing with a banner announcing the state of Iowa. It was taken sometime before the parade began and somewhere on the south side of the U.S. Capitol, where the parade participants gathered.

The pose and expressions of these two women — obviously friends — is striking.

They traveled nearly 2,000 to get to that spot on that day. They are proud and determined, even a bit defiant. I like to think that this event is one of the high moments of their lives and they are glad to have lived long enough to see it.

As with all of the photographs in the book, I would love to know more — particularly who they are. These women are not identified, and that’s too bad. Those of us who view the photo will have to be satisfied with what they and the picture are telling us.

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