#WCW Maud Nathan and Annie Nathan Meyer.
A family divided over politics is nothing new. Here is an example of two accomplished well-educated sisters divided over suffrage:
Maud Nathan was a social reformer and suffragist who started the National Consumers League (NCL). Under her leadership, the NCL whitelisted companies that paid fair wages and promoted ethical practices. She knew that if consumers were educated and united, they had the power to effect change such as better working conditions for laborers.
She was vice president of the New York Equal Suffrage League and traveled the state giving pro-suffrage speeches. Nathan was also active in several other organizations such as the League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women, Woman’s Municipal League of New York, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Her younger sister, Annie Nathan Meyer was a writer, educator, and founder of Barnard College (one of the first women’s colleges and part of Columbia University).Annie engaged in intellectual pursuits including literary circles so much that her father worried that she would not be able to find a man who would want such a brainy bookworm as a wife. (She did marry.) Surprisingly, Annie was an anti-suffragist. She did not believe women would be more virtuous in politics than men and detested the angry and sometimes violent methods used by suffrage leaders especially those in England.
In May of 1911, Maud marched in a suffrage parade in NYC while Annie gave an anti-suffrage lecture at Barnard College. Ironically, many women who went to Barnard College were very active in the pro-suffrage movement. Annie felt the pro-suffrage political clubs on campus were due to misleading media propaganda and zealots, so she started an anti-suffrage group called the National League for the Civic Education of Women.
Maud went on to become one of the most prominent Jewish suffragists in New York history. Annie continued her work developing Barnard College as an elite school for women, wrote two books, several plays, many short stories, and various articles for magazines.