WomenVote100 is Cumberland County’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.

In many ways, our county was way ahead of its time in the women’s suffrage movement. Some of the movement’s most determined trailblazers were county residents and some of the earliest protest actions took place here — decades ahead much of the nation.

The most well-known protest took place in the 1868 general election when 172 defiant women from Vineland brought their own ballot box to a polling place and cast their votes. That was more than a half a century before women eventually won legal voting rights.


  • For well over half of this country’s history, women were denied the right to vote.
  • Women in the United States didn’t have the right to vote until 1920, not long before many of our grandparents were born.
  • Although it feels practically ancient, it really wasn’t very long ago that women were being discriminated against in this way.
  • Today, we recognize and celebrate the brave people who worked tirelessly to change the course of history.


(Vineland resident, 1813-1903), organized the largest suffragist protest of its time in November 1868 when she and 171 other women gathered at Vineland’s Union Hall with a handmade ballot box and their own ballots. In praising their effort, Susan B. Anthony wrote “Vineland women did splendidly on Election Day and will no doubt continue to do the same.”

(Bridgeton resident, 1862-1951), one of U.S. history’s most prominent labor activists and socialist feminists gave countless speeches and lectures on women’s suffrage and women’s mobilization as workers, often stressing the connection between the ballot and work. She argued that for working women, marginalized by the law, only the right to vote could improve their lives and working conditions and thus the lives of their families.


left an indelible record in southern New Jersey as one of the leading voices of black feminism in the United States. Widely known for her work as a church pastor, temperance campaigner and a leading voice in women’s suffrage and education reform, Crawford was radically active in Vineland affairs for 30 years and was among the women protesters who brought their own ballot box to Union Hall  in November 1868.

was a famous “dress reformer” who argued that women should be free to dress however they please. She was the organizer of the country’s first “Anti-Fashion” and was also among the women protesters who brought their own ballot box to Union Hall  in November 1868.

Oberlin Smith of Bridgeton, renowned engineer and inventor: Hosted multiple meetings of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and served as Vice President of the Men’s League for Women Suffrage.

L.D. Fellowes of Vineland: Collaborated with activists on the west coast.

Bessie Ayars Andrews of Greenwich: Wrote a series of articles promoting the cause.

Susan P. Fowler of Vineland: Dress Reformer who protested various taxes to legislators and media members.

Why does any of this matter?

Cumberland County wasn’t simply following the national trend of women fighting for the right to vote.
Instead, Cumberland County was setting the trend nearly half a century early.

 Women's Vote 100 initiative