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Idaho State University History Students Write Biographies of Idaho suffragists, to be Published on Women and Social Movements in the United States Website

History students at Idaho State University have written biographies of Idaho suffragists as part of professor Erika Kuhlman’s Women in the North American West class. The biographies will be featured on the website Women and Social Movements in the United States early next year.

Idaho State University History Students Write Biographies of Idaho suffragists, to be Published on Women and Social Movements in the United States Website

Members of Dr. Erika Kuhlman's Women in the North American West history course holding images derived from their research. Back row, from left: Les Miller, DiSeanna Kilgore, Jim Payne. Seated: Samantha Jackson and Molly Draben.

History students at Idaho State University have written biographies of Idaho suffragists as part of professor Erika Kuhlman’s Women in the North American West class. The biographies will be featured on the website Women and Social Movements in the United States early next year.

The biographies include those of Helen Young, the first female lawyer in Idaho, Emma Drake, a physician and May Arkwright Hutton, a suffragist and labor activist in the Pacific Northwest. Kuhlman said these biographies are important because not a lot is known about several of these women, and students had the opportunity to do original research on important figures in Idaho history. 

“Up until the 1970’s, women were not considered important enough to have their own history,” Kuhlman said. “Most of these women have not had their life stories written before now.” 

Kuhlman was contacted over the summer by Thomas Dublin, State University of New York at Binghamton, who asked if Kuhlman could incorporate the project into her Women in the North American West class. Dublin and his colleague Kathryn Kish Sklar are the editors of the Women and Social Movements in the United States website. Kuhlman has worked with Dublin and Sklar on a variety of projects before. 

The Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 project offers researchers backgrounds on women who contributed to the passage of the women's suffrage amendment to the U.S. constitution. The centennial celebration of this historic event is in 2020. The website is available at http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com.

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