Anna Shaw, women's rights activist

Event date(s)

14 February 1847


Anna Howard Shaw was a women's rights activist. She was born Ann Howard Shaw on 14 February 1847 in Newcastle Upon Tyne. The sixth child of Thomas and Nicolas Shaw, the family resided in Blenheim Street, and Anna lived in Newcastle for the early part of her life. The family then emigrated to the United States in 1851. Anna Howard Shaw went onto become a prominent leader of the women's suffrage movement in the United States. She served as the fourth president (1904–1914) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which was formed in 1890 to campaign for women's suffrage in the United States. Her role as President in this organisation was followed by a period as chair of the Woman's Committee of the U.S. Council of National Defense. Anna died on 2 July 1919 in Pennsylvania, aged 72. Although not living long enough to see the Nineteenth Amendment become part of the U.S. Constitution in August 1920 (which stated that the rights of citizens to vote would not be denied on account of their sex), Shaw's activism for women's rights contributed to this legislation that granted women the vote.

Location/map point


Blenheim Street
Newcastle upon Tyne

Further reading

Further reading:

Trisha Franzen, Anna Howard Shaw: The Work of Woman Suffrage (2014); Alden Whitman (ed.), American Reformers (1985); Mary D. Pellauer, Toward a Tradition of Feminist Theology: The Religious Social Thought of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Anna Howard Shaw (1991); Sara Hunter Graham, Woman Suffrage and the New Democracy (1996); Anne Firor Scott and Andrew MacKay Scott, One Half the People: The Fight for Woman Suffrage  (1982); Jean H. Baker (ed.), Votes for Women: The Struggle for Suffrage Revisited (2002).