CHATHAM, NJ - The League of Women Voters proudly unveiled “Our First 100 Years” at the Library of the Chathams, an exhibit regarding the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment and the women’s right to vote.
The ribbon to the display was cut by three Chatham High School senior interns for the League, Adelaide Barkhorn, Lauren Cifelli, and Liliana Eisenhardt.
The interns have been working with Dr. Rozella Clyde of the Chatham League researching, creating the presentation, and working on the display for the past month.
Also in attendance at the launch were Donna Guariglia of the Morristown Area League and Nancy Hedinger, president of the New Jersey State League of Women Voters. Kellie Doucette, a representative for Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill presented the interns and Dr. Clyde with congratulatory certificates signed by Sherrill.
“In terms of research we not only used the internet, but we went to the Morris County Library, the Rutgers Special Archives Library, and we visited the Alice Paul Institute,” Barkhorn said. “We got to go through all of the archives and look at primary documents, take notes on them, and use reference materials. It was a really cool new perspective on research.”
The exhibit includes an original wooden ballot box donated by the Chatham Historical Society, an interactive presentation about the history of the league and of suffrage advocates, biographies on the creators of the display, and other information regarding the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote.
Old Fishawack papers from Chatham and documents from the National Women’s Party are included in a binder for the exhibit. The wall display is separated by decade.
Perhaps the most influential parts of the display come from information on Alice Paul, a leading suffragist in the campaign for the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that the right to vote must not be discriminatory by sex.
“We got to go to Alice Paul’s house, and that was mind-blowing to me,” Eisenhardt said. “It wasn’t just a house museum. They host programs for girls who don’t know where they’re going to go to college or need help, so they’re really doing Paul’s work.”
The Alice Paul Institute is based at Paul’s childhood home, Paulsdale, in Mount Laurel.
“It was such an amazing experience. Without her, women probably wouldn’t be able to vote. She played a really fundamental part in the movement,” Cifelli said.
The display will be open at the library until the end of June for the public to see.
From left, senior interns for the League of Women Voters Adelaide Barkhorn, Liliana Eisenhardt, and Lauren Cifelli pose in front of their display.
Kellie Doucette, a representative for Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, right, presents interns and Dr. Clyde with certificates for creating the display.
The Chatham League display
Morristown Area League First 100 Years Display
Original Ballot Box, donated by the Chatham Historical Society, gift of the Leanna Brown Estate.