Catharine Paine Blaine
Seneca Falls, New York native Catharine Paine attended the nation's first women's rights convention in 1848, and at age eighteen, was the one of the youngest signers of the Declaration of Sentiments. Catharine moved to the territories of Washington and Oregon in 1853 as the new wife of Seattle’s first Methodist minister, Reverend David E. Blaine. In a life of service to her family and to the Methodist Church in New York and the Pacific Northwest, Catharine Paine Blaine worked out deeply held religious and reform beliefs. Her activities show a continued concern for and interest in the uplift of humanity and of women.
- The WHC partnered with the National Park Service in the Challenge Cost Share Program to prepare a narrative and an interactive web timeline on the life of Catharine Paine Blaine. The site provides the most comprehensive resource on Catharine Blaine on the web.
Emma Smith DeVoe
Suffragist Emma Smith DeVoe arrived in Washington in 1905, having been mentored by Susan B. Anthony while a resident of Dakota Territory. Later she played major roles in suffrage campaigns in Idaho and Oregon. In 1906 she came to be President of Washington Equal Suffrage Association where her leadership helped to reinvigorate the suffrage movement in a state that had permitted women to vote during its territorial period.
Elected Women of Washington
The WHC has prepared biographical sketches with links to additional resources for trailblazing elected women in Washington:
Thea Foss. Property of WSHS.
Norwegian immigrant Thea Foss lived in Tacoma, Washington, where she built the West's largest tugboat company. Fictional character Tugboat Annie was based on Foss.
Julia Butler Hansen
Julia Butler Hansen.
During her 43 years in public office, Julia Butler Hansen became one of the greatest political figures Washington has ever known. After beginning her political career by serving on the Cathlamet City Council in 1937, Hansen went on to serve as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1960-1974. Senator Warren Magnuson once said, "No one ever represented her people better than Julia Butler Hansen."
May Arkwright Hutton
May Arkwright Hutton. Property of NWMAC.
May Arkwright Hutton and her husband Levi became millionaires overnight when their Idaho mine struck silver. After relocating to Spokane in 1906, Hutton focused her energy on politics, especially the women’s suffrage movement. She wrote and lectured tirelessly, organizing and campaigning towards the state election of 1910, which brought the ballot to Washington women.
Catherine Montgomery, the "Mother of the Pacific Coast Trail," was a Bellingham teacher who suggested the creation of a trail along the western mountains similar to the Appalachian Trail. Montgomery was an outdoorswoman, a suffragette, and a founding faculty member of the New Whatcom Normal School.
Carrie Shaw Rice
Carrie Shaw Rice was a pioneering educator, poet and author who helped to broaden the role for women in education in the early years of Tacoma and Washington State.
Anna Louise Strong
Reporter and labor activist Anna Louise Strong began writing about strikes in the Pacific Northwest. She later reported on the major political revolutions that occurred in Spain, China, and Russia during the twentieth century.