Smith, Jane Norman, 1874-1953

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Jane Norman was born in New Jersey in 1874. She was a descendant of Crean Brush, who was a member of the last two British Provincial Assemblies in New York, and of Giles de Mandeville of France who settled in New York in 1636. At 23 Jane married Clarence Meserole Smith. She had two daughters, Helen and Muriel. She moved to Manhattan in 1930. Mrs. Smith was particularly interested in industrial equality for women in New York and the investment of the National Woman's Party funds.

Mrs. Smith was a member of the group that organized to work for women's suffrage in 1913. When women won the right to vote she helped reorganize the National Woman's Party in 1921. She was among the early campaigners for jury service for women, equality of pay and opportunities, and the appointment of more women to high federal posts. In 1926 Governor Alfred E. Smith appointed her to represent New York at the International Woman Suffrage Congress which was held in Paris. In 1927 Mrs. Jane Norman Smith was elected Chair of Council of the National Woman's Party at a convention held in Colorado Springs in July. She served for a number of years as chair working against laws that restricted night employment and mandated a reduced work week for women employees. Mrs. Smith was credited with the passing of nine state laws giving women equal rights with men. In 1928 she was a speaker at the Pan American Conference in Havana, which led to the formation of the Pan American Woman's Commission (subsequently the Inter-American Commission on Women).

Among her many publications she wrote an article in the Bode Bugle newspaper in 1930 titled "Many Laws Unfair to Women." In this article she discussed how there were more than one thousand laws in the United States that discriminated against women relating to the right of married woman to contract, to the guardianship of her children, the inheritance and disposal of her property, to the ownership of her own labor and services and what Mrs. Smith believed was most important, the fight of women in the industry to sell their labor on the same terms as men. She stated, "Laws applying to women workers and not to men are among the greatest discriminations. They close many doors of opportunity to women seeking employment, while women thrown out of work by their passage are invariably forced into harder, lower-paid work, for which they must compete with one another."

Mrs. Smith was also the author of "Hours Legislation for Women Only," as well as Crean Brush, Loyalist, and His Descendants, and many other writings. On September 3, 1953 in Windsor, Vermont, Mrs. Smith passed away at 77.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers, 1874-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Lutz, Alma. Papers, 1927-1946 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn West, Helen Hunt, 1892-1963. Papers, 1917-1964 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1917-1964 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn White, Sue Shelton, 1887-1943. Papers, 1898-1963 (inclusive), 1909-1963 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers of of Alma Lutz,1921-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Papers of Jane Norman Smith, 1913-1953 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers of Doris Stevens, 1884-1983 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Collection, 1921-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Papers, 1898, 1909-1963 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers: Series V, 1913-1945 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Papers of Jane Norman Smith, 1913-1953 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Stevens, Doris, 1888-1963. Papers, 1884-1983 (inclusive), 1920-1960 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958 person
associatedWith Belmont, Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt, 1853-1933. person
associatedWith Belmont, Alva (Mrs. Oliver) person
associatedWith Berrien, Laura M. person
associatedWith Brobst, Sue person
associatedWith Brobst, Sue. person
associatedWith Business woman's legislative council of California corporateBody
associatedWith Business Woman's Legislative Council of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Chandler, Walter person
associatedWith Chandler, Walter. person
associatedWith Congressional union for woman suffrage corporateBody
associatedWith Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, Washington, D.C. corporateBody
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947 person
associatedWith Helen Hunt West, 1892-1963 person
associatedWith Hilles, Florence Bayard, 1866-1954. person
associatedWith Hooker, Edith Houghton. person
associatedWith International Labour Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Lutz, Alma, 1890-1973 person
associatedWith Matthews, Burnita Shelton, 1894-1988. person
associatedWith National Council of Women. corporateBody
associatedWith National Woman's Party. corporateBody
associatedWith Paul, Alice, 1885-1977 person
associatedWith Pollitzer, Anita, 1894-1975 person
associatedWith Stevens, Doris, 1888-1963 person
associatedWith Straus, Nathan. person
associatedWith United Nations. corporateBody
associatedWith Vernon, Mabel person
associatedWith Vernon, Mabel, 1883-1975. person
associatedWith West, Helen Hunt, 1892-1963. person
associatedWith White, Sue Shelton, 1887-1943 person
associatedWith Whittic, Anne Harbottle person
associatedWith Whittic, Anne Harbottle. person
associatedWith Wiley, Anna Keeton (Mrs. Harvey) person
associatedWith Wiley, Anna Kelton, 1877-1964. person
associatedWith Woman's Consultive Committee on Nationality. corporateBody
associatedWith World woman's suffrage alliance - 10th conference corporateBody
associatedWith World Woman's Suffrage Alliance Conference corporateBody
associatedWith Younger, Maud person
associatedWith Younger, Maud. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Jersey NJ US
Manhattan NY US
Windsor VT US
Subject
Equal rights
Suffrage
Women--Employment
Women--Suffrage
Women--Legal status, laws, etc
Women's rights
Occupation
Writer
Suffragists
Activity

Person

Birth 1874

Death 1953-09-03

Female

Americans

English

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SNAC ID: 85705284