Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957.

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Foley worked for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (1906-1915) as a speaker and manager of organizational work.

From the description of Papers, 1888-1957 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232007717

Margaret Foley, suffragist and member of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, spoke and campaigned on behalf of the suffragist cause throughout the United States. Foley's friend, Helen Goodnow, campaigned for suffrage in Boston.

From the description of Papers of Margaret Foley and Helen Elizabeth Goodnow, 1882-1965 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232006596

Foley, a suffragist, worked for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (1906-1915) as a speaker and manager of organizational work. In 1916 she made a suffrage lecture tour through the South and Midwest, and in 1919 she served as state chairman of organization for the Margaret Brent Suffrage Guild. Foley was trustee for Children in the Children's Institutions Department of the City of Boston (1913-1920) and deputy commisioner of the Child Welfare Division in the Institutions Department of the city of Boston (1920-1926). She was a member of the Hat Trimmers Union and the Boston Women's Trade Union League.

From the description of Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1911-1924 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 232008701

Foley, a suffragist, worked for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association (1906-1915) as a speaker and manager of organizational work. In 1912, Foley began travelling to other states to help local suffrage organizations campaign in critical referenda and elections. She also went on a number of speaking tours around the country. In 1916 The Woman's Journal sponsored Margaret Foley's extensive "Southern Trip" through the South and Midwest. In 1919 she was state chairman of organization of the Margaret Brent Suffrage Guild, a Massachusetts Catholic organization.

In adddition to her suffrage work, Margaret Foley was a member of the Hat Trimmers' Union and the Boston Women's Trade Union League. She was trustee for children in the Children's Institutions Department of the City of Boston, 1913-1920, and in 1920-1926, deputy commissioner of the Child Welfare Division in the Institutions Department of the City of Boston.

Virtually no information is available about Foley's family or her life after the mid 1920's. Margaret Foley never married and probably lived with her long-time friend and fellow suffragist Helen Elizabeth Goodnow for many years.

From the description of Papers, 1847-1968 (inclusive), 1909-1929 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 122521725

Suffragist Margaret Foley (one source only gives her the middle name Lillian) was born on March 19, 1875, in Dorchester, Mass., the daughter of Peter and Mary Foley. She had a sister Celia. MF grew up in Roxbury, then an Irish-American neighborhood, and graduated from Girls' High School in Boston. To finance voice lessons, MF worked in a union hat factory until a family matter called her to California and ended her aspirations as a singer. While in California she taught swimming and gymnastics at resorts. After MF returned to Boston she put her voice to work for the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, which employed her from 1906 to 1915 as a speaker and manager of organization work. She was also active in the Margaret Brent Suffrage Guild, a Massachusetts Catholic organization, and was its state chairman of organization in 1919.

Foley and other young Massachusetts suffragists, inspired by the militant tactics used by English suffragettes, undertook open-air speaking tours in 1909. A member of the Hat Trimmers' Union and later of the Boston Women's Trade Union League, MF was probably the only participant in these early tours with a working-class background (see p. 310 of the article by Sharon Hartman Strom cited below). The tension between MF and the middle- and upper-class women she worked with may have been a result of class differences; some of them termed her--perhaps affectionately, perhaps not--a "trouble-maker."

In the summer of 1911 MF and Florence Luscomb attended the International Woman Suffrage Alliance convention in Stockholm and spent a month in London studying English suffrage tactics. Later that year, after she and others trailed Republican candidates through Western Massachusetts publicly questioning their suffrage views, newspapers added "heckler" to the long list of words used to describe her. MF and Teresa Crowley, as members of MWSA's legislative committee, held debates about suffrage with candidates and elected officials.

In 1912, MF began travelling to other states to help organizations campaign in critical referenda and elections. She also went on a number of speaking tours around the country. In 1912 she and Florence Luscomb spent several months in Ohio. Between 1913 and 1918 Foley spent time in Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, and other states. Usually NAWSA paid MF's travel expenses, while local organizations provided living expenses and assumed her MWSA salary. In 1916 The Woman's Journal sponsored MF's extensive "Southern Trip," which included Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, Minnesota (Mississippi Valley Suffrage Conference), Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri (Sixth Biennial Convention of the National Women's Trade Union League of America), and Kentucky. MF promoted The Woman's Journal, sold copies and subscriptions, and gave suffrage speeches. HEG apparently accompanied her on part of the trip.

In addition to her suffrage work, MF was Trustee for Children in the Children's Institutions Department of the City of Boston, 1913-1920. During that time she lobbied for a bill that would make vaccination of children non-compulsory, and was involved with issues surrounding the Suffolk School for Boys on Rainsford Island. In 1920-1926 MF was deputy commissioner of the Child Welfare Division in the Institutions Department of the City of Boston. She remained active in local politics and in 1936 worked for Robert E. Greenwood's campaign for U.S. Senate.

Virtually no information is available about Foley's family or her life after the mid 1920s. MF never married and probably lived with her long-time friend and fellow suffragist Helen Elizabeth Goodnow for many years. For biographical information about HEG, see the Margaret Foley and Helen Elizabeth Goodnow Collection (MC 405) in the Schlesinger Library. For more information about MF's place in Massachusetts suffrage history, see Sharon Hartman Strom, "Leadership and Tactics in the American Woman Suffrage Movement: A New Perspective from Massachusetts," Journal of American History 62 (September 1975): 296-315. For additional papers see MC 405, A/F663 and the Foley series of the Woman's Rights Collection.

From the guide to the Papers, (inclusive), (bulk), 1847-1968, 1909-1929, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Luscomb, Florence, 1887-. Additional papers of Florence Luscomb, 1888-1988 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957. Papers, 1847-1968 (inclusive), 1909-1929 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957. Papers, 1888-1957 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957. Papers of Margaret Foley and Helen Elizabeth Goodnow, 1882-1965 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957. Papers, 1847-1968 (bulk: 1909-1929) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Foley, Margaret, 1875-1957. Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1911-1924 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Addams, Jane, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith Allender, Nina person
associatedWith Allender, Nina. person
associatedWith Ames, Blanche. person
associatedWith Anderson, Mary, 1872-1964. person
associatedWith Anthony, Lucy E., 1861-1944. person
associatedWith Badlam, Anna B. person
associatedWith Belmont, Alva Erskine Smith Vanderbilt, 1853-1933. person
associatedWith Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950. person
associatedWith Bondfield, Margaret G. person
associatedWith Boston Equal Suffrage Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston (Mass.). Children's Institutions Department corporateBody
associatedWith Boston (Mass.). Children's Institutions Dept. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston (Mass.). Institutions Department. Child Welfare Division corporateBody
associatedWith Boston (Mass.). Institutions Dept. Child Welfare Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Women's Trade Union League. corporateBody
associatedWith Boston Women's Trade Union League. corporateBody
associatedWith Congressional Union for Woman's Suffrage (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Crowley, Teresa A., 1874-1919. person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith Evans, Elizabeth Glendower, 1856-1937. person
associatedWith Fabian Club. corporateBody
associatedWith Field, Sara Bard, 1882-1974. person
associatedWith Fitzgerald, Susan W., 1871-1943. person
associatedWith Foley, Margaret, 1875- person
associatedWith Gardener, Helen H. (Helen Hamilton), 1853-1925. person
associatedWith Goodnow, Helen Elizabeth, 1894- person
associatedWith Leonard, Gertrude Halladay, 1868-1919. person
associatedWith Lewis, Dora person
associatedWith Lewis, Dora. person
associatedWith Luscomb, Florence, 1887- person
associatedWith Margaret Brent Suffrage Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. corporateBody
associatedWith National American Woman Suffrage Association. corporateBody
associatedWith National Women's Trade Union League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith New York State Woman Suffrage Party. corporateBody
associatedWith Ohio Woman Suffrage Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Paul, Alice, 1885-1977. person
associatedWith Peters, Andrew James, 1872-1938. person
associatedWith Rankin, Jeannette. person
associatedWith Reilly, Caroline I. person
associatedWith Reilly, Caroline I. person
associatedWith Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1874-1951. person
associatedWith Ryan, Agnes, 1878-1954 person
associatedWith Ryan, Agnes, 1878-1954. person
associatedWith Sanders, E. H. person
associatedWith Sanders, E. H. person
associatedWith Shaw, Anna Howard, person
associatedWith Suffolk School for Boys, Rainsford Island (Boston, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Tillinghast, Anna Churchill Moulton, 1874-1951. person
associatedWith Upton, Harriet Taylor. person
associatedWith Woman's Journal corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Nevada
Tennessee
Massachusetts
Michigan
Pennsylvania
Massachusetts
Montana
Songs and music
New York (State)
Ohio
Virginia
Boston (Mass.)
Pennsylvania
Massachusetts
Maine
United States
Nevada
Ohio
Massachusetts
Boston (Mass.)
Subject
Vaccination--Law and legislation--Massachusetts
Women--Suffrage--Nevada
Women--Suffrage
Women--Suffrage--Virginia
Women--Suffrage--Montana
Irish American women--Massachusetts
Catholic women--Suffrage
Vaccination--Law and legislation
Women--Suffrage--Songs and music
Women--Suffrage--Massachusetts
Anti-feminism
Women--Suffrage--New York (State)
Women--Suffrage--Maine
Women--Suffrage--Tennessee
Child welfare--Massachusetts
Irish American women
Women--Suffrage--Ohio
Women--Suffrage--Pennsylvania
Women--Suffrage--Michigan
Women,Catholic--Suffrage--Massachusetts
Child welfare
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1875

Death 1957

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