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Fall Lecture Series

“Our Sisters in China are Free”: Chinese Women’s Contributions to US Suffrage

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“Our Sisters in China are Free”: Chinese Women’s Contributions to US Suffrage at Marble House has closed.

Many know the names of Carrie Chapman Catt, co-founder of the League of Women Voters, and Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, who held two suffrage conferences at her Marble House. Both were crucial to the suffrage movement that culminated with American women winning the right to vote in 1920. But what were these two women’s interest in the Chinese Revolution of 1911 and how did it affect women suffragists in the US? Learn more about the women’s suffrage movement, as well as Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, a 16-year-old woman who played an important role in cross-cultural exchange and the crusade for women’s rights early in her life.


Cathleen Cahill

Dr. Cathleen D. Cahill

Dr. Cathleen D. Cahill is the Walter L. Ferree and Helen P. Ferree Professor in Middle-American History at the Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of two books and multiple articles. Her most recent book, Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement (2020), received honorable mention for the Armitage-Jameson Book Prize in Western Women's History and honorable mention for the Society for the Study of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era's President's Book Prize. She is currently working on a graphic history of Mabel Lee’s life and activism. Dr. Cahill has spoken at many venues including for the National Park Service, at the Library of Congress and the National Portrait Gallery. Her work has also been excerpted in Time, Ms. Magazine and The New York Times. She is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer and the steering committee chair for the Coalition for Western Women's History. Photograph by Michael T. Davis

Bayer Lee

Reverend Bayer Lee

Since 2004, Reverend Bayer Lee (no relation to Mabel Lee) has been the pastor of the First Chinese Baptist Church in Chinatown, New York, the same church that Mabel Lee established in memory of her father at 21 Pell Street. He is also a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia University Teachers College, where he received his Ed.D. in 2013. His research there was funded by a Fulbright Grant in 1993, and his interests include spatial memories and housing studies, Hakka and Taishan ethnographies, and the formation of New York City's Chinatown. A scholar of many interests, Reverend Lee has devoted considerable time to researching Mabel Lee and has spoken about her at several community and research forums.

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