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COLLECTION Identifier: A-68, Series XII; M-133, reel E27-28

Papers of Ella Jane Seass Stewart in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1895-1939


Papers of Chicago lecturer and suffragist Ella Jane Seass Stewart.


  • Creation: 1895-1939


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Ella Jane Seass Stewart as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


28 folders

This series consists of correspondence, clippings, minutes of National American Woman Suffrage Association and other organizations, biographical documents, flyers, scrapbooks, photographs, a contract for an oratorical contest, and articles by Ella Jane Seass Stewart and others. As well as documenting Stewart's suffrage activities, it provides information about the woman suffrage campaign in Illinois and elsewhere, the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and National American Woman Suffrage Association. The correspondence ( #594-604) includes letters from many well-known suffragists and is primarily about suffrage work and speaking engagements, although many letters are also personal.


Chicago lecturer and suffragist Ella Jane (Seass) Stewart was born February 22, 1871, in Arthur, Illinois, the daughter of F. Levi and Elizabeth (Powell) Seass. Stewart received an A.B. from Eureka College in 1890, and then married classmate Oliver W. Stewart, who later became an Illinois state senator. She earned another A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1892, and an A.M. from Eureka in 1893. Stewart was a lecturer for the franchise department of the National Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Chicago, 1898-1908; vice president of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association (IESA), 1902-1905; president of Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, 1905-1911; and recording secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), 1908-1911. She went on many suffrage speaking tours.

In addition to her suffrage activities, Stewart was a member of the Chicago Woman's Club, the Woman's City Club, and the American Association of University Women; vice chair, department of social and industrial conditions, General Federation of Women's Clubs (1918-1920); and a trustee of Eureka College. She also directed the Woman's Department of the University State Bank, Hyde Park, and was director of the Association of Chicago Bank Women.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 56-121

Processing Information

Reprocessed: June 1990

By: Kim Brookes, Bert Hartry, Katherine Kraft, Jane Ward

Stewart, Ella Jane Seass, 1871-1945. Papers of Ella Jane Seass Stewart in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1895-1939: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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