Her Hat Was in the Ring!

U.S.Women Who Ran for Political Office Before 1920

Campaigns of Hannah G. Solomon

In 1904 Hannah G. Solomon campaigned as a candidate of the Democratic party for the position of University of Illinois Trustee. She did not win, receiving 341,389 votes (10.64%). In 1916 the Democratic party again nominated her for this office. In endorsing her candidacy, Board member Ellen M. Henrotin said that, if elected, Solomon would "bring to the University a broad view of democratic education." She again lost, polling 925,332 votes (14.33%). This placed her fifth in line for one of three positions. Solomon may have been the first, or one of the earliest Jewish women to run for elective office. To read more about Solomon, see her biography on this web site.

The office of University Trustee was a hotly contended one for women in Illinois from the 1890s onward. Until women in the state received full suffrage rights in 1920, it was the only state-wide office for which they were eligible. Access to higher education was decided by the board of trustees. Many groups in the state with few other resources believed education to better jobs, economic success, and further political rights.


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Copy of flyer from Solomon's 1904 campaign for University of Illinois Trustee

Lantern slide from Solomon's 1916 campaign, listing her party affiliation and platform
Library of Congress

Front of cardboard campaign ticket

Back of cardboard campaign ticket for 1916, with Solomon's qualification's for the office
All items from the private collection of Jill Norgren and Wendy E. Chmielewski

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