Citizens at Last: Hannah Ambler, Grace Schenck and the Vote

On-line Exhibition Begins Here

Citizens at Last:
Hannah Ambler, Grace Schenck
and the Vote


The suffrage movement didn’t just happen in Hartford and Washington, D.C., it happened here in Wilton, too. Emerging out of a long history of women’s rights advocacy and social work in Connecticut and beyond, the women of the Wilton Equal Franchise League followed the lead of their parent organization, the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association, to introduce progressive activism to Wilton. When Hannah Raymond Ambler of Ambler Farm and other members of the Wilton league hosted Rose Teas on Danbury Road, held a suffrage fair in Wilton Center, or sponsored speeches in Town Hall, they were campaigning to make their beloved hometown a place that lived up to their ideals. Led by league founder Grace Knight Schenck, these women succeeded in making Wilton – as well as the state and the nation – a better place. As we celebrate Wilton women and the suffragists who inspired them, we must also recognize their failures. Even the most famous white suffragists used racist stereotypes and arguments to promote their cause. The first vote on November 2, 1920 was a real triumph, but not all women experienced it equally.

Citizens at Last: Hannah Ambler, Grace Schenck, and the Vote is a digital exhibition documenting the role of Wilton women in the fight to win the vote. Click the links below to learn about these fascinating women and the different aspects of the suffrage movement – their methods, their achievements, their opponents, and
their shortcomings.

How this exhibition works:

Citizens at Last consists of ten different sections focusing on different aspects of the local and national suffrage movement. Each section includes a brief essay on the topic as well as captioned images at the bottom of each page. Six sections also include a narrated video. A button at the bottom of each page will take you to the next section, or you can simply click on the links below to take you directly to that page.

Please support this exhibition and the Society by making a $10 suggested donation byclicking the donate button below.

Donate Here


This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Elizabeth Raymond Ambler Trust.

The exhibition was organized and produced by Associate Curator Nick Foster, Co-Director Kim Mellin, and Co-Director Allison Sanders.

Extensive research and writing: Dr. Julie Hughes

Videography: Jarett Liotta

The songs “Hurrah for Women’s Suffrage”, “The Taxation is Tyranny”, and “Keep Women in Her Sphere” are courtesy of Miriam Reed of Miriam Reed Productions. The CD “HURRAH FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE!”, can be purchased here.

The Fairfield Museum and History Center, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Virginia & Peter Benin, Robert & Carol Russell, and Phil Schenck graciously loaned objects included in this exhibition.

The Society sincerely thanks Zelie Pforzheimer for providing the narration for the exhibition’s videos.