Caring for the Vote: Mothers and Suffragists in Wilton, Connecticut


A Talk by Dr. Julie Hughes on Zoom

Hannah Ambler and Grace Schenck’s last names may be well known in Wilton – Ambler Farm and Schenck’s Island are local landmarks – but their individual lives are not.  Join the Wilton Historical Society on Thursday, October 22 from 12:30 – 1:30 for an informative and engaging talk on Zoom by local historian Dr. Julie Hughes. Her talk “Caring for the Vote: Mothers and Suffragists in Wilton, Connecticut” will explore the origins of Hannah Ambler and Grace Schenck’s engagement with this progressive movement.   What awakened their interest in suffrage, and what kind of women did they come to believe they needed to be in order to win – and deserve – the vote? “The answer to these questions emerges from what I call the politics of caring” says Julie Hughes, “as mothers, club women, society women, teachers, and health professionals.”   Q and A session follows the talk.

In 1920, Hannah Raymond Ambler (1843-1925) of Ambler Farm was a lifelong Wilton resident and elderly widowed mother who managed her own finances and rental properties throughout southern Fairfield County. Grace Knight Schenck (1877-1931) was a newcomer in town with her Belgian husband and young children and had worked as a head surgical nurse in New York City. Like so many other women in Connecticut State and across the country, Hannah and Grace voted for the first time in the presidential election that year. The program is offered in conjunction with the Wilton Historical Society’s on-line exhibition “Citizens at Last: Hannah Ambler, Grace Schenck and the Vote”. 

Dr. Julie Hughes

Julie Hughes earned her PhD in South Asian history from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught at Vassar College and Queens College and is the author of “Animal Kingdoms” (Harvard University Press, 2013). Since moving to the Wilton area, she has become interested in local history. She is now archivist at the Wilton History Room and has worked on history projects with the Wilton Historical Society, Ambler Farm, and the G&B Cultural Center.

For additional information and to register:    to receive a link to the event with information on submitting questions.  Suggested contribution of $10.

Donate – $10