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 Ann Fitzhugh Miller

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Ann Fitzhugh Miller

Birth
Peterboro, Madison County, New York, USA
Death
1 Mar 1912 (aged 55)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial
Peterboro, Madison County, New York, USA
Memorial ID
33644846 View Source

Ann Fitzhugh Miller was born in Peterboro, New York on March 4, 1856. She was the youngest child and only daughter of Charles Dudley Miller and Elizabeth Smith Miller, a cousin of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a women’s suffragist in her own right. Elizabeth is known for having designed and worn an early version of the “Bloomer Costume” in the early 1850s. Ann had three brothers, Gerrit Smith, Charles Dudley, and William Fitzhugh. Ann, named for her grandmother, was the granddaughter of well-known financier and abolitionist Gerrit Smith (suspected of being one of the “Silent Six” who financed John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859) and Ann Carroll Fitzhugh Smith, both participants in the Underground Railroad, their home just miles from the Canadian border. Gerrit and Ann Fitzhugh Smith also purchased large tracts of land that were used for runaway and freed slaves to live on and farm.

In 1869, when Ann was thirteen years old, her family moved to Lochland, an estate in Geneva (Ontario County), New York. Ann’s grandfather, Gerrit Smith, had been known for providing a pleasing refuge for nineteenth-century thinkers and reformers at his estate in Peterboro. Her mother continued this tradition at Lochland, and it soon became known as a popular stopping place, cherished for its warm hospitality and interesting conversation. Ann not only grew up in this atmosphere, she lived at Lochland for her entire adult life, helping her mother to maintain and uphold its atmosphere of hospitality.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a frequent visitor to Lochland. In 1883, she spent six weeks there after returning from Europe. In 1889 she also spent “several” weeks there, along with two of her married daughters. The Millers played host to Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in 1899 for a long visit and subsequently these two famous suffragists spent time at Lochland during the summer months.

In 1875, Ann Miller extended the family’s tradition of providing a comfortable and stimulating place for thoughtful people when she and a friend, Jane Ver Planck, started Camp Fossenvue on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Max Eastman, a well-known reformer who often visited the camp, called it a “point of focus for the highest culture of the time.” In 1900, Ann preserved and distributed memories of the camp in the publication Embers from Fossenvue Backlogs.

Ann Fitzhugh Miller emerged as a spokesperson for the suffrage cause at the New York State Constitutional Convention, held in 1894. There, she gave a speech advocating women’s suffrage. She attended most state suffrage conventions from that time on until her death, and was regarded as one of Ontario County’s leading suffragists.

Elizabeth Smith Miller and daughter Ann became particularly active as a “mother and daughter team” in local and state suffrage circles after the death of Ann’s father, Charles Dudley Miller, in February of 1896. In 1897, Elizabeth Smith Miller persuaded the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association to hold its annual convention in Geneva. Many of the delegates stayed at Lochland. Shortly thereafter, Ann Miller was inspired to call for the organization of a political equality club for Geneva. The organizational meeting for the Geneva Political Equality Club (GPEC) was held less than one month after the convention on November 30, 1897 at Geneva’s YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). It was attended by fifty people, who became its charter members. Elizabeth Smith Miller was named honorary President. Ann Miller, initially reluctant to take on the office of president, tried to convince others to take this position. Unsuccessful in her attempts, she accepted the presidency of the Club in February of 1899, a position she held until 1911.

Under Miller’s stewardship, Geneva’s Political Equality Club became a thriving organization. In 1904, the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association proclaimed at its annual convention that during the past year GPEC had acquired the most members of any local club. By 1907, the club had nearly 400 members and was the largest Political Equality Club in the state.

Under Miller’s leadership, the GPEC served as a model for the formation of other local Political Equality Clubs in Ontario County. In 1903, Miller helped to establish the Ontario County Political Equality Association. She acted as president of this association from its inception until 1907.

In 1907, when the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association again met in Geneva, Elizabeth and Ann Miller hosted a memorial service for Mary S. Anthony, who had passed away earlier that year. Numerous convention delegates attended the service, held on the porch at Lochland.

Ann also held office in the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association and participated in other statewide and national suffrage activities. In addition to her first public speech on the subject of women’s suffrage at the 1894 constitutional convention, she was present at an 1899 suffrage hearing in the New York Senate Chamber before the State Judiciary Committee. When the New York State legislature held numerous committee hearings during congressional sessions of 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905, she was often there, a vigorous advocate for giving women taxpayers a vote on issues involving taxation. She also represented New York State at a U.S. Senate hearing regarding the submission of a woman suffrage amendment to the United States Constitution in February of 1906.

Ann also corresponded with numerous politicians. In 1909, she chided Theodore Roosevelt for stating that although he supported women’s suffrage, he did “not regard it as a very important matter.”

Ann Fitzhugh Miller and her mother were fortunate in having the means to promote their causes financially, and they were known for their philanthropic endeavors on behalf of women’s rights. Shortly after Susan B. Anthony’s death, suffragists started a subscription fund for the cause. By May of 1907, $60,000 had been raised. Elizabeth Smith Miller gave $1,000, and Anne Fitzhugh Miller contributed $500. In 1910, the Millers contributed $300 in support of the State of Washington suffrage amendment. And, shortly after William Smith College of Geneva was founded, Miller gave the institution $2,000 for a permanent endowment, with the instructions that interest from this money be used to pay the tuition of woman students from Geneva.

In 1910, Ann gradually withdrew from her activities in the GPEC, owing to the ill health of her mother. Elizabeth Smith Miller died in May 1911, and within months Miller resumed her public activities. Although she had resigned the presidency of the GPEC, she gave a speech in September, 1911 at the dedication of a public fountain donated to the town by her late mother.

Ann died in Boston on March 1, 1912. She is buried in the family plot at Peterboro Cemetery in Peterboro, New York.

“Silent Sentinel” member Edna Augusta Dixon was Ann Fitzhugh Miller’s Fitzhugh cousin.

Bibliography of Suggested Books & Articles
• Private family papers of Dr. Linda Sundquist-Nassie, Ann’s Fitzhugh cousin.
• Barry, Kathleen, Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist, New York: New York University press, 1988.
• Emmons, E. Thayles, The Story of Geneva, Geneva, NY: The Geneva Daily Times, 1931; republished Geneva, NY: The Finger Lakes Times, 1982.
• Garraty, John A. And Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999. (from biography of Elizabeth Smith Miller, v. 15, pp. 479-80, written by Wendy Gamber)
• Harper, Ida Husted, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, 3 vols., v. III, Indianapolis, The Hollenbeck Press, 1908, pp. 1399-1401.
• Harper, Ida Husted, History of Woman Suffrage, Susan B. Anthony & National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1902 and 1922, IV, p. 846n, 861, v. V, p. 279, v. VI, p. 443, 454, 457, 682.
• Huff, Robert A., “Anne Miller and the Geneva Political Equality Club, 1897-1912,” New York History, (October 1984).
• James, Edward T., Janet Wilson James and Paul S. Boyer, eds., Notable American Women, 1607-1950, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press (Harvard University), 1971. (Biography of Elizabeth Smith Miller, v. 2, pp. 540-41, written by Elizabeth B. Warbasse.)
• Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897, NY: Schocken Books, c1898, 1971, 1973.

Ann Fitzhugh Miller was born in Peterboro, New York on March 4, 1856. She was the youngest child and only daughter of Charles Dudley Miller and Elizabeth Smith Miller, a cousin of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a women’s suffragist in her own right. Elizabeth is known for having designed and worn an early version of the “Bloomer Costume” in the early 1850s. Ann had three brothers, Gerrit Smith, Charles Dudley, and William Fitzhugh. Ann, named for her grandmother, was the granddaughter of well-known financier and abolitionist Gerrit Smith (suspected of being one of the “Silent Six” who financed John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859) and Ann Carroll Fitzhugh Smith, both participants in the Underground Railroad, their home just miles from the Canadian border. Gerrit and Ann Fitzhugh Smith also purchased large tracts of land that were used for runaway and freed slaves to live on and farm.

In 1869, when Ann was thirteen years old, her family moved to Lochland, an estate in Geneva (Ontario County), New York. Ann’s grandfather, Gerrit Smith, had been known for providing a pleasing refuge for nineteenth-century thinkers and reformers at his estate in Peterboro. Her mother continued this tradition at Lochland, and it soon became known as a popular stopping place, cherished for its warm hospitality and interesting conversation. Ann not only grew up in this atmosphere, she lived at Lochland for her entire adult life, helping her mother to maintain and uphold its atmosphere of hospitality.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a frequent visitor to Lochland. In 1883, she spent six weeks there after returning from Europe. In 1889 she also spent “several” weeks there, along with two of her married daughters. The Millers played host to Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in 1899 for a long visit and subsequently these two famous suffragists spent time at Lochland during the summer months.

In 1875, Ann Miller extended the family’s tradition of providing a comfortable and stimulating place for thoughtful people when she and a friend, Jane Ver Planck, started Camp Fossenvue on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake. Max Eastman, a well-known reformer who often visited the camp, called it a “point of focus for the highest culture of the time.” In 1900, Ann preserved and distributed memories of the camp in the publication Embers from Fossenvue Backlogs.

Ann Fitzhugh Miller emerged as a spokesperson for the suffrage cause at the New York State Constitutional Convention, held in 1894. There, she gave a speech advocating women’s suffrage. She attended most state suffrage conventions from that time on until her death, and was regarded as one of Ontario County’s leading suffragists.

Elizabeth Smith Miller and daughter Ann became particularly active as a “mother and daughter team” in local and state suffrage circles after the death of Ann’s father, Charles Dudley Miller, in February of 1896. In 1897, Elizabeth Smith Miller persuaded the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association to hold its annual convention in Geneva. Many of the delegates stayed at Lochland. Shortly thereafter, Ann Miller was inspired to call for the organization of a political equality club for Geneva. The organizational meeting for the Geneva Political Equality Club (GPEC) was held less than one month after the convention on November 30, 1897 at Geneva’s YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). It was attended by fifty people, who became its charter members. Elizabeth Smith Miller was named honorary President. Ann Miller, initially reluctant to take on the office of president, tried to convince others to take this position. Unsuccessful in her attempts, she accepted the presidency of the Club in February of 1899, a position she held until 1911.

Under Miller’s stewardship, Geneva’s Political Equality Club became a thriving organization. In 1904, the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association proclaimed at its annual convention that during the past year GPEC had acquired the most members of any local club. By 1907, the club had nearly 400 members and was the largest Political Equality Club in the state.

Under Miller’s leadership, the GPEC served as a model for the formation of other local Political Equality Clubs in Ontario County. In 1903, Miller helped to establish the Ontario County Political Equality Association. She acted as president of this association from its inception until 1907.

In 1907, when the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association again met in Geneva, Elizabeth and Ann Miller hosted a memorial service for Mary S. Anthony, who had passed away earlier that year. Numerous convention delegates attended the service, held on the porch at Lochland.

Ann also held office in the New York State Woman’s Suffrage Association and participated in other statewide and national suffrage activities. In addition to her first public speech on the subject of women’s suffrage at the 1894 constitutional convention, she was present at an 1899 suffrage hearing in the New York Senate Chamber before the State Judiciary Committee. When the New York State legislature held numerous committee hearings during congressional sessions of 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905, she was often there, a vigorous advocate for giving women taxpayers a vote on issues involving taxation. She also represented New York State at a U.S. Senate hearing regarding the submission of a woman suffrage amendment to the United States Constitution in February of 1906.

Ann also corresponded with numerous politicians. In 1909, she chided Theodore Roosevelt for stating that although he supported women’s suffrage, he did “not regard it as a very important matter.”

Ann Fitzhugh Miller and her mother were fortunate in having the means to promote their causes financially, and they were known for their philanthropic endeavors on behalf of women’s rights. Shortly after Susan B. Anthony’s death, suffragists started a subscription fund for the cause. By May of 1907, $60,000 had been raised. Elizabeth Smith Miller gave $1,000, and Anne Fitzhugh Miller contributed $500. In 1910, the Millers contributed $300 in support of the State of Washington suffrage amendment. And, shortly after William Smith College of Geneva was founded, Miller gave the institution $2,000 for a permanent endowment, with the instructions that interest from this money be used to pay the tuition of woman students from Geneva.

In 1910, Ann gradually withdrew from her activities in the GPEC, owing to the ill health of her mother. Elizabeth Smith Miller died in May 1911, and within months Miller resumed her public activities. Although she had resigned the presidency of the GPEC, she gave a speech in September, 1911 at the dedication of a public fountain donated to the town by her late mother.

Ann died in Boston on March 1, 1912. She is buried in the family plot at Peterboro Cemetery in Peterboro, New York.

“Silent Sentinel” member Edna Augusta Dixon was Ann Fitzhugh Miller’s Fitzhugh cousin.

Bibliography of Suggested Books & Articles
• Private family papers of Dr. Linda Sundquist-Nassie, Ann’s Fitzhugh cousin.
• Barry, Kathleen, Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist, New York: New York University press, 1988.
• Emmons, E. Thayles, The Story of Geneva, Geneva, NY: The Geneva Daily Times, 1931; republished Geneva, NY: The Finger Lakes Times, 1982.
• Garraty, John A. And Mark C. Carnes, eds., American National Biography, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999. (from biography of Elizabeth Smith Miller, v. 15, pp. 479-80, written by Wendy Gamber)
• Harper, Ida Husted, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, 3 vols., v. III, Indianapolis, The Hollenbeck Press, 1908, pp. 1399-1401.
• Harper, Ida Husted, History of Woman Suffrage, Susan B. Anthony & National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1902 and 1922, IV, p. 846n, 861, v. V, p. 279, v. VI, p. 443, 454, 457, 682.
• Huff, Robert A., “Anne Miller and the Geneva Political Equality Club, 1897-1912,” New York History, (October 1984).
• James, Edward T., Janet Wilson James and Paul S. Boyer, eds., Notable American Women, 1607-1950, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press (Harvard University), 1971. (Biography of Elizabeth Smith Miller, v. 2, pp. 540-41, written by Elizabeth B. Warbasse.)
• Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897, NY: Schocken Books, c1898, 1971, 1973.


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