foley head shot

Tricia Foley will present the lecture “Suffragette, Editor, Abolitionist: The Story of Mary Louise Booth” in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union as a part of the 100th Anniversary events commemorating women’s suffrage, "Hard Won Not Done." Hard Won Not Done is a commemoration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment from an Iowa perspective.

Women's suffrage activist Mary Louise Booth will be the topic of a lecture presented by a restoration expert Wednesday.

Tricia Foley will present the lecture “Suffragette, Editor, Abolitionist: The Story of Mary Louise Booth” at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union as a part of the 100th anniversary events commemorating women’s suffrage, "Hard Won Not Done." Hard Won Not Done is a commemoration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment from an Iowa perspective.

Foley is a self-acclaimed home designer and restoration expert, lifestyle authority and has become a published author of over 10 books about design and lifestyle. Her lecture will cover the history of Mary Louise Booth.

“Tricia Foley is going to be speaking about the biography that she wrote on Mary Louise Booth,” said Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center. “Mary Louise Booth was from New York, the Long Island area. She lived in the 1850s to the 1870s in that period. She was an abolitionist. She was a suffragist. She did translating, and she founded Harper’s Bazaar magazine and helped establish fashion as a legitimate journalist enterprise so we’re very excited to have Mrs. Foley come in and talk about that.”

“Mary L. Booth: The Story of an Extraordinary 19th-Century Woman” by Foley tells the tale of Booth, a writer, historian, editor, translator, abolitionist and suffragist. The illustrated biography tells the story of Booth's family background, her early days as a journalist, her connection to Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty and the American Pre-Raphaelites and consists of 120 period illustrations and photographs of Booth and her friends, her office, her New York City townhouses and letters from literary colleagues that bring to life her 19th century world, according to Amazon. 

From 1845, Booth taught in her father's school in Williamsburg, New York, before transitioning to contributing tales and sketches to various newspapers and magazines, reporting and book reviewing for educational and literary journals.

In 1856, she compiled a marble worker's manual and three years later she agreed to write a history of New York within a year. In 1861, at the beginning of the American Civil War, she procured the advance sheets in French, of Agénor de Gasparin's "Uprising of a Great People," and hurried to Scribner's with it to ask if they would publish it if she would translate it. Following the Civil War in 1867, she was offered the editorship of Harper's Bazaar where she worked up until her death in 1889, according to historyswomen.org.

To learn more about Booth, Iowa State students, staff, faculty and Ames community members are encouraged to attend the free lecture Wednesday evening sponsored by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and the Committee on Lectures funded by Student Government.

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