To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote; Annapolis Tours by Watermark created a tour to highlight these ground-breaking women. Complete with tour guides in period costumes, this singular event is for one night only: August 26th at 6 PM. The Women of Achievement walking tour will visit sites throughout Annapolis’ historic district associated with notable Maryland women as well as other remarkable women who played a role in our nation’s history.
Heroines for the Ages
Many of the women highlighted on the tour are icons who transcend the ages. Their work, their fight and their heart are what made their mark on the world. One of Maryland’s most famous pioneers is Harriet Tubman (1822-1913). She escaped slavery then dedicated her life to help other African Americans escape. She then spied for Union troops during the Civil War and eventually joined the women’s suffrage movement.
Clara Barton (1821-1912) was a nurse in the Civil War and founder of the American Red Cross. Clara spent time at Camp Parole in Annapolis during the end of the Civil War. Another famous Marylander and a pioneer in modern environmentalism, was Rachel Carson (1907-1964). Her book Silent Spring, led the fight to ban hazardous pesticides such as DDT.
Protecting the past is an important legacy. No one was more instrumental in protecting the history of Annapolis like Anne St. Clair Wright, (1910-1993). A longtime president of Historic Annapolis, Anne was a champion in the restoration of Annapolis’s 18th century buildings. Without her, our lovely historic town would not be where it is today.
Civil Rights and Suffrage
The Women in Achievement tour also follows the lives of significant women who fought for equality across the board. One such champion was Margaret Brent (1601-1671) who became the first woman to appear before a court of common law. A right not afforded to women of the day. She was the first female landowner in Maryland. As executor of the governor’s estate in 1647, she ensured soldiers were paid and fed to save the colony from mutiny.
Edna Hooker’s (1879-1948) leadership in the suffrage movement focused on the importance of women’s rights in improving public health. Lavinia Engle (1892-1979) was elected to the House of Delegates and led the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
The battle for women’s suffrage and civil rights didn’t end with the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments. States continued to use discriminatory practices to block people of color from voting and acquiring higher education. Esther McCready (born in 1931) battled the courts to become the first black student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1950.
Mary Digges Lee (1745 – 1805) was an American patriot known as the “First Lady of Maryland.” She responded to George Washington’s plea for aid by collecting goods and money for the troops from colonists. Washington thanked Lee for the “patriotic exertions of the ladies of Maryland in favor of the army.”
Upon Jonas Green’s death in 1767, his widow, Anne Green (1720-1775); took over the publishing of The Maryland Gazette in Annapolis. A pioneer in any era, she became only the second female publisher in the colonies. Under Anne’s leadership, the newspaper boldly criticized British rule.
All of these extraordinary women paved the way; however, the fight is far from over. Even more remarkable women will be featured on the tour August 26th. We pay tribute to their fearlessness, grit and perseverance- they truly are Women of Achievement.
( The fee for this walking tour is $18 for adults and $10 for children. To book your tickets for this exclusive tour, click here!)