Nicolás Enríquez de Vargas (artist), Portrait of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, ca. 1750. Oil on canvas. Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City.
François (Franz) Fleischbein (artist), Portrait of Betsy, 1837. The Historic New Orleans Collection, acc. no. 1985.212.
Jarena Lee, 1849. Religious Experience and Journal of Mrs. Jarena Lee: giving an account of her call to preach the gospel, frontispiece. Engraving. New-York Historical Society Library.
Unknown photographer, A Typical Boomer Family, ca. 1890. New-York Historical Society.
Expansions and Inequalities, 1820-1869 examines what Westward Expansion meant to the diverse women living within and outside of the expanding nation’s borders, how women responded to the burgeoning immigration debate, and the roles women played in the early years of the Industrial Revolution.
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Unidentified African American woman in uniform, 1861. New-York Historical Society Library.
Cihak and Zima (photographer), Ida B. Wells-Barnett, ca. 1893-1894. University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center.
Gertrude Kasebier (photographer), Zitkala Sa, Sioux Indian and activist, c. 1898. Gertrude Kasebier, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Chien-shiung Wu (1912-1997), professor of physics at Columbia University, 1963. Smithsonian Institute Archives Image # SIA 2010-1509.
“Oportunidades Iguales Para Las Mujeres En El Trabajo y La Educaccion”, Women’s Strike for Equality, New York, Fifth Avenue, 1970, Eugene Gordon photograph collection, 1970-1990. New-York Historical Society Library.
Sarah Atwood Yale (maker), “I march against…” embroidered sign carried at Women’s March on Chicago, 2017. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Sarah Atwood Yale.
The Information Age, 1977-2001 looks at the experiences of women as technology, globalization, and increasingly polarized politics shaped the nation.
Bring WAMS to life using short animated videos based on inspiring women’s stories and key themes.
Early Encounters, 1492-1734
Learn more about Malitzen, an enslaved indigenous woman who acted as the primary interpreter for Hernan Cortés during his conquest of the Aztec Empire.
Learn about Catalina Trico, one of New Netherland’s first settlers.
Learn about Lydia de Meyer and Hillegond van Ruyven, two women who opened negotiations with English invaders in 1664 to facilitate the surrender of New Netherland.
Learn more about Thomas(ine) Hall, an intersex person in colonial Virginia whose gender identity became the subject of a court case in their small community.
Settler Colonialism and the American Revolution, 1692-1783
Learn more about the legal principle of coverture, which continues to shape American women’s lives.
Learn about how free Black women in Spanish Louisiana turned an oppressive law into a celebration of individuality and culture.
Learn more about Lorenda Holmes, a Loyalist spy in New York who did everything she could to undermine the American war efforts.
Learn about Toypurina, a Tongva wise woman who led a rebellion against a Spanish mission in Alta California.
Learn more about Elizabeth Freeman, an enslaved woman whose court case set the legal precedent to abolish slavery in Massachusetts.
A Nation Divided, 1832-1877
For centuries, women in the United States have used activism to voice their concerns about society and secure their rights as citizens.
Learn more about Sojourner Truth, one of the most important social justice activists in American history.
Learn more about Harriet Robinson Scott, a woman who challenged slavery in the highest court in the United States.
Modernizing America, 1889-1920
Learn more about Ida B. Wells, an anti-lynching crusader who used the power of journalism and statistical evidence to raise awareness about the most extreme horrors of life under Jim Crow.
Learn more about Mary Church Terrell, a lifelong activist who advocated for suffrage and equal rights on local, national, and international stages.
Learn more about Zitkala-Sa, an activist and composer who fought tirelessly for Native American rights and citizenship.
Confidence and Crises, 1920-1948
Learn more about Emma Tenayuca, a labor leader who led a major food-industry strike in her early 1920s and was eventually ostracized for her political beliefs.
Learn more about Chien-Shiung Wu, a Chinese American physicist who contributed to the development of the atomic bomb and overcame many racial and gender barriers.
Growth and Turmoil, 1948-1977
Learn about Antonia Pantoja, a grassroots organizer and activist for Puerto Rican rights.
Learn more about Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender activist who participated in the Stonewall Uprising and fought for equal rights.