Fancy a peek into the history of women’s rights? Rosamund Jacob, a Quaker woman who campaigned for women’s right to vote in Ireland in the early 1900s, left behind 171 diaries in which she tracked, in minute detail, her daily comings and goings around the time that Irish women over the age of thirty were granted suffrage.
One of the diaries details the days leading up to the first time women over the age of thirty were allowed to vote. Jacob’s papers and diaries are now in the care of the National Library of Ireland, and are being examined as historic documents.
Katherine McSharry, outreach officer at the NLI, said:
Rosamond Jacob is a really fascinating figure from this time, she was born to a Quaker family in Waterford, so it’s great to get the perspective of somebody from outside of Dublin. She was involved in nationalist politics, she helped found the Sinn Féin club down there in 1906. She was a very strong feminist and suffragist.
One quote from the diary describes encouraging local women to cast their votes:
We got a list of women who were to be looked up, and I went after them. Some said they had voted, one I brought to the poll, and she had to wait some time to get in, as there was a great crowd and all going in and coming out by the same door.
Image Via The Journal
Jacob fought for women’s rights her whole life, and was close friends with prominent suffragettes such as Hanna Sheehy Skeffington.
Jacob’s death certificate lists her occupation as ‘author,’ and she wrote several books on Irish history and politics, such as The Troubled House. Published in 1937, The Rise of the United Irishmen 1791’1794 was her most successful work, and for it she was nominated for Book of the Year from the Women Writers’ Club. She also wrote novels, which, it is noted, “all feature strong female characters.”
You can read more about this extraordinary woman here. Watch the video below for a great look at the diaries!
Featured Image Via The Journal