Suffarge book

In “The Voice of Liberty,” the latest book from the South Dakota State Historical Society, suffragists organize to give the Statue of Liberty - and themselves - a voice.

The children’s picture book was written by Angelica Shirley Carpenter and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham.

From the time it was unveiled in New York Harbor in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has symbolized freedom and democracy. If Liberty had been a real woman, however, she would have had no voice in her new country, where women could not vote or run for office.

Kirkus Reviews praised the book designed for readers ages 6 to 9 as a “lively account” filled with “bold, colorful, energetic illustrations (that) capture the time and place well.” The publication went on to call “The Voice of Liberty” a “fine tribute as 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.”

The men in charge of unveiling the statue in New York Harbor went so far as to declare the island off limits to women during the ceremony, but that did not stop New York suffragists Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lillie Devereux Blake, and Katie Devereux Blake. They wanted all women to have the liberty to vote and participate in government. To bring attention to their cause, they organized hundreds of people and sailed a cattle barge to the front of the day’s ceremony, making news and raising their voices for liberty.

In addition to the story, the book includes facts about the three women suffragists and the Statue of Liberty, a timeline of women’s rights, a bibliography, an author's note and sources for selected historical dialogue.

“The Voice of Liberty” is available for $19.95, plus shipping and tax, and can be ordered directly from the South Dakota Historical Society Press at or by calling 605-773-6009.