In Search of Ella Hatheway, Social Reformer in Early 20th Century Saint John, New Brunswick

By:Susan McAdam

Who was Ella Hatheway? What we know of her is that she lived from 1853 to 1931. We know she was a suffragette who also worked on several other social reform projects. She has been included in scholarship about the Canadian and local suffrage movement and other reform activities. She was married to Frank Hatheway, a prominent leader in labour and social reform in Saint John. They had two daughters, at least one of whom followed in her parents’ footsteps of engagement in social reform. In her days as a suffragette and later, she has been described as “unobtrusive,” and a “pet” with a good natured sense of humour. [1] Her daughter has fondly reminisced that  her “hair was medium brown, eyes a lovely clear blue – her colour fair; and her mind and spirit about a hundred years ahead of her time.”[2]

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries industrialization led to rapid urban expansion and population growth in North America. In response to social problems that arose from these circumstances, social reform groups popped up throughout the continent. Many women’s groups concerned with temperance, enfranchisement, public health, labour reform, child welfare, and other urban problems organized in major cities in Canada. There were many men’s groups that also addressed these issues, and often husbands and wives worked on the same issues.[3] Saint John was no exception. Several women’s organizations existed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,[4] as did several men’s organizations, for the purpose of improving social conditions for city dwellers. As Janice Cook explains,

The Saint John men and women who campaigned for factory legislation, child labour law and other causes knew that they were participating in a national and international movement for social change. They were knowledgeable of the writings of well-known social critics, including Edward Bellamy and Henry George; they attended meetings and conferences which had social and labour reforms on the agenda; and they read newspapers which kept them apprised of such developments in other parts of the globe. Based upon these and other sources, they designed a reform programme suited to the needs of their community.[5]

The socialist movement that Ella and Frank belonged to differed greatly from the radical socialism of the Socialist Party of Canada, in Fredericton, and other class conscious pockets of radicalism in the Maritimes.[6] This was largely due to the influence of Frank Hatheway and his intellectual approach of consistently working within the system. His socialist ideas permeated his work as a businessman and expanded into the fabric of the city by way of his activism in social reform groups and as a legislator. The Fabian League, which he founded, reflected these ideals of working within the system.  Meanwhile, during this time he wrote and published on a variety of local and national socialist concerns. His work has been widely written about, discussed in graduate theses and in books. In his own time he was listed in Canadian Men and Women of the Time. He is included in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, and on a website devoted to The W. Franklin Hatheway Labour Exhibit Centre in Saint John.[7] Ella and Frank Hatheway fit the typical description of a reform couple for their time as members of the Anglo-Saxon merchant/middle class.[8]  Ella belonged to the Dominion Women`s Enfranchisement Association among other groups, while Frank was a founding member of the Saint John Fortnightly Club—a literary club—and a member of other groups. Together they worked on several reform projects for the people of Saint John. Frank has been acknowledged for this work; Ella not so much.[9]

Whether it was due to lack of acknowledgement or a combination of absences, Ella is a figure who is both tangible and elusive. For example, her handwriting fills much of the pages of the Women’s Enfranchisement Association minutebooks, yet she left no personal diary. She was noted to have presented good essays at their meetings, yet despite discussion of publishing at least one, none apparently were. To further frustrate the researcher, a gap of about six months exists in the WEA minutebook directly after the entry regarding publishing her essay. At that point the tone of the WEA activity had changed and one can only wonder what became of the essay. These gaps have been consistently noted by those who have used these books as sources.

Ella Hatheway was first written about in the graduate thesis and subsequent 1950 book by Catherine Cleverdon entitled The Woman Suffrage Movement in Canada. Ella is mentioned as a member of a stalwart group of four women who repeatedly petitioned the legislature for women’s suffrage.[10]  She further emerged as a figure in the social reform movement through two master’s theses. A thesis on the WEA written by Mary Eileen Clarke in 1979 includes discussion of both Ella and Frank’s contribution to the association. Janice Cook’s thesis about child labour reform in Saint John expands on the climate of the era while contextualizing the port city within a larger, continental climate of urban social response. Cook’s research illuminates the rich level of political, intellectual, and social engagement in which Frank Hatheway was a central figure, and less obtrusively, Ella. All three of these authors have noted there are pages missing from the WEA minutebooks and speculated on the significance of their absence. Cleverdon, through correspondence with Ella Hatheway’s daughter, has left little insight into this mystery. Indeed Miriam Hatheway Wood’s own wavering memory about the books and certain events has only added to it. Along with these resources, newspaper articles—including one written by Ella—supply the evidence to illuminate her character and place within the Canadian left.

Ella Hatheway was a member of the first wave of feminism, which was both a local and global phenomenon in which women sought the right to vote. In Canadian history she was of the generation of the first formation of the left as identified by Ian McKay.[11] Active from the mid-1880s to at least the mid-1920s, Hatheway was a middle to upper class woman influenced by the intellectual socialist ideas of the day.[12] She and Frank were both Anglo-Saxon Protestants with the financial means and class position to influence change, and often worked together to accomplish social reform. [13] Inspired by Edward Bellamy’s ideas, and greatly aware of the necessity for women to contribute to social welfare through political participation, Ella Hatheway worked sedulously to gain the vote for women in New Brunswick.

Ella was born in Saint John to Eliza Georgiana MacKaskey and Silas William Marvin, a bookkeeper from Saint John (of no distinguished ancestry), on 4 January 1853.[14] She married Warren Franklin Hatheway on 19 February 1883 in an Anglican ceremony at Grace Church on Main Street in Saint John.[15] This was her first marriage at the age of 30, and his second at the age of 33. They then had two daughters, Miriam Dorothea Merwyn, born 23 February 1884, and Grace Hamilton, born 25 August 1885.

Frank Hatheway rose to prominence in Saint John. Although he was from a prestigious family, of Loyalist descent, by the time he turned thirteen they had become impoverished and he went off to work. Through that early work he gained admiration for the working class but went on to become a self-taught intellectual. He served time in the militia and sang in a local church. By the time he was 27, he embarked on his own business career with partner James Harding as a grocer and importer. By the time he married Ella he was a successful businessman and dissolved his business partnership four years after his marriage to venture on his own. Socially minded from the days of his early working career, Frank soon set up his company as a model of profit-sharing.  Adding his political leanings to his sense of social responsibility, Frank also wrote prolifically on many social and political issues and published books of essays and poems on Canadian national identity, the reciprocity agreement, injustice, education for farmers and labourers, and foreign trade, to name a few.[16] He also brought his ideas to social groups—political, socialist and literary—being a founding member of the Saint John Fortnightly Club in the 1890s and the Fabian Social League in 1901 for which he acted as president.[17] Frank ran as a Conservative Labour candidate for a seat in the provincial legislature in spring 1903, but lost.[18] He was elected in 1908 as a Conservative and attempted in 1909, while sitting in the legislature, to enact an enfranchisement bill for widows and spinsters owning property.

And in 1910 Frank worked on having a female factory inspector appointed. His work for women, Gerald Allaby claims, stemmed from his “desire for a greater voice for women in government circles.”[19] Allaby, in a thesis chapter devoted to Frank’s leftist activities, claims that Ella “rarely entered the controversy surrounding her husband.” He mentions only that she worked on a committee with him to establish free kindergarten in Saint John.[20] Other scholarship proves this to be untrue. Ella worked on several reform projects that her husband was also involved in (and in sharp contrast to Allaby’s statements, Ella’s activities in the DWEA alone created a great deal of controversy).

Free kindergarten for the children of working mothers of Saint John was just one of the joint efforts for social welfare that Ella and Frank shared. The couple also worked toward factory reform for health and safety, and child labour reform. They worked to create a position for a female factory health and safety inspector and for suffrage for widows and unmarried female property owners, as well as for suffrage for all women in New Brunswick.[21] As David Frank points out, much of the work Frank Hatheway undertook to implement workers’ compensation was for the benefit of the widows, wives and children of labourers.[22] In the spring of 1912, Frank Hatheway addressed the attendees of an initial meeting who wished to form a Federation of Labour in New Brunswick.[23] The timing of this fledgling amalgamation coincided with another strong push to bring a suffrage bill forward in the legislature, and it coincided with one of the boldest public statements Ella made for that cause. Two years later, in 1914,  it was Ella who presented the case for suffrage to the Trades and Labour Congress when they met in Saint John. In response to her “written appeal” they decided to pass a resolution in favour of women’s suffrage.[24]

It was through the Saint John branch of the Women’s Enfranchisement Association that Ella achieved the bulk of her aspirations. The women worked for 25 years, from the group’s inception to the achievement, finally, of legislation, for women’s right to vote in New Brunswick. At its beginning in March 1894, eighteen women, members of the pre-existing Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, met to examine forming a group focussed on women’s suffrage. [25] Hatheway, who was 41 at this time, took on the role of secretary treasurer and soon after corresponding secretary. She would hold those roles for twenty years.  In those early days during the 1890s Hatheway was involved with the WEA’s efforts to present two large petitions to the legislature for “full parliamentary franchise” for women.[26] Ten thousand signatures were collected, initiating two bills—one for full female enfranchisement, and one for unmarried women. A further eighteen petitions were forwarded to the legislature, and yet both bills were defeated.[27] In a change of tactics the WEA engineered a letter-writing campaign. In 1897 while a bill to enfranchise unmarried women was before the House, each member was asked to vote in the women’s favour, and also how he would vote. As corresponding secretary, Hatheway might be considered the one to have drafted these letters herself. Of the 39 members contacted, only fourteen responded, with a split of six for, six against, and two undecided.[28]  The bill did not even go to debate. By 1898 a sympathetic premier, H. R. Emmerson was elected, rousing hopes in the members of the WEA. He was promptly approached to introduce a new bill, as the WCTU launched another petitioning campaign. The numbers must have been astronomical in comparison to previous campaigns, as sources indicate the WEA alone had collected 4,000 signatures.[29] A bill and resolution were introduced. After the resolution was rejected by a 34 to 7 vote, the bill lapsed.[30] After this final defeat of the 1890s, a shift occurred in the WEA. Although achieving suffrage had been the intent of the club, a change of focus to other social reform proved to be more practical.

The club went through a short period of redefining itself. It was a bumpy patch, and not all members were in agreement how the group should proceed. The desire to branch into other reform causes piqued some interest. Always interested in improvement of the lives of women, aspects of labour and health became a focus, along with another main focus on the lives of children. It was at this time that Ella became a member of the committee for enacting free daycare, and the WEA initiated thought of a children`s aid society.[31] The organization also began working to improve sanitation of public space in Saint John through street cleaning and the use of garbage cans. They also worked on ensuring water was safe for drinking and called for the enactment of a Public Health Act.[32] In early 1899, as the WEA were organizing to campaign for mandatory education, Frank Hatheway initiated their interest in child factory labour reform.[33] The two went hand in hand, as mandatory schooling would keep children out of factories, and off the streets. There had been earlier success for women in the area as well. In 1893 a bill passed to allow each municipal school board to appoint one woman, and in 1896 this was expanded to a requirement that two be appointed.[34]The WEA organized a gathering of municipal women voters for an information session through which they learned about socially minded laws in New Zealand, and the problems in their own city. They were encouraged to vote for aldermen who supported these reforms, and it was hoped these women would also rally behind creating a position for a female factory inspector.[35] Nothing in the form of legislation had materialized through 1901; however, the WEA had raised civic awareness and consequently public engagement through their educational activities.

During this time the WEA was also engaged in their own program of socialist education, which explains the background for their expansion into civic reform. Greatly influenced by Edward Bellamy`s ideas about “collectivism,” Ella Hatheway introduced his book Equality to the WEA. By early 1899 what Clarke describes as a “three year infatuation” took over the Women’s Enfranchisement Association. [36] Upon discussion of changing the association into a Fabian Society, Hatheway and her friend Emma Fiske “were appointed to ‘act as a committee to advance the cause of collectivism’.”[37] They began a new sub-group which met to discuss these ideas, referred to in the WEA minutebooks as “Bellamy Evenings.” This group made up of WEA members, both women and men, gathered to read and discuss the writing of Bellamy and other socialist writers at “regular quarterly meetings.”[38] Often they also read their own essays. On 29 March 1900 during a meeting at the King’s Daughters’ Rooms, Ella Hatheway added to the group readings with her paper entitled “Collectivism.”[39] It was received with a great deal of enthusiasm; motions were passed to arrange for publication in a newspaper, and a committee was appointed.[40] Appeal to Reason, a socialist newspaper from the United States, was also of interest to Hatheway and her group.  During one WEA meeting on 31 March 1900, “a suggestion was made that copies of ‘Appeal to Reason’ be obtained from Mr. Dykeman with a view of subscribing for by the Association, if found acceptable.”[41] At least on one other occasion, in late 1903, Hatheway read a paper she wrote on “Faults of Men and Women” to the group, and they continued to read from Equality.[42]  Janice Cook describes how the WEA came to perceive the organization as “an equal rights group.”[43] During this phase Hatheway had led her WEA members in their discovery of broader socialist ideas of equality.

After the entry for Ella`s popular paper on “Collectivism” there is a six-month gap in the minutebooks. The next meeting on 15 November of that year records an interest in engaging the Local Council of Women on the ideas of Bellamy and collectivism. No more mention of her paper comes up in the minutebooks. Much of what took up the discussion during the next series of meetings was the WEA`s relationship with the LCW. The WEA had come up against a conservative element within the organization. A rift materialized, and the LCW would not come to see eye to eye with the WEA until 1910, when they finally agreed to support the franchise for women.[44] The LCW, it must be noted, were an exception rather than the norm. Ella’s reserved temperament could often be piqued at times of opposition. This becomes evident as one peruses the pages of the WEA minutebooks. Her frustration ran through in her entries for meetings in 1902, and there is a note of resentment, as she mentions that Council members sniggered at her introduction of socialist ideas.[45]  Ella wrote: “on this occasion when the mention was made in the report of some or our societies readings the writers being along the lines of Socialism, a laugh of derision or amusement arose from a number of members present.”[46] She goes on to write that “the attitude of the Executive, especially being exceedingly rude to us as a society, it was moved . . . that a resolution be drawn up . . . severing our connection with the council.”[47] Miriam Hatheway Wood noted that rift as well, claiming it may never have been resolved. She claimed that in later years, during anniversary celebrations of the city’s women’s organizations, both Hatheway and Fiske were omitted from the stories told of the history of the clubs: “In recent years the various societies in Saint John have been celebrating their several anniversaries by digging up records of their beginnings and having some history of those days read at the anniversary meeting. One of these, the Women’s Canadian Club, dug up a pleasant tale giving credit due to a woman very active in such affairs over a long period. The story made no mention of my mother and her friend Mrs. Fiske (Emma S. Fiske) who really started the club.” [48]

Wood’s comments may well have prompted Cleverdon’s judgement of conservatism on the Maritime Provinces. In correspondence with Cleverdon, Wood claims that without the efforts of her parents and Emma Fiske “the franchise would have been given to women much later in our backward province.”[49] In her criticism of New Brunswick’s progressive abilities Wood may have reinforced the central Canadian perspective on conservatism in the Maritimes.  Margaret Conrad points out the flaws in Cleverdon’s assessments. She points out Cleverdon’s contradictions in claiming the Maritimes to be isolated yet also claiming many middle class women of the suffrage era travelled to the USA and to Central Canada.[50] Hatheway was one of those women, along with Fiske and other members of the WEA. Hatheway was indeed in contact with Sylvia Pankhurst, a well known radical suffragette from England, who stayed as a guest of Ella Hatheway on her way through Saint John on a North American tour in 1912.[51] Ella’s open mind and sense of order were both evident in her written appeal of 9 December 1911 to avoid judging the guerrilla tactics of the English Suffragettes who had smashed windows and performed other acts of destruction. However, this post in the minutebooks could have also been a reminder to herself as much as the other women in the group to remain true to their cause.[52]

Ella’s handwriting fills the pages of the WEA minutebooks.  It is an even handwriting, easy to read. Members’ names are always formally entered as “Miss Skinner” or “Miss Peters.” She entered herself as “Mrs. Hatheway,” and signed off each meeting with different variations on her full name either as “Ella B. M. Hatheway,”[53] or “E. B. M. Hatheway,”[54] or just “E. B. M. H., secy [secretary].”[55] As a founding member of the WEA, Ella Hatheway held the role of secretary treasurer and corresponding secretary until the deaths of two of her closest allies, Emma Fiske and Mabel Peters, in 1914. As one of its longest standing members at that time she took on a joint leadership role with Clara McGivern. As Cook notes, “she [McGivern] and Hatheway really shared the leadership, McGivern nominally, Hatheway, unobtrusively, as usual.”[56] Hatheway still maintained her position as corresponding secretary close to the end.[57]

Ella lived through many forms of opposition from an eclectic range of the population during her years of suffrage campaigning. Along with the obvious rejection of enfranchisement by members of the legislature, she as well encountered rebuff from the Local Council of Women and much more subtly through the press. The differing perspectives held by the LCW and the WEA may have had some influence on the public or those in government. That has not been researched. The media though may have played a part in swaying public opinion through editorial choice and placement of articles. For example, in 1912 the Saint John Evening Globe published a small front page article about property destruction by protesting suffragists in London, England. On page 5 a larger article described the events again. Below this was placed a short report on the actions of the Saint John WEA announcing their intent to take a women’s suffrage bill to the legislature. Included in this article was the report of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union’s unanimous endorsement of the bill. This article was written in a favourable tone, yet it lacked a headline, unlike the London articles.

Hatheway was part of the delegation that travelled to the legislature in Fredericton with the bill. There the opposition took an ugly turn, and it targeted Ella.[58]  It was Ella’s proposed address to the legislature, published in the Saint John Globe on 15 April 1912 that must have created the most controversy. It is not the clarity with which she describes the declassing of women through sexual discrimination (not a term yet in 1912) that is most controversial, but her exposition of members of the legislature who attempted to belittle her through a lewd joke.[59] As the legislators tried to silence and shame her out of the political sphere, she managed to turn the tables and expand her audience. They, she prophetically pointed out, “incidentally provide[d] an item for the history of woman suffrage in New Brunswick.”[60]

It seems that what finally brought the women the vote in New Brunswick in 1919 was a large historical matrix event. According to Cleverdon it was their actions during the “Great War” that impressed the members of the House and had them talking in the legislature in support of the reform in 1918, which was finally enacted in 1919.[61] Miriam Hatheway says of her parents they were very much ahead of their time.[62] Possibly it was not as simple as fighting against conservatism, for perhaps the men in the legislature thought they needed proof women were committed to the larger community. Of course, the social reform work of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries should have been proof enough, but it pitted members of the community against one another—labour against business for example. The war also pitted factions of society against one another, but was used by the government to justify allowing women to have the vote. Women had proved they deserved it.

Ella Hatheway was at the forefront of women’s fight for the vote in New Brunswick. Working from 1894 to January of 1919 with the WEA, she weathered the lengthy process dealing with opposition from other women and the government, as well as rifts within the association. Progressive ideas such as hers were met with opposition from the conservative women of the Local Council of Women.[63] Hatheway Wood claims that Hatheway and Fiske “resigned” themselves to running the WEA “on a far sighted and broad minded basis.”[64] Whether spoken from hindsight or not, this indeed was the case. Ella introduced very radical ideas to the club through the works of Edward Bellamy. Female suffrage took decades to achieve in the province, and along the way Ella and her group still managed to bring other reforms to the city and province that benefited children and the poor, on issues of education, labour reform, health and safety. Ella Hatheway, like other women in her time, worked tirelessly on social reform projects, yet creating the form of society she strived for was far beyond the capacities of the social reform movements of her time.


Primary Documents:

Catherine Cleverdon fonds, MG30, DI60, File 9: Correspondence with Miriam Hatheway Wood 1941-1947, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa. Thank you to Professor Erin Morton and Dr. Andrea Terry, who provided copies of Miriam Hatheway Wood’s correspondence with Cleverdon.

Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association: 1894-1919 fonds, S 41 – 1, New Brunswick Museum Archives, Saint John.

Saint John Globe, 15 April 1912, p. 7.

Morgan, Henry, ed. The Canadian men and women of the time: a handbook of Canadian biography of living characters. Toronto: William Briggs 1912

Secondary Sources:

Allaby, Gerald Henry. “New Brunswick Prophets of Radicalism: 1890-1914.” MA Thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1972.

Bacchi, Carol.  “Divided Allegiances: The Response of Farm and Labour Women to Suffrage” in Linda Kealey, ed., A Not Unreasonable Claim: Women and Reform in Canada, 1880s – 1920s. Toronto: The Women’s Press, 1979, p. 89-108.

Campbell, R. Philip. “Council and the Suffragettes,” in Challenging years, 1894-1979: 85 years of the Council of Women in Saint JohnSaint John: Lingley Printing, 1979.

Clarke, Mary Eileen. “The Saint John Women’s Enfranchisement Association 1894 – 1919,” MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1979.

Cleverdon, Catherine. “The Maritime Provinces: Stronghold of Conservatism,” The Woman Suffrage Movement in Canada, [1950] Toronto: University of Toronto Press: 1974.

Conrad, Margaret. “Addressing the Democratic Deficit: Women and Political Culture in Atlantic Canada,” Atlantis 27, 2 (2003): 82-89.

Cook, Janice. “Child Labour in Saint John: New Brunswick and the Campaign for Factory Legislation, 1880 – 1905,” MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1990.

Evans, Valerie. “Man of the People,” Saint John New Brunswick  <>

Frank, David. “Provincial Solidarities: The Early Years of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour, 1913–1929, ” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada, vol. 19, n° 1, 2008, p. 143-169.

Frank, David and Reilly, Nolan. “The Emergence of the Socialist Movement in the Maritimes: 1899-1916,” in Labour/Le Travailleur 4 (1979) p. 85 – 113.

Kealey, Linda. A Not Unreasonable Claim: Women and Reform in Canada 1880s – 1920s Toronto: The Women’s Educational Press 1979.

McKay, Ian. Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s Left History. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2005.

Mitham, Peter.  “Warren Franklin Hatheway,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography 1921-1930 (Volume XV), University of Toronto Press, 2000. Also available online at <>

Saint-Andre, Peter. The Ism Book, Accessed 17 December 2010 <>

Simkin, John. Spartacus Educational, 2003, Accessed 17 December 2010

Warren Franklin Hatheway Labour Exhibit Centre. <>


[1] Mary Eileen Clarke, “The Saint John Women’s Enfranchisement Association 1894 – 1919,” MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1979, p. 97; Valerie Evans, “Man of the People” Saint John New Brunswick  <>

[2] Miriam Hatheway Wood to Catherine Cleverdon, 22 October 1944, Catherine Cleverdon fonds, MG30, DI60, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa..

[3] Linda Kealey, ed., A Not Unreasonable Claim: Women and Reform in Canada 1880s – 1920s (Toronto: The Women’s Educational Press 1979), p. 2.

[4] Clarke, p. 31.

[5] Janice Cook, “Child Labour in Saint John: New Brunswick and the Campaign for Factory Legislation, 1880 – 1905,” MA thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1990 p. 13-14.

[6] David Frank and Nolan Reilly, “The Emergence of the Socialist Movement in the Maritimes, 1899 – 1916.” Labour/Le Travailleur  4 (1979) p. 85–86, 91.

[7] Peter Mitham, “Warren Franklin Hatheway,” Dictionary of Canadian Biography 1921-1930 (Volume XV), University of Toronto Press, 2000; also available online at <>;  Henry Morgan, The Canadian men and women of the time: a handbook of Canadian biography of living characters… Toronto: William Briggs 1912, p. 513. See also:

[8] Kealey, p. 3.

[9] Emma Fiske and Mabel Peters, two of Ella Hatheway’s contemporaries in social reform in Saint John are included in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. But Ella has not yet been included.

[10] Catherine Cleverdon, “The Maritime Provinces: Stronghold of Conservatism,” The Woman Suffrage Movement in Canada [1950] Toronto: University of Toronto Press: 1974, p. 177-98.

[11] Ian McKay, Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s left History. Toronto: Between the Lines, 2005, p. 147.

[12] McKay, p. 149. According to McKay, “in this period to become a socialist in North America often meant agreement with the ideas of Edward Bellamy”.

[13] Carol Bacchi, “Divided Allegiances: The Response of Farm and Labour Women to Suffrage” in Linda Kealey, ed.,  A Not Unreasonable Claim: Women and Reform in Canada 1880s – 1920s, p. 90.

[14] CGI, In records from Brenan’s Funeral Home from the New Brunswick Provincial Archives database MC793, Ella’s parents are listed as Eliza G. MacCaskey and William S. Marven: Clarke, p. 41 lists her father as J. S. Marven, a bookkeeper.

[15] Valerie Evans, “Man of the People.”

[16] Mitham, “Hatheway.”

[17] Gerald Henry Allaby, “New Brunswick Prophets of Radicalism: 1890-1914.” MA Thesis, University of New Brunswick, 1972, pp. 89, 95.

[18] Allaby, p. 87.

[19] Allaby, p. 119.

[20] Allaby, p. 103.

[21] Allaby, p. 119; Cook, p. 118; Clarke, pp. 13, 26, 38-39.

[22] David Frank, “Provincial Solidarities: The Early Years of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour,

1913–1929,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada, vol. 19, n° 1, 2008, pp. 147, 152-153.

[23] Frank, p. 147.

[24] Frank, p. 150.

[25] Clarke, p. 64. The WCTU had pockets around the province interested in suffrage that supported petitions through the 1880s, but suffrage was not included in their platform until 1895.

[26] Cleverdon, p. 180.

[27] Cleverdon, p. 182.

[28] Cleverdon, p. 183.

[29] Cleverdon, p. 183.

[30] Cleverdon, p. 184.

[31] Cook, p. 123.

[32] Clarke, p. 68; Cook, p. 123.

[33] Cook, p. 123.

[34] Cleverdon, pp. 182-83.

[35] Cook, pp. 125-26.

[36] WEA Minute Book I, pp. 126, 129, Dominion Women’s Enfranchisement Association: 1894-1919 fonds, S 41, New Brunswick Museum Archives, Saint John.  See also Clarke, p. 75. Although Clarke goes on to credit Hatheway for introducing the group to Edward Bellamy’s ideas, it was through readings from his book Equality, not the earlier title Looking Backward, that Ella continued to inspire the women; Ian McKay explains collectivism to be born in a “collective moment of understanding that the suffering of today emerges from underlying contradictions in the social and economic structure,” McKay, p. 141.

[37] WEA Minute Book I, pp. 127, 129; Cook, p. 120. The Fabian Society was a group that was originated in England by Sidney and Beatrice Webb in 1884. Although it is possible that the Saint John Fabian Society League Frank Hatheway was a part of creating in April 1901 was the same group as the “Bellamy Evenings” group, this seems unlikely as the WEA members have not been mentioned in any literature about the Fabian League. Membership in the League was open to men, according to Cook, p. 128. It seems most probable that a similar conservative perception of the role of women that the WEA experienced with the LCW was also present among some members of the Fabian League. To successfully run the group, not including women may have been easier than opening another Pandora’s Box.

[38] WEA Minute Book I, 22 March 1900, p. 126.

[39] WEA Minute Book I, 29 March 1900, p. 126.

[40] WEA Minute Book I, 29 March 1900, pp. 126, 128.

[41] WEA Minute Book I, p. 128. Appeal to Reason ran articles and excerpts from socialist writers such as Bellamy, William Morris and Friedrick Engels, and was in print from 1887 to 1922. It was the most popular socialist publication of its time in the United States. See John Simkin, Spartacus Educational, 2003, Accessed 17 December 2010 <>

[42] WEA Minute Book I, pp. 168, 171.

[43] Cook, p. 118; WEA Minute Book I, p. 162.

[44] WEA Minute Book I, pp. 132-35; Cook p. 121; Clarke, pp. 80-81, 105; Phillip Campbell, “Council and the Suffragettes,” in Challenging years, 1894-1979: 85 years of the Council of Women in Saint John. Saint John: Lingley Printing, 1979, p. 21-24.

[45] WEA Minute Book I, 8 February 1902, pp. 152-53.

[46] WEA minute Book I, 8 February 1902, p. 152

[47] WEA Minute Book I, 8 February 1902, p. 152.

[48] Hatheway Wood to Cleverdon, 22 October 1944.

[49] Hatheway Wood to Cleverdon 7 June 1944.

[50] Margaret Conrad, “Addressing the Democratic Deficit: Women and Political Culture in Atlantic Canada,” Atlantis 27, 2 (2003): 82-89.

[51] Hatheway Wood to Cleverdon, 22 October 1944

[52] WEA Minute Book I, 9 December 1911, p. 210.

[53] WEA Minute Book I, 8 February 1902, p. 154.

[54] WEA Minute Book I, 10 January 1903, p. 166.

[55] WEA Minute Book I, 3 May 1902, p. 156.

[56] Cook, p. 97.

[57] Cleverdon, pp. 190-91.

[58] Ella Hatheway, “Women’s Suffrage and the Legislature: Mrs. Ella Hatheway’s Proposed Address,” Saint John Globe, 15 April 1912, p. 7.

[59] Saint John Globe, 15 April 1912, p. 7.

[60] Saint John Globe, 15 April 1912, p. 7.

[61] Cleverdon, pp. 195-96.

[62] Hatheway Wood to Cleverdon, 22 October 1944.

[63] WEA Minute Book 1, 12 April 1902, p. 156.

[64] Hatheway Wood to Cleverdon, 22 October 1944.


Susan McAdam is a student at the University of New Brunswick who is studying in History.