Ernestine Rose – A Polish-born Leader of the American Woman Suffrage Movement – A talk by Norman Kelker

November 3, 2021, 7 PM ET

The Kosciuszko Foundation: 15 E 65th Street, New York, NY 10065

Ernestine Rose - A Polish-born Leader of the American Woman Suffrage Movement - a talk by Norman Kelker

Guest appearance: Bonnie Anderson, Ph.D., professor emerita of history at Brooklyn College and author of the Ernestine Rose biography, "The Rabbi's Atheist Daughter."

Ernestine Potowska Rose was born in 1810 in the Polish city of Piotrow Tribunalski to an orthodox rabbi and his wife. She refused to marry the man her father had chosen for her. She then traveled to Berlin, Paris, England, and finally, New York, where she began her political activity. By 1850, she was central to the women’s rights, anti-slavery, and free thought movements, in which she was the only foreigner, the only atheist, and the only Jew. She was hailed as “The Queen of the Platform” for being the best female orator of mid-19th century America. Following the Civil War, she returned to England, where she continued her activism in the free thought and women’s movements.

Upon her death, many tributes poured out but none seemed to capture the story of her life like that from William Lloyd Garrison, the leader of the fight against slavery.

…one of the most remarkable women of the age;

…as the advocate of the rights of her sex, she has

no superior.


Watch the recording of the talk HERE. 

Norman Kelker was born and raised in Ohio. He graduated from Hiram College, Ohio with a degree in Biology. He continued his biology studies and received a Ph.D. in microbiology from Michigan State University. He spent his career as a researcher at New York University Medical School and as a scientist and executive at Enzo Biochem, a New York biotechnology company. He is interested in American history and is intrigued by events and people that share history between Poland and America.

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