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Lowell Stories: Women's History

Blanche Ames Ames (1878-1969)

Blanche Ames Ames, Smith College, Special Collections.


Blanche Ames born February 18, 1878, Lowell, Massachusetts, was the daughter of Civil War General and Mississippi Governor Adelbert Ames and Blanche Butler Ames. The fourth of six children, she was the sister of Adelbert Ames Jr., a prominent scientist. She was also granddaughter to Civil War General and Massachusetts Governor Benjamin F. Butler and actress Sarah Hildreth Butler.

From Video Trailer “Borderland: The Life & Times of Blanche Ames Ames"


In 1915, when Massachusetts men would decide whether to allow women the right to vote, Blanche traveled throughout Massachusetts to spread the word of female equality. Treasurer of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage League; helped found the Birth Control League of Massachusetts, an affiliate of Margaret Sanger's group, the American Birth Control League, and served as first President.