Failure is Impossible – Woman Suffrage

Lesson Duration

Author:  Rosemary H. Knower with the National Archives

To dramatize the debate for woman suffrage, playwright Rosemary Knower was commissioned to write a narrative script, drawing on the Congressional Record, petitions to Congress, personal letters within the legislative records of the Government, and other archival sources such as newspaper editorials and articles, diaries and memoirs. The story was told through the voices of Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Frances Gage, Clara Barton, and Carrie Chapman Catt, among others.   The script can be done as a Reader’s Theater in a class period.


  • Students will learn about the women’s suffrage movement and leaders in that movement.
  • Students will learn about the passage of the 19th Amendment.



The National Archives' Teachers' Resources allow teachers to find and create interactive learning activities with primary source documents that promote historical thinking skills.