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Mary B. Thistlethwaite Birdsall (1828 in Chester, Pennsylvania – February 1, 1894 in Philadelphia) was an American suffragette, temperance worker, and journalist.
Mary B. Thistlethwaite
Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||February 1, 1894 (aged 65-66)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Resting place||Earlham Cemetery|
|Spouse||Thomas Birdsall (married 1848-1894)|
|Children||Alvin T. Birdsall (1849 - 1875)
William W. Birdsall (1854 - 1909)Hubert H. Birdsall (1856 - ?)
|Parent(s)||William Thistlethwaite; Elizabeth Wetherald|
Born to English immigrants, she grew up on a farm near Richmond, Indiana, where she married Thomas Birdsall in 1848. They had three sons together. She began her journalism career as the woman's editor at the Indiana Farmer newspaper. For about five years she owned The Lily, a newspaper for women, which she purchased from suffragist Amelia Bloomer in 1854. She helped organize the second women's rights convention in Indiana. At that Indiana convention in 1852, she was elected as secretary for the newly-formed Indiana Woman's Rights Association (renamed the Indiana Woman's Suffrage Association (IWSA) in 1869, and eventually became president of the organization. Birdsall was a vice-president at the fourth National Women's Rights Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1853. She was among the first three women to address the Indiana legislature in 1859 to present a women's rights petition, speaking for a half-hour in support of women's suffrage. Birdsall died in Philadelphia in 1894 and interred at Earlham Cemetery in Richmond. Her Richmond home, a model of progressive architecture as espoused by Catherine Beecher, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.