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In 1801, women in Montgomery Township, New Jersey, committed a revolutionary act: they voted. Between 1776 and 1807, women and free people of color could vote in the new state of New Jersey. This is the story of one of those women, Rebecca VanDike.

Watch the Performance

"Meet Rebecca VanDike" stars D’Arcy Dersham as Rebecca VanDike and was written by Valerie Dunn for the Museum of the American Revolution as part of the Museum's special exhibition, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807.

Go Behind the Scenes

Go behind the scenes of the making, scripting, and performing of the first-person theatrical performance, "Meet Rebecca VanDike," with actress D'Arcy Dersham and the Museum's Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow in Women's History Dr. Marcela Micucci.

The performance and behind the scenes videos were produced by Veracity Studios and the Museum of the American Revolution. The Museum produced two original first-person theatrical performances in conjunction with the special exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776-1807, that dramatize the different experiences and perspectives of two women of the period, Elizabeth Freeman and Rebecca VanDike.

This performance was made possible through the generosity of David and Kim Adler.

Bank of America and Comcast NBCUniversal are presenting sponsors of When Women Lost the Vote. Other support was provided by The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The exhibition was also made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

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The Museum's discovery of several poll lists featuring the names of women voters from the period, including a list from the New Jersey State Archives that features the names of 46 women voters, was featured in The New York Times.

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When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story

October 2, 2020 - April 25, 2021
In the special exhibition When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776 – 1807, the Museum explores the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters and examine the political conflicts that led to their voting rights being stripped away.
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Virtual Exhibits

With our virtual exhibitions, including our new virtual exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote, the Museum continues to uncover and share compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events that sparked America’s ongoing experiment.
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"Meet Elizabeth Freeman" Performance

Watch the original first-person theatrical performance portraying the life and experiences of Elizabeth Freeman, a Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom from enslavement and won, produced in conjunction with our special exhibit, When Women Lost the Vote.
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