When Seneca Falls resident Catharine Paine signed the “Declaration of Sentiments” at the nation’s first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, she joined 67 other women and 32 men advocating for women’s rights. Just 18 years old at the time, she likely is one of only two women who signed the declaration who cast a ballot. Just a few years later, she joined her Methodist minister husband, David Blaine, in venturing to Northwest where they spent time in Seattle and several towns in Oregon. After a time in New York State, they returned to Seattle where she died in 1908.
Catharine Paine’s signature on the Declaration of Sentiments was a bold statement for women’s rights but her adventurous life of a minister’s wife with the Methodist Church stretching across the continent was also a bold statement for education, equality and service. Her permanent imprints at Women’s Rights National Historic Park and in Seattle are testimony to her legacy of dedication to the principles of the Declaration of Sentiments. (Image of Catharine Paine and David Blaine at their marriage in 1853, from University of Washington Special Collections, UW1886)
- Read more about her story.
- WSHS has also prepared curriculum materials about Blaine.
- Learn how to rent the Catharine Paine Blaine Traveling Exhibit.
- Find “Blaine Letters” at the University of Washington Digital Collections.
- Some of her clothing is in the WSHS Collections.
- Visit the National Women’s Rights Historical Park website.
This project was supported by the National Park Service’s Challenge Cost Share Program. Points of view are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the position of the Department of the Interior.