Mary Agnes Meara Chase, US botanist and suffragist

Mary Agnes Meara Chase, US botanist and suffragist

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Credit: SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Mary Agnes Meara Chase (1869-1963) US botanist and suffragist. Chase was born in Illinois and had little formal education. She studied botany, specialising in grasses, and conducted extensive field work in North and South America. In 1901, Chase became a botanical assistant at the Field Museum of Natural History. She later joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a botanical illustrator and eventually became senior botanist in charge of systematic agrostology (study of grasses). Chase experienced gender discrimination in her work. She was a suffragist, jailed several times for her activities and was force fed whilst on hunger strike. She was also an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

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