Throughout its history, Dudley Observatory has had a weird sort of half-fame. Yes, it’s a modest observatory in smAlbany, but there have been a lot of eyes upon it. Particularly during the early phase, with the initial promise of an observatory that could compete with the best in Europe.
As a result, I run into references to Dudley in unexpected places. Here’s a little chart created by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the great feminist activist and co-organizer of the Seneca Falls women’s rights convention.
The above was part of a speech delivered to the Women’s Taxpayers Association of Rochester, NY. Stanton was encouraging women to invest in their own education, since despite the taxes paid by women the government didn’t seem willing.
I’m not sure exactly what qualified the Dudley Observatory as a “scientific institution for men,” other than the fact that it was run by men , and solely staffed by men until the early 20th century. That’s probably enough. It’s possible that Blandina Dudley and the observatory were on Stanton’s radar because her friend and ally Elizabeth “Libby” Smith Miller had married Blandina’s nephew Charles Dudley Miller. She mentions them both is passing in her autobiography, Eighty Years and More.