While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Tony Black
Mariana Folsom lecture handbill
Mariana Thompson Folsom lecture handbill. Courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

FOLSOM, MARIANA THOMPSON (1845–1909). Mariana Folsom, Universalist minister, lecturer, and reform activist, was born on July 30, 1845, in Pennsylvania, probably in the Borough of Sunbury, Northumberland County, the daughter of merchant S. N. and Susan O. Thompson. The family moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, sometime between 1857 and 1860. After her high school education in Mount Pleasant, Mariana received a degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Although of Quaker background, she became a Universalist minister. In 1871 she married Allan Perez Folsom, who listed himself as a crockery merchant in 1880, an abstracter in 1898, and a lawyer in 1900. By 1879 Mariana was a state lecturer of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Association, living in Marshalltown, Iowa. The family probably moved to Texas in late 1884 or early 1885 following an 1884 lecture tour there; the Folsoms lived in San Antonio and Edna before settling in Austin between 1898 and 1900. They had four children. Mariana Folsom was a leader in the National American Woman Suffrage Association and asked Lucy Stone in 1885 for assistance in establishing a state suffrage society. The resulting Texas Equal Rights Association was established in 1893. Mrs. Folsom also corresponded with Susan B. Anthony and Elisabet Ney; she arranged for the latter to appear before a Texas House of Representatives committee and request the ballot for women. She was also a member of the Universal Peace Union and the state Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She died January 31, 1909.


Austin American-Statesman, January 1, 1968. A. Elizabeth Taylor, Citizens at Last: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas (Austin: Temple, 1987).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Tony Black, "FOLSOM, MARIANA THOMPSON," accessed July 05, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffo43.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on June 25, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...