Sandra Knisely writes, "The current U.S. passport includes 13 inspirational quotes from notable Americans. Only one belongs to a woman, the African-American scholar, educator, and activist Anna J. Cooper. On pages 26-27 are words she wrote in 1892: 'The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class—it is the cause of humankind, the very birthright of humanity.'
If equality is a journey, then it should come as no surprise that passports have helped American women to cross some of society’s most entrenched cultural borders for more than a century.
U.S. passports predate the Declaration of Independence, but the documents were issued on an ad hoc basis until the late 1800s, when the process began to standardize. By then, a single woman was issued a passport in her own name, but a married woman was only listed as an anonymous add-on to her husband’s document: 'Mr. John Doe and wife.'"