On October 24–27, 1905, the New York Woman Suffrage Association (NYSWSA) held its thirty-seventh annual convention in Rochester. (Nineteenth-century practice was to use the singular, woman's; later practice was to use the plural, women's.) The Powers Hotel at 36 West Main Street hosted an evening reception and various business and executive committee meetings. Plenary sessions were held at the First Universalist Church.
In attendance at various times were Susan B. Anthony, Emily Howland, Anna Howard Shaw, and prominent New York activists Elizabeth Smith Miller and Harriet May Mills.
The impetus for the convention had been a letter Mills wrote to Rochester's Political Equality Club suggesting that it host the 1905 convention.
On Tuesday, October 24, the opening plenary session focused on business matters with about 150 persons in attendance. Miller was named to a standing committee. Anthony did not attend this session, as she was tired after a late-evening event on the previous day. In the late afternoon, Anthony hosted a reception at the Powers Hotel; Mills was among those present.
Available records do not permit a day-to-day reconstruction of the convention's remaining agenda. It is known that Mills addressed the plenary session on the convention's second day. At some point, Anthony presented legendary antislavery activist (and Auburn resident) Harriet Tubman to the convention, praising her as a "living legend." The convention responded by giving Tubman a standing ovation.
A second reception was hosted by Anthony at her Rochester home; Anthony, Mills, and Shaw spoke at this event.
Immediately following the convention, the Rochester Political Equality Club, which had sponsored the convention, announced that the event had ended in financial surplus thanks to generous contributions made by convention attendees.