Sufferin' Suffarage!

The fight women waged in this country for the right to vote was long and bitter, a struggle we'd be wise to remember.

1776 Abigail Adams writes to her husband, President John Adams, asking him to "remember the ladies" in the new code of laws. Adams replies that men will fight the "despotism of the petticoat."
1787 U.S. Constitutional Convention places voting qualifications in the hands of the states. Women in all states except New Jersey lose the right to vote.
1807 Women lose the right to vote in New Jersey, the last state to revoke the right. Women join the abolitionist movement.
1848 First Women's Rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Equal suffrage proposed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It is adopted.
1850 Women's rights convention held in Salem, Ohio. First national women's rights convention held in Worcester, Mass.
1850-1861 Annual women's rights conventions held. The last, in 1861, in Albany, N.Y., lobbies for a liberalized divorce bill.
1861-1865 Civil War Over the objections of Susan B. Anthony, women put aside suffrage activities to help the war effort.
1867 14th Amendment passes Congress, defining citizens as "male;" this is the first use of the word male in the Constitution. Kansas campaigns for black and women's suffrage both lose. Suffrage movement divides over black vs. women's suffrage.
1868 14th Amendment ratified. 15th Amendment passes Congress, giving the vote to black men. Women petition to be included but are turned down. In New Jersey, 172 women try to vote; their ballots are ignored.
1869 Frederick Douglass and others back down from women's suffrage to concentrate on fight for black male suffrage. National Woman Suffrage Association formed with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as president.
1870 15th Amendment ratified. The Grimke sisters, now quite aged, and 42 other women try to vote in Mass-achusetts, their ballots are cast but ignored. Utah territory grants woman suffrage. (see opposite page)
1872 Susan B. Anthony and supporters arrested for voting. Anthony's sisters and 11 other women held for $500 bail. Anthony is held for $1,000 bail.
1873 Denied a trial by jury, Anthony loses her case and is fined.
1878 Women's suffrage amendment first introduced in U.S. Congress.
1882 The House and Senate appoint committees on women's suffrage, both report favorably.
1884 Belva Lockwood runs for president.
1886 Women protest being excluded from the dedication ceremonies for the statue of liberty. Suffrage amendment reaches the U.S. Senate floor; it is defeated two to one.
1907 Harriet Stanton Blatch forms what becomes the Women's Political Union. She introduces the English suffragists' tactics of parades, street speakers and pickets.
1910 Washington state grants women's suffrage.
1911 California grants women's suffrage.
1912 Teddy Roosevelt's Progressive Party includes women's suffrage in its platform. Oregon, Arizona and Kansas grant women suffrage.
1913 Women's suffrage parade on the eve of Wilson's inauguration is attacked by a mob. Hundreds of women are injured; no arrests are made. Alaskan Territory grants suffrage. Illinois grants municipal and presidential but not state suffrage to women.
1917 NWP posts silent "Sentinels of Liberty" at the White House. In June, the arrests begin. Nearly 500 women are arrested, 168 women serve time, some are brutalized by their jailers. North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska and Michigan grant presidential suffrage; Arkansas grants primary suffrage. New York, South Dakota and Oklahoma grant suffrage.
1918 The jailed suffragists released from prison. Arrests ruled illegal. President Wilson declares support for suffrage. Suffrage Amendment passes U.S. House with two-thirds vote but loses by two votes in the Senate.
1919 The NWP lights and guards a "Watchfire for Freedom." It is maintained until the Suffrage Amendment passes U.S. Senate on June 4. The battle for ratification by at least 36 states begins.
1920 The 19th Amendment, called the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, is ratified by Tennessee in August.

The Women's History Project of Lexington Area National Organization for Women.

© Copyright by POINT, 1995
Last modified 10/11/95