Regional Focus: West Central Wyoming, Segment #2
Did you know that Wyoming was the first state to pass legislation to give Women the Right to Vote?
Or, that Wyoming holds many of the firsts in the Women’s Rights Movement?
Neither did I... until we visited South Pass City, Wyoming.
While visiting the restored historical ghost town of South Pass City, managed and administered by BLM, I learned of the role the town had played in the Wyoming’s suffrage movement.
In Honor of Women’s History Month – Let’s look at some of those Firsts. We’ll visit South Pass City in more detail in a future post.
So lovingly referred to as the “Cowboy State”, Wyoming’s true nickname is the “Equality State”. And for good reason. On December 10, 1869, Wyoming passed the first unconditional law in the US permanently guaranteeing women their inherent right to vote and hold office.
The first female to cast a vote, Louisa Swain, did so in Wyoming’s small town of Laramie a full 50 years before women could vote in the rest of the nation. The first female governor was elected in Wyoming, and Esther Hobart Morris was the nation’s first woman to be appointed to public office. She was Justice of the Peace in South Pass City, Wyoming. In addition, the Equality State is also the home to the first female jurors, the worlds first female bailiff, and the first town that was governed entirely by women.
When invited to join the union only if women’s suffrage was revoked, Wyoming’s legislature said, “We will remain out of the Union 100 years rather than come in without the Women”. In 1890, Wyoming became the 44th state… with their Women!
In 2019, Wyoming celebrated the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage – more than 50 years before the US ratification of the 19th amendment.
Read more by checking out these links: