Archives On The Air 62: First To The Ballot Boxes—Toppan Rare Books Library

Sep 12, 2018

First page of the pamphlet "Nine Years' Experience of Woman Suffrage in Wyoming" reflecting on the first years of women voting in the Wyoming Territory, 1879.
Credit Toppan Rare Books Library, American Heritage Center

In 1869 the Wyoming Territory passed the first law in the United States granting women the right to vote.

9 years later Wyoming’s politicians reflected on the woman suffrage law’s success. 

A Democratic Party member saw the women’s vote as improving politicians’ principles. He wrote “[W]e were beaten by the women’s vote . . . we shall learn . . . not to put up men whose characters will not stand the scrutiny of the good women of the territory.”

Governor John Hoyt spoke against the suffrage law’s doubters. He said they “persist in calling this honorable statute of ours an experiment. We know it is not.

It took another 50 years for women to gain the right to vote nationwide in 1920.

Discover more of Wyoming women’s political history through pamphlets and other documents in the digital collections of UW’s American Heritage Center.