Timeline of Historic Events

National Suffrage

Other Timelines


1776

Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, suggests that he "remember the ladies" in the new code of laws he is writing in the second Congressional Congress of the U.S.

1779

Judith Sargent Stevens of Gloucester, Massachusetts, writes Essay on the Equality of the Sexes.

1790

New Jersey’s constitution gives the vote to "all free inhabitants."

1792

In England, Mary Wollstonecraft publishes Vindication of the Rights of Women. It is considered one of the first books promoting political and social rights for women.

1807

New Jersey repeals the law allowing women and African Americans the right to vote after a corrupt election occurs.

1827

The slave, Isabella Van Wagener, later known as Sojourner Truth, escapes from her master and joins a Quaker household. She becomes a crusader for African Americans and women.

1828

Frances Wright begins lecturing for woman’s rights despite society’s opposition to women speaking in public forums.

1836

The Married Woman’s Property Act is first introduced to the New York State Legislature.

1837

Two hundred women attend the Women’s Anti-Slavery Convention in New York City, the first national political meeting of women.

1838

Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women is published by Sarah Grimké who, with her sister Angelina, will become active in the suffrage movement.

1838

Women in Kentucky may vote in school elections.

1840

Ernestine Rose, Paulina Wright, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton work for the passage of the Married Woman’s Property Act in New York.

1847

Vermont grants women the right to own, inherit, and bequeath their property.

1848

The first Woman’s Rights Convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York. The adjourned meeting is held in Rochester, New York. The Declaration of Sentiments, based on the Declaration of Independence is adopted.

1848

New York State Legislature passes the Married Woman’s Property Act.

1849

Lucretia Mott delivers the lecture Discourse on Woman, in Philadelphia. Mott argues for the equality of woman and man. She believes that any inequalities that currently exist between the sexes are the result of society’s enforcement of legal, religious, and social restrictions on women.

1850

The first National Woman’s Rights Convention is held in Worcester, Massachusetts.

1850

Woman’s rights conventions are held in Salem, Ohio where men are not allowed to speak at the meeting.

1851

Sojourner Truth gives the speech, "Ain't I a Woman?" at a woman’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio.

1851

The second National Woman's Rights Convention is held in Worcester, Massachusetts. Lucretia Mott presides.

1851

Harriet Hardy Taylor publishes "On the Enfranchisement of Women" in the Westminster Review. Initially, her companion, John Stuart Mill takes credit for the article.

1851

Suffragists hold a meeting in the Broadway Tabernacle in New York City that is disrupted by the audience. The meeting will be called "The Mob Convention."

1852

A Woman’s Rights Convention is held in Syracuse, New York.

1853

Paulina Wright Davis publishes Una, the first newspaper devoted to woman’s rights.

1853

Elizabeth Blackwell opens a clinic in New York City where she treats impoverished women and children.

1854

The legislature of Massachusetts grants property rights to women.

1855

Lucy Stone becomes the first woman to keep her own name after marriage.

1856

The seventh annual National Woman’s Rights Convention is held in New York City.

1860

The state of New York grants married women rights over their children, rights to sue in court, and rights to retain their wages.

1860

The tenth annual National Woman’s Rights Convention is held in New York City.

1861

During the Civil War, suffrage efforts nearly come to a halt as women put their enfranchisement aside and work for the war effort.

1863

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton convene the Women’s National Loyal League. One goal of the group is to keep woman’s rights issues alive.

1866

The Eleventh National Woman’s Rights Convention is held in New York City.

1866

Lucretia Mott presides over the American Equal Rights Association, a merger between suffragists and the American Anti-Slavery Association.

1867

Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, Clarina Nichols, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others travel to Kansas to campaign for women's suffrage. Suffrage is defeated on the ballot.

1867

At the American Equal Rights Association annual meeting, opinions differ on supporting the enfranchisement of black men before women.

1867

Antoinette Brown Blackwell founds the New Jersey Women’s Suffrage Association.

1868

Susan B. Anthony publishes The Revolution, a newspaper promoting woman’s rights.

1868

Elizabeth Smith Miller and Elizabeth Cady Stanton present a petition to the governor of Pennsylvania on behalf of Hester Vaughn, an English immigrant servant whom they believe has been unfairly accused of infanticide.

1868

Elizabeth Smith Miller and other women send a letter to the National Republican Convention in Chicago, Illinois asking them (fruitlessly) to include woman suffrage in their platform.

1869

Wyoming Territory gives women the right to vote.

1869

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony break from the American Equal Rights Association to form the National Woman Suffrage Association. It advocates for woman suffrage above all other issues.

1869

National Woman's Suffrage Association meeting is held in New York.

1869

Lucy Stone forms the American Woman Suffrage Association, which supports the Fifteenth Amendment, giving the vote to black men.

1870

Utah Territory gives women the right to vote.

1870

The American Woman Suffrage Association publishes the Woman’s Journal, a magazine about woman’s rights.

1870

Women serve on juries in Wyoming.

1870

Arabella Mansfield of Iowa becomes the first woman attorney.

1872

Fifteen Rochester, New York women challenge the federal constitution, and vote for the President of the United States. One of the women, Susan B. Anthony is arrested and tried.

1872

U.S. Congress passes a law giving women federal employees equal pay for equal work.

1872

Charlotte E. Ray becomes the first African-American woman attorney.

1872

The Supreme Court of the United States agrees with the Supreme Court of Illinois that Myra Bradwell, a married woman, may not practice law in Illinois.

1873

The first meeting of the Women’s Congress is held.

1874

The case of Minor vs. Happersett goes to the U.S. Supreme Court and it is determined that the Fourteenth Amendment does not grant women the right to vote.

1874

Michigan's male voters vote against women's suffrage during a referendum.

1875

Michigan and Minnesota women may vote in school elections.

1876

Declaration of Rights for Women (or Women's Rights Declaration) written by Matilda Joselyn Gage and distributed by National Woman’s Suffrage Association, is presented at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4 as part of the Centennial celebrations.

1878

Paris, France hosts the first International Woman's Rights Congress.

1878

Senator A.A. Sargent introduces an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to give women the right to vote.

1883

Washington territory grants full voting rights to women.

1883

Suffragists travel to Liverpool, England where they form the International Council of Women. The leaders of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association and the American Women’s Suffrage Association work together, beginning the reconciliation between these two groups.

1884

Belva Lockwood becomes the first woman to receive votes in a presidential election. She is the presidential candidate of the National Equal Rights Party.

1887

Women in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, North and South Dakota win partial suffrage.

1887

Women in Kansas win the right to vote in municipal elections.

1887

The Supreme Court strikes down the Washington Territory law that enfranchised women.

1887

Congress denies women in Utah their right to vote.

1887

A Rhode Island referendum for women's suffrage does not pass.

1888

International Council of Women, the largest woman’s rights convention, is held in Washington, DC.

1890

The National and American Suffrage Associations merge to become the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Elizabeth Cady Stanton becomes the new president.

1893

Colorado gives women full voting rights.

1893

New Zealand is the first country to give women the right to vote.

1895

The New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, an official anti-suffrage organization, begins.

1896

Ida Husted Harper is hired by the National American Woman Suffrage Association to launch a suffrage campaign in California. The campaign fails.

1896

Black women's organizations converge under the umbrella of the National Association of Colored Women, headed by Margaret Murray Washington and Mary Church Terrell in Washington D.C.

1896

Utah women regain their right to vote.

1896

Idaho gives women full voting rights. Carrie Chapman Catt is responsible for the successful campaigning in Idaho.

1897

Carrie Chapman Catt edits The National Suffrage Bulletin, published by the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

1900

Susan B. Anthony retires as the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and recommends Carrie Chapman Catt as her successor.

1902

Clara Barton is one speaker when women from 10 nations meet in Washington, D.C. to plan an international effort for suffrage.

1902

New Hampshire rejects a referendum for women's suffrage.

1904

The International Council of Women splits to form the more aggressive International Women Suffrage Alliance.

1904

Reverend Dr. Anna Howard Shaw takes over as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association when Catt resigns to take time to care of her dying husband.

1906

Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, returns from England and is disappointed by the conservatism of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She forms the Equality League of Self Supporting Women, to reach out to the working class.

1906

After the NAWSA Convention, Antoinette Brown Blackwell and Anne Fitzhugh Miller speak at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Woman Suffrage in Washington, D.C.

1908

Ella Hawley Crossett of the New York State Suffrage Association submits testimony to a hearing before the United States Senate's Select Committee on Woman Suffrage.

1909

The Women's Trade Union League coordinates a strike by 20,000 women workers in New York's garment district. Through strikes, working class women connect with the suffrage movement.

1910

Washington State gives women the right to vote after Emma Smith DeVoe organizes a grassroots campaign.

1910

The Equality League changes its name to the Women's Political Union. They organize America's first large-scale suffrage parade, which is held in New York City.

1911

The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage is organized by Mrs. Arthur Dodge and other wealthy influential women and Catholic clergy. Antis drew support from distillers and brewers, urban political machines, Southern congressmen, railroad magnates and meatpackers.

1912

Alice Paul founds the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, later known as the National Woman’s Party, in Washington, D.C.

1912

Women’s Trade Union League activist, Rose Schneiderman travels in the midwest giving suffrage speeches to working class audiences.

1912

Oregon women win the vote after a grassroots suffrage campaign organized by Abigail Scott Duniway.

1912

The Arizona territory becomes a state that includes women as voters.

1912

The Alaska territory gives women the right to vote.

1912

Presidential candidates court women’s vote for the first time. Democrat Woodrow Wilson wins the election.

1912

Argentina gives women full voting rights.

1912

Kansas gives women the right to vote.

1913

Alice Paul organizes 8,000 women for a parade through Washington, D.C. for suffrage.

1913

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns organize the Congressional Union (CU). Paul becomes the leader of the militant branch of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

1913

Kate Gordon organizes the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference to lobby state legislatures for laws that will enfranchise white women only.

1913

Ida B. Wells-Barnett founds the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago, Illinois, the first black woman’s suffrage association in Illinois.

1913

Illinois grants women the right to vote in presidential elections only.

1914

The United States Senate votes on the "Susan B. Anthony" amendment, but it does not pass.

1914

Nevada and Montana enfranchise women.

1914

The Congressional Union alienates leaders of the National American Woman Suffrage Association by campaigning against pro-suffrage Democrats in the congressional elections.

1914

The National Federation of Women’s Clubs with millions of women as members formally endorses the suffrage campaign.

1915

Anna Howard Shaw resigns as president of the Woman Suffrage Association. Carrie Chapman Catt becomes president.

1916

Presidential candidate Woodrow Wilson promises the Democratic Party Platform will endorse suffrage.

1916

The Congressional Union becomes the National Woman's Party.

1917

Montana elects Jeannette Rankin, the first woman representative, to the United States House of Representatives.

1917

Police arrest 168 women who are picketing outside the White House for suffrage. Alice Paul and Lucy Burns go on hunger strikes while in jail.

1917

The United States enters World War I and the National American Woman Suffrage Association aligns itself with the war effort in order to gain support for women's suffrage.

1917

Arkansas grants women the right to vote in primary, but not general, elections. The partial suffrage gives white women the vote, but not black women.

1917

New York State gives women the right to vote. The first eastern state to fully enfranchise women.

1917

Nebraska, North Dakota, Indiana, and Rhode Island grant women the right to partial suffrage.

1918

President Wilson supports a federal amendment to grant woman's suffrage. He addresses the Senate in support of the Nineteenth Amendment, but it fails to win the required two-thirds majority of Senate votes.

1918

Jeannette Rankin opens debate in the House on a new suffrage amendment; it passes.

1919

Michigan, Oklahoma, and South Dakota give women full suffrage

1919

The National American Woman Suffrage Association holds its convention in St. Louis, Missouri, where Catt recommends changing it into the League of Women Voters.

1919

The United States House of Representatives votes to enfranchise women, for the third time. The Senate passes the Nineteenth Amendment, and suffragists begin their state by state ratification campaign.

1920

The Nineteenth Amendment -- The Susan B. Anthony Amendment -- giving women the right is ratified by a majority of U.S. states and becomes law.

1920

Obstacles are put in place to prevent black women from voting in the southern states. Many face property tax requirements and literacy tests.

1920

The League of Women Voters is founded to educate newly enfranchised voters.

1923

The National Woman’s Party proposes the Equal Rights Amendment to eliminate discrimination on the basis of gender.

1924

Nellie Taylor Ross becomes the first woman elected governor of a state (Wyoming).

1926

Bertha Knight Landes becomes the first woman elected to city government, Seattle.

1932

Hattie Wyatt Caraway from Arkansas is the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

1933

Frances Perkins becomes the first woman to serve in the Presidential cabinet. She is the Secretary of Labor during Roosevelt’s presidency.

1935

Mary McLeod Bethune organizes the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) to serve as a lobbying coalition for black women’s groups fighting job discrimination, racism, and sexism. Bethune serves as president.

 

-----------------------------------------
Copyright © 2000 Rochester Regional Library Council, all rights reserved.