Notice the references to the earliest days of the United States all cite the Founding Fathers. No Founding Mothers. The idea of females voting was not on anyone’s radar in 1776. The genesis of women obtaining the vote was rooted in the 1840s, but the prospect gained traction when African-Americans gained that right in the post-Civil War era. Which led to Wyoming granting women the right to vote in 1869, or 150 years ago next year. Amy McKinney, a Northwest College professor, recently described Wyoming’s pioneering status to a rapt audience at the Pahaska Corral of Westerners. While other places were listening to fiery speakers about women’s rights, Wyoming was taking action.
The West differs from the East in terms of landscape, slower settlement, slower growth, spirit and interaction between men and women.
“In the West, women work next to men,” McKinney said of the 19th century. At the time, Wyoming, she said, “wants more people, more women.”
Wyoming was a territory, but its legislature became the first governing body in the world to give women the vote. Gov. John Campbell signed the bill into law on Dec. 10, 1869.
A day later, the Cheyenne Ledger urged women to move to Wyoming with the phrase, “We say to them all, come on.”