Women's Suffrage

Women’s suffrage passed the Utah Territorial Legislature unanimously in 1870. But with the passage of the  Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887 many men and women in Utah became concerned about women’s suffrage and polygamy hindering their chance at statehood. Women in Northern Utah took the lead to regain their right to vote by rallying like-minded people, hold speeches, giving speeches at Relief Society meetings and talking with those in their circles to gain support.

In northern Utah, suffragists- both women and men- were also:

* organizing local suffrage chapters through the Weber, Davis and Cache counties

* joining other women across the country at events.

* lobbying male delegates and voters.

* submitting the first petitions

Leaders of Northern Utah’s women suffrage movement were Emily S. Richards, Franklin S. Richards, Lorin Farr, Lorenzo Farr, Jane H. Molen and many more women and men who went and advocated for suffrage.

 

Utah Constitutional Convention (1895)

Held March 4- May 8, 1895 (66 days), the Utah Constitutional Convention became a social and political hotbed as individuals for and against women’s suffrage debated on whether to allow the clause in Utah’s constitution. Despite some opposition at the Convention,    suffragists prevailed. Delegates submitted signatures for and against equal suffrage clause in the Utah Constitution:

*  5,366 (against)

*  24,801 (in favor)

Both women’s rights to vote and to hold office were included in the Utah Constitution. On January 4, 1896, Utah became the 45th state. It was third to extend women’s suffrage- passing the act on January 14, 1896- after Wyoming (1890) and Colorado (1893). Idaho soon followed on November 1896.

Meet the Women

Objects and Images

Key Events

National

Local

*1848 | First Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, NY

*Sept. 4, 1850 | Utah Territory formed

*1866 | Stanton & Anthony formed the American Equal Rights Association

*February 14, 1870 | Utah women cast first votes in modern world

*1878 | Women Suffrage Amendment is proposed in Congress

*July 23, 1890 | Wyoming first state to grant women's suffrage

*1887 | Edmunds Tucker Act passed, prevents Utah women from voting.

*January 4, 1896 | Utah third state to grant women's suffrage

*March 8, 1910 | Women's Political Union organizes the first suffrage parade in NYC

*October 17, 1916 | Women's Republican Club rally at Berthana

*November 17, 1919 | Utah League of Women Voters is formed

*August 18, 1920 | 19th Amendment ratified

© 2020 by Beyond Suffrage.

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Emily Tanner Richards (1850-1929)

The public face of Utah suffrage. Established with Margaret Caine the Utah Woman Suffrage Association on January 10, 1889. 1893: Represented Utah women at International and National Councils of Women 1895: Delegate to the Women's Suffrage Association. 1900s: General President, LDS Relief Society, Director of the Orphans' Home,  Organized the Utah League of Women Voters and was a Democratic National committeewoman. Photo courtesy Better Days 2020