Washington’s road to women’s suffrage: 1854

Washington’s road to women’s suffrage: 1854

Next year will mark the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Washington … something definitely worth celebrating. Leading up to the centennial, which is November 2010, we are sharing some tidbits about the fight for women’s right to vote in Washington, and how it was finally won.

In 1854, Arthur Denny proposed an amendment to the first territorial election law that would give women the vote. It was defeated in the Territorial House of Representatives by one vote, eight for and nine against. Almost 17 years would pass before the issue was raised in the Legislature again.


(Click “more” to see the transcription of the original document)

  • Mr. Chenowith called up H.B. 51 relating to elections.
  • Mr. Chenowith moved to concur in the amendment.
  • Mr. Denny moved to amend the amendment as to allow all white females over the age of eighteen to vote.
  • Mr. Howe called for the Ayes & Noes. The following was the result:
    Ayes. Crosbie, Denny, Durgin, Hale, Howe, Huntington, Shelton & Ward. 8 Noes.
    Biles, Bolon, Brownfield, Chapman, Jackson, Mosley, Strong, Thompson &
    Mr. Speaker. 9.
  • The amendment to the amendment was lost.
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