“Votes for Women”
Since 1869, Wyoming’s women have been guaranteed suffrage: the right to vote in elections and hold public office. They were the first in the nation to be granted this right. In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of this milestone the fall book discussion will feature four books that discuss the Suffrage Movement. Please call the library at 334-3490 to register for “Votes for Women” or register when picking up the first book. Local educator, Barb Baker, returns to lead the discussions.
On Tuesday, September 4 at 6 p.m. the first book it the series, “The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898” by Lisa Tetrault will be discussed. The story of how the women’s rights movement began at the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 is a cherished American myth. The standard account credits founders such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott with defining and then leading the campaign for women’s suffrage. In her provocative new history, Lisa Tetrault demonstrates that Stanton, Anthony, and their peers gradually created and popularized this origins story during the second half of the nineteenth century in response to internal movement dynamics as well as the racial politics of memory after the Civil War. Author, Lisa Tetrault will also join the discussion via Skype.
“A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the battle for the ballot” by Mary Walton will be discussed on Monday, October 2 at 6 p.m. Alice Paul began her life as a studious girl from a strict Quaker family. In 1907, a scholarship took her to England, where she developed a passionate devotion to the suffrage movement. Upon her return to the United States, Alice became the leader of the militant wing of the American suffrage movement. They called themselves “Silent Sentinels.” She and her followers were the first protesters to picket the White House. Alice Paul eventually succeeded in forcing President Woodrow Wilson and a reluctant U.S. Congress to pass the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote. Here at last is the inspiring story of the young woman whose dedication to women’s rights made that long-held dream a reality.
Monday, November 5 “The Woman’s Hour: the Great Fight to Win the Vote” by Elaine Weiss will be discussed at 6 p.m. Consider… Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The Woman’s Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the last campaigns forged in the shadow of the Civil War, and the beginning of the great twentieth-century battle for civil rights.
The final book in the series, “A Woman’s Work: the Storied Life of Pioneer Esther Morris, the World’s First Female Justice of the Peace” by Marian Betancourt will be discussed on Monday, December 3 at 6 p.m. Author, Marian Betancourt will also join this discussion via Skype. Esther Morris (1812-1902) was a unique American woman whose life paralleled the dramatic events of the 19th century: abolition, railroads, Civil War, and suffrage. She lived on three frontiers and made a difference on each one. Ultimately, by organizing what may have been the second most important tea party in American history, she made it possible for Wyoming to be the first place in America where women could vote.