Spotlight on Government Information: Women’s Suffrage

Sep 13, 2021

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Some of the resources on women’s suffrage available at the Wyoming State Library.

As we look into the history of women’s suffrage in the State of Wyoming, you can start your search at the State Library. This is the place to look for the history of the legislative process that gave women the right to vote. You can also find unique documents that detail how women got the right to vote in Wyoming.

Dive into legislative session notes and council journals in the Wyoming Legislation digital collection.  Here you can find this quote from the 1871 House Journal of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Wyoming discussing how female suffrage was progressing: “It is simple justice to say that the women entering, for the first time in the history of  the country, upon these new and  untried duties, have conducted themselves in every respect with as much tact, sound judgment, and good sense, as men.”

If you jaunt over to Wyoming State Publications there are more fascinating documents that outline the defense of women’s suffrage by Wyoming governors. In the 1871 State of the Territory Address, Governor John A. Campbell supported women’s right to vote. Here he concentrates on the benefits women’s suffrage brought to the territory. In December he again addressed the Legislature to prevent a repeal of women’s right to vote. The third Territorial Governor, John W. Hoyt, continued this support in his own address to the National Society for Women’s Suffrage.  Hoyt answered questions the audience had on women’s suffrage. He states that universal suffrage should be enacted “for the good of all mankind”

If you decide to  visit the Wyoming State Library you can see a treasure trove of resources to the inquiring mind. The state documents collection has everything from published histories of Wyoming to educational plays. For instance the Department of Education, in 1953, published a one act play called “The Birth of Wyoming Day.” This play dramatizes the process that brought women’s votes to the Territory of Wyoming. Come to the library to check out these surprising finds and many other documents about women’s suffrage.

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