Emmeline Wells and the Suffrage Movement

In 1909, Susa Young Gates listed Emmeline B. Wells, along with Elmina S. Taylor and Eliza R. Snow, as one of the three greatest women The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had produced.1 Biographer Carol Cornwall Madsen attests to the spread and durability of Emmeline’s influence, reminding us that “she was the most widely known Mormon woman of her time, in and outside” the Church and Utah.2 She was bright, observant, and articulate, with a keen memory. She was an outspoken representative of her people, meeting with presidents and national suffrage leaders, and she left a voluminous record of noteworthy events, Relief Society business, and her interactions with and impressions of prominent members of her community.

Emmeline Woodward was born in a small Massachusetts town in 1828. Her mother recognized her talents and ensured that she received a good education. She also encouraged her to listen to the Latter-day Saint missionaries. Baptized in 1842 at age fourteen, Emmeline entered into an arranged marriage with James H. Harris when she was fifteen and immigrated to Nauvoo with the Harris family in 1844. There she met Joseph Smith and determined to stay with the Saints, even after she saw her infant son sicken and die and was abandoned by her young husband. Newel K. and Ann Whitney befriended the young woman, and she became a plural wife of Newel; they had two daughters before he died in 1850. She then married Daniel H. Wells in 1852 as his sixth plural wife. While she reared their three daughters, she wrote for the new publication the Woman’s Exponent, became its editor in 1877, and continued that effort for thirty-seven years. Brigham Young asked her to take charge of the Relief Society mission to save grain. She served as corresponding secretary and general secretary of the Relief Society for over twenty years and then as the fifth general president of the Relief Society from 1910 until the year of her death, 1921.

Because Emmeline B. Wells kept diaries for most of her life and wrote much of the content of the Woman’s Exponent, she provides us with in-depth knowledge of important events in the suffrage movement. Editorial exchanges with other women’s journals sparked letters between Emmeline and Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leaders of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). She corresponded with prominent suffragists Belva Lockwood and Sara A. Spencer. She wrote to and met with later suffrage leaders like Anna Howard Shaw, Rachel Foster Avery, and Carrie Chapman Catt.

This article combines excerpts from Emmeline’s diaries with editorial descriptions of suffrage events that she wrote for the Woman’s Exponent. The article covers two events in different time periods. First is the 1879 meeting in Washington, D.C., when NWSA representatives took a petition for woman suffrage to U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. Emmeline was part of that delegation and presented her own appeal to President Hayes to understand the situation of Latter-day Saint families in Utah. Second is the drafting of the Utah state constitution in 1895, when a group of women under Emmeline’s direction successfully petitioned committee members to include universal suffrage in the new state’s legal framework.

The Women Delegates’ 1879 Trip to Washington, D.C.

In January 1879, Emmeline B. Wells had the chance to meet with national woman suffrage and congressional leaders for the first time. In reaction to an antipolygamy campaign and the Supreme Court decision against George Reynolds in the test polygamy case, John Taylor, then President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, agreed to send Emmeline and Zina Young Williams to Washington, D.C. The two women stayed at the Riggs Hotel, where they were shepherded by suffrage leaders, and then spoke at the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) meeting. They were listened to because they had the right to vote in Utah Territory, but they were seen as curiosities because they were defending a plural marriage system. They received an audience with President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife, Lucy, and coordinated visits to members of Congress with Utah’s representative, George Q. Cannon. After two weeks of making contacts, Emmeline felt their petition and voices in defense of the women and children of Utah had been heard.

“I thank God I was the first to represent our women in the Halls of Congress,” Emmeline wrote in her diary with a feeling of accomplishment on February 20, 1879. However, despite the women’s efforts, the politicians who politely received them, like President Hayes and Senator George Edmunds, later spoke against the Church and tightened enforcement of the Cullom Bill through the Edmunds Act of 1882 and the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887. What endured from Zina and Emmeline’s first visit to Washington were respectful relations with leaders of national women’s organizations. For decades, Emmeline held posts on important committees for the NWSA and later the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the National Council of Women, and the National Woman’s Press Association.

Short diary entries in 1879 highlight the variety of Emmeline’s activities in Washington, D.C. They indicate her on-site thinking and record her emotional response to the situation at hand as well as list people she was seeing and provide “background noise”—comments on her health, the weather, the quality of her hotel room. Articles and editorials from the Woman’s Exponent contain considered reports on the national event, sketches describing the appearance and character of the people she met and places she visited, and reprints of petitions, speeches, and newspaper reports. Emmeline presents more than one persona as she prepares her articles: she writes as a first-time railroad traveler; she speaks as Aunt Em the society editor, commenting on ladies’ fashion and foibles; most often she writes as the political editorialist, depicting national events and their significance for her Utah readers. She reprints an article about herself and Zina Young Williams visiting the U.S. president. Finally, Emmeline issues a challenge to readers of the Exponent to keep themselves informed and to fight to preserve woman suffrage in Utah.

Here we have woven together Emmeline B. Wells’s brief but often candid diary entries with her more descriptive and complete Exponent pieces to create a fuller sense of her firsthand account of working with national leaders and politicians. The pagination listed comes from the manuscript diaries [enclosed in brackets] and the digitized images {enclosed in braces}.3

Diary Entries and Reports in the Woman’s Exponent

January 1, 1879 • Wednesday

. . . Aunt Zina [D. H. Young] and I were at the Pres. [John Taylor’s] Office, it was decided myself and one4 go to Washington [D.C.].5

 

January 2, 1879 • Thursday

All arrangements completed– good-bye said to friends– girls6 attended Will[iam] Jennings party– several friends called to see me. packed all my things. felt very lonely indeed– so many sick– blessings etc. [p. 23]

 

January 8, 1879 • Wednesday

Arrived in Philadelphia at three o’clock took the cars for Washington about 6. more tunnels, more rivers. past through Baltimore, felt very ill indeed arrived about ½ past 12. Riggs House7 The same [p. 25]

 

“Home Affairs,” Woman’s Exponent 7 (January 15, 1879): 124.

Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells and Mrs. Zina Young Williams left this city on the morning of the 3d inst. for Washington, as delegates to the Eleventh Annual Convention of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, held in the capitol, on the 9th and 10th of the present month. Aside from the importance of attending the Convention itself, their visit was most auspiciously timed, for not only were they prepared to meet the efforts of the local anti-polygamic crusade and represent the women of Utah in a right way, but to answer interesting queries regarding the probable feeling existing among the Latter-day Saints as a sequence to the recent decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States, declaring the validity of the anti-polygamic law of 1862.

 

January 9, 1879 • Thursday

Last evening we met Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony Mrs. Spencer Mr. Cannon our delegate– Mrs. Spofford– landlady and others,8 I was very ill. Our room was a pleasant one opening on the Treas. Dep.t. was most cordially received. went to the N.W.S.A. [p. 25] at Lincoln Hall. spoke in the evening. [p. 26]

 

‘Over the Hills and Far Away,” Editorial, Woman’s Exponent 7 (February 1, 1879): 186.

. . . After dashing along at railroad speed for five days and a half, we reached Washington Wednesday m., so completely worn out for want of sleep and rest that the bed was preferable to luncheon in the fine hotel where our good friends, the National Suffragists, had quartered during their stay at the Convention.

Here we were cordially welcomed by Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose name is well known to our readers, and Miss Susan B. Anthony, whose name has rung from one end of the country to the other in connection with “woman’s suffrage.” These good ladies sought to make us feel perfectly at home; and when soon after in came Mrs. Sara Andrews Spencer, whom we met face to face for the first time, our heart went forth in great waves of love to her for her courageous defense of the women of Utah here in the Congress of the National Capitol, and under the broad flag of freedom to all men. At some future time we may give you pen sketches of these illustrious ladies, but at present we can only glance at them and pass on. Mrs. Spofford, the hostess of the house, also came to enquire kindly after our welfare, hearing we had come off a long journey.

The first evening after we arrived in Washington, a preliminary meeting of the N. W. S. A. was held at the residence of Belva A. Lockwood, Attorney and Solicitor, and plans were made for the two days’ session. Everything seemed very strange to us—coming to a large hotel full of people of fashion, grand old aristocrats from the north and the south. Among the number are some very fine looking elderly men, who are members of [the] House and Senate. Vice-President Wheeler is stopping here, and several other eminent and distinguished people, both men and women.

Thursday morning, Jan. 9, in company with Mrs. Stanton, Miss Anthony and Mrs. Spofford we drove to Lincoln Hall. Mrs. Stanton made the opening speech. She is very beautiful for a woman of her years; her hair is magnificent, and as she arranges it seems almost like a crown. She was neatly and tastefully attired in a figured satin dress with a train, which she deems as necessity on account of her size, and presided at the Convention of the N. W. S. A. during the two days, and also evening sessions, with a great deal of dignity, and never for one moment lost her self-possession, not even when a warm discussion took place between Fred. Douglas[s], Marshall of the Dis. of Columbia, and Mr. Pervis of Philadelphia, the last evening of the Convention. In that respect she reminded us very much of our dignified woman-leader, Miss E. R. Snow; yet in other respects the two are very unlike. Mrs. Stanton is short and very plump; she is extremely well-preserved, travels about and lectures as if she were a young woman, (here is another similarity between the two).

Miss Anthony is in every respect Mrs. Stanton’s opposite, except that they agree on the woman question. She is entirely different from what one would fancy in reading about her. Upon the platform she wore a very rich black silk dress trimmed with velvet and lace. In many respects she is a very remarkable woman. She possesses great firmness and strength of character, and is a famous talker; her voice is not as pleasant as Mrs. Stanton’s, but her words are sharp and incisive, and she never utters a sentence in public that is not calculated, from its construction, to strike deep at the foundation of the evil of which she speaks. Her best lecture delivered here was “Bread and the Ballot.” . . .

Mrs. Sara Andrews Spencer must not be forgotten in our little paper, nor in Mormon history when it is written. She possesses great executive ability, has a very good voice, is gifted with fine expression, uses the choicest words, and sums everything up in the most concise and comprehensive manner. She is the woman who is behind the curtain doing the work of a dozen women, all for the benefit of her sex—and her heart is in it; ever[y]body who hears her speak knows she speaks from the soul, and she has as fine talents as one could ask for to make a mark in the world—to win fame. But she is slowly plodding in the work of reform in this great city, and working her way along against the woman of fashion, the woman who don’t want to vote, who’s got all the rights she wants; and by and by she’s going to win. So much for the pioneer workers in Woman’s Suffrage.

 

January 10, 1879 • Friday

To Lincoln Hall, very cold house very full– spoke a few minutes in the morning. Worrying all the time about home– was appointd on a Committee to wait on Pres. [Rutherford B.] Hayes. Have been cordially received everywhere–

 

January 11, 1879 • Saturday

At. Ten o’clock we were called together in the red-parlor in an executive meeting many distinguished ladies were present. In the afternoon went to Mrs. [Lucy Ware Webb] Hayes reception was introduced to both9 and had a most delightful interview made an appointment for Monday at 10 o’clock.

 

January 12, 1879 • Sunday

Snowed furiously went to hear Rev. Mr. Mason preach on a subject ahead of the times. Afternoon at Mrs. Spencer’s helping with the Memorial of W.S.10 to Pres. Hayes.11 [p. 26]

 

January 13, 1879 • Monday

<Telegram this morning all better–> In the morning went to see the Chief Executive of the Land Pres. Hayes. He was with his secretary and one other gentleman yet he invited us into his library– and I said just what I had time to say Mrs. Hayes came and we talked to her.

 

January 14, 1879 • Tuesday

This morn. went to Photo-gallery had pictures taken12 Called on Mrs. [Rosine M.] Parnells saw [General Winfield] Scotts monument Went to Pres. Hayes reception in the evening. saw many elegantly dressed ladies. [p. 27]

 

January 16, 1879 • Thursday

<went to the Capitol to Memorial Services of Prof. [Joseph] Henry–>13 We did some writing and I addressed a letter to Mr. [James P.] Knott of Kentucky Chairman of House Judiciary Committee, called at his house and saw Mrs. [Amelia Archer] Purrington who spoke a good word for me and I got an appointment in the morning. Zina went to see her cousin Seraph [Young Ford] and I re14

 

January 17, 1879 • Friday

We were before the Judiciary Committee of the house and Zina Mrs. Spencer and myself all spoke, Mr. [Elbridge G.] Lapham of New York and ­others were strongly impressed, good must result.

 

January 18, 1879 • Saturday

We went to Mrs. Hayes reception and I took with me the “Women of Mormondom”15 and a letter to her ladyship– got the man who attends at the House to present them to her– in the evening went to Br. Cannon’s house with Mrs. Spencer [p. 28] her husband, Zina, & Mrs. [Theresa Juan] Lewis–

 

January 19, 1879 • Sunday

A very dull day for us very cold and windy. Seraph and husband16 and Mrs. [Marilla Marks Young] Ricker and Br. Cannon were here Mrs. Spencer came in the afternoon and we drove to the houses of some of the Senators. Mr. [Allen G.] Thurman was specially kind and told us to come to the Com. in the morning so did Senator [George F.] Edmunds.17

 

January 20, 1879 • Monday

Monday morning went to the Capitol found Senator Edmunds waiting for us. saw most of the members of that Com. even [Isaac P.] Christiancy met Gen, [Henry A.] Morrow18 delighted to meet him. Senator [John H.] Mitchell was very kind– went home with Mrs. Spencer–

 

January 21, 1879 • Tuesday

<Letters from home> All day preparing memorials for Congress. Mrs. Spencer extremely kind to us I was really quite ill Zina went to the Smithsonian I felt as if we were accomplishing something. Br. Cannon views it with favor. [p. 29]

 

January 22, 1879 • Wednesday

Was all day writing went over to see Br. Cannon in the evening and Mrs. Kimball arrived from Philadelphia, spent the evening very eagerly chatting, Drove to the houses of some influntial Senators.

 

January 23, 1879 • Thursday

Called on Speaker [Samuel J.] Randall of the House & Senator Thurman of New York met Mr. Eliot of the New York Evening Post19 Memorial introduced into the House, by Speaker Randall and called for reading by [John B.] Clark of Mo. [Martin I.] Townsend of New York objected to the Judiciary Com. reporting

 

January 24, 1879 • Friday

Friday 24. A beautiful day Mrs. Kimball first in the morning, then Mr. Cannon next then to the Capitol to learn the fate of our memorial in the hands of the Senate In the evening Went to the Capitol to hear the report of Judiciary Committee [p. 30]

 

January 25, 1879 • Saturday

About 1 o’clock was taken with faintness & palpitation, sent for Dr. [Joshua O.] Stanton gave me something for my nervous and mental excitement, was suffering all day afterwards, went in the evening to see Senator Thurman, Dr. Edison, Mrs. Purrington. Br. Cannon came to see us. [p. 31]

 

“Visit to Washington,” Editorial, Woman’s Exponent 7 (February 15, 1879): 194.

In our last editorial, written from Washington, we promised our readers to tell them something more of our visit to the National Capitol, and perhaps we ought to say a trifle more concerning the Convention. The suffrage ladies espoused the cause we represented nobly, and gave us more opportunities of bringing the Utah question forward than we could possibly have expected. Indeed, we felt delicate in responding to their kind and pressing solicitations to speak, knowing how very unpopular Mormonism is in the world. We have a grateful remembrance of these noble women, and trust in the future we may have an opportunity of returning the kindnesses and courtesies we received at their hands. . . .

We cannot tell you now just how we managed to see everybody we wanted to see, and say what we wanted to say, but we will pass on to the White House . . . and our interview with President Hayes. His Excellency made the appointment himself, and after we had given him a few facts in relation to the condition of this people, and what was likely to be the consequences of severe and harsh measures, he remarked that he had never before considered the subject in the light we had presented it, and he felt it was of too much importance to trust to memory, and desired us to make a similar statement in writing, which we prepared and placed in His Excellency’s hands before leaving Washington. We also had the pleasure of a private interview with Mrs. Hayes, who is certainly a most remarkable woman; her simplicity in dress, her homelike air, her friendly greeting for all those who call upon her, her sweet expression, her benevolent face and charming manner all attract the admiration of visitors, and her firmness in persisting in discarding wine and all intoxicating drinks from the White House, all these things stamp her as a woman of remarkably strong character. To our party she was kindness personified; she listened attentively to all we had to say in regard to the circumstance of our people, and her womanly sympathies were very perceptibly aroused.

We frequently met with people who manifested the greatest interest in the Mormon Question. How far their influence might benefit our people, or how much popularity they would sacrifice for the sake of aiding the Mormons, we have no way of determining. . . .

 

“The Washington Convention,” Editorial, Woman’s Exponent 7 (March 1, 1879): 202–3.

We have no wish to tire our readers by dwelling too much or too ardently upon our visit to Washington, but as we have never given a summary of the proceedings of the convention in order, and as it is a subject in which women who hold the franchise should have a deep interest, we propose now to take the convention in order. . . .

Mr. Frederic Douglas[s], by invitation of Mrs. Stanton, made a few remarks suitable to the occasion, the audience manifesting their pleasure by applauding him freely.

Mrs. Stanton then announced as a committee to wait upon President Hayes and inform him of the existence of 20,000,000 women citizens in the United States, which fact he failed to recognize in his recent message, Mrs. Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Mrs. Matilda Joslyn and Mrs. Emmeline B. Wells. Miss Anthony then made some very clever, cutting and humorous remarks. Mrs. Dundore then addressed the convention. In her remarks she said hers was a guerilla warfare, she was bound by no parties or method.

Evening session. The rain poured in torrents, the wind blew fiercely, and yet the hall was crowded in every part. Mrs. Wells, of Utah, was the first speaker. Miss Anthony followed, delivering her very celebrated lecture, “Bread and the Ballot.” She is a very earnest woman and impresses every one with her individuality. She was frequently applauded, and certainly made some strong arguments and good hits. Mrs. Wells made a few more remarks. . . .

1894–1895 Suffrage Activities in Connection with Utah Statehood

Efforts were unsuccessful to lighten the punitive load on families living in plural marriage in the Territory of Utah. The Edmunds Act of 1882 was followed by the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887, which imprisoned men convicted of cohabitation with more than one woman and removed the right to sit on juries and took away the right to vote from men who would not renounce belief in polygamy and for all women. This disenfranchisement of Utah women, after they had been voting responsibly for seventeen years, proved a serious setback for national suffrage organizations as well as for local women.

When President Wilford Woodruff saw that Church properties would be confiscated, including the temples, he acted as “the God of heaven commanded”20 and issued the Manifesto in 1890 discontinuing the practice of plural marriage. In addition, Church leaders disbanded the People’s Party and advised members to affiliate with one of the national political parties. These actions opened the way for the act enabling Utah to apply for statehood.

When members of the Utah Constitutional Convention debated whether to include woman suffrage in the wording of state law, Emmeline reached out to Susan B. Anthony and national suffrage leaders for advice. Anthony sent back a strong declaration in July 1894, which Emmeline published in the Woman’s Exponent:

My Dear Friends—I am delighted that you are now to be in the Union of States, as you have been for many years in the union of the dear old National Woman Suffrage Association! On behalf of the forty-three states and the District of Columbia that compose our union, I congratulate you not only because Utah is to be a state, but because I hope and trust that her men, in Constitutional Convention assembled, will, like the noble men of Wyoming, ordain political equality to her women. And I am sure that you, my dear sisters, who have not only tasted the sweets of liberty, but also the bitterness, the humiliation of the loss of the blessed symbol, will not allow the organic law of your state to be framed on the barbarism that makes women the political slaves of men.

Now in the formative period of your constitution is the time to establish justice and equality to all the people. That adjective “male” once admitted into your organic law, will remain there. Don’t be cajoled into believing otherwise! Look how the women of New York have toiled and toiled over forty years to get “male” out of our constitution. Fifty thousand petitions and appeals poured into the constitutional convention of 1867, and we were sent away empty-handed; and now over half a million of the men and women of the state have prayed this constitutional convention[,] and its suffrage committee reports 13 to 4 against granting our prayer [i.e. petition]. And we can hardly expect the 170 members to do much better than the seventeen appointed by their president to consider and report upon the question.

No, no! Don’t be deluded by any specious reasoning, but demand justice now. Once ignored in your constitution—you’ll be as powerless to secure recognition as are we in the older states. And more, the men of your convention should not allow the question to be separately voted upon either. But the suffrage clause should read, “Every citizen of the age of 21,” etc. I do feel very, very anxious lest the enemies of equal rights to women will be too powerful, but I shall hope that truth and justice will prevail and that Utah will present her state constitution with political equality to women established beyond the power of repeal. . . .

Susan B. Anthony21

In late January and early February 1895, Emmeline attended the National American Woman Suffrage Association meetings in Atlanta, Georgia. At these meetings, Susan B. Anthony honored her by coming to her side and putting her arms around her after she delivered her report on the status of suffrage in Utah. Emmeline went on to Washington, D.C., where the triennial National Council of Women featured speakers from the Relief Society and Y.L.M.I.A. She returned to Salt Lake to hear key debates in the Utah State Constitutional Convention between B. H. Roberts, who argued for a separate vote on woman suffrage, and Franklin S. Richards and Orson F. Whitney, who supported suffrage for all citizens together in one organic act. She also prepared to host a regional woman suffrage convention to be held in Utah in May 1895, featuring noted national speakers Susan B. Anthony and the Reverend Anna Howard Shaw.

As president of the Utah Territorial Woman Suffrage Association, Emmeline wrote Anthony frequently, sometimes to rejoice when positive political action was taken, sometimes to mourn when Emmeline, thwarted by lack of funds, could not witness the celebration of the women in Washington after Utah’s statehood was actually achieved. Her diary entries and reports in the Woman’s Exponent excerpted below reflect the anticipation, the caution, the jubilation, and the distress of these up-and-down episodes occurring from 1894 to 1896.

National Woman Suffrage Convention in Atlanta, Georgia

January 31, 1895 • Thursday

Opening of the Convention Miss Anthony in the Chair, Rev. Anna [Howard] Shaw invocation to Our Father & Mother etc. then minutes etc– Miss Anthony appointed Committee on Credentials Harriet Taylor Upton Ch. then Com. on Plan of Work Mrs. C. C. [Carrie Chapman] Catt Ch. & Miss Laura Clay Kentucky Miss Mary Hay New York Mrs. Annie L. Diggs Kansas & Mrs. E. B. Wells Utah– We immediately withdrew to set to work– the hall was handsomely decorated & the flags for seats represented the different States & Territories alphabetically. Badges had been prepared by the Howard girls which were yellow stamped in black with the words inscribed Constitution Wisdom Justice Moderation. Evening devoted to speeches– {p. 60}

 

February 1, 1895 • Friday

My report came in this afternoon but I could not do it I was so exhausted with the work in Committee– . . . {p. 61}

 

February 2, 1895 • Saturday

<Rec’d telegram this morning baby boy22 born to Annie last night–> This is quite an eventful day for me, as I am to speak. Went into Committee on Plan of Work at 9. A.M. and did not finish until about one o’clock. This is the most important Committee of the session. Went to Opera House in time heard Plan of work read by Mrs. Catt– and all the Comments.

I had ten minutes to report Utah and Miss Anthony came forward put her arms around me and made such an eloquent appeal that some of the ladies were moved to tears, it was a tribute of personal affection as well as a flattering compliment to the Territory. The officers of the Association were voted upon & elected Miss Anthony Pres. Mrs. Avery Cor. Sec. & Mrs. Catt National Organizer added to the Business Committee {p. 62}

“Convention in Atlanta,” Editorial, Woman’s Exponent 23 (February 1 and 15, 1895): 236–37.

We left S. L. City via U. P. R. R.23 Saturday Jan. 26 ult. at 5-20 p.m. and arrived in Atlanta, Georgia, Wednesday January 30th, at 11-40 a.m., in company with Mrs. Marilla Daniels, Provo, and Mrs. Aurelia S. Rogers, Farmington.

We were met at the station by a delegation of the Atlanta W. S. A., a gentleman and two ladies wearing the yellow ribbon badge, and went direct to the Aragon, a fine hotel, the headquarters of the National-­American W. S. A. We found some prominent suffrage women had already arrived and soon after Susan B. Anthony came and Mrs. Chapman-­Catt, these ladies had been speaking in several places in the south and were delighted at the seeming success of their labors.

There is no need of describing Miss Anthony to our readers or to newspapers generally, she is so famous now throughout the country, that she can stand alone and independently as the central figure for equal suffrage and is so popular that every woman however ambitious accords to her the honor due her noble work and individually, and if she is not a queen of a kingdom she is certainly a queen of hearts.

Thursday evening the ladies were notified there would be an informal meeting in one of the hotel rooms reserved for Committees, and a[t] half-past seven p.m. the many representatives who had arrived were assembled. The roll of states was called and about thirty were represented, a few words being spoken by each of the states of suffrage work where there was an Association at all. Miss Anthony as usual commenting in her original fashion and making every one feel at home with her at least; and she manifested a deep interest in Utah and expressed the ardent hope that it would be the next state to come into the union with equal rights for all.

Thursday 9 a.m. Jan. 31st, an Executive session was held at which considerable business was planned and at ten o’clock the Convention opened in DeGive’s Opera House. The suffrage flags were draped over the platform and the seats were marked off for the several states with yellow flags and the name of each respective state stamped on, so there was not the least trouble in seating the delegations.

Miss Anthony came forward amid vociferous cheers from all parts of the house, which was well filled, and about as many men as women, and called the Convention to orders, holding in her hands the historic gavel that rapped to order the Legislature of Wyoming signalizing the first victory for woman suffrage and stated the fact amid the hearty applause of the audience. . . .

It would be utterly impossible for one to “tell it all” unless in a daily paper with an extra edition, but we hope to publish from time to time some of the best speeches made by the ablest speakers. It was a notable gathering of brilliant, cultured brainy women. We shall publish as soon as possible the Plan of Work and the Resolutions as adapted by the Convention, also the report from Utah, which pertains specially to home matters. The Atlanta evening Journal in its Saturday night issue had this to say, which was commendatory of the remarks made of the work in Utah.

When Mrs. Wells had concluded, President Anthony came forward and putting her arm around her gave her endorsement to the speaker. As she told of the work being done in Utah she kept her arms around the delegate and the audience was visibly affected at this exhibition of affection.

Of the many interesting things we have seen and heard and the proceedings of the Convention especially of evening sessions, we can only promise more in the future pages of our dear little paper of which we could distribute thousands of copies in this trip if we had them. In the meantime the dear friends at home may be assured that at present all is well with the Utah delegation, only we are anxious to see those who [are] expected to attend the National Council of Women in Washington D.C.

 

“Woman Suffrage Column: Utah W. S. A.,” Woman’s Exponent 23 (February 1 and 15, 1895): 233–34. [This is EBW’s report to the NAWSA in Georgia.]

Mrs. President, officers and members of the National-American Woman Suffrage Association.

Since we made the report from Utah to the Convention held in Washington in February, 1894, public affairs in the territory have very materially changed. Whereas heretofore Congress has opposed the admission of Utah to statehood, this last year there was little or no opposition. An enabling act having passed the Congress of the United States, providing for a Constitution to be framed suited to the conditions of the country, and in harmony with the laws of the Republic, we look forward with great hope to the Constitutional Convention which will convene in the coming March, believing that the men of our Territory will stand for equal suffrage, and that the word male will be excluded from the statutes of the new state, giving all persons born in America, or naturalized, the same rights to citizenship. The division of the voters on strictly party lines did much toward bringing Utah into favorable recognition by the government; the questions that once agitated the people are obliterated, and in this respect as regards women, much was accomplished through the work done for the Columbian Exposition, when all women combined their efforts to make the Utah exhibit a complete success in every line, or department of woman’s work. This has also given suffrage sentiment a more wide-spread recognition from the fact that women who had once been enfranchised, and who had practically realized the privileges of the ballot; through mingling with those who were new to the Territory, and indifferent on the subject, (some of them even opposed) by their associating became unawares as it were, partially if not wholly converted to woman suffrage.

Previous to the election of delegates to the Constitutional Convention which was held in November last, considerable campaign work was done by both the popular parties, Republicans and Democrats, and suffrage women in the several counties used their utmost influence and best powers of persuasion to diffuse the ideas of equal rights. Here and there women were invited to speak in political meetings, and they usually responded. All the political parties in Utah adopted resolutions in their platforms, practically pledging themselves (in a way) to work for women suffrage in the State convention.

The W. S. A. in the territory has been very conservative, and has not as an association affiliated, or allied itself to any party, but maintained its allegiance to the woman suffrage question proper, awaiting developments and holding itself in readiness to work with a purpose when the opportune time should arrive, as come it will, and must.

Meantime, the members have not been idle, or off their guard, but have sought diligently in season and out of season to spread the good word. Debates have been frequent and numerous on this question, and have been held on public platforms, and in social and literary clubs by the younger people and even children. Only the very day I left home to come to the convention, a boy not more than twelve years old came to me for literature and information, telling me he was to debate on woman suffrage with one of his schoolmates, and adding, “I am on the affirmative and I’m going to win.” “Of course, you will,” I replied, “it’s the winning side.”

There are nineteen counties organized now in Utah, three during this last year, and although money is very scarce in the West, we are determined to keep up our membership in the National-American Woman Suffrage Association, because we feel that in union there is strength, and believe that the women of all states and territories in the United States should unite on this great question which means so much for womenkind, and for the betterment of all the world. We are determined, as an association in Utah, not to be aggressive, but to maintain our integrity to the cause of equal suffrage which we have so much at heart, and hold ourselves as a reserve force, feeling sure that the time is near at hand when the womanly and moral element will be needed in the nation to co-operate with men in the solution of the grave questions which agitate the country, the great wrongs to be righted, in which women are as deeply interested as men, mortgage indebtedness, bonding, excessive taxation, and other serious matters which call for reform, and to materially assist in these matters, women must have equal political privileges and advantages with the men of the nation.

The Utah suffragists have very strong backing in the young men born in the vales of the Wasatch, with an inheritance of the love of freedom (a characteristic peculiar to mountainous countries,) and nurtured by the mothers and fathers who prized liberty dearer than life. A number of the delegates to the coming Constitutional Convention are young men who cherish these principles, therefore we consider the outlook most hopeful and encouraging. A delegation of women will doubtless be carefully selected to go before the convention and listen, watching carefully any and every measure calculated to infringe upon the full freedom and liberty of women, and to present petitions, if needful, should emergencies unlooked for arise.

Our conditions are very favorable as regards the press; the State papers (almost without exception) will publish a reasonable amount of suffrage matter and the country papers are equally helpful in this respect. Home magazines devote space to these subjects, and we have a competent State Press Committee.

We have had since June first 1872, the Woman’s Exponent which has always advocated equal suffrage ever since it was established, and though it is comparatively local in circulation, yet it is ever loyal to the rights of women and to the National Association, and it is circulated in many states and territories, also in foreign countries, and upon the islands of the sea. This little paper has certainly been an important factor in educating the women of our mountain vales in the suffrage cause. To be sure, some parts of our territory are more active in organized work than others, and have more local clubs, but generally speaking, the tendency is to solidity, and in the right direction.

In my opinion, there are two good reasons why the women of Utah should have the ballot, apart from the general reasons why all women should have it. First: because the franchise was given to them by the Territorial Legislature and they exercised it seventeen years, never abusing the privileges, nor was any cause assigned for taking the ballot away from them, except as a political measure.

Second: There are undoubtedly more women in Utah who own their own homes and pay taxes (if in a small way) than in any other state with the same number of inhabitants, and Congress has, by its enactments in the past, virtually made many of these women heads of families.

And in conclusion, let me say the conditions of equality in all our educational institutions is and has always been the same for girls as for boys. It was the sentiment of the founders of the territory, and has no doubt had a broadening influence upon the whole body politic of that grand and promising rising star in the West which is now about to emerge from the obscurity in which it has been hidden into the bright galaxy of states, and take its place with the stars of equal magnitude in the Western domain of the Republic.

E. B. Wells, President

Utah Constitutional Convention, 1895

July 25, 1894 • Wednesday

I received a letter from Susan B. Anthony in reference to Statehood and the suffrage which I took to John Q. [Cannon] to be published. She wants us to set to work and try to get a platform in the Constitution and be admitted as Wyoming was. The Constitutional Convention should do this whether we intercede with them or not, their own knowledge of the country’s needs and what women have done to help settle the Territory should inspire them. [p. 206] {p. 86}

 

April 18, 1895 • Thursday

This morning I hurried with all speed in order to prepare the new lists that came in and was off to the Convention in very good time but not too soon after all– Saw Thurmon [Samuel R. Thurman] at the Cullen and talked with him– found him very confident of the result– he is one who reassures you when in doubt– the vote was taken and stood 69. for and 32 against– a little bitterness was manifest from [Brigham H.] Roberts & [Charles S.] Varian also [William F.] James but altogether it was smooth sailing I sent a telegram to Susan B. Anthony to let her know– We kept very quiet and made no demonstratiom24 {p. 137}

 

“Equal Suffrage in the Constitution,” Editorial, Woman’s Exponent 23 (May 1, 1895): 260.

In the [Utah] Constitutional Convention on the morning of April 18th, the section on equal suffrage which had passed its third reading by a majority vote was brought up for reconsideration, as had been previously decided and the debate was limited to fifteen minutes, so that the question was soon disposed of without much argument on either side. When the vote was taken it stood sixty-nine to thirty-two, and the section as originally formulated by the majority committee on Elections and Suffrage goes into the Constitution of the New State giving women equal political privileges with men. On the same day the amendment for woman suffrage passed in the state of New Jersey, so that it really does seem to have been an auspicious day for the cause.

Miss Susan B. Anthony in a letter received since the news reached her says, “Hurrah for Utah No. 3, State—that establishes a genuine “Republican form of Government.” I got the telegram just in time Thursday evening to read it at our city P. E. Club meeting,25 and there was a big clapping of hands over it, then our New Jersey State senate passed the amendment bill the same afternoon, so we surely may feel that the morning dawn streaks our sky.”

There will be great rejoicing over the victory gained in Utah and it will certainly be an encouragement to all those who are working for the enfranchisement of womankind and the betterment of all mankind. Certainly we as women are as deeply grateful as it is possible to express without ostentation or display, but we appreciate in the highest degree the efforts of the friends of equal suffrage who so nobly stood by the cause when so severely attacked by the opposition. Some acknowledgement on behalf of the women of this Territory is eminently proper, and will assuredly be made in good time, for the present, one feels like being silently grateful to the Giver of all good and hoping and praying that the women of the new state may be wise, prudent and cautious in the exercise of their political rights. . . .

Utah WSA Meetings with Susan B. Anthony and Anna Shaw as National Visitors

“The Coming of Miss Anthony. The National Conference,” Woman’s Exponent 23 (May 1, 1895): 260.

The visit of Susan B. Anthony to Salt Lake City will be an event of great importance, and one which those who know her personally, will hail with joy, and certainly those who have never had the pleasure of hearing her before, will come eagerly to listen to her grandly simple eloquence. Miss Anthony is a rare personality, distinctively original in style, and charming in her quaker simplicity of dress and demeanor. She has not only grown old gracefully, but intellectually, she shows in every line of her face and every curve of her straight and slender figure, that attainment of wisdom and strength of mind and character which denotes unusual development of the soul. Miss Anthony’s powers of endurance are something wonderful; if weary she recuperates quickly, and never excuses herself from duty. Of her it may truly be said, “she is one of the most heroic figures in American history.” But Miss Anthony will very soon be here now; on the 12th of May she is expected to arrive, and we hope the public will turn out enmasse, to see and hear her, and those of her party who will make the trip with her, and who will be expected to take part in the Conference, to be held in this city on the 13th and 14th of May. . . .

 

May 8, 1895 • Wednesday

Today Miss Jannette Smith called on me and I took her to the News Office & the President’s office and had quite an interesting conversation with her. also went to see Captain [Samuel] Paul in reference to the Utah Drag26– and succeeded in getting it– to the City & County Building and secured Convention Hall for our coming National Conference– wrote to the Governor & Secretary asking them to introduce our guests– and to Mrs. Stansbury of Denver received word from Miss Anthony from Kansas City through Miss Shaw {p. 157}

 

May 9, 1895 • Thursday

<Letter from Gov. West consenting to introduce Miss Anthony> This morning went to the President’s office and had an interview with Presidents Woodruff and Cannon, Miss Smith made herself very agreeable– we called at Mrs. Frank [Marjorie Dwyer] Jennings & saw Mrs. P. P. [Priscilla Paul] Jennings and saw Bishop [Orson F.] Whitney and Judge [Calvin] Reason[e]r27 both called on me and talked of their new venture in newspaper work. Rec’d a letter from Mrs. Catt saying Miss Reel would perhaps not be able to come– . . . {p. 158}

 

May 12, 1895 • Sunday

<Dined at Mrs. Hyde’s28 at 6. p.m.> Was up town in good time and at the U.P. Depot at half-past seven with the big Utah and several carriages– met the ladies we expected Miss Anthony and Miss Shaw– then we breakfasted at the Templeton forty of us the rest went home or sat in the parlors– We rode about the City and then went home to lunch– Afterwards to the Tabernacle and sat in the Stand with the speakers and Aunt Zina S. M. [Sarah M. Granger] Kimball & B. W. [Bathsheba Wilcox Bigler] Smith Miss Shaw Miss Anthony & Bishop Whitney each spoke a short time the singing was extra fine Mr. [Evan] Stephens selected especially. At the theater in the evening Miss Shaw gave her sermon The Heavenly Vision29 {p. 161}

 

May 13, 1895 • Monday

Went up early and to the Constitutional Convention Hall and had everything arranged properly. opened about ½ past ten, Gov. West introduced Miss Anthony who spoke first then Miss Shaw who carried the audience by storm. Afterwards Mrs. Mary Craig Carrol Bradford & Mrs. Lyle Meredith Stansbury each talking a few minutes then S. M. Kimball, M. I. [Mary Isabella Hales] Horne, Mrs. Wm. Ferry[,] Joanna Melton[,] E. [Elias] H. Parsons[.] Aunt Zina made a sweet winning address of welcome After the meeting came the reception, hundreds of people at F. S. [Franklin S.] Richards. dined there afterwards went to the Hall which was densely crowded. Miss Shaw & Mrs. Bradford were the speakers. {p. 162}

 

May 14, 1895 • Tuesday

<dined at Phebe [Young] Beatie’s six p.m.> This morning met in the Tabernacle (small one) A very fine assembly– had many representatives besides the principal speakers which rather detracted from the effect– however we made pretty good collections and in the afternoon went out to Saltair had over a hundred guests. the visitors seemed to enjoy it. In the evening we had a meeting in the Assembly Hall– Mrs. Stansbury & Miss Shaw with a few words from Miss Anthony We closed the Conference much to my disappointment– however I had been pretty well wrought up all the time and felt it would be better so. I came home thoroughly exhausted & worn to a thread– {p. 163}

 

May 15, 1895 • Wednesday

This morning went up to have our pictures taken in a group– we have had so many in groups– it is a sort of fad. About thirty or more of us. Later on I succeeded after great difficulty in getting Miss Anthony & Miss Shaw down to my house. Mrs. [Margaret Walker] Salisbury was there with us. Belle & Lucile we called at Annie’s on our way– and at Belle’s after. We had kind of a pleasant lunch I paid Miss Anthony 25 dollars out of the collections and we drove to the depot so she could go on to Ogden and Miss Shaw to McVicker’s then to the W.C.T.U.30 reception. Counted out 35 dollars for her. Several ladies went to Ogden with them Mrs. Caine among the number– {p. 164}

 

May 17, 1895 • Friday

I am trying to make up for lost time or time occupied by the National Conference as well as the Constitutional Convention I have worked very steadily and much harder than any one is aware of– weary & in pain I have still kept on– I have enjoyed the change to be sure but do not know how the means will hold out to pay all expenses. . . . {p. 166}

Utah Statehood Approved and NAWSA Response, 1895–1896

November 7, 1895 • Thursday

Today I wrote to Susan B. Anthony and to Mrs. Catt also and sent off the three letters mentioning the carrying of the Constitution by a large majority. It seems almost too good to be true that we have equal suffrage. . . . {p. 340}

 

December 27, 1895 • Friday

. . . Had a letter from Susan B. Anthony in response to the Presidents announcement of Statehood for Utah. . . . {p. 390}

 

December 30, 1895 • Monday

. . . Wrote a long letter to Miss S. B. Anthony and one to Mrs. C. C. Catt enclosing a dollar yesterday and mailed them today. . . . {p. 393}

January 4, 1896 • Saturday

while I was making ready to go to the office, the guns fired a salute the whistles began to blow and I knew the President of the United States had signed the Proclamation. I flew as it were over to Belle’s and gave them the news; they had not noticed the whistles until then, bells were pealing out vigorously and all was joyous noise, I took the first car and found the city streaming with flags and banners. All was gaiety and I was soon joined by other women anxious to participate in the demonstration of joy and gladness. Mrs. Salisbury invited me to lunch with her at the Exchange– I went and had a pleasant time sent a telegram to Miss Anthony– Rec’d one from Miss Shaw Philadelphia– . . . {p. 40}

 

January 5, 1896 • Sunday

. . . had dispatch from Susan B. Anthony, Rochester N.Y. Had dinner at Lydia Ann [Alley Wells]’s & Susan [Alley Wells]’s Went to see Aunt Zina and Mrs. Zina Y. Card. had a pleasant time came home very late to read and think. How strange it all seems, and how wonderful that one of our boys31 should have had the honor of being the first Governor of Utah as a State– I have so many letters to write and am so worried by certain people who think they know so much more than I do, how things should be done– that it makes my head fairly swim. . . .

 

January 11, 1896 • Saturday

. . . I have had a very wearisome day, Suffrage meeting at one p.m. and then after that was over the ladies of the three Central Boards met to arrange for Aunt Zina’s banquet– the Meeting commenced at 4. and lasted until after 8. I came home and did some writing– had a letter from Miss Anthony and one from Mrs. [Rachel Foster] Avery– had a very lonely night and not feeling well either. Had a message from Jos. F. [Smith] about going to Washington {p. 47}

 

January 21, 1896 • Tuesday

I was invited to the Senate Chamber but was very late on account of going to the President’s office to talk over Washington Convention affairs– The Presidency wished Zina and myself to go, but I had no money and Zina would not go without me– We went down to the Legislature and heard part of Frank J. Cannon’s speech and then to the Senate and listened to the discussion in regard to women sitting on juries. [John F.] Chidester had introduced it, yet he was one who did most towards equal suffrage. Some smart lawyer I suppose had put him up to it. Well they killed it in the Senate the House had rejected it previously. Mrs. [Clara Bewick] Colby said some brave words for us and three of us sent her a dispatch thanking her– Zina & Margaret Caine, with me, I also asked Miss Anthony to postpone the Celebration to Monday {p. 57}

 

January 23, 1896 • Thursday

This morning could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw there was no notice of a telegram Letters from no notables, but of consequence to me– congratulations from Mrs. Upton and from others. This morning I finished the verse for Aunt Zina’s card President A. M. [Angus M.] Cannon came in. and regretted as all the brethren have that I was not in Washington. . . . {p. 59}

 

January 28, 1896 • Tuesday

Went off as early as possible and had a telegram from Rachel Foster Avery on my arrival. Very cheering– last night in Washington Utah was celebrated and created much enthusiasm. I shall be glad to learn particulars– . . . {p. 64}

 

February 15, 1896 • Tuesday

. . . Today Susan B. Anthony is 76 years old– I presume she has had many gifts and messages I should love to send her some sweet token from here but really feel I cannot. I love her very much and my heart goes out to her, but when one has not means they cannot bestow upon even those they love. . . . {p. 82}

Always interested in the social advancement of women, Emmeline B. Wells made connections with leaders of national organizations that built understanding around shared values and goals. By achieving woman suffrage in 1870 and again in 1895, the women of Utah set a desirable example for other parts of the nation. Utah women raised money and gathered thousands of names on petitions to support national suffrage efforts. They organized local Woman Suffrage Associations in the state and its counties. The hard work of local leaders like Emmeline earned the respect of Susan B. Anthony and her colleagues. Anthony, in turn, supported and honored their efforts. The two episodes documented here—the 1879 visit to Washington, D.C., and the 1895 winning of woman suffrage in the Utah Constitution—are highlights of this mutually advantageous relationship made possible by the pen and personality of Emmeline B. Wells.

Cherry Bushman Silver is coeditor of the Emmeline B. Wells diaries project and has enjoyed researching and annotating the diaries with Sheree Bench over the last eighteen years.

Sheree Maxwell Bench is coeditor of the Emmeline B. Wells diaries project. She teaches courses in women’s studies and Latter-day Saint women’s history at Brigham Young University and academic writing at Utah Valley University. She previously worked as a researcher at the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute. She was a founding member of the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team and currently serves as its cochair.


1. Emmeline B. Wells, Diary, February 26, 1909, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter cited as EBW Diary). Transcripts of the Emmeline B. Wells diaries are available online at https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells?lang=eng.

2. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Emmeline B. Wells: An Intimate History (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2017), xii.

3. Manuscript diaries and digitized images are available through the L. Tom Perry Special Collections website, http://archives.lib.byu.edu/repositories/14/resources/7790. Annotated transcriptions of diary entries from 1844 to 1879 and from 1892 to 1896 are available at https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/emmeline-b-wells?lang=eng. Other Wells diaries from the forty-seven total will appear at intervals on the Church Historian’s Press website.

4. Zina Young Williams, who was later married to Charles Ora Card.

5. Emmeline Wells and Zina Williams were assigned by Church leaders to attend the National Woman Suffrage Association meetings in Washington, D.C., held January 9 and 10, 1879; their purposes were to lend Utah’s support for universal woman suffrage and to lobby Congress concerning repressive legislation against the Latter-day Saints. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Advocate for Women: The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006)161–68.

6. Daughters at home were Emeline Whitney Wells, Elizabeth Ann Wells, and Louise Martha Wells.

7. Riggs House was a private hotel that was used as headquarters of the National Woman Suffrage Association. It also provided lodging for prominent visitors to Washington, D.C., including Susan B. Anthony and George Q. Cannon. Carol Cornwall Madsen, Advocate for Women, 177 n. 66; Davis Bitton, George Q. Cannon: A Biography (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999), 225.

8. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sara Andrews Spencer, and Jane H. Spofford were leaders in the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA); their meetings were held in Lincoln Hall on Ninth and D Streets. George Q. Cannon was the Utah Territorial delegate and a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Notes and News,” Woman’s Exponent 7 (January 1, 1879): 113; Madsen, Intimate History, 184–85.

9. President and Mrs. Hayes.

10. Woman Suffrage.

11. A committee from NWSA presented a petition for woman suffrage, which EBW reprinted in the Woman’s Exponent. “Petitions and Memorials,” Woman’s Exponent 7 (February 15, 1879): 197.

12. The widely distributed photo of EBW in her silk brocaded dress holding a pen and seated at a desk (see p. 95) was most likely photographed in the Charles M. Bell Studio on Pennsylvania Avenue. Madsen, Intimate History, 189 n. 48; “C. M. Bell Studio Collection,” Prints and Photographs Reading Room, Library of Congress, accessed October 25, 2017, https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/c-m-bell-studio-photographs.html.

13. Joseph Henry (1797–1878), physicist and inventor, served as the first director of the Smithsonian Institute. EBW and her party joined an audience of eminent people memorializing Henry in the assembly room of the House of Representatives. “Henry, Joseph,” in Dumas Malone, Dictionary of American Biography (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1932), 8:551–53; Memorial of Joseph Henry, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1882), 37–122.

14text: Incomplete word. The preceding sentence is written below the heading for January 17 but is partially enclosed in a wavy line, indicating that the text belongs with the January 16 entry.

15Women of Mormondom was written by Edward W. Tullidge with the help of Eliza R. Snow, EBW, and other leading women of the Church. It presents autobiographies, notable experiences, and aspects of the faith of the Latter-day Saints.

16. Seth Ford.

17. George F. Edmunds, senator from Vermont, authored the Edmunds Act of 1882 and Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887 that disenfranchised those practicing illegal cohabitation in Utah and ended the right to vote for all women. Thomas G. Alexander, Utah, the Right Place (Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 1995), 192, 195.

18. Henry Andrew Morrow (1829–1891), commander of the Michigan 24th Infantry Division during the Civil War, was commanding officer at Camp Douglas, which was east of Salt Lake City, from 1872 to 1873. “Henry Andrew Morrow,” Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5909843/henry-andrew-morrow; O. B. Curtis, History of the Twenty-Fourth Michigan of the Iron Brigade (Detroit: Winn and Hammond, 1891), 477–78.

19. The New York Evening Post supported social reforms like abolition and woman’s suffrage. Henry R. Elliott is listed in the 1880 census as a journalist born in New York and boarding in Washington, D.C. “Just the Same as the Men,” Remonstrance against Woman Suffrage (Boston), January 1918, 8; 1880 U.S. Census, District of Columbia, 345A.

20. Wilford Woodruff, Cache Stake Conference, Logan, Utah, November 1, 1891, reported in Deseret News Weekly, November 14, 1891.

21. “Susan B. Anthony’s Letter. Rochester, New York, July 21, 1894,” Woman’s Exponent 23 (August 1–15, 1894): 169.

22. Cavendish Wells Cannon.

23. Union Pacific Railroad.

24. For a review of the debates over a woman suffrage clause, see Jean Bickmore White, “Woman’s Place Is in the Constitution: The Struggle for Equal Rights in Utah in 1895,” in Battle for the Ballot: Essays on Woman Suffrage in Utah, 1870–1896, ed. Carol Cornwall Madsen (Logan: Utah State University Press, 1997), 221–43.

25. “Political Equality Clubs were the basic organizational unit of New York State’s woman suffragists.” “From the Diary of SBA,” in In an Awful Hush, 1895 to 1906, vol. 6 of The Selected Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, ed. Ann D. Gordon (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2018), 1 n. 1.

26. The Utah Drag and the “big Utah” mentioned in the May 12, 1895, entry below refer to a large horse-drawn conveyance that held nearly thirty occupants. EBW Diary, May 12, 1894.

27. “The 1890s saw Calvin [Reasoner] move to Utah, where he served as a probate judge in Ogden and wrote influential political articles urging less state government control by the Mormon Church. In 1896 his self-published book, Church and State: The Issue of Civil and Religious Liberty in Utahinfluenced many Utah legislators in writing that state’s constitution.” “Calvin Reasoner—1996 Inductee,” The Osborne County Hall of Fame, last edited September 12, 2012accessed December 31, 2018, https://ochf.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/calvin-reasoner-1996-inductee/.

28. Probably Anna Taylor Hyde.

29. Events and personalities are described in “The National Conference: National American W.S.A.,” Woman’s Exponent 23 (May 15, 1895): 268. Anna H. Shaw’s sermon was transcribed by a stenographer and published in “Sermon by Rev. Anna H. Shaw in the Large Tabernacle in Salt Lake City,” Woman’s Exponent 24 (June 1, 1895): 1–2, followed by remarks from “Miss Susan B. Anthony,” 2.

30. Woman’s Christian Temperance Union.

31. Heber M. Wells, son of Daniel H. Wells and Martha Harris Wells, was elected as the first governor of the state of Utah; he was a member of the Wells family and stepson of Emmeline B. Wells.

Published in BYU Studies Quarterly 59:3
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