Emmeline B. Wells

“Am I Not a Woman and a Sister?”



Two thousand suffragists packed DeGuiver’s opera house in Atlanta, Georgia, for the annual convention of the National-American Woman’s Suffrage Association on 2 February 1895. Emmeline B. Wells, delegate from Utah, had just concluded her report on the status of woman’s suffrage in Utah Territory. With Utah’s constitutional convention only a month away, she expressed confidence the convention delegates would see fit to include woman’s suffrage in the organic law of the new state. She reviewed the work of the Utah Woman’s Suffrage Association, which she headed, in achieving a favorable disposition of the convention delegates toward this issue and expressed hope that Utah would join Wyoming and Colorado as the only three states in the Union granting suffrage to women.

It was a satisfying and long-awaited occasion for the Mormon suffragist. But the moment was marked indelibly as a milestone when Susan B. Anthony, the grande dame of the suffrage movement, came forward and put her arm around the Utah delegate. The stately suffrage leader towered above the tiny Emmeline, but their dedication to the cause of women knew no such disparity. Enthusiastically endorsing the work of her Utah colleague, the elder Anthony spoke with such fervor that the audience was visibly moved by this spontaneous display of deep affection.


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