Article of the Week

Monday, October 12, 2020

First to Vote: Utah's Unique Place in the Suffrage Movement

Today we are featuring, "First to Vote: Utah's Unique Place in the Suffrage Movement," by Katherine Kitterman from our newest issue 59:3. Below is the abstract. Use the link below for the full article. 

On February 14, 1870, twenty-three-year old Utah school teacher Seraph Young was the first woman ever to exercise her right to vote under a women's equal suffrage law. This right would not be awarded until a women's suffrange amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution fifty years later. This article reviews the history of women's suffrage in the United States from 1787 to 1920. Utah women won suffrage rights twice before 1900, benefiting from a unique level of community support and doing so despite the polygamy controversy. When Utah Territory lost woman's suffrage due to federal antipolygamy laws, Utah women fought in prominent national positions to regain their rights and grant those rights to others, motivated by a deep spiritual belief in gender equality.