Rights for Women: The Suffrage Movement and Its Leaders

Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris (1814-1902)

Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris promoted the idea of granting women the vote in Wyoming Territory in 1869. While not a member of any official associations, Morris is known as the “Mother of Woman Suffrage” for her pioneering role in woman suffrage. As an outspoken woman, Morris also championed laws giving married women property rights and providing equal pay for teachers. Her advocacy contributed to her appointment as the first female Justice of the Peace on 1870. Although she remained in office under a year, Morris believed she successfully passed the “test of woman’s ability to hold public office.”

In 1890 the Wyoming statehood committee honored her for pioneering the cause in woman suffrage at their celebration of statehood. Morris contributed to suffrage through her work in Wyoming and eventually represented Wyoming in the 1895 national suffrage convention in Cleveland. In 1960 both the Cheyenne State House and Statutory Hall in the national Capitol erected statues of her, honoring her role in the suffrage movement.

Morris
Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris, Carrie Chapman Catt Collection, Bryn Mawr College Library

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