Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 52

SPECIAL SEC TION
This is the fifth and final installment
in a series of articles celebrating the
centennial of the ratification of the
19th Amendment. The D.C. Bar pays
homage to the countless women
and supporters of the decades-long
suffrage movement whose persistence
and sacrifice changed the course of
history.

WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE

A Story of Courage & Perseverance
By Joseph Scafetta Jr.

I

n every U.S. presidential election
since 1980, the proportion of
eligible women who voted has
exceeded the proportion of
eligible men who cast their vote. In
2016, more than 73 million women
headed to the polls, while more
than 63 million men reported
voting.
Harris & Ewing/Wikimedia Commons

One hundred years ago, on August 18, 1920,
Congress ratified the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women's constitutional right to vote. It
had been a long march for women in the
United States to get to that moment in history,
with suffrage advocates enduring decades of
public ridicule and vilification, protests, and
arrest and imprisonment.
The suffrage movement dates back to 1848,
when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia
Coffin Mott organized a two-day convention
in Seneca Falls, New York. At its conclusion,
the attendees signed the Declaration of
Sentiments, stating that women have rights
equal to men, including the right to vote.
But women in the United States had, in fact,
been attempting to vote for nearly a century
before the Seneca Falls Convention. In 1756 in
Uxbridge, Massachusetts, Lydia Taft, a widow
who owned land, became the first woman to
vote in colonial North America. And until a law
was passed to exclude them from voting,
unmarried white women who owned property
could vote in New Jersey from 1776 to 1807.
The male view at the time was that the ideal
woman was a pious, submissive wife and
mother concerned solely with home and
family, while the husband tended to outside
matters such as politics and voting. Therefore,

52 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JULY/AUGUST 2020

Suffragists Catherine Flanagan (left) and Madeleine Watson (right) of the National Woman's Party
being arrested by a policewoman (center) while picketing in front of the White House in 1917.
most men concluded that women did not
need the right to vote. This male notion did not
sit well with many women, particularly single
women, widows, and working mothers who
did not have a man in their home.
In 1850, Lucy Stone organized a larger assembly
called the National Women's Rights Convention
in Worchester, Massachusetts, with a wider
focus, including the abolition of slavery. Susan
Brownell Anthony joined the cause in 1851.
When Reconstruction began in 1866, Stanton,
Stone, and Anthony cofounded the American
Equal Rights Association (AERA) that pushed for
the ratification of the 14th Amendment to guarantee equal protection of the law for all citizens.
It was ratified in 1868. The AERA also supported
the 15th Amendment, which prohibited the
denial of voting rights on account of race, but

wanted women included as well. In May 1869,
when it looked like the 15th Amendment
would be ratified, Stanton and Anthony left the
AERA to form the National Woman Suffrage
Association (NWSA). The NWSA instead focused
on enfranchising women by amendment to
the Constitution.
Later in 1869, Stone and Julia Ward Howe held
a convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where they
cofounded the rival American Woman Suffrage
Association (AWSA), which did support the
15th Amendment and focused on securing
women's right to vote, but through state-bystate legislation.
On December 10, 1869, John Allen Campbell,
the first governor of the Wyoming Territory,
approved the first law in U.S. history explicitly
granting women the right to vote. On February



Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Election Coverage
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Staying Afloat feature
Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Annual Report
Taking the Stand
The Learning Curve
On Further Review
Member Spotlight -
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Women's Suffrage special section
Speaking of Ethics
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 10
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - When Law Firms Go Remote feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disaster Preparedness for Lawyers feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Staying Afloat feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Privacy Rights During a Pandemic Feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Hamilton's Enduring Legacy feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 38
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Member Spotlight -
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Women's Suffrage special section
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2020 - Cover4
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