The Mother of Women Suffrage in Wyoming

The Mother of Women Suffrage in Wyoming

Her son, newspaper editor Ed Slack of Cheyenne, labeled her “the mother of women suffrage in Wyoming,” upon her death in 1902. Stories have long persisted that in 1869, she invited influential Democrats ad Republicans to a tea party at her home and wouldn’t let them go until they’d pledged to vote for suffrage. And indeed, in 1869, Wyoming Territory because the first government in the nation to give women the vote. But the story of her tea party is now in dispute. Some historians contend she had little, if anything, to do with the suffrage vote. But in 1870, she became the first woman in the nation to hold public office when she was appointed a judge in the Territory. That same year, six Laramie women joined six men on a jury—the first women to ever serve on a jury in the nation. To this day, Esther Hobart Morris is touted as the Mother of Wyoming Suffrage and in 1960, her statue was presented as Wyoming’s representative in Statuary Hall in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

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