back to home
(suffrage icon)1921

In looking backward we are filled with gratitude and happiness at what we have accomplished. We do not minimize the importance of what has been done. The enfranchisement of women, in face of the prejudice against it, prejudice woven into the very web of human nature, is a marvelous achievement. The careless world will probably continue to think that woman suffrage just happened, that it was "in the air" but we know that the changes in the opinions of society which made it possible are the result of ceaseless, unremitting toil. Stones wear away with constant dropping. So do prejudices, which are much tougher. The political equality of women came because a little group of women had profound conviction that the enfranchisement of women was so fundamentally right and so absolutely necessary that it must be brought about. Many women and many men helped in the long woman suffrage struggle. But it was the burning flame in the souls of a few women which lighted and led the way.

Wisconsin has done its part. We say it with great pride and fervent thanksgiving. How many times have I heard the pessimistic prophecy: "Wisconsin will be the last to enfranchise its women." Local conditions seemed to provide foundation for that belief, but we workers in these later years knew that it was not well founded. Wisconsin took the lead in the ratification of the federal amendment because of the good fortune of her legislature being in session at the right time and the activities of our legislative committee. But the convictions of the legislature, chosen representatives of the people of Wisconsin, were right on this great question. The spontaneous enthusiastic support of suffrage measures by the legislature of 1919 records the real triumph of woman suffrage in Wisconsin.24

24 For information used in this article I am indebted to the Reverend Olympia Brown, Ada L. James, Louise P. Kellogg, and many others.

Youmans, Theodora W. "How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot." Wisconsin Magazine of History 5 (1921-22) 3-32.
From the collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin: F 576 W6