Why Did Colorado Suffragists Fail to Win the Right to Vote in 1877,
but Succeed in 1893?


1869: Wyoming territorial legislature extends the vote to women. National suffrage movement splits into two organizations: American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association.

1870: Utah territorial legislature extends the vote to women. Woman suffrage bill goes down to defeat in the Colorado territorial legislature. The 15th Amendment prohibits states from denying citizens the vote on the basis of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

1876: Colorado enters the Union without enfranchising women. Colorado Woman Suffrage Association formed.

1877:Colorado’s first woman suffrage referendum campaign goes down to defeat. But Colorado women receive the right to vote in school elections and to hold school office.

1881:Colorado Equal Suffrage Association formed.

1883: Washington territorial legislature extends the vote to women.

1887: Congress rescinds woman suffrage in Utah. Territorial Supreme Court in Washington rescinds woman suffrage.

1890: Wyoming admitted to the Union as a suffrage state. National suffrage movement split is healed; the National American Woman Suffrage Association forms. Non-Partisan Equal Suffrage Association of Colorado reorganized.

1893: Colorado becomes the first state to grant women the right to vote by popular referendum.

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