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I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote

Book Description

This picture book biography chronicles the life of Esther Morris, hatmaker, business owner, mother, wife, and suffragist, who was instrumental in getting women the right to vote in Wyoming Territory. “I could do that!” was Esther’s battle cry when people told her she wasn’t allowed to do certain things. A story about a woman with bold determination, this picture book makes a great read-aloud with its cheery dialogue and colorful, humorous illustrations.

Utah Connection

This mural depiction of women first voting in Utah, by painter David Koch, hangs in the Utah Capitol Building. Seraph Young, the first woman to vote in Utah and the modern nation, is center wearing the yellow dress.

Wyoming Territory was the first to grant women voting rights, in December 1869. Utah Territory granted women the vote several weeks later, on February 12, 1870. Women in Salt Lake City voted two days after that, making them the first women to vote in the modern nation. Many women in Utah were like Esther Morris, fighting for their rights, running for and serving in political offices, and involving themselves in their local communities.

Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage
Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage

Book Description

The story of women’s suffrage told from the perspective of Bessie Keith Pond, a real-life ten-year-old from California, unfolds in this picture book biography. Bessie joins the campaign for women’s suffrage after Susan B. Anthony visits her town. Based on Bessie’s diaries, this picture book shares not only the main events in the fight for women’s suffrage, but also how even young girls can make a difference in their communities and the world.

Utah Connection

Annie Wells Cannon at age 2 ½ . Photo courtesy of Kathy Knowlton

Many young girls in Utah watched their mentors, aunts, mothers, and older sisters fight for suffrage. The road to the passage of the 19th Amendment took 72 years, so these young girls grew into adults who continued the fight for women’s voting rights. For example, Annie Wells Cannon was eleven years old when women in Utah were first granted suffrage in 1870. Her mother, Emmeline B. Wells, was Utah’s leading suffragist and good friends with Susan B. Anthony. Annie not only helped her mother write and edit the women’s rights newspaper, the Woman’s Exponent, she grew up to be a suffragist and a Utah state legislator.

The Taxing Case of the Cows: A True Story About Suffrage
The Taxing Case of the Cows: A True Story About Suffrage

Book Description

Abby and Julia Smith fight taxation without representation. Since women did not have the vote, the Smith Sisters refused to pay a property tax—a tax on their cows—because they had no say in this tax law. They decide to fight this unfair law—and draw attention to women’s suffrage—through creative means.

Utah Connection

In 1911, Kanab elected to the City Council Mary Woolley Chamberlain, Luella Atkin McAllister, Tamar Stewart Hamblin, Blanche Robinson Hamblin, and Vinnie Farnsworth Jepson. Jepson resigned shortly after being elected but was quickly replaced by Ada Pratt Seegmiller.

Cows were the motivation for the Smith sisters to become politically active in their community, and cows were the motivation for five women in Kanab, Utah, to also get involved in local politics. In the early 1900s, women in Kanab were frustrated by the mess being caused by cows and other farm animals running loose around the city. It was dirty, smelly and made it difficult to walk down the street or drive a wagon on the road. Men had always been in charge of running the town, but they weren’t doing anything about the problems in Kanab. So women in Kanab decided to run for office to make changes, and they won they mayorship and all four town commissioner seats! The women took their new leadership roles seriously. They passed laws to punish animal owners who didn’t keep their animals fenced in and did many other things to clean up their town. Like the Smith sisters, the Kanab women weren’t afraid to stand up and make a difference.

Utah women also were not happy about being taxed without the right to vote. Taxation without representation was one of the main arguments given by pro-suffragists for including equal suffrage in the Utah State Constitution in 1895.  

Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told
Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told

Book Description

This award-winning picture book biography tells the story of Ida B. Wells, suffragist, activist, educator, and journalist, who spoke out about the evils of lynching and the unequal treatment of African Americans. Quotes from Wells’s autobiography are weaved throughout and paired with beautiful watercolor illustrations.

Utah Connection

President Coolidge and Osage Indians, 1924

Even though laws are written and passed, sometimes these laws aren’t fairly enforced. In the case of voting rights, throughout history many states and the federal government have passed restrictive laws and practices making voting difficult if not impossible for various groups of people. Examples: 1) after the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed in 1870, giving black men the right to vote, some states and counties still prevented African Americans from voting by passing their own restrictive laws. 2) Congress passed laws in 1924 that granted U.S. citizenship (and voting rights) to all American Indians, even those living on reservations under sovereign indigenous nations. But American Indians in Utah could not vote because they were not considered “residents” of Utah but “residents” of their own tribal nations. In 1957, the Utah State Legislature passed a law that allowed all American Indians in Utah to vote regardless of whether they lived on a reservation or not. 3) In the late 1800s, Congress passed anti-polygamy laws. The Edmunds-Tucker Act took away the voting rights of polygamous men and all Utah women.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909

Book Description

Ukranian immigrant Clara Lemlich fought for better working conditions in U.S. garment factories in the early 1900s. This picture book biography chronicles the story of young Clara leading the largest walkout of women workers the country had ever seen. It includes striking illustrations, an author’s note, and further readings on the garment industry.

Utah Connection

The J. G. McDonald shipping room, July 1911. Photo Courtesy of Utah State Historical Society

In January 1910, fourteen immigrant ‘chocolate girls’ at the McDonald Candy Company in Salt Lake City went on strike after the firm refused the workers’ request to increase their wages. The strikers organized the Chocolate Dippers’ Union of Utah No. 1, the first union of women workers in Utah. Unfortunately, the union was short-lived, and the strikers did not achieve their goal of higher wages. Instead, they lost their jobs. But the efforts of these women to improve their work situation in one of Utah’s major industries made them exceptional.

From Kathryn L. Mackay, “The Chocolate Dippers’ Strike of 1910,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 1, 39-51.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March

Book Description

This award-winning memoir provides a first-person account by Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. She was jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday and marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., showing just how courageous young people can be. The illustrations give the text a graphic-novel feel. The concluding chapter explains the fight for voting rights and contains short biographies of those who died fighting for the cause.

Utah Connection

Nettie Grimes Gregory. Courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

Nettie Grimes Gregory was a native Tennessean who moved to Salt Lake City in 1913 with her husband, William, a railroad employee. They quickly adapted to life in Utah and Nettie sought to make herself useful to the community. She was especially concerned about the lack of wholesome recreation for young people living on the city’s west side. She and her husband began some activities at the Calvary Baptist Church but found that the number of young people wanting to participate exceeded the capacity of the church’s facilities. The answer was obvious to the Gregorys. Their neighborhood needed its own building with adequate space for a variety of community activities, including weddings, socials, and youth programs. William Gregory donated a small parcel of land, and…Nettie “recruited black women belonging to the Salt Lake Community Club and the Nimble Thimble Club to act as leaders in the fund-raising drive.” They held dinners, bake sales, and bazaars.

In 1959 construction of the first civic building in Salt Lake City built by African Americans began. The project required 5 years to complete, but the idea had been in Nettie’s heart for almost 20 years. Although Nettie had died of a stroke on July 6, 1964, those preparing to use the building recognized her by naming the new structure at 742 West South Temple the Nettie Gregory Center. The needs of African American youth had spurred the drive to build it, but the Gregorys always envisioned it as a place where people of all races and creeds would be welcome. Nettie was a person who believed that even young people could make an impact and difference.

Adapted from Utah History to Go: https://historytogo.utah.gov/people/utahns_of_achievement/nettiegrimesgregory.html

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Book Description

This multiple award-winning book uses poetry told in a first-person voice and vivid collage illustrations to share the story of Fannie Lou Hamer. When Fannie was in her 40s, she learned from young activists who spoke at her church that she had voting rights, and she volunteered to register to vote despite the potential dangers in doing so. Though she faced numerous threats and was brutally beaten, she continued to champion civil rights.

Utah Connection

Mignon Barker Richmond (third from right) joins other students for an outdoor performance. Photo courtesy Utah State University Special Collections

Mignon Barker Richmond was the first African American woman to graduate from a Utah college (Utah State University), in 1921. Like Fannie Lou Hamer, Mignon worked to improve the lives of African Americans in her community. She enjoyed a lifelong association with the YWCA and volunteered with the Salt Lake Chapter of the NAACP. She helped found the Nettie Gregory Center, the first civic building in Salt Lake City built by African Americans, in 1964.

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Book Description

Written as a celebration of the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which made it illegal to use literacy tests, poll taxes, or anything else to deny American citizens the right to vote. This picture book follows the journey of 100-year-old Lillian en route to her polling place as she reminisces about the obstacles she and her ancestors faced in order to vote.

Utah Connection

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965, as Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders look on. Courtesy of LBJ Library, photo by Yoichi Okamoto.

From the book’s author’s note: “The sad coda to this story is that in 2013, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, eliminating federal oversight of states’ election processes. Since that decision, many states have created ‘voter ID laws,’ which require all citizens to present a state-issued photo ID when voting.” Utah has a voter ID requirement.

Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote, 21 Activities
Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote, 21 Activities

Book Description

This book tells the story of the almost century-long struggle for women’s suffrage in the United States. It includes a timeline, online resources, and activities like creating a suffrage banner , hosting a Victorian tea, and baking a cake from the Woman Suffrage Cookbook.

Utah Connection

Cover of the Utah Woman Suffrage Song Book

Many Utah suffragists worked closely with national suffragist leaders. They held meetings and suffrage celebrations, generated petitions, paid dues to national suffrage organizations, and created items like the Utah Woman Suffrage Song Book to raise money and awareness for their cause.

Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote
Miss Paul and the President: The Creative Campaign for Women’s Right to Vote

Book Description

Alice Paul grew up watching what her father and other men could do, and she wanted to be able to do the same. Wearing her signature purple hat, Alice organized suffrage parades, wrote letters, protested outside the White House, and met with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. He dismissed women’s suffrage as a minor concern. However, her persistence paid off, eventually convincing President Wilson to support women’s suffrage.

Utah Connection

Utahn Lavern Robertson standing fourth from left with other suffragists as part of the Silent Sentinels on November 10, 1917. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

Utah suffragists Lavern Robertson and Minnie Quay were so committed to fighting for the national suffrage amendment that they joined one of the most famous protests by the National Woman’s Party and participated in picketing the White House in 1917, ultimately becoming victims of the infamous “Night of Terror.” For two and a half years, almost 2000 women from around the country took turns picketing outside the White House six days a week until the suffrage amendment finally passed both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on June 4, 1919.

 

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)

Book Description

Through vintage photographs, cartoons, advertisements, cartoons, and songs, Wheels of Change provides readers the history of how the bicycle transformed women’s lives. "Let me tell you what I think of bicycling," abolitionist and suffragist leader Susan B. Anthony said in 1896. "I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel … the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood."

Utah Connection

An unidentified woman with a bicycle is shown with members of the first Utah State Legislature on the steps of the City and County Building in 1896. Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society

A man riding across the country on a bicycle passed through Utah in 1884. Utah’s Ute Indians first saw a bicycle in 1892 when a man from New York got lost on reservation lands. The Utes called the bike an “iron pony.” They thought it was part of a scheme to compete with and cheat them out of their beloved horses.

Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President
Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President

Book Description

Unlike most books about Susan B. Anthony, this picture book focuses on Ms. Anthony voting in the 1872 presidential election when women did not have voting rights. She was arrested and jailed for this then illegal act, bringing attention to the women’s suffrage movement.

Utah Connection

Susan B. Anthony had a cherished dress made from black silk presented to her on her 80th birthday by the Utah Silk Commission, a woman-owned industry. The dress is on display at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester, New York.

Two years before Susan B. Anthony illegally cast her vote, Utah and Wyoming women received voting rights and were able to legally cast their ballots. In 1871, Anthony passed through Utah, where she spoke in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and congratulated Utah on extending voting rights to women. She became friends with Utah suffragists, championing their voting rights. In turn, Utahns adored Anthony and supported her efforts to win national women’s suffrage.

Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten and 10,000 Miles
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten and 10,000 Miles

Book Description

In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car to spread the ‘Votes for Women!’ message on their 10,000-mile journey across the United States. This picture book with lively illustrations chronicles their adventures as they furthered their cause through ingenious means.

Utah Connection

A suffrage parade coming up Main Street in Salt Lake City in August 1915 involving Utah suffragists and leaders from the National Woman’s Party. Participants were on their way to interview Utah senator Reed Smoot about his support for a national suffrage amendment. Courtesy of the National Woman’s Party.

Sara Bard Field and Frances Joliffe transported a suffrage petition and resolutions cross-country by automobile–collecting additional signatures along the way to present to Congress and the President. The automobile was driven by Swedish women Ingeborg Kinstedt and Maria Kindberg. Mabel Vernon traveled ahead of envoys by train and helped organize autocades, parades, meetings, and petition drives at various stops. In addition to stopping in Salt Lake City twice, the envoy visited San Francisco, Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot

Book Description

This easy-to-digest nonfiction work provides a strong overview of the women’s suffrage movement from abolition to the ratification of the 19th amendment as it honestly explores some of the uglier moments in the struggle for women’s voting rights. It includes comprehensive end matter, including endnotes, a timeline, and primary source materials.

Utah Connection

Utah, Colorado, and national suffragists at the 1895 Rocky Mountain Suffrage Convention in Salt Lake City. Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society. 1) Electa Bullock 2) Minnie J. Snow 3) Mary Y. Dougall 4) Susan B. Anthony 5) Phoebe Young Beattie 6) Margaret A. Caine 7) Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon 8) Martha Horne Tingey 9) Lillie Richards Moore Pardee 10) Emily S. Richards 11) Rev. Anna Howard Shaw 12) Sarah M. Kimball 13) Emmeline B. Wells 14) Zina D. H. J. Young 15) Elvira Stevens Barney 16) Ellis Meredith Stansbury (Colorado) 17) Emma McVicker 18) Rebecca M. Little 19) ??? 20) Isabelle E. Bennet 21) Harriet Amelia Folsom Young 22) Augusta W. Grant 23) Possibly Phoebe Woodruff Snow 24) Mary C. C. Bradford (Colorado)

For nearly forty years, Emmeline B. Wells and other Utah suffragists published a newspaper advocating for women’s rights, called the Woman’s Exponent. Emily S. Richards founded the Utah Woman Suffrage Association and organized local chapters throughout the Utah Territory. Utah suffragists held meetings, distributed pamphlets, signed petitions and wrote petitions demanding women’s voting rights in Utah and the nation.

In 1895, Utah, Colorado, and national suffragists met in Salt Lake City at the Rocky Mountain Suffrage Convention after Utah delegates and male voters elected to include women’s suffrage in the proposed state constitution that year. Colorado had granted women’s suffrage on November 7, 1893.

Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass
Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass

Book Description

This picture book non-fiction story explains the unlikely friendship of the leading suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, and leading abolitionist and freed slave, Frederick Douglass. Despite disagreements or hardships, Anthony and Douglass remained friends, and together they promoted equality and changed the nation. The author weaves together information about the fight against slavery and the battle for women's rights, showing how the two movements were tied together. An author's note provides more information on research and on the bronze sculpture of Anthony and Douglass in Rochester, New York, that depicts the two friends having tea.

Utah Connection

Emmeline B. Wells. Courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

Emmeline B. Wells was a Utah woman who worked for decades to promote women’s rights. She first met Susan B. Anthony when Anthony visited Utah in 1871 to celebrate Utah women gaining suffrage, and Wells slowly built a friendship with the leader of the national women’s movement as she attended several national suffrage conventions. Anthony visited Utah again in 1895 to celebrate the inclusion of women’s suffrage in the proposed state constitution, and she even bequeathed a gold ring to Wells when she died in 1906. Anthony and Wells were unlikely friends given that Anthony did not personally support polygamy and Wells was a polygamist wife. However, Anthony believed that women should be granted voting rights regardless of their marital statuses and included polygamous Mormon women in the National Woman Suffrage Association when others did not want to include them.

Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency
Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency

Book Description

This picture book biography explains Belva Lockwood’s journey to becoming the first woman to run for President of the United States in 1884, before women had the right to vote. She famously said, “I cannot vote, but I can be voted for.” Despite the fact that Belva lost the election to Grover Cleveland, she did all in her power at the time to further a woman’s place in the U.S. government. The book includes an extensive author’s note, a women’s suffrage timeline, and selected bibliography.

Utah Connection

Phoebe Couzins in 1887.

In 1869, at age 27, Phoebe Couzins began her studies at Washington University Law School in St. Louis, Missouri, and earned a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1871, becoming the first female graduate of Washington University School of Law and one of the first women in the United States to graduate from law school. After passing the bar exam, she was licensed to practice in the federal courts in Missouri, Arkansas, Utah, and Kansas. After her father died in 1887, the U.S. government appointed her as the first female in the U.S. Marshal Service, and she finished her father’s term of service.

“The Utah Bar admitted [Georgianna “Georgia” Snow] Carleton in 1872, at the age of thirty. Before her admission, Carleton studied the law for three years with her father, Zerubbabel Snow, who was then the Attorney General of the Utah Territory and later a territorial Utah Supreme Court Judge. A committee appointed by Chief Justice McKean of the territorial Utah Supreme Court examined and approved Carleton’s application for admission and her legal qualifications. Carleton served as territorial librarian, later moving to Wyoming and entered politics. She served as an alternative delegate to the 1892 presidential convention. Carleton later moved to San Diego, where she was a member of the Board of Education. She died in 1915.” From Women Trailblazers in the Law: Utah’s First 100 Women Lawyers.

A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights
A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights

Book Description

This picture book biography tells the story of Belva Lockwood, a lawyer, activist, and presidential candidate who devoted her life to overcoming obstacles and demanding equality for women. As the first woman to argue a case to the Supreme Court, Belva felt not only qualified to run for President, but that the laws allowed her to do so even as a woman in 1884 (36 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment that granted women voting rights). Though she did not the election, her presidential campaign changed the political landscape. The book features a thoughtful author’s note, a timeline of Belva’s life and other female political milestones, and a bibliography. Belva’s quotes are also integrated into the illustrations with a look reminiscent of 19th-century folk art.

Utah Connection

Emma J. McVicker was nominated for state superintendent of schools in 1895, but the territorial supreme court ruled that women could not yet run for election. She would later be appointed to this position in 1900. Courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

Like Belva Lockwood, Utah women understood that suffrage was just the first step in political engagement. Even before statehood and suffrage were secured, three Utah women attempted to run for elected office in 1895 but were ultimately barred from running because of their gender. After Utah’s constitutional convention adopted women’s right to vote and hold office, controversy arose regarding whether women would be eligible to vote in the ratifying election. Although the federal Enabling Act specifically limited voting on the constitution to male citizens, some Utah delegates argued that women should at least be able to vote for state officials under the rights guaranteed in the new constitution. Accordingly, the Republican party nominated Emmeline B. Wells to run for the Utah House of Representatives, Lillie Pardee for the State Senate, and Emma McVicker for state superintendent of schools. Shortly thereafter, the territorial supreme court ruled that women did not have the right to vote in the ratifying election. Although the ruling did not explicitly address women’s right to run for office, many extended the court’s reasoning to bar the three Republican women candidates. Emma McVicker and Lillie Pardee soon dropped out of the race, but Emmeline Wells fought to maintain her candidacy as long as possible and finally capitulated only weeks before the election. Although women could not vote in the election that ratified the new state constitution and restored their voting rights, several women successfully ran for office in the election the following year.

Elizabeth Started All of the Trouble
Elizabeth Started All of the Trouble

Book Description

This biographical picture book written by award-winning author, Doreen Rappaport, portrays Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s role in both abolitionism and the women’s suffrage movement and serves as a solid introduction to the fight for women’s rights. Organized chronologically, the book presents brief details about many of the events, protests, trials, and jail sentences, as well as how women eventually gained the right to vote.

Utah Connection

Charlotte Godbe Kirby. Courtesy of Utah State Historical Society.

Charlotte Godbe Kirby was one of the first people to speak about women’s suffrage and rights in the Utah Territory. She was a woman of strong opinions who shared them openly. Even though many Mormon suffragists excluded Charlotte after her polygamous husband was excommunicated from the LDS Church (she would later divorced him), she was well known within the national suffrage movement, associated with many national leaders, and considered herself the leading spokesperson of Utah women’s concerns. She was selected by the National Woman Suffrage Association to speak to a U.S. Congress committee about women’s suffrage and spoke to thousands of suffragists in Boston’s Fremont Temple.

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote

Book Description

This biographical picture book details how Elizabeth Cady Stanton was ignited to have the radical idea that women should have equal rights to men, including voting rights. Folk-art style illustrations and an upbeat narrative provide energy to the telling of this historical figure’s life and accomplishments. An author’s note and sources are included as end matter.

Utah Connection

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (sitting) and Susan B. Anthony (standing) sometime between 1880 and 1902. Courtesy of Library of Congress.

In 1871, a year after Utah women gained suffrage, national suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony spoke in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. They congratulated Utah women on their voting rights and spoke about their hopes that all women in the nation would soon enjoy them as well. This visit began a long friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Emmeline B. Wells. However, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was barred from speaking from Mormon pulpits because she advocated ideas such as birth control that were at odds with Mormon church teachings of the time.

Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts
Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts

Book Description

This historical fiction picture book captures an imagined conversation between Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony that is based on historical fact about what they might recall regarding their triumphs and struggles fighting to achieve equal rights for African Americans and women. Caldecott-award winning illustrator Michele Wood provides rich illustrations to Coretta Scott King Award winner Grimes’ engaging text. Extensive back matter provides additional resources for study and discussion.

Utah Connection

Signing of the Indian Citizenship Act with President Coolidge and Osage Indians on the White House lawn in 1924. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

Although the 19th Amendment granted women’s suffrage nationally, the fight for universal suffrage in the United States was not over. Not all women residing in Utah were granted the vote in 1870 or with statehood in 1896 or with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Though the 14th Amendment had earlier defined “citizens” as any person born in the United States, the amendment was interpreted to restrict the citizenship rights (including the right to vote) of many. For example, since Native Americans were not considered U.S. citizens during this time period, they were excluded from women’s voting rights in Utah in 1870 and 1896, and nationally in 1920. Legal barriers enacted in numerous states effectively made it impossible for African Americans to vote. Many Asian immigrants in the United States were legally prohibited from applying for citizenship (and voting rights) simply because of their countries of origin. Imagine a conversation between the people in Utah fighting for their voting rights after 1920 and the women who were able to vote at this point.

Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote
Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote

Book Description

While there are many books chronicling the women’s suffrage movement, few offer a comprehensive overview like Roses and Radicals while still being appealing and accessible to a middle grade and high school audience. The book includes an engaging narrative, source notes, an index, and short vignettes about key players in the movement.

Utah Connection

Envoys from San Francisco Exposition carrying suffrage petition to Washington D.C. Welcoming envoys, on steps of Utah Capitol – October 16th, 1915. Front (L to R): Maria. A. Kinderberg (driver of the automobile), Ingeborg Kindstedt (machinist), Emmeline B. Wells, and Sara Bard Field (messenger). Courtesy of National Woman’s Party.

 

Check out the short overview of women’s suffrage in Utah: Receiving, Losing, and Winning Back the Vote: The Story of Utah Women’s Suffrage”

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

Book Description

This work depicts through beautiful illustrations and poetry the lives and experiences of 14 young women (one just six years old, another only thirteen) who were pioneers in their fields. From the first known female firefighter in the United States to Malala Yousafzai, youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the legacies of these young women are timeless and inspirational.

Utah Connection

Five generations of voting Mormon women who voted in Utah’s first election where women could vote in February 1870 to November 1920, the first election where women could vote in federal elections. Courtesy of the LDS Church History Library.

Since the women’s rights movement spanned several decades, many older suffragists mentored younger women who became suffragists. For example, Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon was mentored by Emmeline B. Wells when Mattie worked as a typesetter for the Woman’s Exponent, the women’s rights newspaper that Emmeline edited. Additionally, since women in Utah were first given voting rights in 1870, several generations of Mormon women voted by the time the 19th Amendment was ratified, granting women’s suffrage at a national level, in 1920.

Her Story: A Timeline of Women Who Changed America
Her Story: A Timeline of Women Who Changed America

Book Description

This non-fiction work chronologically explores many of the world’s most famous women from various backgrounds and fields through a timeline format. With short blurbs about hundreds of women, this book is a great resource to offer background information about influential women.

Utah Connection

Use the interactive timeline at on the home page as a comparison and to learn about Utah suffrage milestones.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell
Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

Book Description

This biographical picture book tells the story of determined Elizabeth Blackwell, who fought scorn and barriers on her way to becoming the first woman doctor in the United States, in a lively and engaging manner with bright, upbeat illustrations. The book includes an author’s note providing additional information about Blackwell.

Utah Connection

Deseret Hospital Board. Front row, left to right: Jane S. Richards, Emmeline B. Wells. Middle row: Phoebe Woodruff, Mary Isabella Horne, Eliza R. Snow, Zina D. Young, Marinda N. Hyde. Back row: Dr. Ellis R. Shipp, Bathsheba W. Smith, Elizabeth Howard, Dr. Romania B. Pratt Penrose. Courtesy of LDS Church History Library.

“Women founded their first formal medical organization in Utah in 1851 as the Female Council of Health. It met at least twice a month at the home of Brigham Young’s first mother-in-law.               

In October 1873, Young announced he was sending Utah women to eastern universities to train as physicians. Some of the most remarkable women in the territory answered the call, and the next fall Romania Pratt, widow of LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt, enrolled in the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Ellis Shipp joined her in 1875, working her way through school as a seamstress until graduation in 1883.

Pratt later ran a school of obstetrics for 20 years as a resident physician at the Deseret Hospital, which the LDS Relief Society operated from 1882 until 1894. Shipp trained nurses and midwives throughout the territory and gave birth to 10 children of her own, four of whom died in infancy.               

Martha Hughes Cannon studied medicine at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. Her degree from the National School of Elocution and Oratory helped her become the first woman state senator in the U.S. in 1896.”

 

From Will Bagley, “Despite Today’s Legislators, Utah on the Forefront of Women in Medicine,” The Salt Lake Tribune, September 1, 2002.