Arthur Denny proposes white-woman suffrage amendment in the Territorial Legislature's first session on February 28, 1854.

  • By Mildred Andrews
  • Posted 2/16/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5211
In 1854, Arthur Denny (1822-1899), one of the founders of Seattle, proposes an amendment  at the first session of the territorial legislature "to allow all white females over the age of 18 years to vote." It is defeated by a single vote. Lawmakers make a small concession, granting every taxpaying inhabitant over 21 years of age the right to vote in school elections.

Historian Edmund Meany speculated that the bill might have passed if Indian wives of white men had been included. At least one of the naysayers was married to a Native American woman.


Sources: Mildred Tanner Andrews, Washington Women as Path Breakers (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 1989), 3; T. A. Larson, "The Woman Suffrage Movement in Washington," Pacific Northwest Quarterly Vol. 67, No. 2 (April, 1976), 42.

Related Topics:   Firsts | Government & Politics | Pioneers | Women's History

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You