Evanston Women and the 19th Amendment

A Chronology of the Women's Rights Movement

Welcome to Evanston Women and the 19th Amendment, an interactive timeline exhibit that tells the stories of women from Evanston, Illinois in the context of the national and state women's suffrage movement.;xNLx;;xNLx;Many of these stories are drawn from the digitized collection of the Evanston Women's History Project entitled Evanston Women and the Fight for the Vote (http://evanstonandthe19th.omeka.net/).

1809-03-01 00:00:00

Illinois Becomes a Territory

Illinois becomes a territory, with suffrage for all white males over 21 who pay taxes and have lived in the territory for over a year.

1818-12-03 00:00:00

Illinois Becomes a State

Illinois joins the union, and the state constitution allows “white male inhabitants above the age of 21 years” the right to vote.

1848-04-01 00:00:00

Illinois Second Constitution

Illinois’ second Constitution is drafted and still excludes women from voting.

1848-07-19 00:00:00

Suffrage Convention Seneca Falls

One of the first conventions to discuss women’s rights was led by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others. The “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” resulted from the convention. Of note, there were 12 declarations related to freedom, and the only one to pass WITHOUT unanimous support said that “it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” Even so, this “radical” idea for the era started to gain traction.

1855-01-01 18:40:25

Northwestern University Opens

Northwestern University opened its doors to its first (male only) students.

1855-04-11 22:04:09

First local suffrage association organized in Illinois

Susan Hoxie Richardson, cousin of Susan B. Anthony, organizes the first suffrage organization in Illinois at her home in Earlville.

1859-02-01 09:02:56

Frances Willard moves to Evanston

Frances Willard comes to Evanston to attend school at North Western Female College, a small preparatory school for girls, not affiliated with Northwestern University.

1861-02-21 00:00:00

Married Woman's Property Act Passes

Married Woman's Property Act is passed in Illinois allowing married women to own and sell their own property.

1863-01-01 18:40:25

Town of Evanston Incorporated

The town of Evanston was officially incorporated in 1863.

1866-01-01 00:00:00

American Equal Rights Association formed

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony founded the association in New York.

1868-01-01 14:03:19

Fifteenth Amendment is Ratified

The Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, expanding the voting rights to males of all races, regardless of “previous condition of servitude.”

1868-03-18 22:10:51

American Woman Suffrage Assn founded

The American Woman Suffrage Association was formed by Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell and other conservative activists with the separate goal of working state by state to try to amend individual state constitutions.

1868-03-18 22:10:51

National Woman Suffrage Assn founded

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the founding of the National Woman Suffrage Association with the goal of achieving an amendment to the federal constitution.

1869-01-01 00:00:00

Wyoming women granted suffrage

When the Wyoming territory was organized, it included a provision granting women the right to vote. That provision remained intact when Wyoming was admitted to the Union in 1890.

1869-02-11 22:04:09

First women's suffrage convention in IL

First Midwest Suffrage meeting is held in Library Hall in Chicago. The Illinois Woman Suffrage Association is formed and Illinois suffragist Mary Livermore is named president.

1869-07-23 22:04:09

Illinois Woman's Suffrage Association founded

The Illinois Woman’s Suffrage Association (IWSA) is organized and Mary Livermore is elected president and Myra Bradwell is Corresponding Secretary. The association lobbied for woman suffrage through appeals to the state and federal legislature, publicized election candidates' positions on suffrage, and organized lectures and lecture tours to raise funds and awareness for the suffrage cause.

1869-09-01 17:33:45

Northwestern University Admits Women

Northwestern University became co-educational and began admitting women students for the first time. Frances Willard is the first Dean of Women at NU.

1870-01-01 00:00:00

First female Justice of the Peace

Esther Morris was appointed the country's first female Justice of the Peace in the Wyoming territory.

1870-08-08 18:59:09

"Daughters of Freedom" composed

Listen here to a ballad on women's suffrage, "Daughters of Freedom, the Ballot be Yours."

1874-09-01 12:21:23

Elizabeth Harbert moves to Evanston

Suffragist Elizabeth Boynton Harbert moves to Evanston. Later, Harbert starts the Pro and Con Club, Evanston's first suffrage organization.

1874-11-01 00:00:00

WCTU founded

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union officially organized.

1876-02-06 11:31:24

First IL Woman's Suffrage Assn Convention.

Illinois Woman Suffrage Association holds its first annual convention in the state capitol of Springfield to coincide with the Illinois state constitutional convention that year. In May, a third constitution is drafted, expanding the electoral franchise to African American males, but still not women.

1879-01-01 07:00:50

WCTU Elects Frances Willard as President

Frances Willard takes over leadership of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) becoming its second president.

1886-08-01 03:18:14

Catharine McCulloch admitted to the Illinois Bar

Catharine Waugh McCulloch is admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Illinois (1886) and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States (1898).

1889-03-02 00:00:00

Woman's Club of Evanston founded

Elizabeth Boynton Harbert founded the Woman's Club of Evanston, which first met informally on this date. The club met at Harbert's home for several years.

1890-01-01 00:00:00

NAWSA is formed

The American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association merged to become the National American Woman Suffrage Association, pledging to wage state-by-state campaigns.

1890-09-15 16:41:39

Catharine McCulloch drafts suffrage bill for IESA

As legislative superintendent of Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, McCulloch wrote a bill providing for woman suffrage in presidential elections and in local elections not constitutionally limited to male voters.

1890-10-01 05:18:19

Catharine McCulloch moves to Evanston

Catharine Waugh McCulloch moved to Evanston and began practicing as an attorney in a firm she and her husband Frank formed.

1891-04-06 00:00:00

Anti-Suffrage group formed

Caroline Fairfield Corbin formed the Illinois Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women. Among her arguments were that the idea of women voting sprang from socialism, and those Western States that were beginning to allow women to vote were so sparsely populated that their inclusion of women in voting should not be taken seriously in more populous states east of the Mississippi River.

1891-04-06 00:00:00

Ellen Martin - first woman to vote in IL

Ellen Martin voted in the Lombard municipal election after discovered the town charter’s description of voters as “citizens.” The village swiftly moved to change its charter.

1891-04-06 00:00:00

Women as U of I Trustees

Illinois Supreme Court cases said women should be able to vote for and serve as University of Illinois trustees. In 1894, social welfare leader Lucy Flower ran for trustee and received more votes than anyone running for state office that year. She was the first woman elected to statewide office in Illinois.

1891-04-06 00:00:00

Republican Convention in Chicago

At the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Charles E. Hughes was nominated for president, and 5,000 women marched in the rain demanding a suffrage plank in the party platform.

1892-04-01 15:51:04

Women Vote for School Board

In 1892, Evanston held its school board election, and two Evanston women were on the ballot. Hundreds of local women took advantage of this first access to the ballot, and Louise Brockaway Stanwood won, making her the first woman elected to public office in Evanston.

1902-07-01 06:04:43

Tax-paying women suffrage bill

The Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs endorsed a bill supporting tax-paying women's right to vote.

1904-01-01 16:49:41

Evanston Political Equality League founded

The Evanston Political Equality League was a group dedicated to fighting for suffrage that included many prominent Evanston women, including both Elizabeth Harbert and Catharine McCulloch. It was affiliated with the Illinois Equal Suffrage Assn.

1907-04-02 05:23:32

Catharine McCulloch elected Justice of the Peace

Catharine McCulloch was the first woman in Illinois to serve as Justice of the Peace, from 1907-1913.

1909-06-01 18:21:32

Municipal Suffrage in Chicago

Municipal suffrage bill is presented to the Chicago City Council. It does not pass.

1911-02-08 12:58:27

McCulloch publishes 'Bridget's Sisters'

This play is loosely based on the life of lawyer and suffragist Myra Bradwell, and it stresses the lack of legal protections and freedoms women had with respect to their husbands.

1913-01-01 00:00:00

Alpha Suffrage Club founded

Ida B. Wells-Barnett founded the Alpha Suffrage Club in Chicago to reinforce the African American woman's involvement in the women's suffrage movement. The club is most well-known for its involvement in getting the first African American alderman, Oscar DePriest, elected in 1915.

1913-03-03 02:15:19

National Women's Suffrage Parade

Suffragists from all over the country gathered in Washington, D.C. to march down Pennsylvania Avenue.

1913-03-11 18:57:36

Woman's Club of Evanston opens its new clubhouse

The Woman's Club of Evanston opened its new clubhouse on March 11, 1913.

1913-06-26 20:09:04

Illinois women attain suffrage

On this date, Governor Edward Dunne signed into law a bill making Illinois the first state east of the Mississippi where women could vote for presidential electors, thus having a strong influence in national elections.

1916-11-07 14:14:12

First woman elected to U.S. Congress

Jeanette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, four years before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.

1919-06-04 00:00:00

19th Amendment sent to States

The US House voted 304-89 and the US Senate voted 56-25 (with just 2 votes to spare) to send the Nineteenth Amendment to the states for ratification.

1920-02-14 00:00:00

Founding of the League of Women Voters of US

The League of Women Voters was founded at the Victory Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in Chicago.

1920-08-26 00:00:00

Passage of the 19th Amendment

On this date Congress ratified the Nineteenth amendment, declaring that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

1922-03-28 18:57:36

Founding of the Evanston League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters of Evanston held its first and founding meeting on March 28, 1922.

1922-04-04 18:57:36

First Community Meeting of the League of Women Voters of Evanston

The LWVE held a luncheon and invited representatives from 70 Evanston women’s organizations to the Woman’s Club of Evanston. The stated goal of the organization was “to ensure that correct information was given to all women voters of Evanston.” The guest speaker for this luncheon was Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Her speech that day made the front page of the Evanston Index. She is quoted as saying: “Women are being accused of taking advantage of their sex to accomplish their ends. Nevertheless women are now recognized as a power to be feared in the political field...Women were dangerous before they got the vote, but now they have it, they are invincible.”

1923-08-01 16:51:51

Equal Rights Amendment proposed

The National Woman's Party proposes the Equal Rights Amendment which would ban discrimination based on sex.

Evanston Women and the 19th Amendment

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