Women's Suffrage Time Line

Events in the History of Woman Suffrage

Suffrage protesters with flag
Suffrage protesters with flag - circa 1910s. Courtesy Library of Congress

The table below shows key events in the struggle for women's suffrage in America.

Also see the state-by-state timeline and the international timeline.

Timeline below:

1837Young teacher Susan B. Anthony asked for equal pay for women teachers.
1848July 14: call to a woman's rights convention appeared in a Seneca County, New York, newspaper.

July 19-20: Woman's Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, issuing the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments
1850October: first National Woman's Rights Convention was held in Worcester, Massachusetts.
1851Sojourner Truth defends woman's rights and "Negroes' rights" at a women's convention in Akron, Ohio.
1855Lucy Stone and Henry Blackwell married in a ceremony renouncing the legal authority of a husband over a wife, and Stone kept her last name.
1866American Equal Rights Association to join causes of black suffrage and women's suffrage
1868New England Woman Suffrage Association founded to focus on woman suffrage; dissolves in a split in just another year.

15th Amendment ratified, adding the word "male" to the Constitution for the first time.

January 8: first issue of The Revolution appeared.
1869American Equal Rights Association splits.

National Woman Suffrage Association founded primarily by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

November: American Woman Suffrage Association founded in Cleveland, created primarily by Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and Julia Ward Howe.

December 10: the new Wyoming territory includes woman suffrage.
1870March 30: 15th Amendment adopted, prohibiting states from preventing citizens from voting because of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude."  From 1870 - 1875, women attempted to use the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause to justify voting and the practice of law.
1872Republican Party platform included a reference to woman suffrage.

Campaign was initiated by Susan B. Anthony to encourage women to register to vote and then vote, using the Fourteenth Amendment as justification.

November 5: Susan B. Anthony and others attempted to vote; some, including Anthony, are arrested.
June 1873Susan B. Anthony was tried for "illegally" voting.
1874Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) founded.
1876Frances Willard became the leader of the WCTU.
1878January 10: The "Anthony Amendment" to extend the vote to women was introduced for the first time in the United States Congress.

First Senate committee hearing on the Anthony Amendment.
1880Lucretia Mott died.
1887January 25: The United States Senate voted on woman suffrage for the first time -- and also for the last time in 25 years.
1887Three volumes of a history of the woman suffrage effort were published, written primarily by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Mathilda Joslyn Gage.
1890American Woman Suffrage Association and National Woman Suffrage Association merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

Matilda Joslyn Gage founded the Women's National Liberal Union, reacting to the merger of the AWSA and NWSA.

Wyoming admitted to the union as a state with woman suffrage, which Wyoming included when it became a territory in 1869.
1893Colorado passed by referendum an amendment to their state constitution, giving women the right to vote. Colorado was the first to amend its constitution to grant woman suffrage.

Lucy Stone died.
1896Utah and Idaho passed woman suffrage laws.
1900Carrie Chapman Catt became president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
1902Elizabeth Cady Stanton died.
1904Anna Howard Shaw became president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
1906Susan B. Anthony died.
1910Washington State established woman suffrage.
1912The Bull Moose / Progressive Party platform supported woman suffrage.

May 4: Women marched up Fifth Avenue in New York City, demanding the vote.
1913Women in Illinois were given the vote in most elections -- the first state East of the Mississippi to pass a woman suffrage law.

Alice Paul and allies formed the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, first within the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

May 4: About 5,000 paraded for woman suffrage up Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.
1914The Congressional Union split from the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
1915Carrie Chapman Catt elected to presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
1916The Congressional Union recreated itself as the National Woman's Party.
1917National American Woman Suffrage Association officers meet with President Wilson. (photo)

National Woman's Party began picketing the White House.

June: Arrests began of pickets at the White House.

Montana elected Jeannette Rankin to the United States Congress.
1918January 10: House of Representatives passed the Anthony Amendment but the Senate failed to pass it.

March: A court declared invalid the White House suffrage protest arrests.
1919May 21: United States House of Representatives passed the Anthony Amendment again.

June 4: United States Senate approved the Anthony Amendment.
1920August 18: Tennessee legislature ratified the Anthony Amendment by a single vote, giving the Amendment the necessary states for ratification.

August 24: Tennessee governor signed the Anthony Amendment.

August 26: United States Secretary of State signed the Anthony Amendment into law.
1923Equal Rights Amendment introduced into the United States Congress, proposed by the National Woman's Party.