The public is invited to attend an event on Sat., March 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center to hear more of the local stories of women’s suffrage
VANCOUVER — Clark County granted women the right to vote in 1852 – a full 58 years ahead of Washington State and 67 years before Congress passed the 19th Amendment. However, as historian Mary Rose will cover in her talk, “160 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Washington Territory,” lawmakers periodically removed this right over the years based on political whims. During the push for Washington statehood, an argument was made that Washington would not achieve statehood if women were allowed to vote on the issue.
The right to vote led the way to increased economic and political equality and broader social reforms, including the opportunity for women to run for office. In Washington Territory, women enjoyed community property rights and held public offices by the early 1860s. The first woman-owned corporation was founded in Vancouver around this time as well.
“Vancouver women set the stage for independence,” said speaker Mary Rose. Clark County had the largest number of women as permanent residents until the mid-1860s, owning land claims in their own names. Two prominent examples were Esther Short, who built two hotels and donated the municipal dock that she built to the city of Vancouver, and Native American Betsy “White Wing” Ough, who founded Washougal with the donation land claims she co-owned with her husband.
The public is invited to attend an event on Sat., March 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center to hear more of the local stories of women’s suffrage. This talk is free of charge. Attendees are invited to come dressed as their favorite suffragette.
Speaker Mary Rose is the executive director of the Friends of Fort Vancouver. She is a published maritime and military historian of Western Americana who has researched historic elements of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site more than 30 years.
What: Mary Rose presents the program “160 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Washington Territory.”
Where: Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Visitor Center, 1501 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98661
When: 1:30 p.m. on Sat., March 14
Information provided by Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.