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Politics & Government

Right Choice, Wrong Reasons: Wyoming Women Win the Right to Vote

In the fall of 1869, lawmakers in Wyoming’s first territorial legislature passed a bill allowing women the right to vote. The governor signed the bill into law Dec. 10, 1869, making the territory the first government in the world to grant full voting rights to women. The lawmakers mixed partisan politics, racial fears and an eye for national publicity in with a desire among some, at least, to do the right thing.

Amalia Post, Defender of Women’s Rights

In 1870, Amalia Post of Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, became one of the first women to serve on a jury in the United States. Soon, she began advocating for women’s rights on a national level. She was an independent businesswoman from the time her first husband abandoned her in Denver in the early 1860s, through her marriage to her second husband, Cheyenne banker and politician Morton Post and up to the time of her death in 1897.

The Ambition of Nellie Tayloe Ross

Nellie Tayloe Ross, a Democrat, was elected governor of Wyoming a month after her governor husband, William Ross, died of appendicitis in the fall of 1924. She ran because of respect for her husband’s Progressive ideas and also as a result of her own ambition. She lost her bid for re-election in 1926, but went on to figure prominently in the leadership of the national Democratic Party. President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her to direct the U.S. Mint after he took office in 1933, a job she held for 20 years. She died in Washington in 1977, at the age of 101.

Wyoming Becomes a State: The Constitutional Convention and Statehood Debates of 1889 and 1890 — and Their Aftermath

Delegates to Wyoming’s Constitutional Convention had to work quickly in 1889 to get a constitution adopted while Congress was still in session. Still, they managed to adopt some innovative ideas, especially in water law. The biggest stumbling block to statehood, in Congressional debate the following year turned out to be whether Wyoming had enough people. It was a close call.


Encyclopedia | Elliot S. N. Morgan was the only Acting Governor during the Territorial period, serving as Acting Governor upon the death of Governor Hale.
Encyclopedia | President Grant appointed John A. Campbell Governor of the Wyoming Territory April 3, 1869. The newly appointed Governor took the oath of office on April 15, 1869 and served until March 1, 1875.
Encyclopedia | Governor Ed Herschler was elected to three terms as Governor and then returned to private law practice in Cheyenne.
Encyclopedia | Milward Simpson also served on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees from 1939 until 1954 when he was elected Governor.
Encyclopedia | After years of political activity and serving on many commissions, Clifford P. Hansen was elected Governor in 1963. Governor Hansen was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1967.
Encyclopedia | Leslie Miller was elected Governor in 1932 to serve the last two years of Governor Emerson's unexpired term. Reelected in 1935, Governor Miller served until 1939.
Encyclopedia | President Arthur appointed William Hale Governor of Wyoming Territory July 18, 1882. Governor Hale took the oath of office August 3, 1882 and served until his death at Cheyenne, Wyoming, January 13, 1885.
Encyclopedia | Nellie Tayloe Ross won an election to replace her late husband and became the first woman governor in the United States. Governor Ross survived several challenges to her authority, some of which started with her first days in office.


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