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.
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.
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.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
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