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Susan B. Anthony’s “inexpressible pleasure”

Today–Dec. 10th–in 1869 legislators in the territory of Wyoming passed a bill granting women the right to vote.  Susan B. Anthony was in the gallery of the U. S. House of Representatives during the debate about whether or not to admit the Territory of Wyoming into the Union as a state with woman suffrage in its constitution. Here is an excerpt from my book: “Representative Joseph Washington from Tennessee was ‘unalterably opposed’ because woman suffrage would ‘only end in unsexing and degrading the womanhood of America.’  After haggling for three days, the representatives voted, and Susan finally had the ‘inexpressible pleasure’ of seeing the prosuffrage representative prevail.  Next was the fight in the Senate. Senator John Reagan of Texas warned that woman suffrage in Wyoming would ‘make men of women.’ George Vest of Missouri declared it ‘a calamity . . . an absolute crime.’ Nonsense, replied the Wyoming legislators, who unequivocally declared in a telegram that they would ‘remain out of the Union a hundred years rather than come in without woman suffrage.’  That tipped the balance, and a majority of senators voted to admit Wyoming with woman suffrage intact.”

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