Women's voices and influence have always been a part of Washington’s history, even
without the vote. The fight for permanent woman's suffrage in Washington, however,
spans over 50 years in territorial and state history. Washington was the first state
in the 20th century and the fifth state in the Union to enact women’s suffrage.
Washington women’s success in 1910 helped inspire the campaign that culminated in
passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, when women won the
right to vote nationally.
The campaign for women's rights in Washington, however, did not end in 1910, but
continues to the present. By commemorating the Suffrage Centennial, Washingtonians
celebrate the long and arduous road to the achievement of women's suffrage, the
continuing struggle for women's rights and the significant role of women in public
and private life. The victory in 1910 was an important culmination of the fight
for the rights of women as citizens but only the beginning of a century of women’s
activism to shape Washington. After the 1910, women had new tools to continue the
reforms they had begun earlier.
Read more about the suffrage movement in Shanna Stevenson's article
The Fight for Women's Suffrage: A Brief History
Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture
The Women's Collection contains photographs, letters, and pamphlets related to a wide variety of topics in women's history. Subjects covered include women in politics, women's clubs, charitable organizations, women of color, suffrage, ERA, women in the workforce, prohibition, and prostitution.
Governors Papers Related to Women's Issues 1904-1984
Washington State Archives
This collection documents contacts between the Governor's Office, women, and women’s organizations, regarding women’s issues, women’s suffrage, women's rights, and comparable worth. It includes correspondence, legislation, proclamations, reports, newspaper clippings, booklets, information on comparable worth, and information from the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Interagency Committee on State Employed Women, and the Women's Council.
Emma Smith DeVoe Papers
Washington State Library
The digitized Emma Smith DeVoe Papers offer a window into the long-time career of the one-time president of the Washington Equal Suffrage Association and the people,
events, and issues connected to the movement she led to secure the vote for women in Washington state in 1910. The collection includes
extensive correspondence to and from DeVoe and other major players in the suffrage movement as well as thirteen scrapbooks of
newspaper articles and ephemera dating back to 1892 when DeVoe worked in North Dakota as a NAWSA organizer.