Wyoming, the state that pioneered women’s suffrage, sent two women, Therese A. Jenkins and Cora G. Carleton, to the 1892 Republican Convention in Minneapolis as alternate delegates. This was the first time women were seated at a Republican National Convention.
This convention was also the first to be addressed by a woman, J. Ellen Foster, chairman of the Women’s Republican Association of the United States. A strong believer in organization, Foster said her association had prepared work plans for women’s involvement in national politics. Copies were given to each delegate and alternate. “We are here to help you,” she declared, “and we are here to stay.”
At the request of Susan B. Anthony, Sen. A.A. Sargent, a Republican from California, introduced the 19th Amendment in 1878. Sargent's amendment (also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment) was defeated four times by a Democrat- controlled Senate. When the Republican Party regained control of Congress in 1919, the Equal Suffrage Amendment finally passed the House in May of that year and in the Senate in June.
When the Amendment was submitted to the states, 26 of the 36 states that ratified it had Republican legislatures. Of the nine states that voted against ratification, eight were Democratic. Twelve states, all Republican, had given women full suffrage before the federal amendment was ratified.
On August 18,1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the amendment. The U.S. Secretary of State certified the amendment on Aug. 26, 1920.
Gem Country Republican Women's Club (organized since 1997 in Macon County) and the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women, would like to thank the Republican Party for all they have done for us. So much for Ed Morris’s editorial comment concerning women and the GOP. Find us on the web at www.macongop.com.
Kathryn R. Hildreth — Franklin, N.C.