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Theodora Winton Youmans

By Heather S on Mar 20, 2015 9:35 AM
On Wisconsin Women by Genevieve McBride - book cover
Theodora Winton Youmans pictured on the cover of the book On Wisconsin Women by Genevieve McBride

Theodora Winton Youmans was a journalist, editor and women's rights activist who was influential in the women's suffrage movement in Wisconsin in the early decades of the 20th century. As president of the Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association from 1913 to 1919 she led efforts in Wisconsin to gain popular support for extending the vote to women. Finally, in 1919, Congress passed the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the amendment on June 10, 1919. Ratification was completed more than a year later, on August 18, 1920.  In 1920 the League of Women Voters was founded to succeed the National Woman Suffrage Association, and Youmans became the first president of the Wisconsin chapter.

Read more about these events in "Theodora Winton Youmans and Women's Suffrage," a historical essay from the Wisconsin Historical Society. You may also enjoy reading Youman's 1919 speech to the Good Citizenship Convention, "Woman Suffrage and Good Citizenship," delivered months after Wisconsin ratified the 19th amendment but before it had completed the ratification process. The University of Wisconsin Madison General Library System and the Wisconsin Historical Society created an online exhibit titled How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot based on Youmans' 1921 Wisconsin Magazine of History article chronicling both the early history of and her own participation in the women's suffrage movement in Wisconsin. See the citation below for the original article as it appeared in the magazine.

Youmans, Theodora W., "How Wisconsin Women Won the Ballot," The Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 5, no. 1, September 1921, p. 10-32.

Read the article online from the Wisconsin Historical Society or in print in the Wisconsin Magazine of History, which in Milwaukee may be found in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room at MPL's Central Library.

To learn more about the history of women working for their rights in Wisconsin, check out the book pictured above: On Wisconsin Women by Genevieve McBride. McBride has also edited a more general anthology about women's history in Wisconsin, Women's Wisconsin: From Native Matriarchies to the New Millennium.

laila commented over 6 years ago...
i found a lot of info!

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