TX-15026 The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas


Legal efforts to enfranchise women in Texas can be traced to 1868, when Rep. T. H. Mundine of Burleson introduced a woman suffrage bill in the state legislature. In the following five decades Texas women formed suffrage organizations to lobby for the right to vote. The suffragists included Rebecca Henry Hayes, who organized the Texas Equal Rights Association (TERA) in 1893; and sisters Annette, Elizabeth, and Katherine Finnigan, who founded the Texas Woman Suffrage Association (TWSA) in 1903. The TWSA, renamed the Texas Equal Suffrage Association (TESA) in 1916, led the final push for voting rights. The movement's leaders during this period included Jane Y. McCallum, Minnie Fisher Cunningham, Eleanor Brackenridge, and Annie Webb Blanton. In March 1918 Rep. C. B. Metcalfe of San Antonio sponsored successful legislation giving women the right to vote in primary elections. It was signed into law by Gov. William P. Hobby just 17 days before the voter registration deadline for that year's election. In that short period of time, more than 386,000 Texas women registered to vote, including many who gathered at the Travis County Courthouse at this site. On June 28, 1919, Texas became the 9th state to ratify the Woman Suffrage (19th) Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. (1991)

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