Our exhibit, Making Connecticut, showcases over 500 objects, images, and documents from the CHS collection. “What is this?” posts will highlight an object from the exhibit and explore its importance in Connecticut history every other week. What is this object? What is the story behind it?
The Connecticut Women’s Suffrage Association was created in 1869 at the Roberts’ Opera House in Hartford. It’s mission was to improve the political rights for women throughout the state. One of the main goals of the organization was to advocate the right for women to vote. College-educated women soon lead the organization and its members grew to 35,000 in 1917.
During World War I, women contributed to the war effort in different ways to prove that they were worthy for more rights. Constant proposals for women’s suffrage were sent to the House of Representatives throughout the 1910s and a proposal was passed in 1920. The Nineteenth Amendment was proposed to the state legislature on June 4, 1919. The Amendment prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote based off their sex. However, the Connecticut Republican Party leader John Henry Roraback didn’t approve of women’s suffrage and supported Governor Marcus Holcomb’s decision not to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. But when thirty-six other states ratified the Amendment, hence making it official, Connecticut subsequently ratified the document.
The Connecticut League of Women Voters was a political organization that formed in 1920 based from the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. This official bulletin advertises the organizations first annual convention, held in Hartford in 1921.
Mike Messina is the Interpretive Projects Associate at the Connecticut Historical Society.