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3 1872 The American Woman Suffrage Association Petitions the Texas Legislature By 1870 there were two national suffrage organizations. The National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, concentrated its efforts on securing an amendment to the United States Constitution. The American Woman Suffrage Association, headed by Lucy Stone and her husband Henry Blackwell, hoped to gain the vote for women by changing state laws and constitutions. (The two organizations fused in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association.) In 1872, Lucy Stone sent memorial petitions to the Texas House and Senate , asking them to enfranchise Texas women in time for the approaching presidential election. The 1873 session of the Legislature did not consider the petition. (The petition was a form used for all states, and in no way described the suffrage situation for Texas women, who were denied the right of suffrage in all elections by the 1869 constitution.) DOCUMENT* MEMORIAL To THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF TEXAS THE AMERICAN WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION RESPECTFULLY REPRESENTS: THAT, WHEREAS, the 1st section of 2nd article of the Constitution of the United States expressly provides that "each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, the electors for President and Vice-President"; AND, WHEREAS, women are now unjustly excluded from any participation in the election of these highest officers of the nation; We, therefore, respectfully pray your Honorable bodies that you will exercise the authority thus vested in you by the Federal Constitution , and enact a law conferring suffrage upon women who are citizens of the United States, and of the State of Texas, in the approaching Presidential election, upon the same terms and conditions as men. *From: "Memorial to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Texas/' Erminia Folsom Papers, Archives Division, Texas State Library. 62 DOCUMENTS 63 In 1872 Lucy Stone, president of the American Woman Suffrage Association in Boston, sent memorial petitions to the Texas Legislature urging suffrage for women. (Courtesy Smithsonian Institution, Photo number 74-848.) 64 CITIZENS AT LAST And we further respectfully represent: THAT, WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Texas contains no restriction upon the exercise of suffrage by women in regard to the election of certain State, County, Town, and Municipal officers; we, therefore, respectfully pray, that you will enact a law, abolishing all political distinctions on account of sex, except where the same are expressly contained in the present Constitution of your State. And we further respectfully represent: THAT, WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Texas restricts suffrage for certain officers to men alone, therefore we respectfully pray your Honorable bodies to take the necessary steps to amend the State Constitution so as to abolish hereafter all political distinctions on account of sex. This memorial is presented in accordance with resolutions adopted at the annual meeting of said American Woman Suffrage Association, held in Philadelphia on the 22d day of November, A.D. 1871, at which were present delegates from auxiliary societies in twenty-two States. LUCY STONE PRES. JULIA WARD HOWE CHAIRMAN Ex. COM. MARY GREW COR. SEC. HENRY B. BLACKWELL REC. SEC. ...


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