Virginia Minor Narrative
My name is Virginia Minor. In 1872 I decided to challenge the voting restrictions which excluded women. Along with my husband Francis, I wrote a book which stated that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution made women citizens of the United States, and that they were entitled to all the benefits of citizenship, including suffrage.
On October 15, 1872, I tried to register to vote in the upcoming national election, but was refused. We sued the registrar, Reese Happersett. We lost our case, but appealed. The state supreme court said that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was to extend citizenship to newly freed slaves. We then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1874 ruled unanimously that "the Constitution of the United States does not confer the right of suffrage upon anyone, because suffrage is not coexistent with citizenship." We think this is highly unfair, and will continue to fight for the right of women to vote.