Missouri and the 19th Amendment

State of Missouri depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Missouri was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. Courtesy Megan Springate.
State of Missouri depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Missouri was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment.

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Women first organized and collectively fought for suffrage at the national level in July of 1848. Suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott convened a meeting of over 300 people in Seneca Falls, New York. In the following decades, women marched, protested, lobbied, and even went to jail. By the 1870s, women pressured Congress to vote on an amendment that would recognize their suffrage rights. This amendment became known as the 19th Amendment.

After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally voted in favor of the 19th Amendment in 1919. This is called ratification. After Congress ratified the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of it for it to become law.

On July 3, 1919, Missouri ratified the Nineteenth Amendment. By August of 1920, 36 states had ratifed the amendmenrt, makign women's suffrage legal across the United States.

This photograph was taken in 1919 when Missouri Governor Frederick Gardner signed a resolution ratifying the 19th Amendment to U.S. Constitution. Missouri became the 11th state to ratify the amendment.

Missouri Governor Frederick Gardner signing a resolution ratifying the 19th Amendment to U.S. Constitution. Missouri became the 11th state to ratify the amendment. Library of Congress.
Gov. Gardner signing resolution ratifying amendment to U.S. Constitution granting universal franchise to women / Carl Deeg.

Library of Congress, Lot 5543 https://www.loc.gov/item/2003668342/

Women Suffragists Honored at the Missouri Women's State Meeting, circa 1970s. National Archives
Women Suffragists Honored at the Missouri Women's State Meeting, circa 1970s. National Archives, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/7452306.

Missouri Places of Women's Suffrage:
Railway Exchange Building

Built in 1914, the Railway Exchange Building in St. Louis is a high-rise office building. It was once the headquarters of a local women’s suffrage organization in the years leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment. The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is privately owned and closed to the public.

Exterior front of the Railway Exchange Building. Photo: by Matthew Black - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Discover More Places of Ratification

The Railway Exchange Building is an important place in the story of ratification. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sources used to make these state pages include: Ida Husted Harper's History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920, Volume 6 (1922), the National American Woman Suffrage Association papers (Library of Congress), and National Register nominations from the National Park Service.

Last updated: April 11, 2019