New Mexico and the 19th Amendment

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

CC0

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 was sometimes known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment and became the 19th Amendment.

The amendment reads:

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

After decades of arguments for and against women's suffrage, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment in June1919. After Congress approved the 19th Amendment, at least 36 states needed to vote in favor of the amendment for it to become law. This process is called ratification.


On February 21, 1920, New Mexico voted to ratify the 19th Amendment. By August of 1920, 36 states (including New Mexico) ratified the amendment, ensuring that all across the country the right to vote could not be denied based on sex.

State flag of New Mexico
State flag of New Mexico. CC0

New Mexico Places of Women's Suffrage:Alfred M. Bergere House

The Alfred M. Bergere House was originally built in the early 1870s on the Fort Marcy Military Reservation. It eventually became the home of the Otero Bergere family, including Adelina (Nina) Otero Warren, a noted suffragist, author, and business woman. Her suffrage work in New Mexico caught the attention of suffrage leader Alice Paul, who tapped Nina in 1917 to head the New Mexico chapter of the Congressional Union (precursor to the National Woman’s Party). Nina insisted that suffrage literature be published in both English and Spanish, in order to reach the widest audience.

Image of roadway through Los Lunas where Tranquilino Luna House is located.

Discover More Places of Ratification

The Alfred M. Bergere House 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: August 22, 2019