Wisconsin and the 19th Amendment

State of Wisconsin depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Wisconsin was one of the original 36 states to ratify the 19th Amendment. Courtesy Megan Springate.
State of Wisconsin depicted in purple, white, and gold (colors of the National Woman’s Party suffrage flag) – indicating Wisconsin 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 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 June 10, 1919, Wisconsin became the first state to vote in favor of ratifying the 19th Amendment. By August of 1920, 36 states (including Wisconsin) ratified the amendment, recognizing women's suffrage rights.

State flag of Wisconsin
State flag of Wisconsin. CC0

Wisconsin Places of Women's Suffrage:
The Jesse J. Hooper House

The states played an essential role in ratifying the 19th Amendment. Jesse J. Hooper was one such Wisconsin woman who made this possible. She was a suffragist and president of the Wisconsin League of Women Voters. Born in 1865 in Iowa, she relocated to Wisconsin after marrying Ben Hooper. She became active in the fight for women’s suffrage rights and became a member of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association. In 1922, Hooper ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate but lost to Robert LaFollettee. Her house is a private residence and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo of the exterior of Hooper house, photo by Royalbroil - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Discover More Places of Ratification

The Jesse J. Hooper House is an important place in the story of ratification. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Last updated: March 6, 2019