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Women's History
Votes for Women, Part 1 - Esther and the Cowboy State Lead the Way



Votes for Women, Part 1 - Esther and the Cowboy State Lead the Way
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    capable-not, courtroom, custody, estate, housecleaning, millinery, rates, vote-lots, widow, camps, capitol, refused, cases, nonsense, mining, running
     content words:    Esther Morris, Abigail Scott Duniway, In Wyoming, South Pass, Whether Esther, William H., Esther Morris-Mother, Equal Rights


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Votes for Women, Part 1 - Esther and the Cowboy State Lead the Way
By Toni Lee Robinson
  

1     Who would have thought that rough, tough cowboys would be the first to grant women the right to vote? In 1869, Wyoming became the first state to allow women a voice at the polls. A stroke of the pen, a slight gesture of the governor's wrist, and women gained the power of the vote. No sweat, right?
 
2     Wrong! Women like Esther Morris and Abigail Scott Duniway knew exactly how women in their states gained the voteŚlots of blood, sweat, and tears. In Wyoming and Oregon, these two women made women's rights their life's work. (And it was WORK!)
 
3     Esther Morris was no stranger to work. An orphan at age 11, Esther cleaned houses to earn a living. She boarded with a seamstress and learned to make women's hats. This trade is called millinery. With hats and housecleaning, Esther made a living.
 
4     Married at 27, Esther became a widow at thirty. She was alone in the world with a baby son to care for. But the law wouldn't allow Esther, a woman, to handle her husband's estate. It wouldn't even let her be legal guardian of her own son! Esther (and many others) thought women should have the same control over their own lives as men did.

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