The American Trucking Associations launched a tribute to “The World’s First Woman Voter” on Monday with a convoy featuring a wrapped truck traveling from Washington, D.C. to Laramie, Wyoming, where the first female vote was cast.
Louisa Swain was that pioneering woman voter, and she was an inspiration to American women seeking the right to vote. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, this is an important step to recognize, and we salute the ATA for this great program.
The convoy left Washington, D.C., on August 31, and will travel across the country through several stops including:
- Dayton, OH – Wright Brothers Museum
- Louis, MO
- Denver, CO
- Cheyenne, WY
- Laramie, WY
The convoy will arrive in Laramie in time for a celebration on Sept. 6th, the 150th anniversary of Louisa Swain’s vote. If you’re nearby, you can join the celebration (safely, please) from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the Wyoming Women’s History House Plaza. The occasion is celebrated annually in Laramie, but this particular anniversary is definitely noteworthy.
About the First Woman Voter
Louisa Swain, according to Wikipedia, was described as “a gentle white-haired housewife, Quakerish in appearance.” She was 69 years old when she cast that first ballot by any woman in the United States in a general election. According to The Louisa Swain Foundation website, the local newspaper, The Sentinal, said, “There was too much good sense in our community for any jeers or sneers to be seen on such an occasion.” Louisa lived to be 78 years old.
As to why Wyoming was the first to pass a women’s suffrage act allowing women to vote, the National Park Service notes that “Some wanted to bring more women to the sparsely populated territory. Others understood that women played an integral role in life on the frontier. As a result, some Wyoming legislators felt women should have a say in how the territory was run.”
You can learn more about the convoy and follow along on the virtual tour via social media at https://www.firstwomanvoter.org/