As the month of March – Women’s History Month winds down – MassMoments reminds us that on this day March 29, 1880, twenty women voted for the first time at the Concord Town Meeting. This new voter group was led by renown writer Louisa May Alcott who “campaigned” door-to-door urging women to register and then held “teach-in” meetings at her home to instruct new registrants how to cast a ballot. Women were never before allowed at town meeting but were limited to casting a vote for school committee only. This was an important step in the Women’s Suffrage Movement although American women would not be fully enfranchised until 1920.
…in 1880, Louisa May Alcott and 19 other women attended the Concord Town Meeting. The year before, the Massachusetts legislature had made it legal for women to vote in school committee elections. A strong supporter of woman suffrage, the author of Little Women was the first woman in Concord to register to vote. She rallied other women to exercise the limited franchise they had been given. When the day came, a group of 20 women, “mostly with husbands, fathers or brothers” appeared, “all in good spirits and not in the least daunted by the awful deed about to be done.” When the votes were cast, she later reported, “No bolt fell on our audacious heads, no earthquake shook the town.”