In Massachusetts suffrage for woman began with voting for school committee. Today Mass Moment reminds us that author Lousia May Alcott of Concord, Massachusetts was the first woman to register to vote in that town. Alcott herself held meetings teaching the women of Concord how to vote when the time came at the town meeting. On March 29, 1880, 20 women appeared at the Concord Town Meeting, previously an all-male domain. After two hours of other business was conducted, the meeting turned to the school committee vote. Louisa May’s father, Bronson Alcott, requested that the women be allowed to vote first. All 20 rose and filed to the front of the room. It was a start on the road to enfranchisement. 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.”