On March 29, 1880 ~ When the Women of Concord Cast Their Votes “…no earthquake shook the town.”

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.

On This Day...

      …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.”
Read the full story at MassMoments.org:  http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=97

One Response to On March 29, 1880 ~ When the Women of Concord Cast Their Votes “…no earthquake shook the town.”

  1. Daniel Patrick Murphy says:

    Louisa was a remarkable woman and, if history has value (whether it takes the form of research or storytelling or some other form), Louisa is a remarkable woman. Another woman living west of Louisa was Emily. Here are a few mutterings about a part of the ineluctable creative process surrounded by illusiveness and joy. I’m wonder if Emily is smiling! Louisa…?

    Letter to Emily

    Policemen showed up at the house this morning—
    They asked what was going on inside the house—
    I told them I was struggling to write a longing—
    They said the cheese was eaten by a mouse—
    As the morning filled—the dust was spite cloudy—
    —It’s beyond the letter of the law—
    They said they’d file the ice—not for being rowdy—

    They asked if I was bugged inside the house—
    I said maybe I was in the garden—shooing off
    Some pests—sprinkling some flowers with douse—
    The old cop slyly slid his gun home and doffed
    His cap while unlocking his right and left knee—
    —It’s beyond the letter of the law—
    He bowlegged toward marigolds to talk immortality—

    When I dropped my furnishings to itch and scratch—
    Squall red ants—blood-eyed pincer-gores crawled—
    I knew I had the offence of a poem to catch—
    I had broken through some barrier or some wall—
    When the policemen deserted the dark places
    —It’s beyond the letter of the law—
    I lifted cheese from the mouse’s unruly spaces—

    –Daniel Patrick Murphy