Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward and the Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment

Today is the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This Amendment should be of particular interest to the descendants of Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward since she had the honor of introducing the Amendment into the Utah Senate in 1919 for ratification.

The Nineteenth Amendment reads as follows:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

There are two ways that the Constitution can be amended. Only one of the methods has been used: an amendment is proposed by a two-thirds vote in the United States House of Representatives and Senate. Then three-quarters of the states have to ratify the proposed amendment.

The fight for women's rights in the areas of property, inheritance, family law and voting is too lengthy and complicated to summarize here. But different states granted rights to women many years before the federal government did. Women in Utah had the right to vote from 1870 to 1887 and then from 1895 on. 

Elizabeth Hayward became active in Utah politics probably starting in the late 1890s. She was one of the first American women to serve as a delegate to a national political convention (Democratic National Convention, Denver, 1904). She was serving as a State Senator in 1919, and she had the honor of presenting the Amendment for the vote in the Utah Senate.

Predicts Approval of Suffrage Amendment

Ratification of the Susan B. Anthony amendment, providing for universal woman suffrage, probably will be accomplished at a special session of the Utah legislature in October, according to Mr[s]. Elizabeth Hayward, vice president of the Utah branch of the National Suffrage association and member of the upper house of the state legislature.

Governor Bamberger told her, says Mrs. Hayward, that the special session would be called immediately, if it is found that Utah's vote is necessary to make up the requisite number of states in favor of the amendment. Otherwise, he said, he thought it advisable to wait until October, owing to the rush of summer business now occupying the state's legislators. (July 17, 1919)

July 24, 1919

September 27, 1919

September 29, 1919
September 30, 1919

Governor Signs Suffrage Bill

Governor Simon Bamberger has signed the senate joint resolution No. 1 by Senator Elizabeth Hayward ratifying the Susan B. Anthony amendment to the federal constitution providing for equal suffrage. Utah is the nineteenth state to ratify the amendment, the special session of the legislature being called for that express purpose. (October 4, 1919)

Here are a few more details from the Davis County Clipper on October 3:

It was not until the next year that Tennessee was the last state to ratify the Amendment.

These are the articles that Elizabeth would have seen on the front page of the Salt Lake Telegram.

August 18, 1920
August 19, 1920
August 25, 1920
August 26, 1920
October 26, 1920

Women to Speak at Club Affair

What the nineteenth amendment means with "Women in Politics" will be the subject of point discussion at the Commercial club membership luncheon tomorrow noon when the members are to be addressed by Mrs. Elizabeth J. [sic] Hayward, Democrat, state senator of Utah and Mrs. Jeannette A. Hyde, Republican. Special invitations have been issued to the members by [] B. Hawley, president of the club, [] women generally are urged to be present.

Salt Lake Telegram, page 2.

[Correction 8/20/10: Utah was the seventeenth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, not the nineteenth state as is stated in the Telegram coverage.]


  1. I am Toni Binkerd Wyeth's niece. My name is Jessica Andrus. Thank you for including so many pictures on the Hayward line. What a great job you have done collecting and researching this family history.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Jessica! It's been great to have cousins read some of this information, and I sure did appreciate all the information that Toni sent!

  3. Thank you for all of your hard work in compiling this information! You have done a wonderful job.
    God Bless you,
    Emily Carr Herbert
    -granddaughter of Elizabeth Hayward Wessman

  4. Hello, Emily. I feel like I've only just started blogging about Elizabeth Pugsley Hayward and her family. Her descendants have preserved some valuable historical information, and then there's her entire legislative record, which I've barely touched. Thank you for commenting! And don't miss the information about the Wessman family as well.