4 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2019 7:52 AM by Lori Osborne

    Can you confirm if Illinois was first to ratify the 19th Amendment?

    Lori Osborne Newbie

      There is some question about Illinois being the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. Wisconsin followed the Illinois vote by one hour and Michigan voted to ratify later that day. But the Illinois vote later needed to be re-certified because of a slight problem of wording used. Technically, Illinois is still listed as confirming on June 10th. So, which state was first?

        • Re: Can you confirm if Illinois was first to ratify the 19th Amendment?
          Anna Csar Wayfarer

          Hello Ms. Osborne,

           

          Thank you for posting on History Hub!

           

          The History of Woman Suffrage by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper has an entire chapter on Illinois, and can answer this question: (https://archive.org/details/historyofwomansu06stanuoft/page/164).

           

          "... the mistake was made in copying the introductory resolution and not in the amendment itself. This opinion was accepted in the Secretary of State's office at Washington. So Illinois, the first State east of the Mississippi River to grant suffrage to its women, was the first to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment."

           

          We hope this information is helpful!

          4 people found this helpful
          • Re: Can you confirm if Illinois was first to ratify the 19th Amendment?
            Holly Rivet Scout

            Hello Ms. Osborne,

             

            Thank you for posting your question to the History Hub!

             

            The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) collects ratification documents from the states for processing and publication.  The OFR then creates an information package for the states in accordance with 1 U.S.C. 106b.  As to your specific inquiry to locating the primary source, we've located the ratification document on the Illinois State Archives webpage.  You may also contact the History Hub Community: Legislative Records with help in locating the certifying documents that would list Illinois as being the first. 

             

            We hope this information has been helpful!

             

            Sincerely,

            Holly Rivet

            2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Can you confirm if Illinois was first to ratify the 19th Amendment?
              Lori Osborne Newbie

              Thanks so much for your answer. The link to the Illinois State Archives page takes me to the 1913 IL legislature vote to give women the vote in Illinois. I'm wondering if there is a record of the 1919 vote for the 19th amendment and the other companion decisions that the vote on June 10th was a valid vote. Here's the description of a problem from a history of the IL suffrage movement from the time.

               

              Trout further explained what happened in “Sidelights on Illinois Suffrage History” which she wrote for the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society in 1920. Here’s the relevant paragraphs (the full article is below):

              “A minor mistake was made in the first certified resolution sent from the Secretary of State’s office at Washington to the Governor of Illinois. To prevent the possibility of any legal quibbling, Governor Lowden telegraphed the Secretary of State at Washington to send on at once a corrected certified copy of the resolution. This was done and the ratification was reaffirmed by the Illinois Legislature on June 17th…

              Owing to a misunderstanding of the facts in the case for a short time there was some controversy as to whether Illinois was entitled to first place as being the first state to ratify the Federal amendment. An exhaustive study of the case was made by Attorney General Brundage and a brief prepared showing that the mistake in the first certified papers did not affect the legality of the ratification on June 10th, as the mistake was made in copying the introductory resolution, and not in the law itself. The opinion of the Attorney General was afterwards accepted by the Secretary of State’s office at Washington. So Illinois, the first State east of the Mississippi to grant suffrage to its women, was also the first State to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment.”