Poster Title

100 Years of Women's Suffrage: From Laura Clay to Hillary Clinton.

Major

History

Minor

Public History

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

99

KY Senate District #

27

Department

History

Abstract

The presidential election in November of 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of Women’s suffrage in America. Ratified in 1920, the 19th amendment, which granted women the vote, represented a watershed event in United States politics and democracy. Thus, this is the perfect time to look back upon the history of the Women’s suffrage movement in Kentucky which began, in 1888, with Laura Clay. Laura was the daughter of Cassius Clay, a Kentucky Senator and a well-known abolitionist and political progressive. Angered by her father’s treatment of her mother during their divorce, Laura became aware of the “second-class” status of women in Kentucky and the nation. It was this anger that spurred her to become the voice of the Women’s Suffrage movement in Kentucky. Still, her father’s progressive political stances gave her the inspiration and courage to bring women’s rights to the forefront of Kentucky politics. Laura Clay became the president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association in 1888 but did not stop there. Clay eventually joined the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1895. It was at this time that she broke with the national movement because she believed that women’s suffrage should come through state law rather than a national amendment. Clay’s disagreement would eventually force her to leave the National Woman Suffrage Association and return to Kentucky where she would continue her work with the Kentucky Equal Right Association and, following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, ran for Kentucky’s State Senate. Though Clay lost her race for the State Senate that did not stop her from becoming the first woman to have her name considered for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 1920.

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100 Years of Women's Suffrage: From Laura Clay to Hillary Clinton.

The presidential election in November of 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of Women’s suffrage in America. Ratified in 1920, the 19th amendment, which granted women the vote, represented a watershed event in United States politics and democracy. Thus, this is the perfect time to look back upon the history of the Women’s suffrage movement in Kentucky which began, in 1888, with Laura Clay. Laura was the daughter of Cassius Clay, a Kentucky Senator and a well-known abolitionist and political progressive. Angered by her father’s treatment of her mother during their divorce, Laura became aware of the “second-class” status of women in Kentucky and the nation. It was this anger that spurred her to become the voice of the Women’s Suffrage movement in Kentucky. Still, her father’s progressive political stances gave her the inspiration and courage to bring women’s rights to the forefront of Kentucky politics. Laura Clay became the president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association in 1888 but did not stop there. Clay eventually joined the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1895. It was at this time that she broke with the national movement because she believed that women’s suffrage should come through state law rather than a national amendment. Clay’s disagreement would eventually force her to leave the National Woman Suffrage Association and return to Kentucky where she would continue her work with the Kentucky Equal Right Association and, following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, ran for Kentucky’s State Senate. Though Clay lost her race for the State Senate that did not stop her from becoming the first woman to have her name considered for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 1920.