From the Vault: Rock the vote | AspenTimes.com

From the Vault: Rock the vote

compiled by Aspen Historical Society

In 1893, a referendum made Colorado the second state (after Wyoming) to give women suffrage, and the first state where the men voted to give women the right to vote. On March 10, 1894, the Aspen Weekly Times referenced women's new role in Colorado's political arena, writing that "while the Times is gratified with the interest shown by the women of Aspen in public affairs and the evident purpose of a majority of them to assume their share of the grave responsibilities that fall on them as our 'fellow citizens,' still, for fear that some may yet feel an indifference in regard to their enlarged sphere in public life, it may be proper to keep prominent some of the important principals involved. Suffrage was extended to the women in Colorado upon the petition, demand and after an active campaign of a large majority of their number. Having thus voluntarily assumed this great right of equal suffrage, what are their duties in reference thereto? They can only make good citizens by exercising their rights of citizenship. They can only fulfill these duties properly by informing themselves upon the important issues of the day. No one has a right to complain at the manner in which public affairs are managed unless they put forth an individual effort tending to the proper conduct of those affairs. In other words, women as well as men in Colorado should be workers and not umpires. Aspen's proper government as a municipality depends upon an honest, full and intelligent ballot now placed in the hands of the women. Are there present wrongs? You, the women voters of Aspen, can right them. Are there needed reforms? You have the power to bring them about. Will women suffrage prove a failure? It rests with you to decide that important question. Shall combines and political tricksters rule? You must answer." The image above shows two women sitting on fence on Monarch Street, circa 1895.

This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.

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