May Arkwright Hutton and the Battle for Women's Suffrage

by Emalee Gruss Gillis

Hutton In Top HatArticle appeared in the Pacific Northwest Inlander, March 6, 2008
Reprinted with permission of Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

“…I hope, trust and believe that women will use the ballot as intelligent, enlightened human beings would use any weapon placed in their hands whereby they could better the conditions under which humanity lives.”

By moving (from Idaho) to the state of Washington, May Hutton not only lost the right to become a candidate, she lost her right to vote. She immediately devoted herself to the suffrage cause.


May Arkwright Hutton Collection, NWMAC

Biographical sketch, HistoryLink

In No Uncertain Terms: From the Writings of May Arkwright Hutton by Laura Arksey

May Arkwright Hutton by Benjamin H. Kizer

A Half-Century of Struggle for Women's Suffrage in Washington

1854 - DEFEAT:
Washington Territorial Legislature defeats women's suffrage bill by one vote.

1883 - VICTORY:
Washington Territorial Legislature approves full suffrage for women.

1887 - DEFEAT:
Harland v. Washington overturns suffrage legislation as unconstitutionally vague.

1888 — VICTORY:
Legislature approves "An Act to Enfranchise Women."

1888 — DEFEAT:
Territorial Supreme Court voids new suffrage measure.

1889 — DEFEAT:
Washington achieves statehood; Washington voters defeat suffrage referendum by a 2-to-1 margin.

1898 — DEFEAT:
Voters defeat second suffrage referendum campaign.

1910 — VICTORY:
Washington voters approve full women's suffrage.

1920 — VICTORY:
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, giving women the vote in every state.

Courtesy the Women of the West Museum