|Photo of colonial elections from history.org.|
I can do something in that way.” ~ Abigail Adams
"By marriage, the husband and wife are one person in the law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least is incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband: under whose wing, protection, and cover, she performs every thing."
"Came Mrs Margaret Brent and requested to have vote in the howse for herselfe and voyce allso for that att the last Court 3d Jan: it was ordered that the said Mrs Brent was to be lookd uppon and received as his Lps Attorney. The Govr denyed that the sd Mrs Brent should have any vote in the howse And the sd Mrs Brent protested agst all proceedings in this pnt Assembly unlesse shee may have vote as aforesd." (Note: Mrs./Mistress was used interchangeably for married and unmarried women until the second half of the 17th century.)
|"Women at the Polls in New Jersey |
in the Good Old Times." – Howard Pyle
Marrying a women of property was one means that a man could gain the qualifications to vote if he did not have the necessary property requirements on his own. In 1755, a Thomas Roberts of Virginia, voted “by virtue of his interest” in his wife’s property. Historians have learned that some women intentionally provided male family members with land to enable them to vote. In some parts of Virginia as much as 1/5 of the electorate owed their ability to meet election requirements due to property transfers made to them by women. Anne Holden granted deeds to her male relatives in 1787.
“In consideration of the Natural Love and affection which she bears to John, Francis and Joseph Boggs aforesaid and that they will always Vote at the Annual Election for the most Wise and Discreet men and who have proved themselves real friends to American Independence to represent the County of Accomack, the Receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged.”
"Remember the Ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember, all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies, we are determined to foment a Rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice or Representation."There was truth in what she said, for it was not until 1848 at the Seneca Falls Women’s Convention that women wrote their own Declaration of Independence. Women rallied on and in 1920 the states ratified the 19th amendment and women were at last given the right to vote.
“Thus has the Love of Liberty and dread of Tyranny, kindled in the Breast of old and young, a glorious Flame, which will eminently distinguish the fair Sex of the present Time through far distant Ages.” ~ Unkown