Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19th, 1868

On November 19th, 1868, the first presidential election after the civil war took place. That day, 172 women from New Jersey, including 4 black women, attempted to vote, in a test of the 14th Amendment. Needless to say, they were denied, so they put their uncounted ballots in a "women's ballot box" monitored by an 84 year old Quaker woman, Margaret Pryer.

Typical suffrage songs from around 1868 include "Female Suffrage," "Clear the Way, For Woman Voting," and "Woman is Going to Vote."

Of the 5.7 million votes cast in the election, 500,000 were cast by black men, including former slaves who had just won the right to vote. U.S. Grant's margin of victory in the popular vote was only 300,000 votes, although he readily won the Electoral College. American women wouldn't gain the right to vote throughout the country until 1920.

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