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UW Hosts Women's Suffrage Workshops

July 8, 2009
Sarah W. Pease served on the first women grand jury in 1870. Primary source materials such as this American Heritage Center photo will serve as resources during the suffrage workshops. (American Heritage Center)

Nearly 80 public school teachers from across the nation will attend women's suffrage workshops this month at the University of Wyoming.

A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded to the Wyoming Humanities Council (WHC) funds the two workshops July 19-24 and July 26-31. The UW College of Education is a partner for the project, now in its third summer.

At UW, the visiting teachers will use primary source materials housed in the American Heritage Center. The teachers will travel to South Pass City, Atlantic City, Split Rock and Independence Rock.

"The goal is to provide teachers with experience in the use of historical sites and archival resources," says Carol Bryant, associate professor of secondary education at UW. Workshop participants will learn why Wyoming's first territorial governor, John A. Campbell, in 1869 signed a bill granting women the right to vote and hold office, making Wyoming the first territory to grant such rights to women.

"Why did the West embrace political equality for women long before the East? Did the myths of the West contribute to early suffrage? How has equality played out for Wyoming women over time? The workshop will tackle these questions," says Bryant.

UW faculty members Phil Roberts, Frieda Knobloch and former faculty member Kathy Jensen will share their expertise about the American West with the visiting teachers.

"This project is a perfect example of humanities scholarship, and a great partnership between the humanities council and UW," says Marcia Wolter Britton, WHC executive director.

For more information, e-mail WHC staff member Sheila Bricher-Wade at

Posted on Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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