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IWA. Robinson-Lacy Family papers.

In an era when women had few leadership or career opportunities outside the home, Iowa’s property and marriage laws were considered more favorable than those of other states. In 1868, African Americans won the right to vote in Iowa and early suffragists thought women would be next.

In 1869, members of a women’s study club in Dubuque attended a suffrage convention in Galena, Illinois. Soon after, they founded the Northern Iowa Woman Suffrage Association, which was the first organization dedicated solely to equal suffrage in the state.

In the early 1880s, Julia Ward Howe (nationally known social activist and author of the lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic) visited Dubuque and gave a report on a Washington, D.C. suffrage convention to the Dubuque women.

Click to magnify
IWA. Robinson-Lacy Family papers.