Wyoming led the nation in granting women the right to vote on this day in history, December 10, 1869.
The then-Western territory was the first in American history to approve women’s suffrage after Wyoming lawmakers passed and signed a bill.
Still, according to History.com, part of the decision was driven by interest in free publicity — and other “unsavory” motives.
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Some men recognized the importance of women when settling the frontier, but others thought voting for women’s suffrage would strengthen conservative voting blocs, History.com reports.
In the state of Wyoming in particular, men were also driven by loneliness.
In 1869, Wyoming’s population numbered more than 6,000 adult males and only about 1,000 females, reports History.com.
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These men hoped that the right to vote would attract more women to the state.
Other leaders of the suffrage movement — like territorial lawmaker William Bright — had more respectable intentions, according to History.com.
Bright was convinced by his wife that denying women the right to vote was a gross injustice.
Territorial Secretary Edward M. Lee, meanwhile, had supported women’s suffrage for years, arguing that it was unfair that his mother should be denied the same privilege given to black men.
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Wyoming lawmakers eventually strengthened the bill in hopes it would bring their territory free national advertising.
Territorial Governor John A. Campbell signed it into law.
The territory had been formed by an act of Congress just a year earlier, on July 25, 1868.
Campbell, who served as a Union officer during the Civil War, was appointed governor by President Ulysses S. Grant.
After Campbell signed the landmark bill, a list of other firsts for women soon followed, according to the Wyoming State Library.
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Louisa Swain of Laramie cast the first documented vote by a woman in the United States in the territorial election of September 6, 1870.
That same year, Esther Hobart Morris was named the first female justice of the peace in the United States – and Martha Symons Boies Atkinson became the nation’s first female bailiff.
The United States did not grant women the right to vote until August 18, 1920.
It was then that the 19th Amendment was ratified into the Constitution.
“This action forged Wyoming’s place in history as an equal state,” Wyoming Secretary of State Edward Buchanan said in the 2018 reissued state constitution.
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“Half a century later, the US Constitution followed Wyoming and granted those same rights through the 19th Amendment.”
Fox News Digital’s Kerry J. Byrne contributed to this report.