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Honoring the Early Struggle for Women’s Suffrage in Utah: Planning a Memorial

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Lesson Overview

This lesson provides students with information about the main events and key players involved in Utah women’s suffrage over the course of several key periods: 1) enfranchisement (1870), 2) disfranchisement (1871-1887), 3) re-enfranchisement with statehood (1888-1896), and 4) the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (1920). Students will read an informational text to learn about the early struggle for Utah women’s voting rights. They will then develop a plan for a memorial honoring women’s suffrage in Utah.

This lesson is also available on Canvas Commons.

Recommended Instructional Time: 30-90 minutes
statue of Martha Hughes Cannon at Utah State Capitol

Historical Background for Educators

Key Utah Standards Addressed

Learning Objective

  • Students will be able to explain the importance of the women’s suffrage movement in Utah by developing a plan for a memorial honoring these historical events and key individuals.

Guiding Questions

  • Why was Utah a forerunner in granting voting rights to women?
  • Why did Congress revoke Utah women’s voting rights?
  • How were Utah women involved politically and civically at local and national levels?
  • How and why are rights given, taken away, and/or withheld from various groups?



(noun) The right to vote in a political election

During the women’s suffrage movement, women fought for and won the right to vote in political elections.


(n) the right to vote

The 19th Amendment granted the franchise to women.

(v) to give the right to vote

The 19th Amendment franchised women.




(noun) To take away someone’s right to vote

The Edmunds-Tucker Act caused the disfranchisement of Utah women.



to give back someone’s right to vote

“Re” = to do again

The re-enfranchisement of Utah women occurred when Utah attained statehood.


(noun) A marriage system in which a person is married to more than one person at a time.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practiced polygamy, in which some husbands had more than one living wife.


(noun) To give someone the right to vote

Emmeline B. Wells was a Utah leader involved in the enfranchisement of women.


(noun) a ticket or piece of paper used to vote

Seraph Young was the first woman in the modern United States to cast a ballot in an election.

Materials Needed





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