Esther Hobart <I>McQuigg</I> Morris

Esther Hobart McQuigg Morris

Spencer, Tioga County, New York, USA
Death 2 Apr 1902 (aged 87)
Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming, USA
Burial Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming, USA
Memorial ID 6653029 · View Source
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Suffragist. Born in Tioga County, New York, she was orphaned at eleven, she was then apprenticed to a seamstress, and eventually started a successful millinery business. She married Artemus Slack in 1841, and was widowed three years later. She moved to Peru, Illinois with her infant son, to settle the property held there by her late husband's estate. Eventually, she married a local merchant, John Morris. In 1868, her husband and son, Archibald Slack, moved to a boom town in Wyoming Territory. A year later, she and her twin sons followed, and settled in at South Pass City. Esther promoted the idea of granting women the vote in Wyoming Territory, and the Wyoming Territory's enfranchisement of women came in 1869, along with laws giving married women control of their own property, and providing equal pay for female teachers. District Court Judge John W. Kingman appointed her justice of the peace and the Sweetwater County Board of Commissioners in a vote of two to one approved her application on February 14, 1870. Her first act was to arrest her predecessor, who refused to hand over his court docket. Eventually, she dismissed her own case, ruling that she, as an interested party, could not arrest the former justice, and recused herself. She was the first woman to hold judicial office in the United States. She served for nine months and handled 26 cases, none of which were overturned on appeal. In February 1872, she participated in the American Woman Suffrage Association Convention in San Francisco. The following year, she was nominated by the Woman's Party of Wyoming as a candidate to the Wyoming Territorial Legislature, but she declined the honor. In July 1876, she addressed the National Suffrage Convention in Philadelphia and in July 1890, Presented the new Wyoming state flag to Governor Warren during the Wyoming statehood celebration where she was honored as a suffrage pioneer. In 1895, she was elected a delegate to the National Suffrage Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. She died in Cheyenne at 87. In 1960, the Cheyenne State House and Statutory Hall in Washington, DC installed sculptures of her, honoring her role in the suffrage movement.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Garver Graver
  • Added: 1 Aug 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6653029
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Esther Hobart McQuigg Morris (18 Aug 1814–2 Apr 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6653029, citing Lakeview Cemetery, Cheyenne, Laramie County, Wyoming, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .