Early in the morning on September 6, 1870 in Laramie, Wyoming Louisa Swain became the first woman in the world to cast a ballot under laws giving women full equality with men! In the fall of 2008, 138 years later, the U.S. Congress passes a resolution proclaiming September 6th as "Louisa Swain Day" in recognition of this historic event.
Louisa Gardner Swain made world history when on the morning of September 6,
1870 she became the first woman in the world to cast a ballot under laws giving
women full equality to men. Her historic ballot was cast just one block from the
site of the Wyoming Women's History House.
The casting of her historic ballot caused the local newspaper, THE SENTINAL, to
editorialize, "There was too much good sense in our community for any jeers or sneers to be seen on such an occasion".
Louisa Swain was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1800. She was raised in the Quaker faith, was married and the mother of three children. A few years after casting her historic ballot she and her husband moved to Maryland to live with their daughter. It was in Baltimore that Louisa Swain died in 1878 and she is buried in the Friends Burying Groundson the Old Harford Road in Baltimore.
The Wyoming Women's History House has three flags that fly from the front of the building. Each flag signifies a state of importance in the life of Louisa Swain. The Virginia flag is for the state of her birth. The Wyoming flag is for the state of her historic ballot. The Maryland flag is for the state of her death.
The Wyoming Women's History House is located at:
307 2nd Street, Laramie, WY 82070