Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WHEN ESTHER MORRIS HEADED WEST by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge


Women, Wyoming, and the Right to Vote

by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1597-X
Publisher: Holiday House

In 1869, at the age of 55, a big woman with a big name—Esther Mae Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris—headed to Wyoming Territory. She believed a woman should be able to vote and to hold office and she set about to see to it that she could in South Pass City. Sure enough, on election day her doctor attested that “the operation of voting had no ill effects on a woman’s health.” She went on to become Justice of the Peace when her predecessor resigned over woman suffrage only to turn the job back over to him, once she’d proven herself. When the demise of gold fever caused South Pass City to dwindle, Esther Morris moved on to other places in Wyoming, but she had made a convert to the cause in a young lawyer named Ben Sheeks, who brought the message to Washington State and Utah. The story is told as the rollicking tale it is, and the brightly colored pictures feature the exaggerated facial expressions and golden exterior light of a fine Wild West, cartoon newsreel. Even the horses have big personalities. Wyoming was the first territory to grant women the right to vote, decades before American women in general could. This is a fun-loving look at one woman’s place in that history. An author’s note includes sources, Web sites, and places to visit. (Nonfiction. 6-9)