In 1913, the Alaska territorial legislature granted suffrage to women in the very first bill passed at its inaugural session. John F. A. Strong, then the governor of the Territory, proclaimed that “[t]he women of Alaska were given the right to vote without asking for it,”1 but Strong overlooked that Alaska’s bill excluded Native women. For Alaska Natives, the path to the franchise was much longer. Uncertainty about their citizenship, “civility assessments,” and literacy tests prevented some Alaska Native women—and some Alaska Native men—from voting for several more decades.
Enjoy this panel of the NJCHS’s most recent traveling exhibit detailing Alaska’s role in helping the west to lead the way in securing women the right to vote.