Pioneer Mothers statue

Colorado Women Lecture Series

Colorado Women Lecture: Don't Tell Me I Can't Vote!


Dismissed as “bawling, ranting women, bristling for their rights,” by Presbyterian preacher Rev. Thomas Bliss, many Colorado women weren’t about to take such notions and insults lying down. And why should they? In Colorado, as in other western states, it wasn’t easy to deny women the right to vote when they'd forged the West alongside the men: fighting off marauders, plowing land alongside the men, rounding up and branding cattle, and running their own businesses such as boarding houses, laundries, hotels, and brothels. While this talk isn't about suffrage, it is about the history and character of Colorado’s women that led up to Colorado’s vote for equal suffrage in 1893. Author Randi Samuelson-Brown highlights such women as Matilda Godfey, Augusta Tabor, and cattle ranchers like the Bassett women. These women all endured hardships, primitive conditions, and even murder—yet they all prevailed.