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Mitchell Palmer letter to Robert H. Hollet


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

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The effort to grant women the right to vote dates back to 1848, with the meeting of hundreds of women and men in Seneca Falls, New York. In the following decades, women lobbied state and federal officials for equal suffrage rights.

In 1919, Congress passed the text of the 19th amendment, which read, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." After congressional passage in June, the amendment was sent to state legislatures for final ratification. By March 1920, 35 states had ratified the amendment; 36 states were necessary to enact the amendment.

Delaware, had the opportunity to be the 36th and final state. In 1915, a bill for recognizing the right for women to vote at the state level was considered and rejected by the Delaware General Assembly. On June 2, 1920, the Delaware General Assembly again rejected suffrage and voted against ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment.

Delaware would later ratify the amendment in 1923.

"Delaware and the 19th Amendment." National Park Service. (accessed September 2023). "Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." Wikipedia. (accessed September 2023).

One-page typed letter from Attorney General Mitchell Palmer to Delaware state judge Robert H. Hollet. In the letter, Palmer discusses the critical role Woman Suffrage will play in creating a peaceful and equitable nation. He writes in part: "As you are aware, the Federal Suffrage Amendment will be submitted at the... session of your Legislature for passage or rejection. Both the national parties have indorsed [sic] the ratification of the Woman Suffrage Amendment, and most of the leading nations of the world have already secured this measure of justice to their women. We do not want to see American women lagging behind... In view of the present movements of unrest in this country…I feel it is highly important that every possible influence be used to stabilize our institutions and prevent unrest. I am convinced that the immediate extension of suffrage to our women will be a most important force in this direction."

Box 8, F0218: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0098 manuscript boxes

Purchase, 2022.

Processed and encoded by John Caldwell, September 2023.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2023 September 11
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Collection Inventory

Mitchell Palmer letter to Robert H. Hollet.
Box 8 Folder F0218

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