When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Eleanor Boylan
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Discovering America’s First Women Voters, 1800 - 1807
In 2018 the Museum of the American Revolution discovered polling records that document for the first time a generation of women voters in early New Jersey. To date, we have discovered 163 women voters on nine poll lists who cast ballots across the state from 1800 to 1807. These lists introduce new stories of the first women voters in the United States – stories of the forgotten women who pioneered the vote.
The poll lists suggest women’s political significance and participation in local, state, and federal elections in early New Jersey. This first in-depth analysis of these nine poll lists from New Jersey refutes any presumption that women in the Early Republic were only passive witnesses and bystanders of the political processes that shaped the new nation.
Not only has the Museum discovered evidence of women voters in early New Jersey, we have also identified the names of at least four free Black male voters on one of the poll lists. While we have yet to confirm the identity of any free Black women voters, the presence of both women and free Black voters on these poll lists reveals the inclusive nature of the electoral system in New Jersey in the first few decades following American independence.
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Prudence Crispin
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Miriam Venable
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Anne Cowperthwaite
Finding Freedom: Andrew - Revolutionary War Pension Pay Certificate
Andrew Ferguson received veteran’s pension payments from the United States Government totaling $20 each year. Like many of his fellow veterans, Ferguson struggled with poverty as an elderly man. His pension payments helped him pay for food, clothing, and a place to live. Andrew passed away in 1855 in Indiana at about the age of 90.
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Amy Walker Cheston
When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story: Elizabeth Louderback
Finding Freedom: Jack - Record from Trial of “Jack a Negro Man Slave”
On April 13, 1781, Jack faced charges of theft, rebellion, and attempted murder at the Botetourt County courthouse in Fincastle, Virginia. Like all enslaved people in Virginia, Jack was denied a jury trial. Instead, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by a group of justices. This written record of his case is the earliest known documentation of Jack’s activity during the Revolutionary War.
Court Order Book, Vol. 5a (pp.100-101), Botetourt County Courthouse, Virginia