Sister Suffragists

A Celebration of the Suffrage Centennial

Exhibition Sections

Early Suffrage Movement, 1880–1900: Women had been working to end state laws restricting female suffrage since the 1850s. In 1868, the Fourteenth Amendment declared for the first time nationally that only men could vote. The suffrage movement took on new fervor.

Campaign for Suffrage, 1900–1920: In 1913, more than 100 representatives from seven Texas cities met to revive the state’s suffrage movement. Working with national leaders, the Texas Equal Rights Association developed a strategy to raise women’s suffrage to an active issue. Almost exclusively white and upper middle-class, their tactics were frequently racist, elitist, and nativist in ways that excluded many women and played on the fears of Americans. Specifically excluded were women of color who still campaigned for suffrage, but through their own organizations.

Voters at Last, 1918 onward: Texas women gained the right to vote in state primary elections in 1918. This was a significant victory because Texas was a one-party state. When the Nineteenth Amendment granting full suffrage to women nationwide received final ratification in August 1920, Texas women were able to participate fully in elections. For the women who had been so personally invested in the suffrage movement, the ability to vote was an experience and a responsibility unlike anything they had known before.

Inside the Exhibition

  • Suffrage documents including scrapbooks, speeches, letters, posters, pamphlets, and cartoons interpret the suffrage movements of the 1890s and early 1900s, the passage of the amendment, and the first elections in which women were able to vote.
  • A selection of textiles showing how women’s fashions adapted to reflect the changing roles of women in American society.
  • Voting rights were just the first step in a longer campaign for equal rights. Quiz yourself to see when the vote was extended to women in different  groups and when basic rights like opening a credit card were granted to American women.

Select Artifacts On View in the Exhibition

Programs and Events

Sponsored by Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Texas A&M University Commerce logo

Additional support by the Texas Bar Foundation and the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Texas Bar Foundation logo

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Press Releases

Sister Suffragists

Bullock Museum commemorates suffrage centennial with symposium, gallery installation

June 25, 2019 (Austin, Texas) -- The Bullock Texas State History Museum will commemorate the centennial of Texas' ratification of the 19th Amendment with a free symposium on Friday, June 28 at 7 pm in conjunction with a newly unveiled gallery highlighting the suffrage movement in Texas and the United States. View Press Release

In The News

Bullock Museum Commemorates 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Texas

6/14/2019, Savana Dunning / The Austin Chronicle -- “Sister Suffragist” tackles the timeline of women’s rights View Article

Rethinking the story of suffrage at the Bullock Museum

06/25/2019, Candace Baker / Austin Monthly -- As the centennial of Texas ratifying the 19th Amendment approaches, a visit to see their latest exhibit Sister Suffragists is a must. View Article