“A Practical Vindication of Female Suffrage” (November 8, 1871)

George William Booker

This article, published November 8, 1871, by the Daily Dispatch, describes Anna Whitehead Bodeker’s attempt to vote in local Richmond elections in the autumn of 1871. Election judges refused to accept her vote. Women did not win the right to vote until the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920.


A Practical Vindication of Female Suffrage.—Yesterday morning the judges of the second precinct of Marshall Ward (J. F. Shinberger, Esq., presiding) were surprised by the appearance of a lady at the polls. She wished to deposit a ballot, but as the judges declined to allow this, in view of her not having registered, she then asked to be permitted to have a paper with the following inscription placed in the ballot-box:

“By the Constitution of the United States, I, Mrs. A. Whitehead Bodeker, have a right to give my vote at this election, and in vindication of it drop this note in the ballot-box, November 7th, 1871.”

This paper was taken by the judges, and will be deposited with the ballots in the archives of the clerk of the Hustings Court.

APA Citation:
Dispatch, Daily. “A Practical Vindication of Female Suffrage” (November 8, 1871). (2021, May 25). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Dispatch, Daily. "“A Practical Vindication of Female Suffrage” (November 8, 1871)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (25 May. 2021). Web. 18 May. 2024
Last updated: 2021, May 25
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