I never underestimate the strength of a Jersey woman. Did you know that the women of New Jersey were voting a hundred years before the 19th Amendment gave all the women in this country the right to vote? It’s true.

Back in 1776 when the constitution was formed, women land owners of New Jersey were given the right to vote if the value of their property and or worth was $50 or greater. Records show a significant amount of women voting from 1776 through 1807. New Jersey was the first state to allow women the right to vote. Unfortunately in 1807 the New Jersey state legislature stripped women of the right to vote and limited those who could cast a ballot to white males only.

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This led to a strong one hundred year movement by New Jersey women to change the law and allow the vote. Enter a Jersey girl named Lucy Stone who in 1857 refused to pay her property taxes for her home in Orange, NJ claiming taxation without representation; she had no representation due to the lack of the right to vote. Well this sparked huge support from more Jersey women and awareness throughout the country.

The Women’s Suffrage movement here in New Jersey was on! In 1867 Lucy Stone and Antoinette Brown Blackwell formed the New Jersey Women’s Suffrage Association and held their first convention. Women in protest walked from Newark to Washington D.C. to protest the lack of the right to vote.

New Jersey would be the 29th state to ratify the 19th Amendment in February of 1920. It would be Aug. 26, 1920 when the country finally passed the 19th Amendment and a women’s right to vote.

New Jersey women had a clear and powerful voice in the assistance in making this a law. So the next time you have the opportunity to vote, don’t take it lightly, New Jersey women fought hard for that right.

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