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Anthony, Susan B.

LETTER: Typed letter signed, "Susan B. Anthony," to Mrs. Marilla M. Ricker.

Letter(s)

THE FIRST WOMAN TO CAST A VOTE
Anthony, Susan B. Typed letter signed, to Marilla Ricker, March 24, 1900; one leaf, one page.
Anthony writes to lawyer and suffragist Ricker with news of the convention and hearing in DC:
My Dear Friend,
In my list of presents, I have just come across my Ingersoll spoon from you. Though I expect you
are still in Washington, not knowing your address, I shall send this note to Dover, and I hope you
will find it there safely when you return to your New Hampshire home. It was a splendid
convention and congressional hearing that we had in Washington, to say nothing of sundry
receptions, dinners, etc. etc. Thanking you … for every good word and work given to the world
by your own good self, I am,
Very affectionately yours...
In 1871, Marilla M. Ricker had the distinction of being the first U.S. woman to cast a vote (it was not
counted), using the argument that women were "electors" under the Fourteenth Amendment. She then
read law in Washington, D.C., and passed the bar with the highest grade of anyone admitted there in
1882. Determined to use her knowledge for good, she became known as the "prisoner's friend,"
successfully challenging a district law that indefinitely confined indigent criminals.
In 1890, Ricker became the first woman to practice law in New Hampshire. The next year she became the
ninth woman admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court bar. Throughout her career she fought for women's
rights, and was an active member of the National Woman Suffrage Association. The New Hampshire
Women's Bar Association has a Marilla M. Ricker Achievement Award that is presented annually to a
female lawyer who has advanced opportunities for women in the legal profession, or performed
exemplary public service on behalf of women.
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