Emmeline B. Wells, Utah Suffrage, National Woman's Suffrage Association, NWSA


In 1879 Emmeline B. Wells stood before the National Woman's Suffrage Association (NWSA) and stated that "the right of franchise held by the women of her Territory should not be wrested from them." Wells, a polygamist wife, spoke at the NWSA conference in Washington, D.C., during a time of intense antipolygamy sentiment in America. Polygamy in Utah was viewed by many-including national suffragists-as an evil that degraded women. Paradoxically, national suffragists of the NWSA, who sought to further women's rights, supported a polygamist wife and the cause of woman suffrage in Utah.