MARCH 28, 1861

HAWAIIAN SUFFRAGIST LEADER WILHELMINA KEKELAOKALANINUI WIDEMANN DOWSETT BORN

Born at Lihue, Kauai, Wilhelmina’s Native Hawaiian mother’s grandfather was a retainer of the aliʻi of Kauai.  Her wedding was attended by King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiʻolani.  She became politically active first in opposing annexation by the U.S.  After annexation, she became a prominent leader for women’s suffrage.  In 1912, Dowsett organized the National Women’s Equal Suffrage Association of Hawai’iand became its president.  Women of Native Hawaiian and mixed-race descent, like Dowsett, actively led the movement; white women fearing enfranchising non-white female voters, were less supportive.  In 1919, after Hawaiian suffragists got Congress to grant Hawai’i the power to grant women the vote, Dowsett toured the Hawaiian Islands to rally popular support territorial legislation.  In 1920, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment, granting all American women the right to vote.Dowsett died in Honolulu on December 10, 1929.

Sources:  Harper, Ida Husted, ed. (1922). History of Woman Suffrage: 1900–1920. VI. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association. Retrieved 6/25/2019, https://books.google.com/books?id=l1MOAQAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false.  Yasutake, Rumi (2017). "Re-Franchising Women of Hawaiʻi, 1912–1920: Politics of Gender, Sovereignty, Race, and Rank at the Crossroads of the Pacific". In Choy, Catherine Ceniza; Wu, Judy Tzu-Chun. Gendering the Trans-Pacific World. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-33610-0.  Retrieved 6/25/2019, https://books.google.com/books?id=04lZDgAAQBAJ&pg=PA82&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false
Photo:  Author unknown, pre-1895.  Public domain in the U.S.  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.