DECEMBER 29, 1929


Born on March 28, 1861, at Lihue, Kaua’i, Wilhelmina’s Native Hawaiian mother’s grandfather was a retainer (main supporter) of the aliʻi (chiefs) of Kaua’i. Her wedding was attended by King Kalākaua and Queen Kapiʻolani. Dowsett 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.

  Harper, Ida Husted, ed. (1922). History of Woman Suffrage: 1900–1920. VI. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association. Retrieved 6/25/2019,
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,
Photo:  Author unknown, pre-1895.  Public Domain. 

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