New Mexico Milestones United States Milestones
Exchange Copy of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. National Archives

February 2: The Mexican-American War officially ended under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

July 4: New Mexico becomes a United States Territory



Call to the first Women's Rights Convention, Seneca County Courier, July 14, 1848.
July 19-20: Seneca Falls Convention held "to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman." This is the first official public meeting for suffrage in the United States and begins the fight for equal rights for women.
Navajo people on the Long Walk. Wikimedia Commons
August: The Long Walk begins. Between 1864 and 1866, members of the Navajo and Mescalero Apache tribes were forcibly marched from Arizona to Bosque Redondo in eastern New Mexico. Brutal conditions on the march and in the camp killed thousands before treaties in 1868 allowed tribes to return to their ancestral lands. /td>


Officers of the 14th U.S. Infantry, March, 1862. Library of Congress
The Civil War is fought.


An 1870 print celebrating the passage of the 15th Amendment. Wikimedia Commons
The Reconstruction Amendments, 13th, 14th and 15th, are ratified. These laws ban slavery, and address citizenship, equal protection and voting rights. They also defined “citizen” as male, thus denying suffrage to all women.
Train on Chino Canyon Bridge. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico
Railroad arrives in New Mexico Territory.


Detail of the Nineteenth Amendment. Encyclopedia Britannica
The "Woman Suffrage Amendment," eventually passed as the 19th Amendment, is drafted and first proposed to the US Congress.


Wyoming State Tribune, January 27, 1920.
Women win the vote in Wyoming.


"Woman Suffrage in the West", National Women's History Museum.
Women win the vote in Colorado.
Santa Fe New Mexican, February 15, 1900
"In April, 1896, a territorial convention was held at Albuquerque and the New Mexico Woman Suffrage Association was organized. Through the efforts of the national organizers Mrs. Laura M. Johns and Mrs. Julia B. Nelson, eleven clubs were formed."


Suffrage poster, circa 1914. Wikimedia Commons

Women win the vote in Utah and Idaho.

Suffragists' letter to Secundino Romero, chair of the San Miguel County Republican Central Committee, May 28, 1900. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico
Suffrage activities begin in New Mexico with the NM Constitutional Convention. Individual letter writing campaigns and informal meetings urge territorial government to adopt suffrage in creating the state's constitution.


Map of Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage tour. Wikimedia Commons
Women win the vote in Washington state.
Cover of New Mexico Constitution. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.
New Mexico Constitution allows women to vote in school elections but not in national elections.


Mary Austin, writer and suffrage activist in California. Picryl
Women win the vote in California.
Santa Fe New Mexican, January 6, 1912.
New Mexico becomes 47th US State.


Woman suffrage handbill, 1912. Oregon State University.
Women win the vote in Oregon, Kansas and Arizona.
Mabel Vernon. Library of Congress
Organized campaign for the 19th Amendment begins in New Mexico, with help from Mabel Vernon, an organizer from the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage (CUWS).


Jeannette Rankin

World War I begins.

Women win the vote in Nevada and Montana.

Montana's Jeannette Rankin is first woman elected to Congress.

Adelina "Nina" Otero-Warren. Library of Congress
Suffrage organizing continues with a new CUWS representative, Ella St. Clair Thompson. Thompson recruits Adelina Otero-Warren, who becomes a key figure in the fight for suffrage and in New Mexico politics.


From the Albuquerque Evening Herald, October 11, 1916.
First support for suffrage from political parties in New Mexico—Republicans engage national figure Dr. Jessie A. Russell to mobilize Republican women's clubs.


Alice Paul. Wikimedia Commons.
National suffragist leader Alice Paul chooses Otero-Warren as CUWS New Mexico chapter leader. Otero-Warren is also appointed as Santa Fe School Superintendent; in 1918, she defeated a male opponent in an open election for this position.




The 19th Amendment. National Archives
March 4: The US House of Representatives passes the 19th Amendment by a vote of 304 yeas to 89 nays. The 19th Amendment passes in the US Senate on June 4, 1919 by a vote of 56 yeas to 25 nays.
Image: Deputation leaving headquarters to take petition to Senator Jones of New Mexico. Library of Congress
February 21: New Mexico approves the 19th Amendment and is the 32nd of 36 states needed to ratify it into federal law. Nina Otero-Warren played a key role in this process at the State Republican Caucus, a first for a woman in the state.


Soledad Chávez Chacón
Secretary of State Soledad Chacón and Superintendent of Public Instruction Isabel Eckles are the first women elected to hold state-wide office in New Mexico.


Announcement from the Las Cruces Citizen, February 2, 1923. Center for Southwest Research.
Bertha Paxton of Las Cruces is elected as the first woman to serve in the New Mexico House of Representatives.




Wikimedia Commons
June 2: The Indian Citizenship Act is signed by Calvin Coolidge. Native Americans still struggled to exercise voting rights in New Mexico.
Louise Holland Coe, from the 1930 Mirage Yearbook, University of New Mexico.
Louise Holland Coe is elected as the first woman to serve in the State Senate. She later went on to four consecutive terms and was the president pro tem during her last term of office.


Eight of New Mexico's secretaries of state.
The position of New Mexico Secretary of State is held exclusively by women for the majority of the state's history—93 years straight.




First page of the Chinese exclusion act of 1882. Wikimedia Commons
The Magnuson Act repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and extends voting rights and citizenship to Chinese immigrants.
Miguel Trujillo with his daughter Josephine T. Waconda.
June 14: Miguel Trujillo, Sr., Isleta Pueblo, attempts to register to vote in Los Lunas and is refused based on a 1912 provision of the New Mexico Constitution.


The Gallup Independent, August 3, 1948
August 3: Federal court in Santa Fe ruled that the State of New Mexico discriminated against Native Americans and must allow them to vote.



1965 - today

National Park Service/National Archives
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, intended to prohibit racial discrimination in voting and reinforce the rights guaranteed by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the US Constitution. This landmark piece of federal legislation was made necessary by continued discriminatory voting practices against racial minorities in large parts of the United States. Originally set to end by 1970, these acts have been amended and extended well past their original expiration date and major portions of the bill are still necessary and in effect today.