I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote

by Linda Arms White and Nancy Carpenter

Esther Morris was instrumental in the fight for women’s suffrage in Wyoming.... read more

Esther Morris was instrumental in the fight for women’s suffrage in Wyoming. An unverified story about Morris hosting a tea party in order to press the issue among influential men in Wyoming is the launching point for this captivating fictionalized account of Morris’s accomplishments. The story opens in 1820, with six-year-old Esther watching her mother making tea. “I could do that,” Esther says. It’s a refrain repeated with variations throughout the rest of the story. Esther learns to sew a fine seam at age eight, opens her own dress shop as a young woman, and becomes a midwife when she moves to Wyoming (“I can do that.”). She opposes a throng who tried to stop abolitionist meetings (“You can’t do that.”). She reads a proclamation encouraging all men 21 and older to vote (“It’s time I did that.”). And she becomes the first woman judge in the country after her local justice of the peace resigns in opposition to women’s suffrage (“ 'Mama, you could do that,’ said her sons.”). Linda Arms White’s playful text is perfectly matched by Nancy Carpenter’s illustrations, which include a repeated teapot motif on the endpapers. An author’s note provides additional information about Esther Morris. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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