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Lunchtime Lecture: They Won the Vote: Suffrage and Suffragists in New Mexico

They Won the Vote: Suffrage and Suffragists in New Mexico

Presenter: Sylvia Ramos Cruz M.D.

The campaign for woman’s suffrage in New Mexico is rich and deep. But, as with other aspects of women’s lives, most of their stories—political, economic, social—are not found in history books. This talk travels from suffrage nationally to suffrage and suffragists in New Mexico. Some of the protagonists in this story, such as Adelina Otero Warren and Octaviano A. Larrazolo, are well known historical figures. Others, including Ada McPherson Morley, Isabella Selmes Ferguson, Cora Armstrong Kellam, Evelyn Fisher Frisbie and Margaret Green Cartwright, are less so. We’ll look at some of the women and men whose contributions to that 72-year-long struggle are still being unearthed in family lore, memoirs, songs, newspapers, and a few precious, oft-quoted scholarly works.

When: Friday, February 21, 2020 @ 12 noon

Where: New Mexico State Library, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM 87507, (505) 476-9700,

Presenter biography: Sylvia Ramos Cruz is a retired general surgeon, poet, writer and women’s rights activist. She writes poems inspired by art, women’s lives and everyday injustices. Many have roots in places she calls home—Puerto Rico, New York, New Mexico. Her photographs and award-winning poems have appeared in local and national publications, including Malpais Review, Persimmon Tree, Encore: Prize Poems 2017, Journal of Latina Critical Feminism and Sin Fronteras 2019. Albuquerque Rail Yards Trilogy—a 3-part poetry and photography collage installation—is in the City of Albuquerque’s Public Art collection.

Her ongoing creative work focuses on women’s history in New Mexico. The upcoming centennial of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution, Woman’s Suffrage, inspired her to research and write about the suffrage movement here and the people who took part in it.

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