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Esther Hobart Morris facts for kids

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Esther Hobart Morris
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Esther Hobart McQuigg

(1814-08-08)August 8, 1814
Spencer, Tioga County, New York
Died April 2, 1902(1902-04-02) (aged 87)
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Nationality American
Occupation Justice of the peace
Known for Nation's first female judge
Artemus Slack (m. 1842–1843)
his death
John Morris (m. 1846–1877)
his death

Esther Hobart Morris (August 8, 1812 – April 2, 1902) was the first woman justice of the peace in the United States. She began her tenure as justice in South Pass City, Wyoming, on February 14, 1870, serving a term of nearly 9 months. The Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners appointed Morris as justice of the peace after the previous justice, R.S. Barr, resigned in protest of Wyoming Territory's passage of the women's suffrage amendment in December 1869.

Popular stories and historical accounts, as well as by state and federal public monuments, point to Morris as a leader in the passage of Wyoming's suffrage amendment. However, Morris' leadership role in the legislation is disputed. Morris herself never claimed any credit, ascribing the bill entirely to William H. Bright, who was member of the territorial legislature from South Pass City and President of the Territorial Council.

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