From The Undeveloped West; or, Five Years in the Territories
By J. H. Beadle
Philadelphia: National Publishing Company, 1873

WOMAN'S RIGHTS IN DAKOTA Northwestward, up the Missouri, we struggled and in twenty miles reached better roads and finer farms, with neat cottages. In the corner, between the Big Sioux and Missouri River, is a French settlement, while further on are many Scandinavian settlements, and elsewhere Bohemians, though the prevailing population is American. . . . On either side of the road were waving heavy fields of grain, just ripe, and in them were reaping machines at work. All the people seemed busy and fairly prosperous. We saw one noticeable sight. A Dane, about six feet in height, was driving four oxen to a self-raker, and two big Danish women binding after it. Farther away were Norwegian women binding and shocking wheat. Oh! Anthony, Stanton, Stevens, how would not your tears of sympathy have been shed at this sight. But I suppose there is no relief. The Legislature of Dakota, last winter, refused to enfranchise the sex of which ye are the representatives. In Dakota they evidently have an eye rather to the utility of women than her rights. But I thought how blessed were these people from Norway and Sweden, that they could come to so goodly a land and on their own farms be privileged to gather such crops.

Women Out West Homepage