WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden signed legislation into law led by U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) to rename a federal building in Cheyenne, Wyoming as the “Louisa Swain Federal Office Building.”
“Louisa Swain was a true pioneer. Her historic first vote in Wyoming set the course for women’s suffrage across the nation. I am grateful to Senators Van Hollen, Barrasso, and Cardin for helping me honor Louisa Swain who called both Wyoming and Maryland home. I am thrilled to have my first bill to become law be one that honors her legacy and I look forward to seeing that legacy enshrined in my hometown of Cheyenne.”Senator Lummis said.
“Louisa Swain was a pioneer in the fight for women’s suffrage, and her work to broaden our democracy must not be forgotten. Maryland is proud that after her historic vote, Ms. Swain went on to call our state home and was laid to rest at the Friends Burial Ground in Baltimore. I was honored to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Lummis, and I’m glad that this fitting tribute to mark Ms. Swain’s contributions to our nation has now been signed into law,” said Senator Van Hollen.
“As the Equality State, Wyoming is proud to be the home of many exceptional, trailblazing women who have shaped our state and nation,” said Senator Barrasso. “One of those trailblazers was Louisa Swain. With our bipartisan bill signed into law, Cheyenne will soon rededicate one of our federal buildings in her honor. It is a fitting tribute for Louisa Swain’s historic election vote in 1870, a critical milestone in ensuring full participation of women in our democracy.”
“Marylanders have a long history of standing tall for women’s rights, and Louisa Swain is a prime example. Her historic act of casting the first legal ballot reminds us of how far we have come on women’s rights, and how far we still have to go,” said Senator Cardin. “Standing up for equality is always the right thing to do, and I am gratified to have been able to help the effort to ensure that we have a new monument to that fact in Cheyenne, Wyoming.”
“We are delighted Senator Lummis worked her magic to lead this designation heralding Louisa Gardner Swain and her important 1870 vote! Ever humble but very capable and well-respected, 70-year-old Louisa, is excellent representation of Wyoming’s remarkable 1869 Suffrage Act which led to this first vote on equal status with men, and so many other firsts for women in Wyoming,” said Mary Mountain, Executive Director of the Wyoming Women’s History House and Louisa Swain Foundation
Laramie resident Louisa Swain was 70 years old when she cast her vote in Wyoming’s general election of 1870, making her the first woman to legally vote in the United States. Later in life, she moved to Maryland and was laid to rest in Baltimore. The bill passed the House of Representatives on March 30, 2022 with 412 votes in the affirmative. It passed the U.S. Senate unanimously through a voice vote on October 7, 2021.