Cheney Issues Statement on Renaming of Federal Building After Louisa Swain
On Wednesday, following a vote in the House on S. 2126, Liz Cheney entered a statement into the Congressional Record on the passage of the bill.
The bill will rename a federal office building located at 308 W 21st Street in Cheyenne to the Louisa Swain Federal Office Building, and was originally introduced by Senator Cynthia Lummis.
It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Oct. 7, passed the House on March 30 412-1, and is currently awaiting President Joe Biden's signature.
Cheney said in a statement:
"On September 6, 1870, Louisa Swain became the first woman to cast a ballot in a general election in the United States," Cheney said. "She cast her historic vote just a few blocks from the federal building that will now bear her name. Louisa’s action that day represented the very best of what Wyoming represents: independence, leadership, grit, integrity, and equality. In 1869, Wyoming became the first place in America where women had the right to vote. Our state constitution included suffrage for women. When we applied for statehood in 1890, Congress responded that we would not be admitted to the union so long as we provided women with the right to vote. In response, Wyoming’s state legislators said, 'If we can’t come in with our women, we aren’t coming in.' Wyoming became a state in 1890, the first state in the union where women could vote. The track record of female leaders in Wyoming is long and extensive. It runs through who we are as a state, whether that’s Esther Hobart Morris service as the first female justice of the peace in Sweetwater County in 1870, Susan Johnson serving as a postmaster in Cheyenne in 1880, Mary Bellamy being elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives in 1911, or my own grandmother, Edna Vincent, who was the first female Deputy Sheriff in Natrona County. It's appropriate that we acknowledge Wyoming’s historic leadership when it comes to advancing rights and opportunities for women. Renaming our Cheyenne federal building after Louisa Swain will serve as an important reminder and honor for all the trailblazing women who have come before us, and will put Wyoming’s proud history and heritage on display as an example for the entire nation."
When Lummis originally introduced the bill in June 2021, along with Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) she said:
"I can’t think of a better name for a federal building in the first state to recognize a woman’s right to vote. Many women played an essential role in the journey toward suffrage, but Louisa Swain’s contribution was the shot heard around the world. She greatly deserves this recognition."
Following the passage of the bill, Lummis also put out a statement in support of the bill.
"As the first woman to serve Wyoming in the U.S. Senate, I am honored that my first bill to pass both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives is one that commemorates a true pioneer from my home state of Wyoming," Lummis said. "I cannot think of a better name for a federal building in the first state to recognize this right and enshrine full suffrage for women in law. It has been an honor working with colleagues in Wyoming and Maryland on this bill to honor a pioneer so important to both of our states."
Lummis, Cheney, Wyoming's other Senator John Barrasso, and Governor Mark Gordon, are all honorary members of the Louisa Swain Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that awards the Louisa Swain award each year, and was founded in 2001.