Cornwall Board of Admissions was very prompt in notifying the town women of the date set for examining candidates for the electorate. The Clark women, of course, were ready and anxious to go.
So, on a beautiful fall day, my father, Andrew Clark, drove my mother, Mary L. Clark age 62 years, and me, age 25 years, to the Cornwall Town Hall. In those days the town clerk’s office, the usual meeting place, was a tiny room on the second floor, which on this day was too small for the expected group. We women gathered in the main room of the building. It was not set up as an auditorium, so we sat about informally, wherever we found chairs.
…each of us, individually, was asked to read a few sentences of the United States Constitution to make sure we were literate. Then we were told to wait as we would be given the oath as a group. If I remember correctly, a poll tax of $1 was collected from each.
I looked about to see any of our friends. …I was surprised that the greatest number seemed to be elderly people.
This should have been a happy, smiling celebration of victory after 100 or more years of struggle, but the women were quiet, subdued and very serious.
At last, [town clerk] Whiting J. Wilcox and [selectman] Cop O’Donnell rapped for attention. Whiting mounted the right-hand steps to the platform and said, “Raise your right hand and take the oath. Are you all 21 years or older?” He had a knowing grin because he had often said that women would never vote because they would not give their age.
~ Harriet Clark, reminiscence of voting for the first time in 1920, from her 1990 Christmas letter.