Helen Ring Robinson
|Member of the Colorado Senate|
from the 1st district
January 1, 1913 – January 3, 1917
Eastport, Maine, U.S.
|Died||1923 (aged 44–45)|
|Resting place||Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado|
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Ewing Robinson (m. February 13, 1902)|
|Parents||Thomas Warren Ring and Mary Margaret (Thompson) Ring|
Helen Ring Robinson (1878–1923), was an American suffragist, writer, and political office holder. She was either the first or the second woman to serve as a state senator in the United States and the first in the Colorado State Senate. She was elected in 1912 and began her service in the 19th Colorado General Assembly, when she was sworn in on January 1, 1913. She was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 2014.
Robinson moved to Denver in 1895 and taught at Wolfe Hall until 1898, when she went to teach at the Wolcott School for Girls. It was established by a friend who also lived in Providence. It was during her time at Wolcott that she became acquainted with members of Denver society.
After leading a crusade against Denver's poor water service, she was recruited to run for office. She was elected to the Colorado Senate for one four-year term in 1912, and took office in 1913. While in office, she was appointed chair of the Colorado State Senate Education Committee. As a state senator, Robinson traveled the country making speeches on women's issues. In 1915 she served as a speaker for the Fayette Equal Rights Association, giving presentations throughout central Kentucky on woman suffrage.
Among the progressive laws she passed were a minimum wage law for women and an abatement for property used for prostitution – both efforts to limit prostitution. Women were not allowed to serve on juries at that time, although women had received the vote in Colorado in 1893. All of Robinson's bills on this issue failed. Consequently, women could not serve on juries in the state until 1944.
- Preparing Women for Citizenship (1918)
- Uncle Tom's Cabin for Children by Harriet Beecher Stowe; adapted by Helen Ring Robinson. From the Collections at the Library of Congress
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Helen Ring Robinson.|
- "Died". Time magazine. July 23, 1923. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
Mrs. Helen Ring Robinson, 45, of Colorado, first woman State Senator in the United States, suffrage leader, writer, lecturer, member of the Ford "peace pilgrimage" in 1915, at Denver, after a long illness.
- "Helen Ring Robinson". Political graveyard. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
Robinson, Helen Ring (d. 1923) – of Denver, Colo. Democrat. Member of Colorado state senate, 1913–16. Female. First woman elected to Colorado Senate; second woman state senator in the United States. Author of a minimum wage law for women; also introduced a bill allowing women to serve as jurors. Died in 1923. Burial location unknown.
- "Senator Helen Ring Robinson Calls Herself the Housewives' Representative in Colorado". New York Times. November 23, 1913. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
" Every city in every State in the country is in need of motherliness," said Senator Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado before the League for Political Education at the Hudson Theatre yesterday morning in telling her audience that it was the womanly woman who was needed in politics, not a creature recreated in the image of man.
- "Helen Ring Robinson". Swarthmore College. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
- "Helen R. Robinson of Colorado Defends the Suffrage Cause". New York Times. September 22, 1915. Retrieved December 10, 2008.
Senator Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado was in New York City yesterday after having given a week to the suffrage campaign work in the upper part of the State and a week in New Jersey. Senator Robinson says that while she is helping the women here she is also trying to put down the incessant criticism of the suffrage States by Eastern people.
- Colorado Women's Hall of Fame, Helen Ring Robinson
- "Is The First". The Charlotte Observer. April 13, 1913. Retrieved November 23, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Pat Pascoe (November 1, 2011). Helen Ring Robinson. University Press of Colorado. p. multiple PTs. ISBN 978-1-4571-1167-9.
- Weatherford, Doris. "Helen Ring Robinson (1878–1923)," Women in American Politics: History and Milestones (SAGE Publications, 2012), pp. 136–137.
- "Fayette Equal Rights Association records, 1917-1920, 49m30, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center, Lexington, Ky". H-Kentucky. H-Net.org. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- Helen Ring Robinson: Senator and Suffragist by Patricia Hill Pascoe (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2011)