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Miriam "Ma" Ferguson

Miriam "Ma" Ferguson was the first woman governor of Texas. She became governor in a time when women were really starting to gain a voice in America.

Texas Politics - Governors: Miriam A. Ferguson

Miriam Amanda Wallace (Ma) Ferguson (1875-1961), first woman governor of Texas, daughter of Joseph L. and Eliza (Garrison) Wallace, was born in Bell County, Texas, on June 13, 1875. She attended Salado College and Baylor Female College at Belton. In 1899, at the age of twenty-four, she married James Edward Ferguson, also of Bell County. Mrs. Ferguson served as the first lady of Texas during the gubernatorial terms of her husband (1915-17), who was impeached during his second administration. When James Ferguson failed to get his name on the ballot in 1924, Miriam entered the race for the Texas governorship. Before announcing for office, she had devoted her energies almost exclusively to her husband and two daughters. This fact, and the combination of her first and middle initials, led her supporters to call her "Ma" Ferguson. She quickly assured Texans that if elected she would follow the advice of her husband and that Texas thus would gain "two governors for the price of one." Her campaign sought vindication for the Ferguson name, promised extensive cuts in state appropriations, condemned the Ku Klux Klan, and opposed passing new liquor legislation. After trailing the Klan-supported prohibitionist candidate, Felix D. Robertson, in the July primary, she easily defeated him in the August run-off to become the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.
In November 1924 she handily defeated the Republican nominee, George C. Butte, a former dean of the University of Texas law school. Inaugurated fifteen days after Wyoming's Nellie Ross, Miriam Ferguson became the second woman governor in United States history.

FERGUSON, MIRIAM AMANDA WALLACE [MA] | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

FERGUSON, MIRIAM AMANDA WALLACE MA. Miriam Amanda (Ma) Ferguson, first woman governor of Texas, daughter of Joseph L. and Eliza (Garrison) Wallace, was born in Bell County, Texas, on June 13, 1875. She attended Salado College and Baylor Female College at Belton. In 1899, at the age of twenty-four, she married James Edward Ferguson, also of Bell County. Mrs. Ferguson served as the first lady of Texas during the gubernatorial terms of her husband (1915–17), who was impeached during his second administration. When James Ferguson failed to get his name on the ballot in 1924, Miriam entered the race for the Texas governorship. Before announcing for office, she had devoted her energies almost exclusively to her husband and two daughters. This fact, and the combination of her first and middle initials, led her supporters to call her "Ma" Ferguson. She quickly assured Texans that if elected she would follow the advice of her husband and that Texas thus would gain "two governors for the price of one." Her campaign sought vindication for the Ferguson name, promised extensive cuts in state appropriations, condemned the Ku Klux Klan, and opposed passing new liquor legislation. After trailing the Klan-supported prohibitionist candidate, Felix D. Robertson, in the July primary, she easily defeated him in the August run-off to become the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. In November 1924 she handily defeated the Republican nominee, George C. Butte, a former dean of the University of Texas law school. Inaugurated fifteen days after Wyoming's Nellie Ross, Miriam Ferguson became the second woman governor in United States history.

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Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics

Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics

Crowley, Sara. "Ferguson, Miriam (Miriam Amanda “Ma” Wallace Ferguson) (1875–1961)." In Ford,
Lynne E., Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics, 188-189. Facts on File Library of World
History. New York: Facts on File, 2008. Gale Virtual Reference Library (accessed September 15,
2018). http://link.galegroup.com.ezproxy.uta.edu/apps/doc/CX4057600213/GVRL?
u=txshracd2597&sid=GVRL&xid=e1b8cefe.

Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics

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Miriam Amanda Ferguson: Soon to Take Office as the First Woman Governor of Texas

"Miriam Amanda Ferguson." 1924.Current Opinion (1913-1925), Oct 01, 436.
https://login.ezproxy.uta.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest
com.ezproxy.uta.edu/docview/124774082?accountid=7117.

(https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.uta.edu/docview/124774082?pq-origsite=summon)

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TEXAS AND THE FERGUSONS.

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JAMES EDWARD AND MIRIAM AMANDA FERGUSON; THE 'MA' AND 'PA' OF TEXAS POLITICS

CALBERT, J. L. (1968). James Edward And Miriam Amanda Ferguson; The 'ma' And 'pa' Of Texas Politics (Order No. 6904732). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (302298347). Retrieved from https://login.ezproxy.uta.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.uta.edu/docview/302298347?accountid=7117

JAMES EDWARD AND MIRIAM AMANDA FERGUSON; THE 'MA' AND 'PA' OF TEXAS POLITICS

A Foot in the Door | Austin History Center

  A Foot in the Door   [Jessie Daniel Ames], circa 1910, AR.E.004(009). Jane Y. McCallum Papers.

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"Ma" and "Pa" Ferguson

"Ma" and "Pa" Ferguson

Ma Ferguson was the first female Governor of Texas and the second female Governor elected in the United States. James 'Pa' Ferguson was the Governor of Texas from 1915 to 1917, when he was impeached and convicted on several charges.
Getty Images

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Political Cartoon of "Pa" Ferguson

Political Cartoon of "Pa" Ferguson

This 1924 cartoon revives the old charges against Ferguson. Note the ghostly skirt, a reference to Ferguson's campaign to return to office by getting his wife Miriam "Ma" Ferguson elected to the governorship.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Miriam "Ma" Ferguson | Humanities Texas

Miriam Amanda Wallace wasn't considering a career in politics when she enrolled at Baylor Female College in the 1890s. In 1899, she married James Ferguson and planned to settle down and raise a family. However, Miriam would make history, becoming the first woman governor of Texas.

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Miriam A. Ferguson

Miriam A. Ferguson

The Miriam A. Ferguson Collection chronicles the life of one of Texas’ First Ladies and the first female Governor of Texas. A native of Bell County, Miriam A. Ferguson attended Salado College and Baylor Female College (now The University of Mary Hardin Baylor) before marrying another future Texas Governor, James Ferguson.

The Bell County Museum's collection includes photographs, clothing, correspondence, housewares, and furniture, and was donated in 1991 by James and Barbara Watt.

Bell County Museum

Inaugural of Texas Governorship in 1925.

Inauguration of Ma Ferguson in 1925.