Plans have been unveiled to commemorate the first-ever female US senator in the Welsh town where she was born.

The proposal to create a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon in Llandudno is set to be revealed at August’s National Eisteddfod.

Hughes Cannon was born into a Mormon family in the town on 1 July 1857, emigrating to Salt Lake City, Utah, at the age of three.

She later worked as a doctor and was instrumental in securing voting rights for women in her adopted US state.

In 1896 she was elected as a senator, defeating her own husband at the ballot box.

Historian Wil Aaron, who has researched Hughes Cannon’s life, told the BBC website: “Martha was one of six wives in a polygamous marriage, which might not sound all that feminist, but she seems to have had no difficulty in combining her devout religious beliefs with tireless campaigning for women’s rights.”

“As well as her political achievements, she was an enormous figure in the field of medicine, campaigning for the take-up of mass vaccination, helping to end a state-wide outbreak of smallpox by removing communal cups from public drinking fountains, and improving the provision of education for deaf and blind children.”

He added that Hughes Cannon had largely been forgotten in her birthplace because of religious intolerance.

“The level of resentment towards Mormons in Wales was unbelievable. They were virtually driven into emigration and, once they’d left, their stories were blotted out of history.

“Even though attitudes have changed now, and we’d want to celebrate someone like Martha, that collective memory has been lost, and that is what we’re hoping to restore with her statue.”

Photo: © Utah State Historical Society