Project Gutenberg's The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI, by Various

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Title: The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume VI

Author: Various

Editor: Ida Husted Harper

Release Date: September 21, 2009 [EBook #30051]

Language: English

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Woman Suffrage









Copyright, 1922, by
National American Woman Suffrage Association

MRS. CARRIE CHAPMAN CATT. President of the
International Woman Suffrage Alliance from its founding in 1904 and of
the National American Woman Suffrage Association 1900-1904 and from

Standing in an automobile on the way from the railroad station in New
York after the campaign for ratification of the Federal Suffrage
Amendment was completed by Tennessee. (See page 652.)


President of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance from its founding in 1904 and of the National American Woman Suffrage Association 1900-1904 and from 1915.

Standing in an automobile on the way from the railroad station in New York after the campaign for ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment was completed by Tennessee. (See page 652.)

[Pg iii]



In the preceding volume a full account is given of the forty years' continuous effort to secure an amendment to the Federal Constitution which would confer full suffrage on all the women of the United States possessing the qualifications required of men. Antedating the beginning of this effort by thirty years was the attempt to enfranchise women through the amendment of State constitutions. After 1869 the two movements were contemporaneous, each dependent on the other, the latter a long process but essential in some measure to the success of the former. There is no way by which the progress of the movement for woman suffrage can be so clearly seen as by a comparison of the State chapters in this volume with the State chapters in Volume IV, which closed with 1900. The former show the remarkable development of the organized work for woman suffrage, especially in the last decade, which brought the complete victory.

In Volume IV it was possible to give a résumé of the Laws specifically relating to women and one was sent with each chapter for this volume. The space occupied by the account of the work for the suffrage, however, made it necessary to omit them. It required thousands of words to record the legislation of the last twenty years relating especially to women in some of the States and the large part of it to women in the industries, which they had scarcely entered in 1900. The same is true of child labor. Every State shows a desire for protective legislation. Many States provide for mothers' pensions, a modern tendency. About half of the States now have equal guardianship laws. There is a gradual increase in those enlarging the property and business rights of married women. The "age of consent" and the age for [Pg iv]marriage have been raised in most States where they were too low. In every State for a number of years the large organizations of women have made a determined effort to obtain better laws for women and children and Legislatures have yielded to pressure. In every State as soon as women were enfranchised there was improvement in laws relating to their welfare and that of children.

The Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment went into effect in August, 1920, and the following winter there was a greater amount of advanced legislation in the various States than had taken place in the preceding ten years collectively, and the résumé of existing laws that had been prepared for this volume was soon at least partially obsolete in many of them. A brief statement of Office Holding was incorporated but its only value was in showing that in all States this was almost exclusively limited to "electors." When the Federal Amendment was proclaimed it carried with it eligibility to the offices. In some States it included Jury service but in others it was held that for this special legislation was necessary. In all States the professions and other occupations are open to women the same as to men. In the way of Education every State University admits women, and the vast majority of institutions of learning, except some of a religious character, are co-educational. A few of the large eastern universities still bar their doors but women have all needful opportunities for the higher education. Some professional schools—law, medicine and especially theology—are still closed to women but enough are open to them to satisfy the demand, and the same is true of the technical schools. To meet the lack of space every chapter had to be drastically cut after it was in type.

Women now have in a general sense equality of rights, although in every State they have learned or will learn that this is not literally true and that further effort will be required, but now, as never before, they are equipped for accomplishing it. It will be a long time before they have equality of opportunity in the business and political world but for the majority this will not be needed. Women will find, however, that in the home, in club life and in all lines of religious, philanthropic, educational and civic work the possession of a vote has increased their influence and power beyond measure.

[Pg v]



Position of women in regard to laws, office holding, education, etc.


Early work — Progress of organization — Conventions held, reports and speeches made, activities of the association — Officers and workers — Legislative action — Campaigns — Help of the National Association — Action on ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment — Interest taken by President Wilson, National Committees and party leaders — Celebrations.

[This form is followed in all the State chapters, with names of officers, workers, friends and enemies and many incidents; also results where woman suffrage exists. The chapters are alphabetically arranged, I to XLIX.]


Woman Suffrage in the Territories and the Philippines713

Legislature gives suffrage to women — Privileges to Indian women — Other laws — Women in prohibition campaign — Women's war work.

Congress refuses to let its Legislature control the suffrage — National Suffrage Association protests — Its president, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, at Honolulu — Mrs. Pitman, of Brookline, Mass., holds meetings there — Legislature sends resolution to Congress — Senator John F. Shafroth gets Bill through Congress — Efforts of Hawaiian women with their Legislature.

The Philippines719
The National Suffrage Association demands franchise for their women — Governor General Taft and Archbishop Nozaleda support the demand — The U. S. Congress ignores it — Position of Filipino women — Commissioner's wife describes their efforts for the suffrage.

[Pg vi]

Porto Rico722
Status of suffrage for men — They demand their own Legislature — National Suffrage Association asks that women may share in the suffrage — Senator Shafroth shows that it can not be put into the Bill — Efforts of Porto Rican women with its Legislature.


Great Britain726
Situation as to woman suffrage at commencement of the present century — Status of the Bill in Parliament in the first decade — Premier Campbell-Bannerman advises "pestering" — Strong hostility of Premier Asquith — Beginning of "militancy" — Its effect on the suffrage movement — Mrs. Fawcett's opinion — Constitutional societies repudiate it — Labor party supports woman suffrage — Treachery in Parliament — The Conciliation Bill — Women left out of the Franchise Reform Bill — Deputation to Premier Asquith — Lloyd George's attitude — Speaker Lowther kills Bill — Suffragists go into politics — Great suffrage "pilgrimage" — Outbreak of war — Important war work of the suffrage societies — Coalition Government — Conference Committee on Electoral Reform Bill — Premier Asquith supports Woman Suffrage — Lloyd George becomes Premier — Suffrage clause in Bill gets immense majority in House of Commons — Big fight in House of Lords but goes through — Royal assent given — Two women elected to House of Commons — Oxford University opened to women.


Woman Suffrage in British Colonies752

New Zealand, Australia752

First Woman Suffrage Society in Ontario — The gaining of Woman Suffrage in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Efforts of the Women to secure action from the Legislature of each Province — Victory in Ontario after long struggle — War time Woman Suffrage Act of the Dominion Parliament — Granting of complete suffrage in 1918 — The Legislatures of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia give Provincial suffrage — Quebec refuses — Women of Newfoundland still disfranchised.

South Africa767
The National Parliament persistently declines to enfranchise women — Their strong efforts for the vote — Granted in several of the States — Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, spends several months in South Africa conferring with the women.


[Pg vii]


Woman Suffrage in Many Countries771
The Netherlands783
Greece, Spain, Portugal, Palestine, China, Japan, South and Central America, Mexico802-804


The International Woman Suffrage Alliance805
Desire of Early Leaders — International Council of Women — Miss Anthony and Mrs. Catt call Conference in Washington on International Suffrage Alliance — Ten Countries represented — Proceedings of Conference — Plan of Temporary Organization — Declaration of Principles — Valuable Reports on the Status of Women.

Permanent Organization in Berlin in 1904809

Conference and Congress in Copenhagen in 1906812
Delegates present, addresses, Memorials for Miss Anthony, reports, social entertainments, Badge adopted.

Congress in Amsterdam in 1908817
Welcome of Dr. Aletta Jacobs, president of the National Suffrage Association — Mrs. Catt's president's address — "Militants" present — Entertainments — Victories in Finland and Norway — Jus Suffragii established — A day in Rotterdam.

The First Quinquennial in London828
Mrs. Catt's address — Mrs. Fawcett, president of the British Suffrage Association, speaks, refers to "militants" — Mass meetings in Albert Hall — In touch with Queens — Flag and Hymn selected — Resolutions adopted — Officers elected — Dr. Shaw in the pulpits.

[Pg viii]

Congress in Stockholm838
Honors to Mrs. Catt — Many delegates and eminent guests — Dr. Shaw preaches in State church — Selma Lagerlöf speaks — Growth of Alliance — Non-partisanship declared — Men's International League formed — Beautiful outdoor entertainments — Tributes to Sweden.

Congress in Budapest847
Great number of delegates — Official welcome in Academy of Music — Mrs. Catt's president's address — Dr. Jacobs presents Banner from women of China — Royal Opera House opened for the Congress — Many excursions — "Militant" methods discussed — Resolution on commercialized vice — Activity of Men's League — Rosika Schwimmer, national president, speaks — Officers elected.

Conference in Geneva860
First meeting of Alliance after the World War — Miss Royden preaches in National church — Mrs. Catt uses the War as text for great speech — It brought Woman Suffrage to many countries — Women present from thirty-six, including five members of Parliament — Delegates entertained by the Municipality — Treasurer's report tells of help of United States — Congress votes to continue the Alliance.

Anti-suffrage Manifesto of Nebraska men.

Suffrage Maps626-629

Anthony Memorial BuildingOpp. page 442

[Pg 1]



In 1902 Miss Frances Griffin of Verbena sent to the national suffrage convention the following report as president of the State suffrage association: "Two clubs in Alabama, in Huntsville and Decatur, are auxiliary to the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The State president did some aggressive work within the year, speaking in many different towns before women's clubs and at parlor meetings. She devoted much time to work of this character in Montgomery, hoping to bring to bear sufficient influence upon members of the Constitutional Convention to secure some concessions for women citizens. The results were bitterly disappointing, for it not only refused to grant suffrage to tax-paying women but it gave to the husbands of tax-payers the right to vote upon their wives' property! Women in the larger towns are taking an interest in municipal and educational affairs. Some have been placed on advisory boards in State institutions, such as the Girls' Industrial School, the Boys' Reform School and others. All this means a gradual advance for the suffrage sentiment, a general modifying of the anti-sentiment."

There were also short reports for 1903 and 1904, which, while showing no practical, tangible results of the efforts of that earnest pioneer worker, are interesting as evidences of the backward, unprogressive spirit against which the women of Alabama have had to contend. These reports mark the end of the first period of suffrage activity in the State, which had been maintained by a few devoted women. The new era was ushered in by the organization in Selma in 1910 of an Equal Suffrage[Pg 2] Association which was the beginning of an aggressive, tireless fight. Miss Mary Partridge, after seeing the defeat of a constitutional amendment for prohibition in Alabama despite the earnest but ineffectual efforts of the women who besieged the polls begging the men to vote for it, decided that the time was ripe for a woman suffrage organization and wrote for advice to Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, who answered in part: "I cannot express to you how happy I am that you are willing to begin the work in your State where very little has been done for suffrage because of the great conservatism among the women of the South. I am very glad if they are now beginning to realize their absolutely helpless and unprotected position. We have the temperance agitation to thank for arousing a great many women over all the country...."

Shortly after the receipt of this letter Miss Partridge sent out a "call" in the Selma papers and on March 29, 1910, Mrs. Frederick Watson, Mrs. F. T. Raiford, Mrs. F. G. DuBose, Mrs. F. M. Hatch and Miss Partridge met at the Carnegie Library and organized the association. This action was reported to Dr. Shaw and she extended the greetings of the National Association with "thanks and appreciation."

The Birmingham Equal Suffrage Association was the outgrowth of a small group of women who had been holding study meetings in the home of Mrs. W. L. Murdoch. The enthusiasm and earnest conviction resulting from them found expression in a "call" for a woman suffrage organization and on Oct. 22, 1911, the association was formed at a meeting held in the Chamber of Commerce, where the following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Pattie Ruffner Jacobs; first vice-president, Miss Ethel Armes; second, Mrs. W. L. Murdoch; third, Mrs. W. N. Wood; corresponding secretary, Miss Helen J. Benners; recording secretary, Mrs. J. E. Frazier; treasurer, Mrs. A. J. Bowron.

Special mention is made of these two societies because they constituted the nucleus on which the State organization was formed. An urgent "call" was sent out by the officers of the Birmingham society to "all men and women who wish to further the cause of woman suffrage to unite in a State organization at[Pg 3] a meeting in Birmingham Oct. 9, 1912." Selma sent six delegates who met with the Birmingham suffragists at the Parish House of the Church of the Advent, where the Alabama Equal Suffrage Association was organized and a constitution and by-laws adopted. Mrs. Jacobs was elected president; Miss Partridge, first vice-president; Mrs. Raiford, second; Mrs. Murdoch, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Julian Parke, recording secretary; Mrs. C. M. Spencer, treasurer; Miss Partridge, State organizer.[2]

The following delegates were appointed to attend the national convention in Philadelphia in November; Mrs. Jacobs, Miss Amelia Worthington, Mrs. O. R. Hundley, Mrs. DuBose, Miss Partridge, Mrs. Chappel Cory. The new State organization affiliated at once with the National Association.

The first annual convention was held in Selma Jan. 29, 1913, with twenty-five representatives from Selma, Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery. Mrs. Jacobs was re-elected president and a splendid program of constructive work was outlined for the ensuing year. The association was represented at the meeting of the International Suffrage Alliance held in Budapest in June of this year by Mrs. T. G. Bush of Birmingham.

The second State convention, held in Huntsville Feb. 5, 1914, was made notable by the inspiring presence of three of Alabama's pioneer suffragists—Mrs. Annie Buel Drake Robertson, Mrs. Humes, and Mrs. Virginia Clay Clopton. The following local societies were represented by their presidents, named in the order in which they were organized: Selma, Mrs. Parke; Birmingham, Mrs. Hundley; Montgomery, Mrs. Sallie B. Powell; Huntsville, Mrs. Clopton; Cullman, Mrs. Ignatius Pollak; Greensboro, Miss S. Anne Hobson; Tuscaloosa, Mrs. Losey; Vinemont, Miss Mary Munson; Pell City, Miss Pearl Still; Coal City, Mrs. J. W. Moore; Mobile, Miss Eugenie Marks. Mrs. Jacobs was re-elected despite her wish to retire from office and her report of the past year told of a great amount of work done by all the members of the board.

In January, 1915, a resolution to submit a woman suffrage[Pg 4] amendment to the State constitution to the voters was for the first time introduced in the Legislature. It was referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections in the House and the Legislature afterwards adjourned until July. In the meantime the women worked to secure pledges from the members of the committee to report the bill favorably and 14 of the 16 gave their promise to do so. Instead of this it was "postponed indefinitely." The women did not rest until they persuaded the House to compel a report and then a hearing was granted to them. Among those who worked in the Legislature were the legislative chairman, Mrs. O. R. Hundley; Mrs. Jacobs, the State president; Mrs. Chappel Cory, president United Daughters of the Confederacy; Miss Mollie Dowd, representing the wage earners, and Miss Lavinia Engle of Maryland, field organizer for the National Association. The bill came to a vote late in the session, when Representative Joe Green, who had asked for the privilege of introducing it, spoke and voted against it. The vote stood 52 ayes, 43 noes, a three-fifths majority being necessary to submit an amendment. As the Legislature meets only once in four years this was the only action ever taken on a State amendment.

At the State convention, held in Tuscaloosa in February of this year, reports were made from 19 auxiliary branches and the organization of 23 non-auxiliary branches was reported. The address of Dr. Shaw, the national president, gave a great impetus to suffrage work in the State. Mrs. Jacobs and the other officers were re-elected, except that Mrs. Frederick Koenig was made auditor.

On Feb. 9, 1916, the State convention was held in Gadsden and the evidences of the growth of the suffrage movement were most heartening, 26 local associations sending reports. Mrs. Parke was chosen for president, Mrs. Jacobs having been elected auditor of the National Association.

The State convention was held in Birmingham Feb. 12-13, 1917, and the officers re-elected except that Miss Worthington was made recording secretary. It was followed by a "suffrage" school conducted by representatives of the National Association, who generously gave the valuable help that a course of study[Pg 5] under such able instructors afforded. Over 200 pupils attended. It was reported that there were now 81 suffrage clubs in the State, which were being merged into political organizations with the county as a unit, and there were chairmen in 55 of the 67 counties. There were also chairmen in nine of the ten congressional districts. A paid organizer had been at work. State headquarters were maintained on the principal street in Selma and a bi-weekly press bulletin issued which was used by thirty-four newspapers, while eight published weekly suffrage columns. The Birmingham News got out a suffrage edition. Four travelling suffrage libraries were kept in circulation. Automobile parades had been given, a mass meeting held in Birmingham and street meetings in every part of the State.

The State convention was held in Selma May 7-8, 1918. The reports made by local and State officers showed that the suffragists had lent themselves and all their machinery of organization to every form of war work. Mrs. Jacobs had been appointed by Mr. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury, State chairman of the Woman's Liberty Loan Committee. Suffrage work was in no wise suspended but the more active forms of propaganda were held in abeyance. The Federal Amendment was endorsed in no uncertain terms and the following resolution was adopted: "Whereas, the Senate will soon vote on the Federal Suffrage Amendment, therefore, be it resolved, by the suffragists of Alabama assembled in their sixth annual convention, that the U. S. Senators, John H. Bankhead and Oscar W. Underwood, be, and they hereby are, earnestly petitioned to forward the march of democracy, to carry out the policy of the Democratic administration and to represent truly the wishes of the women of their own State by supporting this amendment and voting for it when it comes up in the Senate."

It was reported that the State association had energetically cooperated with the National in all its suggestions and plans and notwithstanding the efforts made to raise money for the purposes of the war it had collected over $10,000 for State suffrage work and more than paid its pledge of $1,000 to the national treasury. Thousands of copies of U. S. Senator Shafroth's speech, the gift of the Leslie Suffrage Commission, had been mailed to the[Pg 6] rural voters. The clergy had been requested to speak on woman suffrage in their sermons on "mothers' day" and many responded. Miss Lola Trax, the State organizer, reported a chairman in all but two counties. Each of the State's representatives in Congress had been interviewed. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, the national president, had lectured in seven places and Mrs. Walter McNab Miller, national vice-president, in five. The petitions for the Federal Amendment were being circulated.

The Alabama delegates to the national convention in March, 1919, learned while there that the Federal Amendment was likely to be passed by Congress in time for action to be taken on its ratification by the Legislature of the State, which had been called to meet July 8. They went before the National Board and secured the promise of definite help, which was to consist of literature, press work and organizers, and certain obligations were undertaken on the part of the State. The National Association did more even than it promised and the State suffragists made heroic efforts to live up to their part of the contract.

On May 1 the campaign was under way although the amendment had not yet been submitted. A Ratification Committee was appointed by the president consisting of Mrs. John D. McNeel of Birmingham, chairman; Mrs. W. D. Nesbit of Birmingham, vice-chairman; Mrs. Bibb Graves of Montgomery, resident member, and Mrs. Jacobs, ex-officio member. County chairmen were appointed in 53 counties and a Men's Committee of One Hundred was organized. Headquarters were equipped with some paid and much faithful volunteer help and the distribution of literature and press work was started. Early in the month Mrs. Albert McMahon, Miss Edna Beveridge and Miss Josephine Miller, organizers, were sent by the National Association, to which group Miss Mary Parke London of Birmingham was added and contributed her services throughout the entire campaign as an organizer and lobbyist. Press work was systematically carried on, some of the material sent from national headquarters but most of it originating in Birmingham. Speakers covered all important public meetings to which access could be had; Governor Thomas E. Kilby and other prominent men were interviewed and a poll was taken of the legislators before they[Pg 7] convened.[3] At the joint hearing, which was arranged almost immediately after the Legislature met, John C. Anderson, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; W. D. Nesbitt, State chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee; ex-Senator Frank S. White; Judge S. D. Weakley, legal adviser of the Governor, and others spoke for ratification.

Ratification. The Federal Amendment was submitted by Congress June 4 and the Legislature met July 8. For days before the vote was taken it occupied almost exclusive attention at the capital, many of the newspapers saying that the opposition were placing the State and the Democratic party in a grave position. The Republican party was claiming credit for the submission and Democratic leaders felt it to be very necessary that the Alabama Legislature should ratify. On July 12 President Wilson telegraphed to Governor Kilby as follows: "I hope you will pardon me if I express my very earnest hope that the suffrage amendment to the constitution of the United States may be ratified by the great State of Alabama. It would constitute a very happy augury for the future and add greatly to the strength of a movement which, in my judgment, is based upon the highest consideration both of justice and expedience."

On the same date Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels sent a long message to Mrs. McNeel, chairman of the Ratification Committee, and a multigraphed copy to each member of the Senate, setting forth the merits of the amendment and saying: "The South has nothing to fear from the amendment but it would be a loss to southern chivalry and southern prestige if our section of the country halted this great reform. I earnestly hope that the people of Alabama will take the lead of southern States east of the Mississippi and follow the wise leadership of Texas[Pg 8] and Missouri and other progressive commonwealths. There is no doubt of its ratification. Let Alabama lead and not follow." Homer S. Cummings, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and other prominent Democrats added their earnest appeals to the Senate for favorable action.

The ratifying resolution was introduced in the Senate by John A. Rogers and in the House by W. H. Shaw. The date set for the vote in the Senate was July 17 and a hearing before a joint meeting of Senate and House was granted on the 16th. Women journeyed to Montgomery from nearly every county to plead for the amendment but its defeat had already been planned. The vote was 13 ayes, 19 noes.

The House did not act on the measure until September 17 and during the interim every possible pressure was made on its members to obtain a favorable vote. President Wilson sent an urgent telegram to Speaker H. P. Merritt. Chairman Nesbit convened the State Democratic Committee on August 21 to consider the amendment. It adopted a resolution by a vote of 20 to 13, which endorsed the favorable action of the National Committee the preceding May and said: "We pledge our support in every proper way to accomplish the result desired." Mrs. George Bass, chairman of the Women's National Democratic Committee, went to Montgomery for this meeting and remained several days working for the amendment. The Central Labor Union of that city at a mass meeting passed a resolution asking the Legislature to "take steps immediately to ratify the amendment." A majority of the House were pledged to vote in favor of ratification but after it had been defeated in the Senate they considered it useless to keep their promise and the vote was 31 ayes, 60 noes.

The Governor and Lieutenant Governor Nathan L. Miller maintained a neutral position. The mainspring of the opposition from beginning to end was U. S. Senator Oscar W. Underwood. Senator John H. Bankhead was equally opposed. Both Senators had voted against the submission of the Federal Amendment and of the ten members in the Lower House only one, William B. Oliver of Tuscaloosa, had voted in favor.[4][Pg 9]

Because of the campaign no convention took place in 1919. On April 8-9, 1920, the last one of the State Equal Suffrage Association, as such, was held in Montgomery. A large "pioneer luncheon" was given in the Exchange Hotel and a beautiful set of silver baskets was presented to Mrs. Jacobs. The sessions were held in the Senate chamber of the historic Capitol and by unanimous consent the association was merged into the State League of Women Voters. Mrs. A. J. Bowron was elected chairman.

After the amendment was finally ratified by the necessary 36 States there was a victory parade in Birmingham in which 1,500 took part. A brass band headed 36 automobiles, each a mass of banners, flags and flowers, labeled in the order in which the States ratified. Mrs. Jacobs and the pioneers led the marchers, followed by professional and business women, the League of Women Voters, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and other organizations. It ended with addresses and singing in Capitol Park.


[1] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Pattie Ruffner Jacobs, eight years president of the State Equal Suffrage Association, three years auditor of the National Association and now secretary of the National League of Women Voters; also to Miss Helen J. Benners, research chairman of the State League of Women Voters.

[2] Those who held office in the State association during the next eight years were as follows: Mrs. Milton Humes, Mrs. Frederick D. Losey, Mrs. Parke, Mrs. Angus Taylor, Mrs. J. D. Wilkins, Mrs. W. J. Chambers, Miss Annie Joe Coates, Mrs. John Lusk, Mrs. Leon Weil.

[3] On June 17, 1919, Mrs. James S. Pinckard called a meeting of women of wealth and social standing at her home in Montgomery. With the help of a constitutional lawyer they organized the Southern Women's Anti-Ratification League, with Mrs. Pinckard chairman, Mrs. Charles Henderson, vice-chairman; Mrs. W. T. Sheehan, secretary; Mrs. Marie Bankhead Owen (daughter of the Senator), chairman of the Legislative Committee. Members of the Executive Committee were Mesdames Charles S. Thigpen, Hails Janney, Jack Thorington, J. A. Winter, Ormond Somerville, W. J. Hannah, Clayton T. Tullis, J. Winter Thorington, E. Perry Thomas, William M. E. Ellsberry, J.H. Naftel, W. B. Kelly and Miss Mae Harris. They sent a memorial to the Legislature which began: "We look with confidence to you to protect us from this device of northern Abolitionists." They "worked night and day, personally and by letter," and, after the defeat of ratification in the Alabama Legislature, Mrs. Pinckard and others transferred their efforts to those of Louisiana and Tennessee, where they "lobbied" for many days.

[4] Among the men in the State who were especially active and helpful were: Colonel Bibb Graves and John H. Wallace, of Montgomery; L. B. Musgrove, of Jasper; Judge W. R. Chapman, of Dothan; H. H. Patterson, of Atmore; John W. Abercrombie, of Anniston; John D. McNeel, Phil Painter, Ex-Governor B. B. Comer, James Weatherly, Fred M. Jackson and John R. Hornaday of Birmingham.

Among those especially active in opposition were: Congressman John H. Bankhead, Jr., of Jasper; C. Brooks Smith, Judge John R. Tyson and Ray Rushton, of Montgomery; R. A. Mitchell, of Gadsden; Wiley Tunstall and Len F. Greer, of Anniston; Judge Joe Evans, Martin Calhoun and Joe Green, of Selma; W. W. Brandon, of Tuscaloosa; John D. Leigh, of Brewton; Emmett O'Neal and E. D. Smith, of Birmingham.

[Pg 10]



Since this chapter is to commence with the year 1900, this will be where Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt and Miss Mary Garrett Hay, chairman and member of the Organization Committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association left off in the spring of 1899 after they had spent a month laboring with the Territorial Legislature. They succeeded in getting a bill through the Lower House by a vote of two to one but by the deciding vote of Morris Goldwater of Prescott, president of the Council or Upper House, it was sent to a committee and prevented from coming to a vote. The hand of the "boss" of the saloon-keepers was clearly recognized in the game that was played.

Undaunted Mrs. Catt and Miss Hay came back in 1900 and organized the first full-fledged suffrage association in the Territory, with Mrs. Pauline O'Neill, wife of that staunch suffrage friend, the gallant Rough Rider, William O'Neill, as its president; Mrs. Lida P. Robinson, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Frances W. Munds, recording secretary, Mrs. Porter of Phoenix, treasurer. All were inexperienced and the society did not flourish and although 1900 was election year no pre-election pledges were obtained. A Territorial Legislature can extend suffrage to women without referring the question to the voters. A bill for this purpose was introduced in 1901 through a committee of women headed by Mrs. Robinson but it received little support and after creating the usual amount of excitement failed to pass either House.

During the following year suffrage work seemed to lapse and the organization would have died a natural death but for the will of Mrs. Robinson, who called a convention to meet in Phoenix[Pg 11] in the spring of 1902, where she was elected president with Mrs. Munds corresponding and recording secretary and Mrs. Ada Irving treasurer. Under Mrs. Robinson's guidance a list was made of all who had previously expressed an interest and they were notified that something was doing in the suffrage line. Dr. Frances Woods of Kansas was sent by the National Association and made a tour of the Territory which was remarkable for the haste in which it was made and the results obtained. She organized clubs in every county and set the women to work obtaining pre-election pledges, with the result that when the Legislature convened in the spring of 1903 it lacked only a few votes of having a majority in both Houses pledged to suffrage. Mrs. Robinson, Dr. Woods and Mrs. Munds constituted themselves a committee to work with the members and succeeded in getting a woman suffrage bill through the Legislature by a two-thirds vote. The rejoicing was short, for the Governor, Alexander O. Brodie, an appointee of President Roosevelt, vetoed the bill. Representatives Kean St. Charles, a newspaper man, and Morrison, a labor leader, were most active in its behalf, while the scheme that finally sent it down to defeat was concocted, it was said, by Joseph H. Kibbey, a lawyer of Phoenix. He was the leader of the Republican minority in the Council and traded its solid Republican vote for one needed vote on another bill, with the understanding that the Governor would veto the suffrage bill.

Governor Brodie afterwards resigned and Mr. Kibbey, the arch-enemy of woman suffrage, was appointed in his place. Mrs. Robinson continued propaganda through a little paper which she published and distributed herself throughout the Territory. This well-edited paper kept alive the favorable sentiment and through it the leading men and women suffragists in Arizona were in touch with each other. In the spring of 1905 Mrs. Mary C. C. Bradford of Denver was sent by the National Association and spent several weeks working with the Legislature but received practically no cooperation from the local women, as it was conceded that the situation was hopeless while Kibbey was Governor. Mrs. Robinson moved from the Territory and the organization was without a head. It languished for about three[Pg 12] years and its enemies sang cheerful requiems for the dead. The Legislature that met in 1907 had a peaceful time as far as women were concerned for no suffrage bill was introduced.

In January, 1909, Miss Laura Clay of Kentucky, an officer of the National Association, came to Arizona at her own expense. The last Territorial Legislature was then in session and Miss Clay labored long and faithfully with it but the resident women were apathetic and gave her little assistance. The bill that she had introduced failed in both Houses, the members availing themselves of the excuse that Arizona women did not want suffrage or they would make some organized effort to get it. Miss Clay had the right kind of spirit and gathering a faithful few together they worked out a plan whereby the first really efficient suffrage organization was effected. This plan was the same as the political parties in the Territory used, namely, a State chairman with a chairman in each county and a chairman for each local club. A convention was called in Phoenix under Miss Clay's direction and Mrs. Munds was made Territorial chairman. During the year statehood for Arizona began to loom up and vigorous work was done for that event. The National Association sent the very woman needed, Miss Laura Gregg of Kansas. She made an extensive tour of the Territory and by the time Congress had passed the Enabling Act in June, 1910, it was thoroughly organized with suffrage clubs in every county and in all of the larger towns and cities, with a membership of about 3,000 men and women.

Strenuous effort was made to have a majority of the members of the Constitutional Convention pledged to vote for a suffrage plank but it succeeded with only about a third of them. It met in October, 1910, with eleven Republican and thirty-three Democratic members. Through the demands of organized labor backed by a heavy labor vote a very progressive constitution was written. Miss Gregg and Mrs. Munds struggled with the delegates during its entire session to have a full, partial or conditional woman suffrage clause incorporated but to no avail. Members who proudly proclaimed themselves the only original "progressives" were far too timid to put anything so "radical" as woman suffrage in the constitution for fear that the voters would not accept[Pg 13] it, and yet those same men wrote into it the initiative and referendum, recall of judges and many other far more radical measures and it was adopted by an overwhelming majority. It was plain that a measure was deemed radical or not according to the voting power behind it. The Republicans were in a minority and only two voted for the suffrage clause, although there were enough Democratic pledges to have carried it with the solid Republican support. The Republicans were for a "safe and sane" constitution, something like the one adopted at the same time by New Mexico, under which women never could get suffrage by State process. One Democrat who offered "to do and die for it" in the convention was Senator Fred Colter of Apache County.

Not at all discouraged by the defeat the women, now aroused and interested, began as soon as the constitution was accepted by the voters and statehood was effected to get ready for the first State election, as now it was necessary to have an amendment submitted by the Legislature and accepted by the electors. Headquarters were established in the house of Mrs. Munds at Prescott and a constant stream of literature and correspondence went out in an effort to elect suffragists to the first State Legislature. The men, however, were so pleased with the members of the Constitutional Convention that a little thing like their voting against woman suffrage did not matter and every one who was a candidate for anything was elected, some to the Legislature and others to the various State offices. George W. P. Hunt, who was president of the convention and had vigorously opposed the suffrage plank, was elected the first Governor of the State. He did recommend in his message to the Legislature that it submit a woman suffrage amendment to the voters. Senator John Hughes, son of former Governor and Mrs. L. C. Hughes, who had done so much to obtain woman suffrage in early territorial days, prepared and introduced such a measure but it failed in both Houses. The Legislature was 90 per cent. Democratic.

It was then determined to use the initiative and collect the requisite number of names on a petition that would compel the Legislature to submit the question. Women in every county volunteered to get these signatures, fifty or sixty altogether, and[Pg 14] did the drudgery of canvassing until the required number of signatures were obtained.

After a year's continuous educational work, in September, 1912, the National Association was notified that Arizona was ready for the final contest and asked to send Miss Gregg. She came and again campaigned the State and through her efforts every labor organization pledged its support. Mrs. Alice Park of Palo Alto, California, came at her own expense and took charge of the distribution of literature. Mrs. Munds went to Phoenix and opened headquarters in the Adams Hotel and ten weeks were spent in a most strenuous campaign. The National Association contributed Miss Gregg's salary and expenses, nearly $1,000, and $200 in cash. The rest of the campaign fund was raised in Arizona with the exception of voluntary contributions from suffrage organizations in other States. Dr. Shaw came and spoke for a week in the principal cities, making a tremendous impression. The press with one or two exceptions was favorable and gave generous space. The press work was in charge of Miss Sally Jacobs and Mrs. Maybelle Craig of Phoenix. State Senator H. A. Davis did splendid campaign work and loyal men and women too numerous to mention gave freely of their time and money.

On November 5 the amendment received 13,442 ayes, 6,202 noes, a majority of more than two to one. Every county was carried. The vote was small, as most Mexicans were disfranchised by an educational requirement.

The campaign was conducted without parades or demonstrations of any kind and the saloon-keepers, not realizing the strength of the suffragists, paid no attention to them until the closing days, then suddenly woke up and put forth strong efforts to defeat them but they were too well organized. The campaign closed with no deficit on the books. Later a League of Women Voters was formed and Mrs. M. T. Phelps of Phoenix was elected chairman.

The first State Legislature completely revised the civil and criminal codes of Arizona and without any demand on the part of the women incorporated some excellent laws for women and[Pg 15] children. Since then others have been added, partly through the efforts of women legislators.

Ratification. Women have taken so active a part and have been so generally accepted in the political life of the State that it caused scarcely a ripple of excitement when a special session of the Legislature was called by Governor Thomas E. Campbell for the purpose of ratifying the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment. It convened at noon Feb. 12, 1920, and adjourned at 9:30 p. m. of the same day. The resolution for ratification was introduced jointly by the four women members and passed both Houses without a dissenting vote. Protests from Mrs. Mabel G. Millard and Mrs. Frances Williams of the Iowa and Virginia Associations Opposed to Woman Suffrage were listened to in the Senate with good-natured amusement.

In the second Legislature of the new State, the first after women were enfranchised, Mrs. Frances W. Munds of Prescott served as Senator and Mrs. Rachel Berry of St. Johns as Representative. The third had in the Lower House Mrs. Rosa McKay of Globe, Mrs. Theodora Marsh of Nogales and Mrs. Pauline O'Neill of Phoenix. The fourth had Mrs. McKay and Mrs. H. H. Westover of Yuma.

About ten times as many women as men are teachers in the public schools.


[5] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Frances W. Munds, president of the State Woman Suffrage Association until women were enfranchised and then elected State Senator.

[Pg 16]



There was little general suffrage activity in Arkansas before 1911; perhaps the only specific work after 1900 was an occasional article written by Mrs. Chester Jennings of Little Rock and published in various papers in the State. She was called "the keeper of the light." Arkansas was not affiliated with the National American Association prior to 1913, there was only correspondence between individual suffragists and national officers.

In January, 1911, the Political Equality League was organized in Little Rock. This organization came about indirectly as a result of an article written by Mrs. D. D. Terry of this city and published on the front page of the Arkansas Gazette, the largest paper in the State. It was in answer to a scathing criticism of women by another paper for attending the trial of a child victim and was a demand that the suffrage should be given to women.

Immediately following this occurrence Mrs. J. W. Markwell called a public meeting in one of the Methodist churches to discuss this question. She was chairman and Mrs. Rice, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. L. B. Leigh, Mrs. Minnie Rutherford Fuller and members of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the College Women's Club, almost to a unit suffragists, were among the prominent women present. They were deeply stirred and as the Legislature was in session they asked for a hearing. This was granted by the Judiciary Committee and they were courteously received, as they stated their desire. They went from the hearing into one of the committee rooms of the Capitol and decided to form a woman suffrage society. The same women with a few others met in the home of Mrs. Markwell that[Pg 17] evening. Miss Julia McAlmont Warner was made chairman and the following officers were elected: President, Miss Mary Fletcher; vice-president, Mrs. W. P. Hutton; secretary, Mrs. Jennings; treasurer, Miss Warner, and the name adopted was Woman's Political Equality League. It started with $20 in the treasury—of which $3 were paid by men—Dr. J. W. Markwell, Mr. Boyer and Clio Harper.

The semi-monthly meetings were first held in the public library, one in the afternoon, the other at night, so that working women, teachers and men might attend. The president soon went to Europe and the work passed into the capable hands of Mrs. Hutton. One of the most valuable helpers was Rabbi L. Witt, who always attended and helped out many a program. Leagues were formed in Hot Springs and Pine Bluff and these were the only three prior to 1913 when a State association was organized.

In October, 1913, Mrs. O. F. Ellington was elected president of the Little Rock League. At that time it was holding its meetings in the Chamber of Commerce and few people would climb two flights of stairs to hear a subject discussed in which there was little interest, so the executive board secured the parlors of the City Hall. If the women could accomplish as much in the offices of the City Hall as they did in the parlors no fair-minded person would have objected to their occupancy. Important local, State and national affairs were studied and discussed and prominent State and national speakers addressed that eager body of women.

Under the auspices of the league the first national suffrage May day was observed in Little Rock with speeches from the steps of the Old State House. Seventy-five letters were sent out to prominent men in the State, asking them to make five-minute speeches and after ten days Dr. L. P. Gibson, the well-known physician, was the first to accept. The next morning the Arkansas Gazette told that Dr. Gibson of Little Rock would be one of the speakers and then every man who could arrange to be in town that day accepted his invitation. Among the women who spoke were Mrs. George Pratho, Mrs. Fuller, Mrs. C. E. Rose, Mrs. T. T. Cotnam, Miss Julia Warner, Miss Josephine Miller, Mrs. George E. Cunningham, Mrs. Terry, Mrs. S. S. Wassel,[Pg 18] Mrs. E. W. Gibb, Mrs. W. G. Whipple, Mrs. A. Marinana. The intensely interested crowd stood two hours and a half earnestly listening to these leading citizens asking the right of suffrage for Arkansas women.

It had been the custom to disband during the summer months but the summer of 1914 the Political Equality League opened a class for the purpose of studying all the questions of the day and learning something about speaking extemporaneously. In response to a call from the president, Little Rock and Hot Springs sent representatives to a conference held in the former city for the purpose of devising ways and means of forming a State association. An organization committee was formed of the following: Mrs. Ellington, Miss Fletcher, Miss Mary House, Mrs. Rose, Mrs. Leigh, Mrs. Jennings, all of Little Rock; Miss Adele Johnson of Hot Springs. In October the State Woman Suffrage Association was formed in Little Rock at Hotel Marion, with six leagues represented by the following presidents: Hot Springs, Miss Mary Spargo; Pine Bluff, Mrs. L. K. Land; Augusta, Mrs. Rufus Fitzhugh; Malvern, Mrs. Mary Jackson; Hardy, Mrs. S. A. Turner; Fayetteville, Mrs. LeRoy Palmer. The officers elected were, President, Mrs. Ellington; first vice-president, Mrs. Fuller, Magazine; second, Mrs. N. F. Drake, Fayetteville; corresponding secretary, Mrs. P. J. Henry, Hot Springs; recording secretary, Mrs. Cunningham, Little Rock; treasurer, Mrs. Cotnam, Little Rock.

In October, 1915, the first annual meeting took place in Little Rock, eleven counties being represented, and this board was re-elected. The principal business of this convention was to lay plans for the legislative work early in the following year.

In October, 1916, the second annual convention was held in Pine Bluff, its principal work being to devise ways and means of raising money for continuing the organization of the State. Mrs. Cotman presented a feasible plan for raising money which was accepted by the convention. New officers elected were second vice-president, Mrs. J. D. Head, Texarkana; third vice-president, Mrs. J. H. Reynolds, Conway; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Maud O. Clemmons; recording secretary, Mrs. G. D. Henderson, both of Little Rock. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of[Pg 19] the National American Suffrage Association, had come to Little Rock in April and spoken most acceptably to a large audience. She held a conference with the State officers and later the association financed a two-months' campaign for organization. Miss Gertrude Watkins and Miss Josephine Miller of Little Rock gave their services for their expenses only and organized sixty committees.[7]

The new Primary law was almost equal to the full suffrage, as where one party is so largely in the majority the primaries decide the elections, and it gave a great impetus to the movement throughout the country, especially in the southern States.

After the Primary bill passed the suffragists re-organized along the lines of the State Democratic party. Where it had a State Central Committee they had an Equal Suffrage State Central Committee and so on through the organization. The object was to teach women how to work through and with political parties but they were not fully enfranchised and could not give up their suffrage organization, therefore they held together on semi-political but non-partisan lines until such time as they could go into the various parties.

At the close of Mrs. Ellington's administration in August, 1917, seventy-eight papers in the State were handling news items each week. Eighty-five organizations had been completed. The Primary bill had been passed by the Legislature and thousands of women had assessed themselves and paid their poll tax of one dollar a year preparatory to voting in the spring elections. Under the law the assessor can put this tax only on male citizens and the women in asking for the Primary suffrage voluntarily assumed it, as no one can vote until it is paid. This was held to be legal by Attorney General John D. Arbuckle.

Mrs. Ellington left Arkansas on August 1 and Mrs. Cotnam was elected by the State Board to take charge of affairs. On November 28 she was elected chairman of the State Suffrage Central[Pg 20] Committee upon the receipt of Mrs. Ellington's formal resignation. Mrs. Cotnam appeared before the State Farmers' Union in August and secured a unanimous endorsement of woman suffrage and in September at the meeting of its executive committee she secured a resolution calling on Arkansas Senators and Representatives to vote for the Federal Amendment. She went to New York City in September to take part in the State suffrage campaign. After six weeks she returned to Little Rock, where the great victory won in New York was celebrated at a luncheon in the Marion Hotel. Governor Charles H. Brough was a speaker and prophesied a similar victory in Arkansas.

Dr. Shaw visited Arkansas for the first time on April 3, 1918, and spoke to an immense audience. She came under the auspices of the National Council of Defense, as chairman of the Woman's Committee, but she won many friends for suffrage and the sincere admiration of all.

Active work to assure the writing of woman suffrage in the new State constitution culminated at the first annual meeting of the Equal Suffrage Central Committee on April 2, 1918, when a close organization covering the State was perfected. At this meeting Mrs. Cotnam was re-elected chairman; Mrs. C. T. Drennen of Hot Springs first vice-chairman; Mrs. Stella Brizzolara of Fort Smith second vice-chairman; Mrs. Frank W. Gibb, secretary; Mrs. R. W. Walker of Little Rock, treasurer. The National American Association contributed $1,675 to the campaign. The constitutional convention met the first Monday in July and the suffrage clause was adopted on the third day of the session. Only one man spoke and finally voted against this clause but it was not acceptable to the majority until amended to make jury service for women optional. The suffragists were consulted and agreed because it was plain that a refusal might cause a long drawn out debate. The constitution was defeated at a special election on Dec. 13, 1918, but it was generally conceded that the opposition caused by the suffrage amendment was negligible.

The first State-wide Primary election in which women had the right to vote was held in May, 1918; between 40,000 and 50,000 voted and all papers commented on the intelligence of the new[Pg 21] electors. The State Democratic convention met in Little Rock on July 10 and for the first time women delegates were present from many counties. Fifty were seated and more were present in proportion to their representation than were men. They attended in force all minor committee meetings and controlled the action of some of these committees. The Arkansas Gazette of July 11 commented: "It may safely be said that nothing was put over on them by the wily politicians. There wasn't a chance—not a chance in the world." There were women on the platform, the resolutions and all prominent committees. The suffrage plank, as written by the women, was unanimously adopted and for the first time a woman was elected member of the State Central Committee, Mrs. Brizzolara. The one appointed as a member of the Democratic Women's National Committee was Mrs. Head, chairman of her congressional district for the suffrage organization.

On January 14 resolutions were introduced in the Senate by Senator Lee Cazort and the House by Representative J. D. Doyle, memorializing the Senate of the United States to submit the Federal Amendment. They passed unanimously and later were read into the Congressional Record by Senator W. F. Kirby.

Ratification. As soon as the Federal Amendment passed, letters were sent to legislators asking them to agree to a call for a special session. In less than one week answers were received from a majority expressing willingness and even eagerness to hold the ratification session. Many offered to pay their own expenses and waive the regular per diem. With this support in hand a committee of fifty women went to the State House and asked Governor Brough to call a special session. This he agreed to do and set the date for July 28. While the suffragists were never in doubt of ratification they were genuinely surprised to find a few real enemies in the House and to hear some of the moss-grown arguments of 1911. The Senate ratified by a vote of 29 to two and the House by 74 to 15. Henry Ponder of Lawrence county introduced the resolution in the Senate and said he believed his children would be prouder of that act of his than of anything else he might ever do. An identical resolution was introduced in the House by Representatives Riggs, Joe[Pg 22] Joiner, Carl Held, Neil Bohlinger and J. D. Doyle. The Senate resolution passed first and went over to the House. The two Senators who voted against it were W. L. Ward, Lee county, and W. H. Latimer, Sevier county. Many women came from over the State to this special session and filled the galleries.

On Dec. 3, 1919, at the second annual meeting the Equal Suffrage Central Committee was merged into a State League of Women Voters and Mrs. Cotnam was elected chairman.

While the suffragists were working for the vote they confined their organized effort to that one measure but it is significant that the same Legislature that passed the Primary bill, gave women the right to practice law and provided for a Girls' Industrial School; that of 1915 removed all legal disabilities of married women.

Miss Josephine Miller and Miss Gertrude Watkins of Little Rock are on the staff of national organizers and Mrs. Cotnam has served as instructor in suffrage schools and also as a speaker in twenty States.

Legislative Action: 1911. In January Representatives Grant of Newport and Whittington of Hot Springs introduced an equal suffrage resolution in the House. It was not initiated by the suffragists and apparently not introduced to advance woman suffrage, as it was said to contain a "joker." Nevertheless, when it became known that the bill had been introduced they appealed to Representative Hearst of Fayetteville, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, for a hearing. On the day and hour that it had been promised Mrs. Chester Jennings, Mrs. J. W. Markwell, Miss Julia Warner, Mrs. Rutherford Fuller and Mrs. D. D. Terry went to the Capitol but were unable to find either Mr. Hearst or his committee. On March 11, however, the committee met at the Marion Hotel, as it was customary to hold committee meetings at night in the hotel, and a hearing was granted to the women. Miss Olive Gatlin (now Mrs. Leigh) and Mrs. Fuller made excellent speeches which seemed to make an impression. Later the suffrage resolution was reported to the House and received six favorable votes.

1913. House joint resolution giving women the right to vote was introduced by Robert Martin. This year the suffragists had[Pg 23] a most successful hearing before the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments. The president of the Senate, W. K. Oldham, Lonoke; Judge W. L. Moose, Morrillton, and Rabbi L. Witt, Little Rock, made eloquent pleas in addition to those of the women. The committee reported the resolution favorably and the vote was 35 for, 55 against.

Between the two Legislatures the State Woman Suffrage Association was formed and its influence was immediately felt in political circles.

1915. Senator George W. Garrett, Okolona, introduced a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the constitution giving women full suffrage and it passed by 23 to 12. The House called a night session for the third reading. A resolution signed by Representatives Yearger of Chico county, Dunlap of Phillips and Wilson of Jefferson to allow a representative of the Woman Suffrage Association ten minutes in which to present the reasons for the enfranchisement of women passed and Mrs. Cotnam was introduced, the first woman ever given the privilege of the floor. The vote was 51 in favor, 18 opposed, with 31 absent. The amendment failed to get on the ballot, as under the Arkansas law only three amendments could be submitted at one election and the next morning before this one could be properly recorded the Federation of Labor had filed an initiated amendment with the Secretary of State and that for suffrage became the fourth. The suffragists tried to get the Federation of Labor to withdraw their amendment, which had no chance of being adopted, but were unsuccessful and it did fail at the general election.

1917. On January 11 Representative John A. Riggs of Hot Springs introduced a joint resolution for the amendment, signed by himself, C. B. Andrews of Nevada county, Stephen P. Meador of Clark and Carl W. Held of Sebastian. Mrs. Ellington, president of the State Suffrage Association, explained to them that it had entered into an agreement with all other State associations at the last national suffrage convention not to go into a referendum campaign without the consent of the National Board, if they expected financial assistance from that organization, and the resolution was withdrawn. On February 7 Representative Riggs introduced what was known as the Primary Bill, which in brief[Pg 24] was as follows: "An Act to provide that women may vote in all primary elections: From and after the passage of this act and subject to all the provisions of the laws of this State as to age, residence, citizenship, payment of poll taxes and otherwise regulating the manner and form of holding the same, but especially exempt from every disqualification, direct or indirect, on account of sex, every woman shall have the right to vote at any primary election held under the laws of this State."

This form of suffrage is unique and deserves some explanation. William Hodges, Associate Justice of the Court of Civil Appeals, Texarkana, Texas, suggested the idea to Senator O. S. Lattimore of Fort Worth, who formulated the bill of which the Arkansas bill is substantially a copy. The Texas Legislature defeated it. Mr. Riggs wired for a copy of the bill, had a similar one drawn and submitted it to U. S. Senator Kirby and a number of prominent lawyers, all of whom were unanimous in the belief that it was constitutional. Justice Hodges said, "I have felt deep interest in the suffrage question for several years and the idea of permitting women to participate in Primary elections occurred to me casually as I was thinking of how to meet the stubborn opposition offered in the Texas Legislature to the submission of an amendment to the constitution."[8] Mr. Riggs said his eagerness to pass a suffrage bill was to do justice to the women of Arkansas and to keep a promise to his mother that if he ever was elected to the Legislature he would introduce and work for one.

The Legislature of 1917 was soon discovered to be a progressive assembly and gave promise of success for the bill. Mrs. Ellington decided the time had come to adopt business methods in the suffrage lobby and undertook with Mr. Riggs the whole responsibility of guiding this bill on its eventful journey through the House and Senate. The suffragists held themselves in readiness to do any special work needed, which they did quietly and[Pg 25] effectively, seeing legislators when necessary, but the Legislature was not harassed by a large and conspicuous lobby.[9]

Sufficient pledges were secured in both House and Senate before the bill was allowed to come even to a test vote. Judge Josiah Hardage, Arkadelphia, assisted by W. J. Waggoner of Lonoke and James A. Choate of Floyd, led the opposition in the House and conducted the bitterest fight waged during the session. Sixteen men stood solidly with them in all parliamentary tactics in hopes of killing the bill. Nineteen men could delay it but they were destined to defeat when 78 men, led by the astute floor leader, J. O. Johnson of Sebastian county, were determined that it should pass. After several hours' debate the House passed the bill February 15 by 71 ayes, 19 noes, 10 absent.

When the bill came up in the Senate Walker Smith of Magnolia led the opposition, although several days before he had promised Mrs. Head and Mrs. Ellington to vote for it. Senator Houston Emory of Hot Springs guided it to a successful vote on February 27—17 ayes, 15 noes. Senators George F. Brown of Rison, George W. Garrett of Okolona, H. L. Ponder of Walnut Ridge, J. S. Utley of Benton and R. Hill Caruth of Warren aided materially in passing the bill. The first time during the session that every man in the Senate was in his seat to vote was when the Primary bill came up. Two Senators unalterably opposed to woman suffrage had been expelled for bribery and this made its success possible.

The Senate slightly amended the bill and returned it to the House, which accepted it March 6. Never did a man serve the cause of suffrage more loyally or more efficiently than John A. Riggs and the women of Arkansas owe him a lasting debt of gratitude. Governor Brough signed the bill in the evening at a public meeting amid great enthusiasm.

The Legislature met Jan. 13, 1919, after thousands of women had voted at the Primary election. Not one member had been asked to present a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment for woman suffrage. In fact the women were following closely the advice of the National Association and were ardently[Pg 26] hoping to avoid a State campaign. They were reckoning from past experiences but times had changed. Twenty-five men came ready to propose a full suffrage amendment; Representative Riggs, the father of the Primary bill, was the first man on the floor after the House was organized and his bill got first place on the calendar. It passed the Senate January 30 by 27 to one, and the House February 3 by 73 to three. In November it went to the voters and was defeated. It received the largest favorable vote of any of the amendments submitted but not a majority of the largest number cast at the election, as required by the constitution. The women had felt certain that this would be impossible. In August, 1920, full suffrage was conferred by the Federal Amendment.


[6] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. O. F. Ellington, president of the State Woman Suffrage Association, 1914-1917, and Mrs. T. T. Cotnam, State treasurer during these years and chairman of the State Suffrage Central Committee from 1917.

[7] The following officers were elected: Chairman, Mrs. Ellington; secretary, Mrs. Gibb, Little Rock. Finance Committee: Chairman, Mrs. Cotnam; Mrs. C. C. Cate, Jonesboro; Mrs. Land, Mrs. William Ells, Texarkana; Mrs. W. H. Connell, Hot Springs. Committee that framed constitution: Mrs. Fuller, Magazine; Mrs. Head, Mrs. Blaisdell, Hot Springs; Congressional chairman, Mrs. Ada Roussans, Jonesboro; Mrs. Fitzhugh, Mrs. H. E. Morrow, Mrs. Head, Mrs. W. L. Moose, Mrs. Drennan, Mrs. Garland Street, district chairmen.

[8] In June, 1912, Miss Kate Gordon offered a Primary bill as a substitute for the constitutional amendment in the Louisiana Legislature, but it never came out of committee. Miss Gordon said: "The idea came to me as a solution of the woman suffrage question in a flash and it struck me as a good one. The Primary idea was mine as early as 1912."

[9] Most of the women whose names are mentioned in this chapter, with the addition of Mrs. John P. Ahmand, Mrs. De Mott Henderson and Miss Jennie De Neler, did valuable legislative work during this and other sessions.

[Pg 27]



The first ten years of the new century—Woman's Century—were years of laborious effort in California to educate the public mind and familiarize it with the idea of "votes for women." At the beginning of the second decade the State had given them the complete suffrage and at its close the women of the entire nation were enfranchised by an amendment to the Federal Constitution.

A resubmission of the question in California could not be expected for several years after the defeat of a constitutional amendment in 1896, although no subsequent Legislature met without discussing the subject and voting on some phase of it. The liquor interests continued a persistent opposition but the suffrage association had a powerful ally in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, with its franchise department and its well organized army of workers, and, although somewhat discouraged for a few years, held its annual convention and reorganization was gradually effected. The State convention of 1900 met December 14, 15, in Golden Gate Hall, San Francisco, with the president, Mrs. Mary Wood Swift, in the chair. A resolution was adopted commending the former State president, Ellen Clark (Mrs. Aaron A.) Sargent, for instituting suit against the tax collector for the return of her taxes paid in San Francisco under written protest. [See Volume IV, page 504.] The members were urged to file a protest when paying taxes because they had no representation. It was declared that the time was opportune for organized effort to have the Legislature again submit an amendment to the voters. A vote of thanks was given[Pg 28] to Miss Clara Schlingheyde for her success in obtaining donations for the national suffrage bazaar in New York and appreciation expressed for the generous response of California people, especially for the donation of William Keith, the artist, of his picture, Spring in the Napa Valley. Mrs. Swift having served four years as president declined to hold the office longer and Mrs. Mary S. Sperry retired as treasurer after serving seven years. The following board was elected: Honorary presidents, Mrs. Sargent of San Francisco and Mrs. Ellen Knox Goodrich of San Jose; president, Mrs. Annie R. Wood, Alameda; first, second and third vice-presidents, Mrs. Lovell White, San Francisco, Mrs. E. O. Smith, San Jose, Mrs. Annie K. Bidwell, Chico; corresponding secretary, Miss Carrie Whelan, Oakland; recording secretary, Mrs. Dorothy Harnden; treasurer, Miss Schlingheyde, both of San Francisco; auditors, Mrs. A. K. Spero and Mrs. Keith.

A visit in 1901 from Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Suffrage Association, greatly encouraged the clubs. Acting upon her urgent request, Mrs. Keith revived the Berkeley club, which soon doubled its membership and with the Oakland and Alameda clubs became a strong influence. There were three clubs in San Francisco and an active organization in Santa Clara county, made up of San Jose, Palo Alto and other clubs. Mrs. May Wright Sewall, president of the International Council of Women, came for an extended course of lectures in the interest of women's advancement. Women's organizations urged many changes in the unjust community property law, the W. C. T. U., the Women's Parliament of Southern California and the State Suffrage Association sending representatives to plead with the legislators. A School suffrage bill passed the House and was defeated by only seven votes in the Senate and there was constant agitation. The State convention this year was held at San Francisco in Yosemite Hall, Native Sons' Building, October 18, 19, with a large number of delegates and an interesting program. Executive board meetings had been held throughout the year and it was reported that eighty papers were publishing suffrage matter sent them. Mrs. Leland Stanford in an interview in the San Francisco Examiner[Pg 29] had declared herself in favor of woman suffrage and a letter of appreciation was sent to her.

The annual convention met October 24, 25, 1902, in Century Hall, San Francisco, with a large attendance and many excellent speakers, among them Dr. David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford University, and B. Fay Mills, the noted revivalist. Greetings were read from Miss Susan B. Anthony, Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, the national treasurer, and Mrs. Caroline M. Severance, the loved pioneer, now in her 83rd year, who had come from the East to Los Angeles over twenty years before. The reports showed that the board had been in constant communication with the national officers; an organizer, Mrs. Florence Stoddard, had been engaged; the treasury receipts were increasing; eighteen new clubs were recorded and there was general progress. Miss Vida Goldstein, a prominent suffrage leader of Australia, had been the guest of the association and a letter was sent to the Woman's Council of Australia, expressing gratitude for the assistance she had been in the United States. Australia's recent enfranchisement of her 800,000 women with eligibility to the national Parliament had given great encouragement to those of California. Mrs. Sperry was persuaded to take the presidency.[11] An interesting event reported was a suffrage meeting of the Sierra Club of mountain lovers one summer evening in King's River Canyon, where it was encamped. In the audience of over two hundred prominent men and women were Professor Joseph Le Conte, John Muir, William Keith, Dr. C. Hart Merriam, head of the U. S. biological department and Dr. Gannett, of the geological department.

The State convention of 1903 met in Golden Gate Hall, San Francisco, November 18, 19. Among the addresses of welcome was one by the Rev. Bradford Leavitt of the Unitarian church and one by President Benham of the city Labor Council. Mrs.[Pg 30] Sargent and Mrs. E. O. Smith paid tributes to the memory of the association's honorary president, Mrs. Sarah Knox Goodrich, a devoted supporter of the cause for the past thirty-five years. Greetings were read from Miss Anthony, Henry B. and Alice Stone Blackwell, Mrs. Upton and Mrs. L. F. Darling, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. Miss Gail Laughlin, a young lawyer from the East, who was now State organizer, was among the speakers, and Albert H. Elliott, a San Francisco lawyer, gave an instructive talk on California Laws for Women. The executive board made the excellent appointment of Dr. Alida C. Avery of San Jose as historian. One hundred dollars were sent to the national board for use in the New Hampshire campaign. The State association endorsed Mrs. Sargent's protest against a referendum vote on the issuing of San Francisco's city bonds in which women were not allowed to take part.

A question considered at many board meetings had been the advisability of trying to obtain from the Legislature another submission of an amendment. The Los Angeles Suffrage League was waiting to know what action would be taken. Mrs. Catt had written that it might be well to make the effort and so a resolution was unanimously adopted to ask this of the session of 1905. A letter had been sent by Mrs. Catt suggesting plans of work to this end for the coming year and one was received from Miss Anthony asking that Mrs. Stanton's birthday be celebrated on November 12.

The Los Angeles Equal Suffrage Society had not affiliated with the State Association because of the long distance to San Francisco and the announcement by Mrs. Sperry that the affiliation had now been made was enthusiastically received. The movement had been active in Southern California, where federations, parliaments and societies of many kinds flourished, and the Woman Suffrage League had held monthly meetings. Besides Mrs. Severance, another pioneer suffragist had come there from the East many years ago, Mrs. Rebecca Spring, now past 90 and still alert and interested. Mrs. Clara Shortridge Foltz, Mrs. Alice Moore McComas and Mrs. Almeda B. Grey were still among the capable and valued workers.

In answer to an invitation from the Los Angeles city and[Pg 31] county suffrage leagues the State convention of 1904 was held in the Woman's Club House, October 6, 7, with three sessions daily. Articles of incorporation had been drawn by George C. Sargent of San Francisco and filed with the Secretary of State, and the State organization had been incorporated under the name of the California Equal Suffrage Association. The convention was welcomed by Mrs. Ada J. Lingley and Mrs. Mabel V. Osborne, county and city presidents. Mrs. Sperry in responding expressed her great pleasure that Northern and Southern California would now work together for woman suffrage. The report of Miss Laughlin, State organizer, showed that fifty-two new clubs had been formed and that the membership had more than doubled in the past year, and the treasurer, Miss Schlingheyde, told of $2,063 contributed for organization work. Subscriptions to the amount of $1,110 were made, Mrs. Keith leading with $500. Miss Amanda Way, an Indiana pioneer, now of Whittier, made her offering. Mayor M. P. Snyder, Judge Waldo M. Yorke, the Rev. Eliza Tupper Wilkes and a long list of able speakers addressed the evening meetings. Strong resolutions presented by the chairman of the committee, Mrs. Nellie Holbrook Blinn, were adopted. Mrs. Severance and Mrs. Spring were made honorary presidents.

The work for the coming months was to secure a large petition to the Legislature for the submission of a woman suffrage amendment and Mrs. Osborne was appointed chairman of the committee. Heading the 15,000 names which were eventually obtained were those of Governor George C. Pardee, President David Starr Jordan, U. S. Senator George C. Perkins, W. S. Goodfellow, T. C. Coogan, Fred S. Stratton, A. A. Moore, George A. Knight, Henry J. Crocker, William H. Mills, Lovell White, M. B. Woodworth, Congressman James G. Maguire, Judge Carrol Cook and F. J. Murasky, all men of influence. The amendment was endorsed by the State association of 1,000 teachers. With the aid of the National Association 10,000 copies of Mrs. Catt's leaflet, Do You Know? were circulated.

The suffrage leaders made a vigorous effort at Sacramento at the next legislative session in 1905 but the measure was defeated in both Houses. California's full delegation of fourteen was in[Pg 32] attendance at the annual convention of the National American Suffrage Association in Portland, Ore., in June. On the way from Portland Miss Anthony, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw and several other eastern delegates stopped at Chico, the home of Mrs. Bidwell, vice-president of the State association, where Miss Anthony spoke at the dedication of a magnificent park of 2,200 acres which she was presenting to the town. They were royally entertained in California, beginning with a public reception at the Sequoia Hotel in San Francisco. This was followed by others in Oakland, East Oakland and Berkeley, attended by hundreds. A mass meeting of 1,500 was arranged by the Equal Suffrage League in the Alhambra Theater, San Francisco.[12] Similar meetings and receptions awaited them in Southern California and they addressed an audience of 10,000 at Venice, the noted seaside resort.

The State convention met in Wheeler's Auditorium, San Francisco, in October. Deep interest had been felt in the campaign for a woman suffrage amendment carried on in Oregon during the summer and the association had wished to assist with money, organizers and speakers. For this purpose the entire contents of the treasury, about $500, were contributed and clubs and individuals sent more than that amount. Mrs. Keith gave $1,000 in the name of the State the following year.

The year 1906 opened auspiciously. In all parts of the State the clubs were holding public meetings, supplying columns of suffrage matter to the newspapers, now largely willing to publish them, and preparing for a siege of the next Legislature. In April the city was almost destroyed by fire and earthquake. One month afterwards the State board of officers met with a full quorum, ready to begin the effort to obtain woman suffrage planks in the platforms of the political parties at the approaching State conventions. This was accomplished in all but that of the[Pg 33] dominant Republican party. The work was continued throughout the State of securing resolutions of endorsement from various kinds of organizations and by the end of the year these included a dozen State associations, and with societies other than suffrage in the different cities the list filled two pages of a leaflet sent out from the headquarters. The annual convention was held in Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco, October 5, 6, with an attractive program of men and women speakers. The initial number of The Yellow Ribbon, a monthly magazine edited by Mrs. Katharine Reed Balentine in the interest of woman suffrage on the Pacific coast, was distributed among the delegates.

The State convention of 1907 met in October in the Ebell Club House of Oakland, where excellent arrangements had been made by the various committees, and it was the most satisfactory yet held. There was a program of very good speakers, well-known men among them, and Mrs. Maud Wood Park of Boston was a guest of the convention. The chairman of the Press Committee, Mrs. Mabel Craft Deering, reported that 203 newspapers were using all the suffrage matter sent them. The chairman of the State Central Committee, Mrs. Lillian Harris Coffin, said that all the labor leaders were standing for woman suffrage. It was announced that headquarters for pushing the submission of an amendment would be established in Sacramento as soon as the Legislature opened in January. There was a resolution on the death of Mrs. Laura de Force Gordon, the pioneer lawyer and suffragist. The work conference conducted by Mrs. Coffin was a valuable feature of the convention. Over 5,000 clubwomen outside of the suffrage clubs had now declared for suffrage.

In January, 1908, Mrs. Maud Wood Park was invited to address the students of the State University in Berkeley at the Friday morning meeting and Professor Morse Stephens said he never heard as able a presentation of any subject in so short a time. She organized branches of the National College Equal Suffrage League here and at Leland Stanford University. All conventions during the year were asked through Mrs. Keith's committee to adopt woman suffrage resolutions and many of them did so. Steps were taken through the State Central and Legislative Committees to interview candidates for the Legislature[Pg 34] and pledge them after they were elected. The convention was held at the California Club House, San Francisco, October 2, 3. The work conference was conducted by Mrs. Keith.

In 1909 strenuous work was done with the Legislature but it again refused to submit the suffrage amendment, which it was the general opinion the voters would adopt if given an opportunity. The official board sent a telegram to President Roosevelt asking him in the name of 10,000 California women to recommend woman suffrage in his last message to Congress but without effect. Committees were appointed for Northern and Southern California and a chairman in each county to collect signatures to the petition of the National Association to Congress to submit a Federal Amendment. The State convention was held in Stockton September 30-October 2, one of the largest on record. It was welcomed by the Mayor and the president of the chamber of commerce with a response by Mrs. Sperry and there were greetings from a number of organizations of various kinds. The addresses were of a high order and among the speakers were Franklin Hichborn, J. N. Stuckenbruck, member of the Legislature; Mrs. Sturtevant Peet, for sixteen years president of the State W. C.T. U.; Thomas E. Hayden, president of the San Francisco Board of Education; Mrs. Elinor Carlisle of the Berkeley board and Mrs. James B. Hume, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. Mrs. Sperry, who had filled the office of president for seven years, insisted upon retiring and Mrs. Elizabeth Lowe Watson, a minister, lecturer, writer and philanthropist, president of the Santa Clara Club, was prevailed upon to accept the office. Mrs. Sperry, Mrs. Swift, Miss Sarah Severance and Dr. Jordan were added to the list of honorary presidents. A full delegation had attended the national convention at Seattle in July.

After the earthquake and fire in 1906 headquarters had been established at 2419 California St., conveniently fitted up in part of a dwelling house adjoining the residence of Mrs. Sargent, who presided and dispensed hospitality at the monthly board meetings. By 1910 larger and more central accommodations were needed and commodious headquarters were secured in the Pacific Building, corner of Market and Fourth Streets. Here the increasing[Pg 35] business of the association was transacted and free lectures were given. Mrs. Alice Park, as chairman, superintended the wide distribution of literature throughout the State. The association's committees on Child Labor, Education, Peace and other public questions were actively at work. The committee on Petitions to the Legislature for the submission of a woman suffrage amendment to the voters, of which Mrs. Sperry was chairman, secured 14,000 signatures. Mrs. Lowe Watson said in her report to the national convention that splendid work was being done in organization through the generous financial aid of Mrs. Keith and Mrs. Charles D. Blaney. House to house canvasses were being made and assembly district and precinct clubs formed. Mrs. Keith gave $100 a month during 1909 and 1910 to this and other headquarters work, largely financed the legislative work and frequently bore the principal expense of State conventions.[13] Space was freely granted in most of the newspapers and many were giving editorial endorsement. The College Women's Equal Suffrage Leagues were active and the subject of the universities' intercollegiate debate for the year was: Resolved that the ballot should be extended to women. Men's Auxiliary Leagues were formed in Northern and Southern California. A Votes for Women business club and a Wage Earners' club were organized in San Francisco and did important work. There were five downtown suffrage headquarters. Most of the women's clubs had introduced a civic section. Mrs. Lowe Watson lectured before labor unions, church societies, W. C. T. U.'s, "native daughters," women's clubs and suffrage clubs. The throng on Socialists' "woman's day" filled one of the largest halls in San Francisco and at the close of her address gave a unanimous standing vote for equal suffrage.

The annual suffrage convention took place Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 1910, in the Palace Hotel, San Francisco, the 40th that had been held in the State. The long program of prominent speakers, fraternal greetings, committee and club reports, showed the gathering weight and importance of the movement. J. Stitt Wilson, Mayor of Berkeley and Socialist candidate for Governor,[Pg 36] made a most encouraging address and J. H. Braly, an influential citizen of Pasadena, came to tell of what was being accomplished in Southern California. The visits of the national officers, Professor Frances Squire Potter, Mrs. Florence Kelley and Mrs. Ella S. Stewart had greatly inspired the workers and the favorable action of the next Legislature seemed almost certain.

For the past year California had been in the midst of a crucial political campaign. The State government for forty years had been the servant of a powerful political "machine" controlled by large public service corporations. The people had tired of it and public opinion was ripe for a change. The "progressive Republicans," as they were called, came into power at the election of November, 1910, and Hiram W. Johnson was elected Governor to carry out their reforms, woman suffrage being one of them.

The Legislative Committee was composed of Mrs. Coffin, Mrs. Blaney, Mrs. Edson and Mrs. Arthur Cornwall Juilliard. Senator Charles W. Bell of Pasadena had continuously stood for woman suffrage in the face of the opposition of the Senate and in the organization of the Legislature he was made chairman of the Republican caucus. Assemblyman A. H. Hewitt of Yuba City, also a staunch friend of years' standing, took charge of the amendment in the House and when elected Speaker he placed it in the hands of Assemblyman Cattell of Pasadena, who made it his chief interest. The Anti-Suffrage organization of women for the first time maintained a lobby at the Capitol. The amendment was introduced in both Houses the first week of the session. The Judiciary Committee of the Senate granted a hearing on the evening of Jan. 18, 1911. The crowd was so large it had to be held in the Senate chamber, and gallery, aisles and lobby were filled. Mrs. Katharine Philips Edson of Los Angeles introduced the speakers and Mrs. Elizabeth Gerberding of San Francisco made the opening argument. Miss Maude Younger spoke in behalf of the working women; Miss Ethel Moore and Mrs. Cornelia McKinne Stanwood of the College Equal Suffrage League represented the children and the women of the State; Mrs. Coffin, speaking for the State Suffrage Association, urged the legislators to stand by the suffrage plank in their party platforms. Mrs. Shelley Tolhurst closed the appeal. Then Mrs.[Pg 37] George A. Caswell of Los Angeles, representing the women anti-suffragists, read a paper of fifty minutes.

Possibly there was no measure before the Legislature in which deeper interest was manifested or which had the urge of stronger public sentiment. Lieutenant Governor A. J. Wallace of Los Angeles was a true friend and Senator A. E. Boynton of Marysville, president pro tem., had for years loyally supported it. The Los Angeles delegation with but few exceptions were pledged in favor. Many opponents of years' standing, feeling the pressure of popularity, were prepared to capitulate. Senator J. B. Sanford of Ukiah, who had long been a thorn in the flesh of the suffrage lobby, attempted to block it but was prevented by Senator Louis Juilliard and a spirited debate was led by Senator Lee C. Gates of Los Angeles, a leader of progressive measures. On January 26 the amendment came up for third reading and final passage. There was no need of further debate but each Senator seemed desirous of paying his tribute. It received 35 ayes and the opposition could muster only five votes. The Senate resolution was submitted in the Assembly and voted on February 2. Gallery and lobbies were thronged and only time limited the oratory. It received 66 ayes, 12 noes. Governor Johnson had insisted on the submission of the amendment as a party pledge.

Pink roses were sent by the committee to Mrs. Johnson, wife of the Governor, and violets to Mrs. Wallace for their helpful cooperation. Cordial appreciation was expressed to the wives of Senators and Assemblymen who did yeoman service, among them Mrs. Bell, Mrs. Gates, Mrs. Henry Ward Beecher Brown, Mrs. Miguel Estidillo and Mrs. Cattell.

After the adjournment of the Legislature a conference was called by the Progressive leaders to outline the plan of campaign for the many amendments which had been submitted and it was decided not to mention the suffrage amendment, as much needed contributions had been made on this condition lest it might cause some of the others to be defeated. There was strenuous objection to this plan by some of its friends but the majority prevailed. Governor Johnson was present at the meeting and carried out its program during the entire campaign, not referring to the suffrage amendment in his speeches. It was said that he expected it to[Pg 38] lose and did not want to jeopardize the amendments which would enable the voters to take the law-making power into their own hands and secure all desired reforms. A notable exception among the official speakers was Francis J. Heney, who never failed to include it with the others in his appeals to the voters.

The general political situation in California at the time, however, favored the suffrage campaign. The five parties had put a woman suffrage plank in their platforms and the voters could concentrate their attention on the twenty-three proposed constitutional amendments, for which a special election was called October 10. There were but eight months for what would have to be a "whirlwind campaign." The president of the State association, Mrs. Lowe Watson, said in her report to the next national suffrage convention:

The situation was very different from that of 1895-96. Not only were the suffragists better organized but as a result of the previous campaign, in which the National Association largely participated, there were earnest suffragists in every kind of association in the State, in the Federated Women's Clubs; the W. C. T. U., with a franchise department in every local; the Socialist party, the State Grange and the ever-growing Labor Unions. We determined to make a strenuous effort to get into touch with every progressive element. Our State Campaign Committee, with headquarters in San Francisco, consisted of chairmen of the ten departments of work.... In addition we had an Advisory Council composed of picked men and women over the State. During the two preceding years the State association had been carrying forward organization work under the able supervision of Mrs. Helen Moore as chairman but there still remained much to be done. Our territory was large, a portion of it immensely difficult. It was conceded that a house to house canvass was of the utmost importance, particularly in the large cities.

The suffragists of Southern California, whose work with the Legislature had been of incalculable value, led by J. H. Braly, president of the Los Angeles Political Equality League, assumed the responsibility of caring for the ten counties south of the Tehachapi Pass and nobly did they fulfil all expectations. We realized that the great "interests" were arrayed against us. Untold money was at the command of our enemies and they were schooled in political methods. We had little money and less political experience but we had consecration of purpose and we gave ourselves to the work, North and South, with unbounded enthusiasm....

There was scarcely a corner of the State unvisited by good speakers. Under the supervision of Mrs. Rose M. French, the State association issued 3,000,000 pages of literature, while the College[Pg 39] Women's Equal Suffrage League and other organizations in the North, and the Political Equality League of Los Angeles, also published countless thousands of leaflets, besides ordering many from the National Association. Under the tactful management of Mrs. Ringrose, 50,000 Catholic leaflets were distributed at the doors of Catholic churches. The picture slides and stereopticon talks, superintended by Mrs. Lucretia Watson Taylor, were very effective, particularly in the outlying districts. Posters, pennants and banners played a conspicuous part in the campaign. The attendance at the meetings held in theaters, churches, halls and on the street corners was surprisingly large and in many instances splendidly enthusiastic. The attitude of the public generally was respectful and often profoundly sympathetic. Our country clubs and county organizations followed closely the plans recommended by the State association. It was purely an educational campaign, without one shadow of partisanship or militant methods. The victory in the State of Washington in 1910 and the manner in which the enfranchised women used their newly acquired power contributed much to the success in California. The pulpit and the press were also largely with us. We worked hard to make sure of these two great instrumentalities for the education of the people.

Our inland co-workers largely financed their own special lines of propaganda. The generous contributions of the National Association and the smaller personal donations through that body, amounting altogether to about $1,800, and the noble work of the national vice-president, Mrs. Catharine Waugh McCulloch, were a large factor in our success. The Woman Suffrage Party of New York sent us able speakers. Among our many good fortunes was the coming of the National Education Association convention to San Francisco. Miss Gail Laughlin was of immense service as a speaker and as chairman of the Election Committee....

The State association disbursed about $10,000, not counting the expenses in Southern California. Mrs. Keith contributed $3,000 within the year; Mrs. Anna K. Bidwell $1,000 through the State treasury, besides assisting her own county organization. Mrs. Charles D. Blaney gave generous sums, while others in an equally liberal spirit donated from $200 down to one, according to their means; and others again, having no gold or precious stones, gave what was best of all, themselves, nobly, untiringly, out of their love for justice.

No active work in suffrage was done in Southern California for some years after the defeat of 1896. In November, 1900, the State president, Mrs. Mary Wood Swift, went to Los Angeles, a parlor meeting was held and later a public address was given by her at the Woman's Club House. Here it was determined to revive the Woman Suffrage League and an executive committee[Pg 40] was appointed, Mrs. Sarah Burger Stearns, a veteran suffragist, formerly of Minnesota, chairman. On December 1 a meeting was called by this committee and the league was re-organized; President, Mrs. Caroline M. Severance; vice-president, Mrs. Shelley Tolhurst; secretary, Mrs. Lenore C. Schultz. Monthly meetings were held for several years at the Woman's Club House, the money for the rent being given by Mr. Wilde, whose sympathy was strong for suffrage. The years from 1900 to 1910-11 were just years of "carrying on" and well the pioneers did their work.[14] They kept the fires burning and gradually all kinds of organizations of women became permeated with a belief in suffrage for women and were ready for the final campaign.

The work of John Hyde Braly in Southern California deserves a place by itself. A prosperous business man and public-spirited citizen, when the call came to assist the movement to enfranchise the women of the State he saw the necessity of interesting men of prominence. From early in January, 1910, he worked to secure the enrollment of one hundred names of the leading citizens of Los Angeles and Pasadena. Finally he arranged a mid-day banquet on the fifth of April and about fifty responded. Organization was perfected with a charter membership of one hundred influential men under the name of the Political Equality League of California and the following compact was signed: "We hereby associate ourselves together for the purpose of securing political equality and suffrage without distinction on account of sex." The officers elected were: J. H. Braly, president; Judge Waldo M. Yorke, first vice-president; Hulett Merritt, second; J. D. Bradford, secretary and treasurer. Enthusiastic speeches were made and Mr. Braly said that they were initiating this movement at the psychological time, for the progressive fever was in the California blood. It was a man's job to take a hand in the enfranchisement of women, since it was the men who must decide it by their votes. The league was pledged to work to induce the legislators to submit the amendment to the voters. Nine men were organized in a Board of Governors and it was decided to[Pg 41] have women become associate members of the organization, they to select nine women to be governors with the men. The movement was thus popularized and desirable men and women of all classes rapidly joined it.

Headquarters were established in the Story Building and systematic work begun. Judge Yorke was chairman of the legislative and political department. The 850 delegates and the audience at the Los Angeles County Republican convention in Simpson Auditorium in August were enthusiastically for woman suffrage. Eighty-three delegates went from that convention to the State Republican convention of 430 delegates in San Francisco. Mr. Braly was not only one of these delegates but also a member of the platform committee. The suffrage plank went into the platform and was received with the same enthusiasm apparently as in Los Angeles. After a progressive Legislature was elected in the fall of 1910 the Political Equality League gave a banquet at the Alexandria Hotel in honor of the southern legislators, the State officers-elect and their wives, with nearly 600 present. Mr. Braly said of this occasion: "We all felt that we were making history and casting bread upon the waters that would surely return to us in a day of need, which, thank God, it did, for without it I think the suffrage bill would not have been passed."

The organization's express purpose was to use all legitimate means to influence the Legislature to submit the amendment and every legislator of the nine southern counties went to Sacramento pledged to vote for it. After the Legislature had submitted the amendment the Political Equality League held its annual election. It was felt that it would be unjust to ask Mr. Braly to have charge of the details of the strenuous campaign and with expressions of the highest appreciation he was made president emeritus and Mrs. Seward A. Simons, president. Mr. Braly arranged to have Mrs. McCulloch of Chicago make a speaking tour of Southern California in company with a party consisting of himself and wife, Judge Neely, Judge W. S. Harbert and Senator Lee C. Gates, at his own expense, as was all of his work. Mrs. Edson wrote to him after the campaign: "Without the platform pledges of the Republican county and State conventions we could never[Pg 42] have held the legislators and to you the women of California are indebted for making this possible."

Mrs. Simons in her comprehensive report said in part:

In the southern part of the State the work from the beginning was undertaken with the understanding that everything possible should be done to counteract the effect of the probable San Francisco vote and the California Political Equality League concentrated its attention on Los Angeles and the country districts throughout the State. The Executive Board, composed of the following members, Mrs. Simons, president; Mrs. Tolhurst, chairman of the Speakers' Committee; Mrs. Berthold Baruch, of the Meetings Committee; Miss Louise Carr, Literature; Mrs. Edson, Organization; Mrs. Martha Nelson McCan, Press; Mrs. John R. Haynes, Finance; Miss Annie Bock, secretary, concerned itself with effective publicity work—public meetings, the distribution of literature and the press....

Leaflets and pamphlets that appealed to every type of mind were printed to the amount of over a million.... Votes-for-Women buttons to the number of 93,000 and 13,000 pennants and banners added their quota to the publicity work.... One of the most effective means of publicity was that of letters of a personal nature addressed to members of the various professions and vocations. A letter was sent to 2,000 ministers asking their cooperation; 60,000 letters were sent through the country districts. Leaflets in Italian, German and French were given out at the street meetings in the congested districts of Los Angeles. A circular letter was sent in September to every club and organization asking that they give an evening before the election to a suffrage speaker to be supplied by the league. Suffrage was presented to every class from the men's clubs in the churches to the unions' meetings in the Labor Temple.

The importance of getting the endorsement of large bodies of women was recognized. A few of these endorsing were the Woman's Parliament of 2,000 members; State Federation of Women's Clubs, 35,000; Federated College Clubs, 5,000; State Nurses' Association, 800; State W. C. T. U., 6,000; Woman's Organized Labor, 36,000, and the Los Angeles Teachers' Club, 800. All of these endorsements were secured at conventions held in Southern California and the Northern women pursued the same policy. These do not include those made by organizations of men, or of men and women or of clubs for suffrage alone and these in the South exceeded fifty. In a large measure success was due to the inestimable assistance given by the eminent speakers, among them supreme court judges, prominent lawyers, physicians, ministers, noted educators and philanthropists and by men and women from all callings and occupations....

During the last two months meetings were arranged in all the towns of the southern counties where it was possible. When a hall could not be had they were held in the open air. The last month from fifty to sixty meetings a week were planned from the league[Pg 43] headquarters, speakers supplied and literature sent. These did not include those arranged by local organizations in smaller towns nor the many street meetings which were held by every one who could command an automobile. The climax was in the largest theater in Los Angeles on the evening of September 30 when over 4,000 people listened to the best speakers of the campaign. In addition another thousand gathered in Choral Hall for an overflow meeting, while many hundreds were turned from the doors. It was the largest political demonstration in the history of Southern California.

The most important phase of the publicity work was that of the Press Committee, formed of active newspaper women. Miss Bess Munn was made secretary and her time was devoted exclusively to supplying material to the local press and the country newspapers. Double postals asking individuals their opinion of the suffrage movement were sent to the members of the Legislature; to city, county and State officials from San Diego to Siskiyou; to judges, lawyers, merchants, bankers, physicians and all prominent visitors within the gates of the city. Their answers were from time to time printed in the form of interviews. Letters went to club women in every town asking for cooperation in securing space for suffrage material in the local press. Personal letters were sent to all the editors informing them that a weekly suffrage letter would be sent to them from the headquarters of the league. This contained nothing but the shortest, pithiest items of suffrage activities and enclosed were the leaflets which were often printed in full. At the close of the campaign more than half of the papers of the State regularly used the letter either as news or as a basis for editorial comment. In Los Angeles alone more than 10,000 columns were printed on suffrage. In monetary value this amount of space would have cost $100,000. The last week before election a cut of the ballot showing the position of the suffrage amendment was sent to 150 newspapers of the South with a letter offering the editor $5 for its publication but many printed it without compensation....

The majorities from the country districts won the victory by counteracting the immense majority rolled up against the amendment in San Francisco and thus proved that the country residents are most satisfactorily reached by the country press.

The anti-suffragists made a more open fight in California than ever before. A month preceding election a Committee of Fifty was organized in Los Angeles composed of the reactionary elements, men representing "big business," corporation lawyers, a number connected with the Southern Pacific R.R., some socially prominent. The only one known nationally was former U. S. Senator Frank P. Flint. The president was a Southerner, George S. Patten, who wrote long articles using the arguments and objections employed in the very earliest days of the suffrage movement[Pg 44] sixty years ago. They claimed to have thousands of members but never held a meeting and depended on intimidation by their rather formidable list of names of local influence.

The Women's Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was more active. It was formed in Los Angeles, with Mrs. George A. Caswell, head of a fashionable school for girls, as its president. It organized also in Northern California with Mrs. C. L. Goddard president and Mrs. Benjamin Ide Wheeler heading the list of honorary presidents. Both branches had a long list of officers, some with social prestige, and maintained headquarters. They also claimed to have a large membership but held only parlor and club meetings. The National Anti-Suffrage Association sent its secretary, Miss Minnie Bronson, to speak, write, organize and have charge of headquarters. Mrs. William Force Scott came as a speaker from New York. The association was not an important factor in the campaign.

Theodore Roosevelt lectured in California in the spring of 1911. He had been in the State twice in preceding years and each time had referred disparagingly to woman suffrage. During the present visit he spoke in the Greek Theater at the State University in Berkeley to an audience of 10,000 on March 25 and the San Francisco Examiner of the next morning said in its report:

Here is what Colonel Roosevelt said on the burning question of woman suffrage:

"A short time ago I was handed a letter from the president of an Equal Suffrage Association asking me to speak in behalf of it. I have always told my friends that it seemed to me that no man was worth his salt who didn't think deeply of woman's rights and no woman was worth her salt who didn't think more of her duties than of her rights. Personally I am tepidly in favor of woman suffrage. I have studied the condition of women in those States where that right is exercised but I have never been able to take a great interest in it because it always seemed to me so much less important than so many other questions affecting women. I don't think the harm will come of it that its opponents expect, and I don't think that one-half of one per cent. of the good will come from it that its friends expect. It is not a millionth part as important as keeping and reviving the realization that the great work of women must be done in the home. The ideal woman of the future as of the past is the good wife and mother, able to train numbers of healthy children."

[Pg 45]

There were flourishing suffrage societies in all parts of the State. An Equal Suffrage League had been formed in San Francisco from a consolidation of suffrage clubs, with a large membership of men and women, Mrs. Mary T. Gamage, president. With its various committees it was an active force throughout the campaign. Great assistance was rendered by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, as had been the case in 1896. During the fifteen years' interval it had been carrying on a steady work of education through its local unions and their members were among the most active in the suffrage clubs also. So complete was the cooperation that they took off their white ribbon badges toward the end of the campaign to disarm prejudice. Mrs. Keith, president of the Berkeley Club, hired a house in the central part of town for eight months as headquarters and Mrs. Hester Harland was installed as manager. An advisory committee was formed of Mrs. George W. Haight, Mrs. John Snook, Mrs. Fred G. Athearn, Mrs. Irving M. Scott, Jr., Dr. Helen Waterman, Mrs. Samuel C. Haight, Mrs. Aaron Schloss, Mrs. T. B. Sears, Mrs. C. C. Hall, Mrs. Frank F. Bunker, assisted by many others toward the close of the campaign. Mrs. J. B. Hume and Miss Blanche Morse toured the State as speakers and organizers. Mrs. Keith herself spoke on a number of special occasions. Mrs. Watson spoke night and day for three weeks in Sacramento Valley; at Chico to an audience of 3,000.[15]

The Central Campaign Committee was created in July, three months before election, consisting of one member from each of the five principal campaign organizations in San Francisco doing State work. Mrs. Watson Taylor, daughter of the president, represented the State Equal Suffrage Association; Mrs. Aylett Cotton, the Clubwoman's Franchise League; Mrs. Robert A. Dean, the Woman Suffrage Party; Miss Maud Younger, the Wage Earners' League and Mrs. Deering the College League.[Pg 46] This committee was formed at the suggestion of Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw of New York, who visited San Francisco with her husband in January, for the purpose of having all the organizations share in the money and workers sent by the New York Woman Suffrage Party. Over $1,000 were received from it, of which $500 came from General Horace Carpentier, a former Californian and ex-mayor of Oakland, sent through Mr. Laidlaw. The Men's New York League sent $200; the Rochester Political Equality Club, $280; Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt $300. New York suffragists also paid the railroad expenses of the three organizers and speakers whom they sent and Chicago suffragists paid the travelling expenses of Mrs. McCulloch, who contributed her services.

From outside States came Miss Helen Todd, former factory inspector of Illinois; Miss Margaret Haley of Chicago; Miss Jeannette Rankin of Montana; Mrs. Helen Hoy Greeley, Mrs. A. C. Fisk and Mrs. John Rogers of New York; Mrs. Mary Stanislawsky of Nevada; Mrs. Alma Lafferty, member of the Colorado Legislature. These speakers were sent throughout Northern California.

The chairman of the Press Committee, Mrs. Deering, had been carrying on the press work steadily for the past five years and hundreds of papers were ready to support the amendment. Before the end of the brief campaign, under her efficient management, almost every paper of prominence either endorsed it or remained silent. The Los Angeles Express, Sacramento Bee, Star and Union, the San Jose Mercury, the Oakland Enquirer, the San Francisco Bulletin and the Daily News were especially helpful. James H. Barry, editor of the Star, was an unfailing advocate. The Call made a sustained fight for it and the Examiner and Post advised a vote in favor. The German papers were outspokenly opposed. The Chronicle in San Francisco, owned by M. H. De Young, and the Times, in Los Angeles, by Harrison Grey Otis, were relentless opponents. Much assistance was rendered in the Legislature and the campaign by E. A. Dickson, a prominent journalist of Los Angeles. The women connected with the press were sympathetic and helpful.

A most important feature of this remarkable campaign was[Pg 47] the work of the College Equal Suffrage League of Northern California, which had been organized in 1909 for educational work among college women. When the suffrage amendment was submitted in February, 1911, the league decided to go actively into the campaign. The officers elected in May were as follows: Miss Charlotte Anita Whitney (Wellesley), president; Dr. Adelaide Brown (Smith), first vice-president; Miss Caroline Cook Jackson (Cornell), second; Miss Lillien J. Martin (Vassar), third; Miss Belle Judith Miller (California), recording secretary; Miss Genevieve Cook (California Woman's Hospital), corresponding secretary; Mrs. Genevieve Allen (Stanford), executive secretary; Dr. Anna Rude (Cooper Medical College), treasurer; Dr. Rachel L. Ash (California), delegate to Council. Directors: Miss Ethel Moore (Vassar); Mrs. Mabel Craft Deering (California); Miss Kate Ames (Stanford); Mrs. Carlotta Case Hall (Elmira); Miss Frances W. McLean (California); Mrs. Thomas Haven (California); Dr. Kate Brousseau (University of Paris); Mrs. C. H. Howard (California).[16]

Altogether $2,075 were sent to the league from the East. Its total receipts were $11,030 in fixed sums and the personal donations of its working members in telegrams, postage, car fare, expressage, use of automobiles, etc., amounted to thousands. At a meeting held in Oakland Miss Sylvia Pankhurst spoke to more than a thousand persons who had paid for their seats.

Every legitimate method of campaigning was used, beginning with the printing of 900,000 leaflets. There were posters and all kinds of designs; city circularizing of the most thorough kind in many languages; pageants, plays, concerts and public social functions; the placarding of city bill boards over miles of country; advertising of every possible kind; huge electric and other signs; long weeks of automobile campaigning in the country and the villages; special speakers for all sorts of organizations; a handsome float in the labor day parade; speaking at vaudeville shows—there was no cessation of these eight months' strenuous work. The campaigning in Sacramento was in charge of Mrs.[Pg 48] Mary Roberts Coolidge, assisted by Mrs. E. V. Spencer, against great odds, but the city gave a small favorable majority, due chiefly to the union labor vote.

During the last six months the College League held more than fifty public meetings in halls in San Francisco, the audiences at the larger ones varying from 1,300 to 10,000 with hundreds turned away. The Rev. Charles F. Aked, the brilliant English orator, had just come from New York and he made his first appearance outside of his pulpit at a suffrage mass meeting in Savoy Theater, donated by the John Cort management, and afterwards he could not refuse to speak at other meetings. His debate with Colonel John P. Irish in the Valencia Theater just before election was one of the great features of the campaign. One of the most important meetings, with 1,500 present, was addressed by the eloquent young priest, the Rev. Joseph M. Gleason, with the boxes reserved for prominent Catholics. Rabbi Martin H. Meyer was one of the strong speakers. At the meeting in the beautiful new auditorium of Scottish Rite Hall Mrs. Alexander Morrison, president of the National Collegiate Alumnae, was in the chair and among the speakers were Dr. Aked, William C. Ralston, U. S. Sub-Treasurer; Mrs. W. W. Douglas and Albert H. Elliott. In the Italian theater was held the largest meeting of a political nature known to that quarter, addressed by Emilio Lastredo, a prominent banking attorney; Ettore Patrizi, editor of the daily L'Italia; Mr. Elliott, Miss Margaret Haley and Mayor J. Stitt Wilson of Berkeley. A second great suffrage meeting assembled there again, at which Mme. Adelina Dosenna of La Scala, Milan, sang. The culmination was the mass meeting in Dreamland Rink, the largest auditorium in the city. Mrs. Lowe Watson, president of the State association, introduced by George A. Knight, was in the chair. There were 6,000 in the audience and 4,000 on the outside, whom Mrs. Greeley and other speakers kept in a good humor. These were Mrs. McCulloch, Dr. Aked, John I. Nolan, union labor leader; Mr. Wilson, Miss Todd, Miss Laughlin and Rabbi Meyer.

The campaign closed with a "business men's meeting" in Cort's Theater from 12 to 1:30 p. m. the day before election. The theater was crowded and it was necessary to begin before noon.[Pg 49] For several hours the speakers held forth to an audience changing every half hour. Mr. Elliott presided and the speakers were F. G. Athearn of the Southern Pacific R. R.; Dr. Aked, Mr. Wilson, R. C. Van Fleet, Miss Todd and A. L. Sapiro. Then came the climax to the campaign when Mrs. Ernestine Black stepped forward and announced that Mme. Lilian Nordica would speak for woman suffrage and sing in Union Square that evening!

The great prima donna had come to San Francisco to sing at the ground-breaking for the Panama Exposition and in an ever-generous spirit agreed to give her matchless services to the cause in which she was deeply interested. The crowds were packed for blocks in every direction and suffrage speakers were addressing them from automobiles when Madame Nordica stood up in masses of flowers in Union Square opposite the St. Francis Hotel and very simply made her plea for the enfranchisement of California women. Then her glorious voice rang out to the very edges of the throng in the stirring notes of the Star Spangled Banner. The campaign was over.

The amendment went to the voters Oct. 10, 1911. It was most important to watch the vote in San Francisco and Oakland, as their expected adverse vote would have to be counteracted by the rest of the State if the suffrage amendment carried. Oakland was put in charge of Mrs. Coolidge, who had a corps of efficient helpers in the members of the Amendment League, composed of old residents of Oakland, who had been engaged for many years in church, temperance and other social work, among them Mrs. Sarah C. Borland, Mrs. Agnes Ray, Mrs. A. A. Dennison, Mrs. Emma Shirtzer, Mrs. Jean Kellogg, Mrs. F. M. Murray and Mrs. F. Harlan. Of these league members 240 stood at the polls twelve hours, not half enough of them but they were treated with the greatest respect and undoubtedly they helped reduce the adverse majority. This work was paralleled in Berkeley, Alameda and other places around the bay.

Four weeks before election two representatives of each of the nine suffrage associations of San Francisco met and placed in the capable hands of Miss Laughlin the difficult task of looking[Pg 50] after the election in that city and this committee of eighteen acted as an executive board for carrying out her plans. Her management received the highest commendation from political leaders. Dr. Mary Sperry and Misses Miriam and Julie Michelson were a permanent office force and Miss Schlingheyde, Mrs. Chapin and Miss Sullivan carried much of the work. The Woman Suffrage Party gave the use of its headquarters in the Lick building. The State association and the clubs of San Francisco contributed about $1,500. A captain was appointed for each district who selected her precinct captains and was supplied with an automobile. Connection was established with the chairmen throughout the counties and all were charged to "watch the count." On election day and the next day $94 were spent for telegrams. To nearby places experienced workers were rushed when the word came of dishonest election officials. There were 1,066 volunteer workers in San Francisco, 118 of them men. On election day hundreds reported for duty before 6 o'clock and after standing at the polls twelve hours many went into the booths and kept tally of the count until midnight. In Oakland Pinkerton men were hired to watch it and in San Francisco the vault where the ballots were deposited was watched for two days and nights.

The vote in San Francisco was 21,912 ayes, 35,471 noes, an adverse majority of 13,559, and even the imperfect watching of the women detected a fraudulent count of 3,000. In Oakland there were 6,075 ayes, 7,818 noes, an adverse majority of 1,743. Berkeley alone of the places around the bay came in victorious with 2,417 ayes, 1,761 noes, a favorable majority of 656. Los Angeles, which in 1896 had given a majority of about 4,600 in favor, returned 15,708 ayes, 13,921 noes, a majority of only 1,787. On election night and for two days following the suffragists judged from the vote in the cities that they were defeated but the favorable returns from the villages, the country districts and the ranches came slowly in and when the count was finally completed it was found that out of a total of 246,487 votes the suffrage amendment had been carried by 3,587, an average majority of one in every voting precinct in the State.[17][Pg 51]

With the winning of this old, wealthy and influential State the entire movement for woman suffrage passed the crisis and victory in the remaining western States was sure to be a matter of a comparatively short time. As soon as the result was certain Mrs. Watson, the State president; Mrs. Sperry and Miss Whitney, representing Northern, and Mr. and Mrs. Braly, Mrs. Ringrose and Mrs. French, Southern California, went to Louisville, Ky., to carry the report to the convention of the National Association, of which this State had forty-five life members, more than any other except New York.

No State convention had been held in 1911 but one was called to meet in San Francisco in January, 1912, and it was decided to maintain the State association to assist the work in neighboring States. Mrs. William Keith was made president and the officers and executive committee held all day monthly meetings in her home for several years. After the National League of Women Voters was formed in 1919, when Congress was about to submit the Federal Suffrage Amendment, a meeting was held on Feb. 12, 1920, and a California branch was formed with Mrs. Robert J. Burdette as chairman.

The demand of the newly enfranchised women for guidance and knowledge was met at once by the College League, which reorganized in November, 1911, and became the California Civic League for social service, education for citizenship and the promotion of just legislation. The excellent work of Miss Charlotte Anita Whitney was recognized by continuing her as president of the new league from 1911 to 1914. It is composed of about twenty-five centers in the cities and towns of Northern California, with a membership of nearly 4,000 and many centers wield a strong influence in municipal affairs.

The Women's Legislative Council of California was organized in December, 1912, the outgrowth of the Legislative Committee of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. This council, which is non-sectarian, non-partisan and non-political, is in reality a Central Committee of State, county and some local organizations—about sixty in all—representing a membership of over 100,000 women. Its purpose is to coordinate the efforts and concentrate[Pg 52] the influence of women's organizations behind a legislative program, especially for the benefit of women and children. A list of at least thirty excellent laws since the enfranchisement of women have been either directly sponsored by this council or greatly aided by the efforts of women.[18]

Space can not be given for local societies but the suffrage history of California seems to require the mention of one—the Susan B. Anthony Club. It was formed in the hour of defeat In 1896 in honor of the great pioneer, who had worked with the California women through all that long campaign, and in order to hold together some of those who had shared in the toil and the disappointment. The club was formed in the home of Mrs. Mary S. Sperry in San Francisco and she was its president many years. Other presidents were Mrs. Sargent, wife of U. S. Senator Sargent, who in 1878 first introduced the Federal Suffrage Amendment; Mrs. Swift, wife of John F. Swift, Minister to Japan; Mrs. William Keith, wife of the distinguished artist; Mrs. Isabel A. Baldwin and Mrs. Nellie Holbrook Blinn, all officers of the State Suffrage Association also at different times. Dr. Alida C. Avery was its treasurer and Mrs. Sarah G. Pringle its press representative for a number of years. Its membership comprised many influential women, it held regular meetings and was a liberal contributor to suffrage work in California and other States. In 1911, when all the suffrage clubs were disbanding, this one remained in existence and continued to hold social meetings for many years.

In 1916-17 the Committee of Political Science of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. Seward A. Simons, president, made a Survey of the results of five years of woman suffrage in California, which was widely circulated. It was a most valuable résumé of the registration and the vote of women, the legislation they had obtained, the offices they had held, their service on juries, their political work and the effect of the suffrage on women and on public life. A very complete report was made also by Mrs. Coolidge, president of the Civic League.[Pg 53]

Legislative and Convention Action. 1901. A bill for School suffrage was defeated.

1905. A resolution to submit a constitutional amendment was defeated in both Houses by large majorities. A bill legalizing prize fighting was passed the same day.

1906. A Suffrage State Central Committee of twenty-one competent workers was organized, Mrs. Lillian Harris Coffin, chairman, Mrs. Katharine Reed Balentine, secretary, and it continued its activities in behalf of an amendment to the State constitution for the next five years. The plan was to secure its endorsement by all conventions and organizations and have it incorporated in the platforms of the political parties and the Central Committee was divided into sub-committees with representatives in every part of the State. The Executive of this Central Committee, Mrs. Mary S. Sperry, Mrs. Nellie Holbrook Blinn, Mrs. Helen Moore and Mrs. Coffin, were the delegates to the State Republican convention in Santa Cruz in 1906, which was completely under the control of the "machine." It was at this convention that the "insurgent" sentiment began to crystallize into the "progressive" movement. Woman suffrage was not put in the platform. James G. Gillette, nominated for Governor, approached the women and pledged himself, if elected, to do all he could to carry through the amendment. Later, at Sacramento, the Democratic convention, under the leadership of Thomas E. Hayden, Albert Johnson, Max Popper and John Sweeny, incorporated the amendment in the platform. It was placed in the platform of the Labor party, Miss Maud Younger and Mrs. Francis S. Gibson assisting the Legislative Committee.

1907. The Legislature of this year was the last under the complete domination of the corrupt political forces. The graft prosecution in San Francisco was in full swing, the result of which was an awakened public conscience. Every legislator had been interviewed and the San Francisco delegation was pledged in favor of the suffrage amendment. It was introduced by Senator Leroy Wright of San Diego and in the House of Grove L. Johnson of Sacramento the first week of the session. Mrs. Coffin, Mrs. Moore and Thomas E. Hayden, an attorney retained by the State association, were the lobby maintained in Sacramento[Pg 54] during the entire session. The amendment was reported favorably out of committee in both Houses. When the roll was called in the House it was discovered that the San Francisco delegates had received orders and the entire delegation voted "no." The result was a bare majority and not two-thirds. On demand of the suffrage lobby Mr. Johnson obtained reconsideration. When the vote was next taken it showed that the San Francisco delegation had been again instructed and voted solid for the amendment, giving the necessary two-thirds, 54 to 16. Thus was this city able to control every measure.

Then began the long struggle in the Senate. President pro tem. Edward I. Wolf of San Francisco and Senator J. B. Sanford of Ukiah, Republican and Democratic senior Senators, were bitter opponents of the amendment of long years' standing. After weeks of effort, with a deadlock of constantly changing votes and always "one more to get," it was decided to appeal to Governor Gillette to redeem his pledge of help and Mrs. Coffin and Mr. Hayden called upon him at the Capitol. He received them without rising or inviting them to be seated and wholly repudiated the promises he had made to the women at the Republican convention, saying he was only fooling! The amendment went down to defeat, lacking two votes.

1908. The Democratic convention in Stockton in 1908 again incorporated the amendment in the platform. The Labor convention did likewise, Mrs. Edith DeLong Jarmuth rendering valuable service on the committee. The convention of the Republican party, the dominant one, was held in Oakland. The Suffrage State Central Committee opened headquarters at the Hotel Metropole simultaneously with the Republicans, much to their chagrin. Rooms were also opened in the Bacon Block, financed by the Oakland Amendment League, who were coming to lobby. Three hundred women marched in the first suffrage parade in the State behind a yellow silk suffrage banner, with the State coat of arms richly embroidered on it by Mrs. Theodore Pinther, who carried it to reserved seats in the front of the gallery of the McDonough Theater, where the convention was held. Mrs. Sperry, Mrs. Pease of Colorado and a committee of eight women representing as many separate interests had spoken before the[Pg 55] Resolutions Committee the evening before, with two minutes allotted to each. Mrs. Josephine Manahan, Miss Younger, Mrs. LaRue, Mrs. Barron and Mrs. O'Donnell composed the labor committee. Filling the galleries and boxes the suffragists waited for the result. In lieu of a suffrage plank the Republican chairman stepped forth and in his pleasantest manner thanked the women for their attendance, assuring them that by their grace and beauty they had contributed materially to the success of the convention. Mrs. Pease, who was seated in the front row, rose and answered that the women were not there for bouquets but for justice and declined their thanks.

1909. This year the amendment was in the middle of the stream. It had the promise of support from individual members but the party leaders had declined assistance. The Progressives felt topheavy with reforms and feared to be overbalanced if it were adopted as part of their program. They had the majority in both Houses but failing to secure any part of the organization they were left off of all important committees and were on the outside. Apartments for the suffrage lobby, under the care of Mrs. E. L. Campbell, were opened near the Capitol. Delegates from many parts of the State were constantly arriving to relieve the others, with the exception of Mrs. Coffin and Mrs. Moore, who were in constant attendance and with other members of the committees and Mrs. Elizabeth Lowe Watson, the president, carried the burden of the work. Assemblyman Johnson again introduced the amendment. A ruling was made, aimed at the women, that no lobbyists should be permitted on the floor of the Assembly. To the amazement of every one the women began to secure votes. The Judiciary Committee recommended the amendment and it came up as a special order. Speaker Philip A. Stanton was an avowed opponent, as was Assemblyman J. P. Transue, floor leader, both of Los Angeles. The San Francisco delegation, under the direction of Assemblyman J. J. McManus, lined up with them. The debate lasted an hour. Assemblymen Otis, Telfer, Juilliard and Hinkel were among those speaking for the amendment. The atmosphere seemed favorable but at 12 o'clock, when the vote should have been taken, to the amazement of its friends, Mr. Johnson moved for a recess until one[Pg 56] o'clock. In that hour every possible pressure was brought to bear against the amendment. When the session reconvened the galleries were packed with persons there in the interest of the race-track bill and the suffrage lobby were compelled to sit on the steps. Without preliminaries the amendment went down to defeat, Mr. Johnson refusing to ask for reconsideration.

The members of the suffrage lobby toured the State, telling the story of the legislative defeat and showing what would be the benefits of a direct primary law. During the Chautauqua meeting in the Yosemite in July, through the efforts of Assemblyman Drew of Fresno, an entire day and evening were granted for an excellent suffrage program of a strong political flavor with Mrs. Ray, Mrs. Coffin and Mrs. Gamage in charge.

1910. The reform element in the Legislature did succeed in enacting a direct primary law, which, although imperfect, enabled the voters for the first time in the history of the State to speak for themselves. Stimulated and encouraged the Republican State convention of 1910 met in San Francisco and was dominated by the progressive element. The good government forces had been successful in Los Angeles and had unanimously included the suffrage plank in their county platform, J. H. Braly assisting in this result. Santa Clara county under the leadership of Charles Blaney had done likewise, and the delegates came to the State convention prepared to force its adoption. It needed that solid front of eighty-three votes from south of the Tehachapi and the militant argument of the sturdy Santa Clara delegation to bring the San Francisco leaders into line. The amendment plank was taken up by the Resolutions Committee, of which Harris Weinstock was chairman, and given the same careful consideration accorded every other proposed plank. The women attended the convention in numbers but were not required to go before this committee, which adopted it unanimously. It was adopted as part of the platform by the convention with three cheers. Thus it became a man's measure and the policy of the Progressive Republican party. To the regret of many prominent supporters of the amendment in the Democratic ranks the convention of that party failed to endorse it. The reason was simple—the "machine" forces which had hitherto dominated the[Pg 57] Republican conventions now concentrated their strength on the Democratic. A progressive Legislature was nominated and a man for Governor who had sufficient courage to carry out a progressive program—Hiram W. Johnson—the women contributing to his success in not a few counties. The election was a Progressive victory and the chairman of the Republican State Central Committee called a meeting of its members and the members elect of the Legislature for 1911 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and appointed committees for assisting the legislators in carrying out the promises of the platform. A committee of the leading legislators was appointed to see that a woman suffrage amendment to the constitution was submitted.

1911. The action taken in 1911 has been described.

In 1915 the Legislature by unanimous vote of both Houses passed resolutions which said in part:

Resolved, That so successful has been the operation and effect of granting political rights to women that it is generally conceded that, were the question to be again voted on by the people of this State, it would be reendorsed by an overwhelming majority; and be it further

Resolved, That the adoption of woman suffrage by California is one of the important factors contributing to the marked political, social and industrial advancement made by our people in recent years.

In 1917 in the midst of the war, when the Federal Suffrage Amendment was hanging in the balance in Congress, a petition from the State Federation of Women's Clubs was sent to the Legislature through Mrs. Alfred Bartlett of Los Angeles that it would memorialize Congress on the subject. Without a dissenting vote the following passed both Houses in just twelve minutes: "Whereas, the women of the United States are being called upon to share the burdens and sacrifices of the present national crisis and they are patriotically responding to that call, be it Resolved by the Senate of California with the Assembly concurring that the denial of the right of women to vote on equal terms with men is an injustice and we do urge upon Congress the submission to the Legislatures of the States for their ratification of an amendment to the U. S. Constitution granting women the right to vote."

Ratification. Governor William D. Stephens called the[Pg 58] Legislature to meet in special session Nov. 1, 1919, for the one purpose of ratifying the Federal Amendment, which had been submitted June 4. The Women's Legislative Council had unanimously urged this action in convention. More than a hundred members of the various suffrage societies went to Sacramento and before the vote was taken they gave a luncheon for the legislators, which was attended by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and State officials. The speakers were the Governor and the presidents of many State organizations of women. The ratification was not a matter of controversy and the vote in favor was unanimous in the Senate, 73 to 2 in the House—Robert Madison of Santa Rosa and C. W. Greene of Paso Robles.

Mrs. Mary L. Cheney, secretary of the University of California, prepared for this chapter a complete list of the offices filled by women and the positions held by women in the universities, which the lack of space compelled to be omitted. In 1918 for the first time four were elected to the Legislature and received important committee appointments and there have been a few other women legislators. In San Francisco a Doctor of Jurisprudence of the University of California, Mrs. Annette Abbott Adams, was the first in the country to hold the position of U. S. District Attorney. In 1920 another, Miss Frances H. Wilson, was assistant district attorney. On the teaching force of the State University at Berkeley were ninety-three women in December, 1919, including Dr. Jessica Peixotto, full professor of economics, three associate and seven assistant professors and two assistant professors in the medical college. At Leland Stanford Junior University are one woman professor emeritus (psychology); two associate professors, eight assistant professors—over 40 women on the teaching force.


[10] For the "assembling" of the different parts of this chapter and much of the work on it the History is indebted to Mary McHenry (Mrs. William) Keith, president of the State Equal Suffrage Association; for Legislative Action to Mrs. Lillian Harris Coffin, chairman of the State Legislative Committee; for matter on Southern California to Miss M. Frances Wills and Mrs. Adelia D. Wade.

[11] Mrs. Sperry was reelected the next six years. Miss Carrie A. Whelan and Miss Clara Schlingheyde were retained six years as corresponding secretary and treasurer. Others who held State offices during the years were Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. Corbert, Dr. Minora Kibbe, Mrs. Alice L. Park, Mrs. Osborne, Dr. Charlotte Baker, Miss Belle Angier, Miss Josephine R. Cole, Rev. Mrs. Wilkes, Dr. Avery, Mrs. Blinn, Mrs. M. A. Woog, Mrs. Chapman J. Arnott, Mrs. Nellie S. Scoville, Mrs. Lulu Pyle Little, Mrs. Josephine Mastick, Mrs. Therese S. Speddy, Mrs. Coffin, Mrs. Ella Mitchell, Dr. Minerva Goodman, Mrs. Francesca Pierce, Mrs. Lucretia Watson Taylor, Mrs. Helen Moore, Mrs. Lilian Hough, Mrs. Lehman Blum, Mrs. Martha Pierce, Mrs. Augusta Jones.

[12] While in San Francisco Miss Anthony found time to give one sitting for a large oil portrait by William Keith, which was completed after her death in the spring of 1906 and looked down upon the audience from the chancel of the Unitarian church in San Francisco at the memorial services for her on Palm Sunday, April 8. It was shipped to her home in Rochester, N. Y., the day before the earthquake of April 18, but it escaped destruction by fire only to meet with mishap after the death of Miss Mary S. Anthony, to whom it had been presented by the wife of the artist. Miss Anthony was shown seated near an open window from which a beautiful sunset was seen; a lavender robe and a crimson curtain background set off the face and figure in fine relief.

[13] Mrs. Keith was by no means a woman of wealth but it was said that during the years that led up to the campaign and in the campaign her contributions amounted to about $15,000.—Ed.

[14] Among the early workers, besides those already mentioned, were: Mrs. Charlotte LeMoyne Wills, Mrs. Mila Tupper Maynard, Mrs. Lulu Pyle Little, Mrs. Sarah Wilde Houser, Mrs. Josephine Marlett, Mrs. Alice E. Brodwell, Mrs. Mary A. Kenney, Mrs. Mary Alderman Garbutt, Mrs. Martha Salyer, Miss Margaret M. Fette, Mrs. Cora D. Lewis.

[15] Among the names that constantly occur in the State work as speakers, writers, on committees, etc., besides those specially mentioned, are Mrs. Emma Shafter Howard, Miss Mary S. Keene, Mrs. J. A. Waymire, Mrs. Isabel A. Baldwin, Mrs. Ella E. Greenman, Miss Mary Fairbrother, Dr. Sarah I. Shuey, Miss Anna Chase, Mrs. Abbie E. Krebs, Miss Ina Coolbrith, Mrs. Nellie Blessing Eyster, Mrs. Frances Williamson.

The comprehensive booklet published by Miss Selina Solomons, "How We Won the Vote in California," preserves scores of these names and contains a wealth of details in regard to this interesting campaign.

[16] After the election was over the College League at a general request issued a pamphlet of 139 pages, edited by Louise Herrick Wall, describing in detail its many activities during the campaign, every page of which is a record of marvelous work.

[17] The consideration of Secretary of State Frank Jordan was appreciated in placing the amendment on the ballot with an explanatory footnote that would prevent any one from not recognizing it. The victory was partly due to this advantage.

[18] The very complete résumé of the activities of these organizations made by Miss Martha A. Ijams, Council Secretary, had to be much condensed for lack of space.

[Pg 59]



In Colorado the period from 1900 to 1920 began and ended with a victory for equal suffrage. In 1901 the woman suffrage law of 1893 was by vote of the people made a part of the State constitution. In 1919 a special session of the Legislature ratified the Federal Suffrage Amendment. A half-century ago, Jan. 4, 1870, Governor Edward M. McCook in his biennial report to the Territorial Legislature had urged it to be a leader in this "movement of progressive civilization," but it was twenty-three years later when the lone example of the sister State, Wyoming, was followed and Colorado became the second State to enfranchise woman.

When Colorado was admitted into the Union in 1876 a strong effort was made to have its constitution provide for equal suffrage but it was not successful. School suffrage was given and provision was made that the Legislature might at any time submit a measure to the voters for the complete franchise, which, if accepted by the majority, should become law. This was done in 1877 and defeated. It was submitted again in 1893 and adopted by a majority of 6,347. Women were thus entitled to vote on the same terms as men but it was by law and not by constitutional amendment. Aliens could vote on six months' residence and on their "first papers," without completing their citizenship. In 1901 the Legislature submitted the following amendment: "Every person over the age of twenty-one years, possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all elections: He or she shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have resided in the State twelve months immediately preceding the election at which he or she offers to vote." It is[Pg 60] worthy of note that Casimero Barela, known as the perpetual Senator who had opposed equal suffrage since the question was first raised in Territorial days, esteemed it a privilege to introduce the resolution for this amendment. The vote on Nov. 4, 1901, stood, ayes, 35,372; noes, 20,087; carried by a majority of 15,285, which was nearly 64 per cent. of the vote cast. After a trial of eight years the voters, men and women, thus securely entrenched woman suffrage in the State constitution.

The Equal Suffrage Association has continued its existence in order to assist the women in other States to get the franchise and also to look after legislative and civic affairs at home. It has not held annual conventions but its regular monthly meetings have taken place for years at the Adams Hotel in Denver where they could be attended by members from all parts of the State and strangers within the gates from this or other countries. The presidents after Mrs. John L. Routt retired were, Mrs. Katherine T. Patterson, Mrs. Amy K. Cornwall, Professor Theodosia G. Ammons, Mrs. Minerva C. Welch, Mrs. Harriet G. R. Wright (8 years), Mrs. Dora Phelps Buell, Mrs. Honora McPhearson, Mrs. Lucy I. Harrington, Mrs. Katherine Tipton Hosmer, 1918.

Three of these presidents have passed over the range, Mrs. Routt, wife of the former Governor; Mrs. Patterson, wife of U. S. Senator Thomas M. Patterson, and Professor Ammons, who established the department of domestic science in the Colorado Agricultural College. Two eminent and highly valued suffragists who have passed away are Mrs. Sarah Platt Decker and the Hon. Isaac N. Stevens. Mrs. Decker, one of the most accomplished and forceful of women, was president of the State Board of Charities and Corrections and vice-president of the first State Civil Service Commission from 1909 until her death July 7, 1912, in California during the biennial of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, of which she had been president. Mr. Stevens, editor for years of the Colorado Springs Gazette and later of the Pueblo Chieftain, member of the Legislature and prominent in politics, was always an ardent and influential supporter of woman suffrage. Among the pioneer workers who are still living are Mrs. Ione T. Hanna, the first woman elected member of a school board in the State; Mrs. Alma V. Lafferty[Pg 61] and Mrs. Harriet G. R. Wright, former members of the Legislature; Dr. Mary Barker-Bates, Dr. Minnie C. T. Love, Mrs. William N. Byers, Mrs. James B. Belford and Mrs. Celia Baldwin Whitehead.[20]

The State Association has been non-partisan but its members personally have been connected with the various parties. This does not mean that they always have voted a straight party ticket; they have not, neither have men, and scratched tickets are common. Women do not necessarily "vote just as their husbands do" but many a pair go amicably to the polls and with perfect good feeling nullify each other's vote. It is a noteworthy fact that during all the years no bill which the State association actively opposed has been passed by the General Assembly and every bill which it actively supported has been enacted into law. It has thus conclusively been proved that, while women must band themselves together for bettering the condition of their sex and for the general good of the State, yet having planned together they must work out their problems through their political parties. The association has consistently opposed the so-called National Woman's Party with its "militant" methods, giving wide publicity to resolutions adopted Oct. 2, 1917, which said: "We denounce the methods and actions of the women 'picketing' the White House as unpatriotic and not in accord with the principles of this association; we declare they have impugned the good faith of the United States in the eyes of Russia and other foreign nations ... and we request the Attorney General of the United States to institute an investigation of the association supporting the 'pickets' and the sources of its money supply...."

Though actively engaged with serious problems of State government, of city administration and of home economics, the association has never overlooked the fact that social activities[Pg 62] are essential to good government and right living and has made its social affairs a noteworthy feature during the past years.

There has never been any question among the people generally in Colorado as to the benefit of woman suffrage. Sanitary conditions are improved, beginning at everybody's back yard and extending through every business place and every public domain in the State. Business methods are different. Visiting women say they can tell when in the large department stores, groceries, etc., that the women are voters. Political campaigns are very differently conducted since women have a part in them. Election methods have changed to make election day what the men deem fitting since their wives, mothers and sisters are voters and the polling places are unobjectionable. Not only has it been conceded that the commonwealth has been blest by the votes of the women but also that the women themselves have been benefited; their lives have been enriched by their broadening experiences; their larger vision has made possible greater culture; their wider opportunity for doing has led to more deeds of kindness; their interest in State government and civic economics has improved their ideas of home government and domestic economy; their assistance in State and civic "house-cleaning" has imbued them with a higher sense of duty to society and their own homes.

From time to time wholly unwarranted attacks were made on the effects of woman suffrage in Colorado in order to prevent its adoption in other States. During 1908-9 the misrepresentations became so vicious there was a general feeling that as the men voters largely outnumbered the women they should not remain silent. Through the efforts of Assistant District Attorney Omar E. Garwood the Equal Suffrage Aid Association of men was formed with former Governor Alva Adams president; Isaac N. Stevens, vice-president, and Mr. Garwood secretary. Prominent men joined it and it rendered such excellent service in giving authoritative information that in a few years the attacks and misrepresentations almost wholly ceased. Mr. Garwood went on to New York, where the National Men's League for Woman Suffrage was organized with James Lees Laidlaw of New York City as president and Mr. Garwood as secretary. He aided in forming similar leagues in other States and for several years[Pg 63] participated actively in the suffrage campaigns of Kansas, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota, and lectured as far south as Mississippi, finding much interest in Colorado's experiment. It was believed that the men's organizations, actively taking the stand for the enfranchisement of women, contributed substantially to the ultimate success of the movement. In 1915 and following years an obscure lawyer employed by certain vested interests in Colorado and elsewhere went into eastern States where suffrage amendments were pending and scattered false statements about the situation in this State. The newspapers of the East were flooded with denials by Colorado men, women and organizations and when they published these he filed suits for libel but never allowed one of them to come to trial.

Again and again the Legislature has given official testimony in favor of woman suffrage when it would be helpful. On Jan. 2, 1919, when the U. S. Senate was about to vote on submitting the Federal Amendment, Mrs. Hosmer, president of the State Association; Mrs. Anna M. Scott, first vice-president, and Mrs. Sarah K. Walling, a member of the board of directors, went before the Legislature at the opening of the session, asking for a memorial to the Senate urging favorable action. In less than an hour the rules had been suspended in both Houses and the following resolution passed unanimously:

Whereas, Colorado has long enjoyed the help and counsel of its women in all political matters of citizenship and by these years of experience demonstrated the benefit to be derived from equal suffrage; and whereas, there is now pending in the Senate of the United States a constitutional amendment providing for national woman suffrage; therefore be it

Resolved, that we urge the United States Senate to take up and submit this amendment at the earliest possible date in order that all the women of the nation may have the right of suffrage and the nation may have the benefit of their citizenship.

Both Democratic and Republican parties, and the Populist and Progressive parties when they existed, have stood for equal suffrage and unequivocally endorsed it in their platforms. The appointment of vice-chairwomen of the political State Committees is a foregone conclusion. During the memorable campaign of 1914, Mrs. Steele, wife of the late Chief Justice Robert W.[Pg 64] Steele, successfully filled this place in the Democratic party during a time fraught with difficulties, as the then Congressional Union opened headquarters in Denver to oppose every Democratic candidate for Congress under the excuse of holding the party in federal power responsible. The injection of such a movement in a State where equal suffrage had long been in force and the women had allied themselves with the parties of their choice, created among them a keen resentment and acrimonious controversy. The Democratic Senator, Charles S. Thomas, and Democratic Representatives who had always been friends of woman suffrage, were re-elected.

Beginning with 1908 the following women were sent as delegates or alternates to the presidential nominating conventions: Mary C. C. Bradford, Katherine Cook, Anna H. Pitzer, Eugenia Kelley, Nancy Kirkland, Helen L. Grenfell, Alice B. Clark, Mary Nichols and Anna M. Scott. The following have served as presidential electors: Gertrude A. Lee, Sarah K. Walling, Adella Bailey, Julie Penrose, Anna Wolcott Vaile.

On Jan. 1, 1919, one of the most important receptions in Denver was given by the State Equal Suffrage Association to the new Governor, Oliver H. Shoup (Republican) and his wife, and the retiring Governor, Julius C. Gunter (Democrat) and his wife. Both were on the board of directors of the association. It was held in the roof ballroom of the Adams Hotel and was a most democratic affair, all classes being represented, as all had found a common interest in public welfare. A few months later the association gave a handsomely appointed luncheon at the Adams with Senator Agnes Riddle as guest of honor. Its purpose was to show appreciation of her heroic stand for women when she voted against the male appointee of the Governor of her own party to take the place of a woman expert (a member of the other party) on the Board of Charities and Correction.

In May, 1919, when it was known that the Federal Suffrage Amendment was certain to be submitted in a short time, the State Association requested Governor Shoup to be in readiness to call a special session of the Legislature so quickly that Colorado might be the first State to ratify. It offered to supply without[Pg 65] salary or compensation of any kind all necessary clerks, stenographers, pages and sergeants-at-arms in order that the State should be put to no expense except for the mileage of the legislators, whose salaries are paid by the year. When the amendment was finally submitted on June 4 the newspapers, which had been loyal to the cause all these years, and the men and women whose interest and support had never flagged, were overjoyed with thanksgiving and jubilation. The Rocky Mountain Herald of Denver was one of the first papers to support the Equal Suffrage Association in asking for an immediate ratification by a special session of the Legislature. The Governor promised to call one eventually but would not consent to do it at once, claiming that legislators from the farming districts asked for delay. Every possible influence was brought to bear on him but the situation remained unchanged. "For reasons" the party in power (Republican) decreed that, while of course the special session must be held, this could not be done until fall or winter. The members of the association, knowing the futility of further effort, proceeded to arrange for a public jubilee.

The meeting was held in the City Park of Denver on the night of June 25 in connection with a concert by the city band. Mrs. Hosmer presided and prayer was offered by Mrs. Almira Frost Hudson. Jubilant speeches were made by Mrs. Harrington, State Senator E. V. Dunkley and Captain Morrison Shafroth to an audience of about 1,500. Governor Shoup was out of the city but sent a letter to be read. The Mayor was represented by Commissioner J. W. Sharpley. At the Fourth of July celebration held under the auspices of the Colorado Patriotic League at the same place, the president of the State suffrage association was one of the speakers. Her subject was "Woman's First Fourth of July" and so this celebration also took on the nature of a rejoicing over the new women electorate of the nation.

Ratification. The Legislature met in special session Dec. 8, 1919, and a resolution for ratification was introduced in Senate and House, in the latter bearing the names of the two women Representatives, Dr. May T. Bigelow and Miss Mable Ruth Baker, and that of the Senate the name of the one woman member, Senator Agnes Riddle, and as passed it bore[Pg 66] all three names. It requires three days for action on a resolution and the ratification was completed on the 12th, both Houses voting unanimously in favor. The day of the final passage was made a great occasion for the Equal Suffrage Association. Legislators referred to it in their speeches and Mrs. Walling, one of its board of directors, was escorted to a seat beside Speaker Allyn Cole. Mrs. Hosmer was out of the city. A short recess was taken that the first vice-president, Mrs. Anna M. Scott, might be heard, who made a brief but eloquent speech. When the time came for the final vote Speaker Cole surrendered his place to Representative Bigelow, so that a woman might wield the gavel when the result was announced.[21] The bill went immediately to the Governor, who signed it on the 15th. Colorado had by this ratification placed the seal of her approval on the twenty-six years of woman suffrage in the State.

During the war, the Woman's State Council of Defense was a most efficient organization, Governor Gunter saying that he ascribed its remarkable work to the experience which the women had gained by their quarter-of-a-century of active citizenship. On June 17, 1920, the State Equal Suffrage Association became incorporated under the name of the League of Women Voters with Mrs. Scott as chairman. A number of prominent eastern women en route to the Democratic national convention in San Francisco stopped at Denver and were guests at the banquet in celebration of the new league.

The legislative council of the State Federation of Women's Clubs holds weekly meetings during the sessions of the Legislature and takes up bills for consideration, particularly those relating to women and children, education and public health. After discussion and study these bills are approved or not approved and the legislators, the club women and the general public are informed as to their action.

There is no law prohibiting women from filling any offices in the State and it has been said that a really determined effort could place a woman even in that of chief executive. The office[Pg 67] of State Superintendent of Public Instruction has been filled by a woman since 1894 and no man has been nominated for it. Those who have held this important office are Antoinette J. Peavey, Grace Espey Patton, Helen L. Grenfell (three terms), Katharine Craig, Katharine Cook, Helen M. Wixson (two terms), Mary C. C. Bradford from 1915 to the present time. During her second term she was elected president of the National Education Association. Mrs. Walling succeeded Mrs. Sarah Platt Decker as vice-president of the Civil Service Commission and served six years. In 1913 Mrs. Alice Adams Fulton became secretary and chief examiner of the commission. Mrs. Mary Wolfe Dargin was appointed register of the U. S. Land Office in 1915 and Miss Clara Ruth Mozzer to the office of Assistant Attorney General in 1917. There have been women clerks, auditors, recorders and treasurers in seventy-five cities and towns, including Denver, and several aldermen. Mrs. Lydia Tague was elected judge in Eagle county. A few years ago 600 women were serving on school boards.

Prior to the year 1900 nine women had sat in the House of Representatives—three in each Legislature after the passage of the equal suffrage law, and there have been nine or ten since then, a number of them re-elected. In 1913 Colorado's first woman Senator, Mrs. Helen Ring Robinson, was elected. She was the second in the equal suffrage States, Mrs. Martha Hughes Cannno of Utah the first. In 1917 Mrs. Agnes Riddle was elected.


[19] The History is indebted for this chapter to Katherine Tipton (Mrs. George E.) Hosmer, president of the State Equal Suffrage Association. Mrs. Hosmer wishes to express her obligation for assistance in securing data to the past presidents and executive officers of the association.

[20] Among those who worked in the first decade of this century were: Helen L. Grenfell, Mary C. C. Bradford, Ellis Meredith, Hattie E. Westover, Mrs. John F. Shafroth, Minnie J. Reynolds, Gail Laughlin, Drs. Elizabeth Cassady, Jean Gale, Mary Long, Mary E. Bates, Rose Kidd Beere and Sarah Townsend; Lillian C. Kerns, Martha A. Pease, Alice Polk Hill, Mrs. A. C. Sisk, Mrs. A. L. Cooper, Bessie Lee Pogue, Helen Wixson, Anna M. Scott, Carrie Marshall, Nora B. Wright, Laura Holtzschneider, Hattie Howard, Rosetta Webb, Sarah Purchase, Helen Bedford, Inez Johnson Lewis, Eva Rinkle, Evangeline Heartz, Louisa M. Tyler, Mary Nichols, Helen Miller, Louise Blanchard, Margaret Keating, Lillian Hartman Johnson.

[21] The day before a joint session of the two Houses had been held that they might listen to the reading of a poem written for the occasion by one of the oldest members of the association, Mrs. Alice Polk Hill.

[Pg 68]



In 1901 the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association had been in existence for thirty-two years, and, except for the first two years, Mrs. Isabella Beecher Hooker, who had led the movement for its organization, had been its president. Closely associated with her during all these years was Miss Frances Ellen Burr, who was recording secretary from 1869 to 1910. Under her leadership and with the aid of her husband, John Hooker, an eminent lawyer, legislation had been secured giving mothers equal guardianship of their children and wives full control of their property and earnings. The only concession that had been made to the steady demand of the women for suffrage was the grant of the School franchise in 1893 and eligibility to the school boards. Interest in woman suffrage was at a low ebb when the new century opened. The membership of the association had decreased and at the State convention in Hartford in 1901 the treasurer's report for the year showed an expenditure of only $21.75. The report of the president and secretary said: "The work of the association is confined to the annual fall convention and the legislative hearing."

A convention for the revision of the State constitution was to meet in Hartford at the opening of 1902, whose delegates from the towns and cities were chosen in the fall of 1901. Little was done to secure pledges from the candidates but the association obtained the concession of a room at the Capitol for its use. The National American Woman Suffrage Association sent an organizer—Mrs. Mary Seymour Howell of New York—into the State and paid her salary for four weeks and she spent seven weeks in Hartford, living with Mrs. Hooker and giving her time[Pg 69] to the convention. Mrs. Hooker prepared a Memorial that was presented and referred to a committee, which refused not only to grant a hearing to the suffragists but even to receive for distribution in the convention the copies of the Memorial which had been printed. Charles Hopkins Clark, editor of the Courant, was chairman. Two suffrage resolutions were presented in the convention at the request of the State association, by Daniel Davenport of Bridgeport and Colonel Norris Osborn of New Haven, and were defeated without debate.

In 1902 the State convention was held at Collinsville, in spite of some unwillingness of local suffragists to "shock the town" by having such a meeting there. By this time Mrs. Hooker, though still president, had largely relinquished the work to Mrs. Elizabeth D. Bacon, the faithful vice-president. A general feeling of discouragement was perceptible in the reports to the convention of 1903, which was held at Mrs. Hooker's home in Hartford with only 21 delegates present; also to the convention of 1904 in New Haven. Nevertheless it was voted to ask the Legislature for Municipal suffrage for women.

During these years the annual expenditures never amounted to $200. In 1905 at the convention in Hartford on November 1 the treasurer reported that $137 had been spent. In 1906, when the convention was held at Meriden, November 2, the disbursements were reported as $162. There were only nine delegates and Mrs. Hooker, who had not attended the meetings for two years, was made honorary president, and Mrs. Bacon was elected to the presidency. Mrs. Hooker died in January, 1907, at the age of 85, thus taking from the movement one of the most brilliant figures of the early period.

The convention of 1907 was held in Hartford October 29, and the following year it met in New Haven on October 1. A slightly increased membership was reported and some younger women had come into the movement, including Mrs. Jessie Adler of Hartford, who was responsible later for the candidacy of Mrs. Thomas N. Hepburn. The expenditures for 1908 were $265. In 1909 the convention was held at Meriden. It was reported that the National Association had sent a request to Connecticut for a petition to Congress with a quota of at least[Pg 70] 30,000 signatures but that the number collected had fallen considerably short of 5,000. Miss Caroline Ruutz-Rees, principal of a flourishing girls' school in Greenwich, attended as a delegate from a newly formed Equal Franchise League in that town and several young and enthusiastic suffragists, including Mrs. Hepburn, who had lately come into the State, were in attendance with the delegation from the Equal Rights Club of Hartford.

In October Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, whose "militant" movement in England was attracting world-wide attention, spoke in Hartford. At this meeting Mrs. Hepburn met Miss Emily Pierson of Cromwell, a teacher in the Bristol High School. Both received an inspiration from Mrs. Pankhurst and they began a campaign in Hartford, organizing public meetings for which they obtained speakers of national reputation. To support this work the Hartford Political Equality League (afterwards the Equal Franchise League) was formed with a membership at first of four, all of whom were officers. It quickly attracted members and got into touch with the equally vigorous and enthusiastic young league in Greenwich.

In the fall of 1910 the State convention was held at Greenwich, with a large delegation from these leagues. These younger members had come to the decision that if any active work was to be done there must be a complete change in the management of the State Woman Suffrage Association, an idea that was warmly endorsed by some of the older leaders. A new "slate" of officers was presented headed by Mrs. Hepburn, who had consented to nomination on condition that the Greenwich and the Hartford leagues should each pledge $1,000 for the work of the coming year. Miss Burr had resigned three months before the convention the secretaryship which she had held over forty years. The treasurer, Mrs. Mary Jane Rogers, who had been in office for sixteen years, was re-elected and continued to serve until 1913. Then on her refusal to accept another term she was elected auditor and held the office until her death in 1918. In 1912 ex-presidents were put on the executive board and Mrs. Bacon regularly attended the meetings and aided the newer workers with her experience and advice until her death in 1918. The income for 1910 had been $400, the largest ever received.[Pg 71]

The convention of 1911, held in Bridgeport, showed great advance in organization and general activity. Miss Pierson was elected State organizer and an automobile tour of one of the eight counties was undertaken in August under her spirited leadership. Thirty-one meetings were held and fourteen new leagues were formed and affiliated with the State association. The income was reported at the convention as having been $3,966 and the enrolled membership had increased to over 5,000. At this convention Mrs. Hepburn declined re-election on account of family duties and Mrs. William T. Hincks, president of a new and active league at Bridgeport, was chosen. Mrs. Hepburn remained a useful member of the board.

In 1912 the annual convention was held at New Haven, where after much difficulty Miss Pierson had organized a flourishing Equal Franchise League with Mrs. Carlos F. Stoddard president. A Political Equality Club had existed here from before the opening of the century but its membership was small and it made no appeal to a large number of women who were ready to come out for suffrage. It seemed better, as in Hartford in 1909, to form a new organization with younger leaders.

The annual convention in 1913 was held in Hartford. Mrs. Hincks refused re-election and Mrs. Hepburn was again chosen, with Mrs. M. Toscan Bennett as treasurer. The work accomplished during the year, as reported at the convention, had included the collection of 18,000 names to a petition to the Legislature for full suffrage for women, while campaigns had covered the smaller cities and towns and resulted in the organization of all the State except one county.

The convention of 1914 again took place in Hartford and Mrs. Hepburn, with practically the whole board, was re-elected. The work of the year included a "ward campaign," in which a beginning was made of organizing on the lines of a political party, automobile campaigns completing the organization of the whole State; the first suffrage parade took place in Hartford on May 2. Political work had resulted in obtaining a woman suffrage plank in the Democratic State platform. The total income for the year was $17,779.

In 1915 at the State convention in Hartford Mrs. Hepburn was[Pg 72] again re-elected. The reports included accounts of the activities of the sixty-nine clubs and leagues affiliated with the State association. In the Legislature not only had the suffrage measures been turned down but almost all of those favored by the women, owing to the bitter hostility of the Republican "machine," by which it had long been dominated. This convention declared in favor of concentrating on State work, the majority opinion being that it was as yet of no use to work for the Federal Suffrage Amendment. The income for the year was reported as $19,476, this being entirely apart from the money received and spent locally by the affiliated leagues. During the year a petition to submit a State amendment with over 43,000 names of men and women had been collected and presented to the Legislature.[23]

The convention of 1916 was held at New Haven and Mrs. Hepburn was re-elected. The reports showed that the year then ended had been the most active in the history of the association. In the winter of 1915-16 work had been undertaken in the counties whose Representatives had made the worst showing in the preceding Legislature. Miss Helen Todd, who had worked in California in 1911 when its victory was gained, was secured as the principal speaker for a campaign organized for her by Miss Catharine Flanagan of Hartford. Other organizers were Miss Alice Pierson of Cromwell, Miss Katherine Mullen of New Haven and Miss Daphne Selden of Deep River, Miss Emily Pierson remaining State organizer and directing the work. In the spring of 1916 Miss Alice Pierson married Ralph Swetman and during the summer both undertook a house to house campaign, with numerous open air meetings in the smaller towns of Hartford county. The income for the year was $27,442, nearly all of which was expended. The membership of the State association[Pg 73] by careful count was 32,366 and the affiliated leagues and clubs numbered eighty-one. During the year a bulletin from headquarters was sent twice a month to each dues-paying member. In June a delegation went to Chicago and marched under the leadership of Mrs. Grace Gallatin Seton in the great parade of the National Suffrage Association that braved the rain and wind on its way to the Coliseum, where the cause of woman suffrage was presented to the Resolutions Committee of the Republican National Convention.

The State convention of 1917 was held in Hartford November 7, 8, and the reports showed that attention had been concentrated on the three measures before the Legislature—a bill for Presidential and Municipal suffrage; a bill for Excise suffrage (a vote in local option), and a resolution for a State constitutional amendment also but both bills were defeated in House and Senate. The amendment resolution, however, secured a majority in the House and as the constitution provides that the House alone shall consider an amendment on its first presentation, this victory insured that it should pass to the next Legislature for final action. Through the whole of 1917 much work also was done for the Federal Suffrage Amendment, deputations being sent to each of the U. S. Senators and Representatives from Connecticut.

The suffragists felt the urge of patriotism and Mrs. Hepburn in the name of the association offered its services to Governor Marcus A. Holcomb. The offer was graciously received though not definitely accepted but requests for clerical help came to suffrage headquarters. In response some 540 hours of work were given by volunteers. A Central War Work Committee, under the auspices of the association, was formed in April, immediately after the declaration of war, the chairmanship held first by Miss Ruutz-Rees, who had been a member of the executive board of the association from 1910. When she was made chairman of the Woman's Division of the State Council of Defense, the chairmanship was taken by Miss Katharine Ludington and other leading suffragists gave their services. The War Work Committee had chiefly to do with food conservation and $5,350 were collected by it for this purpose.

In addition to the money contributed by suffragists for war[Pg 74] work, the income of the association for the year was $29,933. At this convention Mrs. Hepburn, who had been strongly stirred by the jailing of the members of the National Woman's Party at Washington, announced her intention of working with that organization and Mrs. Bennett refused re-election for the same reason. Miss Ludington was elected president, with Miss Mabel C. Washburn as treasurer. Mrs. Seton, who had been vice-president since 1910, retained her position and Miss Ruutz-Rees remained. Miss Ludington had shown her qualifications for the State presidency, first as president of the Old Lyme Equal Franchise League, then as chairman of New London county and during 1917 by her organizing and executive ability as chairman of the War Work Committee. At the annual convention of 1918 held at New Haven, she was re-elected. The year had been a peculiarly difficult one on account of the absorption of many women in war work but the income was $30,085, of which $1,879 had been contributed for the oversea hospitals of the National Suffrage Association. The work of the year had been directed towards (1) the Federal Suffrage Amendment and the securing of a favorable Connecticut delegation to Congress; (2) influencing the two major parties in the State to include suffrage planks in their platforms; (3) securing the election of members of the Legislature who would be favorable to ratification.

At the jubilee convention of 1919, held at Bridgeport after the Federal Amendment had been submitted in June, a new constitution was adopted, which provided for the election of five political leaders in addition to the other officers and an organization of the State by counties and districts, looking towards the forming later of a League of Women Voters. During the year there had been a financial campaign, which was carried on under the direction of Mrs. Nancy Schoonmaker, resulting in gifts and pledges amounting to $30,993, of which $25,813 were paid at the time of the convention. The total income for the year was $63,398. Miss Ludington was again elected and most of the other officers remained on the board. After thorough discussion it was resolved that the policy of the association for 1919-20 should be to oppose especially the small group of Republican politicians who had blocked and were persistently blocking the[Pg 75] progress of woman suffrage. This resolution pledged the association to a fight against the Republican "machine," which was made with intense determination.

Ratification. The final struggle came in 1920 over ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment. Great efforts had been made to obtain a majority favorable to it in the Legislature that would meet in 1919 and had Congress submitted it in time to be voted on at the regular session it would doubtless have been ratified, as both parties knew it was inevitable. It was not passed by Congress, however, until June 4, and by this time the Legislature had adjourned, not to meet again for two years unless called in special session. All that the suffragists were able to do during the winter of 1919 was to press for a Presidential suffrage bill such as had been adopted by a number of States. In support of this a petition signed by over 98,000 women—increased afterwards to 102,000—was presented to the Legislature when the bill came up for consideration. Nevertheless, through the intense hostility of the Republican "machine," the bill was defeated by a single vote in the Senate after having received a large majority in the House.

When Congress finally sent the amendment to the Legislatures most of them had adjourned and would not meet again until 1921. If women were to vote in the general election of November, 1920, ratification would have to be by special sessions. The suffragists of Connecticut were determined that it should be one of the States to hold an extra session. Deputations from the State Association and the National Woman's Party waited upon Governor Holcomb in the summer of 1919 to ask that he call one in order to ratify the amendment. He refused on the ground of a constitutional limitation of the Governor's power. The State constitution provides that the Governor may convene the General Assembly "on special emergencies" and he held that no special emergency existed. The association then concentrated on the Republican State Central Committee and the other leaders whom they considered the chief opponents of suffrage. A petition signed by 478 prominent members of the Republican party was presented to the chairman of this committee on Feb. 11, 1920, by the Men's Ratification Committee—a committee friendly to[Pg 76] woman suffrage and anxious for the ending of the long struggle, which had been formed with Colonel Isaac M. Ullman chairman. No effect was produced by this petition nor by an interview with John Henry Roraback, the State chairman, by Miss Ludington, in which he was urged to put Connecticut among the 36 States necessary for ratification, in order that the women might be able to feel that suffrage had been granted them by their own State.

By March 35 Legislatures had ratified and only a group of three or four States held out any hope of the 36th and final ratification, of which Connecticut was one. Leading Republicans in and out of Congress tried to impress upon those in Connecticut that this was no longer a State but a national issue. At their State convention in March the Resolutions Committee gave a hearing to the suffragists and reported a resolution in favor of a special session, which was passed by the convention and presented to the Governor. It then returned to power the very men who would prevent it. The Governor remained obdurate. To the first petition he had replied that the desire of a few women did not create an emergency. Then he had argued that suffrage was not an issue when the Legislature was elected and therefore the legislators were not authorized by the voters to act upon it. A little later he gave it as his opinion that persistent appeals do not constitute an emergency. Finally on April 10, in reply to a letter from Colonel Ullman, he stated that he was ready to receive proof of the existence of an emergency. The Connecticut women decided to give him the proof and the National Suffrage Association offered its cooperation by sending women from all over the country to Connecticut to join in a great protest against the blocking of woman suffrage for the whole nation. May 3-7, 1920, was declared "emergency week" and a Suffrage Emergency Corps was organized of 46 eminent women from as many States. They assembled in New York the evening of Sunday, May 2, as dinner guests of Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the national president, and received their "marching orders and field instructions" from her and Miss Ludington.

The Emergency Corps arrived in Hartford Monday morning and were guests at a luncheon given in their honor at the Golf Club, whose rooms were crowded with men and women to meet[Pg 77] these doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists, officials, business women, presidents of organizations—a remarkable gathering. There were roll call and speeches and then they separated into four groups and departed by motors for the four largest cities, where they spoke at mass meetings in the evening. A carefully planned tour was made of thirty-six towns with a total of forty-one meetings, at which they were introduced and assisted by prominent men. Mrs. Catt spoke to a large audience in Woolsey Hall, New Haven, with Mayor Fitzgerald presiding. The object of the campaign was to show the sentiment in the State for a special session of the Legislature and a resolution calling for it was enthusiastically adopted at each meeting.

The Governor appointed Friday morning at 11:30 for the interview and the visitors and the officers and staff of the State Suffrage Association were at the Capitol. Every possible point bearing on the case was brought out by the speakers and they pleaded with the Governor to settle this question of ratification by a stroke of his pen for the women of the whole nation. He said he would reserve his decision till he had carefully considered their arguments, and they went out to report to the mass meeting in progress on the grounds of the Capitol. The following Tuesday he made public his answer, which was that, while the arguments proved that there was a strong desire for a special session, they did not prove the existence of the "special emergency" mentioned in the constitution and he felt compelled to decline.

A petition asking for a special session was then sent to the Governor signed by a majority of both parties in both Houses of the Legislature, which had not the slightest effect. The State association held a meeting and resolved to try to defeat those Republican candidates who were opposed to ratification and especially the little group who composed the Republican "machine." Miss Ludington issued a manifesto giving in detail their action which had determined this policy and saying:

Our fight now is "November, 1920." One of the most important presidential elections in years is to be held then. Women are just as vitally affected by it and as deeply interested in it as men. Although 35 out of the necessary 36 States have ratified, no women can vote in this election under the Federal Amendment until the 36th State[Pg 78] has ratified. It is curious how slow the public—women as well as men—have been to realize this. They talk of our being "almost" voters. They do not seem to understand that although Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, etc., have ratified the amendment, the women of these States will not vote until the 36th State ratifies. Who is responsible for the delay which may keep over 10,000,000 women from the vote for President and about 20,000,000 from the vote for members of Congress, State officials, etc.? Both political parties but the Republican in greater degree.... It lies in the power of this party to speak the word that will fully enfranchise the women of this country and where there is power there is responsibility.

"But," the Republicans say, "we have given you 29 States. Think of that! You ought to be grateful to us." "Exactly," we answer, "but you have withheld that one State which would make just the difference between our voting or not voting. And by the way you didn't 'give' us those 29 States—we had to work pretty hard to get some of them!" An emancipator is not the man who takes the prisoner all the way to the door and lets him look out but the man who actually unlocks the door and lets him go free. Once in history the Republican party played the part of a genuine emancipator. Now it looks very much as if it was playing petty politics.... At the time of the last State Republican convention the Hartford Courant obligingly explained that the suffrage resolution it passed was a pretense and really meant nothing—a statement, it is only fair to say, repudiated by many honorable Republicans. Now it is Chairman Roraback, who, with happy unconsciousness that he is exhibiting his party in a "yellow" light, tells the public that the national Republican platform should not be taken seriously.... "The leaders of the party," he says, "put in the suffrage plank to please women in the voting States but they meant nothing by it." Are the men who are to lead a great party as double-faced and untrustworthy as Mr. Roraback paints them? Were they laughing in their sleeves as they wrote the solemn pledges in the rest of the national platform? We wonder if Connecticut Republicans will let Mr. Roraback smirch the party honor unchallenged.

The course for the State Suffrage Association is clear. We must play our part in this sector of the national suffrage struggle and we must let our opponents see that they can not keep American citizens out of their fundamental rights with impunity.

A committee of Republican women circulated a pledge to give no money or work for the Republican party as long as women had no votes. Three influential Republican women travelled to Columbus, O., to put before the Republican National Executive Committee the opinions of Republican women who were questioning the sincerity of the party in regard to woman suffrage. In August thirty Connecticut women, headed by Miss Ludington,[Pg 79] went to New York by appointment to call upon Will Hays, chairman of the National Republican Committee, and ask him what the party was doing to secure ratification in Connecticut. He received them in the national headquarters and Miss Ludington, who spoke for the deputation, reminded him that his party was taking the credit for the ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment thus far but not bringing any effective pressure on the Republican Governors of Connecticut and Vermont, each of whom could insure its full success, and said: "What the women want is the vote in November. What the parties apparently want is a good record as a talking point in the coming campaign. What to the women is the supremely important thing is that 36th State. What to the parties seems to be most important is to exact their full due of gratitude from women who have not as yet received the gift that was promised.... In our own State, where the Republican party is responsible, the women are actually being called upon to aid its campaign while it is repudiating the policy and promises of the national party in regard to ratification."

The speaker then quoted the resolution adopted by the National Republican Committee Dec. 10, 1919, calling for special sessions before February to complete ratification, accompanied by the public statement: "The party managers will cooperate with the women in a determined effort to bring about the calling of special sessions." She quoted the resolution passed by this committee June 1, 1920: "Such Republican States as have not already done so are urged to take such action by their Governors and legislators as will assure the ratification at the earliest possible time." She then gave a part of the plank in the national Republican platform adopted two months ago: "We earnestly hope that Republican Legislatures which have not yet acted will ratify the 19th Amendment to the end that all women may participate in the election of 1920," and said: "We have had no proof as yet that the party means to make good on these declared intentions—in fact many things seem to point the other way; first, the Republican failure to ratify in Delaware; second, the weak plank in the Republican national platform, which was emasculated at the request of the Connecticut delegates until it was[Pg 80] an affront to the intelligence of women and a mockery of the Connecticut and Vermont Legislatures; third, the present situation in Connecticut.

"From the time when suffrage became an issue," Miss Ludington continued, "it has had the opposition of the leaders of the Republican party in this State. Since the amendment passed Congress they have resisted every expression of public opinion, every plea for ratification on grounds of justice and fair play. For a year the suffragists have tried sincerely and patiently to work in and with the Republican party to overcome this opposition, and have been cooperating with a Republican Men's Ratification Committee formed for this purpose, but we are apparently no nearer a special session than we were a year ago." She then concluded:

During all this time we have had no evidence that the National Republican Committee was really working in the State. We have found it very difficult to reach you personally and our appeals for specific help have been ignored. Mr. Roraback and Major John Buckley, secretary to the Governor, have stated that he has never been asked by you to call a session. They evidently feel, and wish the public to understand, that the National Republican Committee has given them a free hand to pursue their obstructionist course. And to confirm this comes President-elect Harding's refusal to attempt to persuade Governor Holcomb.

In the meantime, we women are being told that the Republican party can not be held responsible, because the Governor stands alone in his opposition! We submit that so long as the official leaders of the party in the State are in entire harmony with him in opposing us and the national party keeps hands off, they are accomplices in his opposition and must be held responsible accordingly. And we further submit that if a national party is to come before the voters on the basis of its policies and promises, then it must be held responsible for making those promises good through its State branches.... If the Connecticut Republican leaders can play a free hand without interference from the national party, then that party faces the alternative of either admitting powerlessness and disintegration or of being an accomplice in the State's attitude of repudiation.

Connecticut women will remain voteless unless their State or Vermont or a southern State ratifies. The Republican party can help us in two ways—either by giving a solid Republican vote in Tennessee or by putting forth a really vigorous effort in a New England State.

The situation in Connecticut remained unchanged but about two weeks after this interview the Tennessee Legislature ratified[Pg 81] by means of both Republican and Democratic votes. This made the 36th State and Secretary Colby proclaimed the Federal Suffrage Amendment a part of the National Constitution. The Democrats were claiming the credit and the general election was only two months away. The Republicans, especially those in Connecticut, keenly felt the situation. Governor Holcomb was obliged to call a special session to enact legislation for registering the women. The Legislature was called to meet September 14 and the Governor warned it that it must restrict itself to the business outlined in the call. No such restriction had ever before been laid upon a Connecticut Legislature and the Governor himself two years before had urged that he was powerless to prevent it from enacting any bills that it pleased when once it had been called in special session. The members of House and Senate were almost unanimous in resenting this attempt to fetter their action and plans were laid to ratify the Federal Amendment.

Before September 14, however, developments in regard to the Tennessee ratification seemed to threaten its validity and Governor Holcomb and the Republican leaders perceived that there was an emergency which called for ratification by Connecticut to prevent difficulty in the coming elections. This was especially apparent to U. S. Senator Frank B. Brandegee, who had been an uncompromising opponent of the Federal Suffrage Amendment and voted against it every time it came before the Senate. He sent an urgent letter to Colonel Ullman, chairman of the Men's Ratification League, in which he said: "In view of the fact that the validity of the ratification of the amendment by the State of Tennessee has been questioned and that the result of the entire election throughout the country may be imperilled thereby, and in consideration of the fact that the amendment is certain to be ratified by more than the required number of States as soon as their Legislatures assemble in 1921, I earnestly hope that the Legislature of Connecticut will ratify it."[24]

As soon as the special session opened Governor Holcomb went before it and asked it to adjourn without action, as he intended[Pg 82] to issue another call for it to meet a week hence to ratify the amendment as well as to enact the necessary legislation. Both House and Senate refused to accede to his request but by unanimous vote in the Senate and by a vote of 216 to 11 in the House, the Federal Suffrage Amendment was ratified, although the Governor had not submitted the certified copy to them.[25] After passing a number of other bills, all of which were outside of the limits set by the Governor, the Legislature adjourned to September 21, when the second session had been called.

When the Legislature met on September 21 the Governor appeared before the two Houses and asked them to ratify the amendment which he now laid before them. Many of the members were unwilling to do this, as it seemed a confession that their former action was invalid. Wiser counsels prevailed, especially as Miss Ludington and the State Board strongly urged them not to allow their scruples to stand in the way when there might be a possible doubt as to whether the first ratification was legal. The amendment was again ratified, by the Senate unanimously, the House 194 to 9. Later in the day a motion was made to reconsider and confirm the action of the first session. This was done to satisfy the members who were determined that the first record should stand as authentic. Thus after a struggle lasting over fifteen months, the Legislature at its first opportunity ratified the Federal Suffrage Amendment, once, twice and thrice, and if there was any doubt about Tennessee there was none whatever about Connecticut.

The long fight for ratification and the contest against Senator Brandegee made it impossible to organize a League of Women Voters in 1920. On November 8 and 9, after the election was over, the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association held its last convention in Hartford. It voted to keep the organization in existence for a couple of months until a league could be formed and then, without further ceremony, to dissolve. Preliminary organization work was continued and on Jan. 18, 1921, at a[Pg 83] convention in New Haven the League of Women Voters came into existence with Miss Mabel C. Washburn chairman.[26]

Legislative Action. The Connecticut Legislature has only a melancholy record of defeats, having given the women nothing except a vote for school trustees and on some school questions in 1893.

1901. A bill for Municipal suffrage was adversely reported from committee and defeated.

1903. The same bill was defeated in the House on roll call by 105 noes, 40 ayes; in the Senate without roll call.

1905. The same measure had a favorable report from the Joint Woman Suffrage Committee but it was not accepted by House or Senate.

1907. In addition to the Municipal suffrage bill the association presented one for Presidential suffrage. The Senate rejected both without a roll call; House vote on Municipal suffrage, noes, 86; ayes, 56; on Presidential, noes 93; ayes, 55.

1909. For the usual bill the Legislature substituted one giving women a vote on levying a tax for maintaining a public library, which passed the Senate without roll call and the House by 82 ayes, 50 noes. It never was put into operation.

1911. The two usual bills received unanimous favorable reports from committees. The Municipal passed the Senate but was defeated in the House, both without roll call. A resolution to submit an amendment was defeated in the House, not voted on in the Senate.

1913. State constitutional amendment defeated in the Senate by 20 noes, 9 ayes, and in the House without roll call.

1915. The above action was repeated except that both Houses defeated without a roll call.[Pg 84]

1917. Three measures were introduced—a bill for Presidential and Municipal suffrage, a bill giving women a vote in local option elections and the amendment resolution. The two bills were fought with great determination. The first was defeated in the Senate by 19 noes, 13 ayes; in the House by 149 noes, 85 ayes. The Excise bill was tabled in the Senate, rejected in the House by 139 noes, 69 ayes. The resolution passed the House by 138 ayes, 96 noes and was referred to the next Legislature for final action, as required by law.

1919. The State constitutional amendment came automatically before the Legislature but a legal opinion given by former Governor Baldwin held that it would sweep away the literacy test for voters and the suffrage leaders, who doubted the wisdom of going to the work and expense of a referendum campaign when the Federal Amendment was so near, were glad to have so good a reason for not pressing the matter. The Presidential suffrage bill secured a majority favorable report from the Joint Woman Suffrage Committee and it passed in the House by a majority of 27. In the Senate the Republican "machine" was determined to defeat it. In the first vote there was a majority of two against it but on reconsideration there was only one. The "machine" only defeated it by winning a few Democratic votes. The fight over this measure had been made with skill and courage by the women against the most determined opposition on the part of the Republican "machine," which since 1900 had completely controlled both Houses.

The chairman of the Republican State Central Committee, John Henry Roraback, and Major John Buckley, secretary to the Governor, were accounted by the women their most bitter enemies and Speaker of the House James F. Walsh used his large powers to defeat the suffrage bills. Of the fifteen important House committees anti-suffragists held eleven of the chairmanships. The chairman of the Woman Suffrage Committee, Admiral William S. Cowles, was an "anti" but in spite of his influence the committee report was favorable. This was due to the progress of public sentiment, accelerated by the work of women during the war and to the organization for suffrage which had been going forward. Of the more progressive group[Pg 85] of Republicans in the Legislature who fought for suffrage may be mentioned Lieutenant Governor Clifford Wilson, Senators John B. Dillon, Charles E. Williamson, William H. Heald, Arthur E. Bowers and Representative Harry R. Sherwood. Senator Charles C. Hemenway, Democratic leader and editor of the Hartford Times, was one of its most valuable supporters.

The liquor forces always employed lobbyists against the suffrage bills and fought the movement secretly and openly. There were a number of prominent women opposed but they were not organized until aroused by the activity that followed the election of Mrs. Hepburn as president in 1910. The State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was then formed with Mrs. Daniel Markham as president and she held the office until the proclamation of the Federal Suffrage Amendment put an end to her organization. It held occasional meetings with speakers from outside the State. The members attended legislative hearings and at the large one on the Municipal and Excise bills in 1917 they occupied the right of the chamber with row on row of the liquor men back of them wearing the red rose which was their emblem.

As the Democrats constituted a minority party it was always easier to secure from them expressions favorable to woman suffrage and in 1916 and 1918 such planks were placed in their platform. In 1918 they declared for the Federal Suffrage Amendment and a majority of those elected pledged themselves to vote for ratification, if it came before the Legislature, and did vote for the Presidential suffrage bill. The women went to the Republicans conventions each year to ask for a suffrage plank but were steadily unsuccessful. In 1916 the State platform reaffirmed the national one, which declared in favor of woman suffrage. In 1918 the Republican platform included a plank approving the principle of woman suffrage but leaving it to the States for action and not to a Federal Amendment.


[22] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Annie G. Porritt, journalist, author and lecturer, officially connected with the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association from 1910 as corresponding, recording and press secretary.

[23] In June, 1915, a branch of the Congressional Union (later the National Woman's Party), was organized with Mrs. William D. Ascough as chairman. At that time the Woman Suffrage Association was giving its attention almost exclusively to State work and the new organization began by sending deputations to each of the Congressmen and Senators to ask support for the Federal Suffrage Amendment. Meetings and a press service to promote the amendment were carried on until ratification was completed. Connecticut members took part in every national demonstration of the Union and eleven suffered terms of imprisonment. Annual conventions were held each year and in 1918 Mrs. Thomas N. Hepburn was elected chairman, Mrs. Ascough having removed from the State. The Union raised money for the ratification campaigns in New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, West Virginia, Delaware and Tennessee and sent workers to assist them and also to secure a special session in Vermont.

[24] Notwithstanding this letter the State Suffrage Association used its whole strength against Senator Brandegee's election on November 2. It was estimated that 90 per cent. of the women voted. Although the big Republican landslide elected him he received 12,446 fewer votes than the Republican candidate for President.

[25] A certified copy of this vote was immediately dispatched to Washington by Miss Flanagan, one of the National Woman's Party workers, and Secretary of State Colby accepted it as valid. It is therefore on record in Washington that Connecticut ratified the Federal Suffrage Amendment on September 14, 1920.

[26] The officers of the State Association from 1901 to 1920, besides the presidents, not already mentioned, were as follows: Vice-presidents, Mrs. Annie C. S. Fenner, 1906-1910; corresponding and recording secretaries, Mrs. Ella B. Kendrick, Mrs. Marcia West, Mrs. Jessie Adler, Mrs. Annie G. Porritt, Miss Mabel C. Washburn, Mrs. Frederick C. Spencer, Mrs. Hiram P. Maxim, Mrs. William H. Deming, Mrs. Samuel T. Davis, Jr., Mrs. S. H. Benton, Mrs. William C. Cheney.

Among those who served in other official capacities were Mesdames E. J. Warren, Cynthia B. Fuller, Henrietta J. Pinches, A. Barton Hepburn, Julius Maltby, H. H. DeLoss, Carlos F. Stoddard, Henry Townshend, Jonathan A. Rawson, T. S. McDermott, Ruth McIntire Dadourian; Misses Emily Whitney, Mary A. Goodman, Mary Bulkley, Frances Osborn.

The names of the many women who gave devoted service to this cause during this score of years can never be recorded.

[Pg 86]



During the past twenty years the advocates of woman suffrage have continued to suffer from the handicap peculiar to Delaware—no referendum to the voters possible on constitutional amendments—and therefore it never has had the advantage of a State-wide educational campaign. An amendment must be passed by two-thirds of each branch of the Legislature at two successive sessions and it then becomes a part of the constitution. However, the State Equal Suffrage Association has held conventions every year. Many distinguished advocates from outside the State, including Miss Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, Miss Mary Garrett Hay, Mrs. Beatrice Forbes Robertson Hale, Mrs. Maud Wood Park, Mrs. Frank A. Vanderlip and Mrs. Borden Harriman, have been among the speakers. Prominent endorsers of woman suffrage have been the State Grange, Grand Army of the Republic, Ministerial Union, Central Labor Union and Woman's Christian Temperance Union. The last is the only leading woman's organization to give official sanction.

The annual State convention was held Nov. 6, 1901, at Newport, with three clubs—Wilmington, Newport and New Castle—under the presidency of Mrs. Martha S. Cranston. Dr. Shaw, vice-president-at-large of the National Association, was the speaker and the presence of reporters was an encouraging feature.

The convention of 1902 took place November 8 in Wilmington. Miss Jane Campbell, president of the large Philadelphia county society, and Henry W. Wilbur of the Friends' society, New York, were the speakers from outside the State. During this year the W. C. T. U. and the Wilmington District Epworth[Pg 87] League passed suffrage resolutions. The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony was placed in travelling libraries. Women were urged to pay their taxes "under protest." The Newport Club petitioned that the word "male" be omitted from the new town charter but without success. Governor John Hunn in his Message to the Legislature said: "The time is coming when the participation of women in all our civil affairs will be voluntarily sought as an infusion of indispensable new elements into our citizenship."

The convention of 1903 was held November 28 at Newport, with Miss Harriet May Mills of New York as the chief speaker. The master of the State Grange declared his belief this year in the equality of the sexes and urged that some provisions be made for the higher education of Delaware women. The convention of 1904 was held November 22 in Wilmington with an address by Dr. Shaw and $25 were pledged to the National Association. In 1905 the convention was held November 4 in New Castle, with Dr. Shaw the speaker. A pledge of $25 was again made to the National Association and Delaware's quota to the Oregon campaign was subscribed. The State convention took place at Newport on Nov. 6, 1906. This year the G. A. R. endorsed both State and national suffrage.

The convention held Oct. 2, 1907, in Wilmington, arranged to send the State president to the congressional suffrage hearing at Washington. The outside speaker was Mrs. Susan S. Fessenden of Massachusetts. A chairman of church work was appointed. Reports showed that much suffrage sentiment was now manifested in the State.

The convention of Nov. 12, 1908, at Newport, was addressed by Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery and Miss Lucy E. Anthony, the latter describing the great suffrage parade in London in which she had taken part. A memorial to David Ferris, a prominent friend of woman suffrage, was read by Miss Emma Worrell. The Higher Education of the Young Women of Delaware was discussed by Professor H. H. Hayward, dean of Agriculture in Delaware College.

The convention of Nov. 29, 1909, in Wilmington, was addressed by Miss Campbell and Miss Mary Winsor of Haverford,[Pg 88] Penn. Memorials to Henry B. Blackwell and William Lloyd Garrison were read by Mrs. Gertrude W. Nields. The national petition work for a Federal Amendment was undertaken in Wilmington with Miss Mary R. de Vou and Mrs. Don P. Jones in charge; in the rest of the State by Mrs. Cranston. Legislators and the State at large were deluged with literature. Miss Perle Penfield, a national organizer, was sent for one week by courtesy of Mrs. Avery, president of the Pennsylvania association. A hearing was arranged by Professor Hayward before a Senate committee in the interest of the higher education of women in Delaware, without result.[28] A telegram and a letter were sent by the State president and corresponding secretary to President Theodore Roosevelt, asking him to remember woman suffrage in his message to Congress.

The annual convention held Nov. 10, 1910, in Wilmington, was addressed by Miss Lida Stokes Adams of Philadelphia and Frank Stephens of the Arden Colony near by. A fine tribute to Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, who had recently passed away, was given by Miss Worrell. The Newport and other clubs sent $30 for the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Fund and a contribution was made to the South Dakota campaign.

In March the society of Wilmington, the largest branch, began holding monthly meetings. In response to a letter from the National Association, Miss Mary H. Askew Mather, Miss de Vou and Miss Emma Lore were appointed to investigate the laws of Delaware affecting the status of women in regard to their property rights and the guardianship of their children. A committee was appointed to support the candidacy of Dr. Josephine M. R. White deLacour for membership on the school board of Wilmington, where women had school suffrage. This year woman suffrage in Delaware lost another friend by the death of former Chief Justice Charles B. Lore, who framed the petition to the State constitutional convention in 1897 and who stood unfailingly for the equality of men and women before the law. The State convention met Nov. 9, 1911, at Newport.

At the State convention held Nov. 20, 1912, in Wilmington,[Pg 89] addresses were made by Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, State president of Ohio, and Miss Harriet May Mills State president of New York; and on the subject Why Delaware Needs a College for Women by Mrs. Emalea P. Warner and Dr. Hayward. It was decided to have a bill presented to the Legislature of 1913 for striking the word "male" from the constitution of the State. A branch club had been formed at the Arden Single Tax Colony. The State association had held 22 meetings.

On Jan. 4, 1913, a delegation from the Wilmington club was granted a hearing before the Charter Commission and asked for a clause in the proposed new city charter giving Municipal suffrage to women. Nine of the ten commissioners were present and arguments were presented by Miss Worrell, Mrs. Margaret H. Kent, Mrs. Cranston, Arthur R. Spaid, county superintendent of schools; George B. Miller, president of the board of education; Miss Grace B. Tounsend and Miss de Vou. This was refused and the charter was defeated by an overwhelming majority with no suffrage clause to handicap it. In February the club held a large public meeting at the New Century Club with the Rev. Dr. George Edward Reed, former president of Dickinson College, as the speaker. The club organized a municipal section to study the work of the city boards and to offer assistance in forwarding civic improvement, which was addressed by the Mayor and heads of departments. The State association was represented in the great suffrage parade in New York City on May 4 by Mrs. J. R. Milligan and Miss Tounsend.

At the State convention in Wilmington Nov. 6, 1913, fraternal delegates were present from the W. C. T. U., Consumers' League and Juvenile Court Association. Addresses were made by Irving Warner, Mrs. Mary Ware Dennett, corresponding secretary of the National Association, and Miss Mabel Vernon, of the Congressional Union. The music was generously furnished as usual by the treasurer, Miss Lore. There were now 174 dues-paying members and 560 registered sympathizers; 12 executive sessions had been held and 35 meetings, 18 outdoors, and 10,000 fliers and leaflets distributed. On February 18-20, the association was sponsor for "General" Rosalie Jones and her Pilgrim Band en route from New York to Washington, D. C. Mayor Howell of[Pg 90] Wilmington welcomed them in the City Hall and they were guests at the Garrick Theater, where they spoke between acts to an overcrowded house. The State association was well represented in the famous parade in Washington, D. C., on March 3, and again on April 7 when 531 women from various States marched to the Capitol bearing special messages to members of Congress, urging their support of the Federal Amendment. A tent was established at the State Fair in September, realizing a long cherished desire of the president, with Miss Ella W. Johnson in charge. The two organizations joined forces and opened headquarters in Wilmington, from which petitions to Congress were circulated and much literature sent out.

The annual convention was held Oct. 30, 1914, at Dover, the State capital but with no suffrage club. Secretary of State James H. Hughes welcomed the convention for vice-Mayor McGee, who refused to do so. The speakers were Mrs. Helen Hoy Greeley of New York, Samuel H. Derby of Kent county and Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles, Delaware chairman of the Congressional Union. In Wilmington a meeting was held February 15 in honor of Miss Anthony's birthday, with Miss Anna Maxwell Jones of New York as the speaker. In April on Arbor Day a "suffrage oak" was planted, Mayor Howell presiding. In May a successful parade, the first, was given in Wilmington with Mrs. Hilles in command. In September both political State conventions were asked to endorse woman suffrage but refused. Two rooms were furnished by and named in honor of the State association, one at the Industrial School for Girls in Claymont and one at the College for Women in Newark. It again had a tent at the State Fair; prizes were given in the schools for the best essays on woman suffrage; Lucy Stone's birthday was honored in August 13; members were enrolled by the hundreds and fifteen executive meetings were held. The City Council's invitation was accepted to march in the Old Home Week parade.

The convention for 1915 took place on November 11, in Wilmington, with speakers, Dr. Shaw, Miss Worrell on Elizabeth Cady Stanton's 100th Birthday; Miss Ethel Smith of Washington, D. C., on National Work. Mrs. Cranston, "the Susan B. Anthony of Delaware," the association's first and only president[Pg 91] since January, 1896, retired and was made honorary president. Mrs. Mary Clare Brassington was elected her successor. This year connection was severed with the Congressional Union, which unexpectedly announced its purpose of forming another State society, while the old association continued its affiliation with the National American. Three mass meetings were held with Miss Janet Richards, Mrs. Beatrice Forbes Robertson Hale and Mrs. Bayard Hilles the speakers. The association was represented in May in the parade of the Woman Suffrage Party in Philadelphia, under the auspices of the National Association.

The annual convention met Nov. 10, 1916, in Wilmington, with Chas. A. Wagner, State Commissioner of Education; Chas. W. Bush and Dr. Shaw as speakers. Mrs. Brassington had been appointed to take part in the suffrage demonstrations at the Republican and Democratic national conventions in Chicago and St. Louis. The State Central Committees were again petitioned in vain for an endorsement of woman suffrage.

At the State convention held in Newport, Nov. 22, 1917, a $500 pledge was made to the National Association. A telegram of congratulation had been sent to Governor John G. Townsend, Jr., upon the declaration for woman suffrage in his inaugural address. Miss Lola Trax, a national organizer, was in the State five weeks, forming centers, and many meetings were held. Federal Amendment Day was observed by tableaux on the Court House steps in Wilmington, with Mrs. Florence Updegraff, national organizer, and Miss Ospina, local congressional chairman, in charge, Mrs. Brassington presiding, to whom a farewell luncheon was given, as she was removing from the State. She was succeeded by Miss Agnes Y. Downey, first vice-president.

The annual convention in Wilmington Nov. 29, 1918, was addressed by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president and Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson, recording secretary of the National Association. Mrs. Albert Robin was elected president. In May a congressional petition campaign was launched at a large subscription luncheon given in Hotel DuPont, Wilmington, with Mrs. Catt, Mrs. Frank Vanderlip, Mrs. Maud Wood Park and Mrs. J. Borden Harriman guests of honor and speakers. Mrs. J. Frank Ball, State vice-president, presided. Miss Mabel Willard,[Pg 92] acting for the National Association, conducted the petition "drive" and secured 175 volunteer workers, who enrolled 11,118 names to influence the votes of Delaware's U. S. Senators on the Federal Amendment. Mrs. Robin being absent from the State, Mrs. Ball became acting president. A conference with U. S. Senator Josiah O. Wolcott was held at her home in June, a large number of prominent persons being present, at which the Senator declared himself open to conviction. Mrs. Halsey Wilson gave a week in September to work in the State. An active educational campaign was carried on until the November elections and suffrage literature was distributed at the polls.

The State convention took place in November, 1919, at Dover, with Mrs. Raymond Brown, national vice-president, as the principal speaker. A memorial address for Dr. Anna Howard Shaw was presented by Mrs. Cranston. At the reception given in the State House by Governor Townsend and Secretary of State Everett C. Johnson the Governor said in his welcome: "I feel more than ever since the war that women should have the ballot. I will be glad at any time to use my influence toward giving those of Delaware the right of suffrage." A luncheon followed at the Hotel Richardson, attended by the Governor, Secretary of State and other officials. All of the legislators were invited. The guests were welcomed by Mrs. Roswell P. Hammond, president of the Dover society, and James H. Hughes. Mrs. Robin, who presided, spoke of ratification as the one goal of their efforts and Secretary Johnson endorsed it. The Opera House was crowded in the evening to hear the address of Mrs. Brown.

Reports showed that in January the National Association sent an organizer, Mrs. Maria McMahon, and with the financial assistance of the Wilmington society she opened headquarters in Dover, organized a number of towns and won many friends for the cause. Later Mrs. Halsey Wilson gave another week to the State. About 600 telegrams were sent in February to the Delaware Senators urging them to vote for the submission of the Federal Suffrage Amendment but Senator Wolcott and Senator Willard Saulsbury both voted "no" on February 10, when it went to defeat. In May Mrs. Robin circularized the Delaware representatives in Congress and on the 21st, when the amendment[Pg 93] was passed by the Lower House, Caleb R. Layton, Delaware's one member, voted "aye." In the Senate, the newly elected Senator, L. Heisler Ball, was paired in favor, Senator Wolcott again voting "no." At a meeting of the State Board a resolution was passed rejoicing over the success and calling for a special session of the Legislature to ratify the amendment. A Ratification Committee was appointed with Mrs. Robin chairman for Wilmington and the State; Mrs. Cranston for rural New Castle county; Mrs. Henry Ridgely for Kent county; Mrs. Robert G. Houston for Sussex county; Miss Leah Burton, legislative chairman; Miss deVou, press chairman and Mrs. Brassington chairman of literature. Mrs. Ridgely of Dover was elected president and activities for the campaign were soon centralized.

Ratification.[29] When it became evident that the Federal Suffrage Amendment would be submitted by the next Congress, the presidents of State associations began to plan for ratification and many asked help from the National American Association. In response to a request from the president of Delaware Mrs. McMahon was sent, arriving the last of June, 1919, and beginning an active campaign of organization. T. Coleman du Pont placed a motor at the disposal of the suffragists and in a few weeks Newcastle county had been covered with the assistance of Miss Downey and Mrs. J. W. Pennewell. Working out from Rehoboth with the assistance of Mrs. Robin, Mrs. Ridgely, Mrs. Houston, Mrs. John Eskridge and others, Sussex county was organized and later Kent with the help of Mrs. James H. Hughes, Mrs. Roswell Hammond, Mrs. Emma Burnett, Miss Winifred Morris and others. The interviewing of influential men was carried on with the organizing through the autumn.

Headquarters were opened in Dover in January, 1920, and effort from that time was for a special session. Resolutions endorsing ratification were secured from State and local Granges, from the State Federation of Women's Clubs, State Methodist convention, State Federation of Labor, State committees of Republican and Democratic parties, and the Wilmington City Republican Committee, the largest in the State. No[Pg 94] opposition was expressed by any organization. Each of the fifty-two legislators was interviewed either by Miss Leah Burton, Mrs. Ridgely or members of the Legislative Committee, Mrs. Harmon Reynolds, Mrs. Cummins Speakman, Mrs. Hughes or Miss Morris, and by Mrs. McMahon. Assurances were given by the majority in both parties that their votes would be cast in favor of ratification. Governor Townsend and Secretary Johnson were constantly helpful. The Republican National Committee, through its chairman, Will Hays, and the Congressional Committee, through its chairman, Simeon D. Fess, rendered every possible assistance and the latter sent a representative to work in Dover. On January 15 a delegation headed by Mrs. George Bass, chairman of the Woman's Division of the National Democratic Committee, appealed to this committee to take some action toward ratification and it gave its endorsement. Mr. Isaacs, chairman of the State Democratic Committee, asked the women to appear before it and on January 22, after an address by Mrs. Ridgely and full discussion, it endorsed ratification. The Republican State Committee endorsed it after Governor Townsend had called the special session for March 22. Only one Legislature was now needed to give the 36th and final ratification.

All looked so favorable that the women were little prepared for the weeks of intrigue and double dealing into which they were thrust immediately upon the convening of the Legislature. Personal and factional fights entered into the question, while the School Code played a prominent part and complicated the situation. It was briefly this. A very large sum had been offered to the State by Pierre du Pont for the much needed extension of Delaware's public school facilities contingent upon the raising of a like sum by the State. The gift was accepted by the Legislature and the people must raise the State's share of the fund. This meant taxes and taxes meant opposition. Those who wanted the School Code repealed or modified were inclined to try to make terms on the suffrage measure. The men of Sussex, the most southern county, were particularly hostile and at a meeting in Georgetown hundreds of them protested not only against the School Code but also against prohibition and woman[Pg 95] suffrage. It was the representatives of these men who eventually blocked ratification in the House and it was their two leaders, Daniel Layton, chairman of the State Central Committee, and former Governor Simeon S. Pennewell, whose influence caused much of the opposition. Governor Townsend, who aimed to raise Delaware from thirty-second place in educational ranks by the new code had aroused the personal antagonism of some of the leaders, but when it became apparent that Delaware was vitally needed to complete ratification he laid aside his fears that the code would be repealed and called a special session.

Suffrage mass meetings were held in all parts of the State and the week before the Legislature met Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, addressed large audiences in Wilmington and Dover. The Ratification Committee appealed for more help and Miss Marjorie Shuler, national director of field publicity, was sent and later Miss Betsy Edwards for political work. When the special session opened not one of the three daily papers was supporting ratification, public meetings were being held by the "antis," their publicity was being sent broadcast to the metropolitan press of the country and the impression was created that the whole State was opposed to ratifying. To counteract this situation required weeks of hard work by the suffragists. Outside correspondents were secured who would send out the true story of the political intrigue underlying the failure to ratify. The Wilmington Morning News, under the ownership of Alfred I. du Pont, came out for ratification and made a strong fight for it to the end.

In his message to the two Houses in joint session the Governor said: "Woman suffrage has been a subject of public discussion for over half a century. It is not an agitation of the moment, it is a world wide question of right and wrong. Your supreme duty is to think and act for the good of your State and nation." Separate resolutions were introduced in Senate and House, the former by a Republican, John M. Walker of Hockessin, the latter by Walter E. Hart, Democrat, of Townsend, the only one of eleven Democrats in the House who favored it.

On March 25 there was a hearing before the General Assembly. The opponents had rushed into town every farmer and small politician they could secure and the women "antis" pinned[Pg 96] a red rose in his buttonhole. The suffragists had given a yellow jonquil to every friend. Behind the Speaker's desk hung a huge yellow banner inscribed "Votes for Women," and so crowded was the room with determined men and eager women that the sergeant-at-arms had to clear a space for the Senate. The suffragists had two hours in the morning and the "antis" the same amount of time in the afternoon, with thirty minutes each for rebuttal. Mrs. Catt, at the earnest request of the State association, spoke at this hearing, and its president, Mrs. Ridgely; also Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles, president of the Delaware branch of the National Woman's Party (Congressional Union), United States Senators McKellar of Tennessee and Stirling of South Dakota came from Washington to urge ratification. People crowded into Dover from over the State and hot arguments took place in hotel lobbies and on the streets. The State anti-suffrage association was represented by Miss Charlotte Rowe of Yonkers, N. Y., employed by their national organization. Mrs. Catt closed the argument and her speech was considered by the hundreds who heard it, according to the staff correspondent of the Wilmington Evening Journal, "one of the clearest, strongest and most reasonable arguments for votes for women ever heard in Delaware."

From this time until the vote was taken telegrams from outside the State urging ratification were poured into the Legislature. They came from the President of the United States; from Attorney General Palmer and Secretaries Daniels, Houston and Meredith of his Cabinet; from Republican Governors, State chairmen and party leaders throughout the country, urging Daniel Layton to see that enough votes be given by the Republican legislators to assure a majority in both Houses. In the Senate all but five of the seventeen members were Republicans; in the House, all but twelve of thirty-five. If they had adhered to the expressed policy of their party the amendment could have been ratified the first day of the session. On March 30 word was received that the Mississippi Senate had ratified the Federal Amendment. This was followed by a telegram from Mississippi to the anti-ratificationists in Delaware that this Senate vote was only "a flash in the pan" and would be reconsidered. A[Pg 97] meeting of the Republican opponents telegraphed to the Speaker of the House in Mississippi: "Stand firm against ratification. Delaware Legislature still firm for State's rights and will not ratify." A hasty call was made for a meeting of all the Republican members of the Senate and House favorable to ratification. This was addressed by the Governor, by United States Senator Ball, and by Congressman Layton, father of "Dan" Layton, who had always heretofore favored woman suffrage. By this time, however, the whole question had narrowed to his personal fight against Governor Townsend and at this conference he publicly announced that he would oppose ratification.

The Governor did everything possible to make it easy for the leaders of the southern part of the State to bring over its representatives to the amendment. In a noble speech he offered to withdraw his candidacy for delegate to the National Democratic convention if the Sussex county members would vote for it. John E. McNabb, the Democratic floor leader, boldly repudiated the telegrams from President Wilson, his Cabinet, Homer Cummings, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and other party leaders. He said that not twenty-five persons in his district favored ratification and in two days a petition from five hundred was handed to him by Mrs. F. E. Bach and Mrs. Pennewell of Wilmington. Alexander P. Corbitt, Speaker of the House, was indirectly connected with the Pennsylvania railroad and to him was due a large share of the responsibility of its defeat. Prominent among the lobbyists were Henry B. Thompson of Wilmington, husband of the president of the Anti-Suffrage Association; Major Edmund Mitchell, former Republican State chairman; George Gray, former Federal Judge; George A. Elliott, Mifflin Wilson, George W. Sparks and Henry P. Scott of Wilmington, chairman of the State Republican Ways and Means Committee. His argument, widely circulated, was as follows: "If the Legislature will refuse to ratify the proposed amendment and thus prevent the hysterical rout of the politicians of the country to make shreds and patches of our sacred Constitution, the State of Delaware will receive in the near future the greatest possible glory."

Governor Townsend went to New York and laid the danger[Pg 98] of the situation before T. Coleman du Pont, whose influence in the State was very great. He came to Wilmington, interviewed various men, wrote letters and then went to Dover where he worked for the amendment. Gradually there was a weakening in the opposition with the gain of a vote here and there, but the southern part of the State remained solidly opposed. On March 23 Senator Thomas F. Gormley (a "wet" Democrat) introduced a bill providing for the submission of every constitutional amendment to the electorate before ratification or rejection by the Legislature, which was defeated by 9 noes and 5 ayes.

The date for the vote was finally fixed for March 31 and as its defeat seemed certain, Assemblyman Hart, who, according to the rules, must agree to have it brought up, held off heroically under political threats and intimidations of every kind and at last left the Capitol for home. After a conference with "anti" members, Representative Lloyd introduced an exact copy of the Hart resolution. Mr. Hart then brought up his resolution the next day, April 1, and it was defeated by 23 noes to 9 ayes, with 2 not voting. Meanwhile the lobbying went madly on. Much of the opposition came from notable "wets"; and many of the opponents were connected with the Pennsylvania railroad.

The Republican State convention met in Dover April 20 and the Equal Suffrage Association made one of the most remarkable demonstrations the State had ever seen. Every road was ablaze with decorated automobiles and hundreds of suffragists arrived on every train. They marched and they talked and in themselves they constituted the best argument that could be made for ratification. American flags and suffrage banners were used all over the town. With Mrs. Ridgely presiding, speeches were made all day on the green in front of the State House, and from an automobile in front of the Republican convention hall Miss Shuler and others spoke. Long petition sheets with the names of 20,000 Delaware women asking for ratification were exhibited. The crowning feature of the day was a parade of "suffrage children"—the children of suffragists—a long line mounted on ponies and bicycles down to the babies in the "go carts."

The speech of the permanent chairman of the convention, a staunch suffragist, Robert Houston of Georgetown, Sussex[Pg 99] county, was a strong appeal for ratification and it called out the greatest outburst of enthusiasm of the day. The convention unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Legislature to ratify the amendment. On the table was a vase of jonquils, and when the president of the anti-suffrage association rushed to the platform and demanded that they be removed or that red roses be added she was met by the chairman of arrangements with the quiet answer, "We are not complimenting the 'antis' today, we are using the Republican color and that is the suffrage color." The jonquils largely outnumbered the roses on the coats of the delegates.

While no Republican could now vote against ratification without repudiating his party it was plainly evident that the majority of Democrats were opposed to it and on the day of their State convention their party leaders, including United States Senator Wolcott and the chairman, Josiah Marvel, blossomed in red, the "anti" color. Former United States Senator Saulsbury's paper printed editorials of violent opposition throughout the struggle.

The resolution to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment was called up in the Senate by Senator Walker Wednesday, May 5. Senator Gormley, Democratic leader, offered as a substitute a referendum to the voters, which was defeated by a solid Republican vote of 13 to 4. The roll was called on the resolution to ratify and it was adopted by 11 ayes, 6 noes—ten Republicans and one Democrat voting for and two Republicans and four Democrats against it. The House had adjourned when the vote was taken and the plan was to send the resolution to it Thursday morning and attempt action Friday, but Thursday morning revealed a clear intention to defeat it and it was therefore placed under lock and key in the Senate. Senator Gormley attempted to offer a motion ordering its delivery to the House but was ruled out of order by the president pro tem. J. D. Short, whose recent accession to the suffrage ranks had made the Senate victory sure.

In the House "Bull" McNabb launched an attack on those who were withholding the resolution, using freely the words "bribery," "cajoling," "threats" and much profanity. Mrs. Thompson, the anti-suffrage president, kept calling out encouragement[Pg 100] to him until the Republican floor leader, William Lyons, had to ask her to stop.

The Senate refused to send the resolution to the House and finally the Republicans succeeded in forcing an adjournment of the Legislature until May 17, hoping to bring about a change of sentiment. Some of those who were interested in the ratification were asked to meet at the capital that day. Among those who responded were Alfred I., T. Coleman and Pierre S. du Pont, Governor Townsend, Senator Ball, Representative Layton, former United States Senator J. F. Allee, Secretary of State Johnson, Charles Warner, former Congressman Hiram R. Burton, Speaker Charles Grantland and others. These men argued and pleaded with the Republican legislators to give the 36th and final ratification of the 19th Amendment but without effect.

On May 28, twenty-three days after the resolution had passed the Senate, it was sent to the Lower House. In the interval the Labor Union of Wilmington passed resolutions unanimously calling upon their three Representatives, McNabb, Mulvena and Mulrine, to vote for ratification. President Wilson was assured that only three Democratic votes were needed and he, therefore, telegraphed these three: "May I not as a Democrat express my deep interest in the suffrage amendment and my judgment that it would be of the greatest service to the party if every Democrat in the Delaware Legislature should vote for it?" Speaker Corbit was interviewed by members of the Republican National Committee and Republican leaders from within and without the State and strongly urged to stand with his party, but to no avail. The resolution was read twice and a motion was unanimously carried that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole. Representative Lyons here offered a motion to vote on the resolution, which was defeated by 24 noes, 10 ayes. A motion was then put to adjourn until 12.30, June 2, on which day it had been previously voted to adjourn sine die at noon, and it was carried! The House thus again placed itself on record against ratification and ended all further legislative action.

The causes that led to the defeat were briefly: 1. Factional differences in the Republican party; antagonism toward Governor Townsend; half-hearted interest and even treachery on the[Pg 101] part of certain Republican leaders. 2. Democratic opposition either because of the negro question or for national political reasons. 3. Influence of the liquor interests. The cost of the campaign to the National American Suffrage Association was approximately $4,500. The financial cost to the suffragists of the State could not be estimated and even more impossible would be an estimate of time and labor during many months. [Long list of names of workers omitted for lack of space.]

Following the final ratification of the Federal Amendment by the Tennessee Legislature the Executive Board, which was in session at Rehoboth, on August 27, 1920, merged the State Equal Suffrage Association into the League of Women Voters and elected Mrs. Ridgely chairman. This action was confirmed at a State convention held in Wilmington September 29, 30.

Among men and women not elsewhere mentioned who have been helpful to woman suffrage are Mrs. Mary T. Challenger, Lea Pusey, George B. Miller, Lewis W. Brosius, Mrs. J. R. Milligan; the Reverends Frederick A. Hinckley, Thomas P. Holloway, Adam Stengle, Alexander T. Bowser, Joel S. Gilfillan; Mrs. John F. Thomas, Congressman Thomas W. Miller, George Carter, editor Evening Journal; Mrs. Samuel H. Derby, Frank C. Bancroft, master of the State Grange; Mrs. Samuel Bancroft, Mrs. Francis I. du Pont, Mrs. Victoria du Pont, Sr., Mrs. Philip Burnett, Sr., and others mentioned in the chapter.

State officers not named otherwise were Mrs. William L. Duggin, Mrs. Alfred D. Warner, Mrs. Willard Morse, Mrs. Mary H. Thatcher, Miss Elizabeth S. Gawthorp, Mrs. Mary Price Phillips, Mrs. Frederick L. Steinlein, Mrs. R. Barclay Spicer, Mrs. Harry Hayward, Mrs. George Newcombe, Miss Willabelle Shurter.

Legislative Action, 1913. A bill to strike from the suffrage clause of the State constitution the word "male" was for the first time presented to the Legislature. It was introduced in the Senate January 7, by David J. Reinhardt; in the House by Albert I. Swan. The members had been previously circularized by the corresponding secretary, Miss Mary R. de Vou, announcing this action in the spirit of the age, in the name of justice and democracy and for the credit of the State. On February[Pg 102] 26 a hearing was granted at a joint session, with the House chamber crowded. Mrs. Cranston introduced the speakers, headed by Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, national president. Miss Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a field worker sent by the National Association, spent two weeks in Dover, canvassing the legislators, assisted by members of the State association. At the Senate hearing March 14 strong speeches were made by Senators Reinhardt, John M. Walker, and a number of leading women. Senators Zachary T. Harris and Dr. George W. Marshall worked for the bill, which was endorsed by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Ministerial Union, State Grange, Central Labor Union and Socialist Party, but it was lost the same day by 11 noes, 6 ayes. The bill was reported favorably by the House committee and Dr. John H. Hammond declared that it was time to quit playing politics with it and pass it but on March 19 it was defeated without debate by 23 noes, 8 ayes.

1915. A full suffrage bill was presented jointly by the State association and the Congressional Union, introduced by Senator Harris and Representative Frank M. Saulsbury. The Campaign Committee representing the two associations and headed by Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles opened headquarters at Dover with Miss Mabel Vernon in charge. Expenses of maintenance were paid by Mrs. George Day of Connecticut, a member of the advisory council of the Union. A suffrage procession headed by Mrs. Hilles and Mrs. Victor du Pont, Jr., marched to strains of martial music from the station to headquarters on its opening day early in January and gave the stately old capital a decided innovation. Speaking followed from a gaily decorated automobile. "Suffrage fliers" (motor cars) carrying able speakers and workers, made whirlwind trips throughout the State. The anti-suffragists organized as a committee, with Mrs. Henry B. Thompson chairman and Mrs. David J. Reinhardt secretary.

On January 21, before the Revised Statutes Committee of the House, all of the Representatives and many of the Senators, a hearing was given to the suffragists. The speakers were Mrs. Cranston, Miss Leila Aaron of Dover, Miss Vernon and Mrs. Hilles, whose argument was nearly flawless. On February 3 the "antis" spoke before practically the same audience and the[Pg 103] enthusiasm equalled that of the suffrage hearing. Thomas F. Bayard, brother of Mrs. Hilles, opened the hearing and introduced Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Grace W. Goodwin of Westfield and Mrs. Preston Lea, wife of a former Governor. On February 9 the suffragists were granted a second hearing, all members of the Senate and several of the House being present. On February 16 the House Committee reported the bill favorably. On March 8, with an hour's interval between, the House killed it by a vote of 22 noes to 8 ayes; the Senate by a vote of 11 noes to 6 ayes. Legislative friends were Senators Edward Hart, John A. Barnard and Speaker Charles H. Grantland.

Preceding the vote was a gay and colorful parade of suffragists, followed by speechmaking outside the State House. Able speakers and workers from other States had spoken during the campaign, among them United States Representatives J. A. Falconer of Washington and William Kent of California; Mrs. Kent, Mrs. Thomas R. Hepburn, president of the Connecticut Equal Suffrage Association and Miss Anne Martin, president of the Nevada association. Among local speakers were Dr. George Edward Reed, D.D., former president of Dickinson College; John S. Hamilton of Wilmington and Mrs. Cranston. On March 11, three days after the defeat, at a well-attended luncheon in Hotel du Pont, Wilmington, was opened the campaign for 1917 in true Bunker Hill spirit.

1917. A full suffrage bill was presented, the Congressional Union in charge. The State was canvassed for and against. Before the joint hearing on February 16 the bill had been reported favorably by committees of both House and Senate. It went to defeat, however, on February 23 by a vote in the House of 21 noes to 12 ayes, in the Senate on February 26 by a vote of 6 noes to 8 ayes. Among the anti-suffrage leaders were Judge George Gray, General James H. Wilson, Miss Emily P. Bissell, Mrs. George A. Elliott and Mrs. Henry P. Scott.


[27] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Mary R. de Vou, corresponding secretary of the Delaware Equal Suffrage Association fourteen years; also treasurer and auditor.

[28] The Women's College affiliated with Delaware College at Newark, the State College for men, was opened in September, 1914.

[29] The History is indebted to Miss Winifred Morris, secretary of the State Equal Suffrage Association, for much of the material in this story of the effort for ratification.

[Pg 104]



While the women in the District of Columbia rejoiced with those in the States over the successful end of the long, hard fight for the Federal Suffrage Amendment their joy was tempered by the fact that they still had before them a struggle for an amendment which would enfranchise the residents of the District—one really for equal suffrage, men and women alike being without the vote. The Congress itself now has entire jurisdiction, each branch appointing a committee for the purpose.

The district is a municipal corporation, administered by a Board of three commissioners, two of whom are appointed by the President of the United States from civil life, confirmed by the Senate, the third being detailed by him from the engineer corps of the army. The argument for the citizen's franchise is that representation in Congress for the residents of the District would only give them a voice in the governing body without impairing the "exclusive jurisdiction" given to Congress by the National Constitution. It has a population greater than six of the States and pays taxes in excess of twenty-two States—each of which has two Senators and Representatives based on its population. Local self-government also is advocated by some residents but the majority are behind the movement to obtain representation in Congress and the vote for presidential electors. From the time this matter was first agitated the woman suffrage association of the District has insisted that women should have the same rights granted to men.

Although the suffragists of the District had no hope of enfranchisement from the Federal Amendment, nevertheless their interest in the cause never flagged and they gave freely of their time and money to aid the movement for it. From 1869 to[Pg 105] 1895 they assisted every year the convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association in Washington, and afterwards whenever it was held in this city. Its great celebration of Miss Susan B. Anthony's 80th birthday in February, 1900, gave a new impetus to the cause. The various societies had been organized in 1898 into the District of Columbia State Equal Suffrage Association, corresponding to those in the various States. The old parent society formed in 1868 and the first Junior Club were augmented by the Political Study Club organized in 1900, to study the origin, growth and government of cities and later agitating the question of placing women on boards of charities, schools, etc.; by the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Club, organized in 1901, to take up the study of general taxation, methods of carrying on the public schools, tariff, finance and city government; by the College Equal Suffrage League, organized in 1909 and doing excellent work, and in 1916 by the Anthony League, organized in 1911 primarily for suffrage, but taking up civic affairs. The Woman Suffrage Council was formed from these societies in 1914 to aid the Congressional Committee of the National Association at its branch headquarters in Washington. The name was afterwards changed to Equal Franchise League when it was decided to keep the organization intact for the purpose of working for suffrage in the district. Mrs. Glenna Smith Tinnin was the first chairman, followed by Mrs. George A. Mosshart and Mrs. Louis Brownlow.

The D. C. State Association held regular meetings about four times a year and some special sessions. It kept the woman suffrage sentiment active and was responsible for a great deal of progressive work. The following served as presidents: Mrs. Helen Rand Tindall, 1898; Mrs. Ellen Powell Thompson, 1899; Mrs. Carrie E. Kent, 1900; Mrs. Tindall, 1901; Mrs. Kent, 1902-3; Mrs. Mary L. Talbott, 1904-5; Mrs. Jessie Waite Wright, 1906-7-8; Miss Harriette J. J. Hifton, 1909-10; Mrs. Le Droit Barber, 1911; Miss Florence Etheridge, 1912; Mrs. Nina E. Allender, 1913; Mrs. Kent, 1914; Miss Mary O'Toole, 1915 to 1920.[31][Pg 106]

A number of prominent women in the District were officers of the local suffrage clubs and worked under their auspices, being connected through them with the D. C. State Association. A part of the program of the latter in 1904-5 was a study of Fisk's Civil Government of the United States, Laws affecting Women and Children, taxation and other subjects of public interest. There was also discussion of bills before Congress of special interest to women and the association supported those for the protection of neglected and delinquent children, compulsory education and restriction of child labor. A bill to raise the salaries of public school teachers was strongly pressed. Among those especially active were Mrs. Ellen Spencer Mussey, Dr. Emily Young O'Brien and Mrs. Alice Stern Gitterman. Through their efforts two truant officers were appointed, one white and one colored. During this period the work was being done which led to the establishment of a Juvenile Court with one probation officer, Mrs. Charles Darwin. In 1906 and 1907 the suffragists were active in agitating for women on the Board of Education and succeeded in having two white women and one colored woman appointed, as well as thirty women supervisors of the public playgrounds. In 1908, also as a direct result of the efforts of Mrs. Helen Rand Tindall and other members of the association, two public comfort stations were built at a cost of $35,000, with bath, rest rooms and all sanitary conveniences, the first in[Pg 107] the city. The association and the College Equal Suffrage League sent representatives to a hearing before the Commissioners to ask that if a referendum on the excise question should be taken women should have a vote as well as men. In 1909 the association assisted in the petition work of the national organization and paid the secretary who was in charge of their headquarters in Washington for keeping them open evenings. Under the auspices of the association lectures were given by Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst and Mrs. Ethel Snowdon of England.

In 1910 at a hearing granted to the National Association by the Judiciary Committee of Congress the District was represented by Miss Emma M. Gillett and Mrs. Katharine Reed Balentine, who overheard one of its members say that if the women really wanted suffrage they should do something more than come up there to make speeches so as to have them cheaply printed and mailed without postage. Miss Gillett, who soon afterwards was made chairman of the National Congressional Committee, was so stimulated by this remark that at her request the D. C. State Association raised $100 and she herself contributed $100 and used the fund to circularize every candidate for Congress in the 1910 campaign. She appealed through the Woman's Journal for contributions, but only $14 were received. The circular asked seven searching questions covering all forms of woman suffrage. The answers were tabulated and sent out by the Associated Press. [See Chapter X, Volume V.]

President Seth Low, of the National Civic Federation, called a conference in Washington Jan. 17-19, 1910, of delegates to be appointed by the Governors of States and "presidents of commercial, agricultural, manufacturing, labor, financial, professional and other bodies national in extent." The program was to include discussions of "public health, pure food regulations, uniform divorce law and discrimination against married women as to the control of their children and property." The suffragists asked the Commissioners to appoint women among the twelve delegates to represent the District, but this was not done. Mr. Low in answering Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt's criticism that women delegates had not been invited, said it had not occurred to him that women would be interested but that he would place[Pg 108] the name of the National Suffrage Association on the list for future calls of a like character.

This year the clergymen of Washington were circularized to ascertain their position on woman suffrage and the great field of usefulness it would offer for women in moral and social reforms was pointed out. Miss Hifton and Miss Anna C. Kelton (afterwards Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley) took charge of this work and the 129 letters they sent received only eight answers, five in favor, two non-committal, one opposed. For the first time permission was obtained from the school board to post notices of the national suffrage convention in the school buildings, Miss Anna MacLaren arranging for it.

In 1911 representatives of the association addressed many conventions in Washington and asked that resolutions favoring suffrage for women be passed. They were not successful but presented their cause. In 1912-13 the suffragists were busy among other things in agitating the question of having a woman as Juvenile Court Judge. President Taft practically promised the appointment, but the male incumbent was allowed to hold over another year. A meeting of women lawyers was held and a committee appointed to call on Attorney General Wickersham to urge the name of Mrs. Ellen Spencer Mussey, then Dean of the Washington College of Law. She was endorsed by several thousand men and women, over six hundred of whom were teachers in the public schools and familiar with Mrs. Mussey's excellent work on the Board of Education, but no woman was appointed. (In 1918 Miss Kathryn Sellers, president of the College Women's Equal Suffrage League, was appointed by President Wilson.)

On March 3, the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, for the first time women marched on Pennsylvania Avenue. The parade was arranged by the Congressional Committee of the National Association, of which Miss Alice Paul was chairman. Objection being made by Superintendent of Police Sylvester to giving a permit, the women appealed to the Senate Committee for the District on the ground that as citizens and tax-payers they had the right to use the avenue, and a joint resolution was passed by Congress granting it. Adequate[Pg 109] police protection, however, was not given, indeed some of the police themselves hooted and jeered with the mob which attacked the paraders. Doubtless it was composed of persons who had come from outside to the inauguration. It took three hours to march the mile from the Peace Monument to the Treasury, where tableaux were given on the steps. Finally it was necessary to call the troops from Fort Myer. The Senate ordered an investigation and the Police Superintendent resigned. It was said that this parade won thousands of friends for the cause of woman suffrage.

This year the Congressional Union was organized to work in the District and the States solely for the Federal Suffrage Amendment, with Miss Paul chairman, Miss Lucy Burns, Mrs. Crystal Eastman, Mrs. Mary Beard and Mrs. Lawrence Lewis the other officers. It had its own headquarters and was not affiliated with the National American Association.

In 1914 the suffragists protested again, this time to the Chamber of Commerce, against a constitutional amendment sponsored by it to enfranchise the residents of the District, because it did not definitely state that women should be included. This protest was also taken up in the Federation of Women's Clubs through the auxiliaries of the State Suffrage Association, which were affiliated with it. During 1915 and 1916 suffragists addressed all the civic bodies in Washington on the necessity of including women in any measure looking to the enfranchisement of the residents of the District. As a result of this continuous agitation a compromise was reached to hold the question in abeyance until a constitutional amendment was passed enabling Congress to grant suffrage to the District. The association as usual participated in commemorating the birthdays of Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony and placed wreaths on the bust of Lincoln in the rotunda of the Capitol. It joined in the contest with the school board which tried to exclude married women as teachers.

During the closing years of the long campaign for woman suffrage street meetings were held. Among those who helped in this work were Mrs. Frank Hiram Snell, Miss Florence F. Stiles, Miss Elizabeth Eggert, Miss O'Toole and Miss Sellers. Receptions were given to the "yellow flier," the automobile sent[Pg 110] across the continent by the National Association, and to the "prairie schooner," the car sent by the Just Government League of Maryland to tour its southern counties. Miss O'Toole travelled with the "schooner" two weeks, speaking several times a day. A delegation from the College League met it at the District line and a procession accompanied it into the city under police escort. In the evening a public reception was given at the Washington College of Law. From 1916 the association assisted the National Association at its new headquarters, 1626 Rhode Island Avenue, by serving tea afternoons and raising money through bazaars, rummage sales, card parties, etc.

During 1918 all the suffrage societies in the District devoted their energies to war work and co-operated in every possible way with the Woman's Committee of National Defense, whose headquarters were in Washington, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw chairman. They rejoiced in the submission of the Federal Suffrage Amendment by Congress in 1919 and its ratification in 1920, although notwithstanding their many years of loyalty and assistance to the National Association they could receive no benefit from the victory.

More women hold office in Washington than in any city in the world because of their very extensive employment by the National Government. When Volume IV of the History of Woman Suffrage was written in 1900 an official statement gave the total number of government employees in the District as 20,109 men, 7,496 women, a total of 27,600. At the request of Mrs. Helen H. Gardener, a vice-president of the National Woman Suffrage Association and a member of the U. S. Civil Service Commission, the following information was sent in 1920 to be used in this volume, by the president of the commission, Martin A. Morrison:

In 1907 the Bureau of the Census issued a report in which it was stated that men outnumbered women in the Government service by about eleven to one in Washington, D. C., and outside. The percentage of women in the District was much larger than outside for the reason that the great bulk of the employees in field branches are in services the duties of which are not ordinarily performed by women—the mechanical forces at navy yards, ordnance establishments, engineer departments, reclamation service projects, lighthouse[Pg 111] service and the like; also the letter-carriers, city and rural, railway mail clerks and such classes.

It is believed that the proportion of women to men in the entire service did not change materially until the beginning of the war. When the United States entered the war, there were approximately 38,000 employees in the executive civil service in the District of Columbia, approximately two-fifths of them women. The force was increased by 80,000 during the war, of whom approximately 75 per cent were women. The force has now been reduced to about 90,000, of whom approximately 50,000 are women. The proportion of women is being constantly reduced by the return of former soldiers and sailors to civilian employment, who are allowed preference under the law. The Federal Civil Service outside the District of Columbia increased by approximately 280,000 during the war period, possibly one-third of this increase made up of women. That force numbers now about 550,000 as compared with 450,000 before the war and it seems safe to say that twenty per cent. are women.

These positions are open to any who pass the civil service examinations but the chiefs of the bureaus and departments are appointed by the President, and Secretaries of Departments, and they have always been men. Men have succeeded also in getting the highly paid positions under civil service.

No law excludes women from the District offices. There are, of course, no elections. Some officials are appointed by the President, some by the Commissioners, and the Supreme Court of the District appoints the Board of Education, three of whose members must be women. In 1920 President Wilson appointed Miss Kathryn Sellers, a member of the District bar, to be Judge of the Juvenile Court. This was largely due to the efforts of Justice William Hitz, of the District Supreme Court. The President appointed also Mrs. Clara Sears Taylor a member of the Rent Commission, created to consider rent problems growing out of the war, and Miss Mabel T. Boardman as Commissioner of the District. The Commissioners appointed two women trustees of the public library. Formerly it was necessary to make an effort to get women on the boards of charities, hospitals, etc., but now such places are seeking the women. Within the past ten years many women graduates of the law schools have been appointed as law clerks in various departments, War Risk, Treasury, especially the income and customs divisions, and in the Solicitor's office for the State Department. The Interior Department appointed Miss Florence Etheridge, at one time president of the D. C. State Equal Suffrage Association,[Pg 112] probate attorney for the Cherokee Indians. Miss Marie K. Saunders was the first woman appointed patent examiner, as the result of a competitive examination, and she has been advanced until the next step is that of principal examiner. Women hold important positions as secretaries of committees at the Capitol.

The Board of Commissioners appoint the Superintendent of Police and under Major Raymond J. Pullman a Woman's Bureau was established in 1918, after several women had been serving on the force. Mrs. Marian C. Spingarn was made director. When she left Washington the following year Mrs. Mina C. Van Winkle was appointed and continues to hold the position. To give her power she was made Detective Sergeant and in 1920 was promoted to a Lieutenancy, so that she might legally be in command of a precinct where the Woman's Bureau is on the first floor of the house of detention and the preventive and protective work for women and children is directed. The functions of this bureau are very wide and very important and the work of the women police covers the entire city.

The national appointments of women have attracted the attention not only of this but of other countries. They began in 1912 with the selection of Miss Julia C. Lathrop of Hull House, Chicago, by President Taft as Chief of the newly created Federal Children's Bureau, which position she still holds (1920). President Wilson appointed Mrs. Frances C. Axtell in 1916 a member of the Federal Employees' Compensation Commission; in 1920 Mrs. Helen H. Gardener a member of the Civil Service Commission; Mrs. Annette A. Adams, U. S. Attorney in San Francisco, Assistant Attorney General; Miss Mary Anderson, chief of the Women's Division of the Department of Labor.


[30] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Mary O'Toole, attorney and counsellor at law, president of the District of Columbia State Equal Suffrage Association from 1915 to 1920, when the Federal Amendment was ratified. Appointed Judge of the Municipal Court by President Harding, Aug. 4, 1921.

[31] Vice-presidents: Justice Wendell P. Stafford, Commissioner Henry B. F. McFarland, Dr. William Tindall, Mrs. Helen H. Gardener, Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley, Mrs. Belva A. Lockwood, Mrs. Philander P. Claxton, Mrs. Wesley, M. Stoner, Mrs. Anna E. Hendley, Miss Helen Jamison, Miss Gertrude Metcalf, Miss Catharine L. Fleming, Miss Annie Goebel, Miss Bertha A. Yoder, Mrs. C. C. Farrar, Dr. Margaret S. Potter, Mrs. Monroe Hopkins, Mrs. Caleb Miller, Mrs. Henry Churchill Cooke, Mrs. Ruth B. Hensey, Mrs. George Easement. There were few years when Dr. and Mrs. Tindall did not occupy some official position.

Corresponding secretaries: Miss Henrietta Morrison, Mrs. B. B. Cheshire, Mrs. Jennie L. Monroe, Mrs. L. M. Coope, Mrs. Ida Finley McCrille, Miss Lavinia H. Engle, Miss Abbie R. Knapp, Miss Helen M. Calkins, Francis Scott, Mrs. Rachel Ezekiel, Mrs. Edna V. Bryan.

Recording secretaries: Miss Emma M. Gillett (8 years), Miss Mary H. Williams, Mrs. Jeannette M. Bradley, Miss Josephine Mason, Mrs. Sarah Newman, Mrs. Louis Ottenberg.

Treasurers: Mrs. Kate Ward Burt (5 years), W. G. Steward, Mrs. Alice P. Rand. Mrs. Kent served in some official capacity from 1898 until her death in 1918.

Auditors: George A. Warren, Miss Edith Harris, William Lee, Mrs. R. G. Whiting, Mrs. F. M. Gregory, Mrs. Jessica Penn Hunter, Miss Audrey Goss, Mrs. L. Aveihle, Miss Alice Jenkins, Mrs. Jeanne F. Brackett, Mrs. Sarah Beall, Mrs. Frank Pyle. Many of the above named also filled other offices.

Among the names which appear in the records of the years as chairmen of committees, in addition to many of the above, are those of Miss Helen Varick Boswell, Dr. Clara McNaughton, Miss Nettie Lovisa White, Mrs. Katharine Reed Balentine and Miss Abby T. Nicholls.

[Pg 113]



With the removal from the State of Mrs. Ella C. Chamberlain in 1897 and no one found to take the leadership, the cause of woman suffrage, which was represented only by the one society at her home in Tampa, languished for years. In 1907 John Schnarr, a prominent business man of Orlando, circulated a petition to Congress for a Federal Suffrage Amendment which was sent down by the National Association and obtained numerous signatures. It is interesting to note that, from the beginning of the suffrage movement in Florida, men as well as women have been its active supporters.

As the years passed and the movement waxed strong throughout the country and important victories were won, the women of Florida imbibed the spirit of their day and generation. It became a frequent topic of discussion and women in various places began to realize the need of organization. On June 15, 1912, the Equal Franchise League was organized at Jacksonville in the home of Mrs. Herbert Anderson by herself and Mrs. Katherine Livingstone Eagan, with about thirty ladies present. Monthly meetings were held in a room in a large new office building given them for headquarters by the owners and forty-five members were enrolled. Mrs. Eagan, the president, soon went to Paris and her duties fell upon the vice-president, Mrs. Roselle C. Cooley; the secretary, Miss Frances Anderson, and the other officers. In the autumn two leading suffragists, who were attending the National Child Labor Convention, were invited to address the League, but neither the Board of Trade nor the Woman's Club would rent its auditorium for a suffrage meeting, so they had to open a door between their headquarters and an adjoining room and a large audience was present. The[Pg 114] league affiliated with the National American Suffrage Association, which the next year sent a field worker to help in legislative work. In 1914 it published a special edition of The State, which was put into the hands of all the Florida members of Congress and the Legislature. Mrs. Medill McCormick, chairman of the National Congressional Committee, sent one of the national workers, Miss Lavinia Engle, to assist. This year Mr. Heard, president of the Heard National Bank, gave the league the use of a large front room on its first office floor.

On Feb. 13, 1913, the Political Equality Club of Lake Helen was formed with Mrs. S. A. Armstrong president and Mrs. Irene Adams secretary. On the 27th the Equal Suffrage League of Orlando was organized with the Rev. Mary A. Safford president, and in October the first demand for suffrage was made here. The Mayor issued a notice that all freeholders must register for the sewerage bond election by the 9th, and a few suffragists saw their opportunity. Very secretly and hurriedly, before the Mayor could get word of it and give notice that the election was meant for men only, Miss Emma Hainer and Mrs. Helen Starbuck gathered together several women who owned valuable property and they went to the city clerk's office and announced that they had come in response to the Mayor's call to register for the coming election. He referred them to the Mayor, who referred them to the Council, which referred them to the city attorney. He told them that the law did not permit women to register. This they knew, but their action caused a discussion of the question and disclosed a widespread belief that women should have the right to vote.

At a meeting of the executive board of the Orlando league in the home of Mrs. J. C. Patterson April 21 the question of forming a State Association was earnestly considered and Miss Safford was requested to prepare a "call" for this purpose. Soon afterwards she and Mrs. Starbuck were sent to Tallahassee by the league to aid the suffrage work being done in the Legislature. Here the great need of a State organization was very apparent, as legislators constantly asked, "Where are the suffragists from my district?"

During the summer through conversation with interested[Pg 115] suffragists and correspondence with Mrs. Cooley, president of the Jacksonville league, arrangements were made for calling a convention to organize a State association at Orlando at the time of the meeting of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. This took place Nov. 4, 1913, Miss Safford was chairman, Mrs. Isabel Stanley secretary of the convention and addresses were made by women from half a dozen towns. A committee was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws which reported at an adjourned meeting on the 6th, when they were adopted and the following officers for the State Equal Suffrage Association were elected: President, Miss Safford, Orlando; first vice-president, Mrs. C. J. Huber, Webster; second, Mrs. Ella Chamberlain, Tampa; third, Miss Caroline Brevard, Tallahassee; corresponding secretary, Miss Elizabeth Askew, Tampa; recording secretary, Miss Frances B. Anderson, Jacksonville; treasurer, Mrs. John Schnarr, Orlando; auditors, Mrs. Anna Andrus, Miami, and Mrs. J. M. Thayer, Orlando.

In 1914 Miss Safford published a bulletin, showing that the State Association had auxiliaries in Jacksonville, Lake Helen, Orlando, Zellwood, Pine Castle, Winter Park, Pensacola, Milton, Miami, Tampa, and a Men's Equal Suffrage League in Orlando with Mayor E. F. Sperry as president and Justin Van Buskirk as secretary. Miss Kate M. Gordon, president of the Southern Woman's Suffrage Conference, had held a successful meeting in Jacksonville. The Orlando League had had a float in the trades' parade of the midwinter fair and a booth at the fair where the names of voters in favor of submitting a State suffrage amendment were obtained. It had had "teas" for replenishing the treasury and closed the year with a banquet complimentary to the Men's League. A committee was preparing a program on the laws of the State for the next year's work. The Pensacola league was arranging to issue a special edition of the Journal and have a booth at the tri-county fair. Most of the leagues had formed classes to study history and the duties of citizenship and had distributed literature and some of them had held a celebration on May 2, as the National Association had requested.

The first annual convention, held at Pensacola, Dec. 8-10, 1914, stressed the pledging of candidates for Congress and[Pg 116] Legislature and securing signatures to petitions. The second, at Orlando, Feb. 3, 1915, formed congressional districts, according to the plan of the National Association. The third, at Miami, March 15-16, 1916, arranged for suffrage schools and planned to assist work outside the State. The fourth, at Tampa, Nov. 20, 1917, found the members busy with war work. The fifth, at Daytona, Nov. 19, 1918, planned to introduce a bill for Primary suffrage in the Legislature and co-operate with the Federation of Women's Clubs to secure it. The sixth, at Tampa, Oct. 30-31, 1919, was devoted to plans for ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment and citizenship.

While the State association could show no definite accomplishment, its work had been largely educational and a considerable public sentiment in favor of woman suffrage had been created. Its organization and growth center about the name of the Rev. Mary Augusta Safford, a pioneer worker in the suffrage cause in several States. She came in 1905 to make Florida her home from Des Moines, Iowa, where she had been pastor of the Unitarian church for eleven years. Her energy, enthusiasm and devotion carried all before her and but for her organization might have been delayed for years. For four years she was the untiring State president, then Mrs. Frank Stranahan served in 1917, Miss Safford again in 1918. The following, in addition to those elsewhere mentioned, are among those prominent in the suffrage work in the State: Mrs. A. E. McDavid, Miss Minnie Kehoe, Pensacola; Mrs. Susan B. Dyer, Winter Park; Mrs. H. W. Thompson, Miss C. H. Day, Milton; Mrs. S. V. Moore, Cocoanut Grove; Mrs. Kate C. Havens, Miami; Miss Pleasaunce Baker, Zellwood; Mrs. Grace Hanchett, Orlando.

From its beginning the association worked for the Federal Suffrage Amendment, although it tried also to obtain from the Legislature the submission of a State amendment to the voters. In 1915 Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, the national president, assisted Miss Safford and the other workers in holding conventions in several congressional districts. Many local meetings were held, much literature distributed, resolutions secured and legislators interviewed. The Federation of Women's Clubs, the largest organization of women in the State, endorsed the movement.[Pg 117] In 1916 Miss Safford went for a month to assist the campaign in Iowa, to which the association sent $100, and the vice-president, Mrs. Frank Tracy, directed the State work. New leagues were formed, delegates to the national presidential conventions were interviewed and Florida women attended those in Chicago and St. Louis. Dr. Shaw was present at the State convention where 550 members were reported and the distribution of 750 packages of literature. A series of meetings was held in cooperation with the Congressional Committee of the National Association and work in the Legislature was done.

By 1918 a number of counties had been organized and the State convention, encouraged by the granting of Primary suffrage to women in Arkansas and Texas, decided to make this its legislative work for 1919, and plans were made to raise $5,000 through local conferences. A State organizer was put into the field and the National Association sent its recording secretary, Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson, a trained worker, to assist the State organization. In January, 1919, Dr. Shaw attended a conference at Orlando and $1,000 were raised; later at a conference in Tampa, $198 and at one in Miami and West Palm Beach $260. Miss Elizabeth Skinner was appointed State organizer and the National Association sent one of its most capable organizers, Mrs. Maria McMahon. The 38 county chairmen had obtained nearly 2,500 signatures to petitions to the Legislature and an active campaign was undertaken for Primary suffrage.

In January, 1919, the National Association's Congressional Committee sent its secretary, Mrs. Minnie Fisher Cunningham of Arkansas, and its press secretary, Miss Marjorie Shuler of New York, to spend several weeks in a quiet campaign to influence U. S. Senator Park Trammell to cast his vote for the Federal Suffrage Amendment, this being considered useless in the case of Senator Duncan U. Fletcher. They secured newspaper comment in favor, interviews with prominent people and resolutions from conventions, but these had no effect. At the annual convention in October the following officers were elected: President, Mrs. John T. Fuller, Orlando; first vice-president, Mrs. Edgar A. Lewis, Fort Pierce; second, Miss Elizabeth Skinner, Dunedin; third, Dr. Minerva B. Cushman, St. Petersburg;[Pg 118] corresponding secretary, Mrs. W. R. O'Neal, Orlando; recording secretary, Mrs. C. E. Hawkins, Brooksville; treasurer, Mrs. Clara B. Worthington, Tampa; auditors, Mrs. J. W. McCollum, Mrs. J. D. Stringfellow, Gainesville; Legislative Committee, Mrs. Amos Norris, chairman, Tampa. A memorial meeting was held for Dr. Shaw, who had died July 2.

The annual meeting in 1920 took place in Orlando. Mrs. Fuller was re-elected and plans for extensive work were made but the association was not quite ready to merge into a League of Women Voters. This was done April 1, 1921, and Mrs. J. B. O'Hara was elected chairman.

Legislative Action. Before the State Association was organized the Equal Franchise League of Jacksonville decided to ask the Legislature, which met in April, 1913, to submit to the voters a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution. A bill was prepared and an appeal for assistance made to the National American Association. In response it sent its very capable field worker, Miss Jeannette Rankin, who went with the executive officers of the league to Tallahassee. Its president, Mrs. Roselle C. Cooley, said in her report: "The House of Representatives decided to hear us in a Committee of the Whole, at an evening session. In this case it meant the whole House, the whole Senate and the whole town. Seats, aisles, the steps of the Speaker's rostrum were filled, windows had people sitting in them and in the hall as far as one could see people were standing on chairs to hear the first call for the rights of women ever uttered in the Capitol of Florida. Four women and three men spoke, the vote of the committee was publicly called at the close of the speaking and the bill passed into the House of Representatives without recommendation. Weary days and weeks of waiting, time wasted on petty legislation, members going home for week-ends and not returning for Monday work kept us still anxious. At length the bill was called and the vote was 26 ayes to 38 noes.

"As we were leaving for our homes on Saturday evening a Senator said: 'If you will come into the Senate we will show those men how to treat ladies.' So we went back on Monday and were fortunate in having for our sponsor Senator Cone of[Pg 119] Columbia county, the leader of the Senate. He took up our bill, placed it on the special calendar and advised us in our procedure, the bill having come into the Senate with favorable recommendation from the committee. Again the weary waiting, the petty legislation, the filibustering of the 'corporation' members and the whisky men, and at last a motion to postpone indefinitely was carried by one majority, 15 to 16, the sixteenth man being one who had been with us from the first until this moment."

The Legislature meets every two years and in 1915 the State association, which had now sixteen well organized branches, was sponsor for the bill, or resolution, and a large number of legislators had promised their support. Hearings were granted by both Houses, but it was defeated.

In 1917 strenuous efforts were again made in behalf of a State constitutional amendment. Mrs. William Jennings Bryan, who now had a winter home in Florida, was among those who addressed the Legislature in favor of it, and on April 23 the resolution to submit the amendment passed the Senate by 23 to 7. The struggle was then begun in the House but the corporate and liquor interests combined with the non-progressive character of many of the members accomplished its defeat.

In April, 1919, the State Federation of Women's Clubs, which now had a suffrage chairman, co-operated with the State Equal Suffrage Association in the effort to obtain a Primary Suffrage Bill, such as had been passed by the Legislatures of Arkansas and Texas. Mrs. McMahon, a national organizer, and Miss Skinner did organizing and legislative work from March 6 to April 22. The former was sent to work for Presidential suffrage, but the State Board believed that Primary suffrage had a better chance. This, however, met with so much opposition that it was never brought up. The moment the Federal Amendment was submitted by Congress a delegation of women—Mrs. Frank Stranahan, chairman of the Legislative Committee; Dr. Safford, Mrs. W. S. Jennings, Mrs. Edgar A. Lewis—went to Tallahassee to try to have the Legislature ratify it, arriving one day before adjournment. They quickly canvassed the members and found a small majority willing to vote for it but there was[Pg 120] no time. Governor Sidney J. Catts could have called a special session for the next day but insisted that there was no assurance of ratification, as some of the men listed as favorable were in the habit of changing their vote, and he did not want to put the members on record. Some of them who were alleged to be supporters declared that they would not stay over even for one day. It was impossible to persuade the Governor to call a special session at any time afterwards, but in 1920 Florida women were enfranchised by this amendment.

Suffrage. By special acts of the Legislature, charters were granted to various cities giving Municipal suffrage to women and the voters accepted them. Sixteen towns had such a charter: Felsmere, Aurantia, Cocoa, Orange City, Deland, West Palm Beach, Delray, Florence Villa (where Dr. Anna Howard Shaw had a winter home for a number of years), Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Moore Haven, Orlando, Clearwater, Dunedin, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs. Felsmere was the pioneer, receiving its charter in 1915.


[32] The History is indebted for this chapter to Alice G. (Mrs. George) Kollock, prominent in the work for woman suffrage in Florida, with thanks to others who assisted.

[Pg 121]



The first suffrage society in Georgia was formed at Columbus in 1890 and the second in Atlanta in 1894. Here the first State convention was held in 1899 and the State association, auxiliary to the National American Woman Suffrage Association, never ceased its labors until the year following the ratification of the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment.

Mrs. McLendon became an officer in 1892 and held official position during the entire twenty-nine years. For thirteen years she was vice-president or honorary president and for the remainder of the time president of the association. Mrs. Thomas was second honorary president for five years before her death in 1906. The following served as presidents: Miss H. Augusta Howard, 1890-1895; Mrs. Frances Cater Swift, 1895-1896; Mrs. Mary L. McLendon, 1896-1899; Mrs. Gertrude C. Thomas, 1899-1901; Miss Katherine Koch, 1901-1904; Mrs. Rose Y. Colvin, 1904-1906; Mrs. Mary L. McLendon, 1906-1921.[34]

In 1900 the same suffrage measures presented the year before were again offered to the Legislature with the same barren result. The Southern Chautauqua invited the association to hold an all day meeting and also engaged Miss Frances A. Griffin of Alabama to lecture. F. Henry Richardson, editor of the Atlanta Journal, and Lucian Knight, editor of the Atlanta[Pg 122] Constitution, brought the "woman's rights movement" as prominently before the public as they were permitted to do by the managers of those newspapers.

On Nov. 25, 26, 1901, the State convention was held in the Universalist Church of Atlanta. Addresses were made by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National Association; Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Alice Daniels and Mrs. McLendon. The meeting adjourned early in the afternoon to go to the Atlanta Women's Club room, where Mrs. Catt was invited to address that body. The night meeting was held in the hall of the House of Representatives, where Mrs. Catt, Mr. Richardson and the Hon. Robert R. Hemphill of South Carolina addressed a large and appreciative audience. The convention decided to employ a State lecturer and organizer.

With but two exceptions State conventions or conferences were held every year, always in Atlanta until 1919, in the Congregational and Universalist churches, in the Grand Building, the hall of the Federation of Labor, the Carnegie Library, the Hotel Ansley and the Piedmont Hotel. The membership gradually increased, a series of literary meetings in the winter of 1902 adding fifty names. This year a committee was appointed to revise the charter of Atlanta and the officers of the association appeared before it and asked that it include Municipal suffrage for women. The sub-committee on franchises recommended that instead it provide for women on school, hospital, park and health boards, but the general committee reported adversely. The Atlanta branch protested to Mayor Livingstone Mims against the injustice of not allowing women taxpayers to vote on the proposed $400,000 bond issue. He expressed himself in favor of woman suffrage and promised to bring the matter before the city council, but there was no result.

Miss Kate M. Gordon, national corresponding secretary, gave a most convincing address in the Carnegie Library the next year, 1903, on how the taxpaying women of Louisiana won the right to vote on questions of taxation; strong articles were published, but all the women were able to do was to post large placards at the polls, "Taxpaying women should be allowed to vote at this bond election." Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, national[Pg 123] vice-president-at-large, came to assist at the State convention and delivered her famous lecture, "The Fate of Republics." This year the association distributed 10,000 pages of suffrage literature at the Interstate Fair. It attempted to bring a bill before the Legislature for police matrons but not a member would introduce it.

During these years the suffragists found it very difficult to persuade a legislator to present a bill for raising the age of consent or compulsory education in order to take the young children out of the factories or for the enfranchisement of women. In 1905, at the request of the National Association that fraternal greetings should be sent to various organizations, Mrs. McLendon, who had been a member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union since 1890, carried them to its convention and made an earnest but unsuccessful effort to have it adopt a franchise department. Thousands of pieces of suffrage literature were distributed at the State Fair. In 1906 memorial services were held for the great leader, Susan B. Anthony, and the association carried out to its full power all the State work planned by the National Board, including a petition to the Legislature to pass a resolution asking Congress to submit a Federal Suffrage Amendment.

The membership of the association was increased in 1907 by the addition of three prominent W. C. T. U. officials, Mrs. J. J. Ansley, Mrs. Jennie Hart Sibley and Mrs. L. W. Walker, who were promptly appointed superintendents of Church Work, Legislation and Petition and Christian Citizenship. Miss Jean Gordon of New Orleans and Mrs. Florence Kelley of New York made splendid addresses in favor of woman suffrage when they came to Atlanta in April to attend the Child Labor Convention. Dr. Shaw gave a stirring suffrage speech in the hall of the House of Representatives on May 4.

The evening sessions of the annual convention in 1908 were held in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol. Miss Laura Clay, Mrs. Sibley, Miss H. Augusta Howard and W. S. Witham were the speakers, with Mrs. McLendon presiding. Miss Clay's address, entitled Who Works Against Woman Suffrage? created a profound impression and she was of much assistance.[Pg 124] Mrs. McLendon was invited to speak before the convention of the Georgia Agricultural Association, one of the oldest in the State, on Woman's Education and Woman's Rights. A rising vote of thanks was accorded her and the address ordered printed in the minutes. The State Prohibition convention placed a strong woman suffrage plank in its platform and the delegates to the national convention were instructed to vote for one if it was offered. Mr. Witham, the Rev. James A. Gordon and Mr. Barker, editor of The Southern Star, worked faithfully for this plank.

In 1909, at the request of the National Association, letters were written to Georgia's Senators and Representatives in Congress, asking them to vote for a Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment. Polite but non-committal replies were received from Senators Clay and Bacon and Representatives Griggs and Lewis. The other eight evidently did not consider disfranchised women worthy of an answer. The city council of Atlanta decided that its charter was forty years behind the times and again a committee of forty-nine men was appointed to draw up a new one. The Civic League, an Atlanta auxiliary to the State Suffrage Association, set to work to have this new charter recognize the rights of the women taxpayers. It was discovered that the women paid taxes on more than $13,000,000 worth of real and personal property in the city. Several hundred personal letters were written to leading taxpaying women asking their opinion of the league's movement; only favorable replies were received and many friends of the cause developed among the influential women. Strong articles were published in the city papers and widely copied throughout the State, but the charter entirely ignored the claims of women. Many letters were written to Republican and Democratic delegates asking them to vote for a suffrage plank in their platforms. The annual convention was not held in Macon, as intended, because there was so much sentiment against it in that city. This year women in the Methodist Church South became active to secure laity rights, which had been granted to women members in the North, East and West after they had worked years for it, but the bishops in the South were bitterly opposed to it. Mrs. Mary Harris Armor,[Pg 125] the well-known national organizer and lecturer for the W. C. T. U., and four years president for Georgia, joined the suffrage association.

The National Association's petition to Congress had been distributed throughout the State for signatures and returned to Washington. In 1910 letters were written to President Taft, to the members of Congress from Georgia and to Governor "Joe" Brown, as requested by Dr. Shaw, national president. Senator Clay and Representatives W. C. Brantley, S. A. Roddenberry and W. C. Adamson were the only ones who could spare time to answer. Atlanta was to have an election for a three-million dollar bond issue on February 15, Susan B. Anthony's birthday, and the Mayor and president of the Chamber of Commerce had appealed to the City Federation of Women's Clubs to "make the men go to the polls to vote for bonds." The suffragists distributed broadcast a poster headed by a cartoon by Louis Gregg representing women of all sorts, armed with brooms, umbrellas, rolling pins, etc., driving the men to the polls.

Over 6,000 pages of suffrage literature were distributed in the State, a considerable amount of it to young people engaging in debates or writing essays. Dr. James W. Lee and Dr. Frank M. Siler, Methodist ministers of Atlanta, fearlessly expressed themselves in their pulpits as in favor of the enfranchisement of women, regardless of the fact that Bishop Warren A. Candler was bitterly opposed to it. Dr. Len G. Broughton of the Baptist church and Dr. Dean Ellenwood of the Universalist also declared themselves as favoring equal rights in Church and State for women. Judge John L. Hopkins, one of Georgia's foremost lawyers, who codified the laws, proclaimed himself a believer in equal rights for women in a letter to the Constitution. In June when it was again proposed to revise the charter of Atlanta, a committee from the Civic League went before the charter committee and presented a petition asking Municipal suffrage for women. Later at a meeting of the city council the petition was brought up for consideration and was treated with ridicule and contempt. On August 8 the association held its convention in the hall of the Federation of Labor, its true friend. Walter McElreath of Fulton county offered a resolution that the House[Pg 126] of Representatives should be tendered for the evening session, but Joe Bill Hall, a noted anti-prohibitionist and anti-suffragist, marshalled the liquor men and they defeated it.

In 1912 the State association conformed to the plan of the National and appointed a committee of education, who would offer money prizes for the best essays on woman suffrage by the seniors of the high schools, with Mrs. Helmer chairman and Miss Koch secretary. It worked vigorously for the bill to permit women to practice law. Mrs. Rebecca Latimer Felton became a member and was elected a delegate to the national suffrage convention in Philadelphia. Attorney Leonard J. Grossman joined the association and was made general counsel.

In 1913, while Mr. Grossman was attending the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association as a delegate, he was requested by James Lees Laidlaw, president of the National Men's League for Woman Suffrage, to undertake the organization of a Georgia Men's League. He did so immediately on returning home, with the following officers: President, Mr. Grossman; vice-presidents, the Rev. Fred A. Line, the Rev. J. Wade Conkling, C. W. McClure, Dr. Frank Peck, E. L. Martin, ex-president Macon Chamber of Commerce; S. B. Marks and L. Marquardt, ex-presidents of the State Federation of Labor. Mr. Grossman toured the State on behalf of woman suffrage under the joint auspices of the Men's League and the State association. He drafted, at their request, proposed bills and ratification resolutions; appeared before the annual conventions of the Federation of Labor, obtaining their formal endorsement of woman suffrage; secured also the endorsement of the Civic Educational League, comprising a great majority of the Jewish citizens of Atlanta; occupied church pulpits and addressed women's clubs, civic bodies, city councils and legislative committees. The members of the Men's League gave whatever assistance was required.

The many State victories in 1912 put new life into the movement in 1913. The Georgia Young People's Suffrage Association was organized with Miss Ruth Buckholz as president. To represent the association Mrs. Amelia R. Woodall, corresponding, and Miss Katherine Koch, recording secretary; Miss Mamie[Pg 127] Matthews, treasurer of the young people's society, Mrs. Landis Sanna, Mrs. Margaret Gardner, editor Trox Bankston of West Point and J. J. Williams of Chatterton, were sent to Washington to march in the parade on March 3. They carried the suffrage flag made for the national convention in Atlanta in 1895, with two handsome yellow banners prepared especially for the parade. Five bills before the Legislature were supported this year as well as the Federal Amendment. When Presidential suffrage was given to Illinois women in 1913, the Atlanta Constitution was so impressed with the "nearness" of woman suffrage that it created a suffrage department and offered the editorship to Mrs. McLendon. U. S. Senators Hoke Smith and Augustus O. Bacon had been obliged to present the petition of Georgia suffragists asking for the Federal Amendment, but no beautiful speeches were made by them. Senator Smith had been on record all his life as being "unalterably opposed to woman suffrage" and voted against it whenever he had opportunity, adding insult to injury by declaring, "Our best women do not want it." Senator W. S. West, who succeeded Senator Bacon, was more amenable to reason, but Senator Thomas W. Hardwick, who followed after Mr. West's death, has been an implacable opponent. For the second time the Atlanta Federation tendered the use of its beautiful Temple of Labor for the day sessions of the State convention which met July 9, 10. The Legislature was persuaded by John Y. Smith of Fulton county to permit an evening session in the House of Representatives. Senator Starke opposed the use of the Senate Chamber "because Christ did not select women for his Disciples" but saner counsels prevailed and it was opened for a session.

During 1914 there were 275 meetings in Atlanta, Rome, Athens, Decatur, Macon and Bainbridge by the auxiliary societies, with five open air meetings. On March 1 a mass meeting was held in the Atlanta theater to which members of the Legislature were especially invited. The speakers were officers of the National Association, including the vice-president, Miss Jane Addams. To enlarge the scope of the work there was organized in February the Woman Suffrage Party Incorporated, as a branch of the State association, with Mrs. McLendon president.[Pg 128] It secured a charter and prepared for an aggressive state-wide suffrage campaign. A chairman for each of the twelve congressional districts was appointed and instructed to organize in her district. This year for the first time a hearing was granted before the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments. Mrs. Felton and Mrs. Rose Ashby spoke for the association, Mrs. Cheatham and Mrs. Frances Smith Whiteside for the Woman Suffrage League. The association distributed 40,000 pages of leaflets, fliers, newspapers, etc.; about a dozen of the leading newspapers were supplied with local and national suffrage news and members of the Legislature with suffrage literature. In 1900, when the first National W. C. T. U. convention was held in Atlanta, woman suffrage was a forbidden subject at all temperance meetings in Georgia. In 1914, when the second was held, Mrs. McLendon, president of the State Suffrage Association, was selected to welcome the White Ribboners in behalf of the suffragists of the State.[35]

The annual convention of the State association was held July 21, 22, in the ballroom of the Hotel Ansley, beautifully decorated for the occasion. Miss Kate M. Gordon aided largely in making it a success. Mrs. Annie Fletcher of Oldham, England, visited Atlanta this year and spoke on the suffrage situation there. Mrs. Georgia McIntyre Wheeler, a practicing attorney of West Virginia, helped greatly in securing the Woman Lawyer Bill. Atlanta and Waycross suffragists applied to the city governments to grant women Municipal suffrage. The association did not parade on May 2, as requested by the National Board, but the president made a suffrage speech on the steps of the State Capitol and members sold copies of the Woman's Journal. The Rev. A. M. Hewlett, pastor of St. Marks Methodist Church South, accompanied Mrs. McLendon and Attorney Grossman to Cox College in March and by invitation of its president they gave addresses in favor of suffrage for women before the student body.[Pg 129] There was a growing sentiment in favor of it among clergymen of various denominations.

The State convention was held in Atlanta Nov. 15-20, 1915, at the same time as the harvest festival, and the first suffrage parade took place, led by Miss Eleanor Raoul on horseback. Mrs. McLendon followed in the little yellow car which once belonged to Dr. Shaw, driven by Mrs. Loring Raoul. As a protest against taxation without representation Dr. Shaw allowed it to be sold for taxes and it was bought by Miss Sallie Fannie Gleaton of Conyers, who walked behind it in the parade. The suffrage carriages were decorated with yellow, those of the W. C. T. U. with white. Mrs. William R. Woodall, president of the Atlanta association, and Miss Katherine Koch had carried on a suffrage school the first and second Wednesdays from February 24 to December 1. The motion picture suffrage play Your Girl and Mine had been put on in the Grand Opera House. The branch in Rome published an official organ called The Woman's Magazine.

In February, 1916, the State association and its three auxiliaries in Atlanta worked with the Equal Suffrage Party and the Woman Suffrage League to secure 10,000 names to a petition to the city council asking for the Municipal franchise. State Senator Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado and Mesdames Brooks, Kenney and Horine of Washington, D. C., came to their assistance. There were street speaking from automobiles at night and meetings at private residences and they secured over 9,000 names. The city council gave a hearing, the Hon. Claude Peyton making the presentation speech. The members listened apathetically and appeared much relieved when Attorney Robert M. Blackburn assured them they could not give women Municipal suffrage, as the State constitution declared only male citizens could vote. Letters were sent to the delegates to the two national conventions of the dominant political parties, asking them to put a strong suffrage plank in their platforms and Mrs. Woodall and Mrs. Laura Couzzens responded to Mrs. Catt's call for marchers at the Chicago and St. Louis conventions. Governor N. E. Harris refused to include woman suffrage in the call for the special session of the Legislature which made the State "bone dry," but[Pg 130] this year it enacted a number of laws for which the association had long worked.

On Feb. 12, 13, 1917, officers of the National Association held a suffrage school in Atlanta. When the Legislature assembled in June all the members found on their desks a notice that bills granting Municipal suffrage to women, also full suffrage, and one to raise the age of consent from 10 years to 18 would be introduced. The State association sent the national suffrage organ, the Woman Citizen, for a year to the United States Senators and fourteen Representatives in Congress; to the members of the Legislature and all State officials. The Atlanta association again conducted a three months' suffrage school. The State convention in December in the Assembly Hall of the Piedmont Hotel closed with a luncheon at which many prominent men and women were present. Representatives John C. White and John Y. Smith at that time pledged themselves to introduce and work for suffrage bills. During this and the following year the suffrage associations did their full share of war work. Mrs. McLendon represented the State association on the Women's Council of National Defense, and Mrs. Martin, first vice-president, was chairman of the State Americanization Committee.

In 1918 the Parent-Teacher Association adopted strong suffrage resolutions. The Baptist and Methodist churches South granted laity rights to women. State suffrage headquarters were deluged with requests for literature by educational institutions for debates. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Professor M. L. Brittain, had been an advocate of votes for women many years. The Atlanta Journal gave the State association a column in its Sunday issues, which Mrs. Martin edited. Raymond E. White wrote a number of fine suffrage editorials for the Constitution. In July the Hearst papers circulated a petition for a Federal Suffrage Amendment and the Atlanta association secured 5,000 names and other auxiliaries 1,000.

On May 3, 1919, a progressive city Democratic Central Committee gave Atlanta women the right to vote in the Municipal primary election to be held September 3. A Central Committee of Women Citizens was at once elected at a mass meeting of[Pg 131] women to see that they registered and nearly 4,000 did so, paying one dollar for the privilege.

Mrs. McLendon represented the State Association at the convention of the National Association in St. Louis in March, 1919. On May 21 she and her sister, Mrs. Felton, sat in the House of Representatives in Washington and had the pleasure of hearing W. D. Upshaw, member from the fifth congressional district of Georgia, vote for the submission of the Federal Suffrage Amendment, the only Representative from the State to do so. On June 4 the new U. S. Senator, William J. Harris of Georgia, voted for the submission of this amendment, giving one of the long needed two votes. The official board of the State Association through Mrs. McLendon mailed to each member of the Legislature a personal letter with copies of letters from Mrs. J. K. Ottley, the Democratic Executive Committee woman from Georgia, and the eminent clergyman, Dr. J. B. Gambrell, urging the members to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment. The annual convention of 1919 was held in the auditorium of the Hotel Piedmont, Atlanta, on December 5.

A League of Women Voters was organized in Atlanta in March, 1920, out of the Equal Suffrage Party, but the State association decided that this action was premature, since there were no women voters in Georgia, and that the old association, organized in 1890, would never disband until women could vote on the same terms as men.

On June 1, in response to a petition of fifty representative women of Atlanta, a hearing in charge of Mrs. McLendon was granted by the chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, at the request of Mayor Key. After a number had spoken a motion was made to let the women vote in the white municipal primary in Atlanta and was carried with only four negative votes. The Atlanta and the Young People's Suffrage Associations endorsed the re-election of Mayor Key and worked for him, and he was returned by a majority of three to one on July 28. Afterwards several other cities and villages permitted women to vote in the primaries and on bond issues.

After the Federal Suffrage Amendment was ratified in August 1920, it was announced that women would not be permitted to[Pg 132] register and vote in the primary on September 8 and the runover primary of October 6 for the general election because they had not registered for it in April and May, which they had no right to do. When the Legislature had assembled June 23, Mrs. McLendon, Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Woodall had called on Representatives Covington and John Y. Smith and Senators Elders Dorris and Pittman and begged them to introduce an Enabling Act to provide for the women to vote in November if the 19th Amendment should be ratified. They promised faithfully to do this and the Senators did so, but it was held back. The Representatives never did introduce it. Mrs. McLendon then appealed to Governor Dorsey, but he was candidate for U. S. Senator and had no time to attend to it. The Legislature adjourned and the women were left in the lurch.

Then Mrs. McLendon decided to make a test and see if women could not vote in the primary on September 8, as the returned soldiers who did not reach Georgia before May were allowed to vote in all elections without registering. She wired to Senator Fermor Barrett of Stevens county, chairman of the sub-committee of the State Democratic Executive Committee, asking him to call it together and see if it could provide some way. He called it to meet in Atlanta on September 3, and he and H. H. Dean made speeches and voted to try to arrange it, but the other five members voted against it. Mrs. McLendon then went to the chairman of the County Democratic Executive Committee and he refused to take any action, saying, "Our committee is only the agent of the State committee and must obey its mandates." Then she and Mrs. Julia H. Ellington, Mrs. Jane Adkins and Mrs. Nancy Duncan called on the tax collector and asked to be allowed to pay their State and county taxes and to register. They were sent to the chairman of the Registration Committee and he also refused to enroll their names. Then they went to the polls September 8 and were told, "No women voting here."

Mrs. McLendon telegraphed to Bainbridge Colby, Secretary of State, who answered: "The matter to which you refer is not within the province of this Department and I am not in a position to give you any advice with regard thereto." She next asked Governor Dorsey to call an extra session of the Legislature[Pg 133] to provide some way for the women to vote in the general election, but he said he could not. Then she went to a full meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee, held September 16, but no chance to be heard was given her. The next day she attended a meeting of the Fulton County Commissioners, who declared their willingness but their inability to do anything. She then called on Attorney General R. A. Denny, who advised her to go to the polls and make the effort, saying: "The 19th Amendment is above the laws of any State." Women in Georgia, however, were not permitted to vote at the Presidential election two months after they had been enfranchised by this amendment.

Legislative Action. The first request for woman suffrage was put before the Legislature in 1895, the last in 1920, and in the interim every session had this subject before it, with petitions signed by thousands of women, but during the quarter of a century it did not give one scrap of suffrage to the women of the State. From 1895 bills for the following measures were kept continuously before it: Age of protection for girls to be raised from 10 years; co-guardianship of children; prevention of employment of children under 10 or 12 years old in factories; women on boards of education; opening of the colleges to women. Year after year these bills were smothered in committees or reported unfavorably or defeated, usually by large majorities. In 1912 a bill was passed enabling women to be notaries public; in 1916 one permitting women to practice law, which the suffragists had worked for since 1899; in 1918 one raising the age of consent to 14. The suffrage association had worked for it twenty-three years and always asked that the age be 18.

In 1912 another association to further the movement for woman suffrage was formed in Atlanta, the Woman Suffrage League, and Mrs. Frances Smith Whiteside, who had been from early days a member of the old association, was elected president. Mrs. Whiteside was for thirty years principal of the Ivy Street school and during the first ten years of the existence of the State Association she was the only teacher who dared avow herself a member, as the very name of suffrage was so odious to the public. Through her family connections and wide acquaintance[Pg 134] she was able to exercise a strong personal influence in bringing well-known men and women to a belief in this cause. The league did active work among teachers and business women and converted some of the leading legislators. It inaugurated an educational campaign in the schools and gave business scholarships for the best essays on woman suffrage. In co-operation with the other associations it obtained signatures to petitions for the Municipal franchise. The first street speaking was done under its auspices.

When Leagues of Women Voters were authorized by the National American Suffrage Association in 1919, the organization disbanded and the members entered the league formed in Georgia. Mrs. Whiteside had been continually the president and there had been only two changes in the board of the following officers: First vice-president, Mrs. Elizabeth McCarty; second, Miss Laura Barrien; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Jack Hawkins; recording secretaries, Mrs. William H. Yeandle, Mrs. Mary Peyton; treasurer, Miss Ethel Merk; auditors, Mrs. A. G. Helmer, Miss Minnie Bellamy. Mrs. Yeandle died in 1915 and Mrs. Mary Peyton was elected in her place. This year Mrs. Helmer became president of a branch league and was succeeded as auditor by Miss Minnie Bellamy.


For some time there had seemed a necessity in Georgia for an organization which would undertake more aggressive work in behalf of woman suffrage. Early in 1914 the psychological time for it became apparent and a meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Emily C. McDougald in Atlanta. A group of influential men and women were present, who declared themselves in favor of an active campaign and pledged their support. On motion of Linton C. Hopkins a committee was appointed to nominate temporary officers, and reported for president Mrs. McDougald; for vice-president, Mrs. Hopkins, and for secretary, Mrs. Hugh Lokey. A constitution and by-laws were adopted and a petition[Pg 135] for a State charter was filed under the name of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia.

On July 29 a meeting was called for permanent organization and with representatives from different parts of the State present the following were elected: President, Mrs. McDougald; first vice-president, Mrs. John Dozier Pou of Columbia; second, Miss Mildred Cunningham of Savannah; secretary, Mrs. Henry Schlesinger; treasurer, Mrs. Benjamin Elsas; organizer, Mrs. Mary Raoul Millis; auditor, Miss Genevieve Saunders, all of Atlanta. Members of the Executive Board were: Mrs. Mary Meade Owens of Augusta; Mrs. Mayhew Cunningham of Savannah; Miss Anna Griffin of Columbus; Mrs. Charles C. Harrold of Macon. Affiliated branches were organized with presidents as follows: In Savannah, Mrs. F. P. McIntire; in Augusta, Mrs. Owens; in Columbus, Miss Anabel Redd; in Atlanta, Miss Eleanore Raoul; in Macon, Mrs. Harrold; in Athens, Mrs. W. B. Hill; in Albany, Mrs. D. H. Redfearn.

From these centers a great deal of work was done for suffrage in the adjacent smaller towns. The city organizations opened offices and committees of local women were put in charge of the work of raising money and distributing suffrage propaganda. Tens of thousands of letters, leaflets, books and speeches were distributed throughout the State. All of the women's clubs were urged to endorse suffrage; schools were asked to debate the subject and prizes offered for the best arguments in debate and in written composition. Suffrage parades on foot and in automobiles were had in all the cities, suffrage plays put into the theaters, suffrage slides into the movies and every means of educating the public was used. The best national speakers were brought into the State and immense audiences worked up for them. The beloved Dr. Anna Howard Shaw spoke in Atlanta to one of 6,000. The National American Woman Suffrage Association, of which the Equal Suffrage Party was an affiliated branch, gave hearty co-operation in securing these speakers. The party held annual conventions, where new officers were generally elected as a matter of democratic policy. The second took place in Atlanta Nov. 17, 1915, where Mrs. McDougald was re-elected president and the other officers selected were Mrs. J. D. Pou of[Pg 136] Columbus, first vice-president; Mrs. Cunningham, second; Miss Schlesinger, secretary; Miss Aurelia Roach, treasurer; Mrs. Millis, organizer. The party already had branches in 13 counties, including the largest cities.

The annual convention on Oct. 28, 1916, was held in Atlanta and Mrs. L. S. Arrington of Augusta was elected president; Mrs. S. B. C. Morgan of Savannah, first vice-president; Mrs. Harrold, second; Miss Julia Flisch, secretary, and Miss Annie G. Wright, treasurer, both of Augusta. The effort in Atlanta to secure a petition for Municipal suffrage for women had resulted in obtaining the signatures of 6,000 women and 3,000 men. All the delegates to three national Presidential conventions had been circularized in behalf of a plank for Federal woman suffrage, and all the members of the Legislature asking for the submission of a State amendment. The next annual convention was held in Augusta Nov. 24, 1917, and Mrs. Frank P. McIntire of Savannah was selected for president. The convention was omitted in 1918, as the women were occupied with war work.

At the convention held in Savannah Jan. 15, 1919, Mrs. McDougald was again elected president. The splendidly efficient service of women in all the departments of war work proved that without them it would have been most difficult to succeed in the Liberty Bond sales, the Red Cross and all the "drives" for raising money. The officers of the Equal Suffrage Party and those of its affiliated societies were selected as leaders in the work of the Woman's Council of Defense, National and State.

From every part of the State hundreds of letters were sent to the U. S. Senators Smith and Hardwick, asking them to vote for the Federal Suffrage Amendment, but to no avail. The year had been a fruitful one, even though the Legislature had failed to ratify the Federal Amendment, which was submitted by Congress in June. An adverse influence, which it was very hard to combat, was that of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. Its president, Mrs. Z. L. Fitzpatrick of Madison and other officials were violently opposed. A large majority of the women in the city clubs were suffragists and not influenced by the attitude of the federation officers but this was not true of the rural women, who were constantly warned that woman suffrage was a great[Pg 137] evil not to be even mentioned in their clubs. This anti-suffrage influence reacted upon the rural legislator and gave him ground for the oft-repeated argument, "The women of my district do not want the vote, they won't even discuss it in their clubs." There had long been a strong desire to have woman suffrage endorsed by the State Federation, the largest organization of women in the State, with 30,000 members, and every year the Equal Suffrage Party had sent to all the club presidents an earnest letter urging them to give their members an opportunity to vote on the question and pointing out the greater achievements of the clubs in States where women had the franchise. At every annual meeting, however, when a resolution would be offered from the floor, the president of the federation would declare it out of order and prevent action on it. In 1917, at its convention in Augusta, a resolution was offered to send a congratulatory telegram to the women of New York on their newly acquired enfranchisement, whereupon a storm of protest arose, the president ruled it out of order and it was tabled.

In 1919 every club was again circularized and the answers showed that the women throughout the State wanted favorable action by the State Federation. At its convention in Columbus in November, 1919, two resolutions were prepared, one or the other to be presented, as seemed most expedient at the time. One was a simple endorsement of woman suffrage; the other, submitted by Mrs. Morgan, asked for an endorsement of the Federal Amendment and its ratification by the Legislature. At the last moment, the suffragists decided to take a bold step and send the latter to the Resolutions Committee, which was done, and this committee recommended its adoption. The president, Mrs. James E. Hayes of Montezuma, ruled it out of order. Mrs. Rogers Winter of Atlanta appealed from the decision of the chair; Mrs. Alonzo Richardson of Atlanta seconded the appeal and was sustained and the resolution was brought before the convention. It was carried by a vote of 85 to 40.[37]

When the report of this action was received in Macon, an[Pg 138] indignant protest went up from the anti-suffragists. Mrs. Bruce Carr Jones, secretary of the State Federation, sent in her resignation. Mrs. Walter D. Lamar and Mrs. Thomas Moore went before the women's clubs of the city and urged that they withdraw from the federation. The Macon Telegraph devoted much space to denouncing it as a most dishonest trick and approved heartily the efforts of these women to dismember the federation. Through their influence six clubs resigned. Sixty-nine new clubs joined the federation in the twelve months following its endorsement of the Federal Amendment.[38]

The white women of Atlanta were given the vote in the city Primaries in May, 1919. For several years all the suffrage forces in the city had been working to secure this privilege from the Democratic Executive Committee, but without success. In 1919, however, the personnel of the committee had changed to such an extent that it was decided to make another effort. The chairman, E. C. Buchanan, was a good friend and with his help Mrs. A. G. Helmer, Mrs. Charles Goodman and Mrs. McDougald had the opportunity of making a personal canvass of each of its forty-four members. When the chairman called a meeting for May 3, to consider, he said, the request of the Equal Suffrage Party, there was every reason to believe they would make a favorable report. A resolution written by Mrs. McDougald was adopted by a vote of 24 to 1. On the roll call each man stood up and in a few gracious words expressed his pleasure in being able to show his confidence in the helpful co-operation of women in city government by granting them this suffrage. A mass meeting of women was called at once to name a central committee to take charge of the task of getting the women registered immediately as a city election was near at hand. Miss Eleanore Raoul was made chairman, and with her able co-workers in every ward[Pg 139] accomplished a wonderful work. Public meetings addressed by prominent men and women were held daily; $1,200 were raised and 4,000 women were registered in a few weeks. The Executive Committee in 1920 again included women in the electorate and to this body of men is due the honor of being the first in Georgia to recognize the value of women in civic affairs.

In 1919 all the district school superintendents inaugurated a series of competitive debates on the question, Shall Georgia Grant Suffrage to the Women of the State? This created intense interest in every county and the Equal Suffrage Party found it difficult to supply the demand for literature from the hundreds of schools. The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce elected five women as members in recognition of their public service. In addressing the Landowners' Convention at Savannah in November Governor Hugh M. Dorsey said: "I hope that as Governor of Georgia I may be given the privilege of signing a bill giving women equal rights in this great commonwealth."

Legislative Action. In June, 1915, the Equal Suffrage Party made its first effort to sponsor a suffrage bill in the Legislature. It opened a booth in one of the corridors between the House and Senate chambers, supplied it with the best suffrage literature and put it in charge of a committee of women who worked faithfully to convert some of that wilful and reactionary group of politicians. It was a hopeless task. The first bill was introduced in the House by Mr. Wohlwender of Muscogee county and in the Senate by Senators Dobbs and Buchanan and referred to the Judiciary Committee, which granted a hearing. Representatives from all the suffrage associations were present and made speeches. Mrs. Walter D. Lamar and Miss Mildred Rutherford, head of the Lucy Cobb Institute of Athens, represented the Anti-Suffrage Association. Mrs. Lamar's arguments were based upon the theory that women did not have sufficient integrity to be trusted with the ballot; that long years ago when those of New Jersey had it it had to be taken from them because they were so dishonest in their use of it. She also said that women were universally the hardest taskmasters, requiring more work and paying less for it than men. Miss Rutherford begged the legislators to disregard the request of the few women desiring[Pg 140] the ballot, as they did not represent the true type of the southern woman, who had always rejoiced in being upon a high pedestal where men had placed her and worshipped her and that women were more than satisfied with that which men had so lavishly and chivalrously given—their love and their money. These speeches were received with howls of appreciation from the legislators, who dwelt upon the type that appealed to them, "the woman who was the mother of children and realized that her place was at home with her hand on the cradle." The committee made an unfavorable report.

In 1916 this experience was repeated. In 1917 and 1918 the leaders of the Equal Suffrage Party were absorbed in war work and had no time to waste in so helpless and disagreeable a task. They realized that they would soon be enfranchised by a Federal Amendment, the only hope of the women of Georgia.

Ratification. In 1919 came the great struggle over ratification. The best the suffragists hoped for was that no action would be taken. During the first days of the session, however, the resolution to ratify was introduced in the House by Representative J. B. Jackson of Jones county and in the Senate by Senator T. H. Parker of Colquitt county, both of whom explained that their action was taken in order to kill it. The resolution was referred in both Houses to the Committees on Constitutional Amendments and a joint hearing was set for an early date.

The suffragists had more friends and stronger ones on the House Committee than the "antis" and more than they had realized. All they asked was that the resolution be tabled, not reported favorably, for they knew that defeat on the floor of the House was certain. One of their strongest supporters, Judge W. A. Covington of Colquitt county, was detained at home by illness in his family and telegraphed the chairman of the House Committee, John W. Bale of Floyd county, asking that the hearing be postponed a few days so that he might be present. This courtesy, commonly extended without question, was refused by Mr. Bale. Immediately on the opening of the hearing Mr. Jackson asked to substitute for his original resolution one which explicitly rejected ratification. By permission of the chairman this substitute was accepted. After the hearing, at which Miss[Pg 141] Rutherford alone appeared in opposition while seven women spoke for it, the committee went into executive session. On a motion to postpone action the vote was 13 to 13, and the chairman cast his vote against it. During the executive session Robert T. DuBose of Clarke county became ill and asked if he might cast his vote ahead of time and leave. Permission was granted him and he wrote on a slip of paper a vote for postponing action. When the final vote was taken Mr. Bale ruled that Mr. DuBose's vote could not be counted. If it had been the suffragists would have carried their point by a vote of 14 to 13. After the motion to postpone was lost the Jackson resolution to reject was reported favorably.

The Senate Committee acted in open session. After prolonged debate the Parker resolution to ratify was reported unfavorably by a vote of 10 to 3, and the next day it came before the Senate. The opponents believed they could make short work of it or they would not have permitted it to come up. By a vote of 37 to 12 the Senate refused to disagree to the committee report. In order to dispose of the resolution, however, it was necessary to agree to the report and when this motion was made the suffrage supporters started a "filibuster" which they continued for several days. Finally the anti-suffrage Senators promised that if the suffragists would call off their "filibuster" they would vote to recommit the resolution to the committee with the understanding that it would stay there the remainder of the session. But on the same day that this agreement was made Senator Parker introduced another resolution, which, like the Jones substitute, called for rejection of ratification. It was reported favorably by the committee and after several days' debate, Senators Claude Pittman, W. H. Dorris, H. H. Elders and George G. Glenn, speaking for ratification, the rejection resolution was carried on July 24 by 39 to 10. The Senate then voted down a proposition to submit to the voters a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution. On the same day the Jackson resolution to reject was presented in the House and after a spirited debate led by Judge Covington and A. S. Anderson for ratification the resolution was carried by 132 to 34.

This contest had occupied about two-thirds of the time since[Pg 142] the Legislature convened and yet the opponents, after all their efforts, failed to have the Legislature go on record as rejecting the Federal Amendment, for the House resolution was never concurred in by the Senate and the Senate resolution was never concurred in by the House and the session adjourned without completing formal action. President Wilson had sent a telegram urging ratification for party expediency and U. S. Senator Harris went to Atlanta to lobby for either ratification or no action, but he was denounced by the legislators and the President was called a "meddler." Members of the Democratic National Committee and Clark Howell, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, and James Hallanan, its political editor, strongly supported ratification, as did Governor Dorsey. The suffrage associations made no effort in 1920, knowing the hopelessness of it. The National Woman's Party endeavored to secure an Enabling Act, so that women might vote under the Federal Amendment although the time for registration had passed, but were not successful.

The last meeting of the Equal Suffrage Party was held in Atlanta during the regional conference of the National League of Woman Voters. Thirty-five States had ratified the Federal Amendment, and feeling assured that ratification would soon be fully accomplished, Mrs. McDougald had gained the consent of all the branches to take this occasion to merge it into a State League. This was done April 3, 1920. Miss Annie G. Wright of Augusta was elected chairman and Mrs. McDougald and Mrs. S. B. C. Morgan honorary presidents for life.[39]


[33] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Mary Latimer McLendon, a resident of Atlanta over 60 years, who also wrote the Georgia chapter for Volume IV. Before the absolutely necessary condensation of the present chapter it included 22,000 words and was a most remarkable production for a woman in her 81st year. It will be preserved intact in another place.

[34] During the years from 1901 the following held office in the State association: honorary vice-president, Miss Madeline J. S. Wylie; vice-presidents, Mrs. P. H. Moore, Miss S. A. Gresham, Miss Rebecca Vaughn, Miss H. Augusta Howard, Mrs. Emma T. Martin, Mrs. J. Dejournette, Mrs. W. Y. Atkinson; corresponding secretaries, Mrs. Mamie Folsom Wynne, Miss Katherine Koch, Mrs. DeLacy Eastman, Mrs. Amelia R. Woodall; recording secretaries, Miss Willette Allen, Mrs. Alice C. Daniels; treasurers, Mrs. E. O. Archer, Mrs. Mary Osborne, Mrs. M. K. Mathews, Mrs. E. C. Cresse; auditor, Mrs. W. H. Felton.

[35] In October, 1919, when Mrs. McLendon attended the W. C. T. U. convention, she was called to the platform on the opening night, presented as a "brave pioneer" and highly eulogized by the present and former State presidents. The audience gave her the Chautauqua salute and the White Ribbon cheer and in return she gave them a woman suffrage speech, which was enthusiastically received. Nevertheless the State society never endorsed votes for women, although local societies did so.

[36] The History is indebted for this part of the chapter to Mrs. Emily C. McDougald, president of the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia.

[37] The resolution was voted on in the last hours of the convention and a number of the suffragists had taken trains for home. Mrs. Hayes desired to have the resolution pass but as the convention the preceding year had sustained the ruling of the president that it was out of order she felt obliged to make a similar one.

[38] The only organized antagonism to woman suffrage came from a very small but very vindictive association in Macon, vigorously abetted and encouraged by the Telegraph, the only paper in the State which fought suffrage and suffragists. Every week a column or more, edited by James P. Callaway, was filled with abuse of suffrage leaders and every slanderous statement in regard to them which could be found. Miss Caroline Patterson of Macon was always president of this association and Mrs. Lamar, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Moore and a few other women, all of Macon, were ardent co-workers and leaders and frequent contributors to Mr. Callaway's column. The association still holds together and the members are pledged not to vote but to give their time and money to any effort made in the courts to invalidate ratification of the Federal Amendment (1920).

[39] In 1921 the League prepared a bill "to remove the civil disabilities of women," which provided that women should be eligible to vote in all elections, primary and general, in municipalities, counties and the State, and should be eligible to hold public office. The only objection made to the bill was to women on juries. The women objected to this exemption but had to yield. In the Senate the vote on July 22 stood 36 for, 3 against; in the House almost unanimous on August 10. These legislators were so courteous and obliging the women could scarcely believe it was a Georgia Legislature. They gave everything asked for and inquired, "Is there anything else we can do for you?"

The State organizer of the League of Women Voters is Mrs. Z. L. Fitzpatrick, former president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. She is most enthusiastic over the new order of affairs and is touring the State organizing leagues and urging women to get out and vote and to nominate women for the offices!

[Pg 143]



Idaho women have been voting citizens for twenty-four years and during these years much has been accomplished for the making of a bigger and better State, especially along educational lines. The women came into their suffrage sanely and quietly, working shoulder to shoulder with men in everything vital to their country. State and local politics has been materially improved since women have been electors. No strictly suffrage association has been maintained since the franchise was granted, but when the National League of Women Voters was instituted in 1920 a branch was formed in Idaho with Dr. Emma F. A. Drake chairman. Work heretofore had been done through the Federation of Clubs, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and other organizations of women. Political leaders always consider what women will think of a candidate before he is nominated and it is constantly demonstrated that nothing puts the fear of God into a man's heart like the ballot in the hands of a good woman. The women vote in about the same proportion as the men and there never is any criticism of it. Women have worked for many good laws and have seen the most of them passed.

The women are not ambitious for office, but they fill regularly, without question, the following: State Superintendent of Public Instruction, County School Superintendent, County Treasurer, City Treasurer and, in many counties, Auditor and the appointive offices, Law Librarian and assistant, Traveling Librarian and assistant. In January, 1920, Governor D. W. Davis appointed Mrs. J. G. H. Gravely on the State Educational Board. The following women have filled the office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Miss Permeal French, Miss Belle Chamberlain,[Pg 144] Miss Bernice McCoy, Miss May Scott, Miss Grace Shepherd, Miss Ethel Redfield; of Law Librarian: Mrs. Mary Wood, Mrs. Arabella Erskine, Mrs. Carrie A. Gainer, Mrs. Minnie Priest Dunton, Mrs. William Balderston; of Traveling Librarian: Mrs. E. J. Dockery, Miss Louise Johnson, Mrs. Marie Schrieber, Miss Margaret S. Roberts.

Only six women have served in the Legislature, all in the Lower House: Mrs. Hattie F. Noble, Mrs. Clara Campbell, Dr. Emma F. A. Drake, Mrs. Mary Allen Wright, Mrs. Lettie McFadden, Mrs. Carrie Harper White.

Ratification. Governor Davis called a special session to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment Feb. 11, 1920. It was carried unanimously in the House, after Dr. Emma F. A. Drake, the only woman member of the House present, made a strong and logical speech introducing the resolution. It was carried in the Senate but had six opposing votes. The following are the names of the men who were proud to vote against the ratification: Elmer Davis of Boise county; C. B. Faraday of Elmore; Ross Mason of Shoshone; R. T. Owens of Oneida; E. W. Porter of Latah; John S. St. Clair of Owyhee.[41]


[40] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Margaret S. Roberts, Librarian of the Idaho Free Travelling Library. A full account of the winning of woman suffrage in 1896 will be found in Volume IV, History of Woman Suffrage.

[41] If "happy women have no history" those of Idaho are fortunate, as the above is all that could be obtained for the State chapter.—Ed.

[Pg 145]



The Illinois Equal Suffrage Association started on its work for the new century with a determination to win full suffrage for women—the one great purpose for which it was organized in 1869. The State conventions were always held in October or November. In the earlier years they usually went to the "down state" cities or towns, but as they grew large Chicago was generally selected. In October, 1900, the State convention was held at Edgewater and Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton Harbert of Evanston resumed the presidency, which she had held for a number of years. Delegates from four places besides Chicago were present. Mrs. Catharine Waugh McCulloch was made legislative chairman and work was continued for needed changes in the laws.

At the convention of 1901 Mrs. Elizabeth F. Long of Barry was elected president. Great effort was made to interest the press in the suffrage question and a leaflet entitled Suffrage for Women Taxpayers was published and sent to all the large newspapers. The Chicago Teachers' Federation, under the leadership of Miss Margaret Haley and Miss Catherine Goggin, rendered valuable service in arousing the people to the injustice of taxation without representation. The Ella Flagg Young Club, an organization of the women principals of the public schools, affiliated this year with the State suffrage association. Petitions were circulated and suffrage resolutions passed by various kinds of clubs and plans were made to introduce in the next Legislature the Municipal and Presidential suffrage bill as well as a full suffrage amendment to the State constitution. Among the women who rendered efficient service in these early years[Pg 146] were Dr. Julia Holmes Smith, Mrs. Lucy Flower and Mrs. Lydia Avery Coonley-Ward.

The next convention was held in Jacksonville in 1902 and the Rev. Kate Hughes of Table Grove was elected president. At the convention of 1903 Mrs. Hughes was re-elected. A feature of the educational work this year was to urge the directors of the libraries of the State to place on their shelves the official History of Woman Suffrage, recently brought up to date. A leaflet by Mrs. McCulloch, Bench and Bar of Illinois, was published by the association and widely circulated. It gave the opinions of some of the ablest jurists and statesmen on the woman suffrage question.

At the 1904 convention Mrs. McCulloch was elected president. Notable growth was made in suffrage societies during the year and favorable sentiment was aroused in organizations formed for other work. Among these were the State Federation of Women's Clubs and the Teachers' Federation, the former with a membership of 25,000 and the latter with 3,500. All party conventions but the Republican passed strong suffrage resolutions and all parties including this one nominated women as trustees of the State University. The Democratic Mayor of Chicago, Edward F. Dunne, appointed Miss Jane Addams, Dr. Cornelia DeBey and Mrs. Emmons Blaine as members of the School Board. The legislative work was encouraging this year, for in both Senate and House the Municipal and Presidential suffrage bill was reported out of committee with favorable recommendations, and in the Senate it reached second reading.

The State convention of 1905 was held in Chicago and Mrs. Ella S. Stewart was elected president. During the year much literature was distributed and a committee was appointed, that included as many federated club presidents as would serve, to secure if possible Municipal suffrage in the new Chicago charter which was then being considered. Mrs. Charles Henrotin, former president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, was appointed chairman. The women were allowed to make their appeal before several minor committees, but not before the whole Charter Convention, which tabled their request. The entire charter was tabled in the Legislature. Miss Alice Henry,[Pg 147] formerly of Australia, editor of the magazine Life and Labor, gave valuable assistance in organizing suffrage clubs. Educational work in colleges was begun and Mrs. Elmira E. Springer, an ardent suffrage worker, contributed a fund of $1,000, the interest to be distributed as prizes at an annual inter-collegiate oratorical suffrage contest. As a result suffrage societies were formed among the college students auxiliary to the State association. It published suffrage leaflets written by Judge Murray F. Tuley, a prominent Chicago judge; Mrs. Eugenia M. Bacon, former president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, and one by Miss Anna Nicholes, an active settlement worker, on the need of the ballot for the working woman.

At the convention of 1906 Mrs. Stewart was re-elected. Much literature was published and valuable educational work was carried on in addition to the legislative work at Springfield under the auspices of Mrs. McCulloch. In the fall of 1907 the State convention was held on the Fair grounds at Springfield, and Mrs. Stewart was re-elected. At the convention of 1908 Mrs. Stewart was continued as president. The association co-operated with the National American Suffrage Association in requesting the National Republican Committee, which met in Chicago, to incorporate a woman suffrage plank in its platform. An active educational campaign was started to appeal again for Municipal suffrage for women in another charter which was being prepared. This time the charter convention acceded to the request of the women, but the whole was defeated at Springfield. In this work important help was given the association by the Teachers' Federation, the Chicago Woman's Club and the Trade Union League. The Chicago Political Equality League, as well as other affiliated suffrage organizations, took an active part in this campaign and about 60,000 signatures to a petition were obtained.

In October, 1909, the State convention was held in Chicago and Mrs. Stewart was again re-elected. This year the State association organized the Chicago Men's Equal Suffrage League with former Senator Thomas J. McMillan, the "father" of the Illinois School suffrage law, as its first president. The members were from many walks of life, among them George E. Cole, founder of the Citizens' Association, who had led in civic reform[Pg 148] work for many years; Bishop Samuel Fallows, one of the city's most prominent and best loved clergymen; Richard S. Tuthill, for years an influential Judge; Jenkin Lloyd Jones, founder of the liberal church known as Lincoln Center; Dr. Henry B. Favill, one of Chicago's well-known physicians; Henry Neil, who was responsible for the mothers' pension law; Andrew MacLeish, a member of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Company, one of the city's largest dry goods houses, and many other prominent men, including the husbands of all the well-known suffragists. This year for the first time permanent headquarters were opened in the Fine Arts Building, 410 Michigan Boulevard, and Miss Harriet Grim, a student of Chicago University, was engaged as State organizer. She spoke before women's clubs, labor unions and parlor groups and twenty new societies were formed. Active suffrage work was also instituted among the churches under the management of Mrs. Fannie H. Rastall, chairman of the Church Committee.

In the spring of 1910 the State Board decided to try suffrage automobile tours. Mrs. Grace Wilbur Trout, president of the Chicago Political Equality League, was appointed to take charge of an experimental tour which required about six weeks of preparatory work to insure its success. She visited the offices of the newspapers and secured their co-operation. The tour started on Monday, July 11, and the edition of the Tribune the day before contained a full colored page of the women in the autos and nearly a half page more of reading material about it. The paper sent two reporters on the trip, who rode in the car with the speakers. The Examiner, Record Herald, Post and Journal sent reporters by railroad and trolley, who joined the suffragists at their stopping places. The women spoke from the automobile, which drove into some square or stopped on a prominent street corner, previously arranged for by the local committees. Mrs. McCulloch spoke from the legal standpoint; Miss Nicholes from the laboring woman's view and Mrs. Stewart from an international aspect. Mrs. Trout made the opening address, covering the subject in a general way, and presented the speakers. She herself was introduced by some prominent local woman and on several occasions by the Mayor.[Pg 149]

Sixteen towns were visited, and the Tribune said: "Suffrage tour ends in triumph. With mud bespattered 'Votes for Women' banners still flying, Mrs. Trout and her party of orators returned late yesterday afternoon. Men and women cheered them all the way in from their last stop at Wheaton to the Fine Arts Building headquarters." Similar tours in other parts of the State were conducted by Dr. Anna E. Blount, Mrs. Stewart, Miss Grim and Mrs. Jennie F. W. Johnson. Mrs. Trout took her same speakers and went to Lake Geneva, where meetings with speaking from automobiles were held under the auspices of Mrs. Willis S. McCrea, who entertained the suffragists in her spacious summer home. In the autumn at her house on Lincoln Parkway Mrs. McCrea organized the North Side Branch of the State association, afterwards (1913) renamed the Chicago Equal Suffrage Association.

In October the State convention was held at Elgin and Mrs. Stewart was re-elected. The Municipal and Presidential bills and the full suffrage amendment were introduced in the Legislature as usual. Miss Grim and Miss Ruth Harl were stationed at Springfield as permanent lobbyists and Mrs. McCulloch directed the work. At the time of the hearing a special suffrage train was run from Chicago to Springfield, with speaking from the rear platform at the principal places en route.

The State convention was held at Decatur in October, 1911, and Mrs. Stewart, wishing to retire from office after serving six strenuous years, Mrs. Elvira Downey was elected president. Organizing work was pushed throughout the State. Cook county clubs for political discussion were formed by Miss Mary Miller, a lawyer of Chicago. In the winter a suffrage bazaar lasting five days was held at the Hotel LaSalle, under the management of Mrs. Alice Bright Parker. Many of the younger suffragists took part in this social event. Every afternoon and evening there were suffrage speeches and several Grand Opera singers contributed their services. It was an excellent piece of propaganda work and aroused interest among people who had not been reached through other forms.

At the April primaries in Chicago in 1912, through the initiative of Mrs. McCulloch, a "preferential" ballot on the question[Pg 150] of suffrage for women was taken. This was merely an expression of opinion by the voters as to whether they favored it, which the Democratic Judge of Elections, John E. Owens, allowed to be taken, but it had no legal standing. The State association conducted a whirlwind educational campaign immediately before the election. Unfortunately, Prohibitionists, Socialists and many independent electors who favored it were not entitled to vote. The result was 135,410 noes, 71,354 ayes, every ward giving an adverse majority. In October the State convention was held at Galesburg and Mrs. Grace Wilbur Trout was elected president. Mrs. Trout had been on the State board for two years and during this time had served also as president of the Chicago Political Equality League, which under her administration had increased its membership from 143 to over 1,000 members. She began at once to strengthen the State organization for the legislative campaign of 1913. There were still Senatorial districts in which there were no suffrage societies, and, as the time was short, competent women were immediately appointed in such districts to see that their legislators were interviewed and to make ready to have letters and telegrams sent to them at Springfield.

During the Legislature of 1911 Mrs. Trout had twice accompanied Mrs. McCulloch to Springfield and the antagonism manifested against woman suffrage made her realize that new tactics would have to be employed. Mrs. McCulloch after many years of service had asked to be relieved and Mrs. Elizabeth K. Booth of Glencoe had been elected legislative chairman. Mrs. Trout and she adopted a new plan without spectacular activities of any kind, believing that much publicity was likely to arouse the opponents. It was decided to initiate a quiet, educational campaign and as the only possible way to secure sufficient votes to pass the measure, to convert some of the opponents into friends. It was agreed also that a card index, giving data about every member of the Legislature, should be compiled at once to be used later for reference. This plan was approved and adopted by the State board.

The members of the Board and suffrage friends throughout the State gathered information about the legislators and sent it to Mrs. Booth. The cards when filled out stated the politics and[Pg 151] religion of the various Senators and Representatives, whether they were married or single, whether their home relations were harmonious, and tabulated any public service they had ever rendered. This information made it easier to approach the different legislators in a way to overcome their individual prejudices. All effort was to be concentrated on the bill, which, with variations, the State association had had before most of the Legislatures since 1893. It read as follows:

All women [naming usual qualifications] shall be allowed to vote for presidential electors, members of the State Board of Equalization, clerk of the appellate court, county collector, county surveyor, members of board of assessors, members of board of review, sanitary district trustees, and for all officers of cities, villages and towns (except police magistrates), and upon all questions or propositions submitted to a vote of the electors of such municipalities or other political division of this State.

All such women may also vote for the following township officers: supervisor, town clerk, assessor, collector and highway commissioner, and may also participate and vote in all annual and special town meetings in the township in which such election district shall be.

Separate ballot boxes and ballots shall be provided....

As soon as the Legislature convened in 1913 a struggle developed over the Speakership, and there was a long and bitter deadlock before William McKinley, a young Democrat from Chicago, was finally elected. Then another struggle ensued over a United States Senator. During these weeks of turmoil little could be accomplished for the suffrage bill, but February 10 Mrs. Booth went to Springfield and from then attended the sessions regularly. She sat in the galleries of the Senate and House and soon learned to recognize each member and rounded up and checked off friendly legislators.

The Progressives had a large representation and had made plans to introduce as a party measure a carefully drafted Woman Suffrage bill. Mrs. Trout and Mrs. Booth suggested to the leaders that it would be far better to let the State association sponsor this measure than to have it presented by any political party. They finally agreed, but Mrs. McCulloch had accompanied Mrs. Booth to Springfield taking the bill which she herself had drafted and which she insisted upon having substituted. Out of deference to her long years of service her bill was taken instead[Pg 152] of the Progressives'. It named the officers for which women should be allowed to vote instead of being worded like the Progressive draft, which said: "Women shall be allowed to vote for all officers and upon all propositions submitted except where the Constitution provides that the elector shall be a male citizen." In Mrs. Booth's official report to the State convention, held in the fall of 1913 at Peoria, she said: "As we failed to introduce the form of bill approved by the Progressives' constitutional lawyers they introduced it, and it required considerable tact to allay their displeasure and induce them to support our bill." Medill McCormick, one of the leading Progressives in the Legislature, helped greatly in straightening out this tangle. He was a faithful ally of the suffrage lobby and rendered invaluable assistance. Other Progressives who gave important service were John M. Curran and Emil N. Zolla of Chicago; J. H. Jayne of Monmouth; Charles H. Carmon of Forrest, and Fayette S. Munro of Highland Park.[43]

On March 10 Mrs. Trout went to Springfield to secure if possible the support of the Democratic Governor, Edward F. Dunne, for the bill. Mrs. Booth said in her official report: "The Governor told us that he would not support any suffrage measure which provided for a constitutional amendment, as this might interfere with the Initiative and Referendum Amendment, upon which the administration was concentrating its efforts. We assured him that we would not introduce a resolution for an amendment and that we desired the support of the administration for our statutory bill, as we realized that no suffrage measure could pass if it opposed. He then acquiesced." The work at Springfield became more and more complicated and at times seemed almost hopeless. No politicians believed the suffragists had the slightest chance of success. From April 7 Mrs. Trout went down every week. The women had the strong support of the Chicago press and editorials were published whenever[Pg 153] they were especially needed during the six months' struggle. After considerable educational work the Springfield newspapers also became friendly and published suffrage editorials at opportune times. The papers were refolded so that these editorials, blue penciled, came on the outside, and placed on the desks of the legislators.

The bill was introduced in the House by Charles L. Scott (Dem.) and in the Senate by Hugh S. Magill (Rep.). All efforts were centered on its passage first through the Senate. After nearly three months of strenuous effort this was finally accomplished on May 7, 1913, by a vote of 29 ayes (three more than the required majority) and 15 noes. It is doubtful whether this action could have been secured without the skilful tactics of Senator Magill, but he could not have succeeded without the unfailing co-operation of Lieutenant Governor Barratt O'Hara. Among other Senators who helped were Martin B. Bailey, Albert C. Clark, Edward C. Curtis, Samuel A. Ettelson, Logan Hay and Thomas B. Stewart, Republicans; Michael H. Cleary, William A. Compton, Kent E. Keller, Walter I. Manny and W. Duff Piercy, Democrats; George W. Harris and Walter Clyde Jones, Progressives.

The day the bill passed Mrs. Trout left Springfield to address a suffrage meeting to be held in Galesburg that evening and the next day one at Monmouth. In each place resided a member of the House who was marked on the card index as "doubtful," but both, through the influence of their constituents, voted for the bill. Mrs. Booth remained in Springfield to see that it got safely over to the House. The two women wished the bill to go into the friendly Elections Committee and the opponents were planning to put it into the Judiciary Committee, where it would remain during the rest of the session. The suffrage lobby worked into the small hours of the night making plans to frustrate this scheme. Arrangements were made with Speaker McKinley to turn it over to the Elections Committee, and when the morning session opened this was done before the opponents realized that their plot had failed.

The women were indebted to David R. Shanahan, for many years an influential Republican member, who, representing a[Pg 154] "wet" district in Chicago, felt that he could not vote for the bill, but without his counsel it would have been still more difficult to pass it. To overcome the pitfalls, Mrs. Trout appealed to the enemies to give the women of Illinois a square deal, especially to Lee O'Neil Browne, a powerful Democratic leader. He had always opposed suffrage legislation, but he finally consented to let the bill, so far as he was concerned, be voted up or down on its merits. It was this spirit of fair play among its opponents as well as the loyalty of its friends that made possible the final victory.

Up to this time Mrs. Trout and Mrs. Booth had worked alone, but now Mrs. Trout asked Mrs. Antoinette Funk, a lawyer, of Chicago, who had done active work for the Progressive party, to come to Springfield, and she arrived on May 13. A week later Mrs. Medill McCormick came to reside in the capital and her services were immediately enlisted. She was a daughter of the late Senator Mark Hanna, who had inherited much of her father's ability in politics and was an important addition to the suffrage lobby. On May 14 the bill had its first reading and was referred to the Elections Committee. On the 21st it was reported with a recommendation that it "do pass." The opponents were now thoroughly alarmed. Anton J. Cermak of Chicago, president of the United Societies, a powerful organization of liquor interests, directed the fight against it. Leaflets were circulated giving the "preferential" suffrage vote taken in Chicago the year before, with a list of the negative votes cast in each ward to show the Chicago members how badly it had been beaten by their constituents. The bill was called up for second reading June 3 and there was a desperate attempt to amend and if possible kill it, but it finally passed in just the form it had come over from the Senate.

The hope of the opposition now was to keep Speaker McKinley from allowing the bill to come up for third reading. He told Mrs. Trout that hundreds of men from Chicago as well as from other parts of the State had come to Springfield and begged him to prevent it from coming to a vote. The young Speaker looked haggard and worn during those days, and he asked her to let him know it if there was any suffrage sentiment in the[Pg 155] State. She immediately telephoned to Mrs. Harriette Taylor Treadwell, president of the Chicago Political Equality League, to have letters and telegrams sent at once to Springfield and to have people communicate by telephone with the Speaker when he returned to Chicago for the week end. Mrs. Treadwell called upon the suffragists and thousands of letters and telegrams were sent. She also organized a telephone brigade by means of which he was called up every fifteen minutes by men as well as women, both at his home and his office, from early Saturday morning until late Monday night the days he spent in Chicago. She was assisted in this work by Mrs. James W. Morrisson, secretary of the Chicago Equal Suffrage Association; Mrs. George Bass, president of the Chicago Woman's Club; Mrs. Jean Wallace Butler, a well-known business woman; Mrs. Edward L. Stillman, an active suffragist in the Rogers Park Woman's Club; Miss Florence King, a prominent patent lawyer and president of the Chicago Woman's Association of Commerce; Miss Mary Miller, another Chicago lawyer and president of the Chicago Human Rights Association; Mrs. Charlotte Rhodus, president of the Woman Suffrage Party of Cook County and other influential women. Mrs. Trout telephoned Miss Margaret Dobyne, press chairman of the association, to send out the call for help over the State, which she did with the assistance of Miss Jennie F. W. Johnson, the treasurer, and Mrs. J. W. McGraw, the auditor.

A deluge of letters and telegrams from every section of Illinois awaited the Speaker when he arrived in Springfield Tuesday morning. He needed no further proof and announced that the bill would be called up for final action June 11. The women in charge of it immediately began to marshal their forces for the last struggle. Messages were sent to each friend of the measure in the House, urging him to be present without fail.[44] On the eventful morning there was much excitement at the Capitol. The "captains," previously requested to be on hand[Pg 156] early, reported if any of their men were missing, these were at once called up by telephone and when necessary a cab was sent for them. The four women lobbyists were stationed as follows: Mrs. Booth and Mrs. McCormick in the gallery; Mrs. Trout at the only entrance of the House left open that day, and Mrs. Funk to carry messages and instructions between these points. Mrs. Booth checked off the votes and Mrs. Trout stood guard to see that no friendly members left the House during roll calls and also to prevent the violation of the law which forbade any lobbyist to enter the floor of the House after the session had convened. The burly doorkeeper, who was against the suffrage bill, could not be trusted to enforce the law if its enemies chose to enter.

Events proved the wisdom of this precaution. A number of favoring legislators who started to leave the House during the fight were persuaded to return and the doorkeeper soon told Mrs. Trout she would have to go into the gallery. As she did not move he came back presently and said that Benjamin Mitchell, one of the members of the House leading the opposition, had instructed him that if she did not immediately go to the gallery he would put a resolution through the House forcing her to do so. She politely but firmly said it was her right as a citizen of Illinois to stay in the corridor and remained at her post. As a consequence no one entered the House that day who was not legally entitled to do so. During the five hours' debate all known parliamentary tactics were used to defeat the bill. When Speaker McKinley finally announced the vote—ayes 83 (six more than the required majority), noes 58—a hush fell for an instant before the wild outburst of applause. It seemed as if there had passed through those legislative halls the spirit of eternal justice and truth and the eyes of strong men filled with tears.

Politicians declared it was a miracle, but it was a miracle made possible by six months of unceasing toil, during which the suffrage lobby worked from early in the morning until late at night and were shadowed by detectives eager to acquire testimony that would prejudice the legislators against their measure. It was most encouraging to the workers when they won over Edward D. Shurtleff, who had been for years Speaker of the[Pg 157] House and was acknowledged to be one of the most astute men in Springfield. His practical knowledge of legislative procedure made his advice of the greatest value. Representative Scott, who introduced the bill in the House, was a highly esteemed member who refused to present any others so that he could be free to devote all of his time and energy to this one, and others were equally loyal. Mrs. Trout's leadership received the highest praise from the press and the politicians of the State. The Illinois Legislature led the way and within a few years bills of a similar nature had been passed by those of fourteen other States.

The State Equal Suffrage Association tendered a banquet at the Leland Hotel in Springfield on June 13 to the legislators and their wives, opponents as well as friends, and prominent suffragists came from over the State. Mrs. Trout asked Mrs. McCormick to take charge of the banquet and she had a roll of honor printed which the men who voted for the suffrage bill were invited to sign, and the Governor's signature was also obtained. As soon as he entered the banquet hall Mrs. Trout, in charge of the program, called upon the banqueters to rise and do honor to the Governor who would soon, by signing the suffrage bill, win the everlasting gratitude of all men and women in Illinois interested in human liberty. The very day the bill passed the House a committee of anti-suffrage legislators called upon Governor Dunne to urge him to veto it and tried to influence Attorney General Patrick J. Lucey to declare it unconstitutional, which would give him an excuse. Mrs. McCormick immediately went to Chicago and secured opinions from able lawyers that the bill was constitutional, and he stood out against all opposition and signed it on June 26.

On July 1 a jubilee automobile parade was arranged by Mrs. Treadwell with Mrs. Kenneth McLennan as grand marshal, and the cars filled with enthusiastic suffragists extended several miles down Michigan Boulevard. The first important work was to arouse the women of the State to a realization of all the good that could be accomplished by the wise use of the franchise. The entire cost of the Springfield campaign, which lasted over six months and included railroad fare for the lobbyists, innumerable telegrams and long distance telephone calls, postage, stationery,[Pg 158] printing, stenographic help, hotel bills and incidentals, was only $1,567, but it left the treasury of the association empty. The board therefore gratefully accepted the offer of William Randolph Hearst of a suffrage edition of the Chicago Examiner. He agreed to pay for the cost of publication and permit the funds raised through the sale of the papers and the advertising to go into the suffrage treasury. The women were weary from the campaign and most of the board were going away for the summer but Mrs. Trout rallied her forces, was general manager herself and persuaded Mrs. Funk to be managing editor, Miss Dobyne advertising manager and Mrs. Treadwell circulation manager. As a result of almost six weeks' work during the hottest part of the summer nearly $15,000 were raised. After all commissions and other expenses were paid and new and commodious suffrage headquarters in the Tower Building were furnished a fund of between $7,000 and $8,000 was left to maintain them and push organization work.

The constitutionality of the law was soon attacked and Mrs. Trout consulted frequently with the officers of the Anti-Saloon League, for the attacks always emanated from the "wet" interests, and most efficient service was rendered by F. Scott McBride, State Superintendent; E. J. Davis, Chicago superintendent, and Frank B. Ebbert, legal counsel for the league, who said it was also their fight. A case was brought against the Election Commissioners of Chicago for allowing women to vote on certain questions, decided in their favor by the lower courts, appealed and brought before the Supreme Court of Illinois. A meeting of the board of the State Equal Suffrage Association was called at once, which voted to raise a defense fund and fight the case to a finish. The chairman of the committee was Mrs. George A. Soden, first vice-president, and it was largely through her efforts and the contributions of her husband that the fund was raised. Not only the legislators who had voted for the bill but also a number who voted against it sent money to help defend the law. The opponents of the law—the liquor interests—were represented by Levi Mayer of Chicago, counsel for the United Societies as well as for big brewery interests and considered one of the ablest constitutional lawyers in the State. It was therefore necessary[Pg 159] for the association to secure the best and they engaged John J. Herrick and Judge Charles S. Cutting, who by agreement with the Election Commissioners took charge of the fight. The women consulted also with Charles H. Mitchell, their regular counsel, as well as with Judge Willard McEwen, whom the commissioners engaged as special counsel. They frequently conferred with Judge Isaiah T. Greenacre, counsel for the Teachers' Federation, and Joel F. Longnecker, a young lawyer active in the Progressive party, both of whom donated their services.

There was a long delay in the Supreme Court and during this time it was vitally necessary to demonstrate that the women wanted the ballot by bringing out as large a registration as possible for the municipal election to be held in April, 1914. The opponents were saying: "Women down the State have voted because they are interested in local option but not 25,000 women will register in Chicago." It was, therefore, of paramount importance to arouse the Chicago women. This work was in charge of Mrs. Edward L. Stewart, assisted by Mrs. Judith Weil Loewenthal, members of the State Board. Mrs. Stewart called upon every organization of women in the city to assist. Valuable help was given by Mrs. Ida Darling Engelke, city chairman of ward organization for the Chicago Political Equality League; Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen, president of the Woman's City Club, and Mrs. James Morrisson, president of the Chicago Equal Suffrage Association. There were public meetings in every ward, and a mass meeting the Sunday before the election in the Auditorium Theater, which seated over 4,000 people, but overflow meetings were necessary. As a result of this united effort over 200,000 women registered in Chicago alone and thousands more throughout the State.

On May 2, 1914, was held the first large suffrage parade in Illinois. It was managed by the State association and its affiliated Chicago clubs. Mrs. Trout, with the members of the Board and distinguished pioneer suffragists, led the procession, and Governor Dunne and Mayor Carter H. Harrison reviewed it. The city government sent to head the parade the mounted police, led by Chief Gleason, called "the beauty squad," only brought out on very special occasions. Nearly 15,000 women, representing[Pg 160] all parties, creeds and classes, marched down Michigan Boulevard and hundreds of thousands of people lined both sides for over two miles. Captain Charles W. Kayser of Wheaton planned the procession with military skill. The Parade Committee, including the heads of divisions and numbering over a thousand women, was invited immediately after the procession to the Hotel La Salle by Ernest Stevens, manager and one of the owners, where they were guests of the management at supper, which was followed by music and speaking.

In June the General Federation of Women's Clubs held its biennial convention in Chicago and the question uppermost in the minds of all club women was, would the president, Mrs. Percy Pennybacker, refuse to allow a woman suffrage resolution to be presented, as her predecessor, Mrs. Philip Moore, had done in San Francisco at the preceding biennial, and also would it receive a favorable vote if presented? The State Board, realizing that with the suffrage law still hanging in the balance in the Supreme Court, it was vitally important to have the endorsement by this convention, representing 1,500,000 members, appointed Mrs. Trout to secure favorable action if possible. The Federation Board on request of Mrs. Pennybacker appointed a special committee to confer with her and as the result of co-operation the following resolution, presented by Mrs. Lucretia L. Blankenburg of Philadelphia, an officer of the Federation, was adopted on June 13:

Whereas, the question of the political equality of men and women is today a vital problem under discussion throughout the civilized world, therefore,

Resolved, that the General Federation of Women's Clubs give the cause of political equality for men and women its moral support by recording its earnest belief in the principle of political equality regardless of sex.

There were between 1,700 and 1,800 delegates present, representing all sections of the country. The vote was viva voce and so overwhelmingly in the affirmative that it was not counted. The Chicago Tribune said: "The anti-suffragists made no fight against the resolution on the floor of the convention, probably realizing they were hopelessly outnumbered. There was a considerable chorus of nays when it was put, but not enough for[Pg 161] any one to demand a count." Afterwards the Illinois members recommended Mrs. Trout as an honorary member of the General Federation and she was unanimously elected.

By an interesting coincidence the day the suffrage resolution was passed by the Biennial the State Supreme Court pronounced the Suffrage Law constitutional. A banquet had already been planned by the State association for that evening to be held in the Gold Room of the Congress Hotel in honor of the General Federation, and it proved to be a memorable occasion. Over a thousand women were present and nearly as many more could not find room. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, Miss Mary Garrett Hay and other well known suffragists, as well as the officers of the Federation, made speeches.

All these events changed public sentiment in regard to the woman suffrage question. As Congress was in session this summer its members were unable to fill their Chautauqua lecture dates, and Mrs. Trout was asked to make suffrage speeches at fifty Chautauquas in nine States, filling dates for a Democrat, the Hon. Champ Clark, and for a Republican, United States Senator Robert LaFollette, and for William Jennings Bryan.

The State convention was held in Chicago in 1914 and Mrs. Trout was again re-elected president. During this year the Chicago Equal Suffrage Association did excellent educational work by establishing classes in citizenship in the Woman's City Club and by publishing catechisms for women voters in seven different languages.

At the annual convention held in Peoria in 1915 Mrs. Trout positively refused to stand again for president and Mrs. Adella Maxwell Brown of Peoria was elected. Four State conferences were held during the year and Mrs. Brown represented the association at the National Suffrage Association at Washington in December; the Mississippi Valley Conference at Minneapolis the next May; the National Council of Women Voters at Cheyenne in July and the National Suffrage Association at Atlantic City in September. In June, 1916, the State association, assisted by those of Chicago, took charge of what became known as the "famous rainy day suffrage parade," held in that city while the National Republican convention was in session. Mrs. Brown[Pg 162] was chairman of the committee, Mrs. Morrisson vice-chairman and Mrs. Kellogg Fairbanks grand marshal of the parade.

There was much speculation among the political parties as to how the women would vote at their first presidential election in November, 1916. As their ballots were put into separate boxes they could be distinguished and they were as follows: Republican, 459,215; Democratic, 383,292; Socialist, 17,175; Prohibition, 16,212; Socialist Labor, 806.

Much important legislative work was to be done in the next session of the Legislature and at the State convention held in Springfield in October, 1916, Mrs. Trout was persuaded to accept again the presidency. Delegates were present from every section and the policy for the ensuing year was thoroughly discussed by Mrs. McCulloch, Senator Magill, Lewis G. Stevenson, Secretary of State; Mrs. George Bass, and others. The consensus of opinion was that owing to the great difficulty of amending the State constitution the only practical way to secure full suffrage for women was through a new constitution. This convention, therefore, voted in an overwhelming majority to work in the Legislature of 1917 for the calling of a constitutional convention. The Citizens' Association, composed of leading men of Chicago and the State, had been trying over thirty years to obtain a new State constitution and as soon as they learned of this action they sent Shelby M. Singleton, its secretary, to request of Mrs. Trout and Mrs. McGraw that the work be directed by the leaders of the State Equal Suffrage Association, to which they agreed. They went to Springfield at the beginning of the session in 1917 and a struggle followed that lasted over ten weeks.

[Mrs. McGraw prepared a very full account of the work in the Legislature to have it submit to the voters the question of calling a convention to prepare a new constitution. Representatives of all the leading organizations of women assisted at Springfield from time to time. The resolution had the powerful support of Governor Frank C. Lowden, Congressman Medill McCormick, Roger C. Sullivan and other prominent men, but the Citizens' Association in an official bulletin gave the larger part of the credit to "the tireless and tactful work of the women's lobby." After Senate and House by more than a two-thirds[Pg 163] majority had voted to submit the question to the voters the State association organized an Emergency League to establish centers in each of the 101 counties and an immense educational campaign was carried on. Over a thousand meetings were held in the summer and fall preceding the election Nov. 5, 1918, when the proposal for a convention received a majority of 74,239. The next year delegates to the convention were elected and it met in Springfield Jan. 6, 1920. One of its first acts was to adopt an article giving the complete suffrage to women. Before the constitution was ready to submit to the voters the women were fully enfranchised by the Federal Amendment.]

After the victory was gained in the Legislature and just as all plans were laid for the campaign in the spring of 1917 the United States entered the war against Germany. Mrs. Trout was appointed a member of the executive committee of the Woman's Council of National Defense and all the members of the board immediately engaged in Liberty Loan, Red Cross and other war work. During this period of strenuous activity another attack was made on the constitutionality of the suffrage law by the liquor interests and the case was again brought before the Supreme Court. The State Board engaged James G. Skinner, an able lawyer, formerly Assistant Corporation Counsel, and in December the law was again pronounced constitutional.

The State convention was held in the autumn of 1917 in Danville and Mrs. Trout was re-elected. The association now had affiliated societies in every senatorial and congressional district with a membership of over 200,000 women. Mrs. Trout was soon called to Washington by Mrs. Catt to work for the Federal Suffrage Amendment and spent many months there while Mrs. McGraw directed the organization work of the State association. She secured the co-operation of Mrs. R. M. Reed, legislative chairman of the Illinois Federation of Women's Clubs; they appointed two workers in each congressional district and nearly every woman's society in the State had constitutional convention programs. In the spring of 1918 Governor Lowden appointed Judge Orrin N. Carter, of the Supreme Court, chairman of a state-wide committee that worked in co-operation with the state-wide committee of women. The annual suffrage convention was[Pg 164] held in the latter part of October, 1918, in Chicago, and Mrs. Trout was re-elected.

Ratification. When Congress submitted the Federal Suffrage Amendment June 4, 1919, Mrs. Trout and Mrs. McGraw immediately went to Springfield where the Legislature was in session. They had already made preliminary arrangements and without urging it ratified the amendment on June 10. The vote in the Senate was unanimous, in the House it was 135 ayes, 85 Republicans, 50 Democrats; three nays, all Democrats, Lee O'Neil Browne, John Griffin and Peter F. Smith. A minor mistake was made in the first certified copy of the resolution sent from the Secretary of State's office at Washington to the Governor of Illinois. To prevent the possibility of any legal quibbling Governor Lowden telegraphed that office to send at once a corrected, certified copy. This was done and the ratification was reaffirmed by the Legislature on June 17, the vote in the Senate again being unanimous and one Democrat, Charles F. Franz, added to the former three negative votes in the House.

Owing to a misunderstanding of the facts for a short time there was some controversy as to whether Illinois was entitled to first place, as the Wisconsin Legislature ratified an hour later. Attorney General Brundage prepared a brief showing that the mistake in the first certified copy did not affect the legality of the ratification on June 10, as the mistake was made in copying the introductory resolution and not in the amendment itself. This opinion was accepted in the Secretary of State's office at Washington. So Illinois, the first State east of the Mississippi River to grant suffrage to its women, was the first to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment. In celebration a jubilee banquet was held on June 24 at the Hotel LaSalle, Mrs. Trout presiding, with Governor and Mrs. Lowden the guests of honor. Among the speakers were the Governor, prominent members of the State Legislature and the leading women suffragists.

In October the State convention was held in Chicago, with delegates present from every section, and Mrs. Trout was re-elected president. It was voted to continue to work for the speedy ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment in other States and if this was not obtained in 1920 to work for the full[Pg 165] suffrage article in the new constitution when it was submitted to the voters. At the convention of the National American Association in St. Louis the preceding March the Illinois association had extended an invitation to hold the next one in Chicago, which was accepted. The State board called together representatives from the principal organizations of women, which were appointed to take charge of different days of the convention and various phases of the work. Mrs. Trout and Mrs. McGraw were made chairman and vice-chairman of the committee; Mrs. Samuel Slade, recording secretary, was appointed chairman of the Finance Committee, which raised the funds to defray all the expenses of this large convention in February, 1920. [Full account in Chapter XIX, Volume V.]

A meeting of the State Board was called and a committee formed to get as many women as possible to vote in November at the election for President. Mrs. Trout was elected State chairman, Mrs. McGraw vice-chairman, and Mrs. Albert Schweitzer, a member of the board, was appointed Chicago chairman. The Woman's City Club, of which Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen was president, took an active part in the campaign and was the headquarters for the Chicago committee. In August in the midst of the campaign came the joyful news that the 36th State had ratified the Federal Amendment. A call was issued for the State convention to be held in Chicago October 7-9, when the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, its work finished, disbanded, and its members formed a State League of Women Voters, with Mrs. H. W. Cheney of Chicago as chairman.


[42] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. J. W. McGraw, eight years on the Board of Directors and six years Legislative Chairman of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. She is under obligations for many of the facts relative to the campaign of 1913 to Mrs. Grace Wilbur Trout, State president for seven years.

[43] The State association always did everything possible to cooperate with the National Suffrage Association. On March 1, headed by Mrs. Trout, 83 women left Chicago by special train for Washington. In the big suffrage parade there on the 3rd they wore a uniform regalia of cap and baldric and were headed by a large band led by Mrs. George S. Wells, a member of the State Board, as drum major. There was a woman out-rider, Mrs. W. H. Stewart, on a spirited horse. Mrs. Trout led, carrying an American flag, and the Illinois banner was carried by Royal N. Allen, a prominent member of the Progressive party and the railroad official who had charge of the special train.

[44] "Captains" had been appointed among the members and each furnished with a list and it was his duty to see that the men on it were in their seats whenever the bill was up for discussion. The following Representatives served as "captains" and rendered important service: William F. Burres, Norman G. Flagg, Edward D. Shurtleff, Homer J. Tice and George H. Wilson, Republicans; John P. Devine, Frank Gillespie, William A. Hubbard, W. C. Kane, Charles L. Scott and Francis E. Williamson, Democrats; Roy D. Hunt, J. H. Jayne, Medill McCormick and Emil N. Zolla, Progressives; Seymour Stedman, Socialist.

[Pg 166]



Although Indiana was one of the first States in the Union to form a suffrage association in 1851 there were long periods when it was inactive but there were others when it flourished. In 1851 a constitution was adopted whose provisions for women were probably more liberal than existed in any other State and they did not feel a pressure of unjust laws; co-education prevailed from an early date and all occupations were open to them. Thus they were not impelled by personal grievances to keep up a continued fight for the suffrage. After 1900 there was a period of depression which the National American Suffrage Association tried unsuccessfully to relieve. Finally in May, 1906, it called a convention to meet in Kokomo, where one of the old societies had continued to maintain an organization, and delegates were present from societies in Indianapolis, Logansport, Tipton and Montpelier. Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, treasurer of the National Association, presided and a good deal of interest was shown. The following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Sarah Davis; first vice-president, Mrs. Laura Schofield; secretary, Mrs. E. M. Wood, all of Kokomo; second vice-president, Mrs. Anna Dunn Noland, Logansport; treasurer, Mrs. Marion Harvey Barnard, Indianapolis; auditors, Mrs. Jane Pond, Montpelier, Judge Samuel Artman, Lebanon. The association affiliated with the National body and always remained an auxiliary. Mrs. Davis left the State during this year and there seems to be no record of anything done by this board.

In April, 1908, Mrs. Upton wrote to Mrs. Noland begging her to call a convention. Acting as president, secretary and treasurer and supplying the funds from her own purse, Mrs.[Pg 167] Noland sent hundreds of letters over the State asking for names of people interested in suffrage and from the names she formed committees to interest others. Her only assistant was her husband, Dr. J. F. Noland, who helped in leisure hours. In October the work of organization began by Mrs. Noland and Miss Pearl Penfield. A convention was called to meet in Logansport, March 16-17, 1909. Fifteen clubs had paid small dues but only seven sent delegates. It was welcomed by Mayor George P. McKee. Much interest and a great deal of publicity resulted. The Reporter, a Logansport daily paper, published a suffrage edition March 17, one page edited by a committee from the association. Mrs. Ella S. Stewart of Chicago, Miss Harriet Noble of Indianapolis and Mrs. B. F. Perkins of Fort Wayne were the speakers. The following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Noland; first vice-president, Dr. Susan E. Collier, Indianapolis; second, Mrs. Mary Mitchner, Kokomo; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Bessie Hughes, Logansport; recording secretary, Mrs. Wood; treasurer, Mrs. Barnard; auditors re-elected; member National Executive Committee, Mrs. Perkins. During the year Sullivan, Terre Haute, Amboy, Lafayette, Red Key and Ridgeville became auxiliaries. Mrs. Antoinette D. Leach of Sullivan was made State organizer; Mrs. Flora T. Neff of Logansport chairman of literature.

In 1911 a resolution to amend the State constitution by striking out the word "male" was presented to the Legislature, drafted by Mrs. Leach. It passed the House committee unanimously, went to third reading and was shelved because of a proposed plan for a new constitution brought out by Governor Thomas R. Marshall. The Municipal League composed of the mayors and councilmen of all the cities in the State invited the Equal Suffrage Association to provide speakers for the annual meeting at Crawfordsville June 20 and Mrs. Noland, Miss Noble and Mrs. Leach responded. They were courteously received and heard with much applause. The convention was not interested in woman suffrage but the press gave much publicity. A State suffrage convention was held at this time. In August a monthly journal called the Woman Citizen was established in Indianapolis by the association with Mrs. Leach as editor, its columns open[Pg 168] to all suffrage organizations, and published for two years. New Albany, Jeffersonville, Markleville and Valparaiso clubs were added to the State association. The New Albany society was large and active and gave suffrage much prominence in southern Indiana. Mrs. Noland reported 5,000 letters sent out in 1911.

On June 28, 29, 1912, Logansport again entertained the State convention. Mrs. Noland acted as publicity chairman. The Call was sent broadcast; press notices in every daily and weekly paper; large posters put up at the cross roads in every county; banners stretched across Broadway announcing the date. On the Saturday before the meeting circulars announcing it and a parade were dropped over the city from an air ship. Every business house was beautifully dressed in suffrage colors. Mayor D. D. Fickle gave an address of welcome. The principal speaker was Dr. B. O. Aylesworth of Colorado. The parade was viewed by more than 50,000 people and Pathé made films of it. The convention was widely noticed by the press. Eleven new societies were added to the State association. Mrs. Noland was re-elected. Other officers were: Mrs. O. P. Smith, Logansport; Mrs. Anna Cassangese, New Albany; Mrs. Margaret Williamson, Red Key; Dr. Emma G. Holloway, North Manchester, vice-presidents; secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Katharine Hoffman, Logansport; member National Executive Committee, Mrs. Leach; standing committees, Legislation, Mrs. Leach; Church, Mrs. Alice Judah Clark, Vincennes; Endorsement, Mrs. Harriet Houser; Press, Mrs. Neff, both of Logansport.

A publicity campaign was begun. Billboards were covered with posters and barns, fences and stones along the country roadways were decorated with "Votes for Women." Free literature was distributed and handbills were given out at every opportunity. Sunday afternoon meetings were held in picture show halls in many towns. Booths were secured at county and street fairs. Tents were placed on Chautauqua grounds with speakers and all kinds of suffrage supplies. This program was kept up until the World War called the women to other duties. The Gary Civic Service League affiliated with the association and Mrs. Kate Wood Ray, its president, was made press chairman.

On Oct. 12-14, 1914, the annual convention was held in[Pg 169] Logansport, welcomed by Mayor Guthrie. Among the speakers were Judge S. T. McConnell of Logansport and O. P. Smith, a State and national labor leader. Both had attended the meeting at Kokomo in 1906, since which time Judge McConnell had been a legal adviser of the association. Mr. Smith was a member of the legislative advisory committee. Miss Laura Clay of Kentucky, Dr. Frank Stockton of Bloomington and Miss Florence Wattles of Kokomo were the principal speakers. Miss Clay was made an honorary member. Mrs. Mary P. Flannegan, secretary-treasurer, was the only new officer; new committee chairmen, Mrs. McConnell, Mrs. L. E. Sellars, Mrs. E. B. De Vault, Miss Wattles. The secretary's report showed 28 affiliated societies. It was voted to cooperate with the Legislative Council of Women and work for Presidential suffrage. Mrs. Noland, as chairman of the committee, was in Indianapolis from the time the bill was introduced until the Assembly adjourned.

In February, 1915, Mrs. Noland went before the national convention of miners in Indianapolis and secured a unanimous resolution favoring State and national woman suffrage from the 1,600 delegates. In the summer the State association sent Miss Wattles for two months' speaking in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania suffrage campaigns. In July the Municipal League held its annual meeting in Logansport and the association, again called upon for speakers, sent Mrs. Noland, Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Sellars. The enthusiasm with which they were received and the discussion by the delegates which followed showed a marked change since the meeting at Crawfordsville in 1911. At the State convention in the fall a committee was appointed for interviewing candidates before the spring primaries, especially those for Governor and members of the Legislature and Congress. Mrs. Ray, Mrs. Leach and Mrs. Noland composed the committee.

In the fall of 1916 the question of a new State constitution was referred to the voters and the association placed women at all polling places in the cities and large towns. In the small towns and country the voters received literature and letters asking them to vote in favor. It was lost but the work gave the women a new zeal and with the enlightenment of the voters the effort seemed more than worth while. At the State meeting in October[Pg 170] it was decided again to join hands with the Legislative Council to work for a partial suffrage bill and to cooperate with the Woman's Franchise League in legislative work if a mutual decision could be brought about. The association all over the State was very zealous in behalf of the bill and Mrs. Ray, Mrs. Noland and Mrs. Stimson worked continuously in the State House until the Governor signed it on February 28.

To the Legislative Council of Women belongs much of the glory for the final suffrage victories in Indiana. Formed in 1914 to work with the Legislature it was composed of the following State organizations representing 80,000 organized women: Federation of Women's Clubs, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Mothers' Congress, Woman's Franchise League, Woman's Press Club, Association of Collegiate Alumnae, Consumers' League, Woman's Relief Corps, Equal Suffrage Association. These organizations represented an influence that could not be ignored. The officers were as follows: President, Mrs. Felix T. McWhirter (later Mrs. Edward F. White), Indianapolis; vice-presidents: Miss Vida Newsom, Columbus; Mrs. Flora Millspaugh, Chesterfield; Mrs. A. D. Moffett, Elwood; secretary-treasurer, Miss Dora Bosart, Indianapolis. The Executive Committee was composed of the president and one delegate from each organization and Mrs. S. C. Stimson of Terre Haute was chairman. The Council was financed by these organizations, assisted by churches, business men's clubs, ministers', teachers' and farmers' associations and individual contributions.

The Act was ruled unconstitutional in October but the women had a taste of citizenship, for all over the State they had registered and in some places they had voted on prohibition and public improvements. The Legislative Council sent out 75,000 registration cards. Municipal authorities had appointed women to places of trust. The Suffrage Board formulated a plan for the study of citizenship, of the United States and State constitutions, methods of voting, etc., which has since been on the program of study for the local societies.

In July, 1917, Mrs. Noland and Mrs. Ray were again asked to speak at the annual meeting of the Municipal League and the following was adopted with enthusiasm: "Resolved; That the[Pg 171] Municipal League of Indiana does hereby recommend full and equal suffrage for women in both State and nation."

By a vote of the local societies it was decided not to call a convention during the war, as every woman was engaged in war work, but monthly board meetings were held in different towns in 1917 and 1918, keeping the busy women in touch with suffrage work. During the Legislature of 1919 other organizations seemed desirous of pushing the suffrage work and the association voted to give them a free hand. It assisted the effort for the ratification of the Federal Amendment by sending letters and having resolutions passed by organizations. It has at this time (1920) 29 affiliated societies, 500 dues-paying members and over 6,000 non-dues-paying members.


During the early years of the present century there was no definite campaign for suffrage in Indiana but the partial success of repeated efforts to influence the General Assembly to pass various suffrage bills showed a large body of interested if unorganized favorable opinion. The State had never been entirely organized but there were several centers where flourishing associations kept up interest. In 1901 the State Woman Suffrage Association under the presidency of Mrs. Bertha G. Wade of Indianapolis engaged chiefly in legislative work but it gradually ceased effort. There were attempts toward its re-organization in the following years, assisted by the National Association, but interest proved to be not sufficiently keen or widespread.

The Indianapolis Equal Suffrage Society, organized in 1878 under the direction of Mrs. May Wright Sewall, had never suspended activities. Dr. Amelia R. Keller was its president in 1909 and in order to stimulate interest and give an outlet for the energy of its members, assisted by Mrs. Grace Julian Clarke, Mrs. Felix T. McWhirter, Mrs. John F. Barnhill, Mrs. W. T. Barnes, Mrs. Winfield Scott Johnson and Dr. Rebecca Rogers[Pg 172] George, she formed the Women's School League on October 1, "to elect a woman to the school board and improve the schools of Indianapolis." Dr. Keller was made president and the other officers were, vice-presidents, Dr. George and Mrs. McWhirter; secretary, Mrs. Julia C. Henderson; treasurer, Miss Harriet Noble; directors, Mrs. Clarke, Mrs. Barnhill, Mrs. Arthur B. Grover, Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Linton A. Cox, Mrs. Laura Kregelo, Mrs. Edgar A. Perkins, Dr. Mary A. Spink, Miss Belle O'Hair and Miss Tarquinia Voss. Many of these names become familiar in the later records of suffrage work.

The first part of the league's program succeeded and a woman was elected to the school board of Indianapolis. At the same time the women of Terre Haute, where under a new law the school board was elective, made a like attempt through the Woman's Club and the local suffrage society and were also successful. These were the only places where school boards were elective. Many women showed themselves eager to work for a woman on the school board who were indifferent to the larger aspects of suffrage. It was soon clear, however, that the schools could not stand alone in municipal affairs but where boards were not elected it would be necessary to vote for Mayor and councilmen to influence school conditions, therefore on April 21, 1911, the organization dropped the word "school" from its title and became the Woman's Franchise League of Indiana. Dr. Keller continued as president and associated with her as officers were Mrs. Meredith Nicholson and Mrs. McWhirter, vice presidents; Mrs. Henderson, secretary; Mrs. Barnhill, treasurer.

A State convention of the league was held in Indianapolis April 12, 1912, and one took place annually after that date, always in the capital. At this convention Dr. Martha Griffiths of Crawfordsville and Dr. Adah McMahon of Lafayette were added to the directors. This year the league affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association.[47] By May,[Pg 173] 1916, there were sixty branch leagues and 3,000 members; in May, 1919, there were 300 branches and 16,000 members. Dr. Keller continued as president until the convention of 1917, when Mrs. Richard E. Edwards of Peru was elected and served two years. At the convention of 1919 Miss Helen Benbridge of Terre Haute was chosen. The Franchise League was exceedingly fortunate in its three presidents, who gave the most of their time, thought and effort to its demands without salary. Dr. Keller organized it largely through the force of her own personality and was able to gather around her other strong and determined women through whom the idea of suffrage was carried out into the State. Mrs. Edwards took up the work of more intensive organization of the State outside of Indianapolis and succeeded, with Miss Benbridge as State organizer, in multiplying the branch leagues and the members by five. Miss Benbridge's work as president was that of consolidating these gains and directing the women in the use of the vote which they thought they had won. The list is too long to be given of those who deserve special mention for years of devoted service.

From the spring of 1917 to the autumn of 1918 the members of force and character were drawn upon for war service and the league suffered the temporary loss of some of its best workers, who were filling executive positions in the many war agencies. Of the directorate Miss Adah Bush worked first in Washington with the Woman's Council of National Defense and later went to France with the Young Women's Christian Association; Mrs. Fred McCulloch was State chairman of Liberty Loans; Dr. McMahon went to France on the staff of the Women's Oversea Hospitals; Mrs. Henderson was chairman of the "four minute speakers" who at their own expense went over the State speaking for Liberty Loans, Red Cross, etc.

Under the able direction of Miss Benbridge the league continued to increase until there were but four counties in which it had no representation. The changed status of members from[Pg 174] suffrage workers to voters necessitated a different sort of activity. Organizers were still employed to some extent and suffrage propaganda used in the more remote counties but the stress was laid upon teaching women to use the vote intelligently and appreciate the power it gives. A Citizenship School of the nature of a Normal School was held in Indianapolis in October and women from all over the State attended a five days' session and heard talks on the nature and various functions of the government and the duties of citizens, by men and women who were experts in their various lines. They took back to their own towns the inspiration received and these schools were carried on quite generally. The State Superintendent of Education sent out a bulletin asking the teachers to give their aid and recommending that the public schools be used for this work. A monograph entitled An Aid to the Citizen in Indiana was prepared by Miss Martha Block of Terre Haute and published by the league. This movement to train the new voters commanded the respect of educators and several professors in educational institutions offered their services as teachers in the schools of citizenship.

The convention of April, 1920, was the end of the Franchise League. With the near ratification of the Federal Amendment work for suffrage seemed to be finished in Indiana. As a Presidential suffrage bill had been passed by the General Assembly the women of the State were already partial voters, so the league disbanded and in its place was formed the State League of Women Voters, with Mrs. A. H. Beardsley of Elkhart as president. The branches became auxiliaries and the leaders realized that the task of getting the vote was nearly accomplished—that of using it had just begun.

Legislative Action. 1901. Through the efforts of the Equal Suffrage Association a resolution for an amendment to the State constitution to strike out the word "male" in the suffrage section was introduced. In the Senate it was buried in committee. In the House it received a vote of 49 ayes, 33 noes—a two-thirds majority being necessary. Later it was reconsidered and passed by a vote of 52 to 32. This vote was also reconsidered and the amendment laid on the table.

1907. Municipal suffrage bill was defeated by the Senate.[Pg 175]

1911. A similar measure was reported favorably out of committees but lost in the Lower House by 41 ayes, 48 noes, and no action was taken by the Senate.

1913. A resolution to submit a woman suffrage amendment was held up in committees. The Senate passed a School suffrage bill by 27 ayes, 10 noes, but there was no action in the House.

1915. A Presidential suffrage bill passed in the Senate by 37 ayes, 3 noes, was held up in the House.

1917. This year will long be remembered by suffrage workers as one of triumphs and defeats. The legislative session was a continued triumph and showed that public opinion was in favor of granting political rights to women. A great help was the agitation for a new constitution. The present constitution was adopted in 1851. An early court decision that an amendment in order to carry must have a majority of all the votes cast at the election made amending it a practical impossibility and for a long time there had been a widespread demand for a new one for the sake of many needed reforms. The suffragists joined the agitation for it, as this seemed the only way to get the vote by State action.

The General Assembly of 1917 was carefully selected to pass the Prohibition Amendment and was known to be favorable to the calling of a constitutional convention. While the suffragists placed their hope in a new constitution yet in order to leave no means untried the Legislative Council of Women was formed at the suggestion of Mrs. Grace Julian Clarke, composed of representatives of eight or ten State organizations, of which the Women's Franchise League was one. Mrs. Felix T. McWhirter was made president and it was decided to present a Presidential and Municipal suffrage bill similar to the one passed by the Illinois Legislature in 1913 and sustained by the courts.

The Council had quarters in the State House granted by the Governor; the Women's Franchise League immediately established a bureau there by his consent with Mrs. John F. Barnhill and Miss Alma Sickler in charge and all the women labored diligently for the success of the measure. The work over the State was necessarily done largely by the Franchise League, as it had the local societies necessary. The Council secured the aid of[Pg 176] Mrs. Catharine Waugh McCulloch, a lawyer of Chicago, who had been closely identified with the Illinois law. For the first time in the history of Indiana's struggle for equal suffrage there was active opposition by women. Nineteen, all of Indianapolis, appealed to the Senate Committee on Rights and Privileges, which had the bill in charge, for a hearing in order to protest.[48] This was granted but it resulted in an enthusiastic suffrage meeting. The "nineteen," who asserted that they spoke for 90 per cent. of unorganized women in Indiana, were represented by Mrs. Lucius B. Swift, Miss Minnie Bronson, secretary of the National Anti-Suffrage Association, and Charles McLean of Iowa, who was in its employ. Mrs. McCulloch, Meredith Nicholson, Mrs. Edward Franklin White, now president of the Council, former Mayor Charles A. Bookwalter and a number of others spoke for the bill.

The calendar of suffrage events in the Legislature of 1917 was as follows: On January 23 the bill for a constitutional convention passed the House by 87 ayes, 10 noes; on the 31st it passed the Senate by 34 ayes, 14 noes, and on February 1 was signed by Governor James P. Goodrich. On February 8 the Presidential-Municipal suffrage bill passed the Senate by 32 ayes, 16 noes. It also provided that women could vote for delegates to the constitutional convention, were eligible to election as delegates and could vote on the adoption of the proposed new constitution. On the 22nd it passed the House by 67 ayes, 24 noes, and was signed by the Governor. The Legislature also voted to submit a full suffrage amendment to the electors.

Although it was early apparent that these laws would be carried into the courts preparations were at once made by the women for registering. The Franchise League opened booths in the shopping districts in the cities and urged the women in the country to go to the court house and register when in town. They sent out women notaries with blanks to register the women.[49][Pg 177] In Vigo county, of which Terre Haute is the county seat, 12,000 registered, more than the average number of men who usually voted at elections. In all parts of the State the registration of women was very large and the women were studying political questions and showing much interest in their new duties.

Meanwhile the action of the Legislature was taken into the courts. On June 25 Judge W. W. Thornton of the Marion County (Indianapolis) Superior Court gave a decision that the Legislature had no authority to call for an election of delegates to a constitutional convention and no right to grant to women the privilege of voting for such delegates or any constitution which might be submitted to the voters. The case was at once appealed to the State Supreme Court, which on July 13 sustained the decision. Chief Justice Erwin wrote the opinion and Justices Spencer, Harvey and Myers concurred. Justice M. B. Lairy filed a dissenting opinion. There was a wide difference of opinion among the lawyers of the State.

This decision did not affect the limited suffrage law, which gave women the right to vote for (1) Presidential electors; (2) all State officers not expressly named in the constitution, including Attorney General and Judges of the Appellate, Superior, Criminal, Probate and Juvenile Courts; (3) all city, township and county officers not named in the constitution. The law was referred to as nine-tenths suffrage.

Action was brought in the Superior Court of Marion county for a decision on this law. The Court gave an adverse decision but it embraced definitely only the Municipal suffrage. On October 26 the Supreme Court upheld this decision concerning Municipal suffrage and implied that the entire Act was invalid. The counsel for the suffragists, including some of the foremost lawyers[Pg 178] in the State, with Eli Stansbury, Attorney General, and Mrs. McCulloch, presented masterly arguments. The decision of the Supreme Court was condemned by many besides the suffragists. The hearing was not held before a full bench and the decision was not unanimous, Judge Lawson J. Harvey handing down a dissenting opinion, so that two men virtually decided this momentous question.

By Jan. 1, 1919 the Federal Suffrage Amendment had passed the Lower House of Congress and was pending in the Senate and the first act of this year's Legislature, convened in joint session before either House had organized, was to adopt a resolution with but one opposing vote calling on the U. S. Senate to submit the amendment, which was signed by the Governor and forwarded to Washington.

There still remained from the legislation of 1917 the amendment to the State constitution, which in order to be submitted to the voters had to be passed also by the Assembly of 1919. The result of the election of 1918 in the State had been an overwhelmingly Republican victory. Since the party had the Governor and a majority of both branches of the Assembly, it wished to put through a program of legislation that called for amending the constitution and the leaders requested the women to withdraw the suffrage amendment, as while one was pending another could not be introduced. Feeling that withdrawal with a friendly majority was better than defeat and enmity, the board of the Franchise League consented. One of the rewards for this sacrifice, which meant a delay of two years in presenting a State amendment to the voters, was the Presidential suffrage bill, which passed on February 6 with six dissenting votes out of a membership of 150. Three of these were in the Senate, Erskine of Evansville, Haggerty of South Bend and Kline of Huntington; three in the House, Sambor, Bidaman and O'Neal, the last two from Terre Haute, Sambor from Indiana Harbor. The vote to submit an amendment was unanimous in both Houses.

Ratification. When the U. S. Senate finally voted on June 4 to submit the Federal Suffrage Amendment the Legislature of 1919 had adjourned. The question of ratification was of course uppermost in the minds of the leaders of the Franchise[Pg 179] League and there would be no regular session until 1921. Governor Goodrich came to the rescue by promising to call a special session, probably in August or September of the present year, and sent out an invitation to other Governors of States similarly situated to join him in securing enough special sessions to ratify the amendment at an early date. The Governor of Indiana has power to call a special session but can not restrict its action. Owing to internal affairs of the State which developed the Governor postponed indefinitely calling the session, assuring the suffragists, however, that it should be held in time for them to vote at the general election of 1920. Finally after repeated importunities he announced on December 30 that he would call the special session for Jan. 15, 1920, if a two-thirds majority of the Legislature would agree to consider only ratification.

Although both political parties had declared in favor of ratifying the amendment yet the women were expected to secure these pledges and it was no small task but it seemed to be the only way. The suffragists looked to the Franchise League for action and it assumed the burden. Miss Helen Benbridge, its efficient president, soon made the politicians see the wisdom of a special session. Under her skillful management letters from the Governor were sent immediately to all the legislators enclosing this agreement: "I hereby pledge myself to attend a special session of the General Assembly limited to the ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment and to vote for adjournment immediately afterwards."

The Franchise League opened headquarters in Indianapolis and every pressure, political and other kinds, was brought to bear on the members and answers began to come in as early as January 4. It certainly was a surprise to the politicians when on the afternoon of January 13 Miss Benbridge was able to take to Governor Goodrich signed pledges from 35 Senators and 67 Representatives, a two-thirds majority in each House. The Governor at once issued a call for a special session on January 16, allowing two days for members to reach Indianapolis. That so many legislators were willing to lay aside party prejudice and meet for a non-partisan purpose speaks volumes for the personnel of the General Assembly of 1919. Recognition is due[Pg 180] especially to the Democratic members, as the Republicans were obeying the call of their chief but the Democrats, on the summons of a Republican Governor, laid aside their convictions and acted solely in the interest of the women of their State.

The Assembly convened at 10 a. m. on Jan. 16, 1920, and more than a hundred suffrage workers from all parts of the State were present to see the fruition of their hopes. Miss Benbridge, president, and Mrs. Edwards, past president of the league, sat on the rostrum in the Senate Chamber beside Lieutenant Governor Edgar D. Bush, and in the House beside Speaker Jesse Eschbach, while the vote was being taken. The Senators enjoyed what was termed "the last wail" of the three anti-suffragists who voted no—Kline, Haggerty and Franklin McCray of Indianapolis. Forty-three votes were cast in favor. The resolution was then taken to the House, which had organized and was waiting, and, after suspension of the rules so that the three necessary readings might be had in one day, it was passed by the unanimous vote of the 93 members present. It was signed at once by the presiding officers and at half past four of the same afternoon by Governor Goodrich, who wished in this way to show his agreement, though his signature was not legally necessary. Mrs. Goodrich, Miss Benbridge, many officers of the Franchise League and other interested suffragists witnessed the signing. With this act the long struggle for political rights for women which began in Indiana in the middle of the nineteenth century was finished.

A large and enthusiastic meeting of the board of the Franchise League was then held and there was general congratulation. Miss Benbridge, who presided, said: "The work that assured the special session and the result achieved was done, not by the little group of women in the Indianapolis headquarters, although their work was well done, but by the women over the State. Much credit for the success belongs to the Franchise League members everywhere, who have won the sentiment of their localities for woman suffrage."


[45] The History is indebted for this part of the chapter to Mrs. Anna Dunn Noland, president of the Stale Equal Suffrage Association.

[46] The History is indebted for this part of the chapter to Mrs. Lenore Hanna Cox, an officer of the Woman's Franchise League from its beginning in 1911 until its work was finished in 1920.

[47] From 1912-1919 the following women served as vice presidents, some for several terms: Mrs. Meredith Nicholson, Mrs. Felix T. McWhirter, Mrs. Ovid B. Jameson, Mrs. John F. Barnhill, Mrs. Julia Fried Walker, Mrs. Isaac Born, all of Indianapolis; Mrs. Lenore Hanna Cox, Mrs. C. M. Curry, Miss Helen Benbridge, Mrs. Leon Stern, of Terre Haute; Mrs. Fred McCulloch, Mrs. Olaf Guldlin, of Fort Wayne; Mrs. Horace Stilwell, Anderson; Mrs. R. M. Johnson, Franklin; Mrs. A. D. Moffett, Elwood; Miss Adah E. Bush, Kentland; Mrs. A. H. Beardsley, Elkhart; Mrs. Charles J. Gill, Muncie; Mrs. Chester Evans, Bloomington; Miss Betsy Jewett Edwards, Shelbyville.

Mrs. Julia C. Henderson, secretary from 1912 to 1917, was succeeded by Miss Dora Bosart, both of Indianapolis; Mrs. John C. Morrison of Lafayette, and Mrs. Richard E. Edwards, of Peru.

Miss Harriet Noble, the first treasurer, was succeeded by Misses Eldena and Sara Lauter, both of Indianapolis; Miss Adah E. Bush; Mrs. Mindwell Crampton Wilson, Delphi; Mrs. Charles J. Gill.

[48] Mesdames Lucius B. Swift, William Watson Woollen, George C. Hitt, L. H. Levey, S. A. Fletcher, Harry Murphy, Edward Daniels, Samuel Reid, H. H. Harrison, William H. H. Miller, S. B. Sutphin, F. G. Darlington, Philamon A. Watson, Henry Scott Fraser, E. C. Atkins, A. Bennett Gates, Evans Woollen; Misses Caroline Harrison Howland and Josephine Hershall.

[49] Issued by the Campaign Organization Committee of the Woman's Franchise League and circulated by the thousands.

This is a Statewide campaign drive, so do your part by fully carrying out the following program: 1. On Saturday June 30, an auto tour must be made in each county. Start these tours in every town where there is an organized league and proceed through the county, distributing flyers, posting bills and making ten minute speeches in every town and village. 2. Sunday, July 1, is Woman Citizen's Sunday throughout the State. Ask that forceful appeal be made from all pulpits urging every woman to recognize and discharge her new citizenship duty. The clergy of all denominations feel the importance of this step—you will find them ready and willing to cooperate. 3. Push registration of women during the week of July 4 as a patriotic measure. Secure favorable mention of woman suffrage in all speeches. 4. Close the week's campaign by a mass meeting of all local women's organizations, including clubs, lodges and church societies. 5. Secure all the newspaper space possible for this patriotic week. Publish this entire program and report its progress daily to your local papers....

[Pg 181]



The Iowa Equal Suffrage Association was still conducting in 1901 the campaign of education begun when it was organized in 1870, as fully described in Volume IV of the History of Woman Suffrage. It seemed at times a deadly dull process and there rose bolder spirits occasionally who suggested more vigorous and spectacular means of bringing the cause to the attention of the general public and of focusing the suffrage sentiment, which evidently existed, on the members of the Legislatures and putting them into a more genial attitude toward submitting a State constitutional amendment, which seemed in those years the only method of attaining the longed-for goal. Women, however, are conservative and the Iowa laws on the whole were not oppressive enough to stir the average woman to active propaganda for a share in making and administering them. Therefore the association proceeded along the beaten path—by way of education, aided by social and economic evolution, from which not even the most non-progressive woman can protect herself, much less protect her daughters. The association never missed an annual meeting and the women elected each year to carry on its work were those who knew that the cause might be delayed but could not be permanently defeated.

The convention of 1901 was held in November at Waterloo and Mrs. Adelaide Ballard was elected president, having previously served two terms. The conventions of 1902, 1903 and 1904 took place in October in Des Moines, Boone and Sheldon, and Mrs. Mary J. Coggeshall was each year elected president, having held the office two years at earlier dates. The annual meeting of 1905 was held in November at Panora; that of 1906[Pg 182] in September at Ida Grove, and Bertha A. Wilcox was each year elected president.

The conventions of 1907 and 1908 took place in October at Des Moines and Boone and the Rev. Eleanor E. Gordon was at each elected president. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, who was present at the Boone convention, had just returned from England and was accompanied by two young English women who had campaigned for suffrage there and who took part in the convention. She had marched in a parade in London and was very desirous that parades should be held here. After much urging from her and the president, and with great trepidation and many misgivings on the part of the members, a procession was formed and marched through the principal streets on October 29. The Boone Daily News said: "The members of the Equal Suffrage Association in convention, scores of the local women interested in the movement and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union united in a monster parade through the main streets. The Wilder-Yeoman Band led with the Rev. Eleanor Gordon, president, Mrs. Coggeshall, honorary president, Mrs. Julia Clark Hallam, Dr. Shaw of Philadelphia and the Misses Rendell and Costelloe of London next in the procession. From every viewpoint it was a success." This was the first or one of the first suffrage parades to be held in the United States and it required much courage to take part in it. The crowd which lined the sidewalks was most respectful and when Dr. Shaw and the English visitors spoke from an automobile there was enthusiastic response.

In 1909 at the State convention held in Des Moines Mrs. Hallam was made president. In 1910, at the convention in Corydon, Mrs. Harriet B. Evans was elected to this position. The report of the corresponding secretary, Mrs. Lona I. Robinson, was similar to those that had been made in many preceding years and that continued to be made for several following years. It showed that hundreds of letters were sent to the officers of local clubs, asking them to interview the candidates for the Legislature on their attitude towards woman suffrage; to sign the petitions to Congress for a Federal Amendment, which were sent to them; to strengthen their organization; to increase their[Pg 183] propaganda work, for which quantities of literature were furnished. The report showed the activities of the State officers, meetings arranged, addresses made and legislative work done.

At the annual meeting in October, 1911, at Perry, the Rev. Mary A. Safford became president. This year the Woman's Standard, a monthly newspaper published since 1886 by the association, was discontinued, as there was an ever-increasing opportunity for suffrage news and arguments in the newspapers of the State. On Dec. 22, 1911, Mrs. Coggeshall, who had been the inspiration and leader of the State suffrage work since its beginning and part of the time an officer of the National Suffrage Association, passed away. She was the link between those who began the movement and those who finished it. Whatever the later workers in Iowa had done had been as a candle flame lighted from the torch of her faith and devotion. She was a friend of Susan B. Anthony, of Lucy Stone and of many of the other veterans. Her delightful home was open to every suffragist of high or low degree—there were no degrees to her if a woman was a suffragist. She showed her faith in the cause not only by her gifts, her hospitality and her unceasing activity during her life but also by bequests of $5,000 to the State association and $10,000 to the National Association. The former was used, as she would have wished it to be, in the amendment campaign of 1916 and the National Association returned a large part of its bequest for use at this time.

In October, 1912, the convention was held in Des Moines and the Rev. Miss Safford was re-elected president. By this time new methods of propaganda were being used. During the State Fair the City Council of Suffrage Clubs in Des Moines arranged for the photoplay Votes for Women to be shown in a river front park near a band stand where nightly concerts were given and literally thousands of people had their first education in suffrage through the speeches made there.

The State convention met in October, 1913, in Boone and Miss Flora Dunlap was made president. An automobile trip crossing the State twice, with open air meetings in thirty towns, had been undertaken in September. Governor George W. Clark and Harvey Ingham, editor of the Des Moines Register, a long time supporter[Pg 184] of woman suffrage, spoke at the first meeting and other prominent men, officials, editors and clergymen, joined the party for one or more days. Two reporters from Des Moines newspapers went with it and there was excellent publicity. Mrs. P. J. Mills of Des Moines managed the trip and accompanied the party with her car, Miss Evangeline Prouty, daughter of an Iowa member of Congress, acting as chauffeur. Miss Dunlap also made the entire two weeks' journey, while other workers joined for briefer periods. J. R. Hanna, Mayor of Des Moines, wrote the Mayors of all towns in which meetings were scheduled asking the courtesies of the city for the party, and this, with the Governor's opening speech, gave a helpful official sanction.

The annual meeting took place in October, 1914, at Des Moines and Miss Dunlap was re-elected president. In March the Mississippi Valley Conference, with many interesting delegates, had been held in that city and made a very favorable impression. Miss Jane Addams and Mrs. Harriet Taylor Upton, president of the Ohio Suffrage Association, had spoken at a Sunday afternoon mass meeting in the largest theater. When the convention met at Des Moines in October, 1915, a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution had at last been submitted by the Legislature to be passed upon by the voters in June, 1916. Miss Dunlap was again re-elected and arrangements were perfected for continuing the vigorous campaign already under way. By the time the association held its convention at Waterloo in September, 1916, the amendment had been defeated but nevertheless the meeting was large and enthusiastic. Miss Anna B. Lawther was elected president and arrangements were made for securing as soon as possible the re-submission of the amendment.

The convention of 1917 met in October at Des Moines and Miss Lawther was re-elected. The country was now in the midst of war, and, like patriotic women everywhere, Iowa suffragists turned all their attention to helping win it. Miss Lawther served on a special committee appointed by the Governor to organize the women of the State for war activities. Every woman on the suffrage board filled an important position in the various State war organizations and every county chairman and local member was active in the work of her community. The women worked[Pg 185] long, full days for the war and far into the night for suffrage.

When the State convention met at Cedar Rapids in September, 1918, the women were still immersed in war work. Meanwhile the Lower House of Congress had voted to submit the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment and for some months the efforts of the association had been centered on this amendment. It had secured pledges from all the Iowa representatives in Congress to vote for it except Harry E. Hull, who voted against it. In June a "suffrage school" had been held in Penn College, Oskaloosa, for the express purpose of educating women in the need of this amendment and the necessity of educating State legislators to the point where it would be ratified as soon as it was submitted. Miss Lawther was again re-elected but resigned the next June and Mrs. James E. Devitt, the vice-president, filled the office.

In 1919 the association was in the thick of the struggle to obtain from the Legislature Primary and Presidential suffrage. The former was defeated; the latter passed both houses in April. The Federal Amendment was ratified by the Legislature July 2.

The work of the Equal Suffrage Association seemed finished. The half century of agitation, education and evolution was completed. The 48th and last annual convention was held Oct. 2, 1919, in Boone, which had been its hostess many times, and the association was happily dissolved by unanimous vote. The State League of Women Voters was at once organized with Miss Flora Dunlap, chairman, and the old workers faced the new task of making political suffrage for women the privilege and blessing they always had believed it would prove to be.

Legislative Action. A resolution to submit to the voters a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution was introduced in every General Assembly beginning with 1870. In the early years petitions were sent, the number of signatures rising from 8,000 in 1884 to 100,000 in 1900, but after that time they were almost entirely given up, as they had no effect. The resolution was introduced according to custom in the Legislature of 1902. Also according to custom, not always so carefully observed, the Senate passed the resolution by 28 to 16, this being the Senate's year for this courtesy, and the House accepted the report recommending indefinite postponement.[Pg 186]

In 1904 the resolution was defeated in the House and did not emerge from the Senate committee. In 1906 this program was repeated. The meeting of the Legislature was now changed to the odd years and in 1907 the above program was reversed. After this year the members omitted even the customary graciousness of an understanding that one body would pass it and the other kill it, thus keeping the women friendly and dividing the responsibility for the defeat, and both Houses in 1909 rejected it.

In 1911 the Senate treated the resolution in a most contemptuous manner by voting to strike out the enacting clause and then passing it. This was the last time it was defeated. The tide was changing and even the most confirmed opponents knew that it was a rising and not a falling tide. Fortunately most of the active workers who sat through that humiliating experience lived to see the men who were responsible for it either retired entirely from public life or so changed in sentiment as to claim a place among those who "always believed in woman suffrage."

The neighboring State of Kansas fully enfranchised its women in 1912, as did several other western States, and favorable pressure was growing very strong. In 1913 the resolution to submit the amendment passed in the House on February 20 by a vote of 81 to 26 and in the Senate on March 7 by a vote of 31 to 15. The deadlock was broken and every suffragist rejoiced.

The resolution had to pass two Legislatures and in July, 1914, the Republican State convention strongly urged the next one to pass it. In 1915 this was done, by the Senate on February 12 by a vote of 38 to 11, and by the House on the 23rd by one of 84 to 19. The date for the referendum to the voters was set at the time of the primary elections, June 5, 1916, over three years from the time the resolution was first passed. After forty-five years thus far had the workers for woman suffrage arrived.

The activities of the State association were at once turned to the education of the voters. It had been long thought by both State and national leaders that if the amendment could be brought before them they would give a large majority for it. Probably no State ever went into a campaign under more favorable auspices and until the last few weeks it seemed that victory was certain[Pg 187] and the women had learned that it was not entirely a State matter but one of national interest. The national president, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, gave six weeks of time to the campaign and liberal contributions of money, as she considered Iowa her State, having spent a large part of her life there. The honorary president, Dr. Shaw, other national officers, State presidents and men and women suffragists from many other States rendered valuable help in time, money and service of all sorts. Large numbers of Iowa women who had never helped before now did effective work. The long-time suffragists devoted themselves wholly to the campaign. Many Iowa men gave great assistance. A Men's League for Woman Suffrage, John H. Denison, president, was organized with headquarters at Des Moines and branches in all the large cities, forty altogether. These leagues not only assisted with counsel but raised funds, placed speakers and helped get out the vote. O. G. Geyer was the executive secretary and the State offices of the League adjoined those of the State Suffrage Association. There were the closest cooperation and the greatest harmony in the work of the two organizations. An unusually well-conducted press campaign was carried on with Mrs. Rose Lawless Geyer at the head of the press department and she and Miss Alice B. Curtis, executive secretary, gave long hours and invaluable service to the campaign. Five-sixths of the newspapers not only used plate matter and a weekly press letter but supported the cause editorially and some of them refused the paid advertising of the "antis."

Dr. Effie McCollum Jones was finance secretary; Miss Mabel Lodge was the first organizer in the field and there is a long list of men and women whose names deserve mention for the abundant time and unstinted devotion they gave to the campaign. In some of the counties along the Mississippi River, where the situation was the most difficult, were strong groups of men and women workers. Miss Anna B. Lawther of Dubuque headed one of the most active and the record of the river counties would have been even blacker than it was but for the herculean work that they did. In Keokuk, the most southern city on the river, this was so effective that it alone was a white spot in the long, black line when the election returns came in. Each of the[Pg 188] eleven Congressional districts had an organizer in charge from January until election day. In every one of the ninety counties there was organization. Nine-tenths of them opened headquarters from one to three months before the end of the campaign and 2,000 precinct workers were enrolled. The whole State was covered by auto-trips in the last month. Approximately 5,000,000 pieces of literature were distributed, much of it especially printed to meet local needs and the false statements circulated by the opposition. One cent postage for one circularization of the voters of Iowa cost $5,000.

As suffragists throughout the nation gave their help, so the opponents outside the State tried to defeat the amendment. The women's National Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage sent a number of its paid workers and a considerable sum of money into the State. There was a small anti-suffrage organization in Iowa during the campaign affiliated with this national association, with branches in Des Moines, Davenport, Clinton, Sioux City and a few other places. Mrs. Simon Casady of Des Moines was State president. John P. Irish, a former resident, came from California under its auspices to work against the amendment but the press department widely circulated his favorable declarations for woman suffrage in early years and reprinted his editorials written during the Civil War, in which his disloyalty to Lincoln and to the Union was shown. He was much disturbed by this publicity concerning his past and soon left the State. The women's anti-suffrage association did no particular harm but the forces of evil with which it was allied did great damage and in the end defeated the amendment. Iowa women had believed that their men were free from entanglements with these forces but they learned that no State line bars out the elements which work against democracy and the influence of women in government.

In spite of these opposing forces the amendment would have won but for political complications which arose during the last few weeks of the campaign. It became necessary for the Republican party to sacrifice woman suffrage to its "wet" candidate for Governor, as it felt sure that he could not be elected in November[Pg 189] if the vote should be given to women in June. A prominent supporter said openly: "We had to do it in self-defense."

The special election and the primary election were held on June 5, 1916, and after several days of waiting the final returns showed that the amendment was defeated—ayes, 162,683; noes, 173,024—lost by 10,341 votes.

The adverse vote was almost entirely in the counties along the Mississippi River. They were in revolt against the State prohibition law and there was constant evasion of it and agitation for its repeal. Naturally those opposed to prohibition were also opposed to woman suffrage. The vote in these counties was large enough to overcome the vote in the central and western counties where the sentiment was generally "dry." Des Moines, the capital and largest city in the State, voted in favor; Sioux City, the second largest, recorded a small adverse vote; Council Bluffs on the western border returned a favorable majority; Keokuk on the river in the southeastern corner of the State was carried, but all the other cities on the eastern border voted "wet." The river counties of Dubuque, Scott and Clinton gave 9,383 of the 10,341 adverse majority. They were the stronghold for the commercial liquor interests of the State. The Republican candidate for Governor received a majority of 126,754 and this party could easily have carried the amendment.

It was evident that there were many irregularities in the election and the board of the State Suffrage Association conferred with competent attorneys but after much consultation it was decided that it would not be practical to contest it. The defeat of the amendment was a serious disappointment to the temperance forces and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union determined to have the returns canvassed and if possible discover the cause. The election proceedings and officials returns were investigated in 44 counties and the report in affidavit form consisted of 200 closely typewritten pages. The Des Moines Register of Oct. 15, 1916, said of this report:

The investigation revealed several strange conditions. The records in the Secretary of State's office disclose that there were 29,341 more votes cast on the equal suffrage amendment than the total cast for all candidates for Governor by all parties. The canvass in these 44[Pg 190] counties, however, shows that there were 13,609 more names listed as voting, as shown by the poll books, than there were suffrage ballots. Add to this the 2,289 votes where certain precincts show more votes on the amendment than names recorded in the poll books and altogether 15,898 more names are found on the poll books than there were ballots cast on woman suffrage. If this proportion is maintained in the other fifty-five counties, there would be approximately 30,000 more voters listed than there were votes on the amendment. The question the investigator raises is: "Did 60,000 men go to the polls and fail to vote a primary ballot, and did 30,000 of these fail to vote on the amendment? Did 30,000 go to the polls and fail to vote for anybody or anything?"

The W. C. T. U. can draw but one conclusion from this condition, namely, that they were defrauded out of their right to the ballot.

The investigators found that in the 44 counties ... 4,743 ballots, shown to have been cast by the list of voters, are absolutely unaccounted for.... In 15 counties it was found that in certain precincts 2,239 more ballots were certified than there were names on the list of voters.... In 15 counties there were 8,067 more ballots on the amendment than there were voters checked as having voted.

In 30 counties where the combination poll books were used no voter was checked as having voted, but the certificates show that 55,107 votes were cast on the amendment. In 27 cities canvassed, a total disregard or ignorance of the registration laws in nearly all precincts appears and in many of these the violations are most flagrant.

The law requires that the judges and clerks of election shall make out a certificate showing the total number of votes cast, the number voting "yes" or "no" or "rejected." A total of 9,320 votes in these counties are not properly certified to and the "true return" is not signed in many instances by any of the clerks or judges and in others not by all. In this class 27,362 votes were affected. In six counties certificates properly signed by the clerks and judges had been changed by a different hand and in some cases several different precincts had been changed by the same hand....

Many other instances were given of incompetence and dishonesty beyond question, but, notwithstanding this positive evidence, the legal requirements and restrictions were such as made any effort for a recount or another election of no avail.[51]

A conference of the suffrage leaders was held in Des Moines the next month after the election. Every one was sad but no one was resigned and those who had worked the hardest and sacrificed the most were the first to renew their pledges for further effort. It was decided that while their forces were well[Pg 191] organized they should at once begin another campaign. The half-century-old resolution was presented to the General Assembly of 1917, and, though there were arguments that the voters had just spoken and that the question ought not again be submitted in so brief a time, the resolution passed by a vote of 35 ayes, 13 noes in the Senate and 85 ayes, 20 noes in the House.

The women continued their work for the second vote, which must be given by the Legislature of 1919. When it convened the discovery was made that the Secretary of State, William S. Allen, did not publish notice of the passage of the resolution the first time, as required by law and it had to be voted on again as if the first time. It passed with but one dissenting voice in each House but the second vote could not be taken till 1921.

A bill for Primary suffrage passed the Lower House in 1919 by 86 ayes, 15 noes, but met with great opposition in the Senate even from men posing as friends of woman suffrage. In a one-party State, as Iowa had been for many years, the dominant party hardly could feel that its supremacy would be threatened by women's votes in the primary, but, as one speaker naïvely disclosed in the debate, the "machine" might be thrown entirely out of gear. "Why," said he dramatically to the listening Senate, "the Republican party would be in hopeless confusion. Nobody could tell in advance what candidate the women might nominate in the primary!" The bill was postponed by 31 ayes, 17 noes.

The next step was to have a bill introduced to give women a vote for Presidential electors. One of the contributing factors to its success was the ever-increasing number of victories for similar bills in other States, particularly the recent victory in Missouri, which had completed the circle of "white" States surrounding Iowa. One of the features of the debate in the Senate was the reading of a letter from John T. Adams, vice-chairman of the National Republican Committee, heretofore an anti-suffragist, by Senator Eugene Schaffter, the sponsor of the bill, in which he impressed upon the Republicans the political urgency of granting the Presidential franchise to women. After a hard campaign by the Legislative Committee of the State Suffrage Association, with Mrs. Frank W. Dodson of Des Moines as chairman, the Iowa legislators joined the procession and on April 4, 1919,[Pg 192] the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 38 ayes, 8 noes, the House following on April 19 with a vote of 84 ayes, 2 noes.

Ratification. When the Federal Amendment went to the last vote in Congress, the Iowa delegation maintained its record on each vote that had been taken, both Senators and ten of the eleven Representatives—all but Harry E. Hull—casting their votes in the affirmative. Immediately Mrs. Devitt of Oskaloosa, acting president, and Mrs. Fred B. Crowley of Des Moines, corresponding secretary of the State association, requested Governor William L. Harding to call a special session of the Legislature to ratify it. It met on July 2 in special session for this sole purpose. Men and women had made their way early to the Capitol, filling the galleries and the rear of the chambers. The legislators, too, were apparently as happy as boys, with a new idea of real democracy in Iowa. It seemed like a gathering of great-hearted, honest-of-purpose men who were eager to do an act of justice. The joyous expressions of these men, who had taken hot, dusty rides on day trains from their farms and stores in the scorching July weather to come and cast their votes for ratification, assured the women of victory. It was a wonderful moment. After a joint session at 10 a. m., to hear the reading of the Governor's message, by 11:40 the vote had been taken in both Houses. Every Senator but two was present and was recorded in the affirmative; the vote in the House was 96 ayes, 5 noes; E. H. Knickerbocker, Linn county; T. J. O'Donnell, Dubuque; C. A. Quick and George A. Smith, Clinton; W. H. Vance, Madison. Senators J. D. Buser of Conesville and D. W. Kimberly of Davenport were absent. The former had voted against Presidential suffrage and the latter had not voted.

An informal luncheon followed in one of the Des Moines tea rooms which had often housed the suffragists in times of desolation and it was turned into a jollification meeting. Three former State presidents and other women spoke and there were many present for whom the occasion meant the fulfillment of an idea to which they had given years of devoted service.


[50] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Flora Dunlap, president of the State Equal Suffrage Association 1913-1915 and chairman of the League of Women Voters.

[51] Space is given to this report because it is a fair illustration of the conditions under which woman suffrage amendments were defeated again and again in different States.

[Pg 193]



Kansas was not yet a State when in 1859 twenty-five of her justice-loving men and women met and formed the first association to gain political freedom for women, and the liberty lighting torch kindled then was kept aflame by organization for fifty-three years before the women received equal political rights with the men in 1912. A State Equal Suffrage Association was formed in 1884 and thereafter annual conventions were held.

During 1901 Miss Helen Kimber, president of the association, travelled through fifteen counties and held twenty-five meetings. She had obtained for the national suffrage bazaar held in New York in December, 1900, besides many smaller donations, a car load of flour from the Kansas Millers' Association and two hundred pounds of butter from the Continental Creamery Company of Topeka. She was re-elected president at the convention held in McPherson, Nov. 7, 8, and the following year visited more than half the counties, forming organizations where they did not already exist. The attempt made in the Legislature through the influence of the liquor interests to deprive women of their Municipal suffrage, possessed since 1887, brought more of them to realize its value and at the spring election more than ever before were elected on school boards, for which women could vote.

The convention of 1902 was held in Topeka October 14-15 and Miss Kimber was re-elected; Mrs. John B. Sims, secretary. Several thousand people listened to the inspiring addresses of[Pg 194] Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and the senior editor of the Woman's Journal, Henry B. Blackwell. Headquarters were established in Topeka. Petitions for Presidential suffrage with about 32,000 signatures had been secured to be presented to the Legislature of 1903. There was an increased vote of women at the spring election and forty-two were elected as county officers, for whom only men could vote.

The State convention of 1903 was held in Abilene December 8-9 and Miss Kimber was again re-elected. She reported suffrage meetings conducted at the Winfield, Beloit and Lincoln Chautauquas. Mrs. Mary C. C. Bradford of Colorado was the outside speaker and afterwards spoke in four of the principal cities. Mrs. Sadie P. Grisham of Cottonwood Falls was elected president at the convention held in Topeka Nov. 9, 10, 1904. The increase of membership of nearly a thousand was largely accredited to the efforts of Mrs. Alice Moyer, State organizer. Presidential suffrage was again adopted for the year's work. The suffrage departments were maintained at the Chautauqua meetings and literature and letters were sent to every member of the incoming Legislature. The convention of 1905 was held in Topeka October 20-21. Mrs. Grisham refused a second term and Mrs. Roxana E. Rice of Lawrence was elected president. On Oct. 14, 1906, the convention met in Topeka and Mrs. Rice was re-elected and with others of her board represented Kansas at the national convention in Chicago the next February.

The annual meeting of 1907 was again held in Topeka on November 14 and a report from the national convention was given by the vice-president, Mrs. Lilla Day Monroe, but all propositions and resolutions offered by the mother organization were either rejected or referred to a committee and at the conclusion of Mrs. Monroe's report she moved that "the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association withdraw from the National." After discussion to the effect that it could do more effective work alone the motion was carried. Mrs. Monroe was elected president, Mrs. J. D. McFarland first and Mrs. Rice second vice-president. The treasurer reported $260 in the treasury and was instructed to pay $25 to the Susan B. Anthony memorial fund. The board[Pg 195] decided to publish the Club Member, devoted to women's activities.

The convention of 1908 met October 30-31 in Topeka, the Good Government Club and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of that city uniting with the association in an evening program. Mrs. A. H. Horton was elected president, Mrs. Monroe first and Mrs. Margaret Hill McCarter second vice-president. The fact was evident that there had been no organization work and little activity throughout the State for several years, and, as there was now no connection with the National Association, interest was awakened only at biennial periods by the convening of the Legislature.

At the convention of 1909 in Topeka, December 10, 11, T. A. McNeal of this city, former member of the Legislature, principal speaker at the evening meeting, chided the women and declared that the little advance made along suffrage lines of recent years was not because of men's lack of interest but on account of women's indifference. Mrs. Catharine A. Hoffman was elected president; Mrs. R. V. Chambers first and Mrs. McCarter second vice-president; Mrs. E. E. Raudebush, secretary; Mrs. Emma Sells Marshall, treasurer; Mrs. McFarland and Mrs. Rice, auditors. The president appointed an advisory board of fifteen men and women and named Mrs. Genevieve Howland Chalkley State organizer. The press was used to advantage and good speakers from Kansas and neighboring States helped to make woman suffrage a more popular subject. A number of meetings of a semi-social nature were held in the capital city before the Legislature met. One, "a Kansas equal suffrage banquet," followed a business meeting of the association, Jan. 28, 1910, at Hotel Throop. About one hundred guests were present, Governor W. R. Stubbs and wife and former Governor W. E. Hoch and wife having seats of honor. Mrs. Hoffman was toastmistress and about twenty men and women responded to toasts.

Mrs. Hoffman's policy was to make a strong appeal to the next Legislature for the submission of a full suffrage amendment to the voters. On Dec. 9, 1910, she called her officers and a number of well known workers to a conference in Topeka and a plan of action was outlined. A room in the State Historical[Pg 196] Department, which through the courtesy of Geo. W. Martin had been used as legislative headquarters in other years, was again retained with Mrs. Monroe as superintendent. Mrs. William A. Johnston, Mrs. Stubbs and Mrs. C. C. Goddard were appointed a legislative committee. Governor Stubbs had been re-elected in November, 1910, and in his message to the Legislature in January he strongly advised the submission. Then the battle royal for votes opened. The resolution was introduced early in January. Every legislator was asked by each member of the committee to vote for it; many of the members' wives were in Topeka and teas, dinners and receptions became popular, at which the "assisting ladies" were asked to keep the subject of woman suffrage to the front and in this way many men and women were interested and educated.

Mrs. Hoffman was a conservative but diligent worker and among her able assistants were a number of men and women from the colleges and universities. Mrs. Lillian Mitchner, president of the State W. C. T. U., was a constant helper. The names of all the valiant workers would be those of hundreds of Topeka people and hundreds more out in the "home districts," who used their influence with the legislators, and those of wives of Senators and Representatives who influenced their husbands' votes. The State House headquarters was a busy place and a large amount of work was done there. The amendment resolution was passed by the votes of the men but it could not have been done without the careful, well planned work of the women. It was adopted by a large majority in both Houses and signed by Governor Stubbs Feb. 12, 1911.

The State convention met in Representative Hall, Topeka, May 16, 1911. Kansas women were now for the third time entering a campaign for political liberty, which made the meeting one of unusual interest. Mrs. Hoffman could not serve longer and the following officers were elected: Mrs. Johnston, president; Mrs. Stubbs first and Mrs. Cora W. Bullard second vice-president; Miss Gertrude Reed, corresponding secretary; Miss Helen N. Eacker, recording secretary; Mrs. S. A. Thurston, treasurer; Mrs. William Allen White, auditor; district presidents, Mrs. Bullard, Mrs. Chalkley, Mrs. P. H. Albright, Mrs. L. C.[Pg 197] Wooster, Mrs. Matie Toothaker Kimball, Mrs. Anna C. Waite, Mrs. W. Y. Morgan, Mrs. Nannie Garrett. An enthusiastic mass meeting was held in the evening, the speakers, Chief Justice William A. Johnston; John McDonald, former Superintendent of Public Instruction; George W. Martin, secretary of the State Historical Society; David Leahy, secretary to the Governor, and Mrs. Mitchner; Mrs. Hoffman presiding. The next day a joint meeting of the old and new officers was held. The treasurer reported $37.50 received as membership fees, and $100, a gift from Mrs. Catt. This was a small sum to begin a campaign for about 500,000 votes, but all hearts were filled with courage. Later three district presidents resigned and Mrs. Minnie J. Brinstead, Mrs. H. Wirick and Mrs. M. B. Munson were appointed; also Mrs. Hoffman, chairman of press; Dr. Alberta Corbin, of membership extension, and Miss Effie Graham of education.

These eighteen women constituted a board of management. At its meeting July 10 a program was submitted by the president of the association for the complete organization of the State. Organization, education and publicity were the watchwords adopted. The need of money was so pressing that the board made personal pledges of from $25 to $200, which in many instances were more than doubled before the vote was taken. This act of self-denial and consecration gave strength and courage to go to others, for worthy as was the cause money would not come without asking. The big public is much like the Lord, who helps those who help themselves. The half-million voters to obtain and almost as many women living in 105 counties to educate meant work as well as faith.

The hottest summer and the coldest, stormiest winter followed and the workers learned what it meant to travel across country with the mercury ranging from 110 in the shade to 22 degrees below zero; to have a Turkish bath while making a "votes for women" speech or be delayed for hours on a freight or passenger train by a snow blockade. By January, 1912, however, one-third of the counties were organized, many newspapers pledged to help, and headquarters established in the best business building in Topeka. Then began a "day in and day out" battle for votes.[Pg 198] At first there was one stenographer, later three and two secretaries, and the president broke all the maximum hour laws. Besides the regular county and precinct organizations, college clubs were formed and a Men's State League, with Dr. E. S. Pettyjohn president. This league had a large and influential membership, including the Governor, the Chief Justice and other State officers; many prominent business men, leading ministers, lawyers, teachers, professors and politicians. It gave the campaign prestige with the voters and its members were invaluable as advisers and active workers.

The State convention was held in Wichita, May 7-9, 1912. Greetings were given by Mrs. W. J. Babb, the new president of the district; Mrs. W. T. Johnston, hostess and president of the county, and Mrs. Sally Toler, president of the City Federation of Clubs. Mrs. Mitchner pledged the support of the W. C. T. U. and Mrs. W. D. Atkinson, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, brought its endorsement and pleaded with other State organizations to "bring in the reserves." Telegrams and letters were read from Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, editor of the Woman's Journal; Governor John F. Shafroth of Colorado; Judge Ben Lindsey of Denver; Omar E. Garwood, secretary of the National Men's League; Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National Association; Mrs. Oliver H. P. Belmont of New York; J. H. Braly of California and others. Dr. Helen Brewster Owens of Ithaca, N. Y., field organizer, gave an interesting report of her work, which included addressing 176 audiences and organizing five college leagues. The first "motion" was that application be made for reinstatement in the National Association, and it was carried unanimously. Pledges amounting to $1,000 were given in five minutes to finance a whirlwind campaign proposed by Mr. Braly similar to the one successfully made in California the year before.

The evening meeting was held in the Crawford Theater and many were unable to gain admission. Mrs. Johnson presided, Mayor W. W. Winnick gave the address of welcome and Mrs. Stubbs responded. The Rev. Olympia Brown of Wisconsin, a pioneer suffragist, and Miss Jane Addams of Chicago were the principal speakers. During the convention encouraging reports[Pg 199] were made by chairmen of the three departments and eight congressional districts and many county presidents. The State officers were all re-elected; Mrs. C. W. Smith was made president of the sixth district and Mrs. Babb of the eighth. The afternoon features were an automobile ride by courtesy of the Commerce Club and a street meeting where Miss Addams made her first outdoor speech, standing on the rear seat of an automobile. An evening reception at the Masonic Temple was a delightful finale to the biggest, most enthusiastic suffrage convention ever held in the State.

An executive board meeting and a conference took place May 9, at which date the State, district and county officers of the organized forces numbered more than 2,000 women. These with the men in favor and most of the newspapers created a suffrage sentiment which reached every corner of the State. Nearly all of the forty field workers were Kansans, but assistants and money came from other State organizations and individuals. The National Association contributed in literature and money $2,076. Mrs. Laura M. Johns, now of California, and other "formerly of Kansas" women sent counsel and gifts. Kansas people gave most of the money which the campaign cost, and some of the $6,000 expended was so sacred that it was handled with tearful eyes and reverent touch. For instance, one letter enclosed a check for $100, representing "the life savings of Mary," who wanted it used in a campaign State. In another was $10 "from mother's money, who wanted this justice for women, but it did not come while she lived." Another woman wrote: "This is my sainted mother's birthday and I want this $5 used in her memory." One had made provisions in her will to leave $200 for the next campaign, but thanked God it had come while she could work as well as give. There were the widows' mites, many times meaning sacrifice and toil, and single dollars came from women who were too old or too ill to work but wanted to have a part. There were also a few surreptitious dollars from women whose husbands were boasting that their wives did not want to vote, and "joy dollars" for sons and daughters or the new-born babe. All these gifts were thrice blessed.

With votes as with most of the dollars—they were not coming[Pg 200] unsought, and in order to make sure of them they must be looked for in their own habitat. This the women did on horseback, in wagons, carriages, steam cars and automobiles. They were found in the shops, offices and stores, at the fairs, conventions and Chautauquas, at the theater and the circus, on the farms and the highways, at the fireside and in the streets. One automobile trip covered a part of the same route travelled by the Rev. Olympia Brown and other suffrage workers in the campaign of 1867, when they often rode in ox-teams or on Indian ponies, stopped over night in dugouts or sod houses and finally were driven back by hostile Indians. This mental picture made the trip over good roads and through villages of pretty homes seem like a pleasure ride. Miss Laura Clay of Kentucky; the president, Mrs. Johnston; Mrs. Kimball and Mrs. Hoffman, who furnished the car, made one trip of 1,000 miles in the fifth district and Miss Clay was then placed in charge of the sixth district offices, where she rendered valuable service for two weeks longer, all gratuitous.

Arthur Capper, owner and publisher of the Topeka Daily Capital, and L. L. Kiene, editor of the State Journal, were most helpful. The favorable Catholic vote was largely due to the excellent work of Mrs. Mary E. Ringrose and her sister of California and to David Leahy of Wichita, an active worker in the Men's League. W. Y. Morgan, member of Congress from Kansas, and Professor S. J. Brandenburg of Oxford, Ohio, looked after the voters in the colleges and universities. Four-year-old Billy Brandenburg came with his mother to help in the automobile tours and was adopted as the "campaign mascot." At the street meetings his little cap was often heavy with nickels and quarters when he helped take collections. Kansas had often stood in the lime-light, but while the women avoided the humdrum, all spectacular methods were discouraged and they won by keeping their efforts on dignified, conservative lines.

All along those in charge of the campaign were warned that the big interests whose business thrives on the degradation of human life would rather defeat suffrage in Kansas than in any other two States. Early in the summer of 1912 a bound book of letters, entitled "Business Versus Woman Suffrage," was brought out by a certain C. F. Tibbles of Chicago, cunningly[Pg 201] devised to arouse the prejudice of every kind of business man or reform worker. Later two other editions were issued, enlarged and more daring in their statements. They were left in railway coaches and sent to newspaper offices with strong appeals for the publishing of the letters from time to time, but Kansas men had fought too many battles with the saloon power not to recognize its hydra head. Toward the last came one clothed in the official garb of the exalted Methodist Church, but warning had been sent by the women of Oregon, where he had united his efforts with the worst elements to defeat the suffrage amendment in two campaigns. The Men's League, the press and the ministers co-operated with the women and "Clarence, the Untrue," was effectively bound and gagged. About this time one of the good friends in Kansas City, Mo., discovered that the same plan which had defeated the amendment in Ohio was going to be used in Kansas, and he loyally reported it to headquarters. A busy day followed and Mrs. Edwin Knapp, Miss Eacker and the president remained up all night getting out letters to expose the plan. These were sent to all of the weekly newspapers for their last issue before the election and an Associated Press letter to be used in the Sunday and Monday issues.

Thanks to the splendid manhood of Kansas, these were sufficient, and women came into their own on November 5, 1912, by a vote of 175,246 ayes, 159,197 noes—a majority of over 16,000. No other State had won by so large a majority and because the count was made and the victory reported first of the three that were carried in 1912, Kansas claims the right to the seventh place on the list of equal suffrage States.[53]

The Jubilee Convention, May 19-20, 1913, was held in the Baptist Church at Lawrence, and men and women came from every part of the State. The evening program was under the auspices of the Men's League, Dr. Pettyjohn, presiding. Professor[Pg 202] W. H. Carruth of the State University gave the address of welcome and the Hon. W. S. Guyer, an active helper in the campaign, responded. Addresses were made by Governor George H. Hodges (Democrat), ex-Governor W. R. Stubbs (Republican), the Hon. W. Y. Morgan and the Rev. C. M. Sheldon. The theme was The New Citizen, and she had a liberal share of the compliments and good advice. At a large evening meeting Mrs. Agnes Riddle, member of the Colorado House of Representatives, gave an interesting address. As befitted a jubilee convention, there were feasting and music, but the subjects discussed revealed a serious realization of the enlarged responsibilities which the vote involved. The name of the association was changed to the Good Citizenship League. Mrs. Johnston declining re-election, received the title of president emeritus, and Mrs. Chalkley was elected president; Mrs. Stubbs first and Mrs. Laura Reed Yaggy second vice-presidents; Miss Eacker, recording secretary; Mrs. Magdalen B. Munson, treasurer; Mrs. W. T. Johnston, auditor, and eight district presidents.

During the months that followed, educational work and helpful interest in States having campaigns was carried forward. At a meeting in Emporia, April 3, 1914, the measures to be supported in the next Legislature by the association were chosen and a study of the political situation was made. The candidates for Governor, Arthur Capper (Republican), George H. Hodges (Democrat) and Professor George W. Kleihege of Washburn College (Socialist) presented the principles of their parties. Henry J. Allen (Progressive) sent greetings and Dean Relvix of Ottawa University explained the tenets of this party. A legislative school followed, attended by women from many sections of the State. A rally to help the campaign in Missouri was held in Kansas City October 15, with a banquet and speeches on the Missouri side and an all day and evening meeting on the Kansas side. The principal speakers were Dean Sophonisba Breckinridge of the University of Chicago and Justice J. S. West of the Kansas Supreme Court. The annual convention met in Lawrence Dec. 19, 1914, and Mrs. Bullard was elected president.

In 1915 the convention was held in Topeka. As war problems were filling the hearts and minds of the people, only a business[Pg 203] meeting was held. The usual resolution urging the delegation in Congress to use all honorable means to put through the Federal Suffrage Amendment was passed.

In 1916 the convention was held in Memorial Hall, Topeka, and the name Equal Suffrage Association was restored. Governor Capper commended the women for their good influence on legislation. Mrs. Catt, president of the National Association, reviewed its activities, and urged Kansas women to work for the Federal Amendment and go to the national political conventions. Money was raised for the Iowa campaign. There had been several attempts to organize a "militant" suffrage society in Kansas under the name of the Congressional Union and a number of men and women had been innocently led into it. A "question box" conducted by Mrs. Catt did much to clarify the situation, making it plain that there was no chance of united work by the two organizations as they were diametrically opposed in methods. She addressed the Commercial Club at a noon luncheon and many business men testified to the good results of woman suffrage. Mrs. W. Y. Morgan was elected president. The Kansas members of Congress, all of whom were in favor of the Federal Amendment, were continuously urged to press for its submission. About fifty Kansas women marched in the great suffrage parade in Chicago at the time of the Republican national convention in June.

The convention met in Topeka June 21, 1917, and Mrs. Morgan declining re-election, Mrs. Charles H. Brooks of Wichita was made president. The annual meeting of 1918 was held in Wichita June 12. The money had been raised to send two envoys to the Southern States and then on to Washington, Mrs. Henry Ware Allen and Mrs. Yaggy, both of charming personality and belonging to the Democratic party, to obtain the help of Congressmen from the South, and it is gratifying to remember that the securing of the last necessary votes in the House in January might be attributed to the efforts of these two women. It was voted to send money and speakers to help in the Oklahoma campaign, where the liquor interests were making a strong fight against the amendment. Mrs. Brooks' excellent work soon brought results. It was hard to raise money for anything except[Pg 204] winning the war but she never lost sight of the fact that winning votes for the Federal Amendment was winning democracy for the world. Almost without exception the officers of the association represented families with men in uniform. The suffragists sold in the Third and Fourth Liberty Loans $20,000,000 worth of bonds and they worked in every "drive" through the Woman's Committee of the Council of Defense. Mrs. Brooks and her entire board were re-elected. As guests of the Wichita Equal Suffrage Society delegates and visitors were entertained at tea in the home of the Hon. Henry J. Allen.

The convention of 1919 was held in Wichita June 10-11. Mrs. Brooks had been elected president of the National League of Women Voters and the Kansas association loyally changed its name to the State League of Women Voters. A largely attended "victory dinner" was given at the Lassen Hotel. Mrs. Brooks was succeeded by Mrs. Henry Ware Allen, who later resigned, and the Executive Board in November called on the well beloved veteran, Mrs. Catharine A. Hoffman, again to take the presidency. A special meeting of the association and a citizenship school were held in Wichita Jan. 19-25, 1920, the latter conducted by Miss Marie B. Ames of St. Louis, the regional director of the National League of Women Voters.

Legislative Action. After an amendment to the State constitution was defeated by the voters in 1894, women asked for full suffrage only now and then, but encouraged by Henry B. Blackwell of Massachusetts they made special efforts after 1900 to obtain the vote for presidential electors.

1901. The Presidential suffrage bill passed the Senate by a vote of 22 to 13, but the next day the vote was reconsidered on motion of Senator G. A. Knofster and the bill defeated by 23 to 13. It died on the House calendar. On January 14 Representative J. A. Butler of Wyandotte county introduced a bill the purpose of which was to deprive women of Municipal suffrage. A storm of protests began at once to pour in and it was estimated that 10,000 letters were sent to members by women from their home districts. The bill was twice killed in committee and received less than ten votes, amid derision and laughter, when its author tried to have it placed on the calendar.[Pg 205]

1903. Senator Dumont Smith introduced the Presidential suffrage bill and worked faithfully for it, but it was defeated on January 28 by 21 noes, 13 ayes. Cyrus Leland introduced it in the Lower House, where it was killed in Committee of the Whole on February 11 by 62 noes, 57 ayes. At this session an extension of bond suffrage was granted to women. They had had the right to vote on bonds for school buildings since 1887, but this act extended the privilege to all other public improvements in cities of the first class.

1905. Governor Edward W. Hoch in his message to the Legislature recommended full suffrage for women and a committee of seven on the Political Rights of Women was appointed in the House. Early in the session the politicians stated that no full suffrage measure would be introduced. Later I. W. Crumley, chairman of the committee, introduced a bill for Presidential suffrage, which passed the House, 65 ayes, 50 noes, and was killed in the Senate.

1907. A House concurrent resolution to submit a constitutional amendment died in Committee of the Whole and no action was taken in the Senate.

1909. The House bill conferring Presidential suffrage was reported favorably, made a special order for February 16 and received 59 noes, 57 ayes. The Senate bill was reported adversely.

1911. The amendment resolution was introduced by Representative Henry Block, and all available space on the floor and in the galleries was filled during the discussion. It passed on February 7 by 94 ayes, 28 noes. The Senate resolution introduced by Senator George H. Hodges was passed on February 11 by 27 ayes, 12 noes. A two-thirds majority is required to pass an amendment resolution and Senator Frank Travis cast the last and deciding vote. It was signed by Governor Stubbs. The amendment went to the voters Nov. 5, 1912, and received a majority in favor of 16,049.

1913. The attitude of the Legislature this year was in marked contrast to that of previous sessions and those who feared that women would lose influence by being enfranchised were certainly undeceived. Judging from the number of welfare bills[Pg 206] introduced without their solicitation it seemed that the members were vying with each other as to who should champion the most. Instead of dodging or ignoring the requests of women's committees their advice and wishes were sought.

1915. The following resolution was passed unanimously by both Houses: "Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Kansas, the House concurring therein, that it is the judgment of this Legislature that the granting of the right of suffrage to the women of the State, so long withheld from them, was not only an act of justice to a disfranchised class, but that it also has proved to be of great good to the State and to the women themselves." This was approved March 15 by the Governor and sent to Congress, and similar resolutions were passed by each Legislature until the Federal Amendment was submitted.

1919. An Act this year required that instruction must be given in the public schools in civic government, patriotism and the duties of a citizen.

Among the women who were active in legislative work were Mesdames Lillian Mitchner, C. C. Goddard, W. R. Stubbs, J. D. McFarland, E. E. Rodebush, E. S. Marshall, Lilla Monroe, A. H. Horton, Lottie Case, Frank Lindsay, Festus Foster and S. S. Estey.[54]

Ratification. Governor Henry J. Allen called a special session of the Legislature for the purpose of ratifying the Federal Suffrage Amendment eleven days after it had been submitted by Congress on June 4, 1919. Representative Minnie J. Grinstead introduced the joint resolution and it was passed unanimously on June 16 by both Houses and approved by the Governor and forwarded to the Secretary of State on the 17th.


[52] The History is indebted for this chapter to Lucy B. (Mrs. William A.) Johnston, president of the State Equal Suffrage Association when the victory was won. She is under obligations to H. G. Larimer, legislative reference and bill drafting department; Miss Henrietta Alexander, legislative reference librarian; L. J. Pettyjohn, Secretary of State; Miss Lorraine E. Wooster, State superintendent of public instruction; Miss Suzanne Henry, Supreme Court law clerk; Dr. S. J. Crumbine, secretary State board of health; Mrs. Herbert Jones, department vital statistics; Miss Linna Bresette, State labor department; Miss Clara Francis, librarian State Historical Society.

[53] Among the many who aided in campaign work were Judge and Mrs. Frank Doster, Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Codding, the Hon. A. M. Harvey, the Hon. Geo. Waters, the Hon. C. C. Gafford, the Rev. Festus Foster, the Rev. S. S. Estey, D. D., William Allen White, Sim Bromlette, John J. Brown; Mesdames Doster Cook, C. W. Smith, Nanon Herren, Lucia Case, Lida Buckley, Sherman Medill, Margaret Brandenburg, Edwin Knapp, L. S. Corbin, Adrian Greene, Adrian Sherman, Pansy Clark, Z. Nason, Geo. W. Rose, Effie Van Tuyl, Eva M. Murphy, Effie Frost; Misses Laura French, Eva Corning, Florence Welch, Bertha Hemstead, Olga House, E. Galloo, Mary Dobbs, Dorothy Sherman.

[54] A complete résumé of the unexcelled welfare legislation of the past twenty years was sent with this chapter but had to be omitted for lack of space. The first State constitution in 1859 guaranteed the same educational rights to women as to men. The State University at Lawrence has 54 women on its faculty; the State Agricultural College, 52; the State Normal, 46.—Ed.

[Pg 207]



When the Equal Rights Association was formed in 1888 Kentucky was the only State that did not permit a married woman to make a will; a wife's wages might be collected by the husband; property and inheritance laws between husband and wife were absolutely unequal; fathers were sole guardians of their children and at death could appoint one even of a child unborn; the age of consent was 12 years and it was legal for a girl to marry at 12. An infinitesimal number of women had a bit of School suffrage. In the rest of that century, under the leadership of Miss Laura Clay, with the able assistance of such women as Mrs. Josephine K. Henry, Mrs. Eliza Calvert Obenchain and many others, much was accomplished in the improvement of the laws and in other ways beneficial to women.

No State convention was held in 1900. Conventions took place annually in the autumn from 1901 to 1917 inclusive in the following cities: Louisville, Lexington, Covington, Newport, Richmond, Ashland, Owensboro, most often in Lexington. The convention of 1918 was postponed on account of the influenza epidemic and held in Louisville March 11-12, 1919. The convention which should have been held in the fall of this year was postponed because of work for ratification and became a "victory" convention held Jan. 6-7, 1920, in Frankfort and Lexington.

The first president of the Equal Rights Association, Miss Laura Clay of Lexington, elected in 1888, served until November, 1912. The constitution was then amended at her desire to prevent a president from succeeding herself and to provide for a three-year term. Mrs. Desha Breckinridge of Lexington was elected in November, 1912, and in 1915 Mrs. Thomas Jefferson[Pg 208] Smith of Frankfort. In 1916, Mrs. Smith resigning because of her election to the National Board, Mrs. John Glover South of Frankfort was elected to fill out the unexpired term. In March, 1919, Mrs. Breckinridge was again elected.

For many years the association worked on a non-dues-paying basis and was supported by voluntary contributions. Increase of activity is indicated by the following figures: The financial report for 1903 shows that $359 were spent; that for 1917 gives an expenditure of $7,838. In 1912 there were 1,779 members, with organizations in 11 counties; 4,655 members were reported in November, 1913, and 10,577 in November, 1914, with completely organized suffrage leagues in 64 counties; partially organized leagues in 23; a roll of members in 32 and but one county in which there was no membership.

Many suffrage addresses have been made in the State by eminent Kentucky men and women and in later years by outside speakers including Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Senator Helen Ring Robinson, Mrs. T. T. Cotnam, Max Eastman, Walter J. Millard, Mrs. Beatrice Forbes-Robertson; Mrs. Philip Snowden, Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence and Mrs. Pankhurst of England, and Rosika Schwimmer of Hungary.

Propaganda work has been done by means of the press and the lecture bureau, by the offering of prizes in schools and colleges for the best essays on woman suffrage and at the State, Blue Grass and county fairs through speaking and circulating literature. In recent years many newspapers have given editorial support and many more have given space for frequent articles furnished by the press bureau. Notable among those of recent date is the Louisville Courier-Journal, in which for many years Colonel Henry Watterson inveighed against woman suffrage in immoderate terms. From the time it passed into the hands of Judge Robert W. Bingham, and "Marse Henry's" connection with it ceased, it consistently and persistently advocated suffrage for women, including the Federal Amendment. Miss Clay writes: "The paper with the largest circulation of any in the State outside of Louisville and of great influence in central Kentucky, the Lexington Herald, owned and edited by Desha Breckinridge,[Pg 209] has from the beginning of the century editorially advocated and insisted upon suffrage for women, including School, Presidential and full suffrage, whether through 'State rights' or Federal Amendment. It has given unlimited space to suffrage propaganda and is largely responsible for making the question one of paramount political moment." The Herald of Louisville has been also a valued supporter of the cause.

The Woman's Christian Temperance Union, of which Mrs. Frances E. Beauchamp, always a prominent suffragist, has for thirty years been president, and the Federation of Women's Clubs have continually worked with the State Equal Rights Association for the improvement of conditions affecting women. By mutual agreement bills in the Legislature have been managed sometimes by one and sometimes by the other.

In addition to organizing the suffrage forces and creating favorable sentiment the principal work of the State Association has been to secure action by the Legislature for suffrage and better laws and conditions for women. This work was under the direction of Miss Clay until the end of her presidency, with a corps of able assistants, and she continued to help the legislative work. She was always sustained by the interest and generosity of her sister, Sallie Clay (Mrs. James) Bennett of Richmond, Ky. Mrs. S. M. Hubbard of Hickman was the largest contributor and was a strong factor in the western part of the State. As early as 1902 a bill for the franchise for presidential electors was presented. In 1904, to the amazement of the suffragists, the act of 1894 was repealed which gave School suffrage to the women of the three third-class cities, Lexington, Covington and Newport. The reason given was that too many illiterate negro women voted. It was made a strict party measure, but one Democrat voting against the repeal and but one Republican for it.

Following this action the women went to work to obtain School suffrage for all women in the State able to read and write. In organizing this protest against the repeal Mrs. Mary C. Roark, afterwards head of the Eastern Kentucky Normal School, was a leader. Mrs. A. M. Harrison, member of the school board in Lexington, was prominently identified with the effort. This proved a long, hard struggle, as it was considered[Pg 210] an entering wedge to full suffrage by the liquor interests and ward politicians of the cities and was bitterly fought. Year after year the bill was defeated in the Legislature. At the request of the suffrage association in 1908 the State Federation of Women's Clubs took charge of it as a part of its work for better schools, but it was defeated that year and in 1910. The Federation did not cease its work and in 1912 the Democratic party included a School suffrage plank in its platform. It already had the support of the Republican party and this year the bill passed both Houses by a vote of more than two to one. The Democrats were in control of the two Legislatures that rejected it and also of the one that passed it. Mrs. Breckinridge was legislative chairman for the federation during the years covering these three sessions.

In 1912 the suffragists accepted the invitation of the Perry Centennial Committee to have a suffrage section in the parade in Louisville and their "float" attracted much attention. This is believed to have been the first suffrage parade in the South.

In 1914 amendments to the new primary law were made by the Legislature securing the right of women to vote in the primary elections for county superintendent of schools. This right was in doubt the year before and was denied in many counties. Much work was done by the association in acquainting the women of the State with their rights under the new law. This year after many efforts a resolution to submit to the voters an amendment to the State constitution giving full suffrage to women was before the Legislature, presented by Senator J. H. Durham of Franklin and Representative John G. Miller of Paducah, both Democrats. Favorable reports were obtained from Senate and House Committees, it was placed on the Senate calendar, but after its defeat in the House by 52 noes, 29 ayes, was not considered.

In 1915 a plank was obtained in the Republican State platform endorsing woman suffrage, largely through the work of Mrs. Murray Hubbard, chairman of a committee from the Federation of Women's Clubs. When the Legislature met in January, 1916, the Republicans, under the leadership of Edwin P. Morrow, caucused and agreed to support solidly the resolution to submit a suffrage amendment to the State constitution. The legislative work of the State association was managed by Mrs. Breckinridge,[Pg 211] chairman, and Mrs. Hubbard, vice-chairman. The resolution was presented in the Senate by Thomas A. Combs and in the House by W. C. G. Hobbs, both of Lexington and both Democrats. It passed the Senate by 26 ayes, 8 noes. In the House it was held in the committee and although three test votes were made in an effort to bring it out and a majority was obtained on one of them, a two-thirds vote was necessary and it was not allowed to come to a vote. No Republican in the Senate gave an adverse vote and only three in the House. Governor A. O. Stanley (Democrat) used the full strength of the administration, even invoking the aid of the Kentucky delegation in Congress, to kill the measure in the House.

This year the Republican and Progressive State conventions endorsed woman suffrage, the Democrats refusing to do so. At the national Republican convention in Chicago the Kentucky member of the Resolutions Committee voted for the suffrage plank in its platform. At the national Democratic convention in St. Louis all the twenty-six delegates, on account of the "unit ruling," cast their votes for the State's rights suffrage plank.

During 1917 suffrage work was displaced by war work, of which Kentucky suffragists did a large share. They were asked to raise $500 for the Women's Oversea Hospitals of the National Association and more than doubled the quota by the able management of Mrs. Samuel Castleman of Louisville. Under the direction of Mrs. E. L. Hutchinson of Lexington a plan to raise money for an ambulance to be named in honor of Miss Laura Clay, the pioneer suffragist, was successfully carried through.

In 1918 for the first time there was every reason to believe that a resolution to submit a State amendment would pass the Legislature, but a majority of the State suffrage board voted to conform to the desire of the National Association to avoid State campaigns and concentrate on the Federal Amendment and no resolution was presented.

At the State convention, held March 11, 1919, resolutions were adopted calling upon all Kentucky members of Congress to vote for the Federal Suffrage Amendment; calling on the Legislature to ratify this amendment, when passed, at the first opportunity and asking it to enact a law giving to women a vote[Pg 212] for presidential electors. Miss Clay, who for over thirty years had been the leader of the suffragists, withdrew from the State association, which she had founded, and formed a new organization to work for the vote by State action alone, as she was strongly opposed to Federal action. It was called the Citizens' Committee for a State Suffrage Amendment and opened headquarters in Lexington. It issued an "open letter to the public," an able argument for the State's control of its own suffrage and an arraignment of interference by Congress, which it declared would "become possessed of an autocratic power dangerous to free institutions." It conducted a vigorous campaign against every move for a Federal Amendment and met the representatives of the old association at the Republican State convention in May to prevent their securing an endorsement of it. In an eloquent speech before the platform committee Miss Clay urged it to reaffirm the State's rights plank in the National platform and pledge the party to secure the submission to the voters of a State suffrage amendment and to support it at the polls. The plank adopted was as follows: "We reaffirm our belief in the justice and expediency of suffrage for women and call upon our representatives in the Congress of the United States, in the Legislature and in all executive positions to use their votes and their influence for all measures granting political rights to women."

The Federal Suffrage Amendment was submitted by Congress June 4. Both organizations urged their claims at the Democratic State convention in September and the platform contained the following plank:

We favor the ratification by the Legislature of Kentucky at its next session of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States extending to women the right of suffrage and we urge our representatives in the Legislature and all executive or other officers to use their votes and influence in every legitimate way to bring about the ratification of the same. We pledge ourselves to support in the next General Assembly, if the Federal Amendment has not become operative by that time, the submission of an amendment to the State Constitution granting suffrage to women on the same terms as to men and when the amendment is submitted to support it at the polls as a party measure.

Every candidate for the nomination for Governor had stood on a suffrage platform and the successful Democratic candidate,[Pg 213] Governor James D. Black, defeated at the election by Edwin P. Morrow, was a staunch and life-long suffragist. When he was filling out Governor Stanley's unexpired term and he received a telegram in June, with all other Governors of Southern States, from the Governor of Louisiana, asking him to oppose ratification of the Federal Amendment, he gave to Mrs. Breckinridge a ringing interview for use in the press to the effect that he would not oppose it. Governor Morrow, a Republican, had always been a friend of woman suffrage in whatever form it was asked.

Kentucky suffragists could easily remember when they could poll but one vote in Congress—that of John W. Langley. When in 1919 the final vote was taken on the Federal Amendment but one of the State's ten votes in the Lower House, that of A. B. Rouse of Covington, was cast against it. There was one vacancy. Senator George B. Martin voted for the resolution and Senator J. C. W. Beckham against it. He had voted against it in February, when, having passed the House, it was lost in the Senate by a single vote.

Ratification. The November legislative election in 1919 resulted in a Republican House and a Democratic Senate. The Republicans caucused and agreed to vote for ratification. Governor Morrow urged it in a vigorous message personally delivered to the Legislature in which he said:

A government "of the people by the people" can not and does not exist in a commonwealth in which one-half of its citizens are denied the right of suffrage. The women of Kentucky are citizens and there is no good or just reason why they should be refused the full and equal exercise of the sovereign right of every free people—the ballot. Every member of this General Assembly is unequivocally committed by his party's platform declaration to cast his vote and use his influence for the immediate enfranchisement of women in both nation and State. Party loyalty, faith-keeping with the people and our long-boasted chivalry all demand that the General Assembly shall break all previous speed records in ratifying the Federal Suffrage Amendment and passing all measures granting political rights to women.

By agreement, a Democrat, Senator Charles M. Harriss, presented the resolution for ratification in the Senate, and a Republican, Joseph Lazarus, in the House. On Jan. 6, 1920, the first day of the session, it was passed by a vote of 30 ayes, 8 noes in[Pg 214] the Senate and 72 ayes, 25 noes in the House. The affirmative vote by parties was as follows: In the two Houses 39 Democrats out of a possible 65, and 63 Republicans out of a possible 73. That any measure should pass on the first day of the session was unprecedented in Kentucky legislative history. Democrats were in control of the two Legislatures—1914 and 1916—which defeated the full suffrage measures. Democrats were in control of the Legislature in 1918 which undoubtedly would have passed a resolution for a State amendment, a Presidential suffrage bill, or would have ratified the Federal Amendment had Congress acted in time. The leaders of both parties by this time had seen a great light!

The delegates who had gathered in Frankfort for the State convention were entertained at a buffet luncheon by the local suffrage organization, went in a body to the State House and had the gratification of seeing the Federal Amendment ratified. A glorification meeting was held that night at Lexington, twenty-five miles away, at which Governor Morrow told why the new women voters should enter the Republican party and Judge C. S. Nunn and Senator Harriss, leader of the Senate, told why they should enter the Democratic party. The latter were introduced by former Senator Combs, who had sponsored the suffrage cause among the Democrats in the last two Legislatures. The convention closed with an address by Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst of England the following night, and on the next day the officers and members of the association went to Frankfort again to see the Governor sign the ratification.

As it was not certain that the amendment would be completely ratified before the general election in November the Legislature decided to pass a bill giving to women the right to vote for presidential electors. On March 11 it passed the House and on the 15th the Senate by almost the same vote given on the Federal Amendment. Only three Senators voted against it—Thomas J. Gardner of Bardwell, Hayes Carter of Elizabethtown and C. W. Burton of Crittenden. On the 16th bills were passed making necessary changes in the election laws to insure the voting of the women in the primaries and at the regular elections.

Kentucky women who rendered conspicuous service in the[Pg 215] lobby work at Washington under the auspices of the National Suffrage Association were Mrs. John Glover South, Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Smith, Mrs. Edmund M. Post, Mrs. Samuel Castleman, Mrs. Charles Firth and Mrs. Samuel Henning. They were equally helpful in the State political work and among many others who deserve especial mention are Mrs. James A. Leech, Mrs. J. B. Judah and Mrs. Robinson A. McDowell. The association is indebted to Mr. McDowell for legal assistance. An important factor was the press work of Miss Eleanor Hume.[56]

The organizing of classes in citizenship was begun in the summer of 1919 and the services of a specialist in politics and history, Miss Mary Scrugham, a Kentucky woman, were secured to prepare a course of lectures for their use. These were published in the Lexington Herald and supplied to women's clubs, suffrage associations and newly formed Leagues of Women Citizens, soon to become Leagues of Women Voters.

The Equal Rights Association voted at its convention in January, 1920, to change its name to the League of Women Voters as soon as ratification of the Federal Amendment was complete or Presidential suffrage granted. The league was fully organized on December 15, with Miss Mary Bronaugh of Hopkinsville chairman.

The first vice-president of the State Equal Suffrage Association, Mrs. South, was elected as chairman of the Women's Division of the National Republican Committee, and the second vice-president, Mrs. Castleman, as Kentucky member of the National Democratic Woman's Committee.


[55] The History is indebted for this chapter to Madeline McDowell (Mrs. Desha) Breckinridge, president of the State Equal Rights Association 1912-1915 and 1919-1920; vice-president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association 1913-1914.

[56] In addition to the presidents the following served as officers of the association: Vice-presidents: Mrs. Mary B. Clay, Mrs. Mary Cramer, Mrs. N. S. McLaughlin, Mrs. John Castleman, Mrs. E. L. Hutchinson, Mrs. Charles Firth, Mrs. Judah, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Samuel Castleman, Mrs. Leech, Mrs. McDowell, Mrs. Joseph Alderson, Mrs. F. A. Rothier. Corresponding secretaries: Miss Anna Miller, Mrs. Mary C. Roark, Mrs. Alice Carpenter, Miss Clay, Mrs. Herbert Mendel, Mrs. South. Recording secretaries: Mrs. Emma Roebuck, Mrs. McDowell, Mrs. Firth, Mrs. J. D. Hays. Treasurers: Mrs. Isabella Shepherd, Mrs. Warfield Bennett, Mrs. Judah. Auditors: Miss Laura White, Mrs. Charles L. Nield, Mrs. W. F. Lillard, Mrs. Alderson. Historians: Mrs. Mary Light Ogle, Mrs. M. B. Reynolds. Press work: Mrs. Obenchain. Members National Executive Committee: Miss Mary E. Giltner, Mrs. Post, Miss Clay.

[Pg 216]



The history of woman suffrage in Louisiana is unique inasmuch as it records largely the activity of one club, an influence, however, which was felt in the upbuilding of sentiment not alone in Louisiana but in almost every Southern State. When in 1900 Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt on her accession to the presidency of the National American Woman Suffrage Association called for conventions in the Southern States it was found that in Louisiana the State Suffrage Association, formed in 1896 by the union of the Portia and Era clubs, had lapsed because the former was no longer in existence. The Era Club, however, was flourishing under the stimulus and prestige gained by the successful Drainage, Sewerage and Water Campaign of 1899.[58] Mrs. Catt decided that, while it was a new precedent to recognize one club as a State association, it would be done in this case. Mrs. Evelyn Ordway was made president, Mrs. Caroline E. Merrick, vice-president; Miss Jeannette Ballard and Miss Jean Gordon, secretaries, and Mrs. Otto Joachim, treasurer of the new association at a meeting in May, 1900, at New Orleans. It went on record at this first meeting as a State's rights organization, which Mrs. Catt ruled was permissible under the dual character of the National Association's constitution.

The secretary entered into active correspondence with individuals in all sections of the State known to be favorable to suffrage, but all efforts to secure clubs were unsuccessful. The Era Club, therefore, extended its membership over the State in order that representation in the national suffrage conventions[Pg 217] could be state-wide. It had a standing Legislative Committee and for thirteen years its activities constituted the work of a State association. In 1904, Mrs. Merrick, Louisiana's pioneer suffragist, was made honorary president; Miss Kate M. Gordon, president; Mrs. James McConnell, vice-president; Mrs. Armand Romain, corresponding secretary; Miss Jean Gordon, recording secretary; Mrs. Lucretia Horner (now Mrs. James McBride), treasurer. There was no change in this board until 1913 except that on the death of Mrs. Romain in 1908 Mrs. Judith Hyams Douglas was appointed in her place.

Clubs were formed during the years in various towns, but did not survive, until in 1913 a league was organized in Shreveport which did excellent work under its presidents, Mrs. S. B. Hicks, Mrs. S. P. Weaver and Mrs. J. M. Henry. The first State convention was held Nov. 12, 1913, in New Orleans, and the following officers were elected: Miss Jean Gordon, president; Mrs. George Wesley Smith, Rayville; Mrs. James C. Wooten, Monroe; Mrs. Louis Hackenjos, Alexandria, vice-presidents; Mrs. R. M. Carruth, New Roads, corresponding secretary; Miss Lois Janvier, New Orleans, recording secretary; Miss Olivia Munson, Napoleonville, treasurer; Mrs. Fannie Wolfson, Coushatta, auditor.

This board was unchanged until 1915, when Mrs. Clarence King of Shreveport became treasurer and Mrs. M. H. Lawless of Garden City and Mrs. D. C. Scarborough of Natchitoches, auditors. There was no further change until 1920, when Mrs. McBride became treasurer and Mrs. Horace Wilkinson took Mrs. Scarborough's place. State conventions met in Alexandria in 1914 and in Shreveport in 1915. Conferences were held in twenty-five parishes in anticipation of the proposed constitutional convention of 1915. A convention was held in Alexandria in July, 1918, and chairmen were appointed in forty-eight parishes in preparation for the State amendment campaign.

In reviewing the history of woman suffrage in Louisiana three factors stand out prominently as influences that molded a favorable public opinion. These are the national suffrage convention in 1903; the inauguration of charity campaigns on the lines of political organization and the forming of the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference, the object of which was to place[Pg 218] the Democratic party on record for woman suffrage in this Democratic stronghold of the "solid South."

In public opinion woman suffrage was largely associated with the Abolition movement. In 1900 Miss Gordon had accepted an invitation to address the convention of the National Association in Washington on the famous Sewerage and Drainage Campaign of women in New Orleans. Then and there she decided that the most important work before Louisiana suffragists was to bring this conservative State under the influence of a national convention. In 1901 she attended another convention and was elected corresponding secretary of the National Association. In 1903 she brought its convention to New Orleans and it proved to be one of the most remarkable in the history of the association.[59] So impressed was Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, vice-president at large, with the possibilities in the South that she volunteered a month's series of lectures in the next autumn and many places in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas came under the spell of her eloquence.

The influence of this convention was immediately seen in the increasing membership of the Era Club. Its leaders recognized that the best policy to rouse both men and women to the value of suffrage to the individual and the community was by applied politics in social service. It had already secured a partial franchise for taxpaying women and its achievements in the following years made it an acknowledged power.[60] In 1910 a great charity and educational benefit was launched for the Anti-Tuberculosis League and the Woman's Dispensary. A complete plan of organizing with Era Club members as ward and precinct leaders taught them political organization.

By 1913 the movement for a Federal Suffrage Amendment was growing so insistent that southern women who were opposed to this method felt the necessity of organizing to combat it and to uphold the State's rights principle of the Democratic party. Through the initiative of Miss Gordon a Call for a conference[Pg 219] was sent in August to leading women in every southern State and signed by twenty-two from almost as many States asking the Governors to meet in New Orleans for a conference. It said:

We are united in the belief that suffrage is a State right and that the power to define a State's electorate should remain the exclusive right of the State. We recognize that Woman Suffrage is no longer a theory to be debated but a condition to be met. The inevitable "votes for women" is a world movement and unless the South squarely faces the issue and takes steps to preserve the State's right the force of public opinion will make it mandatory through a National Constitutional Amendment....

While as Southerners we wish to see the power of the State retained, yet as women we are equally determined to secure, as of paramount importance, the right which is the birthright of an American citizen. We, therefore, appeal to you gentlemen vested with the power largely to shape conditions to confer with us and influence public opinion to adopt woman suffrage through State action. Failing to accomplish this, the onus of responsibility will rest upon the men of the South if southern women are forced to support a National Amendment, weighted with the same objections as the Fifteenth.

It was not expected that the Governors would come, but the desired publicity was secured and several of them sent representative women. At the invitation of the Era Club the conference was held in New Orleans Nov. 10-11, with an excellent attendance. The Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference was organized with Miss Gordon president. On May 1, 1914, headquarters were opened in New Orleans in charge of Mrs. Ida Porter Boyer of Pennsylvania, as executive secretary, who had had long experience in suffrage organization and press work. For the next three years Miss Gordon went regularly to these headquarters and gave her entire time to the promotion of the Southern Conference without financial remuneration. In October a 20-page magazine, the New Southern Citizen, made its appearance, which became self-supporting and proved to be a most valuable factor in the work of the conference. The first convention was held in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Nov. 10, 1914, just before that of the National American Association in Nashville, which its delegates attended. It was welcomed by the Mayor, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and many club presidents. Delegates were present from twelve States and in addition a number of distinguished visitors. Mrs. Oliver H. P.[Pg 220] Belmont brought with her Miss Christabel Pankhurst of Great Britain and both made addresses. About $1,500 were pledged.

Miss Gordon said in her president's address: "The Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference has for its immediate object to make the Democratic party declare itself in favor of votes for women in its next national platform. This, we southern suffragists believe, is the first step in what will prove a veritable landslide in the South. The conference therefore recommends to the suffragists of the South the adoption of a policy of concentration upon the Democratic party to declare itself."

In December, 1915, a national conference was held in Richmond, Va. Smaller conferences were held in Atlanta, Greenville, S. C., and Little Rock. Miss Gordon visited most of the cities of the South to organize the women. In July, 1916, an executive meeting was held in St. Louis at the time of the national Democratic convention. Its Resolutions Committee gave a hearing to the representatives of the conference, Miss Clay, Mrs. O. F. Ellington of Little Rock, Mrs. Boyer, Mrs. Wesley Martin Stoner of Washington. Miss Gordon made an extended appeal for an endorsement of woman suffrage in the party platform and presented a resolution to "secure for women self-government while preserving to the State a like self-government." This was not adopted, but the platform did recommend "the extension of suffrage to the women of the country by the States."

Although the principal object of the conference had been attained, its leaders hesitated to dissolve it because of its excellent magazine and work yet to be done. It was maintained until May, 1917, when the entrance of this country into the World War made its discontinuance seem advisable.[61]

Legislative Action. Prior to 1904 it was an unheard of thing for women in Louisiana to take an active part in legislative procedure. A woman's club, the Arena, had been instrumental in obtaining the first "age of consent" legislation, but a Unitarian minister had entirely managed the Legislature. Therefore the tyros who formed the first Legislative Committee of the Era Club showed their ignorance and enthusiasm when their program[Pg 221] included at least twelve bills which they proposed to have enacted into law in one session.[62] Without any friends at court it was with considerable relief that they followed advice to put them all in the hands of an influential lobbyist. Reform bills were not in his line and the session was drawing to a close with nothing done when the Gordon sisters cast precedent and propriety to the winds, telegraphed to the Senator from their district for an audience, boarded a morning train for Baton Rouge and descended upon the Capitol. Article 210 of the State constitution adopted in 1898 made women ineligible to serve in any official capacity. One of the first acts of the Era Club had been to try to have it amended so as to allow the appointment of a woman to fill a vacancy on the School Board. The surprised Senator met them on their arrival, learned the object of their visit and they will never know whether sympathy, amusement or curiosity actuated the Committee on Judiciary to whom he appealed for a hearing, but a few minutes after their arrival they were pleading their cause before its members. They then called on Governor Newton Blanchard, who offered to have Article 210 amended to enable the appointment of a factory inspector, but in their zeal for the larger object they declined.

1906. Wiser by two years' experience, the Legislative Committee was glad to accept Lieutenant Governor Jared Y. Sanders's offer of an amendment for the above purpose, and Miss Jean Gordon was appointed factory inspector for the city of New Orleans. It was not long before she realized that the Child Labor law, under which she must operate, was not worth the paper on which it was written. She then studied the child labor laws of every State and selected what was best suited to southern conditions, and put it into form for submission.

1908. The legislative program was limited to the attempt to amend Article 210, pass a School suffrage bill and the Child Labor bill. The School suffrage bill, under the skillful management of Senator R. E. Gueydan, assisted by Senators Albert Estinopal and James Brady and Lieutenant Governor Thos. C.[Pg 222] Barrett, passed the Senate but failed in the House. The Child Labor bill passed the House but not the Senate.

1910. Senator Gueydan introduced the amendment of Article 210. Representative S. O. Shattuck introduced the first resolution to strike out the word "male" from the State constitution, with instructions from the women to substitute a School or Municipal suffrage bill if a favorable report was more likely to result. By this time the women had sufficiently progressed to address a joint suffrage committee hearing in the House in the presence of an immense audience, Miss Belle Van Horn, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Douglas, Miss Gordon and labor representatives presenting suffrage arguments. The School suffrage bill was substituted and received a unanimous favorable report, but not the necessary two-thirds vote.

1912. The amendment to Article 210 was introduced by Martin Manion in the House and William Byrnes in the Senate. In the interim between the sessions Mrs. O. W. Chamberlain, legislative chairman, had rolled up a monster petition from all sections of the State and the favorable report of the committee was followed by the required two-thirds vote in the House. There seemed no hope in the Senate, but Miss Gordon appealed to Senator Byrnes to call it from the calendar. There was active lobbying among the opponents, but it finally passed and was sent to the voters! In the campaign for it the Newcomb College Alumnae, the State Nurses' Association and the Federation of Women's Clubs were very active, but it was defeated.

An interesting phase of this year's session in connection with the suffrage amendment was the presenting of the idea of Primary suffrage for women by Miss Gordon at the hearing. She had grown so tired of hearing from the opponents of woman suffrage that their objection rested solely upon the fact that negro women would be enfranchised, that on the part of the Legislative Committee she offered as a substitute for the full suffrage bill one limiting it to the white primary elections. This novel offer was received with great applause by the assembled members of the two Houses, but was not accepted. [See Arkansas and Texas chapters for Primary suffrage for women.]

1914. The full suffrage bill was introduced by Representative[Pg 223] Manion and a quiet committee hearing held, with representatives from the State Suffrage Association and the Woman Suffrage Party. It received 60 ayes, 41 noes in the House, but not the necessary two-thirds. Amending Article 210 had become a city administration measure and was slated for success. A donation towards a Tuberculosis Hospital in New Orleans had been made by Mrs. John Dibert and the gift was municipalized by a condition which required a certain annual revenue from the city. She desired to be a member of the hospital board, but was ineligible under this article. The Era Club gave notice that it would challenge her eligibility and she supported its position. The long desired amendment was on the way to a successful passage, but went on the rocks because of the club's campaign against a financial measure for refunding the city debt known as the Nine Million Bond issue, in which the provisions for the public schools and the teachers' pay were totally inadequate and it was to be in effect for fifty years! The Era Club and the Mothers' Co-operative Club protested and worked against this political-financial alliance. In retaliation twenty-four hours before the election the order went to the voters to defeat the amendment to Article 210, which would have made women eligible to serve on school and charity boards, and they did so.

1918. Governor Ruffin G. Pleasant recommended in his message the submission of a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution. The State association had a resolution for it introduced in the House by Frank Powell; the Woman Suffrage Party one in the Senate by Leon Haas, and it passed in both.

Campaigns. There have been two campaigns in the interest of woman suffrage in Louisiana, one for preparing for an expected constitutional convention which would have met in 1915, and the other in 1918 to amend the State constitution by striking out the word "male." A special session of the Legislature in 1915 proposed a convention to revise the constitution and submitted the question to the voters. Immediately Miss Jean Gordon, president of the State Suffrage Association, accompanied by Miss Lilly Richardson and Mrs. Ida Porter Boyer, visited the various parishes and formed working committees in 40 of the 63. The enthusiastic reception wherever they went was practical[Pg 224] testimony to the sentiment for woman suffrage that they knew existed and could be utilized if the politicians could be made to submit the amendment to the voters. The latter rejected the proposal to hold a convention, but the work done by the women laid the foundation for the campaign three years later.

In 1918 there was finally submitted for the first time the long desired amendment to the State constitution to enable women to vote. To Governor Pleasant is due a great debt of gratitude, for every influence that he could bring to bear was exerted, not alone to secure its submission but also its ratification. He had particularly urged in his Message at the opening of the Legislature the great importance of the South's realizing the danger threatened from the proposed submission of the Federal Suffrage Amendment. The State Suffrage Association was in the midst of opening the campaign when the Woman Suffrage Party announced that they would retire from all suffrage activity and devote themselves to Red Cross work. Robert Ewing, member of the Democratic National Committee, owner of the New Orleans Daily States and Shreveport Times, and a political power, offered his support if the Woman Suffrage Party would unite with the State association and leave the Federal Amendment question entirely out of the campaign. They finally agreed to this and a joint committee was formed of the president and three capable women in each organization. Headquarters were opened in New Orleans; the parish committees which were organized in 1915 were found to be ready for active work. A petition to be signed was sent to each with a strong official letter from the Campaign Committee. A bitter three-cornered Senatorial fight was under way and the women were asked to delay action until after the September primaries, which they consented to do.

All was ready for beginning a whirlwind campaign on October 1, when suddenly just before that date the influenza epidemic broke out and no assembling of people was allowed. To add to the difficulties, instead of the usual dry, clear weather of this season there came a deluge of rains that lasted for six weeks and the condition of the roads made it wholly impossible to do any work in the outlying districts. Thus there was practically no campaign in the way of making personal appeals to the voters,[Pg 225] but in New Orleans and other cities thousands received urgent letters from Miss Gordon and other leaders. Notwithstanding these adverse conditions, the majority against the amendment was only 3,600, nearly all of it in New Orleans, where it was the result of direct orders from Mayor Martin Behrman, through the ward "bosses" of a perfectly controlled "machine." From parish after parish in the State came reports of precincts not even being opened on account of the epidemic and the weather. There is no doubt that others which reported an adverse majority were really carried for the amendment. At a public meeting of protest immediately after Miss Gordon made an address recalling the glorious history of the Democratic party and comparing it with this election which had repudiated its highest principles.

In 1920 the State Suffrage Association stood alone in again having a resolution introduced for amending the State constitution, all the other suffrage societies concentrating on the ratification of the Federal Amendment, which had been submitted by Congress on June 4. It was presented in the Lower House by L. L. Upton, in the Senate by J. O. Stewart. They were followed immediately by Representative S. O. Shattuck and Senator Norris C. Williamson with one to ratify the Federal Amendment. At the close of the session Miss Jean Gordon issued the following statement:

To the Friends of Woman Suffrage:

Now that the smoke of battle has cleared ... as president of the State association I feel that an unbiased statement of facts should be given in order that the history of woman suffrage in this State may be correctly recorded. Having been at Baton Rouge from the opening day of the Legislature until its adjournment I can give all the facts and some of the reasons for one of the most remarkable controversies ever held in Louisiana.

The proposed amendment to the State constitution having been defeated in 1918 by the malevolent influences of the influenza throughout the State and Mayor Behrman in New Orleans, it was necessary to have another sent to the voters in 1920.

Congress having submitted a Federal Amendment to the Legislatures it was to be expected that men and women who believe in centralizing the voting power in Congress would work for its ratification, but that those who claimed to be ardent suffragists would work to defeat State submission after they found the sentiment for ratification amounted to almost nothing in both Houses seems incredible. The fact remains, however, that while the actual defeat of the[Pg 226] State amendment was due primarily to personal animosity on the part of Senator Leopold of Plaquemine parish, when he realized what he had done he said that if it was possible to have it re-introduced he would vote for it, thus giving the necessary twenty-eight votes. After all arrangements for re-consideration had been made, Senator Louque, a faithful suffragist of many years' standing, provoked because one of his bills had been defeated, slipped away and it was again deprived of the one vote needed.

In the Senate Chamber were those nine Senators who proclaimed all through the session their intense belief in woman suffrage—so intense that they wanted the women enfranchised immediately and they wished to help all the women of the United States—these and many other reasons were given by them for standing firmly for a Federal Amendment but they voted against State submission, knowing the Federal Amendment had been killed overwhelmingly. Therefore the real defeat of the State amendment must be accredited to the following nine Senators: Bagwell, Brown, Cunningham, Hood, Johnston of Bossier, Lawrason, Wear, Williamson and Wood....

Very different was the spirit among the proponents of the Federal Amendment in the House. Men who have always been suffragists voted for both Federal and State suffrage.... When Senators Craven, Johness, Johnson of Franklin and Durr saw the Federal Amendment was hopelessly defeated they voted for State submission. When Mayor Behrman caught the vision of how a Federal Amendment could help him in the September primary, he had Senators Davey, Thoele and Roberts vote for it, though it was reported that all had said no power on earth could ever make them do it. After it was defeated they continued to vote against the State amendment. The interpretation put upon their attitude was that they would not help it because its success would be considered a victory for Mr. Ewing, as his Daily States had been the only city paper to stand for State submission. Be it said to the credit of Senators Boyer, Butler, Clinton, Doussan, Domengeaux, Dugas, Weil and Wilbert that although avowed anti-suffragists, they worked hard to secure the submission of the State amendment while so-called ardent suffragists worked overtime for its defeat.


Louisiana had no State organization for woman suffrage when in March, 1913, Mrs. A. B. Singletary of Baton Rouge organized there the State Equal Suffrage League,[64] and in April Mrs. John T. Meehan organized the Woman Suffrage Party of Louisiana[Pg 227] in New Orleans.[65] Both enrolled men as well as women, affiliated with the National American Suffrage Association and worked harmoniously for the enfranchisement of Louisiana women by State and national legislation. Later the League became the Sixth District branch of the Party. When the Woman Suffrage Party was organized its platform contained only a pledge to work for an amendment to the State constitution, but after affiliating with the National Association it was pledged to work also for a Federal Suffrage Amendment, and this was fully understood by the members.

By June 15 the Party, with Mrs. Edgar M. Cahn as State chairman, had enrolled 300 members. It held open air rallies, organized by legislative districts, which are known as "parishes," and in the seventeen wards of Orleans parish congressional chairmen were appointed by the beginning of 1914. This year the Teachers' Political Equality Club and the Newcomb College Suffrage Club became branches of the Party, and the Orleans Parish Branch was organized. Delegates were sent to the national suffrage convention at Nashville in November.

The first State convention of the Party was held in April, 1915, at Baton Rouge and Mrs. Meehan was elected chairman. Throughout the summer suffragists of all groups campaigned vigorously for the recognition of woman suffrage in the State constitutional convention expected in the autumn, but the convention itself was voted down at the polls. A Men's League was formed and among its members were Dr. Henry Dickson Bruns, W. A. Kernaghan, M. J. Sanders, Solomon Wolff, Oscar Schumert, I. A. Strauss, J. J. Fineran, Lynn Dinkins, James Wilkinson, Louis J. Bryan, Captain James Dinkins, L. H. Gosserand, Rabbi Max Heller and Rabbi Emil Leipziger.

In 1916 the resolution for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the word "male" again failed to pass when introduced by Frank E. Powell of De Ridder in the Lower House, though[Pg 228] asked for by all the suffrage organizations, which now included a new group—the Equal Rights Party—formed by Miss Florence Huberwald. Owing to the absence of Mrs. Meehan, Mrs. H. B. Myers, vice-chairman, was active head of the party most of the year. In November Mrs. Lydia Wickliffe Holmes of Baton Rouge was elected State chairman at the annual convention in New Orleans. Under her leadership all the groups in accord with the policy of the National Suffrage Association were merged before the close of 1917, so that the Woman Suffrage Party now included the Equal Suffrage League, the Equal Rights Party and the Louisiana League for Equal Suffrage, formed the winter before in New Orleans by Mrs. W. J. O'Donnell. At the annual convention in New Orleans Mrs. Holmes was re-elected.

State headquarters, known as Suffrage House, were established in New Orleans in February, 1918, a large house on St. Charles Avenue, which was furnished largely through the efforts of Mrs. O'Donnell, who was in charge. In May a resolution for a State suffrage amendment, introduced in the Upper House by Senator Leon Haas of Opelousas, was combined with one brought by Representative Powell in the House, and passed on June 18, to be submitted to the voters in November. Active campaigning for its adoption at the polls began in September under a Joint Campaign Committee of the Woman Suffrage Party and the State Suffrage Association. In spite of the influenza epidemic thousands of signatures were obtained to a petition asking Governor Ruffin G. Pleasant to issue a proclamation calling on the electors to vote for it. This he did and those in the State at large responded favorably, but their voice was nullified by the adverse votes cast in the machine-controlled wards of New Orleans at the behest of Mayor Martin Behrman, and the amendment was lost by 3,605 votes. The annual convention held at Suffrage House in New Orleans after the election chose Mrs. Holmes again for president.

In the winter of 1919 an attempt was made to secure such a modification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment before Congress as might meet the objections of southern opponents by removing the fear of federal interference with elections. An amendment was devised by Assistant Attorney General Harry[Pg 229] Gamble and National Committeeman Robert Ewing, which would leave its enforcement to the States. They went to Washington accompanied by Mrs. Holmes and obtained the consent of the officers of the National Suffrage Association. Senator Gay of Louisiana introduced it and it was unanimously reported out of the Committee on Woman Suffrage, but the session was just closing and consent for a vote on it was refused.

On the social side an "inquiry" dinner dance given at the Country Club in New Orleans in May to discuss why Louisiana women were not yet enfranchised was attended by the Governor and many other prominent politicians from all parts of the State. The annual convention was held in the autumn at the headquarters, now removed to 417 Royal Street, and Mrs. Holmes was elected to her fourth term.[66]

The Woman Suffrage Party conducted a vigorous fight for ratification of the Federal amendment from the opening of the Legislature May 10, 1920, until its defeat on June 15. The final vote for ratification was given by the Legislature of Tennessee in August, which insured the complete suffrage for women in all the States. At the annual convention of the Woman Suffrage Party in New Orleans, December 8-9, its formal dissolution took place, followed immediately by the organization of the State League of Women Voters, a branch of the National League, with Mrs. Philip Weirlein as chairman. The Party's seven years of work for the enfranchisement of Louisiana women by State and national legislation were fittingly recognized at a dinner in the Restaurant de la Louisiane, at which the men and women who had aided the cause in various ways were honored. Prominent men predicted happy results of woman's political freedom. Gifts in appreciation of services were made to Martin H. Manion, Marshall Ballard and Norris C. Williamson. General Robert Georges Nivelle, the hero of Verdun, was present and congratulated the women, expressing the hope that ere long the women of France would gain their political liberty. A silver vase was presented[Pg 230] to the retiring chairman, Mrs. Holmes, from her fellow workers, and she was unanimously chosen honorary chairman of the new league.

Ratification. On the eve of departure for the national convention in February, 1920, Mrs. Holmes, chairman of the Woman Suffrage Party, went to John M. Parker, who had just been nominated for Governor by the Democratic party, and asked: "If the thirty-sixth State ratifies the Federal Suffrage Amendment while we are in Chicago will you send Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt a telegram of congratulations?" To this he answered: "You write a message and sign my name to it—I'll stand for anything you may say." "If, however, the amendment is not ratified and it becomes necessary for Louisiana to make the fight for it," Mrs. Holmes continued, "what must I tell Mrs. Catt you will do?" "Just say to her," he replied, "that I am a suffragist, and she will understand." Mr. Parker had joined the Progressive party in 1912 and in 1916 he had made a campaign as its candidate for vice-president on a platform that strongly endorsed the Federal Suffrage Amendment, so his support of ratification was fully expected.

On their return from the convention the leaders of the Party began to line up the important men of the State by letter and by personal interviews. Beginning with the ex-Governors, they secured the endorsement of L. E. Hall, H. C. Warmoth, N. C. Blanchard, Jared Y. Sanders and W. W. Heard. Against these, however, was the present Governor, Ruffin G. Pleasant, who took an aggressive stand for State's rights, although at a public banquet eight months earlier he had told the women that 'if Louisiana women could not obtain the ballot by State enactment he would favor Federal action.' Among those who declared for ratification were J. J. Bailey, Paul Capdeville, F. R. Grace, T. R. Harris, A. V. Coco, Semmes Walmsley, Rufus E. Foster, Howell Morgan, Percy Saint, E. N. Stafford, Phanor Breazeale, Donaldson Caffery and many other men of affairs. The New Orleans Item had always advocated woman suffrage and the Federal Amendment especially; the Times-Picayune now approved ratification, as did nearly all the papers in the State. The Orleans Democratic Association, which had put Governor Parker in[Pg 231] office, passed a resolution endorsing it. The State Central Committee chairman, Frank J. Looney, and the National Democratic Committeeman, Arsene Pujo, were in favor, and North Louisiana was almost solid for it. The opposition was chiefly in New Orleans, where certain elements under ward-boss leadership were opposed to woman suffrage in any form.

Mrs. Holmes had a number of interviews with Governor-elect Parker alone, with other women and with Marshall Ballard, editor of the Item, one of his valued supporters. She was always led to believe that he would help when the time for it came, although some of his strongest adherents were opposed to ratification. It was deemed best to make the fight along non-partisan lines, and so he was asked if it would be wiser to have two of his own supporters take charge of it or to have one who had opposed him in the primary campaign. He advised the latter course and Norris C. Williamson of East Carroll parish, his opponent, was selected to introduce the bill in the Senate, and S. O. Shattuck of Calcasieu, a supporter and the introducer of the first woman suffrage bill in the Legislature in the Lower House. The day Mayor Martin Behrman came out for ratification, Mr. Parker said to Mrs. Holmes: "I have always been for woman suffrage any way it could be obtained and I have never understood a suffragist's taking any other stand."

Early in March Governor-elect Parker told a group of suffragists that the women should get together on a program for the Legislature if they wished to be successful. Acting on this suggestion the Party publicly invited all suffrage organizations to come together and form a Joint Ratification Committee. Men and women from all parts of the State attended this meeting on April 7 and one of the speakers, Charles Rosen, pledged Parker to ratification, while Marshall Ballard vouched for the authenticity of his statement. The bodies that composed this committee were the Natchitoches Equal Rights Club, represented by Mrs. S. J. Henry; the Shreveport Suffrage Club by Mrs. J. D. and Mrs. W. A. Wilkinson; the Louisiana branch of the National Woman's Party, by Mrs. M. R. Bankston, Mrs. E. J. Graham, Mrs. Rosella Bayhi; the Woman Suffrage Party by Mrs. Joseph Devereux, Mrs. J. E. Friend. Mrs. Holmes was made chairman,[Pg 232] headquarters were taken in Baton Rouge and 46 lobbyists were at the Capitol day and night during the session.

On reaching Baton Rouge the women saw the "anti" forces lining up with the "State's rights" advocates and witnessed the curious spectacle of women who had worked for woman suffrage for a generation allying themselves with the paid organizers of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, headed by Miss Charlotte Rowe of Yonkers, N. Y., its field secretary. Ex-Governor Pleasant and his wife came out as leaders of the opposition, assisted by the Misses Kate and Jean Gordon and other advocates of State action.[67] It was early seen that the fight for the Speakership might endanger the ratification program and the women were careful to take no part in it. R. F. Walker was chosen, an unfortunate choice for the suffragists, for he leaned strongly toward the "anti" side in his rulings, as did Lieutenant Governor Hewitt Bouanchaud.

Although in his campaign speeches in the autumn Mr. Parker had repeatedly said: "I am for suffrage; it is almost here, and we must have it," his platform as sent into some of the parishes had contained a "State's rights" plank, designed, with or without his knowledge, by some of his backers, to placate those who feared the Federal Amendment on account of its supposed effect on the negro question. This was not known to the ratification leaders and therefore he created great consternation by announcing shortly before his inauguration that he "was going to keep his hands off the suffrage fight; that it was a matter for the Legislature." After the Speakership contest was over he refused to receive a delegation of women and declined to allow any member of the Ratification Committee to approach him. On May 10, 1920, the General Assembly convened in Baton Rouge and on the 11th the rival woman suffrage bills were introduced. Representative L. L. Upton presented the State amendment in the House. The Federal amendment measure was a joint resolution. The attention of the country was centered on the fight in Louisiana. Thirty-five State Legislatures had ratified and the Republicans were claiming the credit. Democratic leaders were very desirous of having it for the final ratification. Appeals were sent out to prominent Democrats within and without the State[Pg 233] for help in putting it through. Colonel William J. Bryan was one of the first to respond, urging it to help the Democratic party in the coming campaign. Senator Williamson called on the new "convert," Mayor Behrman, and he appealed to the New Orleans "organization" Senators, but was not entirely successful.

On May 13 Governor Pleasant submitted the Federal Amendment to both Houses, with a message which filled several columns of print, urging them not to adopt it but to pass in its stead the resolution for a State amendment. On the 16th, Senator N. C. Simmons, a former leader of the anti-suffrage forces, issued an appeal for ratification, ridiculing Governor Pleasant's "negro peril" bugaboo. This same day Mrs. George Bass, chairman of the Women's National Democratic Committee, came to Baton Rouge at the request of the Joint Ratification Committee and addressed a large meeting in the Istrouma Hotel in favor of it.

John M. Parker was inaugurated Governor May 17. The next day he received a telegram from President Woodrow Wilson which said: "May I not very respectfully urge your favorable interest and influence in the matter of the Federal Suffrage Amendment? It seems to be of the deepest national significance and importance." The Governor answered that he found a great difference of opinion among the legislators, large numbers opposed to any form, and, all being Democrats, any dictation on his part would be unwise.

Efforts made by the "antis" to force an immediate vote on the Federal Amendment failed and it was decided that all suffrage bills should take the usual course and be referred to committees for hearings. Women thronged the capital. On June 2 the House passed the Upton bill for State suffrage by 93 ayes to 17 noes. That same night a hearing before the Joint Committees on Federal Relations was held, which lasted five hours, with some notable speeches. S. O. Shattuck, Phanor Breazeale, Percy Saint, Judge Rufus E. Foster, Congressman Jared Y. Sanders, Mrs. Holmes, Mrs. Bass, Mrs. E. J. Graham, Miss Florence Huberwald, Mrs. Joseph Devereux and Mrs. M. R. Bankston appeared for the Federal Amendment, while the opposition was voiced by Senator Stewart, ex-Governor Pleasant, Miss Kate Gordon, and Miss Charlotte Rowe. On June 4, the Federal[Pg 234] Amendment was reported favorably in the Senate. "Get suffrage out of the way" became the slogan, but neither side was ready to risk a vote. The Federal bill was passed to third reading. On June 8 former Speaker of Congress Champ Clark addressed the General Assembly and urged its ratification as an act of justice to women and a great benefit to Louisiana and the Democratic party. The next day the vote on ratification was indefinitely postponed by a vote of 22 to 19 in the Senate while the Upton bill was returned to the House calendar.

On June 14, Homer Cummings, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, wired Behrman urging his help on the ground of party advantage, to which the Mayor replied that he was doing all he could. On June 15 the ratification of the Federal Amendment was defeated in the House by a vote of 67 noes to 44 ayes, and Representative Jordan then introduced a resolution definitely rejecting it, which was passed by 60 ayes to 29 noes. The House declined to hear Congressman John E. Raker of California on the ground that they had heard enough on woman suffrage. The Upton bill for a State amendment was defeated in the Senate by 23 noes to 16 ayes on June 17.

On June 18, Representative Conrad Meyer sought to re-introduce the Federal measure but permission was refused by 61 to 18, while a motion to re-consider the Upton bill passed the Senate by 18 to 12. Every possible pressure was brought to bear by the Governor's forces to secure its passage. All kinds of tactics and tricks were employed but on July 7 it was again defeated, lacking one vote of the necessary two-thirds. Those who were making the fight for the Federal Amendment finally appealed to Governor James M. Cox of Ohio, Democratic nominee for President, to use his influence. On July 7 he sent a telegram urging the ratification and saying that "the Legislature owed such action to the Democratic party." A strong effort was made to obtain another vote but it failed by 46 ayes, 52 noes, and the Legislature adjourned on July 8 with the record of having defeated both ratification and a resolution to let the voters decide on amending the State constitution for woman suffrage. Senator Williamson issued a statement saying: "There was never a time during the entire session when Governor Parker could not have had the Federal Amendment ratified[Pg 235] and he is the only man in the State who could have done it. He had control of both House and Senate and when he went after anything with all his force he did not fail to get it."

The last day of the session Mrs. Holmes, chairman of the Joint Ratification Committee, went to Governor Parker and told him that she would place the blame where it belonged; that the women had helped put him in office and he had not stood by them, to which he answered: "Go to it." She therefore issued a statement on July 15 saying in part: "The responsibility for the failure of this Federal Amendment to enfranchise 27,000,000 women, including those of Louisiana, rests on Governor John M. Parker. This assertion is borne out by every woman who lobbied at Baton Rouge and by all the fair-minded men. It was in his power to secure ratification the day the session opened; it was in his power the day Woodrow Wilson wired and asked his support; it was in his power when Governor Cox sent his request. The women, who, in their zeal for a broad-visioned progressive leader of clean, honest characteristics, did all in their power to elect him Governor—those are the women who in sorrow today must realize that it is the only thing he stood for that he did not 'put across.'"...


[57] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Kate M. Gordon, corresponding secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1901 to 1909; president of the State Suffrage Association from 1904 to 1913; president of the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference from its founding in 1914 to its end in 1917.

[58] The gaining of partial suffrage for taxpaying women and this campaign are fully described in the Louisiana chapter in Volume IV of the History of Woman Suffrage.

[59] For full report see Chapter III of Volume V.

[60] Among the accomplishments of the Era Club were the following: Publication of the assessment rolls of New Orleans; admission of women to the School of Medicine in Tulane University; first legislation in the State against white slavery; the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference; equalized division of Tulane scholarships between boy and girl students.

[61] Further matter on the Conference will be found in Vol. V, Chapter XXI.

[62] Among those specially identified with legislative work were Mrs. Celeste Claiborne Carruth, Mrs. McBride, Mrs. Hackenjos, Mrs. Fred W. Price, Mrs. Wooten, Mrs. Wallace Sylvester, Mrs. George Wesley Smith, Mrs. Lawless.

[63] The History is indebted for this part of the chapter to Miss Ethel Hutson, chairman of publicity for the State Woman Suffrage Association from its organization in 1913 to its close in 1920.

[64] Other workers were Mrs. Lydia, Wickliffe Holmes, Professor W. O. Scroggs, Mrs. C. C. Devall, Mrs. C. Harrison Parker, Mrs. Horace Wilkinson, Mrs. Elmo Bodly, Mrs. D. R. Weller, Alma Sabourin, Nellie Spyker.

[65] Among charter members of the Woman Suffrage Party were Mrs. E. C. G. Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. O. W. Chamberlain, Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Myers, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Graham, Mrs. Rosella Bayhi, Mrs. M. M. Reid, Mrs. Margaret Hunt Brisbane, Miss Florence Huberwald, Edward Wisner, Marshall Ballard, James M. Thomson, Lynn Dinkins, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Edmonds, Trist Wood, Ethel Hutson, Mr. and Mrs. N. J. Cosu, all of New Orleans; Mrs. J. R. Mouton, of Jennings, Katherine Channelle and W. E. Krebs, of Lake Charles, Mrs. M. M. Bodenbender of Covington.

[66] Among other officers and workers were: Mrs. H. Aschaffenburg, Mrs. Eva C. Wright, Mrs. J. G. Skinner, Mrs. C. A. Meissner, Mrs. C. G. Robinson, Mrs. Lee Benoist, Miss E. J. Harral, Mrs. W. W. Van Meter, Miss Anna Morrell, Mrs. L. B. Elliott, Mrs. J. E. Friend, Mrs. J. E. Wilkinson, Mrs. A. F. Storm, Mrs. James M. Thomson, Mrs. Reuben Chauvin.

[67] For their further efforts see Tennessee chapter in this volume.

[Pg 236]



There were meetings and some organized work for woman suffrage in Maine from the early '70's but little activity until toward the close of the century. In August, 1900, a convention of the State association with a "suffrage day" was held at Ocean Park, Old Orchard Beach, attended by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. This year under the presidency of Mrs. Lucy Hobart Day, organized work was systematically begun, with meetings in eight or ten towns. State conventions were held annually for the next twenty years, in October with but four exceptions.

In 1901 special attention was given to enrollment and new sections of the State were reached in this way. The literature and press departments also extended their work. The summer assembly at Ocean Park made "suffrage day" a part of its regular program. At the convention held at Saco in 1902 plans were made to ask the next session of the Legislature to grant Municipal suffrage to taxpaying women. The State Grange passed a resolution in favor of this measure, placed woman suffrage on its convention program and from that time gave active support to the movement.

The State convention took place at Auburn in 1903 and the association became an incorporated body that year. The organization of county leagues was begun in 1904 and a successful convention was held in Portland. In 1905 after eight years of efficient service, Mrs. Day retired from the presidency. She had organized several departments in the association and was in charge of the campaign to secure Municipal suffrage for taxpaying women. Mrs. Fannie J. Fernald was elected as her successor[Pg 237] at the convention held at Old Orchard Beach. She travelled extensively over the State, speaking before Granges and other organizations and securing their interest and endorsement. She also had charge of the legislative work.

In 1906 woman suffrage was endorsed by the Maine Federation of Labor, an important accession. The annual convention again was welcomed in Saco. At the convention of 1907 in Farmington it was voted to support the National American Association in its efforts to secure a Federal Suffrage Amendment. A department of church work was established. In 1908 at the convention in Portland it was arranged to petition Congress for the submission of this amendment. In 1909 and 1910 the usual propaganda work was continued under the presidency of Mrs. Fernald and the usual State conventions were held at Old Orchard and Portland. In 1911 Mrs. Fernald left the State and the Rev. Alfreda Brewster Wallace was elected president at the convention in Portland.

The association increased in size and interest and at the convention of 1912 in Portland Miss Helen N. Bates of that city was elected president with a very capable board. At this time the association began to do more aggressive work in personally urging the members of Congress to support the Federal Amendment. Miss Bates acted as chairman of the Congressional Committee until the submission of the amendment, when the favorable vote of every member of the Maine delegation had been secured.

In 1913 the College Equal Suffrage League was formed to help the association in its legislative work, with Mrs. Leslie R. Rounds as president. The annual convention took place at Portland this year and the next, and in 1915 at Kennebunk. Many newspapers in the State had become favorable to suffrage and propaganda was carried on through fairs, moving pictures, street speaking, etc. In 1914 the Men's Equal Suffrage League was formed with Robert Treat Whitehouse of Portland president and Ralph O. Brewster secretary. Many leading men of the State joined this League, which helped in the legislative and campaign work. The Methodist Episcopal Church endorsed woman suffrage at its state conference.[Pg 238]

In February, 1916, a Congressional conference was held in Portland in the interest of the Federal Amendment, with Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt in attendance and speaking at public meetings with Mrs. Maud Wood Park and Mrs. Glendower Evans. It was attended by women from all parts of the State and as a result of the great interest aroused many new leagues were organized. Miss Bates resigned on account of ill health in March and her term of office was finished by Mrs. Augusta M. Hunt of Portland, who had always been deeply interested in the suffrage cause. The National Association sent Mrs. Augusta Hughston, one of its field directors, to put into operation a state-wide plan of organization. At the State convention in Portland in October Mrs. Katharine Reed Balentine, daughter of the Hon. Thomas B. Reed, was elected president. The outlook seemed favorable for securing the submission of a suffrage amendment to the voters. This year Mrs. Deborah Knox Livingston of Bangor was appointed State organizer and legislative chairman and work begun for this purpose.

From January 8th to 20th, 1917, the National American Association held a suffrage school in Portland to prepare for the expected campaign. The instructors were Mrs. Nettie R. Shuler and Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson, its corresponding and recording secretaries, and Mrs. T. T. Cotnam. The subjects taught were Suffrage History and Argument, Organization, Publicity and Press, Money Raising and Parliamentary Law. This school was attended by suffragists from different sections of the State. Later Mrs. Edward S. Anthoine and Mrs. Henry W. Cobb of the State association carried on suffrage schools in other towns and cities. On February 9, 10, Mrs. Catt went to Portland to attend a board meeting of the association at the home of the president, Mrs. Balentine, to confer on the approaching campaign.

Campaign. In February, 1917, urged by the suffrage leaders, the Legislature submitted the amendment. This had been done against the urgent advice of Mrs. Catt, the national president, who knew of the slight organization there, and she wrote to them Oct. 9, 1916: "If Maine goes into a campaign for 1918 with the chances largely against success, we feel that it[Pg 239] would be a general damage to the cause and a waste of money. If it would plan instead to go into a campaign in 1919, taking three years for preparation, we should feel that it was far more certain of victory. Let us look at the resources you need to get and which you have not yet secured: (1) a fund to begin with of at least $5,000 or $6,000; (2) at least five State officers who can give practically all of their time, with the determination to win as many other people to the same sacrifice as they are making themselves. I most earnestly recommend that you ask your Legislature this year for Municipal and Presidential suffrage, making a good strong campaign for this, which it can grant without referring it to the voters."

A copy of this letter was sent to the president of the association and at its annual convention held in October it was read and a long discussion followed. A delegate thus reported it: "Only a few delegates agreed with her. Many women never having been in a campaign declared that victory was sure. The convention almost unanimously voted for the referendum and when the vote had been taken and the cheers had subsided, the grand sum of $500 was raised for the campaign...." Nevertheless the National Association at its next convention (still believing that the referendum would not be submitted until 1918), voted to back the Maine campaign, although against the judgment of Mrs. Catt.[69]

At the request of the Maine association the National Association made it possible for Mrs. Deborah Knox Livingston to take the position of campaign manager. Through her extensive work for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union she was widely acquainted in church, club and suffrage circles, was experienced in campaigning and an eloquent speaker. In her report after the election she said: "Maine presented as difficult a field for the conducting of a suffrage campaign as has ever been faced by any group of suffragists in any part of the country. The referendum was submitted the very last of February and as the election came so early in September only about six months' time was given us for the campaign. Deducting from this time the months of April[Pg 240] and May, on account of the almost impossible condition of the roads, and June with its heavy rains, there was left but little more than three months for active work. Early in the campaign our country entered the World War, and the whole thought and attention of the people were given to securing support for the Liberty Bonds, Red Cross, Navy League and other patriotic and preparedness work. This greatly handicapped us in the raising of finances and the creating of organization, the two foundations upon which the structure of a successful campaign must be built, and the two things which more than anything else the State of Maine needed, so far as the amendment was concerned."

A campaign committee was formed from members of organizations in the State in favor of suffrage, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Federation of Women's Clubs, Men's Suffrage League, Civic League, Referendum League, the Grange and the State Suffrage Association, and headquarters were established in Bangor. There were only fourteen suffrage societies in the State, not all active. Eleven of the sixteen counties had an organizer in charge for the last six weeks and 269 local committees were formed in the different towns but many of them were ineffectual, as they were made up of untrained women and the time was too short to train them. The argument for suffrage, however, was put before the voters very thoroughly. One hundred thousand were circularized with the convincing speeches of U. S. Senator Shafroth of Colorado and later with a leaflet Have You Heard the News? which carried the strong appeal of the suffrage gains over the entire world. House to house distribution of "fliers" was made in many communities. Altogether 1,500,000 leaflets were distributed, ten to every voter in the State. In hundreds of towns there was absolute ignorance on the subject. The clergy were circularized three times—over a thousand of them—the State Grange twice, committees of the political parties and members of the Legislature twice.

As soon as a committee was organized petition blanks were sent to it and in this short space of time the names of over 38,000 women of voting age asking for the suffrage were obtained, nearly all by volunteer canvassers. The names from each county were sent to the voters from that county and 100,000[Pg 241] received these lists. The petitions did a vast amount of educational work among the women and answered the men who insisted that the women did not want to vote.

The newspapers on the whole were favorable. Especial mention should be made of the valuable assistance continued throughout the campaign of the Lewiston Journal, Portland Argus, Kennebec Journal, Brunswick Record and Waldo County Herald. The Portland Express gave editorial support. The Bangor Commercial, owned and edited by John P. Bass, made a bitter fight against the amendment and refused generally to publish even letters on the other side. It would not publish President Wilson's letter even as a paid advertisement. From July 1 to September 10 Mrs. Rose L. Geyer, a member of the staff of the Woman Citizen, official organ of the National Suffrage Association, conducted the publicity work in connection with Miss Florence L. Nye, the State press chairman. On August 18 the Lewiston Journal issued a supplement for the State association, edited by Miss Helen N. Bates, of which 65,000 copies were distributed through twenty-two newspapers.

President Wilson sent a letter to Mrs. Livingston on September 4 appealing to Democratic voters as follows: "May I not express through you my very great interest in the equal suffrage campaign in Maine? The pledges of my party are very distinct in favor of granting the suffrage to women by State action and I would like to have the privilege of urging all Democrats to support a cause in which we all believe." On September 8 former President Roosevelt sent the following telegram addressed to the Campaign Committee: "I earnestly hope that as a matter of plain justice the people of Maine will vote 'yes' on woman suffrage."

The letter and telegram were put on the moving picture screens, which were also used in other ways for propaganda. The poster sent by the National Association and those printed by the Campaign Committee, fastened on trees, fences, windows and every available space, carried the message to all passers by. Mrs. Livingston said in her report: "We can not express too gratefully our appreciation of the value of the work accomplished by the experienced organizers sent to us by the National Association[Pg 242] and by Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island; of that of Mrs. Mary G. Canfield of Vermont, who gave her services for one month; and of the untiring and successful labors of Mrs. Augusta M. Hunt, who had charge of York and Cumberland counties."

The entire State was thoroughly covered by public meetings, over 500 being held during the last three months. It would be impossible to give the names of all who spoke at these meetings but among the more prominent were Governor Carl E. Milliken, U. S. Senator Bert Fernald, former Senator Charles F. Johnson, Representative Ira G. Hersey, former Representative Frank E. Guernsey; among the members of the Legislature and other influential men, former Attorney General W. R. Pattangall, Judge Robert Treat Whitehouse, Ralph O. Brewster, Frank W. Butler, Daniel A. Poling, the Rev. Arthur L. Weatherly. On July 23, 24, in Augusta, and July 25, 27, in Bangor, Mrs. Catt and Mrs. Shuler addressed mass meetings in the evenings and held conferences with the workers through the days. In September Mrs. Catt gave a week to speaking at public meetings in various cities. Other speakers were Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead, Miss Elizabeth Upham Yates, Dr. Lee Anna Starr, Mrs. Sara A. Gilson, Miss Emma L. McAlarney, Miss Anne E. Coughlin and the Misses Loitman. The members of the Men's League were active and helpful. The mass meetings were well attended and in all the cities and many of the towns street meetings were very successful. Mrs. Livingston travelled more than 20,000 miles in the State, delivered 150 addresses and raised over $4,000.

Not in any other State campaign had the women anti-suffragists taken so conspicuous a part. There was a society of considerable social prominence in Portland and the associations in Massachusetts and New York sent nearly twenty speakers and workers, all women except J. B. Maling of Colorado and Charles McLean of Iowa, whose utterances had more than once been repudiated by the men and women of their States. Mrs. James W. Wadsworth, Jr., president of the National Association, addressed parlor meetings. Toward the end of the campaign their numbers became much less, as they learned that the[Pg 243] "machines" of both political parties expected to defeat the amendment.

The election took place Sept. 10, 1917, and the amendment received 38,838 noes, 20,684 ayes—lost by 18,154, the negative majority nearly two to one. About half as many men voted for it as the number of women who signed a petition for it. Mrs. Livingston gave as the principal reasons for the defeat: 1. Inherent conservatism and prejudice. 2. Resentment at the "picketing" of the White House by the "militant" suffragists. 3. Briefness of the campaign. 4. Inability because of lack of organization to reach the rural vote. 5. Reactionaries of both parties uniting in opposition.[70]

In her summing up Mrs. Livingston said: "Without the aid of the National American Association the campaign would have been impossible. The magnificent generosity with which it furnished speakers, organizers, posters and literature will make the women of Maine forever its debtors.[71]

At the convention of the State Association in September, 1917, in Augusta, Miss Mabel Connor was chosen president and at the conventions of 1918 in Lewiston and 1919 in Portland was re-elected. At the convention in October, 1918, having recovered somewhat from its defeat, the association voted to introduce a bill for the Presidential suffrage in the next Legislature in 1919. The Legislative Committee consisted of Mrs. Balentine, chairman; Miss Connor, Miss Bates, Mrs. Pattangall, Mrs. Cobb and[Pg 244] Mrs. Guy P. Gannett, with Miss Lola Walker as executive secretary to the chairman.

Legislative Action. The State Suffrage Association and the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union always worked for woman suffrage measures in the Legislature in cordial cooperation, beginning in 1887.

1901. Suffrage bills did not come out of committee.

1903. A bill was introduced for Municipal suffrage for tax-paying women by Representative George H. Allan of Portland. The Joint Standing Committee eliminated "taxpaying" and reported a bill giving Municipal suffrage to all women. The State Suffrage Association did an enormous amount of work in behalf of this bill, sending letters to 15,000 women representing 239 cities and towns who were paying taxes on approximately $25,000,000. Several thousand answers urging the bill were received, coming from every county and from 237 of the cities and towns. It was lost in the Senate by a tie and in the House by a vote of 110 noes, 29 ayes.

1905, 1907, 1909, no suffrage bills were reported out of committee.

1911. Four members of the Judiciary Committee made a minority report in favor of the suffrage measure and the House voted to substitute the minority report but the Senate refused to concur.

1913. A new resolve asking for submission of a suffrage amendment was drafted by George H. Allan and introduced in the Senate by Ira G. Hersey, which gave a vote of 23 ayes, 6 noes. In the House the vote was 89 ayes, 53 noes—only six more votes needed for the necessary two-thirds.

1915. A joint resolution to submit a full suffrage amendment passed the Senate by 26 ayes, 4 noes; the House vote by 88 ayes, 59 noes—ten more votes needed for the two-thirds. Introduced by Representative Lauren M. Sanborn.

1917. The resolution was adopted in the House February 21 by 112 ayes, 35 noes; unanimously adopted by the Senate February 22. In signing it the next day Governor Carl E. Milliken said to the suffrage leaders: "You have appealed to reason and not to prejudice. Your campaign has been a very fine example of[Pg 245] what a campaign should be." The amendment was defeated at the polls in September.

1919. In March an Act granting women the right to vote for Presidential Electors, prepared by George H. Allan, was introduced in the Senate by Guy P. Gannett of Augusta and in the House by Percival P. Baxter of Portland. The joint committee by 8 to 2 reported "ought to pass." The hearing before the Judiciary Committee was called one of the best ever held. Lewis A. Burleigh of Augusta, editor of the Kennebec Journal, and Professor Frank E. Woodruff of Bowdoin College made the principal speeches. Telegrams were read from U. S. Senator Fernald and Representatives Ira G. Hersey, John A. Peters and Wallace H. White, Jr., urging the passage of the bill. The "antis" were present in force and made a hard fight. They were fully answered by Mrs. Nancy M. Schoonmaker of Connecticut. An effort was made to attach a clause to the bill referring it to the voters but it was thwarted, Senator Leroy R. Folsom of Norridgewock making a strong speech against it. In the House a still more determined effort was made to secure a referendum but it did not succeed. Speeches were made by Frederick W. Hinckley, Percival F. Baxter and Elisha W. Pike, legislators, and Mrs. Katharine Reed Balentine, chairman of the Legislative Committee, and Miss Mabel Connor, president of the State Suffrage Association. On February 26 the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 25 ayes, 6 noes. On March 19 it passed the House by 85 ayes, 54 noes.

The favorable vote was obtained after six months of quiet, continuous and intensive political work by the Legislative Committee. Members of the Legislature worked for the success of the bill; the Governor supported it and the press was largely in favor.

The anti-suffragists immediately announced their proposal to bring the Presidential Suffrage Law before the voters under the initiative and referendum, upon petition of at least 10,000 legal voters filed within a specified time. The effort to secure these names lagged and without doubt would have been given up had it not been for Frank E. Mace, former State Forest Commissioner, who organized committees all over the State at the eleventh hour[Pg 246] and petitions bearing 12,000 signatures were filed July 3, within 90 days after the Legislature adjourned, as required. As there was doubt about the constitutionality of this referendum, the State Supreme Court, on July 9, 1919, was requested by Governor Milliken to decide. On August 6 the Court rendered its decision that the Act came within the provisions of the initiative and referendum. As the petition did not ask for a special election the Governor sent out a proclamation for the referendum to be submitted at the next general election Sept. 13, 1920. The Federal Suffrage Amendment was declared to be adopted on August 26 but there was no way in which the referendum could legally be omitted from the ballot. Therefore on September 13 the women, already having full suffrage, went to the polls to vote on getting partial suffrage and the official count showed 88,080 ayes, 30,462 noes.

Ratification. Governor Milliken called a special session of the Legislature for November, 1919. In his message he recommended the ratification of the Federal Amendment in the strongest possible manner, saying that if only one woman in Maine wanted to vote she should have the chance. The anti-suffrage forces of the entire country were concentrated on Maine at this time to prevent ratification and it was with the greatest difficulty that a movement to postpone action until the regular session was defeated. The amendment was ratified in the Senate on November 4 by 24 ayes, 5 noes; in the House on November 5 by 72 ayes, 68 noes. After the vote was taken an attempt to reconsider was made but was unsuccessful.

The same Legislative Committee of women that had charge of the Presidential bill had charge of the ratification.

At the annual convention of the State Suffrage Association in Portland in October, 1919, it was voted to hold a School for Citizenship at Bates College in August, 1920. Mrs. George M. Chase was made chairman of the Committee of Arrangements and the work was largely carried out by Miss Rosamond Connor, 100 women from many parts of the State attending and deriving much benefit. Mrs. Nancy M. Schoonmaker was the principal instructor. At a meeting of the association in Augusta on[Pg 247] November 12 it was merged into the League of Women Voters with Miss Mabel Connor as chairman.

Suffrage work in Maine was carried on for many years in the face of the greatest obstacles but there was always a small group of devoted women willing to make any sacrifice for the cause, who carried the torch until another group could take it, and every step gained was fought for. The history would be incomplete without mention of the Portland Equal Franchise League, of which Mrs. Arthur L. Bates was president, which for many years was the backbone of the State association. The list of State officers who freely gave their services is too long to publish. Among other prominent workers not already mentioned were Dr. Jennie Fuller of Hartland; Mrs. Zenas Thompson and Miss Susan Clark of Portland; Mrs. Isabel Greenwood of Farmington; Miss Anna L. Dingley and Miss Alice Frost Lord, connected with the Lewiston Journal.[72]

Among the men not mentioned elsewhere, who advocated woman suffrage in the face of criticism and with no advantage to be gained, were Judge William Penn Whitehouse and Obadiah Gardner of Augusta; Leonard A. Pierce of Portland; L. B. Dessy of Bar Harbor; E. C. Reynolds of South Portland.


[68] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Caroline Colvin, Professor of History in the State University, Miss Helen N. Bates, president of the State Woman Suffrage Association, 1912-1916, and Miss Mabel Connor, president, 1917-1919.

[69] The above paragraphs have been copied for the sake of historical accuracy from an official report of the national corresponding secretary.—Ed.

[70] Mrs. Clarence Hale, State president of the anti-suffrage organization, issued the following: "The large majority vote cast against suffrage today must indicate, as did the great vote of Massachusetts in 1915, that the East is not in favor of the entrance of women into political life. The result should satisfy the suffragists for all time and they should now practice the principles of democracy and fairness, which they are so ready to preach, by refraining from further disputing the will of the people.... We can now return to give our services to the State and the nation in woman's normal way."

On November 7 the "East" spoke again when the voters of New York by a majority of 102,353 gave full suffrage to women.

[71] Besides paying the expenses of the suffrage school, the National Association paid the salary of Mrs. Deborah Knox Livingston as campaign manager; the salary of Miss Lola Walker from February 10 to September 10; the salaries of eight other organizers who worked for varying periods and the expenses of four; for 120,000 Shafroth speeches; circularized 1,200 of the Protestant and Catholic clergy; prepared especially for Maine 125,000 baby fliers and 100,000 copies of Have You Heard? and furnished envelopes and stamps for them; 14,000 pieces of literature for advanced suffragists; 1,000 copies of Do You Know? to circularize the politicians; 400 each of thirteen different kinds of posters; 500 war measure fliers; 2,000 blue and yellow posters. The Leslie Commission contributed the services of Mrs. Geyer for press work from July 1 to September 10. This campaign cost the National Association $10,282 and the Leslie Commission $4,986, a total of $15,268.—Ed.

[72] Among the active workers in the Anti-Suffrage Association were Mesdames John F. A. Merrill, Morrill Hamlin and George S. Hobbs, all of Portland; Norman L. Bassett, John F. Hill, and Charles S. Hichborn, all of Augusta; George E. Bird, Yarmouth; Miss Elizabeth McKeen, Brunswick.

Among the men actively opposed were the Rev. E. E. Newbert, Benedict F. Maher, Samuel C. Manley, Charles S. Hichborn, all of Augusta; ex-Governor Oakley C. Curtis, of Portland; Governor-elect Frederick H. Parkhurst, of Bangor; U. S. Senator Hale, opposed but finally voted for the Federal Suffrage Amendment.

[Pg 248]



When the fourth volume of the History of Woman Suffrage closed in 1900 it left the Maryland association just eleven years old. Since 1894, when the Montgomery County and the Baltimore City Associations united, it has been represented by accredited delegates in every national convention. These thirty-one years of organized effort by no means represent all of the suffrage agitation in the State.[74]

As Baltimore is the only large city and contains more than half the population of the State it is not surprising that this city has been the real battleground of the movement. Twenty-five State conventions have been held here, continuing one or two days, and two State conferences of two days each. The first of the conferences was arranged by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the new national president, and held in Baltimore in 1900, at which time Miss Susan B. Anthony was the guest of honor and was presented with a purse of gold for her 80th birthday by the Maryland women. The second conference was held in 1902. The speakers at these conferences besides the national officers were Helen Morris Lewis of North Carolina, Annie L. Digges of Kansas, Clara Bewick Colby of Washington, D. C., Dr. Cora Smith Eaton of Minneapolis and Catharine Waugh McCulloch of Chicago. The day sessions were devoted to business and discussions, followed by addresses in the evening. The State[Pg 249] convention of 1901 met in the Friends' Meeting House; that of 1902 in Heptasophs Hall, with a bazar and supper; that of 1903 in the Friends' Meeting House. The local speakers were Dr. O. Edward Janney, R. Henry Holme, Lizzie York Case, Annie Davenport, Emma Maddox Funck and Mary Bentley Thomas. Out of town speakers were Mrs. Catt, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, national vice-president at large; Harriet May Mills of New York and Emma M. Gillett, a lawyer of Washington, D. C. The convention of 1904 met in the Church of the Disciples. A supper was served between sessions and Dr. Shaw and the Rev. Peter Ainslie spoke to crowded houses at night.

The convention of 1905 was held in the Harlem Avenue Christian Church. Memorial services were held for George W. Catt, husband of the national president. The following departments of work were adopted: Peace and Arbitration, Church, Enrollment, Finance, Legislation and Press. Dr. Shaw spoke in the evening on The New Democratic Ideal. Invitations were given in 1904 and 1905 to the National American Suffrage Association to hold its annual convention in Baltimore. The second was accepted and the convention took place Feb. 7-13, 1906. Half of the $1,200 raised for it was given to the National Association. Most of the delegates were entertained in homes. The meetings were held in the Lyric Theater and the audiences at the evening sessions numbered from 1,500 to 3,000. The State association sent out 20,000 invitations. Music was provided for every session by the Charles M. Stieff Piano Company and clergymen came from various churches for the opening devotional services. Three men gave unlimited time and assistance to the work of the convention, Dr. J. William Funck, Dr. Janney and Charles H. Holton. As this was the native city of Miss Mary Garrett and Dr. M. Carey Thomas they united as hostesses of the association during the convention and thereafter became important factors in the national work.[75] This was the last convention attended by Miss Anthony, who died a month later. A memorial service was held in Baltimore, the following taking part: the Rev. Alexander Kent of Washington, Mary Badders Holton, Mrs. Funck, Mrs. Janney, Mrs. Holme and[Pg 250] Miss Maddox. Music was furnished by the Cecilian quartette of women's voices.

The State convention of 1906 was held in the Friends' Meeting House, addressed by Ellen Spencer Mussey of Washington. In 1907 the convention met in Arundell Hall November 21 and in the Hampden Methodist Church the 22nd. The afternoon program included interesting talks by six Baltimore men—Henry White, Dr. Funck, Dr. Janney, R. Henry Holme, State Forester Albert M. Beasley and the Rev. B. A. Abbott, pastor of the Harlem Avenue Christian Church. A large number of fraternal delegates were present. The Rev. Ida C. Hultin of Boston spoke at both evening sessions.

In 1908 the annual meeting was held in McCoy Hall, Johns Hopkins University, with Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Maud Nathan of New York and Rachel Foster Avery of Philadelphia as speakers. Dr. Lewellys F. Barker presided at the evening meeting. In 1909 the convention took place in the Baltimore Business College, Nov. 23, 24, with Dr. Barton O. Aylesworth of Colorado and the Rev. John Roach Straton of the Seventh Baptist Church as the orators at the evening sessions. Memorial services were held for Henry B. Blackwell. A supper and bazar were pleasant features. In 1910 the convention was held in Osler Hall, Cathedral Street, with both sessions devoted to business. A noteworthy event of the year was the election of Miss Sarah Richmond, a pioneer suffragist, as president of the State Teachers' Association, the first woman to be accorded this honor in the fifty years of its existence. Prizes of $25 were offered for essays on woman suffrage by girls in the high school.

At the convention of 1911 in Heptasophs Hall the California victory of October 11 was celebrated with a banquet attended by 400 men and women, Mrs. Belva A. Lockwood of Washington presiding. The meeting on the next evening was addressed by Miss A. Maud Royden of London on The Economic, Spiritual and Religious Aspect of Woman Suffrage. During the year a leaflet had been issued entitled Opinions of Representative Men of Maryland on Woman Suffrage, through Miss Mary B. Dixon, chairman of publicity, and 600 suffrage posters were placed in the counties. In Baltimore they were made into double faced[Pg 251] placards and men were employed to carry them through the business sections. Suffrage petitions and resolutions had been endorsed by the State Federation of Labor, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Ladies of the Maccabees, Grange and Jewish Council of Women.

The convention of 1912 was held in the Baltimore Business College, the afternoon devoted to discussions of plans of work, reports, etc., followed by a supper and bazar. A report was given of the organization of a Men's League for Woman Suffrage by Dr. Donald R. Hooker, Dr. Funck, Dr. Janney, the Rev. James Gratten Mythen, Dr. Warren Lewis, Jacob M. Moses, S. Johnson Poe, Frank F. Ramey and William F. Cochran. In the evening there was a debate on the enfranchisement of women by the boys of the Polytechnic Institute, Samuel M. North, a member of the faculty and a pioneer suffragist, presiding. At the convention of 1913 the twenty-fourth anniversary of the State association was celebrated in Veteran Corps Hall with a supper, dance and addresses by Laura Clay of Kentucky, Clara Bewick Colby of Washington, Ella S. Stewart of Illinois and Lucy Burns of New York. The convention of 1914 was held in the Royal Arcanum Building. The speakers were Mrs. Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin, Mrs. Nathan of New York, Mrs. Louis F. Post of Illinois and Mr. Western Star. It was reported that at the great suffrage parade held the preceding March in Washington Maryland had the largest delegation.

The business session of 1915 was held in the W. C. T. U. Building and the evening session in the Universalist Church, whose pastor, the Rev. C. Clifton Clark, spoke on the pro-suffrage side. This year a union of all the organizations in the State was effected under the name of the Woman Suffrage Party of Maryland. Mrs. Funck was elected president and served two years.

The annual meeting of 1916 was held on the lawn at the home of Elizabeth Bruce Gwynn; that of 1917 on the grounds of the Young Woman's Christian Association; in 1918 at Tolchester Beach and in 1919 at the home of Evelyn Albaugh Timanus. The workers during these years always were volunteers, who served without financial compensation. The association is indebted[Pg 252] for the past ten years to Mary Elizabeth Ward for all stenographic work and to Margaret A. Maddox for most of the publicity work.

Among those who have represented their counties in State conventions are the following: Montgomery county, Mary Bentley Thomas, Sarah Miller, Rebecca Miller, Mary E. Moore, Mary Magruder; Baltimore county, Elizabeth Herring, Josephine E. Smith, Julia F. Abbott, Anna S. Abbott, Ella Warfield, Kate Vanhorn, Mrs. Charles Weed, Mrs. James Green, Mary C. Raspe, Ethel C. Crosby; Harford, Annie H. Hoskins, Lydia Reckord, Eliza Edell; Carroll, Maggie Mehring; Cecil, Alice Coale Simpers; Somerset, Florence Hoge; Caroline, Miss Eliza Messenger; Anne Arundel, Mrs. Wilhelmina Nichols; Howard, Miss Elizabeth B. Wilson.

Baltimore City Club. For more than twenty years this club averaged from four to twenty public meetings annually in theaters, churches and suffrage headquarters. Scores of business and executive meetings were held and sociables, suppers, lawn fetes, banquets, excursions and bazars were given. The club opened the first headquarters in 1902 at 107 West Franklin Street, one of the city's noted thoroughfares. In 1908 they were established on North Gilmore Street, West Baltimore, and in 1912 on the corner of Baltimore and Carey Streets. At both localities the plate glass windows were decorated with pictures of suffrage leaders, cartoons, platforms of political parties and literature; afternoon tea was served and public meetings held at night. It also inaugurated Sunday afternoon meetings which became very popular and it was responsible for bringing to Baltimore many men and women of national and international distinction. The first English "militant" to speak in Baltimore was Mrs. Annie Cobden Sanderson, on My Experience in an English Jail, in January, 1908, in the Christian Temple, the Rev. Peter Ainslie, the pastor, introducing the speaker, who made a profound impression. Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst came next, speaking in Osler Hall on Ideal Democracy, followed by Sylvia Pankhurst and Mrs. Philip Snowden, the latter speaking at the Seventh Baptist Church, the pastor presiding.

In 1909 at a mass meeting one Sunday afternoon in the[Pg 253] Lyric Theater an audience of over 2,000 was present, more than half of them men, with Dr. Shaw and Mrs. Florence Kelley the speakers; Judge Jacob M. Moses of the Juvenile Court presided and a number of men of distinction were seated on the platform. Mrs. Catt spoke at a mass meeting in the Academy of Music in March, 1913, at which Miss Eliza H. Lord of Washington, D. C., presided and Senator William E. Borah of Idaho was a guest. Other Sunday afternoon meetings were held in Ford's, Albaugh's, the Garden and the New Theaters with well known speakers. Baltimore clergymen assisting at these meetings, besides those already mentioned, were the Rev. Dr. Frank M. Ellis and the Rev. Dr. J. W. Wills; the Reverends Kingman Handy, Henry Wharton and W. H. Baylor of the Baptist Church; George Scholl and Thomas Beadenkoph of the Lutheran Synod; Richard W. Hogue and George W. Dame of the Episcopal, E. L. Hubbard of the Methodist and Wynne Jones of the Highlandtown Presbyterian Churches.

Through the State Woman Suffrage Association and the Baltimore City Club much educational work was done from 1900 to 1910 in the way of public and parlor meetings. The pictures of suffrage leaders were placed in the public schools. The History of Woman Suffrage and the Life of Susan B. Anthony were given to public libraries. Boys and girls were trained for suffrage debates and prizes given for essays. Subscriptions were solicited for Progress and the Woman's Journal; press work was pushed; opportunities were sought to speak before all kinds of organizations and there was a wide distribution of suffrage literature. Handsomely engrossed resolutions were presented in 1902 to Senator Jacob M. Moses in appreciation of his having introduced the bill in the Legislature to permit women to practice law in Maryland; and to Miss Maddox, the first to be admitted to the bar, a gold pin bearing the State coat-of-arms as an expression of esteem for her onerous work in securing its passage.

In 1906 and thereafter by specially appointed committees suffrage planks were requested in the platforms of the political parties but with no success. In 1907 a delegation appeared before the State Federation of Labor asking for its endorsement of woman suffrage, which was refused.[Pg 254]

For 1908 the slogan was, Convert the public school teachers. To this end a mass meeting was held in Baltimore with Miss Grace C. Strachan, a district superintendent of the public schools of New York; the Rev. Olympia Brown of Wisconsin and Mrs. Emma Smith Devoe of the State of Washington as speakers. Mrs. Funck attended tri-county conventions of teachers, speaking on woman suffrage and distributing 5,000 leaflets. Three women attended the hearing before the House Judiciary Committee of Congress in the interest of the Federal Amendment, Mrs. Funck addressing the committee. Independence Day was observed by a parade and street speaking by Mrs. Colby, Mrs. Timanus and others.

In 1911 the first debate on woman suffrage took place before the Men's Club of the Harlem Park Methodist Church, Mrs. Funck taking the affirmative side against two members of the Anti-Suffrage Society, Mrs. Francis T. Redwood and Mrs. Haslup Adams. The following year another debate was held at the State Normal School by the pupils. In both instances the affirmative won.

In 1914 a large suffrage bazar was held under the auspices of all the clubs in the Fifth Regiment Armory with good financial results. This year the association entered the political arena, the logical culmination of previous years of work. Legislation and Publicity was the slogan. It specialized in ward work, besieged legislative and political leaders with telegrams and letters, visited their offices and homes, watched at the polls, worked to defeat anti-suffrage candidates; addressed shop and factory employees, spoke on street corners and at county fairs, made use of suffrage posters and unique advertisements and had parades.

The State Woman Suffrage Association has had but two presidents, Mary Bentley Thomas of Ednor, 1894-1904 and Emma Maddox Funck, 1904-1920. The latter was president of the Baltimore City Society 1897-1920. Others who served as State officers ten years and more were Mary Badders Holton, Evelyn Albaugh Timanus, Etta H. Maddox, Anne Webb (Mrs. O. Edward) Janney, Pauline W. Holme, Mary Young Taylor, Edna Annette Beveridge, Nellie C. Cromwell, Florence E. Barnes, Mary E. Moore, Margaret Smythe Clark and Annie H. Hoskins.[Pg 255] Space will not permit the names of the many women who were loyal and helpful during these years. Women were not left entirely alone to fight the battle and many men besides those mentioned assisted and encouraged.

The Maryland Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was organized in Baltimore in 1911, opening its first headquarters in North Charles Street with Mrs. N. C. Talbott as executive secretary. Later there was some organization in the counties. The members through public meetings, legislative hearings and distribution of literature vigorously carried on their opposition to women's enfranchisement. The society was affiliated with the National Anti-Suffrage Association and was organized for the purpose of fighting the movement to enfranchise women by both Federal and State amendments. The presidents were Mrs. John Redwood, Mrs. Oscar Leser, Mrs. Rufus Gibbs and Mrs. Robert Garrett, the last named serving until after the Federal Amendment was adopted. Other women active in opposition were Mrs. Michael Wild, Mrs. Rosalie Strauss, Mrs. W. P. E. Wyse, Mrs. P. Lea Thom, Mrs. Coyle Haslup Adams, Mrs. George A. Frick and Mrs. William L. Marbury. This association gave substantial aid in money and other ways to the Maryland legislators who went to Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee to work against the ratification of the Federal Amendment by their Legislatures.

Legislative Action. The Maryland Woman Suffrage Association in connection with its suffrage activities worked in the Legislature for other progressive measures, among them the use of the public schools for social centers; equal pay for equal service; appointment of women on boards of education and on all public institutions; the abolition of capital punishment; initiative and referendum; co-education; abolition of child labor.

1906. Legislators declined to introduce any suffrage measure and treated the request as a joke.

1907. A special committee appointed by the Legislature to revise the election laws was asked that the word "male" be stricken out. No attention was paid to the request.

1910. The resolution for submitting an amendment was framed by Etta H. Maddox, introduced by Delegate William[Pg 256] Harry Paire, the Republican floor leader, and referred to the Committee on Constitutional Amendments. The hearing was held in the House of Delegates at Annapolis on February 24 before the committee and an audience that taxed the chamber's capacity. Miss Maddox presided and introduced the speakers—Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National Suffrage Association; the Rev. John Roach Straton, the Rev. Peter Ainslie, Attorney John Grill, Dr. Flora Pollack, Mrs. Mary Badders Holton, Mrs. Funck, the Rev. Olympia Brown of Wisconsin, Dr. J. William Funck and Miss Belle Kearney of Mississippi. An evening meeting also was held in the same place in the interest of the amendment. On March 24 Carville D. Benson of Baltimore county moved to lay it on the table which was done by a vote of 61 ayes, 18 noes. No action was taken by the Senate.

1912. All the suffrage societies united in asking for the submission of a State amendment for full suffrage. Their best speakers appeared before the committees. A petition was presented to both Houses, signed by 30,000 voters, but it polled only 22 affirmative votes in the House. Soon after a limited suffrage bill, sponsored by the Equal Suffrage League, failed by a vote of 16 noes, 9 ayes in the Senate.

1914. The amendment resolution was introduced in the House by Charles H. McNab of Harford county and in the Senate by William Holmead of Prince George county. It was supported by all the suffrage societies, and ably advocated but lost by 34 ayes, 60 noes in the House and defeated in the Senate. A resolution introduced in the Senate asking for the full suffrage for women with an educational and property qualification, endorsed only by the Equal Suffrage League, failed to get a hearing. One in the Senate requiring a literacy test only was not reported.

1916. The constitutional amendment for full suffrage was introduced in the House by Lloyd Wilkinson (Democrat) of Baltimore and in the Senate by Sydney Mudd (Republican) of Charles county and strongly supported. House vote was 36 ayes, 64 noes. The Senate committee reported favorably and the vote stood 17 ayes, 7 noes, William F. Chesley the only Republican[Pg 257] who voted no. The lobbyists were Mrs. Hooker, Mrs. Dora Ogle, Mrs. Robert Moss, Miss Lucy Branham, Miss Maddox, Miss Gwendolyn Willis, the Rev. Olympia Brown, Mrs. Charles E. Ellicott, Mrs. Ross Thompson, Miss Emma Weber, Mrs. William H. Maloy, Mrs. Calvin Gabriel, Mrs. Timanus, Mrs. Howard Schwartz, Mrs. Funck. This was the last time a State amendment was asked for.

1917. At the special session a bill for Presidential suffrage, supported by the State association and the Just Government League, passed the Senate by a vote of 18 ayes, 6 noes, after a joint hearing held in the State House, where the outside speakers, were Dudley Field Malone, U. S. Senator Shafroth and Representative Jeannette Rankin. In the House it failed by a vote of 41 ayes, 56 noes.

1918. The Presidential suffrage bill received in the House 42 ayes, 53 noes; in the Senate 12 ayes, 13 noes.

Ratification. For twenty-five years the women of Maryland tried to get some form of suffrage from their Legislature without success and it is not surprising that they felt obliged to look to a Federal Amendment for their enfranchisement. The delegation in Congress was divided on its submission, Senator Joseph I. France (Republican) voting in favor and Senator John Walter Smith (Democrat) in opposition; two Representatives in favor and five in opposition. After it had been sent to the Legislatures for ratification in June, 1919, pressure was brought to bear on Governor Emerson C. Harrington to call a special session, as it was reported that a majority in favor might be secured. U. S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer urged it in a letter July 10, saying: "Pennsylvania has already ratified and it will be a service to our party if a Democratic State like Maryland will promptly follow suit." The Governor advised waiting till the regular session as "this Legislature was not elected with the question of this amendment before the people."

The regular session convened Jan 7, 1920, and Albert Cabell Ritchie had been elected Governor. Mrs. William Milnes Maloy was chairman of the Suffrage Campaign Committee and Mrs. Robert Moss of the legislative work in Annapolis, and the committee was composed of prominent suffragists from all the[Pg 258] societies. A mass meeting took place on January 20 in the State Armory at Annapolis, with addresses by U. S. Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee, State Senator Oliver Metzerott and Mrs. Donald R. Hooker. State Senator George Q. Bartlett read letters from Senator France advocating ratification. Many members of the Legislature were seated on the platform. At the close of the meeting Mrs. Maloy offered a resolution in favor of ratification, which was carried by a large majority.

On Friday, February 6, Governor Ritchie submitted the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment to the General Assembly. Senator Metzerott (Republican) introduced a resolution for ratification in the Senate and Representative Cobourn (Democrat) in the House. It was sent to the Senate Committee on Federal Relations, Senator Grason, chairman; to the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Mr. Roberts chairman. A hearing was set for February 11 but on being informed that most of the suffrage leaders would be in Chicago attending the national suffrage convention at that time and that others of their speakers could not be present, Senator Grason said that, with Mr. Robert's consent, the hearing would be postponed until the 18th.

The suffragists heard no more and great was the surprise of those of the committee who were left to find on returning to Annapolis February 10, when the session reconvened, that Mr. Roberts absolutely refused to delay and the hearing would take place on February 11. A hasty canvass of his committee showed that a majority was in favor of deferring it until the 18th, so the suffragists returned to their homes. The next morning the Baltimore papers announced that it would be held that day. The suffragists learned that the preceding night Speaker Tydings had transferred the suffrage amendment from the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, which was favorable to it, and had put it into the Committee on Federal Relations, which was hostile! There were of course no members of the suffrage committee present at the hearing. Mrs. Rufus Gibbs, president of the State Anti-Suffrage Association, urged the defeat of ratification. William F. Marbury made a strong argument against it. Senator Legg of Queen Anne's, who had announced that he "would do just what Governor Ritchie desired," spoke against it.[Pg 259] Delegates Cobourn, Shartzer, Curry and the minority floor leader, Vernon Simmons, explained how the suffragists had been deceived and made an earnest plea for fair play.

It had been intended to bring the measure to a vote immediately but the feeling against this was so intense that it was finally set for the 17th. The suffragists demanded a hearing but the House committee refused it and made an adverse report on the resolution to ratify. The Senate committee granted one for the morning of the 17th. Long before the hour set suffragists from many places began to gather. At 10:30 the larger delegations arrived, heralded by Farson's band, and marched straight into the State House. Their number was so large that Chairman Grason adjourned from the committee room to the Senate Chamber. Mrs. Hooker presented resolutions and petitions for ratification from organizations representing over 125,000 residents of Maryland. They were from many State labor associations, patriotic societies, the Grange, Federation of Women's Clubs, Women's Trade Union League, Teachers' Association, Graduate Nurses, Goucher College Alumnae, clubs for every conceivable purpose. She was followed by Mrs. Edward Shoemaker, chairman of the women's State branch of the National Council of Defense, who made an eloquent appeal for the proposed amendment. Judge J. Harry Covington, member of Congress, gave a strong legal and political argument, answering that of Mr. Marbury. Mrs. Henry Zollinger represented the Women's Anti-Suffrage Association and Judge Oscar Leser spoke in opposition. The Hon. Thomas Parran summed up for the suffragists.

At twelve o'clock the suffragists went to the reception room of the Governor, who announced that he wished to give them all the time that they desired to present their case. The speakers were Mrs. Sydney M. Cone, Mrs. Shoemaker, Miss Kate McLane, prominent in war work; Mrs. Robert Moss, Guion Miller representing the Society of Friends; Mrs. Robert H. Walker, the college women; Miss Hunt, the nurses; Miss Mary Dubrau, the eastern shore. The Governor, answering, said that the ratification was a question for the Legislature alone to determine; that the platform on which he ran pledged the Democratic party against[Pg 260] it and that he could not ask the legislators to repudiate the platform. Mrs. Hooker in vigorous language held him wholly responsible for the action they took on it.

In the afternoon Representatives Cobourn, McBride, Shartzer, Demarco, Jones and Gambrill spoke for ratification. The vote stood 64 noes, 36 ayes. The same afternoon Senators Metzerott, Gibson, Bartlett and Robins earnestly urged ratification; Senators J. Frank Parran, McIntosh and Legg spoke against it. The vote stood 18 noes, 9 ayes, seven Republicans and two Democrats. In the House 32 of the 45 Republicans and 4 of the 56 Democrats voted in favor.

Undaunted by their defeat the suffragists gathered in front of the State House and with colors flying and band playing martial airs marched two by two around the Capitol, receiving many cheers and good wishes from the spectators. A brief meeting was then held at which resolutions of appreciation were passed for all the brave men who had fought so valiantly for democracy.

Committees of both Houses had reported a resolution of definite rejection, which the Senate passed, and a delegation of women from the Anti-Suffrage Association, headed by Mrs. Gibbs, carried it to Washington and presented it to the Acting Secretary of State, serving formal notice that "the State of Maryland denies the lawful right and power of Congress to propose the amendment for woman suffrage and the validity of such an amendment as part of the Federal Constitution even if ratified by three-fourths of the States."

The Maryland Legislature was by no means satisfied with its demonstration of State's rights in defeating the ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment but it undertook to interfere with the rights of other States. On February 24 the House of Delegates voted by 54 to 44 for a joint resolution to send a delegation of seven anti-suffrage members to West Virginia to urge its General Assembly to follow the course of Maryland in rejecting the amendment. This was adopted by the Senate with little delay and three of its members were appointed to accompany four selected by the House. The next day two resolutions drawn up by Mr. Marbury were introduced in the Legislature. One was to "repeal, rescind and recall the resolutions ratifying the so-called[Pg 261] Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States." The other authorized and requested the Governor to call on the national government, in behalf of the State of Maryland, to "have the so-called Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act declared null and void." The reason for his opposition to woman suffrage was clearly apparent.

On March 30 by a vote of 20 ayes, 7 noes, the Senate passed a joint resolution introduced by George Arnold Frick authorizing and directing the Attorney General of Maryland to bring suit or suits to prevent the Secretary of State of the United States from proclaiming the Federal Amendment prior to the holding of a referendum thereon in certain States, and to test the validity, should the same be ratified by the elected Legislatures of three-fourths of the States. This also passed in the House. The opponents thought that now they had spiked every gun but in September it was discovered that the vote on ratification had been pigeonholed instead of being sent by the Governor to the Secretary of State in Washington. Immediately there was hustling to bring it again before the two Houses and on September 22 it was rejected in the Senate by a vote of 17 to 8 and in the House by 51 to 42, nearly a month after the Federal Amendment had been proclaimed!

A Men's Anti-Suffrage Association had been formed under the name of the Maryland League for State Defense and a suit was brought by its board of managers. This was called the case of Leser vs. Garnett, Judge Leser and his associate lawyers representing this League, Mr. Garnett representing the Board of Registry of the 7th Precinct of the 11th Ward of Baltimore. On Oct. 12, 1920, Judge Leser challenged the registration there of Cecilia S. Waters (white) and Mary D. Randolph (colored) in order to test the validity of what the "antis" called the "alleged" 19th Amendment. The plea was that it exceeded the amending power of Article V in the Federal Constitution and that it was not legally ratified by 36 States. The States arraigned as having illegally ratified were West Virginia and Missouri. The case came before the court of common pleas, Judge Heuisler presiding. Besides Mr. Marbury the attorneys for the petitioners were Thomas Cadwalader, Senator Frick and Everett P. Wheeler[Pg 262] of New York. The defendants were represented by George M. Brady, Roger Howell, Jacob M. Moses and Assistant Attorney General Lindsay C. Spencer. The case occupied four full days and the petitioners lost. Judge Heuisler ruled that the power to amend the Constitution of the United States granted by the Fifth Article thereof is without limit except as to the words, "equal suffrage in the Senate." He added: "The court is further of the opinion from all the exhibits and other evidence submitted that there was due, legal and proper ratification of the amendment by the required number of State Legislatures." Mr. Wheeler contended that three-fourths of the States had not legally ratified, to which the Court answered: "There was one legal and proper ratification of the amendment by the required number of State Legislatures."

The case was carried up to the State Court of Appeals and argued on April 7. On June 28 the Judge affirmed the decision of the lower court. The case was then taken to the U. S. Supreme Court, which gave a decision adverse to all these claims and established the validity of the Federal Suffrage Amendment beyond all further controversy.


The Woman Suffrage League of Maryland was organized Feb. 27, 1917, in Baltimore at a meeting called with the approval of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Mrs. J. Ross Thompson of Garrett Park was elected president and served for two years. The league started with a sustaining membership of 1,400, including organizations in Baltimore and thirteen counties. By 1920 the city was organized by congressional districts and some of these by wards; twenty of the twenty-three counties had organizations, some of them strong branch leagues, others merely small groups with a chairman.

The history of the league must be traced through its mother, the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore, back to the Mary A. Livermore League, a society of Friends, which had been founded[Pg 263] in 1905 with Mrs. Edward O. Janney as president. In the spring of 1909 this league, in order to broaden its scope, became the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore. Mrs. Elisabeth King Ellicott was elected president and filled this office with wisdom and rare executive ability until her death in May, 1914. The league, as a branch of the State Suffrage Association, sent Miss Julia Rogers as a delegate to the national convention held in Seattle in 1909. This year a mass meeting was held in McCoy Hall, Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Thayer of the Medical School presiding. Miss Ethel Arnold of England was the speaker and made many converts.

In 1910 the league had a bill introduced in the Legislature giving Municipal suffrage to "every bona fide resident of the city of Baltimore, male or female, 21 years of age.... (a) If such person is qualified to vote for members of the House of Delegates; or (b) can read or write from dictation any paragraph of more than five lines in the State constitution; or (c) is assessed with property in said city to the amount of $300 and has paid taxes thereon for at least two years preceding the election...." The league was fortunate in securing as attorney Judge Jacob M. Moses of the Juvenile Court. He conducted a hearing on February 16 in the House of Delegates attended by both branches of the Legislature. Six hundred women and men went on a special train to Annapolis, carrying a petition for the bill representing 173,000 names. The speakers were Dr. Howard Kelly of Johns Hopkins, president of the Men's League; Dr. Mary Sherwood of the medical department; Judge Moses, Mrs. Ellicott, Mrs. Ida Husted Harper of New York, Miss Janet Richards of Washington, Misses Julia Rogers, Mary E. Lent, Ellen La Mott and Sarah Brookes. The House committee reported eight to one in favor. The advocates in the House were Robert H. Carr, who introduced the bill, H. Pairo, R. F. Beacham and Mr. Henderson. It received 67 noes, 24 ayes and did not come before the Senate. Three other woman suffrage bills were defeated this session.

In 1909-1910 Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, chairman of the Lecture Committee, was instrumental in securing many noted speakers for public meetings. In 1910 she formed the Just Government[Pg 264] League of Maryland, which was affiliated with the National Association for six years. Miss Lent was president two years and then Mrs. Hooker continuously.

In 1910 a field secretary was engaged by the Equal Suffrage League, ward organization progressed and money was raised through rummage sales, lawn fetes, suppers at headquarters, etc. In 1911 the New Voter was started, a lively suffrage paper, with Miss Anne Wagner as editor-in-chief. A committee was appointed, with Mrs. Charles E. Ellicott chairman, to investigate methods in the Criminal Court of conducting trials when young girls were witnesses in cases of assault, etc. This committee attended trials and employed a woman to keep records of cases and decisions. Later it had the first woman probation officer appointed and paid her salary until 1916, when Mayor Preston agreed to its payment by the city temporarily.

The State Equal Franchise League was founded in 1911 and became auxiliary to the National American Association. Mrs. Elisabeth King Ellicott was the president for two years and she was succeeded by Mrs. W. J. Brown, who was president for one year. The affiliated societies were the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore, Woman Suffrage Club of Montgomery county, Just Franchise League of Talbot county, Junior Suffrage League of Walbrook, College Suffrage League of Frederick, Equal Franchise Leagues of Thurmont and Emmitsburg, Junior Suffrage League of Bryn Mawr School and Political Equality League of Baltimore county. It joined in the work of the other associations for various bills in the Legislature until 1914, when it disbanded, and, the constitution of the National Association now permitting the direct affiliation of any suffrage society numbering 200 members, the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore became a direct auxiliary. In May, 1914, it met with a great loss in the death of Mrs. Ellicott, who had organized and held it firm for the non-partisan, non-political, educational principles of the National Association. She left $25,000 in the hands of trustees, the interest to be used by the league until equal suffrage had been obtained in Maryland. Mrs. Charles E. Ellicott then became president and successfully continued the work. The extensive[Pg 265] development of the Children's Playground Association under her leadership is well known throughout the State.[77]

The Woman Suffrage League of Maryland was formed in February, 1917, and the Baltimore City Committee took the active place of the Equal Suffrage League, which became a funding body to carry out the bequest of Mrs. Ellicott, with Miss Caroline Roberts as president, whose unwearying and ceaseless service had been for years an inspiration to her fellow workers. Mrs. Nettie Rogers Shuler, chairman of Campaigns and Surveys for the National Association, went to Baltimore this month, meeting there Miss Emma MacAlarney and Miss Eleanor Furman, two of the national organizers, and planning a speaking and organization route. The organizers remained in Maryland two months and were very successful in interesting new groups of people all over the State, who joined the new Woman Suffrage League. Later Miss Alice Hunt, a national organizer, took up this work for four weeks. The total cost to the National Association was over $600.

In the spring of 1917 a Suffrage School was held in Baltimore by the league to which all were invited. The National Association sent some of its best teachers, among them Mrs. Arthur L. Livermore, Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson and Mrs. Shuler, members of its official board. The climax of the week was a parade, street speeches and a mass meeting, at which Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, national president, was the principal speaker. An outcome of the school was the printing in Maryland newspapers of the suffrage literature supplied by the National Association.

When the United States entered the World War Mrs. Ellicott, president of the league, was appointed by the Governor a State member of the Woman's Council of National Defense and the league cooperated in all of the departments of war work created by the National Suffrage Association. A Red Cross Circle was established in its headquarters and it entered actively into the sale[Pg 266] of Liberty Bonds. Its war work brought into it many new members.

In the work for ratification of the Federal Amendment the League joined the other suffrage societies in the headquarters at Annapolis and in public meetings, house to house canvass, interviews with legislators and the other work of a vigorous campaign. The officers were: Mrs. Ellicott, president; Mrs. Edward Shoemaker, Mrs. William Milnes Maloy and Mrs. Sidney Cone, vice-presidents; Miss Julia Rogers and Mrs. Robert Moss, corresponding and recording secretaries; Mrs. Frank Ramey, treasurer; Mrs. George Crawford and Mrs. William Silver, auditors.

The officers of the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore were Miss Caroline Roberts, president; Miss Clara T. Waite, vice-president; Mrs. William Chatard, secretary; Miss Mary Claire O'Brien, treasurer: with eight directors.[78]

Legislative Action. This has been described. A Ratification Committee of Men was formed in 1919 with N. Winslow Williams chairman, De Courcy W. Thom vice-chairman, Arthur K. Taylor secretary, Donald R. Hooker, treasurer. Prominent members of the Allied Building Trades Council, Carpenters' Union and other labor organizations were on the committee and every county had a chairman. In Allegany it was Francis J. Drum, president of the Maryland and D. C. Federation of Labor; in Baltimore county B. John Black, master of the State Grange. In other counties it was a member of Congress or the Legislature or a Judge or some one of influence.


[73] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Emma Maddox Funck, president of the Baltimore Suffrage Club twenty-five years and of the State Woman Suffrage Association eighteen years.

[74] Dr. William Tindall, of Washington, has the records to prove that in 1838, when the people of Georgetown voted on a proposal to withdraw from the State of Maryland, 63 women cast their ballots. As early as 1867, through the efforts of Lavinia C. Dundore, a large equal rights society of men and women was organized in Baltimore, which continued until 1874 and was represented in the national conventions by its president, Mrs. Dundore. A Baltimore paper of April 4, 1870, says: "A petition, asking for the right of suffrage and political justice, was presented to the House of Delegates, signed by Eliza S. White, Lavinia C. Dundore, Ellen M. Harris and 150 other ladies. It was referred to the Committee on Federal Relations."

[75] For full account of the convention see Chapter VI, Volume V.

[76] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Clara Turnbull Waite, vice-president of the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore.

[77] Additional names of women who held office or were prominent in work of the Equal Suffrage League of Baltimore or the State Equal Franchise League of Maryland are Drs. Fannie Hoopes, Lillian Welsh, Mary Sherwood, Florence Sabin, Claribel Cone, Nellie Mark; Mesdames Pauline Holme, George Lamb, S. Johnson Poe, J. Williams Lord, Frank Ramey, C. C. Heath, George H. Wright, J. H. Webb-Peploe, Jacob M. Moses, Mary N. Parry and W. W. Emmart; Misses Mary Bartlett Dixon, Elisabeth Gilman, A. Page Reid, Henrietta Norris, Romaine McIlvaine and Emma Weber.

[78] Among these directors, active members of the city committee, chairmen of standing committees and devoted workers not elsewhere mentioned were Mesdames Edwin Rouse, Jr., chairman of the city committee; Caleb Athey, Harvey Bickel, C. C. Peffer, J. W. Putts, John Parker, A. Morris Carey, C. C. Heath; Esther Moses and Esther Katz.

[Pg 267]



From the beginning of the present century the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, organized in 1870, steadily gained in membership year after year. Its annual conventions for many years were held in Boston in January and those of the New England Woman Suffrage Association in May, when the two united in a great Festival, which generally took place in Faneuil Hall. The day sessions usually were held in the rooms of the New England Women's Club, the evening sessions in some large place, in 1901 at Faneuil Hall.

At the State annual meeting Jan. 23, 1901, Mrs. Mary A. Livermore, who had been president since 1893, presided and among the speakers were Mrs. Helen Campbell, the Rev. Charles W. Wendte, Dr. Emily B. Ryder and the Rev. Ida C. Hultin. Mrs. Livermore was re-elected and Mrs. Maud Wood Park succeeded Miss Alice Stone Blackwell as chairman of the State Board of Directors. The office of president had always been mainly honorary and the actual work was done by the chairman of this board. The other officers chosen were Henry B. Blackwell, corresponding secretary; William Lloyd Garrison, treasurer; Miss Eva Channing, clerk; Miss Amanda M. Lougee, Richard P. Hallowell, auditors; Mrs. Judith W. Smith, member National Executive Committee. There was a long list of distinguished vice-presidents. Mr. Blackwell had been secretary for over twenty years and was re-elected.

At the Festival on May 22, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe presided, Miss Sarah Cone Bryant was toastmistress and there were addresses by William M. Salter, the Hon. William Dudley Foulke[Pg 268] and others of note. On May 23 at the annual meeting of the New England Association, organized in November, 1868, reports were made from the New England States, and addresses by the Rev. Florence Kollock Crooker, Mrs. Isabel C. Barrows, Mrs. Inez Haynes Gillmore and others. Mrs. Howe, who had been its president since 1893, was re-elected, with a board composed of eminent men and women.

During the year the State association sent out 1,246 press articles, circulated many thousand pages of literature and printed several leaflets. It held well-attended fortnightly meetings at its headquarters, No. 3 Park Street, and gave a brilliant reception in honor of Mrs. Livermore's 80th birthday. It compiled a list of about forty persons ready to give addresses on suffrage and sent a speaker free to every woman's club or other organization willing to hear the subject presented. It held ten public meetings and sent out 11,000 circulars to increase the women's registration and school vote in Boston. Many addresses under its auspices were given by Mrs. Abby Morton Diaz, Professor Anna May Soule of Mt. Holyoke and Señorita Carolina Holman Huidobro of Chile. Massachusetts contributed four-fifths of the money given to the Oregon campaign of 1900 from outside that State, and the Massachusetts booth (named the Lucy Stone booth) at the National Suffrage Bazar that year took in more money than that of any other State except New York. The College Equal Suffrage League's prize of $100, for the best essay in favor of suffrage by a college student, was won by Ava M. Stoddard of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The above is a sample of the activities carried on year after year by the association during the first decade of the century.

In 1901 the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government was organized through the efforts of Mrs. Mary Hutcheson Page, with Pauline Agassiz (Mrs. Quincy A.) Shaw as president, Mrs. Fanny B. Ames, chairman of Executive Committee, and Mrs. Park as executive secretary.[80] It continued to be a power in the State till suffrage was won and aimed to devote[Pg 269] itself not only to suffrage but to all activities in which women could be especially useful to the community.

The National Woman Suffrage Association of Massachusetts, a smaller organization, disbanded in 1901 after nearly twenty years of existence. Mrs. Sarah A. P. Dickerman was acting president, Miss Lavina A. Hatch secretary. It had held eleven monthly meetings during the past year, done congressional work and contributed to the Susan B. Anthony table at the national bazar in New York.

1902. At the annual meeting on January 23, Mrs. Park presided and a work conference was substituted for the usual public meeting. The Festival was held on May 28 with the Rev. Anna Garlin Spencer presiding. Other speakers were the Rev. Dr. James H. Ecob, Professor John Graham Brooks, the Rev. Ida C. Hultin, Colonel T. W. Higginson and the Rev. Charles F. Dole. Miss Vida Goldstein of Australia addressed a number of meetings this year. An enrollment of suffragists was begun. There was an increase of women's registration for the school vote in fourteen cities, in Boston of about 5,000. An investigation of the tax records by Mr. Blackwell showed that in Boston alone 18,500 women paid taxes on several hundred million dollars' worth of property.

1903. At the annual meeting of the State association on January 13, Mrs. Shaw and Mrs. Park presided. Mrs. Livermore was made honorary president and Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead president, Mrs. Mary Schlesinger, vice-president; Miss Harriet E. Turner, corresponding secretary; William Lloyd Garrison, treasurer; Mrs. Otto B. Cole, clerk; Mr. Blackwell, member of the National Executive Committee. Mrs. Page, chairman of the Organization Committee, reported that forty towns had been visited. There were speeches by Mrs. Livermore and Mrs. Enid Stacy Widdrington of England. Miss Blackwell presided at the New England annual meeting May 27 and the Rev. Charles G. Ames at the Festival the next day. On August 13 Lucy Stone's birthday anniversary was celebrated by a pilgrimage to the old farm house near West Brookfield where she was born. About 400 persons gathered from various States, even California being represented. Her niece, Mrs. Phebe Stone Beeman, president of the[Pg 270] Warren Political Equality Club, presided and there were addresses by Mrs. Livermore, Mr. Blackwell, the Rev. Mary A. Safford and others. The beautiful weather and the beautiful scenery combined with the beautiful memories to make it a memorable occasion. Mrs. Livermore wrote afterwards: "It was greater and grander than any public day, not specially devoted to religion, that I have ever known. The hill was a Mount of Transfiguration, the faces of the people shone."

The Rev. Anna Howard Shaw addressed a series of meetings throughout the State. Mrs. Page, Mrs. Park, Mrs. Diaz, Mrs. Esther F. Boland, Miss Bryant and George H. Page spoke repeatedly for the association. Work conferences were held in various counties and equal rights plays by Mr. Page were performed for the benefit of the cause. The State headquarters were moved from Park Street to a house at No. 6 Marlboro Street, the use of which was given by Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw. Massachusetts this year contributed more money to the National Association than did any other State. The time of the State annual meeting was changed to October and it began to be held outside of Boston, a second one for this year in the Newtons, October 29 and 30. It opened with a reception by the Newton League at the Hunnewell Club House, where Mrs. Electa N. L. Walton presided and Mayor Weeks of Newton and the Hon. Samuel L. Powers gave addresses of welcome. The following day at West Newton Mrs. Livermore presided, the Hon. Gorman D. Gilman gave the address of welcome and Mrs. Florence Kelley and Dr. Shaw spoke. The Enrollment Committee reported obtaining 11,169 signatures. A resolution of tribute was passed to Miss Harriet E. Turner, who retired after 21 years' devoted service at headquarters, where she had suggested some of the most successful lines of work. Mrs. Page was chosen as chairman of the State board, Mrs. Susan S. Fessenden succeeding her later in the year.

1904. The Festival was held on May 10, Mrs. Howe presiding. The speakers were Judge Edward E. Reynolds of Portland, Maine, the Rev. Florence Kollock Crooker of Michigan, Frank K. Foster of the State Federation of Labor, Mrs. Livermore, Professor George E. Gardner of the Boston University[Pg 271] Law School, Mrs. May Alden Ward, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, Mr. Blackwell and Mrs. Mead. The State meeting was held at Attleboro, October 21, in the Opera House, with the usual list of well known speakers. The International Peace Congress, held in Boston this year, gave an impetus to the movement. The men from abroad were much impressed by the American women. Other notable events were the celebration by the State W. C. T. U. of the quarter centennial of the granting of School suffrage and a conference of women ministers of different denominations, called by Mrs. Howe. There was a Suffrage Day at the big Mechanics' Fair in Boston, with addresses by Miss Jane Addams, Miss Sheriff Bain of New Zealand and W. P. Byles of England. A library of books bearing on the woman question was started at headquarters with a fund given by Miss M. F. Munroe in memory of Mary Lowell Stone.

1905. There was a very large attendance at the Festival on May 10, with Mrs. Mead presiding. Professor Edward Cummings was toastmaster, ex-Governor Garvin of Rhode Island and Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt spoke and the Festival then resolved itself into a celebration of Mr. Blackwell's 80th birthday (May 4), with the presentation of a silver pitcher from the State association and addresses by William Lloyd Garrison and Mrs. Livermore. She had insisted upon coming, although by no means able. She said, "Mr. Blackwell and I have worked together for nearly half a century; we have gone anywhere and everywhere for woman suffrage. This evening he has been doing his best to persuade me to go out to the Oregon convention. I can not say half that ought to be said of his character, his devoted service, his fraternal spirit." She died a few days later and there was profound sorrow for her loss.

At the meeting of the New England Association on May 11 Miss Blackwell presided. Francis J. Garrison was elected treasurer. The State annual meeting was held at Holyoke, October 24, 25, in the Second Baptist Church and Mayor Nathan P. Avery gave the address of welcome. Miss Blackwell was made chairman of the board of directors; Mrs. Mead was elected president; Mrs. Schlesinger vice-president. The association took part in the celebration of the centennial of William Lloyd[Pg 272] Garrison on December 10. He had been a life-long champion of equal rights for women and his last public speech was made at a suffrage hearing in the State House. There was a noteworthy memorial meeting for Mrs. Edna D. Cheney, long a pillar of the suffrage association and of the New England Hospital for Women and Children. Catherine Breshkovsky, "the little grandmother of the Russian revolution," visited Massachusetts this year and addressed a number of meetings arranged by the suffragists, including a large one in Faneuil Hall.

The convention was held in October, 1906, at Lowell in the Trinitarian Congregational Church. Harriet A. Eager gave a stone from the pavement of the little church at Delft Haven in Holland, where the Pilgrims attended their last religious service before sailing for America and the association presented it to the Cape Cod Memorial Association to be placed in the monument. The World's W. C. T. U. convention in Boston this month aroused much interest and enthusiasm. At the opening banquet Miss Blackwell gave the address of welcome in behalf of the women's organizations.

1907. The annual meeting took place in Worcester at Trinity Church. Letters were read from Colonel Thomas W. Higginson and Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Miller, the only two survivors of the 89 men and women who signed the Call for the first National Woman's Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850; and a poem from the Rev. Antoinette L. Brown Blackwell, D. D., the only survivor of the speakers on that occasion. Dr. Shaw gave an address and conducted a question box and there was a symposium on Why I am a Suffragist by five young women, one a grandniece and namesake of Margaret Fuller.

A noteworthy meeting was held on March 23, 1907, by the Boston Equal Suffrage Association to consider "the indebtedness of women of collegiate and professional training to the leaders of the suffrage movement." Every woman's college in the State was represented, as well as law and medicine. Mrs. Fanny B. Ames presided and college girls in cap and gown acted as ushers. The speakers were Mrs. Howe, Miss Georgia L. White, Assistant Professor of Economics at Smith College; Professor Helen M. Searles of Mt. Holyoke; Dr. Emma Culbertson of the New[Pg 273] England Hospital for Women and Children; Miss Emily Greene Balch, Associate Professor of Economics and Sociology at Wellesley; Miss Caroline J. Cooke, instructor in Commercial Law at Simmons, and Mrs. Park of Radcliffe.

On August 13 suffragists from different parts of the State again made a pilgrimage to Lucy Stone's old home, West Brookfield, to celebrate her birthday. Mrs. Cobden Sanderson, a daughter of Richard Cobden, one of the "militant" English suffragettes, spoke at the women's colleges and elsewhere. The Boston association, in connection with the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, gave courses in citizenship, addressed by heads of State and city departments. Mrs. Fessenden conducted many classes in Parliamentary practice (these were continued year after year), and there was a "suffrage day" in the woman's department of the great Food Fair.

The Association of Collegiate Alumnæ celebrated its quarter centennial in Boston November 5-9, which brought many distinguished suffragists from other States. In 1872 the New England Women's Club had given a reception for the only three college women then in this city. In 1907 this association had 3,147 members, several hundred of them in Boston alone. At the Whittier Centennial celebration at Amesbury on December 17 the poet's championship of equal rights for women was recalled with his work for other reforms. The Boston Federation of Suffrage Societies was organized by the Association for Good Government. The State Federation of Labor and the State Letter Carriers' Association endorsed woman suffrage.

The Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women changed its organ The Remonstrance from an annual to a quarterly and sent out a copy broadcast. The suffragists followed with an answer. The Woman's Journal pointed out that the M. A. O. F. E. S. W., according to its own official reports, had sold $40.86 worth of literature in 1905, $13.50 worth in 1906 and $12.30 worth in 1907, and that in 1906 the total receipts were $2,907, of which $2,018 were expended on salaries.[81][Pg 274]

1908. The State annual meeting was held in Boston October 27, 28. Mrs. Mead presided and Mrs. Ethel Snowden of England was the chief speaker. There was a reception to Mrs. Howe, with addresses by Mrs. Maud Howe Elliott, Mrs. Carota Von Koch of Sweden and Mrs. Howe. Miss Jane Addams gave suffrage lectures this year at Radcliffe, Smith, Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley colleges and Boston University, arranged by the College Equal Suffrage League, with large audiences and much enthusiasm. Mrs. Snowden spoke for the State association at Faneuil Hall and a reception was given by the College and Boston suffrage associations. Another large suffrage meeting in Faneuil Hall was addressed by Professor Charles Zueblin. Mrs. Park and Mrs. Eager held a series of meetings in Berkshire county, arousing much interest. At the suffrage booth in the Boston Food Fair, in charge of the Newton League, 6,255 names were added to the enrollment. The association by this time had more than 100 local branches. This year 145 labor unions endorsed equal suffrage. The association carried on a "poster campaign," putting up posters in towns and at county fairs. Mrs. FitzGerald composed the inscriptions and Mrs. George F. Lowell with a group of friends put them up. At the Biennial of the General Federation of Women's Clubs held in Boston every mention of suffrage was cheered and no one got such an ovation as Mrs. Howe, the fraternal delegate from the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

1909. The College Equal Suffrage League of Massachusetts attained a membership of 320 this year and a suffrage club was formed at Radcliffe College. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology any notices put up by the suffragists were at once torn down. The State annual convention was held in Boston October 22, 23, with the evening meeting in Tremont Temple, and Miss Blackwell was elected president. For the first time the report of the Legislative Committee was given by Mrs. Teresa A. Crowley, who continued to be its chairman for years.[Pg 275]

Ex-Governor Long presided at a memorial meeting for Henry B. Blackwell, with addresses by Edwin D. Mead, Julia Ward Howe, the Rev. Charles G. Ames, Professor Sumichrast, Moses H. Gulesian, Francis J. Garrison, James H. Stark of the Victorian Club, Meyer Bloomfield and Mrs. Isabel C. Barrows. Mr. Blackwell was called by Mrs. Catt "one of the world's most heroic men." He was the only man of large abilities who devoted his life to securing equal rights for women. In his youth a reward of $10,000 was offered for his head at a public meeting in the South because of his leading part in the rescue of a young slave girl. He made his first speech for woman's rights at a suffrage convention in Cleveland in 1853. Two years later he married Lucy Stone. She had meant never to marry but to devote herself wholly to the women's cause but he promised to devote himself to the same cause. He was the unpaid secretary of the American Woman Suffrage Association for twenty years, of the Massachusetts association for thirty years and of the New England association for nearly forty years. He traveled all over the country organizing suffrage societies, getting up conventions and addressing Legislatures. He attended the Republican national conventions year after year trying to get a suffrage plank and in 1872 secured a mild one in the national platform and a strong one in that of Massachusetts. He took part in constitutional amendment campaigns in Kansas, Vermont, Colorado, Michigan, Rhode Island and South Dakota. In 1889, when Washington, Montana and North Dakota were about to enter the Union as States, he attended the constitutional convention of each to urge equal suffrage. He was an editor of the Woman's Journal from its founding in 1870 till his death. An able writer, an eloquent speaker, he was widely beloved for his kindness, humor and geniality.

Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the "militant" suffragettes of England, visited Boston this year. She was met at the station by the suffragists with automobiles and flags and was taken through the streets to the headquarters—Boston's first suffrage procession—and later addressed in Tremont Temple a huge audience, critical at first, highly enthusiastic at the close. A reception was given by prominent suffragists to Miss Ethel M.[Pg 276] Arnold of England, and there were lectures by her and Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman; a series of "petition teas" and meetings addressed by Dr. Shaw, Miss Leonora O'Reilly, a labor leader of New York; Judge Ben Lindsey of Denver; Charles Edward Russell, the Rev. Thomas Cuthbert Hall; and by Mrs. Snowden, Dr. Stanton Coit and the Misses Rendell and Costello, all of England.

In June the first of the open-air meetings that later became so important a feature of the campaign was held on the Common at Bedford. The speakers were Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Leonora S. Little, Mrs. Mary Ware Dennett, Mrs. Katharine Dexter McCormick and Mrs. Crowley. The attendance was small; people were shy at first of seeming to countenance such an innovation but the crowds grew as the meetings continued and it was found to be the best if not the only way to reach the mass of voters. A summer campaign of 97 open-air meetings was held, the speakers traveling mainly by trolley, covering a large part of the State and reaching about 25,000 persons.[82] Suffrage buttons and literature were distributed, posters put up, and sometimes mammoth kites flown to advertise the meetings. Mrs. H. S. Luscomb had presented a kite big enough to hold up a banner six feet wide by forty deep. The campaigners were resourceful. At Nantasket, when forbidden to speak on the beach, they went into the water with their Votes for Women banner and spoke from the sea to the audience on the shore.

1910. Among the speakers at the Festival in May were Mrs. Frances Squire Potter, former Professor of English at the University of Minnesota; Professor Max Eastman of Columbia University, secretary of the New York Men's League for Woman Suffrage, and Professor Henry S. Nash of the Episcopal Theological School. At the State annual meeting in Lowell, October 27, 28, Philip Snowden, M. P., of England was a speaker. In connection with the convention Mrs. Park spoke before the Woman's Club; Rabbi Fleischer before the Board of Trade; Miss Alice Carpenter at the Congregational Church in Tewksbury;[Pg 277] four factory meetings were held; the suffrage slides were exhibited twelve times at the Merrimac Theater; Miss Foley and Miss Anne Withington addressed seven trade unions; 27,000 fliers were distributed and four street meetings held.

An eight-weeks' summer campaign of open-air meetings was conducted through the great industrial cities of eastern Massachusetts, with from four to six regular and occasional special speakers. Three Englishwomen, Miss Margaret G. Bondfield, Miss M. M. A. Ward and Miss Emily Gardner, reinforced the American speakers, Miss Foley, Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Glendower Evans, Miss Emily Pierson of Connecticut, and others. In each city, besides the outdoor meetings, there was some special feature; in two, garden parties; in Brockton, the women joined the circus parade, driving in a decorated team and giving out fliers. In Fall River they got two popular stores to wrap a colored flier in every parcel. In Taunton they had an evening band concert on the Common, accompanied with red fire and speeches. In Lawrence Miss Foley made a balloon ascension and showered down rainbow literature upon an eager crowd. Several times the women spoke from the vaudeville stage and showed colored lantern slides. They spoke in parks and pleasure resorts and outside the factories as well as in the streets and at one Yiddish and one French meeting. They held 200 meetings and talked to about 60,000 persons. Afterwards they held outdoor meetings in and about Boston and sent an automobile of speakers and literature to the Aviation Meet. A fall campaign of open-air speaking followed. Mrs. Park came home from a tour around the world and lectured on the women of different countries. Mrs. A. Watson-Lister of Australia and Mrs. Dora B. Montefiore of England addressed a number of meetings.

A week of meetings took place in Springfield, State speakers cooperating with the local suffragists, among them Mrs. Henry Phillips, president of the suffrage league; Mrs. McDuffie and Mr. Myrick, publisher of the "Farm and Home" and "Good Housekeeping." Headquarters were opened in a vacant store with daily meetings and teas; addresses were given before the Board of Trade, the teachers, the Woman's, the Mothers', the Socialist and the College Clubs, the Y. M. C. A. training school and[Pg 278] other groups; colored slides of suffrage events were shown and prominent local women opened their homes for social affairs. Much interest was aroused and permanent Springfield headquarters were opened soon afterwards. Boston started to organize by wards and invitations were printed in various languages. The first meeting, in Ward 8, arranged by Mrs. Leonard, was attended by nearly 1,000 women and there were speeches in English and Yiddish. A class to train suffrage speakers was started. A suffrage club was organized in the College of Liberal Arts of Boston University. The suffragists sent Alfred H. Brown to help the campaign in the State of Washington.

The general sorrow for the death of Julia Ward Howe on October 17 brought support to the suffrage movement. In her later years people had revered her as they revered the flag and all her great influence had been placed unreservedly at the service of this cause. A large memorial meeting was held in Faneuil Hall on December 16.

1911. The State convention was held in Boston October 27, 28, the evening meeting at Tremont Temple addressed by Dr. Shaw and Professor Edward Howard Griggs. The Boston association raised $1,100 for the campaigns in Oregon, Kansas, Wisconsin and Michigan and gave Mrs. Park's services to Ohio and Michigan. A Men's League for Woman Suffrage was organized at Harvard University under the presidency of A. S. Olmstead. At the meeting of the New England Association Miss Blackwell was elected president. Mrs. Howe had held the office twenty-six years.

Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, one of the few surviving pioneers, passed away this year. He had been a champion of women's rights for more than sixty years. When a young minister he spoke for the cause. He signed the Call for the First National Woman's Rights Convention in 1850. He married Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell in 1855 and prefixed an approving foreword to their published protest against the inequalities of the marriage laws. He took part in organizing the American Woman Suffrage Association, was its president for a year and an officer in the New England and Massachusetts associations until his death. For years he was a great power as a[Pg 279] lecturer and writer and addressed suffrage conventions in many States. Beginning with 1870 he contributed a long series of brilliant editorials to the Woman's Journal. He wrote four books on the woman question and gave 1,000 books about women to the Boston Public Library. The founder of Smith College said she was led to leave her fortune for that purpose by reading his article, Ought Women Learn the Alphabet?

1912. The State annual meeting was held in Boston, October 11, with an unusually large attendance from western Massachusetts. In 1913 it met in Boston May 27, 28. The executive secretary, Mrs. Marion Booth Kelley, reported that 111 indoor meetings and 45 outdoor meetings had been held in the past six months. It was voted to have a suffrage parade in Boston the following spring. There was much doubt of the propriety of this but when a rising vote of the women present was taken to see how many would march almost the whole convention rose.

1914. The State annual meeting was held in Boston May 1 and 2, and again in 1915 on May 13-15. The latter opened with a brilliant banquet at the Hotel Somerset, attended by about 800. Mrs. Park presided and among the speakers were ex-Governor Bass of New Hampshire, ex-Governor Foss of Massachusetts, Dr. Hugh Cabot and Mrs. Judith W. Smith, aged 93. Suffrage clubs were reported at Wellesley, Smith and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, the last formed largely through Miss Mildred Blodgett, assistant professor of geology. A band concert and a mass meeting on the Common closed the convention.

1916. At the State annual meeting in Boston May 18, 19, dues were abolished and provision made for organizing the State along political party lines, as recommended by the National Association. Mrs. B. F. Pitman of Brookline gave a large reception. The treasurer reported receipts of $67,232, expenditures of $63,483.[83]

1917. At the annual State meeting on May 10 resolutions were adopted calling upon the 125,000 enrolled members to "show their patriotism by doing their utmost to help their country[Pg 280] and the world," especially along the five lines recommended by the National Suffrage Association; urging nation-wide prohibition as a war measure and commending the efforts to minimize moral dangers at the training camps; protesting against "any attempt to lower educational standards or to weaken the laws safeguarding the workers, especially women and children," because of the war emergency. The Twentieth Century Club rooms were crowded at the New England Conference and Festival. Miss Blackwell presided. A greeting from the National Association was brought by Mrs. Nettie Rogers Shuler, its corresponding secretary, and speakers were present from all the New England States. Pledges and a collection were taken for the Maine campaign and it was voted to give $2,000, a bequest from Miss Marian Shannon, to the National Association, to help it.

1918. At the winter business meeting held in Fitchburg February 26 Mrs. Pitman reported that more than $30,000 had been raised by the association for war work. The State annual meeting in Boston on May 24, 25 was crowded and exciting. A resolution pledging the association's support to the country in the war was passed by acclamation, and it responded to the request of Mrs. Catt, president of the National American Suffrage Association, to follow its program of war work. The convention voted with enthusiasm to take up the circulation of the national petitions for the Federal Amendment and also to give $600 to the National Association to finance an organizer in Oklahoma, where a suffrage campaign was in progress and the Massachusetts "antis" were financing the opposition. In the evening a magnificent meeting was held in the Opera House with Mrs. Grace A. Johnson presiding and addresses by Mrs. Catt and Dr. Shaw. The collection of $1,124 was given to the Red Cross.

On August 13 the State and Boston associations celebrated the centenary of Lucy Stone's birth by a luncheon at the Hotel Somerset, Mrs. Charles Sumner Bird presiding, with addresses by ex-Governor Walsh, the Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell, D. D., 93 years of age; Mrs. Judith W. Smith, almost 97; Miss Blackwell and Mrs. Maud Howe Elliott. Letters and telegrams of appreciation were received from President Wilson's secretary in his behalf; from Theodore Roosevelt, ex-Governor McCall,[Pg 281] Mrs. Catt, Mayor Andrew James Peters of Boston and many others. The fall meeting was held in Boston November 30, when Miss Mary Garrett Hay, national vice-president, spoke on the national suffrage situation and there were addresses by heads of civic and philanthropic organizations.

1919. The mid-winter meeting was held in Worcester February 15 and eight young girls presented to Miss Blackwell the national petition bearing 16,434 names, many more than the quota for this city. The State meeting was held May 21, 22, in Boston. While it was in session the news came that the Federal Suffrage Amendment had passed the U. S. House of Representatives. This called out great enthusiasm and it was voted to telegraph Mrs. Maud Wood Park: "Three cheers for our Congressional Chairman! Very proud that Mrs. Park is a Massachusetts woman!" The following Sunday the Boston association held a meeting in Tremont Theater to rejoice, with Samuel L. Powers, a prominent Republican lawyer, presiding, and addresses by Mrs. Park, Joseph Conry, a prominent Democrat, and Secretary of State Langtry for Governor Coolidge.

1920. The annual meeting was again held in Boston, May 27, 28, Mrs. Bird presiding. She stated that it was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Ward Howe, to whose work for suffrage and other good causes a heart-felt tribute was paid. Mrs. Bird presented Miss Blackwell with a laurel wreath as representing the pioneers and as having been at the head of the association when victory was won. As the complete ratification was almost at hand it was voted to take legal steps to dissolve the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association. Later it was decided, in accordance with the policy of the National Association, to continue it as a skeleton organization with the same officers until all possible need for it should be over. The State League of Women Voters was organized, with Mrs. George R. Fearing, Jr., as chairman and Miss Blackwell as honorary president, the delegates and members of the association enrolling in the new society. The New England Woman Suffrage Association never formally disbanded but simply ceased to meet.

From 1910 onward what had tended most to increase membership was the formation of the Woman Suffrage Party to work[Pg 282] as the State association, with a non-dues-paying membership of men and women, similar to the political parties, having district leaders, precinct captains and ward chairmen, strictly non-partisan and solely to promote woman suffrage. The first chairman was Mrs. Gertrude Halladay Leonard. A convention was held in Faneuil Hall on March 5, 1912, at which time twenty-three of the twenty-six Boston wards had been organized, also Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Newton and many other cities and towns. The membership was 25,000 and by the referendum campaign in 1915 it had advanced to about 250,000.

This change in the type of organization was indicative of a change in the whole suffrage movement. It was recognized that more widely diffused education on the subject was needed and that suffrage must become a political issue. The suffrage leagues were changed into political district organizations; the parlor meeting gave place to the outdoor meeting; State headquarters were moved from No. 6 Marlboro Street, a residential section, to 585 Boylston Street in a business building, and local societies were kept in touch. Every effort was made to reach labor unions and other organizations of men with speakers and educational propaganda and to carry information to the man in the street, who often had never heard of the Woman Suffrage Association. The executive board met every two weeks and later every week or oftener. Mrs. Page, its chairman, was followed in 1911 by Mrs. Marion Booth Kelley; in 1912 by Mrs. Gertrude B. Newell, and in May, 1913, Mrs. Leonard was elected and served to October, 1917. Upon her resignation Mrs. Grace A. Johnson was chosen, who was succeeded by Mrs. Charles Sumner Bird.

In 1912 a new State organization, called the Political Equality Union, was formed, with Miss Mabel Gillespie as chairman, Mrs. FitzGerald as secretary and Dr. Lily Burbank as treasurer, which made a special effort to reach the labor men and women. As the vote on the constitutional amendment approached, in order that there might be no overlapping, ten per cent. of the State was assigned as a field for the work of the Union and the rest for that of the State association. The two cooperated in legislative work. The Union disbanded in November, 1916, advising its members to join the State association.[Pg 283]

Campaign. Through the campaign year of 1914, preceding the vote on a constitutional amendment, which had been submitted by the Legislature, the association kept five salaried speakers continually in the field, besides numerous volunteers. On the list of the speakers' bureau there were 125 women and 76 men. The State and the Boston headquarters had a large office force, and in the field were nine organizers, giving full or half time. The State College Equal Suffrage League handled the retail literature for the association and took charge of the office hospitality. The Equal Franchise Committee, Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw, president, had an important part in the campaign. The Men's League for Woman Suffrage was reorganized with Oakes Ames as president and Joseph Kelley as secretary. The Harvard Men's League cooperated in many ways. The use of one of the University Halls for a speech by Mrs. Pankhurst was refused to it, much to the chagrin of liberal-minded graduates and undergraduates, but she held a very successful meeting in a nearby hall. The use of a hall was refused also for Mrs. Florence Kelley, although she had spoken at Harvard on other subjects. In order to avoid further trouble the Harvard Corporation voted that thereafter no woman should be allowed to lecture in the college halls except by its special invitation. This rule was abandoned later and Miss Helen Todd of California spoke on suffrage in Emerson Hall before a large audience.

Other suffrage organizations sprang up or were enlarged, the Writers' League, the Players' League, etc. Local branches were built up rapidly under the leadership of Mrs. Pinkham, State organization chairman, and by the spring of 1914 there were 138 leagues and committees. Just before the vote in November, 1915, these had grown to 200. Monthly conferences of the district leaders were held at State headquarters. A systematic effort was made to build up strong suffrage organizations in the cities outside of Boston. Workers and speakers were sent through the State to help the local workers. In 1914 a series of two-day conferences was held in eleven of the sixteen counties, the first day devoted to discussion of work with local leaders and the second to holding often as many as twenty meetings by a corps[Pg 284] of speakers, at factories, stores, men's clubs, labor unions, church organizations, on the street, etc.

To educate the men who were to vote upon the question, a State-wide canvass of voters was begun by Mrs. Crowley, which was carried on up to election day. A body of from five to seven intelligent women, informed on the question, re-enforced by local volunteers, called from house to house, talking to the voter or his wife, leaving suffrage literature and if possible getting the voter's signature to a card pledge to vote yes. These canvassers moved from city to city and from town to town, reaching from one-half to two-thirds of the registered voters, averaging about 1,500 calls per week and leaving the rest of the work to be carried on by local women. By election day over 250,000 voters had been interviewed, 100,000 had signed pledge cards and more than 50,000 others had expressed themselves as favorable.

Much of this work was made possible by the activities of the Ways and Means Committee of the State Association, under the chairmanship of Mrs. B. F. Pitman, who, during the many years that she served in that capacity, repeatedly rescued the association from the verge of debt and filled up its treasury. Her committee accomplished this by a Bay State Bazaar held every year at the Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston; by balls, theatrical performances, outdoor fêtes, pageants and other entertainments.

As an extra provision for the campaign of 1915, the Bay State Finance Committee was formed in 1914 by Mrs. Park, chairman, which with the State association raised and spent about $54,000 in the campaign. This was exclusive of the money spent by the various leagues and branches throughout the State, including $10,820 by the Boston Association for Good Government.

For two years educational work was pushed in every way. It was carried into the country districts by systematic trolley and automobile trips, parties of workers carrying out well planned itineraries in different parts of the State, involving usually from two to four open-air meetings per day. Audiences were secured in all the small and scattered places, even the most remote, by postal notices mailed from State headquarters several days in advance to every registered voter.

Among the means employed to draw attention were huge[Pg 285] "Votes for Women" kites, voiceless speeches (a series of placards held up to view in a store window or other public place), distribution of literature in the baseball parks; a suffrage automobile or a section in the parades on Labor Day, Columbus Day, etc.; a pilgrimage to Worcester on the anniversary of the First National Woman's Rights Convention, led by Miss Florence Luscomb in old-fashioned costume, in Lucy Stone's carriage; the running of propaganda films in the moving pictures and the placing of 100,000 brightly painted tin Blue Birds in conspicuous places throughout the State, each bird bearing the words "Votes for Women, Nov. 2, 1919." There were speakers and debates at men's clubs, church organizations, labor unions, in factories, granges, at cattle shows and at conventions of all sorts.

Large indoor meetings were held, addressed by distinguished visitors to the State, among them Philip Snowden and Mrs. Snowden, Senator Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado, U. S. Senators Clapp of Minnesota, Kenyon of Iowa and Thomas of Colorado. Mrs. Pankhurst and her daughter Sylvia spoke in Boston and Cambridge with great success. Louis D. Brandeis, afterwards Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, came out for woman suffrage. In Boston, under the direction of Miss Mabel Caldwell Willard, innumerable street meetings were held for a year before the vote, with mass meetings every Sunday in the Tremont Theater and on the historic Common.

Press material was supplied to city and country papers. The newspapers as a whole grew more favorable as time went by but their editorial pages were much more friendly than the news columns, which frequently carried stories that were unfair or wholly untrue. The Boston Sunday Herald printed regular suffrage notes for some months before the vote and once the daily edition gave the suffragists a full page. The Boston American let them issue a special supplement, in charge of Mrs. Jennette A. S. Jeffrey and Mrs. Leonard, and this example was followed by other papers in the State. As always, the Woman's Journal did much to hold together, encourage and stimulate the workers. A special committee distributed more than 100,000 copies of suffrage speeches made in Congress and more than 300,000 pieces of other literature within the last few months before the election.[Pg 286]

The most impressive publicity put forth by the State association was the two parades in Boston; the first held May 2, 1914, and the second, Oct. 16, 1915, just before the election. The first one caused a sensation. It contained about 12,000 women, with a small section of men, and was conducted under the chairmanship of Mrs. Leonard, with Mrs. Page, Mrs. Johnson and nine sub-committee chairmen. It was extremely well organized and the large mass of totally untrained marchers was handled so efficiently as to surprise all who saw it. Delegations from all over New England took part and one from Australia; women in national costumes; nurses in uniform; delegations from all the women's colleges in the State and men and women from the universities; also a singing chorus trained by Dr. Archibald Davidson, Jr., of Appleton Chapel, Harvard. In the procession were a son, three grandsons, a granddaughter and two granddaughters-in-law of William Lloyd Garrison; the daughter of Abby Kelley Foster, the daughter-in-law of Angelina Grimké and Theodore Weld and the daughter of Lucy Stone and Henry B. Blackwell. The Concord banner was carried by the grandniece of Louisa M. Alcott. Arrangements had been made for a delegation from the Boston Central Labor Union but when the time came the sole marcher to appear was the president, who courageously marched alone carrying the banner of the union.

The second, called the Victory Parade, was even more successful. It included about 15,000 marchers with a substantial men's section and was viewed by 500,000 people. It was reviewed by Governor David I. Walsh in front of the State House and Mayor James Michael Curley in front of the City Hall and was followed by a tremendous mass meeting in Mechanics' Building, addressed by the Mayor and others. Parades were held also in other large cities.

The State Federation of Women's Clubs at its annual meeting in 1915 endorsed woman suffrage, on motion of Mrs. Herbert J. Gurney, by a vote of 203 to 99. The extreme to which bitter feeling ran was shown by a widely advertised attempt to organize a Non-partisan League among the club women in consequence but only a few hundred joined out of a federation membership of 65,000. It had been endorsed by the General Federation and[Pg 287] by 28 State federations but in no other had the defeated minority undertaken to organize another society.

Thirty county fairs out of thirty-seven were covered systematically. Special help in the campaign work was given by Ohio, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The question of woman suffrage was presented before 621 organizations of men through the efforts of a committee formed for that purpose, under Mrs. Evelyn Peverly Coe's chairmanship. Women attended nearly all the primaries and town meetings, distributing literature and urging the men to vote yes.

As the election approached the work along all lines grew more intensive. Well-organized victory automobile tours ran steadily throughout the summer and fall, in the eastern part of the State under the direction of Mrs. Walter G. Morey and in the western under Miss Luscomb. Meetings were held at the fashionable hotels on the north and south shores and outdoor meetings at the popular beach resorts. Comparatively few were held indoors but 1,675 were supplied with speakers. Big meetings were addressed in Boston and other large cities by U. S. Senator William E. Borah and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw. An elaborate luncheon was given by the Men's League and the State association at the Hotel Bellevue to the Governors' conference held in Boston. Valuable help at this time was rendered by Governor Walsh and the favorable opinions of the Governors of equal suffrage States were published at length in the Boston papers by the Men's League. At the last moment mass meetings were held in Boston at Symphony Hall and in the largest halls of many other cities. A symbolical and picturesque flag-raising took place on Boston Common. A last-minute circular was sent to each of the State's 600,000 registered voters. The day before the vote the railroad stations in Boston were visited morning and evening and thousands of pieces of literature were given to the commuters.

On election day, Nov. 2, 1915, practically all the polling places in the State were covered by 8,000 women, who stood for hours holding aloft placards reading, "Show your Faith in the Women of Massachusetts; vote 'Yes' on Woman Suffrage." And yet after all this strenuous effort and self-sacrificing devotion the amendment was defeated by a vote of 295,489 to 163,406, a[Pg 288] majority of 132,000. The vote in Boston was: Noes, 53,654; ayes, 31,428; opposing majority, 22,226.

Louis D. Brandeis said in an address on Columbus Day: "I doubt if there has been carried on ever in Massachusetts—certainly not in my lifetime—a campaign which for intelligence, devotion and intensity surpassed the campaign of the women for suffrage. It should silence any doubt as to their fitness for enfranchisement." The suffragists, however, had to contend with serious and insuperable difficulties. The population of the State had changed radically since the early days when Massachusetts had been the starting point of liberal movements. For more than half a century its most progressive citizens had been going west and their places had been filled by wave after wave of immigration from Europe, largely ignorant and imbued with the Old World ideas as to the subjection of women. The religious question also entered in, and, while the Catholic Church took no stand as to woman suffrage, many Catholics believed that it would be a step toward Socialism, against which the church was making a vigorous contest. On the other hand, many Protestants believed that the Catholic women's votes would be unduly influenced by the priests.

Massachusetts was the home of the oldest and most influential anti-suffrage organization of women in the United States under the leadership of Mrs. Charles Eliot Guild, Miss Mary Ames, Mrs. James Codman, Mrs. Charles P. Strong and others. Few of its members did any active work but they were connected through the men of their families with the richest, most powerful and best organized groups of men in the State, who worked openly or behind the scenes against woman suffrage. They had an influence out of all proportion to their numbers. Most of the literature, most of the money and a liberal supply of speakers for anti-suffrage campaigns all over the country had emanated from this association. While always posing as a woman's protest, the real strength of the movement was in the men.

In May, 1912, a Man's Anti-Suffrage Association had been organized, its Executive Committee consisting of ten lawyers, one cotton broker, one Technology Professor, the treasurer of Harvard College and the treasurer of the Copley Society. Other[Pg 289] societies were organized later. All through the summer and fall of 1915 the women's and the men's organizations and various groups and combinations of men, who for one reason or another did not want equal suffrage, worked publicly and privately in every conceivable way against the amendment. They held meetings, mostly indoor, sent out speakers, advertised in street cars, prepared and mailed to every voter at great expense an elaborate pamphlet, The Case Against Woman Suffrage, full of misrepresentations, and did all an active opposition could do, and they had an efficient and highly paid Publicity Committee. The liquor interests fought the amendment from start to finish. Pink slips were passed out in saloons on election day, saying, "Good for two drinks if woman suffrage is defeated."

The vote was curiously uniform. Every part of the State gave an adverse majority; so did every city and town except Tewksbury and Carver; and generally in about the same proportion—places with strong suffrage organizations and places with none; whether the work done in them had been much or little; even towns where a majority of the voters had signed pledge cards promising to vote for the amendment voted adversely and in about the same ratio. The vote was the largest ever cast on any amendment in the State. By appealing adroitly to all kinds of prejudices, as on the religious question, the opposition got out an enormous number of men who generally did not vote at all.

Both sides were required by law to file at the State House a record of their campaign expenses. An analysis of the lists showed that the bulk of the anti-suffrage campaign fund was made up of personal contributions, four-fifths of them from men, and more than three-fifths of the total from 135 men, whose average donation was $235. The slogan of their campaign had been that women did not want to vote. The official figures showed that those who claimed to speak for "80 per cent. of the women" received 80 per cent. of their contributions from men, and not from the rank and file of men but chiefly from bankers, brokers and powerful directors of the monied section of Boston. The bulk of the suffrage campaign fund came from fairs, sales and entertainments and of the personal contributions more than four-fifths were from women, their average donation being $17.[Pg 290]

After the election in 1915 there was started a State branch of the Congressional Union, later called the National Woman's Party, formed some years before to push the Federal Amendment. It was under the leadership of Mrs. Morey, chairman, and other women most of whom had been active with the State association during the campaign. The defeat of the State amendment caused the work of all organizations to be directed toward the submission of the Federal Amendment.

At the annual meeting of the State association in May, 1916, a budget of $30,000 was adopted and $20,000 toward it was pledged on the spot. Through the preceding winter the association had five paid organizers, two of them working in Boston, and a large number of volunteer field workers, at least 230 in Boston alone. Besides the chairmen for the sixteen congressional districts, each of the forty senatorial districts had its chairman, all working under the State Chairman of Organization, Mrs. Sara S. Gilson. She was followed by Mrs. Mary P. Sleeper and by Mrs. Elizabeth Tilton, who formed an Advisory Council of 100 influential men in preparation for the campaign to ratify the Federal Amendment.

After the United States entered the World War in 1917 the suffrage organizations, State and local, devoted their efforts largely to various forms of war work, called for by the Government. They served on all committees, took part in all "drives," sold Liberty Bonds and continued their service till the last demand had been met.

Legislative Action. The Massachusetts Legislature began in 1869 to grant hearings to women asking for the franchise and it continued to do so every year thereafter. These hearings usually crowded the largest committee room at the State House, the throng often extending far out into the hall. Able arguments were presented by eminent men and women but it was impossible to obtain favorable action. There was at least one hearing every year and often several on different measures. In later years they were generally conducted by Mrs. Maud Wood Park, Miss Amy F. Acton, a young woman lawyer, or Miss Alice Stone Blackwell for the petitioners; and by Thomas Russell, Aaron H. Latham, Charles R. Saunders or Robert Luce, as[Pg 291] attorney for the Anti-Suffrage Association. Miss Blackwell usually replied for the petitioners. In recent years the suffragists had influential politicians of both parties to speak at the hearings, thus making woman suffrage a political question.

1901. The State association asked for the Municipal and Presidential franchise and for the submission to the voters of a constitutional amendment giving full suffrage. At the hearing on the latter, held February 18, the crowd broke all records and members of the committee who came late had to reach their seats by walking on top of the long table. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt was among the speakers.[84] The measure was defeated March 11 by a vote, including pairs, of 156 to 53. Individuals petitioned for Municipal suffrage for women taxpayers, which was referred to the next Legislature without a roll call.

1902. The association's petition for a constitutional amendment was debated in the House on March 5 and defeated by a vote (including pairs) of 153 to 61. Petitions from individuals for Municipal suffrage for taxpaying women and that women qualified to vote for school committee might vote in the primaries on the nominations for it and a petition of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union that women might vote on licenses, were all rejected, after lively hearings. The Anti-Suffrage Association opposed all of them.

The great legislative triumph of 1902 was the passage of the Equal Guardianship bill. Ever since Lucy Stone in 1847 began to urge the amendment of the old law, which gave the father[Pg 292] absolute control, the suffragists had endeavored to have it changed. Bill after bill, drawn by Samuel E. Sewall and others, had been introduced and rejected and it required a tragedy to obtain a new law. Mrs. Naramore of Coldbrook, Mass., went insane and killed her six young children when she learned that their father intended to give them away and could legally do so. This deeply stirred the Rev. Charles H. Talmage, who had conducted the funeral service, with the six little coffins ranged before the pulpit. He made a careful inquiry into all the circumstances and gave a full account of them in the Boston Herald of April 15, 1901 (republished in the Woman's Journal of April 27). He gave his time and the State Suffrage Association paid his expenses while he went through the State enlisting the support of different organizations of women to secure a change in the law. Mr. Blackwell also put in much time for this purpose.

When the Equal Guardianship bill was introduced by Representative George H. Fall of Malden it was backed not only by the suffrage association but by the State Federation of Women's Clubs, the State W. C. T. U., the Women's Relief Corps, the Boston Children's Friend Society and more than a hundred other organizations, aggregating 34,000 women. Among them the Anti-Suffrage Association was not included. For six years it had been circulating, under its official imprint, a leaflet against the proposal to give mothers equal custody and control of the children and in defense of the law as it stood.

The Committee on Probate and Chancery reported adversely by 8 to 3. The outlook for its passage seemed so dark that Mr. Fall came to the Woman's Journal office and asked if it might not be better to drop it and await a more propitious time. Miss Blackwell urged him to push it to a test. On May 27 it was debated in the House. Representative Marshall of Gloucester said that the Probate Judges were all opposed to it; that its advocates were "sentimentalists" and that "it would create strife, separation and divorce." He added: "Those who appeared for it before the committee were practically the same crowd that appeared for woman suffrage." Representative Sleeper exclaimed: "If you want to enact legislation which will disrupt the home and sunder the tenderest and most sacred relations,[Pg 293] pass this bill!" The House rejected the committee's adverse report by a viva voce vote and the next day passed the bill without further debate. It passed the Senate by a large majority. Thanks and praises were showered upon Representative Fall, who modestly said that two-thirds of the credit for working up the case belonged to his wife, Mrs. Anna Christy Fall.

1903. The bill for taxpayers' Municipal suffrage was defeated February 5 without a roll call; the association's petition for a constitutional amendment by 99 to 87.

1904. Governor John L. Bates recommended woman suffrage in his Message. The association asked for Municipal suffrage for women having the same qualifications required of men. The bill was debated in the House on February 16 and defeated without a roll call. The bill to let women vote on nominations for school trustees was defeated by 62 to 30.

1905. The association's petition for a constitutional amendment was rejected without a division and without even discussion. Petitions were rejected for License suffrage, for a vote on school nominations and to enable women to vote for the appointing officer if the Boston school board should be made appointive instead of elective. The association always joined with other societies in asking for measures for the public welfare.

1906. The association's petition for a constitutional amendment was debated March 23 and defeated without a roll call. One headed by John Golden, president of the Textile Workers, for Municipal suffrage for wage-earning women was also defeated without a division, as were the petitions for License suffrage and for a vote on school nominations.

1907. The constitutional amendment was debated February 20 and defeated by 125 to 14. The Good Templars asked for License suffrage for women. At the hearing the bill was supported by representatives of the Anti-Saloon League, the W. C. T. U., the Christian Endeavorers, etc., and opposed by the Anti-Suffrage Association and the attorney of the Wine and Spirits Wholesale Dealers' Association. A bill requiring that the same measures be taken to keep the names of women voters (school) on the register as the names of men failed to pass.

1908. Municipal suffrage for all women, asked for by the[Pg 294] association, was vigorously debated and voted down by 99 to 30. Municipal suffrage for women taxpayers, asked for by individuals, was defeated without a roll call.

1909. At the hearing on February 23 the Boston Herald, which was not in favor of equal suffrage, estimated that 2,000 women besieged the State House. They crowded the corridors and the large portico until two great overflow meetings were held in the open air at either end of the broad stairway leading up to the entrance. Later the overflow meeting moved on to the Common. The huge crowd of women made a deep impression and was largely featured in the press, which said that nothing like it had ever been seen in Boston.[85] The hearing was conducted for the petitioners by Mrs. Crowley and for the "antis" by Mr. Saunders. He was so impressed by the crowd that his usual sneering and jeering manner was wholly changed. The suffrage speakers were Dr. Shaw, John F. Tobin, president of the Boot and Shoe Workers' Union; Rabbi Charles Fleischer, Miss Josephine Casey, secretary of the Women's Trade Union League; Henry Abrahams of the Central Labor Union; Miss Rose Brennan of Fall River, Miss Blackwell, Miss Eleanor Rendell of England, Winfield Tuck and Mrs. Belle Davis. Mrs. Gorham Dana, Professor Sedgwick and Mrs. George spoke for the "antis." Mrs. Julia Ward Howe and Ex-Governor Bates, who were to have spoken for suffrage, could not get into the room.[86] The constitutional amendment was debated March 23. The galleries were reserved for women, yet many were turned away. The vote stood 171 noes to 54 ayes, including 11 pairs.

1910. The hearing February 23 on a constitutional amendment was unusually impressive. It was held in the evening to enable women busy by day to attend. In the past two or three members of the Legislature not on the committee had sometimes[Pg 295] dropped in. This year about sixty were present. Mrs. Crowley and Mrs. Luce conducted the hearing for the two sides. The petitioners had arranged delegations representing different groups of women—mothers, home-makers, leisure women, lawyers, mission and church workers, artists, authors and journalists, doctors and nurses, Socialists, W. C. T. U., the "unrepresented" (widows and single women), business women, trade unions, teachers, social workers, taxpayers, saleswomen, clerks and stenographers and college women. These 1,500 or more marched to the State House from Ford Hall, each group under its own banner, and presented themselves before the committee in turn, the spokeswoman of each group telling briefly why she, and women like her, wanted the ballot. Then they went over to Ford Hall, where a big rally was held and the main address was made by Mrs. Fanny Garrison Villard. An overflow meeting was held on the State House steps addressed by Edwin D. Mead and others. In order to line up the labor vote in the Legislature, resolutions by different labor unions, signed by their secretaries, were sent to each legislator, under the direction of Mrs. Page. The measure was defeated March 31 by 148 to 47.

1911. For the first time in many years, the Legislative Committee of the State association, Mrs. Crowley, chairman, appeared, before the Resolutions Committee of the political parties to urge the adoption of a suffrage plank. The Democratic party inserted one favoring the submission of the question to the voters; the Republican party ignored it. The legislators were interviewed both at the State House and by representative suffragists within their districts, and they received suffrage literature. The hearing on February 23 was unusually successful from a political and publicity standpoint. It was conducted by Mrs. Crowley and was addressed by Mrs. Park and Mrs. Katharine Dexter McCormick; John Sherman Weaver, representing the State branch of the American Federation of Labor, and Henry Abrahams for the Boston Central Labor Union. Sylvia Pankhurst addressed the committee in a simple and effective way. Two of the opposition speakers were Mrs. George and Professor Sedgwick. The debate was spirited and was conducted for the suffragists by prominent Senators and Representatives. Four members spoke in opposition.[Pg 296] The vote in the House was ayes, 69, noes, 161; in the Senate, ayes, 6, noes, 31. During all these years a quiet but effective opposition had been working at the State House under the direction of Charles R. Saunders, legislative counsel for the Anti-Suffrage Association.

One of the most significant features in the fall of 1911 was the political work of Miss Margaret Foley, as it marked the beginning of a new type of effort. She had made a special trip to England the year before with Miss Florence Luscomb and Miss Alice Carpenter to observe the methods of the English suffragettes, who were then receiving great publicity. After her return she began by attending with other women the political rallies of the various candidates for the State Legislature and at the close of each rally asking the candidate how he stood on the question of Votes for Women. By her knowledge of crowd psychology and gift as a speaker, she was able not only to handle but to win the roughest crowd to the consternation of the candidates. When the candidates for Governor started on their campaign, Miss Foley, with a group of workers, followed the Republican candidate in a fast automobile, attended all his meetings, spoke to the crowd on suffrage after the Republican speeches were over and questioned the candidates for Governor and other State officers as to their stand on suffrage. This unique and somewhat sensational method was taken up with avidity by the newspapers, which gave it front-page articles with illustrations. Later she turned her attention to the Democratic candidates. This was kept up until election and suffrage facts and arguments were presented to thousands of voters who would never otherwise have heard them.

In 1912 the Legislative Committee, Miss Mary Gay, chairman, conducted the hearing on February 26. Afterwards a special letter of thanks was sent to Professor Lewis J. Johnson of Harvard and the Hon. Joseph Walker for their help at the hearing. The amendment had able support from members and the campaign work began to show results. The vote in the House was ayes, 96, noes, 116; in the Senate, aye's, 14, noes, 17.

In the autumn the method was introduced which many believed was ultimately responsible for putting the amendment through the Legislature. It was the defeating of individual[Pg 297] legislators who had been prominent opponents by making an active political campaign in their districts. The first was begun at the primaries against State Senator Roger Wolcott of Milton, chairman of the Constitutional Amendments Committee in the preceding Legislature. The women compiled a record of his negative votes on many liberal measures, including suffrage, and spread this record before his constituents. This work was done at the suggestion and under the direction of Mrs. Fitzgerald, who conducted open-air meetings in the district. The effort to defeat his renomination in the primary failed, however, largely through their inexperience. The Legislative Committee at the time consisted of Mrs. Crowley, chairman, Mrs. Leonard, Mrs. Park, Mrs. Page, Miss Foley and Mrs. Mary Agnes Mahan and remained substantially the same during the next two or three years, with the addition of Mrs. Marie Burress Currier, Miss Cora Start and Mrs. Evelyn Peverley Coe. Then they made a fight against Mr. Wolcott's election and by a most thorough campaign defeated him at the polls and a Democrat was returned from that district for the first time in many years.

This year marked the high tide of the Progressive party in Massachusetts. It had put a straight suffrage plank in its platform and its members in the Legislature were very helpful. The defeat of Wolcott, the publicity, the increasing vote in the Legislature and the general stirring of the suffrage question, had caused the opponents to fear that the constitutional amendment would be submitted. Consequently a bill was filed calling for another referendum like the one in 1895 which would have no effect after it was taken. The Executive Board of the State association protested against it but the situation looked extremely dark. Levi H. Greenwood, President of the Senate, and Grafton D. Cushing, Speaker of the House, were bitter opponents of woman suffrage and on the Committee on Constitutional Amendments there was only one avowed friend, Lewis H. Sullivan of Dorchester. The association's Legislative Committee worked strenuously to pledge votes against the bill. A visit to every editor in the city by Mrs. Page and Mrs. Crowley enlisted them against it and the numerous editorials that followed were sent day by day to the legislators: The bill's support dwindled, and on April 18[Pg 298] it was defeated in the House by 117 to 73, although the Speaker left the chair for the only time that session to argue in favor of it.

At the hearing on the submission of the constitutional amendment, Louis D. Brandeis, ex-Congressman Samuel L. Powers, Joseph Walker and Professor Albert Bushnell Hart of Harvard spoke in favor and letters were read from Samuel W. McCall, afterwards Republican Governor; Charles Sumner Bird, the Progressive leader, and Thomas W. Riley, an influential Democrat. For the first time since 1895 woman suffrage commanded a majority in the House, the vote standing ayes, 144, noes, 88, but this was not the necessary two-thirds and the Legislative Committee consented that it might be voted down in the Senate, provided the "straw" vote bill was defeated at the same time.

It now seemed practically certain that the amendment would pass the next Legislature. In the fall of 1913 the Boston Equal Suffrage Association defeated Walter R. Meins of the 21st Suffolk District; the Legislative Committee of the State Association defeated Representatives Butler of Lowell and Underhill of Somerville at the primaries, and Bliss of Malden and Greenwood, president of the Senate, at the election. This being the first time for many years that a Democrat had been returned from Greenwood's district, his defeat caused a sensation.

In 1914 the Progressive party, the State Federation of Labor, the Socialists and the State Suffrage Association all introduced suffrage measures. The Progressive and Democratic parties had planks in their platforms recommending the submission of the constitutional amendment to the voters and Governor Walsh was in favor of it. The suffragists were unable to get a plank in the Republican platform. For reasons of political expediency, Mrs. Crowley turned over the conduct of the hearing to John Weaver Sherman, representing the State Federation of Labor. There were speeches in favor by Guy A. Ham, chairman of the Resolutions Committee of the State Republican convention; Henry Sterling, representing the American Federation of Labor; Mrs. William Lloyd Garrison, Jr., Mrs. Pinkham and Mrs. Katherine Lent Stevenson, president of the W. C. T. U. Letters were read from ex-Governor Bates and Sherman K. Whipple, Republican and Democratic leaders. The Women's Political[Pg 299] Equality Union had speakers from the Textile Workers' Union of Boston and the unions of the telephone operators, candy-makers and street-car men. The debate in the House was successfully led by Sanford Bates, chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments. The resolution to submit the amendment passed by 168 to 39 in the House and 34 to 2 in the Senate, commanding the required two-thirds for the first time, but it had to pass a succeeding Legislature.

In 1915 the legislative work was less onerous and the amendment passed the House by 193 to 33, the Senate by 33 to 3 and was signed by Governor Walsh, who presented the pen to Mrs. Crowley. His signature was not necessary but he wished to show his approval.

Under the Corrupt Practices Act a political committee, so-called, of at least five men, had to be formed to handle the funds of any group that spent more than $20 to carry or defeat a constitutional amendment. A bill was passed which allowed women to form the committee in the case of the equal suffrage amendment and the following were named: Miss Blackwell, chairman; Mrs. Blanche Ames, treasurer; Mrs. Crowley, Mrs. Leonard and Miss Foley. The strenuous campaign and the defeat of the amendment after a struggle of more than half a century to have it submitted, have been described.

In 1916 no suffrage bill of any kind was presented to the Legislature by the State Association but it turned its attention to congressional work. This was skilfully conducted by Mrs. Grace A. Johnson, chairman; members of Congress were interviewed, letters and telegrams sent to the Congressional Judiciary Committee and delegates to the National party conventions were urged to support suffrage planks. When these planks were secured in the national platforms of all parties during the summer the victory was celebrated with a mass meeting in Faneuil Hall.

In 1917 Massachusetts held a Constitutional Convention. The Act calling it, in describing those to whom its recommendations should be submitted for ratification, used the word "people." A bill drawn by Mrs. Crowley was filed in the Legislature by the State Suffrage Association asking that women be considered people within the meaning of this Act. The Senate asked the[Pg 300] opinion of the State Supreme Court as to its constitutionality and she filed a brief. The Supreme Court decided adversely and in view of the rapid advance of the Federal Suffrage Amendment the association decided that no State amendment should be submitted by the convention.

The directions of the National Suffrage Association for congressional work were carried out. Federal Amendment meetings were held, thousands of letters sent to members of Congress from their districts and about 500 telegrams sent just before the vote was taken in 1918. The amendment lacked but one vote of passing the U. S. Senate and it became necessary to defeat at least one among the anti-suffrage Senators who were coming up for re-election, so it was decided to defeat Senator John W. Weeks in Massachusetts. His reactionary record was spread before the Republican voters by 370,000 circulars and advertisements in Republican papers. A special campaign among the working men was made by members of the Women's Trade Union League, under the leadership of Miss Mabel Gillespie, and among the Jewish voters, who were normally Republican, under the leadership of Mrs. Joseph Fels and Mrs. Lillian E. deHaas of New York. The great popularity of President Wilson at this time was of assistance and also that of the Democratic candidate for the Senate, ex-Governor Walsh. A special letter was sent to every listed member of the State association asking that at least one vote be secured against Mr. Weeks, with a spirited appeal by Mrs. Ames, who belonged to a prominent Republican family. Mr. Walsh was elected by about 20,000 majority, the first Democratic U. S. Senator from Massachusetts since the Civil War.

The Congressional Committee, Mrs. Ames, chairman, sent more than 5,000 letters and telegrams asking suffragists in the State to write and telegraph the Massachusetts Senators and members of Congress to vote for the Federal Amendment. Concentrated work was done upon three doubtful Representatives, one of whom was secured, Carter of Needham. This proved most fortunate as the House gave exactly the two-thirds vote.

The work done in 1918 on the great petition for the Federal Amendment was very successful despite the influenza epidemic. In Worcester, Springfield, Pittsfield and North Adams women[Pg 301] signed numbering more than 51 per cent. of the men's last vote for President and in Boston 62,000 names were secured or 60 per cent. of that vote. The anti-suffragists in twenty-four years had accumulated only a little over 40,000 signatures in the whole State, according to their own figures. In less than one year the suffragists obtained 70,792 in the above cities and over 100,000 in the State.

Ratification. When the Federal Amendment was submitted by Congress on June 4, 1919, the Legislative Committee of the State Association, Mrs. Anna C. M. Tillinghast, chairman, was expanded into a Ratification Committee. It had already polled the Legislature, which was in session. A hearing was held before the Federal Relations Committee conducted by Mrs. Tillinghast for the suffragists and by Mrs. Henry Preston White for the "antis," who asked for a referendum to the voters in place of ratification. The suffrage speakers were Frank B. Hall, chairman of the Republican State Committee; Joseph Walker, Progressive Republican; Josiah Quincy, Democrat, Joseph Walsh, Democrat, of the Senate; Mrs. Bird, Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Pinkham, who presented a petition of 135,000 names from representative sections of the Commonwealth; Mrs. Mary Thompson, representing the working women; Miss Margaret Foley, a prominent Catholic; a representative of the State W. C. T. U.; Charles J. Hodgson, legislative agent for the American Federation of Labor. The speakers for the Woman's Party were Mrs. Morey, Miss Betty Gram, Michael O'Leary, chairman of the Democratic State Committee, and Mrs. Louise Sykes. On the anti-suffrage side sixteen women representing the sixteen congressional districts told of their vote against suffrage in 1915. Miss Blackwell spoke in rebuttal for the suffragists, Miss Charlotte Rowe of Yonkers, N. Y., for the "antis." B. Loring Young, Republican floor leader in the House, acted as chairman of the suffrage Steering Committee in the House and Joseph Knox in the Senate. The committee reported in favor of ratification with two dissenting.

The debate in the House on June 25 was notable, about fifteen members speaking on each side. An amendment calling for a referendum was defeated by 166 to 67 and ratification carried by[Pg 302] 185 ayes to 47 noes. The Senate ratified by 34 ayes, 5 noes. Massachusetts was the eighth State to ratify. Mrs. Tillinghast expressed especial gratitude for the assistance given by Governor Calvin Coolidge, Lieutenant Governor Channing M. Cox, Edwin T. McKnight, President of the Senate, Joseph E. Warner, Speaker of the House, B. Loring Young, Republican, and William H. McDonnell, Democratic floor leader, Leland Powers of the House, Joseph Knox of the Senate and the chairmen of the Republican and Democratic State committees.

After women had been enfranchised the State and the Boston suffrage associations conducted citizenship schools in every county to instruct them in their new duties.

Laws. [The very complete digest of the legislation of the past twenty years in relation to women and children, especially to those in the industries, prepared by Mrs. Teresa A. Crowley, attorney at law, and filling nine typewritten pages, has to be omitted for lack of space.]


[79] The History is indebted for the first part of this chapter to Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, an officer of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1890 to 1912 inclusive; president of the New England Woman Suffrage Association from 1911, and president of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association almost continuously from 1909 to 1920; and for the second part of the chapter to Mrs. Teresa A. Crowley, chairman of the Legislative Committee of the State association from 1909 for many years.

[80] Later presidents were Mrs. Page, Mrs. Teresa A. Crowley, Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw and Mrs. J. Malcolm Forbes. When Mrs. Park was called to Washington to become national congressional chairman in 1916 Mrs. Wenona Osborne Pinkham succeeded her as executive secretary.

[81] At the annual meeting of the M. A. O. F. E. S. W. on May 1, officers were elected as follows: President, Mrs. G. Howland Shaw; vice-presidents, Mrs. J. H. Coolidge, Miss Anna L. Dawes, Mrs. Charles D. Homans, Miss Agnes Irwin, Mrs. Henry M. Whitney; corresponding secretary, Miss L. C. Post; recording secretary. Miss Elizabeth Johnson; treasurer, Mrs. James M. Codman; executive committee, the officers and Miss Sarah H. Crocker, Mrs. Gorham Dana, Mrs. Charles Eliot Guild, Miss Katherine E. Guild, Miss Elizabeth H. Houghton, Miss Sarah E. Hunt, Mrs. Francis C. Lowell, Mrs. J. H. Millet, Mrs. B. L. Robinson, Mrs. R. H. Saltonstall, Miss E. P. Sohier and Mrs. Henry M. Thompson.

[82] Additional speakers through the summer were Miss Margaret Foley, Miss Gertrude Y. Cliff, Miss Edith M. Haynes, Mrs. Marion Craig Wentworth, Miss Florence Luscomb, Miss Katherine Tyng, Miss Alfretta McClure and Miss Rosa Heinzen, the last four college girls.

[83] Much help was given for years by the steady financial support of Mrs. R. D. Evans, Mrs. Robert Gould Shaw and Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw. The last named paid the rent of the suffrage headquarters during many years and her heirs continued this assistance for some time after her death in 1917.

[84] Many of the same persons appeared at these hearings year after year. Among those not mentioned who spoke for suffrage between 1900 and 1910 were Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead, Henry B. Blackwell, the Rev. Charles G. Ames, Mrs. Fanny B. Ames, Miss Sarah Cone Bryant, the Rev. Charles F. Dole, Mrs. Anna Christy Fall, Mrs. Helen Campbell, Miss Mary Ware Allen, Miss Eva Channing, Mrs. Abby Morton Diaz, Miss Lillian Freeman Clarke, Mrs. Maud Howe Elliott, Frank B. Sanborn, Mrs. Eliza R. Whiting, Mrs. Mary Kenney O'Sullivan, Mrs. A. Watson Lister, of Australia; ex Governor John D. Long. Letters in favor were read from Professor Borden P. Bowne, of Boston University, U. S. Senator George F. Hoar, ex Governor George S. Boutwell, Dr. J. L. Withrow of Park Street Church, Congressman Samuel W. McCall, Professor W. O. Crosby of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mrs. Sarah Platt Decker, president of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, Mrs. May Alden Ward, president of the State Federation, Mrs. F. N. Shiek, president of the Wyoming Federation, and Judge Lindsey of the Denver Juvenile Court.

Among those who spoke in opposition were Professor William T. Sedgwick of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Mrs. Sedgwick, Mrs A. J. George, Mrs. Barrett Wendell, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Foxcroft and Dr. Lyman Abbott of New York. A number of women spoke every year who opposed the suffrage because it would take women into public life.

[85] The suggestion to get out a record-breaking crowd was made by Representative Norman H. White of Brookline, the first man for some years to lead a serious fight in the Legislature for woman suffrage. The work of getting it out was engineered by Mrs. Crowley, Mrs. Page and Mrs. Mary Ware Dennett, who also arranged the great procession at the hearing of the following year.

[86] Among the speakers at the overflow meetings on the steps were the Misses Rendell and Costello, Miss Foley, Mrs. George F. Lowell, Mr. Blackwell, Mrs. Fitzgerald, John Golden and Franklin H. Wentworth. At the overflow meeting on the Common Mrs. Fitzgerald presided and Dr. Shaw was the chief speaker. A great meeting in Faneuil Hall had been addressed by Dr. Shaw and others the night before.

[Pg 303]



The Michigan Equal Suffrage Association is almost as old as any in the United State, having been organized in January, 1870, eight months after the National Association was formed, and its work has been long and arduous. It has had triumphs and disappointments; gained partial suffrage at two periods and ended in a complete victory in 1918.

In 1900-1901 the principal efforts of the association, which consisted of 14 auxiliaries, were along educational lines. At the annual convention in 1902 a petition was sent to President Theodore Roosevelt to recommend a woman suffrage amendment to the National Constitution in his message to Congress, which was heartily endorsed by the National Grange then in session in Lansing. Little active work was being done with the Legislature but it is the pride of the suffragists that no Legislature ever convened which they did not memorialize and only two years passed without a State convention—1912, and two were held in 1913; and 1917, when a congressional conference was held instead.[88] The presidents during these years were Mrs. Emily Burton Ketcham, Grand Rapids, 1901 (at intervals from 1892); Mrs. Martha E. Snyder Root, Bay City, 1902-3; Mrs. Guilielma H. Barnum, Charlotte, 1904-6; Mrs. Clara B. Arthur, Detroit, 1906-1914; Mrs. Orton H. Clark, Kalamazoo, 1914-1918; Mrs. Belle Brotherton, Detroit, acting president, 1918; Mrs. Percy J. Farrell, Detroit, 1918-1919.[Pg 304]

From 1902 to 1906 the work was largely confined to the preparing of public opinion for the probable revision of the State constitution. Legislatures refused to submit a woman suffrage amendment to the voters on the plea that a new constitution would soon be in force. It was decided to make an intensive educational campaign, especially among the club women. To this end suffragists served on club committees working for legislative or civic ends, and the rebuffs of the measures urged by them finally resulted in the endorsement of woman suffrage by the State Federation of Women's Clubs with 8,000 members, at Battle Creek in October, 1908.

In 1906 speakers were sent over the State for lectures and debates. Prizes for suffrage essays were offered in high schools with material supplied. At county and State fairs, church bazars, picnics and meetings of various societies, literature was freely distributed. The Woman's Journal was placed in all public libraries and small suffrage tracts kept in interurban waiting rooms and in rest rooms of churches, societies and dry-goods stores. Birthdays of pioneer suffragists were celebrated by special meetings, local clubs always responding to a call with so concrete an object. A committee of members in all parts of the State attended constantly to press work, sending in items of interest concerning the progress of women, educationally and politically, and answering attacks on woman suffrage.

This year the Supreme Court decided that Mrs. Merrie Hoover Abbott, who had been elected prosecuting attorney of Ogemaw county, could not serve because no woman was entitled to hold office. The association used this decision as a practical lesson on the position of women under the present constitution. Finally the Legislature of 1907 arranged for a constitutional convention. The annual convention of the association promptly met the situation by appointing a Constitutional Revision Committee headed by Mrs. May Stocking Knaggs of Bay City, a former president, and each auxiliary was invited to appoint one woman to serve on an advisory committee. The purpose of this committee was to urge upon the convention the omission of the word "male" from the suffrage clause as a qualification for voting.

The Committee on Elective Franchise of the constitutional[Pg 305] convention reported unanimously in favor and on Jan 8. 1908, granted the suffragists a hearing in Representatives Hall. Ten societies cooperating with the State suffrage association were represented—the Grange, two organizations of the Maccabees, Woman's Christian Temperance Union, State Federation of Labor, Detroit Garment Workers, State Woman's Press Association and several women's and farmers' clubs. A petition representing 225,000 names, 175,000 of individual women of voting age, was presented. The State president, Mrs. Clara B. Arthur, introduced the speakers, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Mrs. Catharine Waugh McCulloch, a lawyer of Chicago, who made earnest addresses. The Governor came in to hear them. The women "antis" circulated a leaflet opposing the change. On January 29 the debate took place in the convention on the proposed revision, and, although not a voice had been raised in protest, the vote stood 38 ayes, 57 noes. Some members who voted "no" did so because they believed that the whole constitution would be defeated at the polls if it proposed to enfranchise women. The hard work of the association was not, however, barren of results, for a clause was inserted in the new constitution giving taxpaying women the right to vote on any public question relating to the public expenditure of money or the issuing of bonds. [In 1915 the Legislature extended it to the granting of public franchises.]

In the spring Mrs. Arthur with Mrs. Maud Wood Park, organizer for the National College Suffrage League, formed branches in the colleges at Albion, Hillsdale, Olivet and Ann Arbor and among the collegiate alumnae in Detroit, of which Dr. Mary Thompson Stevens was made president. In June the fifty-six State delegates to the National Democratic convention were petitioned for a woman suffrage plank in the platform.

The next task was to try to comply with the request of the National Suffrage Association to secure 100,000 names to a nation-wide petition to be presented to Congress for a Federal Suffrage Amendment. Mrs. Fern Richardson Rowe, Grand Rapids, was chairman of the work, which took up the greater part of the year 1909 and went over into 1910. This last year[Pg 306] the State association obtained the consent of the Hon. Levi L. Barbour, former U. S. Senator Thomas W. Palmer and the Rev. Lee S. McCollester, pastor of the Church of Our Father (Universalist), all residents of Detroit, to act as an invitational committee in organizing a Men's State League for Woman Suffrage. The charter membership consisted of 100 influential men well known throughout the State. In March a committee of the association went to the Republican State convention to have a woman suffrage resolution adopted but were unsuccessful.

In March, 1912, the association was thrown unexpectedly into a turmoil when Governor Chase S. Osborn called a special session of the Legislature to consider, among other things, the submission of a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution to the voters at the general election on November 5, urged by the Detroit branch of the College Suffrage League. The time was not propitious but the Legislative Committee of the association, under the direction of Mrs. Jennie C. Law Hardy, went immediately to work, receiving able assistance from the Governor, the Rev. Eugene R. Shippen (Unitarian) of the Men's League and Dr. Mary Thompson Stevens of the College League. The State Grange immediately appropriated $1,000 for their Woman's Committee, directed by Miss Ida L. Chittenden. These united efforts were vigorously opposed by representatives of the liquor dealers but the measure passed the Senate and House. This big contest Michigan entered almost single-handed. Campaigns in other States which had been months in progress and gave greater promise of success were engaging nearly all of the organizers and speakers from outside the State. There was less than $250 in the treasury. This amount was augmented by $1,340 from the National Association; $211 from various States and the State Association raised $6,322. It was not until early June that plans were completely under way. The five months remaining were devoted to an intensive educational campaign, made possible only by the organizing work since 1906.

State headquarters were opened in Detroit and subsidiary headquarters in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. County suffrage societies cooperated heartily and much help came from the press. The Men's League, the College League, the powerful State[Pg 307] Grange, the Farmers' Clubs and many labor organizations helped and all that was possible was done in this short and unexpected campaign. When the returns began to come in they were overwhelmingly in favor of the amendment. The newspapers fixed its majority at figures varying from 3,000 to 12,000. Immediately following these reports came rumors of large errors in the count. Ballot boxes were mysteriously lost and every artifice known to the politicians was employed to delay the official returns.

Governor Osborn was quoted in the press as follows: "If the liquor interests defeat the suffrage amendment by fraud, proved or suspected, the people of Michigan will retaliate, in my opinion, by adopting state wide prohibition. The question seems to be largely one as to whether these interests own, control and run Michigan. Those most feared are certain election 'crooks' in certain Detroit precincts, who would not hesitate to do anything they thought they could get away with." The Governor demanded that the returns be sent to Lansing at once. When at the end of three weeks the official count was published it showed that the amendment had been defeated by 762 votes, ayes, 247,373; noes, 248,135. Clear evidence of fraud was apparent in Wayne, Kent, Saginaw and Bay counties. The State association engaged the best legal talent and in Genesee county the courts threw out the vote on the amendment. It developed, however, that there was no law allowing a recount in a vote on a constitutional amendment and in the face of glaring fraud the defeat had to be accepted.

No State convention was held in November, 1912, because of the stress of campaign work but a postponed convention was held Jan. 15, 16, 1913. Indignation ran high over this defeat and an immediate resubmission of the amendment was decided upon as the result of favorable answers to questionnaires which had been sent to all county chairmen and the heads of all cooperating societies. During the campaign no open or organized opposition among women had been in evidence. A legislative hearing was arranged by the suffragists and the State and College League presidents on starting to Lansing found a special car attached to their train bearing about thirty prominent women members of a new Anti-Suffrage Association. Their[Pg 308] only speaker was Miss Minnie Bronson of New York, secretary of the National Anti-Suffrage Association. As Mrs. Arthur rose to answer her hour's speech she remarked that for the first time the voice of a woman was heard in this State in protest against her own enfranchisement and she rejoiced that it was not the voice of a Michigan woman.

Despite determined opposition the proposal passed both Houses to be voted on at the spring election just five weeks ahead. Owing to the social position of the "antis," the State press gave much prominence to their association, published pages of the members' pictures and quoted their reasons for organizing it. Branches were at once formed in ten adjoining towns; State offices were opened on Woodward Avenue, near the suffrage headquarters, books opened for registration and great quantities of literature sent over the State. Several debates were attempted but few materialized, as they had no home talent.[89]

A placard printed in English and German and posted in saloons in various parts of the city by the Michigan Staatterbund announced that if the amendment should be adopted in Michigan, foreign born women would have to take out naturalization papers at a large price. This and the Royal Ark, an association of 1,100 liquor dealers in Detroit, were the only organizations in the State to pass resolutions against the amendment. A Men's Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was organized on March 15 at a meeting in the University Club; President, Charles A. Kent; vice-president, William A. Livingston, Jr.; treasurer, Garvin Denby; secretary, Henry C. Bulkley. A well known lawyer, William E. Heinze, wrote very bitter articles for the press and undoubtedly influenced the German-American vote. The Rev. Wm. Byron Forbush, pastor of the North Woodward Congregational Church, spoke at anti-suffrage meetings.

On March 29, with the election less than a week away, John Dohrinan and Senator James R. Murtha, representing Mr. Livingston, and Carl Bauer of the Staatterbund appeared before the Circuit Court with a petition to have the suffrage amendment[Pg 309] printed on a separate ballot. The Court denied the petition. The case was immediately carried to the State Supreme Court which decided that all amendments must be on separate ballots.

Necessarily the campaign was short for the vote was to be taken April 7. Unlike the one preceding, three-fourths of the financial support came from without the State. Mrs. Ida Porter Boyer of Pennsylvania was engaged for press and executive work. The National Association furnished speakers, among them its president, Dr. Shaw, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, Mrs. Park, Mrs. Celia J. White, Mrs. Susan W. FitzGerald, Mrs. Glendower Evans, Mrs. Priscilla D. Hackstaff, Mrs. Ella S. Stewart, Miss Doris Stevens, Mrs. Clara Laddey, Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby and Mrs. Beatrice Forbes Robertson Hale. Miss Laura Clay came from Kentucky at her own expense. The State was organized by counties and the speaking and circularizing were done under the immediate direction of the county chairmen. In the report of Mrs. Edna S. Blair, chairman of organization, she stated that there were but eight counties in the State which had no working committees and only three of these were in the Lower Peninsula, their total voting strength being less than 2,500. The amendment was defeated by 96,144, receiving 168,738 ayes, 264,882 noes. Her analysis of the vote, prepared from county returns, showed that there was a gain of a little more than 16,000 negative votes over those of 1912, and 13,000 of these were in counties having a "wet" and "dry" issue.

The preceding year the liquor forces had not realized the need of active work. Never in any other State campaign did these forces make so open a fight as in this one. They paid for columns of space in the newspapers and circulated vast quantities of the literature prepared by the women's Anti-Suffrage Association. This was in piles on the bars of the saloons and, according to reports, in even more questionable places. The defeat was not due so much to a change in public opinion as it was to an absence of the favorable vote which had been called out in the previous year by reason of the presidential election.

After the election county chairmen and all suffragists were asked to urge their representatives in Congress to support the Federal Amendment. This was followed by a trip through the[Pg 310] State by Mrs. Blair, who contributed her services, and at the convention in Jackson, in 1913, she reported that there were now only four counties, all in the Upper Peninsula, where there was no record of active workers. Mrs. Arthur was reelected.[90]

Although recovering from two successive defeats the association found itself in 1914 able to carry on more systematic work than had ever been attempted. In February a monthly magazine, the Michigan Suffragist, was established with Mrs. Blair editor. At the convention in Traverse City Nov. 4-6, 1914, Mrs. Orton H. Clark was elected president and the State board adopted her scheme for financing the association, which was successfully carried forward by the finance chairman, Mrs. J. G. Macpherson of Saginaw. It consisted in the apportionment of a fixed revenue on the basis of ten cents from each taxpaying woman, of whom there were 100,302 in the State. More than one-third of the counties met all or a part of their apportionment, which enabled the president to open headquarters in a business building in Kalamazoo, employ an executive secretary and an organizer and engage Mrs. Robertson Hale for a series of lectures.

Much of the effort during the early months of 1915 was directed toward securing Municipal suffrage, which necessitated active work by the Legislative Committee, Dr. Blanche M. Haines of Three Rivers, chairman. An attempt was made to organize according to congressional districts; chairmen were found for ten of the thirteen and a number of district conferences were held. All State and national candidates were interviewed on woman suffrage personally or by letter. Many meetings were addressed by national and international speakers.

This program was continued through 1915 and 1916. The State conventions were held in November in Saginaw and Grand Rapids and Mrs. Clark was re-elected president. Following the plan made by the National Association, suffrage schools were held in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Detroit in March, 1917, with[Pg 311] Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson, Mrs. T. T. Cotnam and Mrs. Nettie R. Shuler as instructors. Upon America's entry into the World War in April, communities, counties, the State and even the nation made demands on the association. Mrs. Clark called together the heads of nearly forty organizations to coordinate the war activities of Michigan women. The Rev. Caroline Bartlett Crane was made chairman of the State committee, which afterwards became the State Division of the Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense, Dr. Crane chairman.

Notwithstanding this situation, however, a bill to give a vote for Presidential electors to women was introduced in the Senate and almost simultaneously one in the House asking for another referendum on a constitutional amendment by Representative Flowers, who had fought the suffrage battle for nearly a quarter of a century. The association protested but the sponsors of both bills were adamant. As a result both bills were passed in March and April and it found itself in the midst of a campaign on the referendum at this most inopportune time. There was nothing to do but to plunge into it. Interest lagged, however, as the women were absorbed in war work and there was a wide belief that in recognition of this work the men would give the suffrage without a campaign for it. Mrs. Catt, now national president, did not share this view and she requested a conference with the State workers. They decided to hold a State convention in Detroit, March 25-27, 1918, and she and Mrs. Shuler, national chairman of organization, came to it. Mrs. Brotherton was serving as president and it was one of the largest ever held. The names of the honorary committee filled two pages of the program. It was welcomed by Mayor Marx and many organizations of women were represented. Mrs. Catt addressed the evening meetings and Mrs. Shuler spoke at the banquet in Hotel Statler, where the convention took place.

The State Board presented a full report and program for war activities but no plan for campaign. Most of the delegates believed the men would give them the vote without any activity on their part. Mrs. Catt made a stirring appeal in which she pointed out that war work would be expected as their duty and that the vote would not be given as a recognition.[Pg 312] Before the end of the convention she had thoroughly aroused the delegates and the force of her appeal was evident when the campaign plans providing for the budget, petition and political work, which had been prepared by the National Association as a basis of work for the three States then in campaign, was cheerfully adopted. The budget called for $100,000 to be raised equally by Detroit and the congressional districts. At the dinner on the 26th $50,000 were quickly subscribed, $24,000 by the districts. Detroit women, who had already secured $6,000, partly to pay back debts, pledged $10,000 more. Mrs. Catt promised the equivalent of $10,000 in help from the National Association if the full budget were raised. Mrs. Percy J. Farrell of Detroit was elected president of the association and chairman of the campaign committee and the following women were named chairmen of congressional districts; Mrs. Brotherton, Mrs. G. W. Patterson, Dr. Haines, Mrs. Huntley Russell, Mrs. Alice B. Locke, Mrs. Macpherson and Mrs. Alberta Droelle. The delegates went away from the convention filled with enthusiasm and ready for an active campaign.

Press work was again under the direction of Mrs. Boyer who was the adviser and right hand of Mrs. Farrell, giving unstintedly of her large experience. Mrs. Henry G. Sherrard was chairman of literature and Mrs. Myron B. Vorce of political work. Dr. Haines supervised eleven counties, which gave 15,000 majority. Mrs. Boyer said of Mrs. Brotherton: "Her faith, devotion and work extended through three campaigns and she was one of those who could remain steadfast through the sowing until the reaping time." Mrs. Russell, the State vice-president, was a recognized force. Mrs. E. L. Caulkins, president of the W. C. T. U., devoted its full organization to the amendment, especially to the petitions and at the polls on election day. The most telling feature of the campaign was the petition under the direction of Mrs. Emerson B. Davis of Detroit, signed by more than 202,000 women over twenty-one years old and addressed to voters, urging them to vote "yes" on the referendum. The work was finished in October and interesting uses were made of the names. Those in Grand Rapids were published in the daily papers of that city from day to day; in Saginaw they were hung as a frieze on the[Pg 313] walls of the woman's section at the State Fair; in other places they were exhibited in store windows. Mrs. Catt had stipulated for this petition because of its educational value and its influence on the voters and the public. The work was done by volunteers.

Few campaigns ever had so much help from organizations outside of those for suffrage, among them were the W. C. T. U., Federation of Women's Clubs, State Grange, State Farmers' Clubs, Gleaners, American Federation of Labor, Anti-Saloon League, and Woman's Committee of the Council of National Defense. The Men's League was an important factor. The clergy almost as a unit gave generous endorsement and constant help. The support of the press was nearly unanimous, many papers refusing pay for space from the "antis."

Most valuable assistance came from the two great fraternal insurance organizations of women, Ladies of the Maccabees and the Women's Benefit Association of the Maccabees, Miss Bina M. West supreme commander, which had had the experience of having to defeat two referenda aimed at crippling their form of insurance. Partly for this reason they were especially interested in securing the franchise for women. The Ladies of the Maccabees confined their work mainly to the women in their own large organization. The Women's Benefit Association assumed the responsibility of organizing six congressional districts. They financed their own work entirely, using their own skilled organizers whenever it was necessary, especially in the Upper Peninsula, where no other workers were sent. The story of Mrs. Locke and Mrs. Droelle reads like that of the pioneers in the far western countries. This contribution, if measured in dollars, would have represented many thousands.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Pope, Mr. and Mrs. Gustavus Pope, Mrs. John B. Ford, Mrs. Delphine Dodge Ashbaugh and Mrs. Sherrard contributed nearly half of the amount required for the entire campaign. The teachers of Detroit financed a worker for several months, as did the Detroit business women. Many of the larger cities financed their own campaigns for the last six weeks. Among the individual men who gave great financial assistance at this time were James Couzens, Chas. B. Warren, member of the Republican National[Pg 314] Committee and William A. Comstock of Alpena, who as treasurer of the Men's Suffrage League, collected the major part of their donations, nearly $9,000.

The National Suffrage Association gave in cash $1,400, paid the bill for literature and posters, $1,335, and made other contributions amounting to $6,000. It paid salaries and part of the expenses from Jan. 1, 1918, of Mrs. Augusta Hughston and the organizers, Miss Lola Trax, Miss Edna Wright, Miss Marie Ames, Miss Alma Sasse and Miss Stella Crossley, until the State was able to assume them. Mrs. Hughston became the campaign manager of Detroit. Mrs. Shuler came three times and campaigned all over the State. Mrs. Mary E. Craigie of New York gave assistance. The magnitude of the detail work of the campaign may be understood from the report of Mrs. Hughston, who said: "In Detroit alone there were distributed 500,000 pieces of literature; 50,000 buttons, 13,000 posters put in windows, 1,000 street car advertisements, 174 large billboard posters and 1,766 inches of paid advertisements in newspapers."

The election took place on Nov. 5, 1918, when the suffrage amendment received 229,790 ayes and 195,284 noes—carried by a majority of 34,506. Four strong factors influenced the vote; first, prohibition, which had been adopted in 1916, was in effect and the forces that had led past opposition were badly disorganized; second, the astute politicians saw the trend of events, and few, if any, openly opposed it; third, the war work of women, which, although it lessened the number of workers for suffrage, yet made forceful appeal to the voters; fourth, the activity of all organizations of women.

This summary of the work of Michigan women for their political freedom is most incomplete without the names of hundreds of workers who toiled, suffered, sacrificed, gave of their time, their strength, their money, year after year, but the list is too long. Every city, every locality had its special difficulties, which had to be overcome and their women were equal to the task. All contributed to the great victory. The Woman Citizen, official organ of the National American Suffrage Association, in its edition of Nov. 30, 1918, gave a detailed summary of this campaign and the workers.[Pg 315]

After a brief respite, the suffragists took up the work of a registration "drive" for the spring election in April, when an amendment to weaken the prohibition law was to be voted on. The registration by women in some places was larger than that of men. Prohibition had been carried in 1916 by a majority of 68,624. At this election in 1919, with women voting, the majority was over three times as large—207,520—and the amendment was defeated.

The convention of the State Equal Suffrage Association met in Grand Rapids, April 3, 4, 1919, Mrs. Farrell presiding. The name was changed to the State League of Women Voters and Mrs. Brotherton was elected chairman. Plans for the approaching ratification campaign were made and she was authorized to secure chairmen for the new departments of work. The willingness of women to accept the various chairmanships was in marked contrast to the difficulties encountered during suffrage campaigns.

Ratification. The Federal Suffrage Amendment was submitted by Congress June 4, 1919, and fortunately Governor Albert E. Sleeper had called a special session of the Legislature to convene on June 3. He was at once requested to submit the amendment for ratification and soon announced his willingness to do so. A recess had been taken over Sunday but each member received a letter from the League of Women Voters asking for a favorable vote and many cordial answers were received. The Legislature assembled at 2 o'clock on Tuesday, June 10. The Senate and House at once voted unanimously in favor of ratification. The same day the Wisconsin and Illinois Legislatures also ratified. These three States were the first to take action.

Legislative Action. 1903. A joint resolution to amend the State constitution by striking out the word "male" as a qualification for voters was introduced by Representative Nathan A. Lovell but was not reported out of the committees.

1905. A similar resolution was introduced by Representative George E. Dewey but failed to pass by seven votes.

1911. The same resolution received in the House 55 ayes, 44 noes, lacking the necessary two-thirds, and failed in the Senate by two votes.

1912. In the call for a special session Governor Osborn included[Pg 316] the consideration of a woman suffrage amendment. It was introduced in the Senate by Robert Y. Ogg and in the House by Representative Charles Flowers. The Senate opposition was led by James A. Murtha and Charles M. Culver, while William M. Martz sought to block it in the House. The vote in the Senate was 23 ayes, 5 noes; in the House 75 ayes, 19 noes. It was submitted to the voters and defeated.

1913. A hearing on the amendment resolution was arranged by the State board in February. Without the knowledge of the suffragists the "antis" secured one to precede theirs. The president, Mrs. Arthur, Dr. Mary Thompson Stevens, Dr. Caroline Bartlett Crane and Mrs. Jennie C. Law Hardy spoke for the amendment. The vote in the Senate was 24 ayes, 5 noes; in the House, 73 ayes, 19 noes. Submitted and defeated at the polls.

1915. The bill for Municipal suffrage was rejected as unconstitutional.

1917. Two measures were introduced, one for the amendment by Representative Flower and the other for Presidential suffrage by Senator John M. Damon of Mt. Pleasant. At last the officers of the State Association had to withdraw their opposition to the referendum in order to save the Presidential bill. The vote on the referendum March 28 was, House 71 ayes, 21 noes; April 19, Senate, 26 ayes, 4 noes; a two-thirds vote required. The Presidential suffrage vote on March 21 in the Senate was 22 ayes, 7 noes; on April 18 in the House, 64 ayes, 30 noes. There was no strong opposition. The amendment was carried by a large majority on Nov. 5, 1918.


[87] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Clara B. Arthur, vice-president of the State Equal Suffrage Association 1895-1906; president, 1906-1914, and Mrs. Belle Brotherton, acting president, 1918; chairman of the League of Women Voters, 1919.

[88] Following are the times and places of holding State conventions: Oct. 23-25, 1901, Saginaw; Oct. 29-31, 1902, Charlotte; Nov. 10-12, 1903, Paw Paw; Oct. 25-27, 1904, Jackson; Nov. 1-3, 1905, Port Huron; Oct. 9, 10, 1906, Kalamazoo; Sept. 18-20, 1907, Charlotte; Nov. 5, 6, 1908, Bay City; Dec. 7, 8, 1909, Grand Rapids; Nov. 6-8, 1910, Kalamazoo; Nov. 16, 17, 1911, Kalamazoo; no convention in 1912; Jan. 15, 16, 1913, Lansing; Nov. 5-7, 1913, Jackson; Nov. 4-6, 1914, Traverse City; Nov. 10, 11, 1915, Saginaw; Nov. 15-17, 1916, Grand Rapids; no convention in 1917; March 26, 27, 1918, Detroit; April 3, 4, 1919, Grand Rapids.

[89] The officers of the Association Opposed to Equal Suffrage as published in the press were: President, Mrs. Henry F. Lyster; secretary, Miss Helen Keep; publicity committee, Miss Julia Russell, Mrs. A. A. Griffiths, Mrs. J. A. McMillan, Mrs. Fred Reynolds, Mrs. Edward H. Parker, Mrs. Richard Jackson and Miss Caroline Barnard.

[90] Mrs. Brotherton writes: "Special tribute should be paid to the splendid administrative ability of Mrs. Arthur. Her conduct of the 1912 and 1913 campaigns and the years of effort that preceded them deserve the unending gratitude of Michigan women. Her greatest monument was the vote of taxpaying women on bond issues. Mrs. Orton H. Clark, who succeeded Mrs. Arthur in 1914, brought to the work the same patient and consecrated zeal and to her is largely due the gaining of Presidential suffrage.

[Pg 317]



The great event for the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Association in 1901 was the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association May 30-June 5 in Minneapolis. Large audiences night after night filled the First Baptist Church to listen to the eloquent addresses of Miss Susan B. Anthony, honorary president; Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president, and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, vice-president of the association; Henry B. Blackwell, editor of the Woman's Journal, Rachel Foster Avery and other speakers of national fame. The officers were entertained at West Hotel and the 200 delegates in the homes of suffragists. Dr. Cora Smith Eaton, who was the chairman of arrangements, was elected second auditor of the National Association.

The State convention of 1901 was held in Mankato in October, with Mrs. Catt as the principal speaker. Mrs. Maud C. Stockwell and Mrs. Jennie Knight Brown were re-elected president and vice-president and Mrs. A. H. Boostrom appointed chairman of press. Through the generosity of Mrs. E. A. Russell of Minneapolis Miss Anna Gjertsen was engaged to organize the Scandinavian women. Among the names enrolled in the suffrage booth at the State Fair were those of Theodore Roosevelt, Vice-President of the United States; Gen. Nelson Miles, Gov. Samuel R. Van Sant and Archbishop Ireland. The annual convention of 1902 was entertained in June by the St. Paul Club, which had been organized a few months before. Mrs. Hannah Egelston was elected vice-president. The press chairman stated that fifteen newspapers were using suffrage articles and the enrollment and the petition work for Presidential suffrage was being successfully[Pg 318] carried on. The association was incorporated this year.

In September, 1903, the State convention was held in Austin with Dr. Shaw the chief speaker. The former officers were re-elected. Reports showed old clubs revived and new ones formed through the efforts of Miss Gail Laughlin, one of the national organizers. Mrs. Eugenia B. Farmer was this year appointed chairman of press and held the office till 1915 when she was made honorary chairman. She did not relinquish the work but continued to assist her successor, Mrs. W. H. Thorp. For eight years Mrs. Farmer kept press headquarters in the Old Capitol, St. Paul. She added new papers to the list which accepted suffrage matter till it had 500, about all of them, and much of the suffrage sentiment in the State can be traced to her years of work. The quarterly bulletin was edited by Mrs. Julia B. Nelson.

In October, 1904, the convention met in Anoka and Dr. Shaw addressed large audiences. Miss Marion Sloan of Rochester was made vice-president. During the year the association offered prizes for the best essay on woman suffrage to the students of the four Normal Schools, many competing. The annual meeting for 1905 was held in Minneapolis in November. In answer to the many calls a Lecture Bureau of twenty well-known speakers directed by Dr. Annah Hurd had been organized; a generous contribution was sent to Oregon for its campaign.

In March, 1906, an impressive memorial service was held in Minneapolis for the beloved leader, Susan B. Anthony. Another was held in Monticello in November during the State convention. It was reported that the Governor had appointed Dr. Margaret Koch, one of the active suffragists, to the State Medical Board; that many organizations had passed resolutions endorsing suffrage and that in June Mrs. Stockwell had presented the greetings of the National Association to the General Federation of Women's Clubs in convention in St. Paul. In October, 1907, the convention met in Austin. During the year a Scandinavian association had been formed by Dr. Ethel E. Hurd, with Mrs. Jenova Martin president, and a College Equal Suffrage League at the State University by Professors Frances Squire Potter and Mary Gray Peck, with Miss Elsa Ueland president. Miss Laura Gregg, sent by the National Association, had organized suffrage[Pg 319] committees in twelve towns. It was decided to circularize the teachers of the State.

In November, 1908, the convention was held in Minneapolis with Dr. Shaw and Professor Potter as speakers. Mrs. Martin was elected vice-president. The energy of all suffrage workers had been turned toward the great petition to Congress for the Federal Amendment planned by the National Association and directed in the State by Mrs. F. G. Corser of Minneapolis. Mrs. Maud Wood Park made a tour of the State in March speaking in eight colleges in the interest of the National College Equal Suffrage League. In October, 1909, the State convention went to St. Paul. The Bulletin, official organ of the association and a valuable feature of its work, had had to be abandoned because of lack of funds. It had been edited for ten years by Dr. Ethel E. Hurd, recording secretary, who sometimes mimeographed it herself, sometimes had it typewritten and when possible printed, always herself addressing and mailing copies to the State members. An important event of the year was the unanimous endorsement of woman suffrage by the State Editorial Association, secured by Miss Mary McFadden, a journalist. For the first time a speaker was supplied to the State convention of the Federation of Women's Clubs.

In November, 1910, the State convention was entertained by the Minneapolis Political Equality Club, organized in 1868. Mrs. Stockwell, who had served as president for ten years, asked to be relieved from office and Miss Emily Dobbyn of St. Paul was elected president with Dr. Margaret Koch, who had been treasurer ten years, first vice-president. The petition was reported as finished with 20,300 names. It was sent to Washington and presented to Congress by Senator Moses E. Clapp with an earnest plea for its consideration. In October, 1911, the convention again went to St. Paul and Mrs. A. T. Hall of this city was elected president.

The convention of 1912 was held in Minneapolis in September. Under direction of Mrs. A. H. Bright of this city the first automobile suffrage parade took place, the route extending from the court house where the convention was held to the Fair grounds where addresses were made. Eleven new clubs were[Pg 320] reported. The Woman's Welfare League of St. Paul joined the State association and did excellent work for suffrage. Mrs. Hall was re-elected president and removing from the State later Mrs. P. L. De Voist of Duluth was selected to fill out her term.[92]

In October, 1913, at the annual convention in St. Paul, Mrs. Bright was elected president. The Minneapolis Equal Suffrage Club, which had been organized independently by Mrs. Andreas Ueland, joined the State association and later became the Hennepin County suffrage organization. A Women Workers' Suffrage Club was formed with Mrs. Gertrude Hunter, president.

In November, 1914, at the convention in Minneapolis, Mrs. Ueland was elected president and served for the next five years.[93] It was reported that the Everywoman Suffrage Club of colored women had been organized in St. Paul with Mrs. W. T. Francis president. The clubs of St. Paul and Minneapolis, at the request of the National Association, had joined in the nation-wide demonstration May 2 with mass meetings in each city, a street meeting and parade in St. Paul at noon and a joint parade in Minneapolis in the afternoon with 2,000 men and women in line.

In October, 1915, the convention took place in St. Paul. Up to this time headquarters had been maintained free of charge in Minneapolis, at first in the office of Drs. Cora Smith Eaton and Margaret Koch and for many years in the office of Drs. Ethel E. and Annah Hurd. This year they were opened in the Essex Building of that city and a paid secretary installed. Organization by districts was arranged for. In conformity with plans sent out from the National Association, quarterly conferences were held in different sections of the State. "Organization day" on February 15, Miss Anthony's birthday, was celebrated[Pg 321] in fifteen legislative districts with meetings and pageants. During the national convention in Washington this year deputations of suffragists from Minnesota called on the State's two Senators and ten Representatives asking them to promote the Federal Suffrage Amendment. To assist the campaign the services of the State organizer, Mrs. Maria McMahon, were given to New York for September and October; Mrs. David F. Simpson and Miss Florence Monahan contributed their services as speakers and $400 were sent to the New Jersey campaign.[94]

In October, 1916, at the convention in Minneapolis, a delightful feature was a banquet of 500 covers at the Hotel Radisson, where President George E. Vincent of the State University made his maiden speech for woman suffrage. Mrs. Simpson presided. There were favorable reports from officers, committee chairmen and organizers. At the request of the National Association deputations had called upon the State delegates to the national Republican and Democratic conventions urging them to work for suffrage planks in their party platforms. Twenty-five Minnesota women marched in the parade in Chicago at the time of the Republican National Convention and many went to the National Democratic Convention in St. Louis on a "suffrage barge," holding meetings on the boat and at a number of stopping places. In May the Mississippi Valley Suffrage Conference was entertained in Minneapolis and a mass meeting of 2,000 was held. Automobile speaking trips were made. Money, organizers and speakers were contributed to the Iowa campaign.

In December, 1917, the convention again met in Minneapolis with Mrs. Nellie McClung of Edmonton, Alberta, as speaker. Pledges were made of $8,000 for State work and $3,000 to the National Association as the State's apportionment. In order to push Federal Amendment work chairmen were secured for the ten congressional districts. Resolutions for it were passed at many conventions. In May Dr. Effie McCollum Jones of Iowa had made a lecture tour of the State, contributed by the National Association, and addressed 10,000 people. An attractive[Pg 322] concrete building had been erected on the State Fair grounds by the Scandinavian Association and presented to the State association.[95] This was known as the Woman Citizen Building and a tablet was placed in it in memory of Mrs. Julia B. Nelson, one of Minnesota's staunchest pioneer suffragists.

Owing to the influenza epidemic all meetings were forbidden in 1918. This year district organization was completed. With three organizers in the field, Mrs. Rene F. Stevens, Mrs. James Forrestal and Mrs. John A. Guise, ratification committees in 480 towns outside of the three large cities had been appointed and 90,000 signatures obtained for the national petition under the leadership of Miss Marguerite M. Wells. In March the following plank had appeared in the platform of the Democratic Statewide Conference held in St. Paul: "We believe in the principle of State woman suffrage as supported and commended by our leader, Woodrow Wilson." This was the only official Democratic endorsement ever received and there was none from the Republicans.[96]

A State conference was held at Minneapolis in May, 1919, with Mrs. McClung as the principal speaker. On June 9 in the rotunda of the Capitol at St. Paul an impressive program of addresses and ringing resolutions was given, 3,000 people taking part in this celebration of the submission of the Federal Suffrage Amendment by Congress on the 4th. A. L. Searle marshalled the 250 gaily decorated automobiles carrying the Minneapolis delegates, accompanied by a band.

Ratification. Monday, September 8, was a beautiful and spirited occasion. Automobile parades assembled in the two cities and started for the Capitol with cars gay with sunflowers, goldenrod,[Pg 323] yellow bunting and the word "suffrage" on the windshields. By 10 o'clock the galleries and the corridors were filled to overflowing with enthusiastic suffragists. Out-of-town women flocked in to join the festivities. The Federal Amendment came up immediately after the organization of both Houses in special session but the lower House won the race for the honor of being first to ratify, for it took up the amendment without even waiting for Governor Burnquist's message, and when it was presented by Representative Theodore Christiansen it was ratified by a vote of 120 to 6. The Senate considered it immediately after hearing the Governor's message. It was presented by Senator Ole Sageng, called the "father of woman suffrage" in Minnesota, and with no debate went through by 60 to 5.

The moment the Senate vote was polled the corridors, floors and galleries of both Houses were in an uproar, hundreds of women cheered and laughed and waved the suffrage colors, while in the rotunda a band swung into the strains of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Then Representatives and Senators became the guests of the State Suffrage Association, whose members having leased the Capitol restaurant for the day cooked and served an appetizing chicken dinner. There was a banquet at the St. Paul Hotel in the evening with 400 guests.

On that memorable day the curtain was rung down on the last act of the many years' long drama participated in by a vast host of consecrated women with inspired faith in the ultimate attainment of justice.

A conference was called for Oct. 28, 29, 1919, in Minneapolis and a State League of Women Voters was formed with Mrs. Ueland as chairman. It was voted to delay the dissolution of the State association until the 36 States had ratified the Federal Amendment and the date was set at the first annual meeting of the League.[97] Mrs. Ueland soon resigned to take the chairmanship[Pg 324] of the Legislative Committee and was succeeded by Miss Wells, the vice-chairman.

Legislative Action. 1903. A Presidential suffrage bill was introduced in the House and energetically pushed but was not reported by the Judiciary Committee.

1905. A large delegation headed by Mrs. Stockwell, State president, called on Governor John A. Johnson and urged him to recommend woman suffrage in his message to the Legislature but he failed to do so. The resolution to submit a constitutional amendment was introduced in the House but not reported by the Judiciary Committee.

1907. After the resolution for a suffrage amendment was presented a hearing was granted by the Senate Elections Committee and the Senate Chamber secured for it through Senator Virgil B. Seward, who had charge of it. The college women were represented by Professor Frances Squire Potter of the University of Minnesota and the committee reported favorably. It was defeated in the Senate and not brought up in the House.

1909. At the hearing before the Joint Committee on Elections on the resolution for a State amendment, which was the largest ever held by the association, convincing addresses were made by eminent lawyers, educators and other public men. It was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 30 to 26; in the House by 50 to 46.

1911. The chairman of the Legislative Committee was Miss Mary McFadden, who carried out a demonstration on Susan B. Anthony's birthday—February 15—the presenting by large delegations from the Twin Cities of a Memorial to a joint gathering of the two Houses with pleas for a State amendment. The resolution for it, sponsored by Ole Sageng, passed the House a few days later by a majority of 81 but the liquor interests and public service corporations defeated it in the Senate by two votes.

1913. Senator Sageng again had charge of the suffrage resolution, which passed the House by a majority of 43 votes but failed in the Senate by three.

1915. Mrs. Andreas Ueland was chairman of the Legislative Committee from 1915 to 1919 inclusive. Senator Sageng presented the amendment resolution in the Senate and Representative[Pg 325] Larson in the House. An impressive hearing was held in a crowded Senate chamber, with Senators J. W. Andrews, Richard Jones, Frank E. Putnam, F. H. Peterson and Ole Sageng making speeches in favor. Those who spoke against it were Senators George H. Sullivan, F. A. Duxbury and F. H. Pauly.[98] It failed by one vote and was not brought up in the House. A Presidential suffrage bill was also introduced but did not come to a vote.

1917. The suffrage work was confined to the Presidential suffrage bill which was defeated in the Senate by two votes.

1919. This Legislature adopted a resolution calling upon Congress to submit the Federal Suffrage Amendment; House 100 to 28 in favor, Senate 49 to 7. It was decided not to introduce an amendment resolution but to work for Presidential suffrage. The resolution was introduced, however, by a small group of women outside the association. It passed the House by 96 ayes, 26 noes, but was indefinitely postponed in the Senate. The bill giving women the right to vote for Presidential electors passed the House March 5 by 103 ayes, 24 noes; and the Senate March 21 by 49 ayes, 11 noes. It was signed by Governor J. A. A. Burnquist two days later in the presence of a group of suffragists.[99]


[91] The History is indebted for this chapter to Maud C. (Mrs. S. A.) Stockwell, for ten years president of the State Suffrage Association and for over twenty years a member of its executive board. Mrs. Stockwell wishes to acknowledge assistance from Mrs. David F. Simpson and Mrs. John A. Guise.

[92] A State Anti-Suffrage Association was organized in Minneapolis in 1912 and later branches were formed in other cities. The president was Mrs. J. B. Gilfillan of Minneapolis and other active workers were Mrs. E. L. Carpenter, Mrs. Edmund Pennington and Mrs. Frank Reed of Minneapolis, Mrs. J. W. Straight of St. Paul and Mrs. J. L. Washburn of Duluth. Time was given to their speakers at the last three hearings granted the State Suffrage Association by the Legislature. Miss Minnie Bronson, secretary of the National Anti-Suffrage Association, came from New York for one.

[93] Too much credit for the final success of woman suffrage in Minnesota can not be given to Mrs. Ueland, president of the association for the last five years of its existence. She organized the entire State, raised large sums of money each year, induced many prominent women to join in the work, carried out the instructions of the National Association to the letter, secured legislation, and not only took advantage of every opportunity for propaganda but created opportunities.

[94] In 1915 the Congressional Union, afterward the National Woman's Party, formed an organization in St. Paul with Mrs. Alexander Colvin chairman. The members were recruited from the State association and for a few years were active in both organizations.

[95] During the twenty years covered by this chapter the Twin City suffragists never failed to keep open house during the State Fair, where speakers were heard and literature was distributed.

[96] Following are the names of State officers besides the presidents who served over three years: Vice-presidents, Mrs. Jenova Martin, four years; Mrs. David F. Simpson, three years; Mrs. H. G. Harrison, five years; Mrs. E. A. Brown, four years; Mrs. C. L. Atwood, six years; Dr. Margaret Koch, vice-president, three years and treasurer, ten years; Dr. Ethel E. Hurd of Minneapolis served on the board in different capacities for twenty-two years, as corresponding secretary for four years and recording secretary four; Mrs. Eva W. Morse, recording secretary five years; Mrs. Victor H. Troendle, treasurer five years. Those who served from four to ten years as directors on the State board were: Mesdames A. T. Anderson, Julia B. Nelson, Margaret K. Rogers, E. A. Russell, C. F. Lutz, Elizabeth McClary, A. H. Bright and A. B. Jackson.

[97] Following are a few names not mentioned elsewhere in the chapter of the many devoted friends and workers during the score of years: Dr. Cyrus Northrup, Professor Maria Sanford, Judge A. C. Hickman, Professor A. W. Rankin, Dr. Elizabeth Woodworth, Mesdames Margaret K. Rogers, Martha A. Dorsett, May Dudley Greeley, M. A. Luley, Eva S. Jerome, Alice Taylor, Lilla P. Clark, Milton E. Purdy, C. P. Noyes, Adelaide Lawrence, O. J. Evans, George M. Partridge, J. W. Andrews, C. M. Stockton, Stiles Burr, J. M. Guise, J. W. Straight; Misses Ella Whitney, A. A. Connor, Nellie Merrill, Hope McDonald, Josephine Schain, Blanche Segar, Cornelia Lusk, Martha Anderson (Wyman); Messrs. C. W. Dorsett, S. R. Child, A. H. Bright.

[98] For ten years Senator Sullivan of Stillwater, and for twenty-two years Senator W. W. Dunn, attorney for the Hamm Brewing Company of St. Paul, worked actively against all suffrage legislation, in late years being able to defeat bills by only two or three votes.

[99] Among legislators not mentioned who were helpful during these years were Senator S. A. Stockwell and Representatives W. I. Norton, H. H. Harrison, W. I. Nolan, Sherman Child, John Sanborn and Claude Southwick.

[Pg 326]



From 1899 to 1906 no State convention of the Mississippi Woman Suffrage Association was held. Mrs. Hala Hammond Butt, who was elected president at its second annual convention in Clarksdale in 1899, acted as president during this time but the editing of a weekly newspaper in addition to other duties left her little time for its trying demands at this early stage of its existence. Among the few other women consecrated in their hearts to woman suffrage some were barred from leadership by ill health, some by family cares, while others were absent from the State most of the time. No definite progress, therefore, was made during the early years of the century.

In 1901 Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, gave addresses in six cities in the State, arrangements for which were made by local suffragists, and a great deal of interest was aroused. In 1903 a business conference was held in Jackson, at which Mrs. Butt and three other women were present, to consider whether anything could be done for the cause of woman suffrage. In 1904 enrollment cards were distributed in a limited and unsystematic way, letters were sent to members of the Legislature, State officials and others and literature was distributed. An inspiring feature was the visit of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, vice-president at large of the National Association, who spoke in three cities.

Early in December, 1906, Miss Belle Kearney of Flora, formerly organizer for the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, at this time a public lecturer, returned from an absence in Europe and on the 21st, in response to a call sent out by her, a meeting was held in the parlor of the Edwards House in Jackson. Those in attendance were Miss Kearney, Mrs. Butt, Mrs.[Pg 327] Edward Sloan and Dr. Delia Randall. By invitation Dr. William La Prade of the First Methodist Church opened the meeting with prayer, after which he retired leaving these four women to reorganize the State Suffrage Association. Mrs. Nellie Nugent Somerville of Greenville was in touch with the conference by telegraph and Mrs. Lily Wilkinson Thompson of Jackson, physically unable to attend, received reports from the meeting at her telephone. In this historic hour the breath of a new life was blown into the expiring association and from that time it grew and thrived. The officers elected were Miss Kearney, president; Mrs. Somerville, vice-president; Mrs. Thompson, treasurer.

During the following spring Miss Kearney, lecturing in the State on sociological subjects, spoke unfailingly for suffrage and wherever possible organized clubs. Press work was taken up earnestly by the newly elected superintendent of that department, Mrs. Thompson. All of the over two hundred editors in the State were interviewed by letter in regard to their attitude towards woman suffrage and space was requested for suffrage items. Twenty-one agreed to publish them, only two openly declining. Among the friendly editors were L. Pink Smith of the Greenville Democrat, J. R. Oliphant of the Poplarville Free Press, Frank R. Birdsall of the Yazoo Sentinel, C. E. Glassco of the Cleveland Enterprise, Joseph Norwood of the Magnolia Gazette, James Faulk of the Greene County Herald.

Adverse articles were carefully answered and private letters were sent, the enemy quietly reasoned with and in most cases converted. News bulletins furnished by the national press department were used but most of the matter sent out was prepared at home in the belief that an ounce of Mississippi was worth a pound of Massachusetts. Articles published in leaflet form and distributed broadcast were written by Mrs. Somerville, Miss Kearney, Mrs. Thompson, the Rev. Thomas K. Mellen and the Rev. H. Walter Featherstun, Methodist ministers. One of the most valuable contributions was The Legal Status of Mississippi Women, by Robert Campbell, an attorney of Greenville.

In November, 1907, a conference lasting five days was held at Jackson in the home of Charles H. Thompson, a devoted suffragist, and his wife, Lily Wilkinson Thompson. Among those[Pg 328] attending were Miss Kearney, Mrs. Somerville, Mrs. Harriet B. Kells, president of the State W. C. T. U. and a life-long suffragist; Miss Laura Clay of Kentucky and Miss Kate Gordon of Louisiana. The advisability of attempting to have a woman suffrage measure introduced in the next session of the Legislature was considered. Two men besides the host appeared at this conference, a reporter, who regarded the meeting as something of a joke, and the Hon. R. H. Thompson of Jackson, an eminent lawyer, who came to offer sympathetic advice. Visits were made to the Governor, James K. Vardaman, and other State officials; to the Hinds county legislators who had recently been elected and to others. Most of these gentlemen were polite but bored and it was decided to defer legislative action. When two months later Governor Vardaman sent his farewell message to the Legislature he mentioned woman suffrage as one of the questions "pressing for solution in a National Constitutional Convention."

In the spring of 1908 the State convention was held in the Governor's Mansion at Jackson, Governor and Mrs. Edmund Favor Noel giving the parlors for the meeting. Six clubs were reported and State members at twelve places. Three or four women from outside of Jackson were present, Mrs. Pauline Alston Clark of Clarksdale having come from the greatest distance, and about fourteen were in attendance. The officers elected were: President, Mrs. Somerville; vice-presidents, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Fannie Clark, Mrs. Kells; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Pauline Clark; recording secretary, Dr. Randall; treasurer, Mrs. Sarah Summers Wilkinson. Superintendents were appointed for Press, Legislative, Enrollment, Industrial, Educational and Bible Study departments.

In the spring of 1909, the convention was held in the ladies' parlor of the Capitol at Jackson. It lasted two days, a public evening session being held in the Senate Chamber, at which Miss Kate Gordon, corresponding secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, told of the work of the Era Club of New Orleans; Miss Jean Gordon, factory inspector for that city, spoke in behalf of child labor regulations and Mrs. Thompson gave a report of the press work, which had grown to such proportions that it was considered very significant of advance in[Pg 329] suffrage sentiment throughout the State. The Rev. George Whitfield, a venerable Baptist minister, came from the neighboring town of Clinton and conducted devotional exercises and gave a talk on woman's position from a Biblical standpoint. R. K. Jayne of Jackson, an early suffragist, also spoke. At this time dues-paying members were reported from seventeen towns. Mrs. Somerville was re-elected president.

The annual convention was held in Greenville in 1910. Dr. Shaw and Miss Ray Costello of England made addresses; Judge E. N. Thomas of Greenville presided at one of the evening meetings; John L. Hebron, a Delta planter and afterwards State Senator, made an earnest speech of endorsement. It was reported that hundreds of letters were written and the association had gained a hold in fifty places, ranging from rural neighborhoods and plantation settlements to the largest towns. Frederick Sullens, editor of the Jackson Daily News, had given space for a weekly suffrage column edited by Mrs. Thompson. Mrs. J. C. Greenley edited a similar column in the Greenville Democrat. Mrs. Madge Quin Fugler supplied five papers and Mrs. Montgomery two. Miss Ida Ward of Greenville wrote articles for the papers of that town and Mrs. Mohlenhoff edited a column in the Cleveland Enterprise. Among other papers publishing suffrage material were the McComb City Journal and the Enterprise and the Magnolia Gazette. From the press superintendent there had gone out 1,700 articles, ranging in length from a paragraph to a half page, many of them written by her, and they were given prominence in special editions. Ten copies of the Woman's Journal which came from the national press department for years were forwarded to college, town and State libraries and to editors. How far and deep the influence of those Journals reached is beyond computation.

In the fall of 1910 the State association joined the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association in a booth at the Tri-State Fair in Memphis. An interesting feature was the press exhibit, consisting of a width of canvass many yards long on which had been pasted clippings from Mississippi newspapers, suffrage argument and favorable comment. The annual convention was held in Cleveland in 1911. Miss Gordon and Judge Thomas spoke[Pg 330] at the evening session. Editor C. E. Glasco gave an earnest talk at a morning session. The department chairmen brought encouraging reports of their work. A letter was read from Colonel Clay Sharkey of Jackson, which later was published in leaflet form.

The State meeting was held at Flora in April, 1912. Mrs. Judith Hyams Douglas, president of the Era Club of New Orleans, and Omar Garwood of Colorado, secretary of the National Men's League for Woman Suffrage, were the principal speakers. The president, Mrs. Somerville, recommended that the various State organizations of women be invited to unite with the suffrage association in forming a central committee to secure such legislation as should be agreed upon by all. This was afterwards accepted by the Federation of Women's Clubs and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Resolutions were passed regretting the retirement from the presidency of Mrs. Somerville, to whose good generalship during the past four years the success of the association was in a large part due. Mrs. Lily Wilkinson Thompson was elected president.

In response to the call to take part in the parade in Washington March 3, 1913, Mrs. Avery Harrell Thompson, temporarily residing there, was put in charge and with her husband, Harmon L. Thompson, arranged for a handsome float, on which Miss Fannie May Witherspoon, daughter of the member of Congress, represented Mississippi. Mr. Gibbs, a Mississippian, carried the purple and gold silk banner of the State Suffrage Association and four other young Mississippians, Judge Allen Thompson and his brother, Harmon, Walter and Edward Dent, marched beside the float, preforming valiant volunteer police duty when it became necessary. During this year the enrolled membership increased four-fold. Quarterly reports, nearly a thousand, were printed for the first time instead of written. A letter from the Irish Women's League of Dublin and one from the English Women's Equal Rights Union to the State president indicated the world-wide spirit of fraternalism which embraced even Mississippi's modest organization. Good work was done by the new superintendent of press work, Mrs. Dent. Not only did editors by this time willingly accept material but some of them wrote favorable editorials. The Yazoo City Herald, edited by N. A. Mott, was[Pg 331] a new recruit. The Purple and White, a Millsaps College paper, was supplied with suffrage material by a bright senior, Janie Linfield.

For the first time suffrage headquarters were maintained at the State Fair by the Equity League of Jackson. Furnishings were loaned by Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Warren from their beautiful home "Fairview." A rest room for mothers and babies was provided, other tired visitors were also welcomed and the suffrage booth was the most popular place on the grounds. For the first time the association was invited to take part on Woman's Day at the State Fair, when representatives from the women's State organizations held a joint meeting, and the president, Mrs. Thompson, spoke for the suffragists.

Letters were sent to the Mississippi members of Congress urging them to vote for the Federal Suffrage Amendment and to President Wilson, pleading for his favorable consideration. Motion pictures were utilized in three ways—suffrage plays were shown, local clubs selling tickets received a part of the proceeds and suffrage slogans were thrown on the slides between pictures.

The State convention was held in the Senate Chamber of the new Capitol at Jackson in April, 1913. At the evening sessions all seats on the floor were taken, the galleries filled and chairs brought from committee rooms to accommodate the audiences. Music was furnished by the Chaminade Club of Jackson. Mayor Swepson I. Taylor gave the address of welcome. Others who spoke were Mrs. Fannie S. Clark, Mrs. E. T. Edmonds, president of the Equity League, and Mrs. Royden-Douglas, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. In her president's address Mrs. Thompson recommended that the association ask the next Legislature to submit to the voters a State constitutional amendment giving women the ballot, and this was unanimously adopted. The Rev. E. T. Edmonds of the First Christian Church of Jackson spoke on Woman Suffrage in New Zealand, where he had been a resident.

Letters to the president and secretary from U. S. Senators John Sharp Williams and James K. Vardaman were read in reply to appeals that they vote for the Federal Amendment. Senator Vardaman said that when the amendment came up he[Pg 332] would "be glad to vote for it." Senator Williams said that he thought "the federal government ought not attempt to control a State in the exercise of this privilege," that he favored a "white woman's primary, in which the women of the State might say whether they wanted the ballot or not" and that he thought women just as competent to use it as men but did not approve of "forcing it upon them." He was "inclined to woman suffrage" and believed that "with safeguards it might be made a bulwark of white supremacy in the State." The large reception planned by Governor and Mrs. Earl Brewer had to be omitted because of the sudden illness of Mrs. Brewer. On account of home demands Mrs. Thompson declined re-election and Mrs. Dent was made president.

Under Mrs. Dent's administration the work prospered and advanced in popular favor. In the fall "woman suffrage day" was for the first time on the calendar of the State Fair. Headquarters were again maintained, for which space three times as large as that used the previous year was occupied. Mrs. Dent, a successful cotton planter, brought a bale of cotton from her plantation and presented it to the headquarters, where it afforded a unique platform for the speakers. Women from different parts of the State came to act as hostesses and take part in the speaking. This year a college contest was conducted by Mrs. Thompson, who offered a gold medal for the best argument for woman suffrage written by a college student of the State. Six of the largest colleges were represented and the medal was won by Mrs. Pearl Powell, of the Industrial Institute and College.

In April, 1914, the State convention was again held in Jackson. Among the speakers were Rabbi Brill of Meridian and Mrs. Alex Y. Scott of Memphis. Mrs. Dent was re-elected president. In the fall for the first time there was a suffrage section in the parade that marked the opening of the State Fair. Six women, gowned in white and wearing yellow silk Votes for Women badges marched—Mrs. Ella O. Biggs and Miss Sadie Goeber bearing a banner inscribed Women vote in twelve States, why not in Mississippi? followed by Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Avery Harrell Thompson, Mrs. Sarah C. Watts and Mrs. R. W. Durfey and they were generously cheered along the way.[Pg 333]

In the spring of 1915 the State convention was held in Greenville. Dr. Shaw was a guest, stopping on her way to Jackson, where under the auspices of the Equity League she spoke in the House of Representatives to a large audience, many standing throughout her address, which made a profound impression. The convention was well attended. Some of the interesting features were "an hour for men" presided over by Congressman B. G. Humphries, with excellent speeches; a five o'clock tea, given by the Belvidere Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the presentation of the motion picture play, Your Girl and Mine. Miss Pauline V. Orr was elected president. Miss Orr served as president for two years, widely extending the influence of the association through the hundreds of young women who came under her instruction at the Industrial Institute and College, where for many years she held the chair of English.

The annual convention was held in 1916 in the city hall in Meridian, where nineteen years before the State Woman Suffrage Association was organized, and Mrs. Pattie Ruffner Jacobs of Alabama, auditor of the National Association, made an address on the opening evening. During the following year eight new leagues were formed. The convention met in Starkville in April, 1917, and addresses were made by Dr. Shaw, Miss Margaret Hamilton Erwin, president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association; Mrs. Walter McNab Miller, first vice-president of the National Association; Mrs. W. H. Price, president of the Mississippi Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and Mrs. Edward F. McGehee, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. Miss Orr, the president, declining re-election was succeeded by Mrs. McGehee. The United States had now entered the war and the suffragists began to concentrate on war work. As chairman of the Woman's Committee, Mississippi Division of the National Council of Defense, she was able to help popularize woman suffrage.[101]

In April, 1918, a one-day conference was held in the Capitol[Pg 334] at Jackson, when Mrs. Marion B. Trotter of Winona was elected president and brought a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into her office. No convention was held in 1919 but at the close of the meeting of the State Federation of Women's Clubs in Clarksdale in November a conference of the suffragists present was called. It was there decided to organize to support the ratification of the Federal Amendment, which had been submitted by Congress and was to come before the Legislature the following January. Mrs. B. F. Saunders of Swan Lake, retiring president of the federation, was made chairman of the Ratification Committee; Mrs. Trotter, treasurer; Mrs. Somerville chairman of Petition and Press Work; Mrs. McClurg chairman of Finance. By request the National Association sent into the State its organizers, Miss Watkins of Arkansas and Miss Peshakova of New York. Mrs. Cunningham, president of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association and a national worker, also came to assist. Petitions were circulated, leaflets published and distributed, newspapers enlisted and legislators systematically interviewed. The organization thus speedily effected worked during the session of 1920. In April of this year the convention of the State Federation, held in Gulfport, closed with a "suffrage luncheon," a brilliant affair attended by 125 prominent men and women. Speeches were made by the Hon. Barney Eaton, a lawyer of Gulfport; Mrs. S. P. Covington, its president, and others. The State League of Women Voters was organized at this time with Miss Blanche Rogers chairman.

It had been the hope for years to have an endorsement of woman suffrage from the Federation of Women's Clubs, a strong and popular organization numbering over 3,000 of the State's leading women. During its annual meeting in 1916 Miss Orr, president of the State Suffrage Association, had introduced a favorable resolution and with Mrs. Somerville, Mrs. J. W. McGrath of Canton, Mrs. William Baldwin of Columbus and Mrs. W. S. Lott of Meridian led the fight for suffrage. Mrs. William R. Wright of Jackson headed the opposition, which asked for the postponement of the question until the next year and won. At the next convention, held in Meridian in 1917, the resolution was introduced by Miss Ann Rothenberg (now Mrs. Rosenbaum)[Pg 335] of Meridian and passed almost unanimously. In 1919 at the annual meeting held in Clarksdale, during the presidency of Mrs. Saunders, a resolution endorsing the ratification of the Federal Suffrage Amendment was carried with but one dissenting vote, that of Mrs. Lizzie George Henderson of Greenwood, daughter of the late U. S. Senator J. Z. George. When the League of Women Voters was formed the next year Mrs. Henderson was among the first to join it.

In 1919, the State Teachers' Association passed unanimously a resolution endorsing woman suffrage introduced by Professor Frederick Davis Mellen of the State Agricultural and Mechanical College, the son of the late Reverend Thomas L. Mellen, one of Mississippi's earliest suffragists. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union here as elsewhere was a great school for women, teaching them the need of the ballot, and the majority of its members were suffragists but all through the years the minority, who did not want the question brought into the Union, overruled their wishes. Mrs. Harriet B. Kells, the president for many years and a lifelong suffragist, was not able to overcome this situation and it never endorsed woman suffrage.

There never has been any organized opposition among Mississippi women. During the session of the Legislature in 1920 there was an open attempt to organize opposition to ratification of the Federal Amendment but it failed.

Legislative Action. After the suffrage association in 1913 decided to ask for the submission of an amendment to the State constitution to enfranchise women the preliminary work of interviewing legislators and distributing appropriate literature was conducted by the chairman of the Legislative Committee, Mrs. Nellie Nugent Somerville, the president, Mrs. Annie Kinkead Dent, and other members. The president at her own expense sent the Woman's Journal and other literature to all legislators for three months. The concurrent resolution asking for the submission was introduced in the House Jan. 9, 1914, by N. A. Mott of Yazoo county. Senator Hall Sanders of Tallahatchie county offered it in the Senate three days later. The House Committee on Constitution, to which the bill was referred, granted a hearing, at which speeches were made by Mrs. Monroe[Pg 336] McClurg, Miss Belle Kearney, Mrs. Somerville, Miss Kate Gordon (La.), Judge Allen Thompson and Colonel Clay Sharkey. The committee reported unfavorably by a majority of one. A minority report was made by the chairman, Henry A. Minor of Noxubee county, and others. Representative Mott offered a resolution inviting the women to present their case in the House the next day, which was carried by a close vote about one o'clock in the afternoon and the hearing was set for ten the next morning. The Daily News had gone to press and the Clarion Ledger, a morning paper, had some time before forbidden its columns to any news or notices in any way favoring woman suffrage or advertising it.

The president of the Equity League of Jackson, Mrs. J. W. Tucker, with her assistants, announced the hearing over the telephone, the legislators spread the story and when the women who were to speak filed into the House on that memorable morning of January 21 they found all available space occupied and the galleries overflowing. An invitation was sent to the Senators to come over but so many had already deserted their posts for the House that there was not a quorum to vote on the invitation. Hilary Quin of Hinds county, Speaker of the House, presided, introducing the speakers and extending every possible courtesy. They were Mrs. McClurg, Miss Kearney, Miss Orr, Miss Gordon, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Dent and Mrs. Somerville. The speeches made so profound an impression that hardly had the last word been spoken when there came a loud and insistent call from the enemies for adjournment. The bill was presented next day. Emmett Cavette of Noxubee county strongly championed it and Speaker Quin left the chair to make a speech in its favor. Representative S. Joe Owen of Union county vigorously led the fight against it and it was lost by 80 noes, 42 ayes.

In 1916 the women's organizations united in a bill making women eligible to serve as county school superintendents and on the boards of educational and benevolent institutions. During the session of 1918 the suffrage association being in the midst of war work took no initiative in behalf of legislation but Senator Earl Richardson of Neshoba county on his own account introduced in the Senate a concurrent resolution to amend the State[Pg 337] constitution. The members of the Equity League gave assistance; Mrs. Isaac Reese of Memphis was invited to come to the Capitol and on the day the vote was taken she and Miss Kearney made brief speeches before the Senate. On motion of Senator P. E. Carothers the question was submitted without debate, which was a disappointment to its friends, H. H. Casteel of Holmes county declaring that he had remained up nearly all of the night before preparing his speech. The vote was a tie, 21 to 21. The House took no action.

Through the years the officers and members of the State and local suffrage associations united with those of other women's organizations to obtain laws. The age of consent was raised first to 12, then to 16 and in 1914 to 18; better child labor laws were secured; the law permitting a father to dispose of the children by will at his death was repealed. It is a fact not generally known that Mississippi was the pioneer State in securing to married women the right to own and dispose of property. This was done by an Act of the Legislature on Feb. 15, 1839.

Ratification. Congress submitted the Federal Amendment in June, and the Ratification Committee was organized in November. It opened its headquarters in Jackson at the beginning of the legislative session in January, 1920, after having made a whirlwind campaign. At the initial meeting of the committee in Clarksburg there had been great enthusiasm and women gave money as they never had done before. Mrs. B. F. Saunders was made chairman and among those who worked with her in Jackson were Mrs. Somerville, Mrs. Trotter, Mrs. Sam Covington, Miss Blanche Rogers, Mrs. Thompson, Miss Kearney, Mrs. Annie Neely and Mrs. Cunningham of Texas. The legislators were systematically interviewed, literature distributed, petitions circulated and the press kept supplied with arguments and news.

Mrs. Thompson, in charge of the Jackson press, wrote innumerable articles, and Mrs. Somerville and others contributed to the press work. Letters, telegrams and petitions from all over the State urging ratification poured in daily upon both Houses. Delegations of women came to urge their representatives to vote for ratification. Nine influential women came from Lauderdale county bringing a petition of 2,100 names of prominent people[Pg 338] obtained in a day and a half and begged their representatives to vote for the amendment but not one of them did so.

Many of the State's leading newspapers were in favor of ratification. The Daily News of Jackson, in keeping with its policy for years, gave editorial support and generously of its space. The Clarion Ledger, also a Jackson daily, boasted of being the only paper in the State which openly fought ratification. The editor, Colonel Hiram Henry, a veteran journalist of the State, always bitterly opposed to any form of woman suffrage, began his attack weeks before the Legislature met and daily during the session the pages of his paper reeked with hatred for the cause. The literature of the "antis" was largely copied and extracts from negro journals published in the North were reproduced in glaring headlines, extracts so offensive that had they been used against any cause save that of disfranchised women would have been suppressed. It was through his influence that Mrs. Cola Barr Craig, once a resident of Jackson, and Mrs. James S. Pinckard of Alabama came early in January to organize a branch of what they called the Southern Women's Rejection League. They held a public meeting in the Carnegie library, at which besides the two speakers, there were nineteen women present, many of them the old friends of Mrs. Craig. No one would take even the temporary chairmanship and the attempt to organize failed ignominiously. Not daunted Mr. Henry sent for Miss Kate Gordon of New Orleans, a veteran suffragist who had joined hands with the "antis" in fighting ratification. She was advertised for a speech at the Carnegie library and all legislators were urged to attend. Two legislators and fifteen women were present, six of the latter State workers for ratification.

The retiring and incoming State officials were almost to a man outspoken in their advocacy of ratification. Governor Theodore G. Bilbo, the retiring Governor, instead of having the clerk of the House read his farewell message, according to time honored custom, delivered it in person. Woman suffrage was its conspicuous feature and after a profound argument for ratification of the Federal Amendment, he closed his remarks with the solemn statement: "Woe to that man who raises his[Pg 339] hand against the onward march of this progressive movement!" The newly elected Governor, Lee M. Russell, in his inaugural address, delivered in front of the Capitol to an audience of thousands, devoted more time to woman suffrage than to any other topic, making a clear cut, logical argument for ratification and a powerful plea for the enfranchisement of women.

On January 21, W. A. Winter, Representative from Grenada county, offered the following resolution: "Resolved that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States be and hereby is rejected as an unwarranted, unnecessary and dangerous interference with the rights reserved to the States, or to the people, in both State and Federal Constitutions...." This came without warning to the friends of ratification and was not referred to a committee but rushed to a vote after Representative Guy W. Mitchell of Lee county had spoken strongly against it. It was carried by a vote of 94 ayes to 25 noes and the announcement received with cheers and laughter. Sennett Conner of Covington county was the Speaker of the House whose ruling permitted this unparliamentary action.

Sent to the Senate the Winter Resolution of Rejection was referred to the Committee on Constitution, of which Senator Minor was chairman. At the meeting of the committee W. B. Mixon of Pike county was authorized to draft a resolution ratifying the amendment, to be offered in the Senate as a substitute. This was done and Senators Minor, Mixon and Fred B. Smith made a majority report. This resolution was earnestly advocated by Senators Percy Bell and Walton Shields of Washington county, W. B. Roberts of Bolivar, Fred B. Smith of Union, A. A. Cohn of Lincoln and E. F. Noel of Holmes. It failed of adoption and the Winter resolution was recommitted to the Committee on Constitution, where it remained.

In the meantime Senator Mixon had introduced a bill in the Senate giving the right to women to vote in Primary elections and Representative A. J. Whitworth of Pike county a similar one in the House. In Mississippi a nomination is equivalent to an election. Both bills were defeated. A resolution for a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution to be submitted to the voters at the election of November, 1920, passed both[Pg 340] Houses with very little opposition. During the last three weeks of the session Senator Mixon introduced a bill giving the right of suffrage to women in the event of the ratification of the Federal Amendment by thirty-six Legislatures, thus enabling them to vote in the August primaries, and Representative Whitworth introduced two bills, one giving suffrage to women in primary elections and the other in general elections, both contingent upon ratification. These bills passed without opposition.

During the last week of the Legislature Senator Roberts called out of the committee the original Winter Resolution of Rejection and in Committee of the Whole it was amended by striking out the word "reject" and substituting the word "ratify." Thus amended the vote in the Senate stood 21 ayes, 21 noes and Lieutenant Governor H. H. Casteel broke the tie in favor of its adoption. News of the Senate's favorable action spread all over the country in a few hours. Telegrams came pouring in to the Governor and Legislature offering congratulations and appealing to the House to make Mississippi the 36th State to ratify.

The Senate substitute was presented to the House the next afternoon, March 31. Representative Winter moved that the House "do not concur with the Senate Resolution of Ratification." Immediately there came calls for the vote. Telegrams were on the Speaker's stand from William Jennings Bryan, Homer Cummings, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and many other prominent Democrats. A vote was taken as to whether these should be read to the House. Representative E. M. Lane of Smith county, although an opponent of ratification, made an earnest appeal that the courtesy of a hearing should be accorded these national party leaders. A vote of 65 to 32 decided that the telegrams should not be read. Governor Russell had stated that he desired the privilege of the floor to make an appeal in behalf of ratification but this courtesy was denied him. Representatives T. D. Rees of Prentiss county and Walter Sillers of Bolivar spoke in favor of ratification but were poorly heard so great was the confusion and so loud and insistent the calls for the vote. Representative Mitchell was absent. Dr. Whitworth (author of three suffrage bills at[Pg 341] this session) spoke against ratification and while he was speaking Representative R. H. Watts of Rankin county interpolated, "I would die and go to hell before I would vote for it." The substitute was defeated by 94 noes, 23 ayes.

Thus was banished forever the dream of Mississippi suffragists that the women would receive the ballot from the men of this great State. Speaker Sennett Conner was responsible above every one else for the defeat of ratification. Its chance was weakened by the fact that Mississippi's entire delegation in Congress, including Senators John Sharp Williams and "Pat" Harrison had voted against submitting the Federal Amendment.

Did space permit there would be added to the names mentioned in this chapter many others who gave "aid and comfort" to the cause. Among those who never failed when asked to help with financial burdens was the late Major R. W. Millsaps, founder of Millsaps College for men and women. The army of active suffragists was never large. Many women wanted the ballot but comparatively few were under conviction to work for it. To those who did, especially in early, trying days, belongs that indescribable exultation which is the portion of those who help onward a great revolutionary movement for the uplift of the race.

The amendment to the State constitution was voted on at the general election in November, 1920, and received 39,186 ayes, 24,296 noes but it was not carried, as the law requires a majority of all the votes cast at the election. As the women were already enfranchised by the Federal Amendment they did not make a campaign for it but as registration is necessary four months before election and the ratification did not take place until two months before this one, they were not able to vote, Mississippi and Georgia being the only two States that denied this privilege.


[100] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Lily Wilkinson Thompson, an officer in the State Suffrage Association from its organization until its work was finished.

[101] Besides those mentioned the following served on the official board: Mrs. Jimmie Andrews Lipscomb, Mrs. Nella Lawrence Lee, Miss Mattie Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Annie Kinkead Dent, Mrs. Ella O. Biggs, Mrs. Alma Dorsey Birdsall, Mrs. Durrant, Mrs. Edith Marshall Tucker, Mrs. Mary Powell Crane, Miss Ethel Clagett, Mrs. C. C. Miller, Mrs. T. F. Buntin, Miss Estelle Crane, Miss Nannie Herndon Rice.

[Pg 342]



When the last volume of the history of woman suffrage was written in 1900 Missouri was one of the blackest spots on the suffrage map and there was little to indicate that it would ever be lighter. The able and courageous women who inaugurated the movement in 1867, Mrs. Virginia L. Minor, Mrs. Beverly Allen, Mrs. Rebecca Hazzard, Miss Phoebe Couzins and Mrs. Sarah Chandler Coates, were no longer living or past the age for strenuous work. A few women kept up a semblance of a State organization, met annually and in 1901 Mrs. Addie Johnson was elected president; in 1902 Mrs. Louis Werth and in 1903 Mrs. Alice Mulkley, but there was great apathy among women in general. From 1903 to 1910 no State convention was held. In St. Louis, which comprised one-fourth of the inhabitants of the State, there was no visible organization working for woman suffrage. The largest and most influential woman's club refused to allow the subject on its programs. During the decade to 1910 only one speaker of national prominence came into the State—Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association—and evidently at the national headquarters Missouri was considered too hopeless to consider.

The movement was only smoldering, however, and needed but a spark to burst into flame and that spark came from afar—from the torch held high by the "militant" suffragists of England. In no State perhaps was there more bitter invective hurled at them than by the press and people of Missouri but the conscience of the convinced suffragists was aroused. Stirring addresses in St. Louis by Stanton Coit of London and John Lovejoy Elliott of New York in defense of the English "militants"[Pg 343] brought matters to a crisis and a few bold spirits decided to reorganize the scattered suffrage forces.

In March, 1910, Mrs. Florence Wyman Richardson, Miss Marie R. Garesche and Miss Florence Richardson (later Mrs. Roland R. Usher) barely out of her teens, renounced society and invited twenty or twenty-five women, whom they thought might be interested, to meet in Miss Garesche's home. Only five responded, Miss Bertha Rombauer, Miss Jennie M. A. Jones, Mrs. Robert Atkinson, Miss Lillian Heltzell and Mrs. Dan Knefler. Not at all daunted it was decided as a first step to engage a prominent lecturer. Miss Ethel Arnold, the well-known Englishwoman, a suffragist but not a "militant," was then touring this country and before the meeting adjourned a telegram was sent to her and the eight women present guaranteed the sum to cover her charge and the rent of a hall. As her itinerary would bring her to St. Louis about the middle of April it was thought best to organize immediately, so that the publicity which would undoubtedly be given to Miss Arnold would be shared by the infant society. A circular letter outlining the project was sent broadcast and April 8 about fifty women gathered at the residence of Mrs. Richardson and effected an organization. Thus came into being the St. Louis Equal Suffrage League, which was destined to play the principal part in winning the vote for the women of the State. The following officers were elected: President, Mrs. Richardson; first vice-president, Miss Garesche; second, Mrs. Atkinson; corresponding secretary, Miss Rombauer; recording secretary, Miss Heltzell; treasurer, Mrs. Knefler; auditor, Mrs. Leslie Thompson.

Miss Arnold's lecture took place April 11 and her charm, culture and cogent reasoning won many friends to the cause and disarmed many of its opponents. Branch organizations were soon formed in the northern and southern parts of the city with Mrs. Atlanta Hecker and Miss Cecilia Razovsky as presidents. Meetings were held in the Cabanne Branch Library and before the end of the year the members had increased to 275.[103] During[Pg 344] the first year the league brought a number of lecturers to the city, realizing that this was the most valuable form of propaganda in a community so entrenched in conservatism. Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Philip Snowden of England; Professor Frances Squire Potter of the University of Minnesota; Mrs. Lucia Ames Mead of Boston; Professor Nathaniel Schmidt of Cornell and Professor Earl Barnes of Philadelphia.

On Nov. 3, 1911, Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst of England, at the invitation of the league, lectured in the Odeon, the largest hall in the city, to an audience that taxed its capacity. Her charming personality set at rest all fears as to the ill effect of suffrage, even of the "militant" variety, on feminine grace and refinement. Soon afterwards the Mary Institute Alumnae Association invited Miss Sylvia Pankhurst to lecture and the result was most gratifying to the friends of suffrage.

The old State organization having ceased to exist the St. Louis league with its branches and the recently formed Webster Groves Suffrage League, Mrs. Lee Roseborough, president, met in St. Louis Feb. 14, 1911, and organized a State Woman Suffrage Association, which affiliated with the National American Association. The officers were: President, Mrs. Atkinson; vice-president, Mrs. Morrison-Fuller; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Boyd; recording secretary, Miss Rombauer; treasurer, Miss Jane Thompson; auditor, Mrs. R. D. McArthur. Owing to various causes this board was in a few months reduced to three working members, Mrs. Atkinson, Mrs. Boyd and Miss Rombauer. Realizing that it must enlist the support of the press they sent out letters to a long list of the State editors and favorable replies were received from twenty-six, who promised to give a weekly column in their papers for suffrage news and propaganda. All the libraries were written to and a number of them induced to procure the four large volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage, generously offered by the National Association. The librarians, who were often women, were asked to keep on hand a supply of suffrage literature. The St. Louis public library, at the suggestion of the board, made a special exhibit of this literature, much of which was new. In the center of the exhibit was a large picture of William T. Harris, former superintendent[Pg 345] of schools in St. Louis and later U. S. Commissioner of Education, with his strong testimony in favor of woman suffrage.

Mrs. Atkinson was permitted to make an address on suffrage before the State Federation of Women's Clubs at Sedalia but no action was taken. She also addressed a large audience at the dedication of the Woman's Building which had been erected by the Legislature on the State Fair grounds near that city and Mrs. Walter McNab Miller of Columbia also made an address. The board paid a lawyer to compile the State laws for women under the direction of E. M. Grossman. Mrs. Atkinson, Mrs. Boyd and Mrs. John L. Lowes of St. Louis and Mrs. Virginia Hedges of Warrensburg went as delegates to the convention of the National Association in 1911 at Louisville, where much satisfaction was expressed that Missouri had at last come into the fold. The Kansas City League was organized this year with Mrs. Henry N. Ess, president; Miss Helen Osborn, secretary; and Mrs. Helena Cramer Leavens, treasurer. The women of Warrensburg, under the leadership of Miss Laura Runyon, organized a club of fifty members. There was the State Normal School, to whose faculty Miss Runyon belonged, and through her the support of the students was obtained and suffrage propaganda extended gradually to every section of the State. Mrs. Knefler, president of the St. Louis Women's Trades Union, organized a league among its members, which, under the leadership of Mrs. Sarah Spraggon and Miss Sallie Quick, did excellent work in the campaigns that followed.

In 1912 a Business Woman's Suffrage League was formed in St. Louis under the leadership of Miss Mary McGuire, a graduate of the St. Louis University Law School, and Miss Jessie Lansing Moller, which starting with 50 members, eventually numbered 250. The same year the Junior Branch of the St. Louis League was organized, which included many of the younger society girls and matrons. Miss Ann Drew (later Mrs. James Platt) was president. In Kansas City in the autumn the Southside Equal Suffrage League was formed with Mrs. Cora Kramer Leavens, president, and Miss Cora Best Jewell, secretary. A Men's Equal Suffrage League was also organized with D. H. Hoff president; J. H. Austin, vice-president; David Proctor, secretary, which[Pg 346] did a large work in securing the big vote given to the suffrage amendment in Kansas City and Jackson county in 1914.

In 1912 the first State convention was held in September at Sedalia, where Mrs. George Gellhorn was elected president and Mrs. John W. Barringer vice-president, both of St. Louis. They went to Jefferson City in September and tried to get a suffrage plank into the platform of the Democratic State convention. Though unsuccessful it was the initial step in bringing the subject out of the parlor and lecture-room into the sphere of politics, the arena where the battle ultimately had to be fought. Twenty-eight leagues were formed this year. Miss Amelia C. Fruchte, member of the St. Louis Central High School faculty, went before the State Teachers' Association and secured its endorsement of woman suffrage.

In 1913 at the State convention held at St. Louis in September, Mrs. Walter McNab Miller, formerly of Ohio, was elected State president. She had been the leading spirit in work for suffrage in Columbia, the seat of the State University, where her husband was a professor, and in November, 1912, an organization was formed with Dr. R. H. Jesse, former president of the university, at its head. Though the State in general was still apathetic the women in the large places, especially in St. Louis and Kansas City, were alert and active. Mrs. Richardson, after two strenuous years, had been succeeded by Mrs. David O'Neil as president of the St. Louis League. She was followed in October by Mrs. John L. Lowes, who had to resign from exhaustion and Mrs. O'Neil was again elected.

The hard work that had been done was beginning to bear fruit and the Farmers' Alliance, the Prohibitionists, the Single Taxers and other organizations were seeking the cooperation of the suffrage societies. The press was giving more and more space to suffrage news. Mrs. Emily Newell Blair of Carthage was a powerful influence with country editors. The St. Louis Post Dispatch offered prizes amounting to $100 for the best arguments in favor and often contained strong editorials. Thanks largely to Miss Jane Winn, on the editorial staff of the Globe Democrat, suffrage news was seldom refused by that paper. The Kansas City Star and the Post gave strong support. Best[Pg 347] of all, the women were gaining in courage and confidence. In September the managers of a Merchants' and Manufacturers' Street Exposition in St. Louis invited the suffragists to conduct a parade under their auspices and a large number of automobiles and auto-trucks gaily decorated with white and yellow bunting and accompanied by several bands of music went through the principal downtown streets. The crowds were respectful and occasionally enthusiastic. The enthusiasm of the paraders reached such a pitch that they left their protecting cars and marched boldly down the middle of the street, preceded by a band playing "Everybody's doing it." The details were arranged by Mrs. W. W. Boyd, Jr.

The time was judged to be ripe for an organized effort to secure action at the general election of 1914 and two plans presented themselves: First, to ask the Legislature to submit to the voters an amendment to the State constitution giving full suffrage to women; second, to secure the necessary number of signatures under the newly enacted initiative petition law to place the amendment on the ballot regardless of action by the Legislature. The former method was tried first but the latter was found to be necessary. A finance committee was appointed by the league to raise funds for the campaign and at a luncheon in St. Louis amid great enthusiasm $11,000 were pledged, which were turned over to Mrs. B. B. Graham, campaign treasurer. Headquarters were opened down town with Mrs. Knefler, campaign manager, in charge. The interest aroused throughout the State by the circulating of the petition was manifested at the State convention in Columbia, in May, 1914, which was attended by a number of delegates from the country districts. Mrs. Miller was re-elected president. On "suffrage day," May 1, men and women addressed crowds between acts at different theaters and on the steps of public buildings. Miss Fola LaFollette was the speaker at a large evening meeting and addressed the Men's City Club at luncheon the next day. The slogan was sent out far and wide, "Suffrage for Missouri in 1914." After the heavy task of obtaining 14,000 names to the petition and a strenuous campaign the amendment was defeated at the polls.

In 1915 an offer was made by a newspaper man in Monet to[Pg 348] publish a suffrage magazine and eagerly accepted, the suffragists agreeing to furnish the material and to work up the subscriptions. Mrs. Blair was the first editor of the Missouri Woman and all went well for a few months, then the publisher failed. This was a keen disappointment but through the efforts of Miss Mary Bulkley and Percy Werner of St. Louis, Flint Garrison, president of the Garrison-Wagner Printing Company, a prominent Democrat and an ardent suffragist, became interested and agreed to publish the magazine. It was adopted as the organ of the State Federation of Women's Clubs and was endorsed by the State branch of the National Congress of Mothers and the State Parent Teachers' Association. In March, 1916, Mrs. Blair, owing to the difficulty of editing the magazine from her home in Carthage while it was published in St. Louis, resigned as editor and was succeeded by Miss Mary Semple Scott of St. Louis, who continued in that office during the remaining three years of its useful existence, until the women of the State had been partially enfranchised and the Federal Suffrage Amendment had been ratified by the Legislature.

During 1916 the St. Louis Equal Suffrage League reorganized on political lines with a Central Committee composed of a member from each of the twenty-five wards. Mrs. William C. Fordyce, who for a long time had urged this action, was unanimously elected chairman. At the convention held in Springfield in May Mrs. John R. Leighty of Kansas City succeeded Mrs. Miller, who had been elected first vice-president of the National Association and would reside in Washington. At the meeting of the board held in St. Louis in June the State association also was reorganized on political lines and a Congressional Committee of sixteen members representing the sixteen congressional districts was appointed. The St. Louis League subscribed $500 to carry on the work and Mrs. Charles Passmore was made chairman. The committees appealed to the Republican State convention to put a plank for woman suffrage in its platform but with no success. Later, after the two national parties had adopted suffrage planks, an effort was made to have the State committees adopt the same plank but they refused.

The National Democratic Convention held in St. Louis in[Pg 349] June, 1916, offered a splendid opportunity which both State and city suffragists eagerly seized. Some unique schemes were evolved, among them the "golden lane," the idea of Mrs. Blair. It has been described as "a walkless, talkless parade" and consisted of about 7,000 women arranged in a double line on both sides of the street, the front row sitting, the back row standing, all dressed in white with yellow sashes and each one carrying a yellow parasol. They held their places on the opening day of the convention, June 14, from 10 a. m. till noon, on both sides of Locust Street for a distance of ten blocks, the route the delegates had to take in going from their headquarters in the Jefferson Hotel to the Coliseum, where the convention was held.

Another striking appeal was in the form of a beautiful and imposing tableau staged on the steps of the old Art Museum, also on the route of the delegates, which was given with an occasional interval of rest for two long hours. The details were managed by Miss Virginia Stevenson. Under a canopy of gold cloth, which cast a glow over the group below, there stood at the top of the steps "Liberty," posed by handsome Mrs. O'Neil. Grouped about her were thirteen women dressed in white representing the twelve equal suffrage States and Alaska. Farther down on the steps were the States in which only partial suffrage had been granted, impersonated by women dressed in gray. At the bottom were figures in black, representing the States where women were wholly disfranchised, extending their manacled arms to Liberty. A mass meeting was held later in the day in the auditorium of the Museum, when Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, William Jennings Bryan, U. S. Senator John F. Shafroth and Mrs. Miller addressed large and enthusiastic audiences. The Town Club, an organization of women, gave a dinner with covers laid for 300, which was followed by music and speaking in front of the Jefferson Hotel. On the same night there was street speaking on the principal down town corners for two hours, one speaker relieving another as the crowds called for more. Miss Scott brought out an impressive number of the Missouri Woman during the convention. William Burns, a well-known artist on the Post Dispatch, designed an attractive and significant cover and Miss Marguerite Martin illustrated a story by Mrs. Blair; editors of[Pg 350] the St. Louis dailies, Louis Ely, Casper Yost and Paul W. Brown, contributed editorials and William Marion Reedy, editor of the St. Louis Mirror, wrote a charming article. The edition of 10,000 was sold at the bookstands and by volunteers who acted as "newsies." The business men advertised generously.

The result partially of all the hard work and enthusiasm was a woman suffrage plank in the platform according to the Democratic principle of State's rights, which, though not entirely satisfactory to the suffragists, was regarded as a decided victory.

The entrance of the United States in the World War in 1917 acted as a deterrent of suffrage activities, as the various organizations threw themselves whole-heartedly into war work. Mrs. Leighty, State chairman, Mrs. Stix, chairman of the St. Louis League, and other heads of suffrage societies throughout the State, had the difficult task of directing their activities in war work and at the same time keeping at the front the idea that, while working to make the world safe for democracy abroad, the cause of democracy at home demanded the speedy enfranchisement of the women of America. Missouri's quota for the Oversea Hospitals organized by the National Suffrage Association was $1,000. At a luncheon given by the St. Louis League May 8, where Mrs. Charles L. Tiffany of New York was the speaker, $4,331 were subscribed in fifteen minutes. Mrs. Miller was chairman of the Food Conservation Committee of the National Association and Mrs. George Gellhorn organized its work for Missouri. All demands of the Government were fully met.

In May, 1917, the State convention was held at Kansas City and Mrs. Miller having returned from Washington was again elected president. This year a Men's Advisory Committee in St. Louis was formed composed of 147 well-known residents organized under the following leaders: Jackson Johnson, N. A. McMillan, Ernest W. Stix, Joseph Woracek, Edward F. Goltra, E. N. Grossman, Benjamin Gratz, J. L. Babler. A teachers' division including many thousand was formed, with Miss Tillie Gecks as president. Largely through the efforts of the executive secretary of the St. Louis league, Mrs. Lucille B. Lowenstein, its membership in 1918 was increased to 8,000. Mrs. Stix, resigning because of illness, Mrs. Gellhorn was elected.[Pg 351]

At the State convention held at Macon in May, 1918, Mrs. Miller was re-elected. Owing to the splendid organization of the St. Louis League it was able to invite the National Suffrage Association to hold its Golden Jubilee in this city in 1919. It was held March 23-29 inclusive at the Statler Hotel with two evening mass meetings at the Odeon, and was declared by Mrs. Catt to have been "the best convention ever held anywhere." A large group of women worked indefatigably for weeks in advance to make it a success but to Mrs. Gellhorn, chairman of the Local Arrangements Committee, must go the chief honor. Second must be placed the name of Mrs. Stix, who had raised the funds to defray the local expenses.

On the evening of March 28 was held one of the mass meetings. The large auditorium of the Odeon, beautifully decorated for the occasion under the supervision of Mrs. Fred Taussig and Mrs. Everett W. Pattison, was filled to overflowing. On the stage were Mrs. Catt, Dr. Shaw and the other national officers, also the speakers of the evening, among whom were Governor Henry J. Allen of Kansas and Miss Helen Frazier of England. Suddenly music was heard from the back. It heralded the Missouri delegation, composed of Mrs. Miller, Mrs. David O'Neil, Mrs. W. R. Haight and Miss Marie B. Ames, who had been in Jefferson City for ninety-six days working in the interest of the Presidential suffrage bill and had just returned with the joyful tidings that it had passed both Houses! The delegation was met at the door and escorted down the center aisle by Mrs. Gellhorn, holding aloft a banner bearing the words, "Now we are voters." The large audience rose spontaneously and amidst deafening cheers and wild waving of handkerchiefs and hats the women ascended to the stage, where they were individually presented to the audience by the presiding officer, Dr. Shaw, who congratulated them and the rest of the women of Missouri on the great victory. [Full account of convention in Chapter XVIII, Volume V.]

To celebrate the success of this great convention and especially the winning of Presidential suffrage, the St. Louis League at its annual meeting in April gave a "victory tea" in the Statler Hotel. The guests of honor were Senator James W. McKnight and[Pg 352] Representative Walter E. Bailey, who had so successfully led the suffrage forces in the Senate and House. With music and the presentation to Mrs. O'Neil, in acknowledgment of her long and faithful services, of an illuminated testimonial, it was a delightful afternoon. Mrs. Fred English was elected president of the league. At the State convention held at St. Louis Mrs. Gellhorn was elected president, Mrs. Miller honorary president, Mrs. David O'Neil honorary vice-president of the association.

With Presidential suffrage won, the work before both State and city association was obviously the organization and education of the new voters. At a State meeting held in Kansas City May 3, a "budget" system was adopted and a definite quota assigned to each county. Kansas City raised $3,000 at a banquet in the Muehlbach Hotel, Mrs. J. B. White presiding. St. Louis then raised its quota of $6,000 and another $6,000 was pro-rated throughout the remainder of the State, giving $15,000.

The next step in order was the establishment of Citizenship Schools and the slogan "Every Missouri Woman an Intelligent Voter in 1920" was adopted. Under the direction of Mrs. Olive B. Swan, executive secretary of the State association, citizenship schools were arranged for in every one of the sixteen congressional districts. Miss Ames and Miss Lutie Stearns, two expert organizers, traveled through the State holding meetings and conducting schools. Mrs. Leighty and Mrs. Alfred Buschman assisted in this work. Mrs. English and Mrs. Clarke conducted all those in St. Louis. The Young Women's Christian Association allowed them the use of its auditorium for the first suffrage normal school. Some mothers of families got up at five o'clock and did part of their day's work in order to be able to attend; some women traveled miles in order to do so; others came to night classes after a hard day's work in office or school room. The St. Louis Board of Education recognized the importance of this work and offered to incorporate the citizenship schools in the night school system. It furnished the building and paid the instructors, the St. Louis League managed the schools. The response of the colored women to these opportunities was especially noteworthy; in one school over 300 were in constant attendance. Mrs. McBride, secretary of the Jackson county[Pg 353] suffrage league, conducted classes throughout the county. Kansas City secured Professor Isador Loeb of the University of Missouri for a course of lectures on government. All the women's clubs united into one school. The course included principles of government, organization, publicity, public speaking, suffrage history and argument, parliamentary law and use of literature.

The submission of the Federal Suffrage Amendment by Congress in June, 1919, was celebrated with the greatest joy throughout the State. Prominent suffragists in St. Louis waited upon Mayor Keil, the board of aldermen and other city officials and escorted them in gaily decorated automobiles to the steps of the Post Office, where the Mayor, an old friend of woman suffrage, made a rousing speech. Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Gellhorn also spoke and Charles M. Hay closed the meeting with an eloquent address. In Kansas City a similar meeting was held in one of the large theaters.

Ratification. Steps were at once taken to secure the ratification of the amendment by the Legislature. Edward F. Goltra, National Democratic Committeeman, a proved friend, and Ben Neals, State Democratic chairman, were often asked for advice and other help. Jacob Babler, Republican National Committeeman, and W. L. Cole, Republican State chairman, Mayor Keil and many others of both political parties assisted the suffrage associations in placing before Governor Gardner the urgency of calling a special session. He was not slow in responding and one was called for July 2, 1919. All the suffrage organizations in the State, with the Federated Clubs and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, started to work immediately to make sure of a large majority. Legislators were visited by their constituents and letters and telegrams were showered on them by prominent men and women from other sections of the State.

On July 1 the suffragists gathered in Jefferson City and opened a State board meeting with a luncheon and speeches at the New Central Hotel to which every one was welcome. At 7 o'clock the ratification dinner took place, with members of the Legislature as the invited guests of the State association. Every foot of space in the dining-room, ante-room and lobby of the hotel was[Pg 354] filled with tables. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor were escorted to the hall by prominent suffragists and both made stirring appeals.

At 10 o'clock the morning of July 3, a procession of women wended its way from the hotel to the beautiful new Capitol. The yellow parasols, which had figured in every suffrage celebration since the time of the historic Golden Lane in 1916, were everywhere in evidence and yellow banners, ribbons and flowers gave the dominant note of color to the scene. The galleries in both Senate and House were filled. The resolution passed the House by a vote of 125 to 4; the Senate by a vote of 29 to 3.

A great sorrow came in the midst of the rejoicing, as the news was received that Dr. Anna Howard Shaw died the evening before the ratification. She had addressed the Legislature in other years and both Houses passed resolutions of regret.

Missouri women will forever remember gratefully the 50th General Assembly, as it did all possible for it to do toward their enfranchisement. It memorialized Congress urging the passage of the Federal Suffrage Amendment; it passed the Presidential suffrage bill and it promptly ratified the Amendment.

A called convention of the State association was held October 16-18, at the Hotel Statler in St. Louis and the name was changed to the Missouri League of Women Voters. Mrs. Gellhorn was elected chairman. Every district was represented by the 122 delegates present.

Legislative Action. 1913. A petition signed by 14,000 voters of the State, of whom 8,000 were from St. Louis, was presented to the Legislature asking it to submit an amendment for woman suffrage at the election of 1914. The women who had had charge of the petition were Mrs. David O'Neil, president, Miss Mary Bulkley, Miss Charlotte Rumbold and Mrs. William C. Fordyce of the St. Louis Equal Suffrage League and Mrs. St. Clair Moss and Mrs. Rose Ingels of Columbia. A letter had been sent to every legislator saying that all he was asked to do was to help get the amendment before the voters. The resolution was introduced by Representative Thomas J. Roney and Senator Anderson Craig. It was referred to the House and Senate Committees on Constitutional Amendment[Pg 355] and a joint hearing was set for February 6. A number of women from different parts of the State appeared before these committees and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National Suffrage Association, disarmed all prejudice. There was a unanimous favorable report from the Senate Committee and only one adverse vote in the House Committee. A week later the resolution was sent to engrossment by both Houses with but five dissenting votes in the Senate while in the House the "ayes" were so overwhelming that the "noes" were not counted. The women went home feeling that the fight was won but the last week of the session the resolution was taken off the calendar, referred back to the committees and pigeon-holed.

The women then decided to resort to the newly created device of the "initiative petition," by which the amendment could be submitted without legislative action. Mrs. Walter McNab Miller was urged to take charge of the work, the St. Louis Suffrage League agreeing to look after the three most difficult congressional districts. She began the latter part of August to canvass a State that has 114 counties, in many of which there are no railroads and the other roads are almost impassable. After six weeks of constant travel and hard work she obtained only 1,000 names. The cooperation of Mrs. Nellie Burger, president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the only woman's organization in the State outside of the regular suffrage societies which had endorsed suffrage, was then secured. The St. Louis and Kansas City leagues took the most thickly populated districts and the others were apportioned among little bands of suffragists, who, under the leadership of Mrs. Miller, worked steadily for the next six months. At last the required 14,000 signatures were obtained and representatives from each district went to Jefferson City to present the petitions to Secretary of State Cornelius Roach. He received them in a most friendly manner, saying that he hoped this work, which had been done at such great cost, would bring the desired reward.

It had only begun and the task during the next six months was to induce the men to vote for the amendment, which now had an assured place on the ballot. Help came from the outside, as well as within the State. Ruth Hanna (Mrs. Medill) McCormick[Pg 356] of Chicago, chairman of the Congressional Committee of the National Association, sent an organizer and paid her expenses for four months. From friends outside $3,264 were sent and about $1,800 were raised in various ways in the State. Dr. Shaw and Miss Jane Addams spoke in several cities and other prominent speakers were Mrs. Desha Breckinridge of Kentucky, Miss Helen Todd of California, Mrs. McCormick and "General" Rosalie Jones of New York. The State and county fairs were utilized. Headquarters were rented in a big downtown building in St. Louis with Miss Rumbold as director of publicity, Miss Genevieve Tierney and Mrs. R. L. Sanford in charge of the business part, Mrs. Alice Curtis Moyer-Wing head of the speakers' bureau and Miss Bulkley treasurer. Mrs. Blair had charge of the press work for the State, Miss Clara Sommerville for St. Louis.[104] The St. Louis Times, the Kansas City Post and the Warrensburg Daily Star allowed the women to get out a special suffrage edition.

All the hard work of a year and a half was in vain. On Nov. 3, 1914, the woman suffrage amendment went down to defeat with fourteen other amendments on the ballot. More votes were cast on this one than on any other—182,257 ayes; 322,463 noes; lost by 140,206. In Kansas City the adverse majority was only 1,000. Thirteen counties were carried.

1915. It had been decided at the first State board meeting after the defeat to attempt again to have an amendment submitted by the Legislature. Mrs. Miller took charge of the work and remained six weeks in Jefferson City. The resolution was written by Judge Robert Franklin Walker, now Chief Justice of Missouri, and was introduced by Senator Craig and Representative Roney, as before. A joint hearing was arranged at which twelve Missouri women, representing various professions and occupations, spoke five minutes each. It passed the House by 88 ayes to 42 noes. Through the efforts of Senator William Phelps, who was showered with letters and telegrams from his constituents, the committee, a majority of whom were violently[Pg 357] opposed to woman suffrage, was persuaded to report it favorably but it did not come to a vote in the Senate.

1916. As the Federal Amendment was now well advanced and the bad effect on it of the loss of a State campaign was clearly recognized, the National Board asked the officers of each State association to refrain from entering into one. Therefore it was agreed at the State convention in May, 1916, to give up the projected campaign.

1917. A bill for Presidential suffrage, which was approved by the national officers, was introduced. Headquarters were opened in the Capitol with Miss Geraldine Buchanan of California, Mo., in charge and a strong lobby of State women remained there during the session—Mrs. Leighty, Mrs. Fordyce, Mrs. O'Neil, Mrs. Passmore and Mrs. Grossman of St. Louis. Mrs. Katherine Smith, daughter of Judge Walker, and Miss Matilda Dahlmeyer of Jefferson City gave effective aid. Percy Werner, a lawyer of St. Louis, agreed to defend its legal status before the Legislature if necessary and in January it was introduced by Senator Robert J. Mitchell of Aurora and Representative Nick Cave of Fulton. It was reported favorably by the House Committee but when it came to a hearing before the Senate committee there appeared Miss Minnie Bronson from New York, secretary of the National Anti-Suffrage Association. The speaker in favor was Mrs. Fordyce, a granddaughter of the pioneer suffragist, Mrs. Beverly Allen. The House passed it by 87 to 37 but the Senate defeated it.

Missouri women now turned their attention to furthering the Federal Suffrage Amendment. The Congressional Committee appointed for this purpose worked indefatigably and early in January, armed with two large bundles of petitions for it, one from the State and one from St. Louis, aggregating 75,000 names, a delegation went to Washington. Mrs. Miller, vice-president of the National Association, arranged, with the assistance of Miss Mabel Stone, daughter of the Missouri Senator, William R. Stone, for a meeting in his office between them and the State's members of Congress. They presented their petitions and made earnest appeals for the amendment.

Suffragists throughout the State kept up a constant stream of[Pg 358] telegrams and letters to the Missouri members and Governor Gardner used his influence. Senator Stone, and after his death Senator Xenophon P. Wilfley, were pledged to the amendment, and Senator Selden P. Spencer, who later was elected, could positively be depended upon. All possible efforts were concentrated upon Senator James A. Reed but to no avail. To disprove his statements that his constituents were not in favor of woman suffrage, the Jackson county campaign committee, with Mrs. J. B. White of Kansas City chairman, sent him the signatures of 47,382 women and 12,583 men from his district, asking for it. When the amendment came to a vote in 1918, Senator Wilfley and all the Representatives voted in the affirmative except Meeker of St. Louis, who died soon afterwards. In 1919 Senator Spencer and the entire delegation in the House voted in favor. Senator Reed fought it every time it came before the Senate.

Delegations of women appeared before the State conventions of both parties on the same day in August, 1918, and asked for a suffrage plank. Mrs. Miller, Mrs. O'Neil and Mrs. Stix attended the Democratic convention in Jefferson City; Mrs. Gellhorn and Mrs. Grossman, assisted by others, looked after the Republican convention in St. Louis. They were invited to speak and each party put a very good suffrage plank in its platform.

1919. Work for Presidential suffrage was continued. Extra pressure was brought to bear on the Senate. Two national organizers, Miss Ames and Miss Alma Sasse, were sent into various senatorial districts to enlist the help of influential people and when the time came for a vote it undoubtedly was favorable pressure from home that kept some of the Senators in line. When the General Assembly convened Jan. 8, 1919, Governor Gardner recommended such suffrage legislation as the women might desire. Through the courtesy of Lieutenant Governor Crossley, President of the Senate, and S. F. O'Fallon, Speaker of the House, it was the first bill introduced.

On February 6 the Presidential bill was put on the calendar over the adverse report of the Election Committee, an action almost without precedent. On the 11th the Speaker left the chair and delivered a powerful address urging its passage. Representative Frank Farris also made a strong speech in its[Pg 359] favor and the final vote was 122 ayes, 8 noes. The opposition used every device to prevent it from being brought up for the final reading in the Senate but finally the time was set for March 28. On that date two of the Senators favoring it were absent and their votes were absolutely necessary. Senator David W. Stark was at his home in Westline and Senator Howard Gray had been called on important business to Caruthersville. On the 27th Mrs. Miller, Mrs. O'Neil, Mrs. Haight and Miss Ames, who had been in Jefferson City for over three months, met for final consultation. Senator Stark responded to a telephone call and promised to be in his seat the next morning. It was found it would be impossible for Senator Gray to arrive on time. They were in despair but a savior was at hand. Democratic National Committeeman Edward F. Goltra offered to charter a special train to bring Senator Gray, a Republican, to Jefferson City in time to cast his vote. This offer was gladly and gratefully accepted and the Senator left Caruthersville that night. The next morning all the other Senators were in their seats, the opposition complacent and confident that the bill could not pass. While Senator McKnight was reading a telegram from the National Suffrage Convention in session at St. Louis urging the immediate passage of the Presidential suffrage bill Senator Gray quietly walked in and took his seat! The opposition, out-witted and out-generaled, threw up their hands and the bill was passed by a vote of 21 to 12, some of its former opponents voting for it. On April 5 in the presence of the board of the State association it was signed by Governor Gardner.


[102] The History is indebted for this chapter to Miss Marie R. Garesche, a founder and first vice-president of the St. Louis Equal Suffrage League.

[103] Thirteen men were enrolled this year, Eugene Angert, George Blackman, R. W. Boysselier, Dr. W. W. Boyd, Mr. Chauvenet, E. M. Grossman, Charles Haanel, Stephen Hart, Charles Van Dyke Hill, Dr. John C. Morfit, H. J. Peifer, Judge R. E. Rombauer and Percy Werner.

[104] Because of lack of space it has been impossible to include the long lists of names prepared of women who worked all over the State.

[Pg 360]



Before 1900 the National American Woman Suffrage Association, under the presidency of Miss Susan B. Anthony, helped to organize suffrage societies in Montana and several conventions were held. In 1899 Dr. Maria M. Dean was elected president. She was succeeded by Mrs. Clara B. Tower, whose report to the national suffrage convention of 1903 said:

On May 1, 1902, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, National president, Miss Gail Laughlin and Miss Laura A. Gregg, organizers, arrived in Helena and in conjunction with the State officers planned a campaign to include a meeting in every town of any importance. Mrs. Catt re-organized the Helena Suffrage Club and remained two weeks, conducting a large correspondence, addressing all the women's organizations in the city and a mass meeting. Miss Laughlin spent these two weeks in Butte, where she spoke to a number of labor unions and obtained resolutions strongly endorsing woman suffrage from the Silver Bow Trades and Labor Assembly, a delegate body representing 10,000 men. Mrs. Catt then went to Butte and for ten days she and Miss Laughlin delivered addresses before the principal organizations of the city, among which were the Woman's Club and the Trades Council. Their visit closed with a mass meeting at which a large number of names were secured for membership in the Equal Suffrage Club, which was organized immediately afterward. The campaign was then placed in charge of Miss Laughlin, who did the field work, and Miss Gregg, who arranged the dates from the headquarters in Helena. The speaking before labor unions was continued through the State and not a union or delegate body of laboring men failed to endorse woman suffrage. Miss Laughlin, by invitation, addressed the State labor convention, representing all the labor unions, and resolutions strongly endorsing woman suffrage and the submission of an amendment were passed with only one dissenting voice on a roll-call vote.

Miss Laughlin spent the summer and fall visiting every town of importance, organizing more than thirty clubs, and securing committees to circulate petitions where organization was impracticable.[Pg 361] The State convention was held in Butte in September in preparation for work in the Legislature during January and February, 1903, for submission to the voters of a woman suffrage amendment to the State constitution, which had been strongly recommended by Governor Toole in his Message. A considerable sum was raised for press work and Miss Mary E. O'Neill was appointed superintendent. A resolution asking the National Association for the services of Miss Laughlin for legislative work was adopted and she remained.[106]

The bill for full suffrage was introduced in both Houses; public hearings were granted by the Judiciary Committee of each and the House took a recess that its members might attend in a body. Miss Laughlin and others spoke and the measure had strong advocates in Dr. O. M. Lanstrum, J. M. Kennedy, John Maginness, Colonel James U. Sanders, F. Augustus Heinze (the copper magnate), Colonel C. B. Nolan, State Senators Whipple, Myers and Johnson. State officers and members of the Helena Club assisted in the legislative work, which continued two months. The vote in the House was 41 ayes, 23 noes, but two-thirds were necessary. The resolution introduced in the Senate by H. L. Sherlock was also defeated.

At the session of 1905 the amendment resolution was again introduced and Mrs. Tower travelled from Boston to be present at the hearing. Mrs. J. M. Lewis, Mrs. Walter Matheson and Miss O'Neill addressed the committees but the vote was adverse.

For a number of years little was done except in a desultory way. The suffrage resolution was presented at almost every session of the Legislature but there was no intensive work for it. Some of the political equality clubs lived on, the strongest one in Missoula with J. Washington McCormick president and Miss Jeannette Rankin vice-president. In 1911 Dr. J. M. Donahue had introduced the suffrage resolution in the Legislature but no work had been done for it and this club sent Miss Rankin to Helena to press for its passage. It found champions in Colonel J. B. Nolan, W. W. Berry and D. G. O'Shea and opponents in James E. McNally and Joseph Binnard. Miss Rankin obtained permission to address the House. The Senate refused to attend[Pg 362] officially but adjourned and was present almost in a body. House members brought flowers and the room resembled anything but a legislative hall, as masses of hats hid the legislators and people were banked in the doorways. Miss Rankin was escorted to the reading desk by a number of old-time suffragists, Dr. Dean, Dr. Atwater, Mrs. Sanders, Mrs. Mary Long Alderson and Miss May Murphy. As Representative Binnard was the strongest opponent he was delegated by the members to present Miss Rankin with a corsage bouquet of violets. He made a flowery speech and attempted to turn the meeting into a facetious affair but when Miss Rankin spoke his purpose was defeated and she received much applause. The bill was, however, reported out of the committee without recommendation and neither House took any action.

At the State Fairs of 1911 and 1912 the suffragists erected attractive booths, giving out suffrage literature and buttons to all passers-by. They were in charge of Ida Auerbach, Frieda Fligelman and Grace Rankin Kinney. In 1912 a State Central Committee was formed with Miss Rankin as temporary chairman and Miss Auerbach as temporary secretary. Later Mrs. Grace Smith was made treasurer. The first meeting was called in the studio of Miss Mary C. Wheeler of Helena. These women attended the State conventions of the Republican, Democratic and Progressive parties and succeeded in getting planks in their platforms for a suffrage amendment to the State constitution. Then all nominees were circularized and asked to stand by their party platforms. Miss Rankin went over the State quietly, stopping in every county seat and searching out women willing to work. She secured the consent of Thomas Stout to introduce the bill at the next session.

In January, 1913, the women met in Helena and formed a permanent State organization, electing the following officers: Chairman, Miss Rankin, Missoula; assistant chairmen, Mrs. Louis P. Sanders, Butte; Mrs. G. M. Gillmore, Glendive; secretary, Mrs. Harvey Coit, Big Timber; treasurer, Mrs. Wilbur L. Smith, Helena; finance chairman, Mrs. Wallace Perham, Glendive; press chairman, Miss Auerbach. The organization never had any constitution or by-laws. Letters from all over the State[Pg 363] were written to Governor S. V. Stewart and on January 7 the women went in a body to hear his Message, in which he recommended that Montana women should be enfranchised. With no discussion the resolution to submit an amendment to the voters passed the Senate by 26 ayes, two noes—J. E. Edwards and I. A. Leighton—and was signed by the president, Lieutenant Governor W. W. McDowell, in open session. In the House the vote was 74 ayes, two noes—Ronald Higgins and John W. Blair. On January 25 it was signed by the Governor.

On June 27 the second meeting of the State Central Committee was held in Livingston, immediately following that of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. Great progress in interest and organization was reported from all parts of the State. The only new officers elected were: Recording secretary, Mrs. John Willis of Glasgow; chairman of literature, Miss Mary Agnes Cantwell of Hunters' Hot Springs. Chairmen were appointed in each county and workers were sent into every precinct. The third meeting of the Central Committee was held in Butte September 22, 23, just before the State Fair, where it had a booth. It was decided to open headquarters in Butte Feb. 1, 1914.

The fourth meeting was held in Big Timber February 14 and the fifth in Lewiston June 6. Miss O'Neill was made assistant chairman and press chairman; Mrs. Edith Clinch, treasurer; Miss Eloise Knowles chairman of literature.

Headquarters were opened in Butte in January, 1914. Letters were sent to granges, labor unions, women's clubs and other organizations asking them to pass resolutions in favor of the amendment and aid the campaign as far as they could. Every newspaper in the State received each week a letter of suffrage news and items from Miss O'Neill and occasionally some propaganda material. Letters were sent regularly to the county chairmen and other workers giving instructions and keeping them in touch with the campaign. Large quantities of literature were distributed with many leaflets for special occasions. A short time before election personal letters and a leaflet especially for farmers were sent to 20,000 voters in the country districts. The house-to-house canvass of the women in the towns and cities was the most effective work done. Montana women spoke in every[Pg 364] county and women from outside the State in all but a few of the smaller ones.

In the spring Mr. and Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw of New York City stopped off en route to California and spoke in a number of places. The women were charmed with her beauty and style and some men who had considered the movement as only carried on by women were surprised that a man of Mr. Laidlaw's standing should be at the head of a National Men's Suffrage League. He organized a Montana branch of it with Wellington D. Rankin (now Attorney General) as president.

Miss Rankin in her report to the national suffrage convention of November 12-17, expressed the highest appreciation of the women who came into Montana, either sent by the National Association or at their own expense, and campaigned for weeks under the instructions of the State board. They were headed by Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, the national president, and included Miss Katharine Devereux Blake, Miss Ida Craft and Miss Rosalie Jones of New York; Mrs. Antoinette Funk, Miss Jane Thompson, Miss Gratia Erickson and Miss Florence Lord of Chicago; Mrs. Root of Los Angeles. During May and June Mrs. Cotterill of Seattle, and during July and August Miss Margaret Hinchey of Boston, gave their time to labor unions. A number of large demonstrations were held in various cities. Campaigning in a State of such distances and geographical formation presented great difficulties.

A precinct organization was perfected wherever possible but to the far-off places word was simply sent to the women to work to get votes for the amendment and they did so with splendid results. The usual program of party campaigning in rural districts was adopted of holding a rally followed by a dance. Miss Rankin, Miss Fligelman, Miss Grace Hellmick, Mrs. Maggie Smith Hathaway, Miss O'Neill, Dr. Dean, Mrs. Topping and many other volunteer speakers went into every little mining camp and settlement that could be reached. They spoke from the steps of the store and the audience, composed entirely of men, would listen in respectful silence, applaud a little at the close, too shy to ask questions, but on election day every vote was for suffrage. Old prospectors back in the mountains when approached and[Pg 365] asked for their votes would say: "Do you ladies really want to vote? Well, if you do, we'll sure help all we can." Many old-timers said: "What would our State have been without the women? You bet you can count on us." The campaigners spoke in moving picture theaters, from wagons and automobiles and wherever they could obtain an audience however small. There were no rebuffs but some of the Southerners would say that it would be a bad thing for the South. All these outlying districts that could be reached gave a favorable majority. The money for the campaign was raised in many ways, by donations, food sales, dances, collections, the sale of suffrage papers on the street, etc. The loss of the funds collected for the campaign through the closing of the State bank was a heavy blow and it could not have succeeded without the help of the National Association and friends in outside States. The campaign cost about $9,000, of which over half was contributed by the association and other States.

To the women specifically mentioned the names of the following especially active in the campaign should be added: Miss Mary Stewart, Mrs. W. I. Higgins, Mrs. J. F. Kilduff, Mrs. Tyler Thompson, Jean Bishop, Mrs. Wm. Roza, Mrs. J. W. Scott, Mrs. John Duff, Mrs. Bertha Rosenberg, Mrs. Mary Tocher, Mrs. J. M. Darroch, Mrs. W. E. Cummings, Mrs. Stevens, Mrs. A. E. Richardson, Mrs. Frank D. O'Neill, Mrs. J. B. Ellis, Mrs. M. E. Hughes, Mrs. Delia Peets, Mrs. C. P. Irish, Mrs. J. R. E. Sievers, Mrs. A. P. Rooney, Mrs. Sarah M. Souders, Mrs. Sherrill, Mrs. Nathan Lloyd, Mrs. Burt Addams Tower, Mrs. Mary Meigs Atwater, Mrs. Helen Fitzgerald Sanders, Mrs. Charles N. Skillman, Mrs. Charles S. Haire, Mrs. J. M. Lewis, Mrs. H. W. Child, Miss Susan Higgins. Among the men the best friends besides those already mentioned were Miles Romney, Joseph H. Griffin, Lewis J. Duncan, W. W. McDowell, Lieutenant Governor, and the two U. S. Senators, Thomas J. Walsh and Henry L. Myers.

At the beginning of the campaign a travelling organizer of the National Anti-Suffrage Association came to Butte, and, saying that she acted officially, had an interview with the editors of the National Forum, the organ of the liquor interests. She told[Pg 366] them their open opposition was helping the amendment, urged them to carry it on in secret and said she would return later and lay before them a plan of campaign. Afterwards when the Butte papers exposed this scheme the National Forum described the interview. Before the election the National Anti-Suffrage Association sent its executive secretary, Miss Minnie Bronson, and Mrs. J. D. Oliphant of New Jersey to campaign against the amendment. They succeeded in forming only one society in the State and that was at Butte, with a branch in the little town of Chinook. The officers were Mrs. John Noyes, president; Mrs. Theodore Symons, secretary; Mrs. W. J. Chrystie, press chairman; Mrs. David Nixon, active worker; Mrs. Oliphant challenged Miss Rankin to a debate, which was held in the old auditorium in Helena. At the meeting, which had been packed by the liquor interests, Mrs. Oliphant was noisily applauded and the confusion was appalling.

Although the speakers travelled to remote districts up to the night before election in November, the instructions from headquarters were to have loose ends gathered up by the opening of the State Fair September 25, at Helena. Headquarters were maintained a week at the fair and in the city and each day The Suffrage Daily was issued. The editors were Mrs. L. O. Edmunds, Miss O'Neill, Mrs. M. E. McKay and Miss Belle Fligelman, all newspaper women. The most picturesque and educative feature of the whole campaign and the greatest awakener was the enormous suffrage parade which took place one evening during the week. Thousands of men and women from all parts of the State marched, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw was at the head, and next, carrying banners, came Dr. Dean, the past president, and Miss Rankin, the present State chairman. A huge American flag was carried by women representing States having full suffrage; a yellow one for the States now having campaigns; a large gray banner for the partial suffrage States and a black banner for the non-suffrage States. Each county and city in the State had its banner. The Men's League marched and there were as many men as women in the parade.

During the entire campaign the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, one of the strongest organizations in the State, conducted[Pg 367] a vigorous fight for the amendment, sending its speakers to every locality. For many years it had worked for woman suffrage.

At the election Nov. 3, 1914, the amendment received 41,302 ayes; 37,588 noes, a majority of 3,714, and women were enfranchised on equal terms with men.

The various suffrage societies merged into Good Government Clubs with the avowed purpose of obtaining political action on many needed measures. The next year they secured mother's pension and equal guardianship laws, and others equally important in following years. The Executive Committee continued in existence and directed the work. At its meeting in 1916 it was decided to conduct an intensive campaign for prohibition in 1917; to elect a woman to Congress and a woman State Superintendent of Schools. Prohibition was carried; Miss Jeannette Rankin was elected the first Congresswoman in the United States and Miss May Trumper was elected Superintendent of Schools. That year an eight-hour-day for women was secured. This record was continued. Mrs. Maggie Smith Hathaway and Mrs. Emma A. Ingalls have served two terms each as State Representatives. All the county superintendents of schools are women.

After the Federal Amendment was submitted by Congress the societies met on June 22, 1919, and formed a State branch of the National League of Women Voters with Mrs. Edwin L. Norris chairman.

Ratification. Governor Samuel V. Stewart called a special session of the Legislature to meet in August, 1920, and the Federal Suffrage Amendment was ratified on the 2nd by unanimous vote in the House and by 38 to one in the Senate—Claude F. Morris of Havre, Hill county. The resolution was introduced in the House by Mrs. Ingalls.


[105] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Lucile Dyas Topping, formerly Lewis and Clark county superintendent of schools and prominent in the work of the campaign of 1914, when Montana women obtained the suffrage.

[106] In the intensive work that followed, Mrs. Tower was assisted by Dr. Dean, Mrs. Ellen Maria Dean, Mrs. James U. Sanders, Mrs. T. J. Walsh, Mrs. Bessie Hughes Smith, Mrs. Martha Dunkel, Mrs. Ella Knowles Haskell, Mrs. Adelaide Staves Reeder, Dr. Bertha Mackal McCleman, Mrs. C. B. Nolan, Mrs. Donald Bradford, Madame F. Rowena Medini, Miss Sarepta Sanders, Dr. Mary B. Atwater, Mrs. H. L. Sherlock, Mrs. Hughes and Miss Mary C. Wheeler.

[Pg 368]



The History of the movement for woman suffrage in Nebraska from 1900 to 1920 naturally divides itself into three periods. The first period extends from 1900 to 1912. During those years the organization was supported by a small but faithful group whose continuous effort at educating public sentiment prepared the way for the work that followed. The second period included the years from 1912 to 1915, during which time a campaign for full suffrage by an amendment to the State constitution was carried on. The third period from 1915 to 1920 was marked by the passage of a partial suffrage law in 1917, which was an issue during the preceding two years; an attack on that law through the initiative and referendum; the successful defense of it by the State Suffrage Association and the ratification of the Federal Amendment at a special session in 1919, which marked the end of a long contest.

Miss Laura Gregg, a Nebraska woman, was put in charge of the State suffrage headquarters at Omaha in October, 1899, by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, chairman of the Organization Committee of the National American Suffrage Association, and remained four years. During that time conventions and conferences were held, much field work was done and the membership was increased to nearly 1,200. At the annual convention at Blair in October, 1900, Mrs. Catt, now national president, was present. Mrs. Clara A. Young of Broken Bow was elected State president, relieving Mrs. Mary Smith Hayward of Chadron, who had pressing business obligations. Her section of the State, however, remained one of the suffrage strongholds and she was always one of the largest contributors. Other officers elected[Pg 369] were, vice-president, Mrs. Amanda J. Marble of Broken Bow; corresponding secretary, Miss Nelly Taylor of Merna; recording secretary, Mrs. Ida L. Denny of Lincoln.

In 1901 the State convention was held in Lincoln November 12-14, welcomed by Mayor T. C. Winnett. A reception was given at the Lindell Hotel to the fifty-six delegates and Mrs. Catt, who had spent sixteen days in the State, attending conferences in Omaha and eleven other places. An address by Governor E. P. Savage, one by Mrs. Catt, and a debate between Miss Gregg and A. L. Bixby, editor of the State Journal, who took the negative, were the evening attractions. There was a work conference led by Mrs. Catt and reports were given by the officers and by State workers, including Mrs. Maria C. Arter of Lincoln; Mrs. K. W. Sutherland of Blair, Miss Taylor, Mrs. Mary G. Ward of Tecumseh, Mrs. Jennie Ross of Dakota City, Mrs. Hetty W. Drury of Pender, with a "question box" conducted by Mrs. Catt. The next afternoon the speakers in a symposium were Mrs. Anna A. Wells of Schuyler, J. H. Dundas of the Auburn Granger, Mrs. Emma Shuman of Nebraska City, Mrs. Rosa Modlin of Beaver City, Mrs. C. W. Damon of Omaha, Mrs. Mary E. Jeffords of Broken Bow, Mrs. Alice Isabel Brayton of Geneva and Mrs. Belle Sears of Tekamah.

The sum of $1,312 had been expended during the year, including the cost of headquarters and field work. Pledges to the amount of $1,000 were made for the next year. The large dailies of Omaha and Lincoln had given much attention to the subject of woman suffrage and over 150 weeklies had published matter furnished by the press departments. Mrs. Young, Mrs. Marble, Miss Taylor and Mrs. Denny were re-elected; other officers were: Treasurer, Mrs. Mary E. Dempster, Omaha; first auditor, Mrs. Hayward, second, Mrs. Sears; press chairman, Mrs. Lucie B. Meriom of Beaver City.

This convention was a type of those held during the next three or four years. County conventions were frequent and local clubs were active. A small printed sheet called the Headquarters Message, edited by Miss Gregg, filled with State suffrage news, club reports, National recommendations, etc., was sent monthly to the workers. During the spring of 1902 Miss Gail Laughlin,[Pg 370] a national organizer, spent two weeks organizing new clubs and arousing old ones and Miss Gregg and Mr. Bixby debated in towns in eastern Nebraska. A series of parlor meetings in Omaha increased the interest there. Mrs. Marble was chairman of the Committee on Assemblies and during the summer the suffrage question was presented at the State Fair, the Epworth Assembly, Chautauquas, pioneer picnics and other gatherings. The committee included later Mrs. O. B. Bowers, Tekamah; Mrs. Ellen A. Miller, Beatrice; Mrs. Ollie King Carriker, Nebraska City; Mrs. Anna Pickett, Broken Bow. Miss Gregg spent the autumn in field work throughout the State. The annual convention was held at Tecumseh December 1-3, with a large attendance. The program included the Mayor, Governor-elect J. H. Mickey, the Hon. C. W. Beal, Senator O'Neill, and other prominent citizens. A memorial hour was given to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and to Nebraska suffragists who had died during the year. It was resolved to push press work, county organization, new memberships and work before assemblies.

In 1903 branch headquarters were established at the Lindell Hotel, Lincoln, for work with the Legislature. The delegates to the national convention in New Orleans in March were accompanied home by Miss Laughlin for organizing work. Assisted most of the time by Miss Gregg she visited thirty-five cities and towns, speaking from one to three times in each place, gained 403 new members and collected about $200. She spoke at five Normal Schools during the summer and had headquarters at the Northwest G. A. R. encampment and several Chautauquas. The State convention was held at Nebraska City, October 6-8. The program was enriched by the address of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, national vice-president, on The Fate of Republics. Miss Laughlin made a strong speech and there were many new names on the program. To the previous plan of work had been added suffrage contests, literature in libraries and church work; the peace and industrial work of the National Association had been endorsed and committees formed.

In January, 1904, Miss Gregg was sent by Mrs. Catt to Oklahoma, where her services as organizer were very much needed. The State headquarters were transferred to Tecumseh with the[Pg 371] secretary, Mrs. Mary G. Ward, in charge. Mrs. Young edited the Headquarters Message and Mrs. Myrtle W. Marble of Humboldt attended to the publishing and mailing. A Suffrage Cook Book was prepared and published and became a source of considerable revenue. Mrs. Lulu S. Halvorsen of Nebraska City was press chairman. Miss Laughlin spent a month speaking and organizing. The State convention was held at Geneva November 21-December 1, Mrs. Ellis Meredith of Denver a principal evening speaker. With the withdrawal of Miss Gregg and the conviction that no amendment of any kind could be carried under the existing law, the interest of the local organizations began to decline and the two brave and faithful women who had carried the heaviest part of the burden were now finding it too heavy for their strength. Mrs. Young took the headquarters to her own home in Broken Bow and Mrs. Marble did all kinds of work at all times if it helped the cause.

Mrs. Young kept the clubs at work during 1905 and a full delegation of fourteen was sent to the national convention at Portland, Oregon, but her health began to fail and at the State convention held at Broken Bow October 10-12 she was compelled to give up the presidency. The executive board needed her counsel and experience and she accepted the position of honorary president. Mrs. Marble was made president and the other officers were re-elected with Miss Mary H. Williams as historian. Mrs. Mary C. C. Bradford of Colorado was the principal speaker. There were seventeen addresses of welcome from representative citizens.

Mrs. Marble kept up the work in 1906 as far as it was possible. She began publishing an annual report of the year's work, a pamphlet of about 70 pages, containing a roster of the clubs and much useful information, and continued it during the four years of her presidency. With Miss Williams she attended the national convention at Baltimore. The State convention met at Lincoln, October 2, 3, in All Souls' Church with Dr. Shaw as evening speaker. A memorial meeting was held for Susan B. Anthony, with the Rev. Newton Mann of Omaha, her former pastor in Rochester, N. Y., as speaker.

The State convention of 1907 met in Kenesaw October 1, 2.[Pg 372] The legislative work had been to obtain a memorial to Congress asking for a Federal Suffrage Amendment. More conventions passed woman suffrage resolutions during the summer than ever before. On October 7 the beloved leader, Mrs. Young, passed away. In November Miss Gregg was sent by the National Association to assist Mrs. Marble and remained until the middle of January, doing office and field work.

In February, 1908, Mrs. Maud Wood Park of Boston made a visit to the State and formed College Woman Suffrage Leagues in the State and Wesleyan Universities and among graduates in Lincoln. Miss Williams was made chairman of a committee to raise Nebraska's pledge of $300 to the Anthony Memorial Fund. At the State convention in Lincoln Nov. 5, 6, Mrs. Marble was obliged to decline the presidency and was made vice-president. The Rev. Mary G. Andrews of Omaha was elected in her place; but from this time until her death, April 6, 1910, Mrs. Marble never ceased to do everything in her power to forward the success of the suffrage movement.

Early in 1909 the petition of the National Association to Congress for an amendment of the Federal Constitution was begun with Miss Williams chairman of the committee and 10,386 signatures were secured. Mrs. Philip Snowden of England lectured in Lincoln during the session of the Legislature and many of the members heard her. The annual convention was held in Lincoln November 18, 19. Mrs. Andrews had gone to Minneapolis and Dr. Inez Philbrick of Lincoln was elected president. A lecture tour was arranged for Dr. B. O. Aylesworth of Denver for the autumn of 1909 and again in 1910; Men's Suffrage Leagues were organized in Omaha and Lincoln and many new clubs formed of people of influence. The convention was postponed to March, 1911. The regular convention of 1911 was held in Lincoln November 20-22. Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst was the speaker and the audience filled the largest assembly room.

The convention of 1912 met in Omaha December 4-6, and it was decided to go into an active campaign to secure the submission of a constitutional amendment by petition in 1914. The Initiative and Referendum Law had been adopted the preceding month, which required the signature of 15 per cent. of the total[Pg 373] vote cast at the last election, the signers coming from two-fifths of the counties. This meant 37,752 names from thirty-eight counties. Nebraska has ninety-three counties and an area of 77,520 square miles. Officers elected to serve throughout the campaign were: Henrietta I. (Mrs. Draper) Smith, president; Mrs. Kovanda, vice-president; Miss Williams, corresponding secretary; Miss Daisy Doane, recording secretary; Gertrude Law (Mrs. W. E.) Hardy, treasurer; Mrs. Grace M. Wheeler, first and Elizabeth J. (Mrs. Z. T.) Lindsey, second auditor; committee chairmen; Mrs. Wheeler, Education; Mrs. A. E. Sheldon, Finance; Mrs. Hardy, Publicity; Mrs. Edna M. Barkley, Speakers; Mrs. A. H. Dorris, Press.

Headquarters were opened Jan. 3, 1913, in the Brandeis Theater Building, Omaha, and maintained through the winter of 1912-13. Mrs. Draper Smith had at once assumed her duties as president and appointed Mrs. W. C. Sunderland chairman for the second congressional district, including Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. She had asked Mrs. Lindsey to be chairman of Douglas county in which Omaha is situated, who soon had ten precincts organized under capable chairmen, and a little later every ward in Omaha and South Omaha. On February 8 Dr. Shaw, the national president, arrived in Omaha for a conference with the workers. On Sunday afternoon she addressed a mass meeting in the Brandeis Theater at which there was not even standing room. John L. Kennedy presided. The committee of arrangements included the Rev. Frederick T. Rouse of the First Congregational Church; Judge Howard Kennedy, Superintendent of City Schools; E. U. Graff, City Attorney; John E. Rine, C. C. Belden and the officers of the suffrage association. A resolution was before the Legislature to submit an amendment to the voters but it was so evident that it would not be passed that the work for the initiative petition went on rapidly. The last of February thirty-six Omaha women and others from over the State went to Lincoln to see the vote taken in the House. The proposal was defeated, only one man from Douglas county voting for it.

In the early spring the headquarters were moved to Lincoln and the petition work for the State was managed from there,[Pg 374] with the exception of that of Omaha. Throughout the year the task was continued of obtaining the signatures in the various counties, all done by volunteers. It was necessary at the same time to create public sentiment and organize clubs in preparation for the campaign for the submission of the amendment which would follow. In Omaha Mrs. Sunderland soon turned the district organization over to Mrs. James Richardson and took the position of city chairman. Meetings were held with prominent local speakers. On November 5 Chancellor Avery of the State University spoke for woman suffrage before the State Teachers' Association in the First Methodist Church. Two days later Dr. Shaw addressed it in the auditorium. She spoke at noon before the Commercial Club, a distinction given by it to a woman for the first time. On Nov. 6, 7, the State convention was held in Lincoln and Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby, formerly of Beatrice, was made honorary president.

In January, 1914, a Men's Suffrage League was formed in Omaha with E. H. Geneau, T. E. Brady, Henry Olerichs and James Richardson promoting it. On February 2 a thorough canvass of the business part of the city was begun by the women. Mrs. Lindsey thus described it:

With a blizzard raging and the thermometer at 5 degrees below zero women stood in drug stores and groceries, and visited office buildings, factories and shops, wherever permission could be obtained, soliciting signatures for six consecutive days. Mrs. C. S. Stebbins, nearly seventy years of age, stood at the street car barns and filled several petitions and Mrs. Isaac Conner, a suffrage worker since 1868, made a similar record. Mrs. W. P. Harford and Mrs. George Tilden arranged to have people standing at the church doors for names at the close of service on Sunday. Many ministers offered their churches to the committee and spoke of the matter from their pulpits. Of all the Protestant churches, only the Episcopal refused the committee's request, Dean James A. Tancock of Trinity Cathedral and the Rev. T. J. Mackay of All Saints declining. Petitions were kept open at the Daily News office and other offices and places of business. Fifteen of the leading drug stores offered space to the women under the direction of Mrs. E. S. Rood, and it was decided to continue the intensive campaign until the 12th, when the county chairman had called a meeting at the city hall to celebrate Lincoln's birthday, to hear Medill McCormick of Chicago and to announce results. A large crowd of petition workers, sympathizers and members of the Men's League was present. While the goal for Douglas[Pg 375] county was 5,000 signatures over 9,000 had passed through the hands of the county chairmen on their way to the Secretary of State.

Three days later Mrs. J. W. Crumpacker of Kansas appeared in Omaha to organize the opposition forces. The anti-suffragists, led by Mrs. Arthur Crittenden Smith, announced a meeting at Turpin's Hall on the afternoon of February 23. Mrs. Arthur M. Dodge, president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, and Miss Minnie Bronson, secretary, both of New York, addressed the meeting. Forty people were present, including five reporters and a number of suffragists. Those who joined at that meeting were Mesdames Edward P. Peck, William Archibald Smith, T. J. Mackay, E. A. Benson and Misses Ada Alexander, Genevra March and Minnie Martison. A temporary committee on organization was appointed consisting of Mesdames Arthur C. Smith, J. C. Cowin, Herman Kountze, J. W. Crumpacker, E. A. Benson; Misses Wallace, Riley, Alexander and McGaffney.... The next evening a public meeting was held at the American Theater, addressed by Mrs. Dodge and Miss Bronson, who were introduced by John L. Webster.[108]

On March 11 the district chairman, Mrs. Richardson, and county chairman, Mrs. Lindsey, with a group of workers, sorted, checked and made into neat parcels the precious sheets of paper, which Mrs. Draper Smith carried to Lincoln that afternoon. Possibly half a dozen men had circulated petitions but the bulk of the 11,507 names were obtained in Omaha by women. On March 14 the completed petition for submitting the amendment was filed with the Secretary of State in the presence of the Governor. Although only 37,752 signatures were required it had 50,705 and these represented sixty-three counties instead of the required thirty-eight. They were accepted without question and the amendment was submitted to the voters at the general election, Nov. 4, 1914.

From that time until the election strenuous and unceasing efforts were made to secure votes for the amendment. Many prominent Nebraska men and women spoke and worked for it and a number were brought into the State. On July 6 was issued[Pg 376] in Omaha the famous Manifesto by the Nebraska Men's Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, a pamphlet of nine pages, signed by thirty prominent men, all of Omaha.[109] Early in July Park Commissioner J. B. Hummel of Omaha refused to grant any more permits for meetings in the parks and the suffragists arranged a voiceless automobile parade through all of them when they were filled with people, the cars decorated with banners and pennants carrying suffrage sentiments. Later the commissioner spoke for the amendment. On August 4 the first street meeting was held by "General" Rosalie Jones of New York, who spoke from the steps of the county court house at noon and on a corner in the evening. This was followed by street meetings in an endless number of towns. County fairs and all possible forms of publicity were utilized. An outstanding feature of the campaign was the automobile tours, the plan of Mrs. F. M. Hall, chairman of Lancaster county. They covered 20,000 miles and included 500 places containing one-half of the population. Several of the longest were made and financed by J. L. Kennedy and James Richardson of Omaha and W. E. Hardy of Lincoln.

Miss Jane Addams came from Chicago and spoke several times in October. William Jennings Bryan, who was making a political canvass of the State, never failed to make an appeal for the amendment and on October 31 gave a rousing suffrage speech in Brandeis Theater, Omaha. Dr. Shaw ended her tour of the State on the 30th, with an address in the auditorium.

The anti-suffragists were well financed and active. Their National Association sent Miss Marjorie Dorman to Omaha the last of September, who opened headquarters on the first floor of the City National Bank. Mrs. A. J. George was sent in October. On November 2 there appeared in the morning papers a double-column appeal to the Catholics to vote against the amendment because back of it were the Socialists, feminists, etc. It was signed by Mrs. L. F. Crofoot, wife of the Omaha attorney for the Northern Pacific R. R.

During the campaign a committee of business men was formed by the brewing interests, which visited the husbands of various women engaged in the effort for the amendment. They said[Pg 377] "suffrage means prohibition" and threatened the husbands in a business way unless their wives retired from the work. This committee watched the papers and when names of women were given as interested in suffrage, even to the extent of attending a luncheon for some celebrity, the husbands promptly were visited. Through this intimidation many women were forced to withdraw and many men who would have subscribed generously did not dare give more than $25, as the State law required the publication of names of all contributing over this sum.

Three days before election an "appeal" to its members was sent by the German-American Alliance, a large and powerful organization. It was written in German and began as follows:

We consider the proposed amendment to the constitution granting the right of suffrage to women as the most important question which will be decided at the coming election. Our State Alliance took a most decided stand against woman suffrage at its annual convention held in Columbus August 25. Our German women do not want the right to vote, and since our opponents desire the right of suffrage mainly for the purpose of saddling the yoke of prohibition on our necks, we should oppose it with all our might.... We most earnestly urge our friends of German speech and German descent not to permit business or other considerations to prevent them from going to the polls and casting their ballots as above directed.

On November 4 the Omaha suffragists stood all day at the polls handing slips to the voters calling attention to the amendment on the ballot. The total State vote on it was 100,842 noes, 90,738 ayes; adverse majority of 10,104. The result of the splendid campaign in Douglas county, the stronghold of the opponents of all kinds, was seen in the small adverse majority of 1,188. Throughout the campaign the Omaha Daily News valiantly championed the amendment and the Bee and the World Herald as strongly opposed it. The National American Suffrage Association contributed $4,000 in cash, the services of two organizers—Miss Jane Thompson and Miss Elsie Benedict—and paid the travelling expenses of a number of national speakers.

The State convention of 1914 was held in Omaha in December and it was decided to organize more thoroughly and to seek the advice of the National Association as to how and when to[Pg 378] try again. The board which had served throughout the campaign was re-elected. When it had begun there were not fifty clubs in the State; when it ended there were nearly 500 and it was desired to hold them together as far as possible. The opponents had insisted that women did not want the ballot and it was arranged to have an enrollment under the direction of Mrs. Wheeler. This was continued until the names of 30,000 women had been enrolled as desiring the suffrage. The press work was continued and the never-ending effort to educate the people.

The convention of 1915 was held at Columbus in October, was well attended, with a good program. Mrs. Edna M. Barkley was elected president. In October, 1916, the convention was held at Hastings. Mrs. William Jennings Bryan was guest of honor and gave the opening address on Sunday evening in the Congregational church. Mrs. Catt, now national president, was present and remained two days. The association expected to appeal to the voters again in 1918 for full suffrage and she thought it was in good condition to do so. Her inspiring presence and her very able address given to a large evening audience made this one of most notable conventions. Mrs. Barkley was re-elected president.[110]

In January, 1917, the National Association was beginning the "drive" to obtain partial suffrage from the Legislatures and Nebraska was urged to undertake it. The board agreed to concentrate on a bill which would be constitutional and would permit women to vote for all officers not specified in the State constitution and upon all questions not referred to in it.

The bill was introduced by Senator C. E. Sandell of York county and Representative J. N. Norton of Polk county. Mrs. Barkley was chairman of the Legislative Committee and no measure ever had more careful and persistent "mothering" than she gave this one, watching over it for months. The bill passed the[Pg 379] House the middle of February by the magnificent vote of 73 to 24 in the presence of an audience of applauding women that filled the galleries. In the Senate the bill went to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, which granted a hearing on February 15. After a luncheon with enthusiastic speeches the entire body of 250 women, including 65 from Omaha, marched to the State House, where even the aisles were already crowded with women. Among the speakers were George W. Howard, the eminent professor of history in the State University, and a number of prominent Nebraska men and women. Six "antis" were present and their spokesman was Miss Bronson of New York. The hearing lasted three hours. The bill was held two months in the committee and finally was reported out and passed by a vote of 20 to 13 on April 19. It was signed by Governor Keith Neville on the 21st and gave women the suffrage for presidential electors, all municipal and most county officers.[111]

The opponents immediately started an initiative petition to have the law submitted to the voters and on July 22 it was suspended in operation by the filing of a petition for a referendum on it by the Anti-Suffrage Association. Mrs. Barkley with others after inspection concluded it was not a bona fide petition. Accordingly she summoned her board to discuss taking the proper legal steps to prove that it was fraudulent and invalid. There was no money in the treasury with which to undertake expensive litigation and there were those who thought it wiser not to attempt it. The courage and determination of Mrs. Barkley were the deciding factor and it was the same brave and persistent effort that finally won the long-drawn-out legal battle. A full account was given by Mrs. Draper Smith in the Woman Citizen of which the following is a part:

For the larger part of the session in 1917 the Senate had been under great pressure from the public and the press to pass the bone dry law that the House had almost unanimously adopted. Nineteen members of the Senate belonged to the clique led by representatives[Pg 380] of the brewing interests. They fought for weeks to secure the consent of the House to a bill that would have made prohibition impossible of enforcement. Into this maelstrom the limited suffrage law was plunged. Only the most careful leadership secured its final passage....

On the 21st of July the opponents caused to be filed with the Secretary of State a petition asking that the law be referred to the voters at the general election in 1918 for approval or rejection. This petition contained the signatures of 32,896 persons who claimed to be legal voters of the State and to live at the places designated as their legal residence.... Tact and patience were employed to get Secretary of State Pool to the point where he permitted the suffragists to make a copy. Eighteen thousand names bore the marks of an Omaha residence. The others were apparently gathered from two-fifths of the counties and presumptively represented 5 per cent. of the legal voters, as required by law. Suspicion that fraud and deception had been used, both in getting genuine signatures and in padding the lists, early gave way to positive conviction. When the investigation was complete it was found that 16,460 of the 32,896 signatures were subject to court challenge and that at least 10,000 of them were the product of fraud, forgery and misrepresentation. Prominent members of the bar volunteered their services—T. J. Doyle, C. A. Sorenson, John M. Stewart and H. H. Wilson of Lincoln, and Elmer E. Thomas and Francis A. Brogan of Omaha. A petition to enjoin the Secretary of State from placing the referendum on the election ballot was filed in February, 1918.

The Omaha workers were under the leadership of Mrs. H. C. Sumney, vice-president of the State association, and Mrs. James Richardson. They discovered that many of the residence addresses given were in railroad yards, cornfields or vacant lots. Many others were of men who had never lived at the addresses given; many affirmed that they had never signed any such petition; others that they had been induced to sign by the representation of the solicitor that it was to submit the question of full suffrage. The work of running down each of the 18,000 names consumed days of arduous labor. It was also found that page after page of the names were written by the same hand. Experts in handwriting from the various banks in Lincoln spent night after night poring over the original petitions in the office of the Secretary of State, picking out and listing the forgeries, which were found to have been scattered all over the State.

The request of the suffragists to the Secretary of State said that the circulators had committed perjury in certifying that these fictitious persons had affixed their names in their presence; that many of the names written thereon were not placed there, as the law required, in the presence of the circulator, but that the petitions had been left in pool halls, soft drink parlors, cigar stores and barber shops where everybody, including minors, was invited to sign, the circulator later coming around and gathering them up. It also said[Pg 381] that many of the signatures were obtained by infants incapable at law of properly circulating or certifying to the petition sheets and that a number of circulators named had engaged in a systematic course of fraud and forgery, thereby making invalid all of the names. Attached were twenty pages of exhibits in proof of these charges.

The evidence in Omaha was matched by that in fifty-nine other counties taken by the referee and attorney.

The attorneys enjoined the Secretary of State from putting the referendum on the ballot. Nineteen suffragists appeared as plaintiffs in the case as follows: Edna M. Barkley, Gertrude L. Hardy, Katharine Sumney, Ida Robbins, Grace Richardson, Margaretta Dietrich, Grace M. Wheeler, Ella Brower, Ellen Ackerman, Henrietta Smith, Inez Philbrick, Harriet M. Stewart, Mary Smith Hayward, Mamie Claflin, Margaret T. Sheldon, Alice Howell, Ellen Gere, Eliza Ann Doyle, Katharine McGerr. As the suit had been brought against the Secretary of State the Attorney General appeared for him and was joined by the attorneys of the women's Anti-Suffrage Association. They argued that the plaintiffs were not legally entitled to sue because they were not electors. The court upheld their right. The Secretary of State became convinced that the petition was fraudulent and did not appear in the further litigation. The suffrage forces were prepared with their evidence and wished to proceed at once with the case but all the dilatory tactics possible were used and it was not until the full legal time was about to expire that the opponents were brought to the point on May 17, 1918. Mrs. Draper Smith's account continued:

Inspection of the original petition showed that of 116 petitions secured by A. O. Barclay 68 were in the same handwriting.... The name of one Omaha business man who had died three months previous to the circulation of the petition was found; another who was killed two months before, and another who had been dead for three years. Witness after witness testified that his name on it was forged.

Several other circulators forged so many names we asked that all their work be thrown out. The hearing developed that forty ex-saloon keepers and bartenders had these petitions on the bars in their soft drink places; 831 names were secured by Dick Kennedy, a negro who could neither read nor write. He appeared in court in jail clothes, being under indictment for peddling "dope," and was unable to identify the petitions certified by him. Ten boys, ranging in age from 8 to 15, were circulators. Several men who could not read or[Pg 382] write testified that they supposed their names were being taken for a census. Many thought the petition was to "bring back beer." One man was told it was to pave an alley. At one hearing interpreters had to be used for all but two men. The treasurer of the Anti-Suffrage Association, Mrs. C. C. George, whose name appears as witness to the signatures of 81 certificates on the back of Barclay's petitions, testified that she did not remember him. On the back of each petition is a certificate in which the circulator certifies that each man signed in his presence and the signature must have two witnesses. The soft drink men and others testified that although the name of Mrs. George appeared as witness to their signatures they had never seen her. She testified that the petitions went through the hands of her association.

The following question was asked of another "anti," wife of a rector: "Had you known that co-workers with you were Dick Kennedy, an illiterate negro; Abie Sirian; Gus Tylee, employee of Tom Dennison and a detective of doubtful reputation; 40 soft drink men; Jess Ross, colored porter for Dennison; Jack Broomfield, a colored sporting man and for twenty years keeper of the most notorious dive in Omaha, and many others of this character, would you have worked with them and accepted the kind of petition they would secure?" She replied: "It would have made no difference to me. I was working for a cause and would not have cared who else was working for the same."

The testimony showed that the anti-suffrage association of Omaha, under the leadership of Mrs. Crofoot, president, had at first endeavored to employ to take charge of the work of circulating the petitions the man who had conducted the publicity department for the brewers in 1916.

The allegations of fraud were proved to the satisfaction of the District Court. The opponents appealed from its decision, which was confirmed by the Supreme Court in June, and the women entered into possession of this large amount of suffrage. By order of the court the anti-suffragists, together with the State, had to pay the costs of the long legal battle which ended on January 25, 1919, in a glorious victory for the suffragists. The costs were approximately $5,000.

Ratification. The State convention of 1917 was held in Omaha in December and it was omitted in the fall of 1918 on account of the influenza, and none was held until 1919. The Federal Amendment had been submitted by Congress on June 4 and a Ratification Committee had been appointed consisting of Mrs. Barkley, Mrs. Hardy and Mrs. Wheeler to secure an early calling of a special session of the Legislature. It[Pg 383] was arranged for the State convention to meet in Lincoln at the time Governor Samuel R. McKelvie had called this special session to ratify the amendment. The convention en masse saw the ratification of both Houses on August 2 by unanimous vote and had the joy of being present when it was signed by the Governor, who had been a consistent friend of the cause. The regular session had memorialized Congress by joint resolution to submit the Federal Suffrage Amendment and requested Senator Gilbert M. Hitchcock of Nebraska to vote for it. He voted against it every time it became before the Senate. The other Senator, George W. Norris, voted in favor each time and was always a helpful friend of woman suffrage.

The last State convention met in Omaha June 13-15, 1920, with 104 delegates in attendance. With Mrs. Charles H. Dietrich, who had been elected president the preceding year, in the chair, the association was merged into the Nebraska League of Women Voters and Mrs. Dietrich was made chairman.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, 1920, at noon, whistles were sounded and bells were rung for five minutes in Omaha and South Omaha to celebrate the proclamation by the Secretary of State at Washington that the woman suffrage amendment was now a part of the constitution of the United States and the struggle was over.

In December, 1919, there assembled in Lincoln a convention to rewrite Nebraska's constitution, to be submitted to the electors Sept. 21, 1920. This convention put a clause in the new constitution giving full suffrage to women. Using the power delegated to it by the Legislature it provided that women should vote on the constitution and that the suffrage amendment should go into effect as soon as the adoption of the constitution was announced by the Governor. The rest of it was to wait until Jan. 1, 1921. This was done in order that women might vote at the general election in November, 1920. Before the constitution went to the voters the Federal Amendment was proclaimed and women were fully enfranchised. With women voting the constitution received 65,483 ayes, 15,416 noes.


[107] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Grace M. Wheeler, historian of the State Woman Suffrage Association, and Miss Mary H. Williams, member of the State Board from 1905.

[108] A State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was formed, whose Executive Committee consisted of Mesdames Edward Porter Peck, chairman; Henry W. Yates, John C. Cowin, J. W. Griffith, W. H. Koenig, L. F. Crofoot, Gerrit Fort, John L. Webster, Helen Arion Lewis, Arthur Crittenden Smith, T. J. Mackay, F. N. Conner; Miss Janet M. Wallace, with Mrs. William Archibald Smith, secretary, and Mrs. Frank J. Noel treasurer; Mrs. S. H. Burnham of Lincoln, Mrs. J. D. Whitmore and Mrs. Fred W. Ashton of Grand Island, Mrs. A. D. Sears, Mrs. Charles Dodge and Miss Maud May of Fremont, with Mrs. Crumpacker as special representative of the National Association in the headquarters at 536 Bee Building.

[109] This Manifesto will be found in the Appendix.

[110] Besides those mentioned the following served on the official board: Miss Lincola S. Groat, Mrs. Alice I. Brayton, Mrs. Stearns, Mrs. Myrtle W. Marble, Dr. Emma Warner Demaree, Mrs. Ida Ensign, Mrs. Rosa Modlin, Mrs. F. B. Donisthorpe, Mrs. Mary P. Jay, Mrs. Theresa J. Dunn, Mrs. Margaret J. Carns, Mrs. Julia N. Cox, Mrs. Ada Shafer, Mrs. Frank Harrison, Mrs. E. L. Burke, Miss Ida Bobbins, Mrs. M. Bruegger, Mrs. E. S. Rood, Mrs. Lydia Pope, Mrs. Jessie Dietz, Mrs. J. H. Corrick, Mrs. Halleck F. Rose, Mrs. H. C. Sumney, Mrs. Dietrich, Mrs. Ellen Ackerman, Mrs. Ella I. Brower, Miss May Gund, Mrs. E. F. Bell, Miss Edith Tobitt, Mrs. Kate Chapin House.

[111] In March under the auspices of the National Association suffrage schools were held in Omaha and Lincoln. The instructors were Mrs. Nettie R. Shuler, chairman of organization, Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson, its recording secretary, and Mrs. T. T. Cotnam and the subjects taught were Suffrage History and Argument, Organization, Publicity and Press, Money Raising and Parliamentary Law. Of the nineteen schools held by the National Association in various States none was larger. By request night schools were opened with a crowded attendance at all sessions.

[Pg 384]



Towards the close of the last century, through the efforts of Miss Susan B. Anthony and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president and vice-president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, a Nevada association had been formed with Mrs. Frances A. Williamson president and later Mrs. Elda A. Orr was elected. Mrs. Mary A. Boyd was an officer. It held three or four successful conventions and had bills before the Legislature but no record exists of any activities after 1899.

In November, 1909, Mrs. Clarence Mackay, who had organized an Equal Franchise Society in New York City, of which she was president, wrote to Miss Jeanne Elizabeth Wier, professor of history in the University of Nevada, asking if a branch society could not be organized in that State. Later Professor Wier conferred with Mrs. Mackay in New York. In the autumn of 1910 an agreement to assist in such an organization was signed by a large number of prominent men and women in Reno and finally in January, 1911, Professor Wier issued a call for a meeting to be held in her home to form a society. Mrs. O. H. Mack, president of the Federation of Women's Clubs, sent an invitation to each club to be represented at this meeting. It was soon evident that it would be too large for a private house and on January 24 a conference was held in the law office of Counsellor C. R. Reeves to arrange for a Saturday evening mass meeting. There were present Mr. Reeves, who was made temporary chairman; Professor Wier, Mrs. Mack, Mrs. Henry Stanislawsky, Professor Romanzo Adams, Judge William P. Seeds, Assemblyman Alceus F. Price, J. A. Buchanan, Mrs. Frank Page, Mrs. Frank R. Nicholas, who was made secretary, and J. Holman Buck, who was elected permanent chairman. A telegram of greeting was read from Mrs. Mackay.[Pg 385]

A general meeting for organization was held the evening of February 4 in Odd Fellows' Hall, which was far too small for the audience. The name State Equal Franchise Society was adopted. Mrs. Stanislawsky was elected president; Colonel Reeves, Mr. Price, Mrs. Mack and Miss Felice Cohn, vice-presidents; Mrs. Nicholas, Mrs. Grace E. Bridges and Mrs. Alice Chism, recording and corresponding secretary and treasurer. A membership of 177 was reported. The board of twenty-one directors included most of those who have been named and in addition Dr. J. E. Stubbs, president of the university; Mrs. A. B. McKinley, Dr. Morris Pritchard, W. D. Trout, Mrs. Nettie P. Hershiser, Mrs. George Armstrong, Mrs. Florence H. Church, Mrs. G. Taylor, Mrs. Frank Stickney.[113] Plans were made for a legislative lobby. A report of the organization was sent to Mrs. Mackay, who consented that her name should be used as honorary president but took no further interest in it or in the amendment campaign which soon followed and made no contribution.

Between the above meetings Assemblymen Arnold and Byrne of Esmeralda county had introduced a joint resolution on January 30 to submit to the voters an amendment to the State constitution to give full suffrage to women. It was referred to the Committee on Elections, which on February 7 reported it unfavorably. Assemblyman J. A. Denton of Lincoln county secured a hearing before the Committee of the Whole on February 20 and a large lobby from the society was present. Mrs. Stanislawsky and Miss Cohn addressed the committee, emphasizing the fact that each of the political parties had declared in its State platform for this referendum and all the women asked was to have the question sent to the voters. The resolution was put on file but at the bottom and every attempt to advance it failed but on March 6 it appeared in regular order. Speaker pro tem. Booth wanted it indefinitely postponed but was overruled. After numerous parliamentary tactics it was at length passed by 31 ayes, 13 noes, four absent and the Speaker not voting. The resolution was first read in the Senate on March 7[Pg 386] and referred to the Committee on Education. Three days later it was reported without recommendation. It came before the Senate March 13 and after considerable "fencing" it passed by 16 ayes, 2 noes, one absent. Mrs. Stanislawsky, Mrs. Mack, Professor Wier, Mrs. Chism, Miss Cohn and Mrs. Nicholas had worked strenuously in the two Houses.

The constitution requires that a resolution for an amendment must pass two successive Legislatures and the new association saw the task before it of getting the approval of another session in 1913. It received national and international attention about this time through a banner six feet high and four wide, presented by Mrs. Arthur Hodges of New York, with the words, Nevada, Votes for Women, brought out in sage brush green letters on a field of vivid orange. This was shipped to New York and carried by Miss Anne Martin of Reno in a big parade in that city and then taken to London and carried by her and Miss Vida Milholland of New York at the head of the American group in the great procession of the Social and Political Union.

Headquarters were opened in the Cheney Building in Reno, Mrs. Hodges assuming the rent, where visitors were made welcome and literature given out. A series of lectures until November were arranged, the first one in the Congregational church, where Mrs. Stanislawsky gave an address to a crowded meeting. Later she moved to California and in February, 1912, Mrs. Mack called a meeting and Miss Anne Martin was unanimously elected president. Mrs. Bridges, Mrs. Chism and Mrs. Mack were re-elected. The other members of the board chosen were: Vice-presidents, Mrs. F. O. Norton, Mrs. J. E. Church, Mrs. Jennie Logan, Mrs. Charles Gulling, Mrs. J. E. Bray, Miss B. M. Wilson; recording secretary, Mrs. Burroughs Edsall. An active executive committee was appointed and plans were made for a vigorous campaign. Mrs. Hodges continued to pay the rent of headquarters and a substantial bank account was built up by dues, subscriptions and collections at meetings.

Miss Martin attended the national suffrage convention at Philadelphia in November, where she told of the need of funds to further the campaign and secured many pledges and donations. Dr. Shaw, the president, promised $1,000 from the association after[Pg 387] the amendment was submitted. Mrs. Oliver H. P. Belmont and Mrs. Joseph Fels had become honorary presidents and the former gave $100; the latter made her contribution of $500 later. The Massachusetts association, through Mrs. Maud Wood Park, $100; the National Association, $100 in cash and $100 in literature; the Woman's Journal $45. California and Arizona gave funds and literature. A pamphlet entitled Woman Under Nevada Laws, by Miss B. M. Wilson, an attorney, had been published in a special edition of 20,000 and proved effective in rousing the women to a sense of their rights and wrongs.

The rapid organization had its effect on legislators and politicians. The resolution for submitting an amendment was presented in both Houses in 1913 and reported favorably by the Judiciary Committees. It passed in the House on January 24 by 49 ayes, 3 noes, one absent; in the Senate on January 30 by 19 ayes, 3 noes. On March 3 it was signed by the Governor.

The educational work was done through the press, the platform and entertainments. Speakers of national note were secured, among them Dr. Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw, and Mrs. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, of New York; Dr. Charles F. Aked, of San Francisco; Miss Jane Addams of Chicago, and Miss Mabel Vernon of Washington. The meetings were attended by about three men to one woman. Mr. Laidlaw assisted in organizing a Men's Suffrage League, among whose members were Supreme Court Justice Frank Norcross, Dr. Stubbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction John Edwards Bray, S. W. Belford, Charles Gulling, A. A. Hibbard, Professor J. E. Church, Captain Applewhite, the Rev. Mr. Adams, the Rev. Mr. Sheldon, George Taylor and John Wright.

At the annual meeting Feb. 25, 1913, it was announced that there were nearly 1,000 paid up members, with most of the counties organized and many town societies. "Nevada, the black spot on the map! To make it white, give women the suffrage," was the constant slogan. Miss Martin, Mrs. Church, Mrs. Bray, Miss Wilson and Mrs. Bridges were re-elected. Other members chosen were: Vice-presidents, Mrs. Hugh Brown, Mrs. Alexander Orr, Mrs. George West, Mrs. Lyman D. Clark, Jr., Mrs. E. E. Caine, Mrs. Harry Warren; recording[Pg 388] secretary, Mrs. J. B. Menardi; treasurer, Mrs. Mabel Redman; auditors, Mrs. P. B. Kennedy, Mrs. W. T. Jenkins.

In the little span of days that lay between the election of the State Executive Committee in 1912 and the legislative session of 1913 the sixteen counties were organized, each under a chairman. Mrs. M. S. Bonnifield as chairman of Humboldt county, with her helpers, Mrs. A. W. Card, Mrs. Mark Walser of Lovelock and Dr. Nellie Hascall of Fallon, led their branches into the mining fields. It is not easy to realize the difficulties under which these women labored. Mrs. H. C. Taylor, chairman of Churchill county, had to drive many miles from her ranch to attend every meeting. Some of the chairmen were Mrs. A. J. McCarty, Mineral county; Mrs. Rudolph Zadow, Eureka; Mrs. Sadie D. Hurst, Washoe; Mrs. Bray, Ormsby; Mrs. F. P. Langdon, Storey; Mrs. Caine, Elko; Mrs. Minnie Comins MacDonald, White Pine.

Mrs. Church, Miss Mary Henry, Mrs. Hurst, Mrs. Belford, and Mrs. Maud Gassoway were an active force in organizing societies at Sparks, Verdi and Wadsworth in Washoe county, the largest in the State. Mrs. W. H. Bray organized study classes in Sparks and gave prizes for the best suffrage essays. Mrs. Hurst addressed large street crowds in Reno every Saturday night. An important feature of the campaign was the complete circularization of the voters with suffrage literature by the county organizations and from State headquarters by Mrs. Bessie Eichelberger, State treasurer for two years, assisted by Miss Alexandrine La Tourette of the State University; Mrs. Belford, Mrs. P. L. Flannigan, Mrs. Alf. Doten, Miss Minnie Flannigan, Mrs. Charles E. Bosnell and Mrs. John Franzman. Mrs. Hood, the second vice-president, and chairman of civics in the State Federation of Women's Clubs, was the leading factor in getting its endorsement at its meeting in Reno, Oct. 30, 1913.

Nevada's population of only 80,000 is scattered over an area of 110,000 square miles, a territory larger than the whole of New England. Of these, 40,000 are men over twenty-one years of age, of whom only 20,000 remained in the State long enough to vote at the last general election—an average of one voter to every five square miles. Nevada has the smallest urban and[Pg 389] the most scattered rural population in the United States. Reaching and winning this vote was done mostly by press work and literature. The new voters on the registration lists were circularized. The personal contact with the voter was accomplished by street meetings in the cities and towns; in the rural communities by train, automobile, stage and even on horseback.

All the political parties but the Republican endorsed the amendment in their platforms and it was supported by labor unions representing 6,000 members. Prestige and assistance were given by an Advisory Board consisting of U. S. Senators Francis G. Newlands and Key Pittman, Congressman E. E. Roberts, Governor Tasker H. Oddie, Lieutenant Governor Gilbert C. Ross, President Stubbs, Bishop Robinson and many professional and business men. There was fierce opposition from some newspapers, including the Reno Evening Gazette, the leading Republican paper of the State, but active support from the State Journal, owned and edited by George Darius Kilborn, formerly of New York, who was always in favor of woman suffrage. The Western Nevada Miner, owned and edited by J. Holman Buck, gave much assistance in that part of the State.

In canvassing and speaking tours over the State Miss Martin travelled over 3,000 miles and talked personally to nearly every one of the 20,000 voters. There are 240 election precincts and over 180 were organized with a woman leader. On Nov. 3, 1914, every county was carried for the amendment but four, each of these a county with one of the largest and oldest towns in the State. The vote in Washoe county was 1,449 for, 2,047 against; in Reno, the county seat, 938 for, 1,587 against. Ormsby county with Carson City gave an adverse majority of only 141; Storey county with Virginia City of only 31. The total vote was 10,936 ayes, 7,257 noes—the amendment carried by 3,679. The cost of the whole three years' campaign was only a little more than $7,000.

At the annual meeting of the Washoe county Equal Franchise Society after the election it was evident that, having won suffrage, women recognized their new and enlarged responsibilities and were anxious to do something for the public welfare and their own development. A mass meeting was held in the[Pg 390] Y. W. C. A. building and the Woman Citizens' Club was organized with a charter membership of 80. Mrs. Hurst was elected president. Other officers were: Vice-presidents, Mrs. Belford, Mrs. C. H. Burke, Mrs. Hood; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Mack; recording secretary, Mrs. Bessie Mouffe; financial secretary, Mrs. Harold Duncan; treasurer, Mrs. Eichelberger; auditor, Mrs. Katherine Flett; librarian, Mrs. F. C. MacDiarmid. This club succeeded in getting a year as a required residence for those from other States seeking divorce and later another Legislature proposed to repeal it and restore the six months. Mrs. George F. Nixon, wife of the former U. S. Senator, was made legislative chairman and headed the women of Reno who went almost en masse to Carson City to protest but the pressure on the other side was too strong and the old law was restored.

In August, 1918, The Woman Citizens' Club endorsed Mrs. Sadie D. Hurst of Reno for the Assembly, in recognition of what she had done for suffrage and for the club. She won at the primaries and also at the polls in November and was the first woman member. The submission of the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment to the Legislatures by Congress seemed near and at the request of Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the national president, a Ratification Committee was formed in December. Helen T. (Mrs. S. W.) Belford was acting chairman with Mesdames Walser, Hood, McKenzie, Mack, Church, Boyd, Bray, Franzman, Fannie B. Patrick and Emma Vanderlith members. At the request of this committee a resolution was presented to the Legislature by Mrs. Hurst on Jan. 22, 1919, asking this body to memorialize Congress in favor of the amendment. It passed the Assembly January 23 with but one dissenting vote; the Senate January 29 unanimously and the Nevada U. S. Senators were requested to present and actively support it.

In March the committee elected Mrs. Patrick delegate to the national suffrage convention in St. Louis and in April it met to hear her report and details of the proposed League of Women Voters. The following July a meeting was held to listen to Mrs. Minnie S. Cunningham of Texas and Mrs. Ben Hooper of Wisconsin, who were touring certain States under the auspices[Pg 391] of the National Association, to consult the Governors on the question of special sessions for the ratification of the Federal Amendment, which had been submitted in June. Mrs. Patrick and Mrs. Belford accompanied them to Carson City and had an interview with Governor Emmet D. Boyle. In September the committee considered the offer of a conference of officers and chairmen of the National League of Women Voters to be held in Reno. It was arranged for November 20-21, with Mrs. McKenzie chairman of program, Mrs. Walser of finance, Mrs. Hurst of halls and Mrs. Belford of publicity.

The conference met in the Century Club House. Mrs Catt, Miss Jessie R. Haver, Dr. Valeria H. Parker, Mrs. Jean Nelson Penfield and Miss Marjorie Shuler, national chairman of publicity, were the guests of honor. A luncheon at the Riverside Hotel was attended by about 70 men and women. An evening meeting was held in the Rialto Theater with Mrs. Patrick presiding. Governor Boyle introduced Mrs. Catt, who gave a rousing speech, Wake up America, and the others were heard at this and other times on the various departments of the league's work. At the last session a State League of Women Voters was organized and later Mrs. Belford was elected chairman.

Ratification. Governor Boyle issued a call for the Legislature to meet in special session Feb. 7, 1920, for the express purpose of acting on the Federal Amendment, and in his Message when it convened he said: "While no certainty exists that the favorable action of Nevada will in 1920 assure to the women of the United States the same voting privileges which our own women enjoy by virtue of our State law, it does appear certain that without our favorable action national suffrage may be delayed for such a time as to withhold the right to vote in a presidential election from millions of the women of America."

To Mrs. Hurst, the one woman member, was given the honor of introducing the resolution to ratify in the House. On her motion the rules were suspended, the resolution was read the second time by title and referred to the Committee on Federal Relations. A recess of ten minutes was taken and when the Assembly reconvened a message from the Senate was received stating that the resolution had passed unanimously. The House[Pg 392] committee recommended it and Mrs. Hurst moved that it be placed on third reading and final passage. After this had been done she thanked the Assembly for the honor accorded her and closed a brief but eloquent speech by saying: "There is no necessity of asking you to ratify, for I am proud of the men of the West and of Nevada." As the vote was about to be taken W. O. Ferguson of Eureka county announced that he would vote against the ratification; that he was opposed to having the people of this State telling the women of the Union whether or not they should vote and that he came to Carson City especially to vote against the resolution. At this stage Speaker Fitzgerald stated that twenty-seven Legislatures had already ratified the amendment but so far as he was aware no woman had presided over one taking such action and he had great pleasure in being able to request Mrs. Hurst to take charge of proceedings during roll call. Twenty-five members answered in favor of ratification, and one, Mr. Ferguson, against it.

Mrs. Hurst declared the resolution carried. At the suggestion of Assemblyman Sanai an opportunity was given to the women to address the legislators. Those speaking were Mrs. Patrick, chairman, and Mrs. Belford, secretary of the Ratification Committee; Mrs. Church, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, and Mrs. Eichelberger, chairman of its suffrage committee; Mrs. Hood, regent of the State University; Mrs. Maud Edwards, president of the W. C. T. U., and Mrs. L. D. Gassoway. All expressed their appreciation of the special session, to which most of the members had paid their own expenses. Governor and Mrs. Boyle invited the legislators and the Ratification Committee to the Mansion for luncheon. And thus was closed the Nevada chapter on woman suffrage.


In February, 1912, Miss Anne Martin of Reno, who had spent the years 1909-11 in England, during which she worked for suffrage under Mrs. Pankhurst, was elected president of the State Equal Franchise Society. Miss Martin, a native of Nevada,[Pg 393] was a graduate of the State University; had the degrees of A.B. and A.M. from Leland Stanford University and had been professor of history in the former. She had studied abroad and travelled widely but her whole interest had now centered in woman suffrage. Miss B. M. Wilson of Goldfield was elected vice-president and Mrs. Grace Bridges of Reno, secretary. Mrs. Stanislawsky had removed to California and the organization, with the long wait between Legislatures and no definite work, had but a small membership, no county organizations and no funds. It was obvious to Miss Martin and her associates that, judging by the experience of other States, the legislative vote of 1911 must be regarded as merely complimentary and the real battle must be fought in 1913. Miss Martin therefore began the campaign by organizing the State in 1912. She paid her own expenses on speaking trips to every county for this purpose, also on journeys to California, to the Mississippi Valley Suffrage Conference at St. Louis in April and to the National Suffrage Convention in Philadelphia in November. Here she enlisted the interest and financial support of national and State leaders and an advisory board of influential women outside of Nevada was formed.

In February, 1913, her report made to the State suffrage convention in Reno showed that the Equal Franchise Society had been developed in one year into a State-wide body, with practically every county organized and a large number of auxiliary town societies, and with nearly one thousand paid-up members. There was a bank balance of several hundred dollars, from collections at meetings, monthly pledges of members and gifts from Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, Mrs. Joseph Fels, Mrs. Oliver H. P. Belmont, Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, Mrs. George Day (Conn.), and Connecticut and Massachusetts suffrage associations and other eastern supporters, and from suffrage leagues of California, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado. Reports also showed that a press bureau had been organized at State headquarters (principally Miss Martin and Mrs. Bridges) by which Nevada's forty-five newspapers, chiefly rural weeklies, were supplied regularly with a special suffrage news service; that every editor, all public libraries and railroad men's reading rooms, more than[Pg 394] one hundred school districts and three hundred leading men and women throughout the State received the Woman's Journal (Boston) every week, which always contained Nevada suffrage news; that every voter on the county registration lists had been circularized with suffrage literature.

An advisory council of the State's most prominent men had been formed. Every legislative candidate had been asked to vote for the suffrage amendment, if elected, and, as a result of the favorable public opinion created by the new State organization, more than the necessary number had pledged themselves in writing, so the day after the election in November it was known that there was a safe majority in the coming Legislature if all pledges were kept. The Legislative Committee of the Equal Franchise Society was on duty and within the first two weeks of the session, in January, 1913, the amendment was passed by both Houses and approved by Governor Oddie.

The problem before the State convention at Reno in February was how to educate the voters and overcome the active opposition of the liquor and other vested interests, which were determined to continue Nevada "wide-open" by "keeping out the women." The convention re-elected Miss Martin and left in her hands the supervision of building up a majority for the amendment at the election in November, 1914. During 1913 she had kept the State organization actively at work by trips through the northern and southern counties and by securing the help of suffrage speakers from other States. Miss Wilson, the vice-president and also president of the Esmeralda County League, with headquarters at Goldfield, was in general charge of the southern counties, which had a very large miners' vote. In November Miss Martin had gone as delegate to the National Woman Suffrage Convention in Washington, and there, in addition to promises of an organizer and money from Dr. Shaw, the national president, she secured from Miss Alice Paul, chairman of the Congressional Union, the services of Miss Mabel Vernon, perhaps its most capable organizer. She also obtained pledges of $1,000 from Senator Newlands; $1,000 from Mrs. Quincy A. Shaw of Boston through Mrs. Maud Wood Park; $1,000 from the National American Woman Suffrage Association;[Pg 395] $500 from Mrs. Fels, $300 from Miss Eileen Canfield; also $250 from Mrs. W. O'H. Martin of Reno and many smaller sums from individuals and organizations.

With the assurance of an adequate fund, amounting to over $7,000 in all, the final "drive" for suffrage for Nevada women was begun after the State convention. Miss Vernon arrived, as promised, in April and at once made a trip around the State to strengthen the county and local organizations. At State headquarters in Reno Miss Martin kept in touch with the work in every section of the State, wrote suffrage leaflets and planned the final campaign. Its concrete object was to secure the endorsement of labor unions, women's clubs and political parties; to rouse as many women as possible to active work and to have at least one in charge of every voting precinct; to reach every voter in the State with literature and by a personal message through a house-to-house canvass, and to appeal to both men and women everywhere through press work and public meetings addressed by the best speakers in the country.

The 20,000 voters were scattered over the enormous area of 110,000 square miles. There was only one large town, Reno, with about 15,000 inhabitants, and three or four others with a population of a few thousands each; the rest of the people lived far apart in families or small groups, in mining camps on distant mountains and on remote ranches in the valleys. Nothing could prevent a heavy adverse vote in Reno and other towns where the saloons, with their annexes of gambling rooms, dance halls and "big business" generally, were powerful, so everything depended on reducing their unfavorable majority by building up the largest possible majorities in the mining camps and rural districts. "Every vote counts" was the slogan.

In July, 1914, Miss Martin and Miss Vernon started out on their final canvass of the State, "prospecting for votes" in the mines, going underground in the vast mountains by tunnel, ladder or in buckets lowered by windlass to talk to the miners who were "on shift" and could not attend the street or hall meetings. To reach less than 100 voters at Austin, the county seat of Lauder county, required a two days' journey over the desert, and many places were a several days' trip away from a railroad.[Pg 396] By automobile, wagon, on horseback, climbing up to mining camps on foot, the canvassers went; making a house-to-house canvass of ranches many miles apart; travelling 150 miles over the desert all day to speak to the "camp," which was always assembled on the street in front of the largest and best lighted saloon, on their arrival at dusk. Many were the courtesies they received from shirt-sleeved miners and cowboys. They were also greatly assisted by the suffrage association's local chairmen, who would hastily secure substitutes to cook for their "hay crews" and drive miles to arrange meetings. They always tried to reach a settlement or hospitable ranch house for the night. Where this was not possible they slept on blankets in hayfields or on the ground in the heart of the desert itself. The trip covered 3,000 miles.

Meanwhile at State headquarters in Reno leaflets that had been carefully written as appeals to "give Nevada women a square deal" were addressed to voters' lists as they registered for the approaching election, under the direction of the society's treasurer, Mrs. Bessie Eichelberger.

A State labor conference representing 6,000 members endorsed the amendment and every labor union that took a vote on it. The official endorsements of the Democratic, Progressive and Socialist parties were obtained. Individual Republicans supported it but the party refused its approval and the leading Republican newspaper, the Reno Evening Gazette, under the orders of George Wingfield, multi-millionaire, with other newspapers he controlled, bitterly fought the amendment to the last. Only one or two newspapers, notably the Nevada State Journal, actively supported it but many published campaign news. Reno papers contained over 200 columns of suffrage matter. Fremont Older, editor of the San Francisco Bulletin, gave to State headquarters the valuable services and paid the expenses of Miss Bessie Beatty, a member of its staff, to direct the State-wide press campaign of news and advertisements planned for September and October. With the assistance of President Stubbs and in spite of the opposition of Regent Charles B. Henderson, a College Equal Suffrage League was formed at the State University, under the leadership of Miss Clara Smith, and a suffrage[Pg 397] essay contest was promoted in the schools of the State. Through Judge William P. Seeds' and Miss Martin's efforts a Men's Suffrage League was formed, to counteract the so-called Business Men's League, organized to fight the amendment.

A state-wide Anti-Suffrage Society was organized during the last months, led by Mrs. Jewett Adams and Mrs. Paris Ellis of Carson, Mrs. Frank M. Lee of Reno and Mrs. John Henderson of Elko. Miss Minnie Bronson of New York and Mrs. J. D. Oliphant of New Jersey, sent by the National Anti-Suffrage Association, toured the State under their auspices. In contrast with the hardships of travel to remote places endured by the loyal workers for suffrage and the economic problems always to be solved, the speakers for the "antis" only visited the large towns, were provided with every obtainable luxury and the meetings well advertised and arranged.

The organizer promised by the National Suffrage Association, Mrs. Laura Gregg Cannon, arrived in September and was sent at once to organize more thoroughly the southern counties, as success depended on an overwhelming vote from the miners and ranchers there. Miss Margaret A. Foley of Boston also came, as arranged by Miss Martin, for constant speaking through the northern and southern counties during the last two months. Miss Jane Addams gave a priceless four days to a whirlwind tour. The Overland Limited was stopped for her to speak at Elko and Winnemucca. She ended her trip at Reno, where she addressed an overflow mass meeting at the Majestic Theater just two weeks before election day. A large public dinner was given in her honor at the Riverside Hotel by the State Franchise Society. Dr. Shaw, tireless crusader and incomparable speaker, travelled swiftly through the State by train and automobile during the eight days she gave in October, which were filled with receptions and crowded meetings. Mrs. Martin gave a reception in her home in Reno, whose hospitality was extended throughout the campaign to those who came from outside the State to help it. Dr. Shaw's strenuous itinerary included meetings at Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, Lovelocks, Reno, Washoe, Carson City, Virginia City, Tonopah, Goldfield, Las Vegas and Caliente. She made many hundreds of votes for the amendment.[Pg 398]

Other notable outside speakers and workers, whose interest was aroused by Miss Martin and who gave their services during the nearly three years' sustained effort, were Miss Annie Kenney of London, Mr. and Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw, Miss Ida Craft and "General" Rosalie Jones of New York; Mrs. Antoinette Funk of Chicago; Mr. and Mrs. William Kent, Dr. Charles F. Aked, J. Stitt Wilson, Miss Gail Laughlin, Dr. Mary Sperry, Mrs. Sara Bard Field, Miss Maud Younger, Miss Charlotte Anita Whitney, Mrs. Alice Park, Mrs. Eleanor Stewart, Mrs. Mary Ringrose of California. The last named did valuable work among the Catholics. Miss Mary Bulkley and Mrs. Alice Day Jackson, a granddaughter of Isabella Beecher Hooker, whom Miss Martin had interested on her visit to Connecticut, came at their own expense and for three weeks canvassed Reno, Carson City, Virginia City and other places. Miss Vernon's work in organization and her many strong speeches on the streets of Reno and in meetings throughout the State were an important factor in winning votes. While many splendid Nevada women worked with enthusiasm and great efficiency in every county, yet without Miss Martin's leadership in organizing them and direction of the campaign during the years 1912-13-14, and without the money she gave and raised, woman suffrage in Nevada would probably have been delayed for several years. She personally contributed in her travelling expenses and other ways over $2,000. Aside from this sum the entire three years' campaign was made at a cost of $7,000.

Out of the 240 precincts in the State every one that had ten votes in it was canvassed and open air or hall meetings held before election. More than 180 were organized, each with a woman leader, who, with her committee, "picketed the polls" every hour during election day, handing out the final appeal to give women a square deal by voting for the amendment. The suffrage map showing Nevada as the last "black spot" in the West was printed in every newspaper and on every leaflet, put up in public places and on large banners hung in the streets.

The amendment received the largest proportionate vote for woman suffrage on record. Reno and Washoe county, as had been anticipated, went against it by a majority that was[Pg 399] brought down to 600. Of the remaining fifteen counties, three others, the oldest in the State—Ormsby, Storey and Eureka—also defeated the amendment, but the favorable majorities of the other northern counties and the staunch support of the miners in the south won the victory. Esmeralda, a mining county and one of the largest in population, gave a majority for the amendment in every precinct. Out of 18,193 votes cast on it, it had a majority in favor of 3,679, and Nevada gave its leverage on Congress for the Federal Amendment.

At the annual convention of the State Equal Franchise Society in Reno in February, 1915, the Nevada Woman's Civic League was formed as its successor. It continued an affiliated member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, pledged to support the Federal Amendment. Its object was to meet a general demand of the newly enfranchised women for information about the wise use of the ballot.


[112] The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. O. H. Mack, vice-president of the State Equal Franchise Society.

[113] Charter members besides those already mentioned were Mrs. J. E. Stubbs, J. D. Layman, C. A. Jacobson, Mrs. Jennie Blanche Taylor, Mrs. Julia F. Bender, J. E. Church, Miss Laura de Laguna, Grant Miller, Miss Kate Bardenwerper, Mrs. W. H. Hood, Mrs. Orr, Mrs. Boyd, Mrs. George McKenzie, Mrs. May Gill.

[114] The History is indebted for this sketch to Miss B. M. Wilson, vice-president of the State Equal Franchise Society during the campaign, 1912-1914.

[Pg 400]



There has been a woman suffrage association in New Hampshire since 1868 with some of the State's most eminent men and women among its members. In 1900 it took on new life when the New England Association, with headquarters in Boston, sent Mrs. Susan S. Fessenden to speak and organize. In 1901 Miss Mary N. Chase of Andover spent a month forming societies and a conference was held at Manchester in December, addressed by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and Henry B. and Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, editors of the Woman's Journal.

In 1902 the National Board engaged Miss Chase as organizer for a month. A State Suffrage Association was formed with seven auxiliary clubs and the following officers were elected: President, Miss Chase, honorary president, Mrs. Armenia S. White, Concord; honorary vice-presidents, ex-U. S. Senator Henry W. Blair, U. S. Senator Jacob H. Gallinger; vice-president, Miss Elizabeth S. Hunt, Manchester; secretary, Miss Mary E. Quimby, Concord; treasurer, the Rev. Angelo Hall, Andover; auditors, Miss Caroline R. Wendell, Dover; Sherman E. Burroughs (afterwards member of Congress), Manchester.

A convention met in Concord December 2 to revise the State constitution and on the 4th Captain Arthur Thompson of Warner offered an amendment which struck out the word "male" from the suffrage clause. A hearing on it was granted on the 9th and Mrs. Catt and Mr. and Miss Blackwell addressed the convention. After long discussion by the delegates it was voted on the 11th, by 145 to 92 that this amendment should be submitted to the voters with the revised constitution in March, 1903. The State suffrage convention was held in December at the time the hearing[Pg 401] took place. The officers of the State association did a great deal of work before the constitutional convention met to influence its action. Miss Chase spoke 103 times before the local Granges, an important factor in State politics. Miss Quimby circularized the delegates, prepared a leaflet of opinions from prominent citizens and aided in securing a petition of 2,582.

In January, 1903, Mrs. Catt came and took charge of the campaign, remaining until the vote was taken in March. Others from outside who gave their services without pay, speaking throughout the State, were Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, vice-president of the National Association; Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch, Mrs. Mary D. Fiske, Mrs. Priscilla D. Hackstaff, Mrs. Maud Wood Park and Mrs. Mary E. Craigie. The National Association contributed $3,255 to the campaign and various States sent generous donations. Among the New Hampshire speakers were Captain Arthur Thompson, the Rev. Charles W. Casson (Unitarian) of Milford; the Hon. Oliver E. Branch of Manchester; the Hon. Clarence E. Carr of Andover. Miss Chase continued her work among the Granges, addressing thirty-seven. Miss Quimby circularized 87,000 voters. Mrs. White gave the headquarters in Concord. Seventy-five ministers preached sermons in favor of the amendment.

So much interest was aroused that the opponents wrote for Dr. Lyman Abbott of New York to come to Concord. Among the signers of the letter were former Governor Nahum Batchelder of Andover; Judge Edgar Aldrich of the district court of Littleton; Winston Churchill of Cornish; Irving W. Drew of Lancaster and George H. Moses of Concord.[116] On March 4 Representatives' Hall was packed to hear addresses against the amendment by Miss Emily P. Bissell of Delaware; Mrs. A. J. George of Brookline, Mass.; Judge David Cross of Manchester and Dr. Abbott. The Concord Monitor of that date in a leading editorial said: "Through a maudlin sense of false sentiment the constitutional convention sent this question to the people ... and the people will deal with it as it deserves." On March 5 came[Pg 402] the speeches of the suffragists. Representatives' Hall was even more crowded than before and scores were turned away. The Hon. James O. Lyford of Concord presided and the speakers were Mrs. Catt, Mr. Branch, one of the ablest lawyers in the State, and Henry H. Metcalf of Concord, founder and editor of the Granite Monthly. The amendment was submitted to the voters March 10 with the constitution. The votes in favor were 14,162; against, 21,788, lost by 7,626.

During the year the membership of the association more than doubled. The annual meeting was held in the Unitarian Church, Milford, November 18, 19. In 1904 the National Association engaged Miss Chase to do three months' organization work and the membership increased 137 per cent. The annual meeting was held in the Christian Church at Franklin November 14, 15, with addresses by the Rev. Nancy W. Paine Smith (Universalist) of Newfields and other State speakers. On Oct. 30, 31, 1905, the State convention was held at Claremont with Dr. Shaw as the principal speaker. The most important work of the year had been the effort to secure a Municipal suffrage bill. Mrs. Mary I. Wood of Portsmouth, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, had been the chief speaker at the hearing.

In 1906 the convention was held at Concord, October 30, 31, with addresses by Dr. Shaw, Mrs. Wood, vice-president, and Mrs. Fannie J. Fernald of Old Orchard, president of the Maine Suffrage Association. Mrs. White, now 89 years old, gave reminiscences of the early days of the suffrage movement. Among the clergymen taking part were the Reverends Edwin W. Bishop (Congregationalist); John Vannevar, D.D. (Universalist); Daniel C. Roberts, D.D. (Episcopalian); L. H. Buckshorn (Unitarian); E. C. Strout (Methodist); John B. Wilson (Baptist), all of Concord; and the Rev. Olive M. Kimball (Universalist) of Marlboro.

In 1907 the convention was held in Manchester October 25 with Dr. Shaw, national president, as the inspiring speaker. The State Federation of Labor had unanimously endorsed woman suffrage. On January 2 at Washington, D. C., had occurred the death of Mrs. Henry W. Blair of Plymouth and Manchester, whose husband, U. S. Senator Henry W. Blair, had secured the[Pg 403] first vote in the Senate on the Federal Suffrage Amendment. Both were lifelong friends of the cause.

In 1908 prizes were offered in the State Granges for the best essays in favor of Woman Suffrage and excellent ones were sent in. A lecture bureau had been organized and eighteen men and women were speaking at public meetings. On October 23 Mrs. Mary Hutchinson Page of Boston addressed a meeting at the home of Agnes M. (Mrs. Barton P.) Jenks, president of the Concord society. The State convention was held in Portsmouth November 11, 12, where Dr. Shaw as usual made the principal address and Miss Aina Johanssen, a visitor from Finland, gave an interesting account of woman suffrage there.

By 1909 there was considerable advance in favorable sentiment and people of influence were seeing the justice of the cause. Governor Henry B. Quinby and his wife gave their support. The Rev. Henry G. Ives (Unitarian) of Andover and his wife were strong advocates. Intensive work had been done in the 275 Granges, their State lecturer sending out instructions to discuss woman suffrage at April meetings. Fifty-four Grange essays were submitted for the prizes by the State association. Resolutions in favor of woman suffrage were passed by the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Universalist State Convention. The annual convention was held in Manchester November 11, addressed by Mrs. Fernald and the Rev. Ida C. Hultin (Unitarian), Sudbury, Mass.

In February, 1910, Miss Ethel M. Arnold of England lectured for the Concord society in the Parish House (Episcopalian). The annual meeting was held in the Free Baptist Church at Franklin November 15, 16. Among the speakers was the Rev. Florence Kollock Crooker (Universalist) of Roslindale, Mass. Miss Chase had given addresses in thirty-one towns and cities and organized nine new committees.

In 1911 an attractive booth at the Rochester Agricultural fair, made possible by Miss Martha S. Kimball of Portsmouth, drew crowds and 10,000 leaflets were distributed and hundreds of buttons and pennants sold. The Free Baptist convention passed a resolution favoring suffrage. Mrs. Jenks attended the congress of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance at Stockholm,[Pg 404] Sweden, as delegate. At a meeting of the Concord society where the special guest was the Woman's Club, addresses were made by Judge Charles R. Corning, Mrs. Winston Churchill and Mrs. Jenks. The noted English suffragist, Miss Sylvia Pankhurst, spoke there on March 30. In 1912 the convention was held in Portsmouth December 4, 5 in the chapel of the old North Congregational Church. The Rev. Lucius Thayer, pastor since 1890, and his wife were strong suffragists. Mrs. Maud Wood Park of Boston made the principal address. Miss Chase after having held the presidency ten years declined re-election and was succeeded by Miss Kimball, who was re-elected for the next seven years.[117]

In 1913 a brilliant suffrage banquet, the first of its kind, was given at the Eagle Hotel, Concord, on February 28, attended by notables from all parts of the State. Mrs. Wood was toast mistress. Among the speakers were Governor Samuel D. Felker, Mrs. Josiah N. Woodward, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs, and William J. Britton, Speaker of the House. On May 9 a debate was held in the Woman's Club of Newport, between Miss Frances M. Abbott of Concord, press agent of the State association, and Mrs. Albertus T. Dudley of Exeter, president of the State Society Opposed to Woman Suffrage. The large audience voted in favor of woman suffrage. The convention was held at Concord, December 10, 11, with addresses by Mrs. Katherine Houghton Hepburn, president of the Connecticut association; Witter Bynner of Cornish, the poet and playwright, and Senator Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado. Miss Kimball subscribed $600, the largest individual contribution yet received. Mrs. Jenks gave a report of the meeting of the International Suffrage Alliance at Budapest, which she attended. This year the charters of Manchester and Nashua were changed by the Legislature to give School suffrage to women.[Pg 405]

In 1914 the convention was held in the Y. M. C. A. Hall, Manchester, November 11, 12, with able State speakers. Major Frank Knox, head of the Manchester Union, always strong for suffrage, presided in the evening. Ten county chairmen were appointed. The association cooperated with that of Vermont in a booth at the State fair at White River Junction.

In 1915 State headquarters in charge of Miss Abbott were opened in Concord and continued five months during the legislative session. Public meetings were addressed by Mrs. Marion Booth Kelley and Mrs. Park of Boston; Mrs. Antoinette Funk of Chicago, member of the National Congressional Committee; Mrs. Deborah Knox Livingston of Bangor and U. S. Senator Hollis of New Hampshire. Miss Jeannette Rankin of Montana made a few addresses. A large illuminated "suffrage map" was framed and put in the State House and other public places. Quantities of suffrage literature were sent out, including 400 suffrage valentines and tickets for the suffrage film Your Girl and Mine to the legislators. At the 150th anniversary celebration of the naming of Concord on June 8 an elaborate suffrage float and several decorated motor cars filled with suffragists, two of college women in caps and gowns, were in the procession. Many members marched in the parade in Boston October 6. Through Miss Kimball's generosity Mrs. Mary I. Post of California was sent for six months' work in the New Jersey campaign. Later she took charge of headquarters in Manchester and in Concord. The State convention was held at Nashua December 2, 3. Among the speakers were Miss Zona Gale, the novelist; U. S. Senator Moses E. Clapp of Minnesota, and John R. McLane, son of former Governor McLane of New Hampshire.

On May 7, 1916, Mrs. Armenia S. White passed away at the age of 98. To her more than to any one person was the suffrage cause in New Hampshire indebted. With her husband, Nathaniel White, she had been from the first identified with the unpopular reforms, anti-slavery, temperance and equal suffrage. More men and women of national prominence had been entertained under their roof than in any other home in the State. A successful conference was held in Manchester February 28, addressed by Mrs. Catt, president again of the National[Pg 406] Association, and Mrs. Susan Walker Fitzgerald of Massachusetts. The State convention was held at Concord November 9, 10, with Dr. Effie McCollum Jones of Iowa as the chief speaker.

In February, 1917, ten newspapers issued special suffrage editions with plate matter furnished by the National Association and 3,000 extra copies were mailed, besides thousands of suffrage speeches and circulars. In March and April 371 Protestant, 81 Catholic and four Jewish clergymen were circularized. The services of Mrs. Post were given to Maine for two weeks' and to New York for six weeks' campaign work. Money also was sent to the Maine campaign. The State convention was held at Portsmouth, November 8, 9, with addresses by Mrs. Park, Mrs. Post, Mrs. Wood, Congressman Burroughs and Huntley L. Spaulding of Rochester, Government Food Administrator.

In 1918 as chairmen of committees, the State officers were almost submerged in war work, as were the other members of the association, but although no State convention was held they did not cease their suffrage duties. Mrs. Halsey W. Wilson, national recording secretary, addressed a number of the leagues, urging them to keep alive their interest and be ready for the next step, which would be the ratification of the Federal Amendment. On August 17 occurred the death of U. S. Senator Jacob H. Gallinger. A staunch friend of woman suffrage for fifty years, much of the time vice-president of the State association, it seemed the irony of fate that death intervened when his vote and influence as Republican leader would have carried the Federal Suffrage Amendment without delay. Senator Hollis and Representatives Mason and Burroughs were in favor of it.

Irving W. Drew of Lancaster, an avowed "anti," was appointed by Governor Henry W. Keyes as Senator until the fall election. It was said that he was urged to appoint an opponent by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge when he came to Concord to deliver Senator Gallinger's funeral address. The situation was tense at the November election. Senator Hollis (Democrat) declined to stand for another term and Governor Keyes (Republican) was elected in his place. The two candidates for Senator Gallinger's unexpired term were George H. Moses (Republican) and John B. Jameson (Democrat). Mr. Moses was known as an[Pg 407] uncompromising opponent while Mr. Jameson was a sincere suffragist. The prospects were good for Mr. Jameson's election when President Wilson issued an appeal for the election of a Democratic Congress, which had the effect of stiffening the Republican ranks and Mr. Moses was elected by a small majority. After his election the National Association sent a representative to interview him. He told her that he was not interested in the question but that if the Legislature should instruct him by resolution to vote for the Federal Amendment he would do so. It would not sit for some time and therefore Mrs. Anna Tillinghast of Boston, Miss Eva S. Potter and Mrs. Arthur L. Livermore of New York were sent by the National Association, and in cooperation with the State association, secured a petition from more than two-thirds of the Legislature, which numbered 426 members, asking Senator Moses to vote for the amendment. When it was presented he said that he must insist on a resolution.

When the Legislature convened in 1919 Senator Moses made a trip to Concord, took a room in a hotel and made it his office, where he was visited by members of the Legislature. It was current opinion that he was using his influence against a resolution and the results bore out the conclusion. The resolution was introduced in the House January 8 by Robert M. Wright of Sanbornton and on the 9th in Committee of the Whole it granted a hearing. The galleries were crowded with people from all parts of the State and many women were invited to sit with the legislators. The speakers urging the resolution were: Mrs. Catt, Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Winfield L. Shaw of Manchester, also Miss Doris Stevens representing the National Woman's Party. Those opposing it were Mrs. Albertus T. Dudley of Exeter, president of the State Anti-Suffrage Association; James R. Jackson of Littleton; Mrs. John Balch of Milton, Mass., and Miss Charlotte Rowe of Yonkers, N. Y., representing the National Anti-Suffrage Association. The resolution was carried by 210 to 135 votes.

It was now most important to win the Senate. The twenty-four members were again interviewed by the suffragists and seventeen declared their intention to vote for the resolution. On January 14 it was introduced by Senator John J. Donahue of Manchester and six Senators voted for it, fifteen against it![Pg 408]

It was generally believed and freely charged that Senator Moses, astounded at the vote in the House, had used all the influence he possessed to prevent the Senate from concurring. It was publicly stated that Senator Lodge and other Republican U. S. Senators urged the members not to vote for the resolution. When the vote was to be taken three men, Merrill Shurtleff of Lancaster, alleged to be the personal representative of U. S. Senator John W. Weeks of Massachusetts, and the best lobbyist in the State, assisted by Burns P. Hodgman, clerk of the District Court, and John Brown of Governor Bartlett's Council, appeared to confer with the legislators. At this time U. S. Senators Dillingham of Vermont and Wadsworth of New York published a letter in the papers of the State protesting against the action of the Republican National Committee in favor of the Federal Suffrage Amendment. Nothing was left undone to secure an adverse vote in the New Hampshire Senate. Mrs. Catt issued to the press a detailed record of each State Senator, showing that 11 of the 15 who voted against the resolution had signed the petition to Senator Moses asking him to vote for the Federal Amendment. The adverse vote stood 12 Republicans, 3 Democrats; the Republican president of the Senate not voting.

Senator Moses returned to Washington and voted against the Federal Suffrage Amendment every time it came before the Senate; in February, 1919, when it lacked only one vote, he disregarded an urgent appeal from Theodore Roosevelt made a few days before his death.

In March, 1919, the National Association sent one of its best organizers, Miss Edna Wright, to interest the leagues in ratification and the State Association retained her for the remainder of the year. Invitations for a Citizenship School at Durham, July 8-12, were sent out by the association and President Hetzel of the State College, the first time in history that a State College had cooperated with women in such an undertaking. The school was organized by Miss Wright and presided over by Mrs. Wood, with the publicity and press conference in charge of Miss Marjorie Shuler, sent by the National Association.

Ratification. The Federal Suffrage Amendment had been[Pg 409] submitted by Congress to the Legislatures in June and the vital question now was ratification. A mass meeting was held in Manchester at which Governor Bartlett announced that he was willing to call a special session to ratify. Realizing from past experience that the association could have little influence with it, the board appointed Huntley N. Spaulding, a prominent citizen, chairman of a Men's Committee for Ratification, and he called to his aid Dwight Hall, chairman of the State Republican Committee, and Alexander Murchie, chairman of the State Democratic Committee. The Governor can not call a session without the consent of his Council, which consists of five men. It met on August 13 and the Governor arranged to have a hearing for the women. Mrs. Olive Rand Clarke, Mrs. Winfield Shaw of Manchester, Mrs. Charles Bancroft of Concord and Mrs. Vida Chase Webb of Lisbon made short speeches. After the hearing the Council voted to call a special session for September 9.

Mr. Hall and Mr. Murchie immediately got in touch with the members of the Legislature belonging to their respective parties. Under the direction of Mr. Spaulding a remarkable publicity campaign was inaugurated and the leading men of the State, many of whom had been extremely opposed to woman suffrage, gave interviews in favor of ratification. The Manchester Union devoted its front pages to these interviews for three weeks. Marked copies were sent not only to members of the Legislature but to the 750 committeemen of each of the parties. James O. Lyford, dean of the Republicans, put his political knowledge at the disposal of the committee. Miss Betsy Jewett Edwards came from the National Woman's Republican Committee and did splendid work among the Republicans, who made up a large majority of both Houses. Miss Kimball, State president, gave devoted service and much financial assistance. Miss Wright had entire charge of the office work, publicity, organization, etc.

The special session met on September 9 and the Governor sent a strong message calling for ratification. The House voted on the opening day, 212 ayes to 143 noes. The real test was in the Senate, which on September 10 gave forty minutes to outside speakers. Mrs. Mary I. Wood spoke for the suffragists and Mrs. F. S. Streeter of Concord, Miss Charlotte Rowe and two[Pg 410] Senators for the opponents. The Senate ratified by 14 to 10 and Governor Bartlett signed the bill without delay.

The last meeting of the State Association, its work accomplished, took place in Manchester, November 21, 22, 1919. Mrs. Nettie Rogers Shuler, national corresponding secretary, described the aims of the League of Women Voters, and, after discussion, it was decided to merge the association into a State League. Miss Kimball was elected chairman. The National Association had contributed to New Hampshire during the last year about $3,000.

Legislative Action: 1905. A bill for Municipal suffrage was introduced in the House by William F. Whitcher of Haverhill, a hearing granted and it was reported out of the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 7 to 2 but got no farther.

1907. The bill was introduced by Mr. Whitcher but the House Judiciary Committee reported against it 8 to 7. An attempt to have the minority report substituted was defeated February 20 by a vote for indefinite postponement of 224 to 77.

1909. The chairman of the Legislative Committee, Mrs. Barton P. Jenks, conducted an energetic campaign for the bill and a hearing was held before the Judiciary Committee, which reported 8 to 7 against it, and in the House on the question of substituting the minority report the vote was 86 ayes; 115 noes.

1911. Bills for Municipal suffrage were introduced by Mr. Whitcher and George S. Sibley of Manchester. The large committee room was crowded for the hearing. The speakers were Mrs. Jenks, the Rev. John Vannevar, Mrs. Wood and Miss Chase, the latter presenting a petition of 1,100 names headed by Governor and Mrs. Quinby and Clarence E. Carr, recent candidate for Governor. The committee reported the bill favorably but on January 26 the House voted to postpone indefinitely by 160 to 121.

1913. The association had two bills, one for Municipal and one for Presidential and County suffrage. The latter, introduced by Raymond B.