"Chinese Women Dine With White Part 1 of 3," Oregonian, April 12, 1912, 16.





Chinese Women Dine With White
Race Lines Not Drawn at Suffrage Banquet in Honor of La Reine Helen Baker.
Oriental Twits Sisters
Mrs. Chan Declares Oregon Is Behind Neighboring States and Nations – Militant Methods of English Workers Explained.

Side by side with their Caucasian sisters, seven Portland Chinese women sat at a banquet at the Portland Hotel yesterday noon. The feast was attended by 150 equal suffrage workers. In the course of the banquet one of the Chinese women addressed the other women and voiced her belief in the rights of women to share political equality with man. She spoke in her native language, and her remarks were interpreted by her daughter.

The dinner was given in honor of La Reine Helen Baker, a magazine writer and author who is visiting in the city. The writer graciously stepped aside when interests centered in the Chinese women.

The presence of the Chinese women at a banquet with white women is unique. Mrs. Baker, who had just returned from a tour of two years in foreign countries, of which she spent six months in England in close association with the suffragists, said after the dinner that in all her travels she had observed nothing to compare with the Portland mixed dinner.

Portland Beats England
“In England,” she said, “where class distinction is virtually eliminated among the suffragists, and the possessor of millions associated with the poorest woman of the slums, I have never known the lines to be so completely obliterated that Chinese women and English women participated in the social function.”

The Chinese women attending the banquet were Mrs. S. K. Chan, wife of a Chinese physician, and herself a physician; her two daughters, Bertie and Fannie Chan; Mrs. Tong, with her two daughters, Ida and Beulah Tong, and Mrs. Herbert Low. Mrs. Chan is the president of a local equal suffrage society among the Chinese women. White suffragists yesterday learned for the first time of the existence of such an organization in the Chinese quarter. Mrs. Chan addressed her white sisters in her native language, and her words were interpreted by her daughter, Bertie, who speaks fluent English.

Thanks Due Americans.
“We Chinese women have much to be thankful for toward our American neighbors,” said Mrs. Chin, “You sent your missionaries to our country and they told us about the destiny and the equality of man and held up before us the highest of ideals. You opened up the avenues of commerce our closed confines and made it possible for our people to get in touch with the outside world, and by observing the various customs and peoples there, to better our customs and our government. But we have taken one step ahead of you. You have brought us the truths of the rights of man and we have put them into practice by granting our women the ballot, thereby placing them upon an equality with men, while you are yet trying to convince your men of this right.

“In this way the Chinese have shown themselves more progressive than the whites. When they threw off the yoke of Manchu tyranny and of the old vogue, they threw it off completely and adopted in their entirety the principles of truth and freedom.

Some Hope for Oregon.
“Oregon is now bounded on four sides by states that have recognized the rights of women. On the north there is Washington, on the east there is Idaho, on the south there is California, and far away, across the waters on the west, there is China. I hope the time is not far off when Oregon herself will take her place among them.”

The speech was enthusiastically applauded and her good-natured twitting of the Oregon women on their position outside the ranks of suffrage governments occasioned much merriment. All of the Chinese women were dressed in smart, conventional American gowns.

Mrs. Baker, in her address, touched on the work of the suffragists of England and said that they were much misunderstood. She outlined the causes that compelled English women to resort to militant methods and denied the charge that there were two factions of suffragists in England. They are highly organized, she said, and work together, in a spirit of harmony. Violence, she said, is employed only as a last resort.

Mrs. Coe Presides.
Mrs. Henry Waldo Coe, president of the National College Equal Suffrage League, under the auspices of which the banquet was given, presided as hostess.

Yellow jonquils and intertwined suffrage and American flags decorated the tables and the room.
Mrs. Sarah E. Comerford introduced Mrs. Baker.

Mrs. L. W. Therkelsen, who has just returned from California, delivered a message of greeting from the women of California, and recounted her observations of equal suffrage put into practice in that state. The aims and workings of the National College Equal Suffrage League were explained by Mrs. Sara Bard Field Ehrgott.

A touching tribute was paid to Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, president of the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association, who, through illness, was unable to be present. A vacant chair was placed at the head of the table in honor of Mrs. Duniway, and Dr. Coe paid a high tribute to the absent worker.

The following women were present at the banquet:
La Reine Helen Baker, Mrs. Sarah E. Comerford, Mrs. C Edward Grelle, Mrs. Paree Gibbon Rountree, Mrs. Le Roy Parker, Mrs. W. R. King, Mrs. R. R. Hoge, Mrs. Robert G. Dieck, Mrs. F. W. Blumauer, Miss A. Hunt, Mrs. Franklin N. Hertz, Mrs. C. H. Hepburn, Mrs. Rose Campbell, Mrs. Henry Waldo Coe, Mrs. J. Andre Fouilhoux, Mrs. Solomon Hirsch, Dr. Kittie P. Gray, Dr. Mary V. Madigan, Mrs. H. Ogden, Miss Elizabeth Cadwell, Mrs. Ben Selling, Mrs. Sarah Bard Field Ehrgott, Mary Frances Isom, Mrs. C. B. Woodruff, Miss Laura Northup, Dr. Marie D. Equi, Mrs. R. Robertson, Dr. Clara I. Darr, Dr. Mae Cardwell, Miss Emma Wold, Mrs. Emma Wilson Gillespie, Miss Anne H. Shogren, Mrs. B. Grelle, Mrs. John H. Cronan, Mrs. Emma B. Carroll, Miss Hazel Weidler, Mrs. L. W. Therkelsen, Miss H. L. Seeley, Miss Emma Buckman, Mrs. A. A. Morrison, Mrs. Fred Strong, Mrs. P. Herring, Mrs. Genevieve Thompson, Mrs. C. Wood, Miss Helen Eastham, Mrs. Morris H. Whitehouse, Miss E. Prichard, Mrs. Margaret Hoge, Mrs. E. T. Taggart, Dr. Mabel Akin, Mrs. J. C. Elliott King, Mrs. Henry Jones, Mrs. A. Bomberg, Mrs. J. W. Ross, Miss Cornella Cook, Mrs. J. L. McCown, Mrs. Robert H. Strong, Dr. Esther Pohl, Mrs. W. L. Finley, Miss Elizabeth Griebel, Miss A. Shogren, Mrs. A. E. Clark, Mrs. Stanley G. Jewett, Miss Marion Jackson, Mrs. M. L. T. Hidden, Miss Hazel Therkelsen, Mrs. John F. Logan, Miss Frances Gotshall, Miss Rhoda D. Failing, Mrs. C. G. Klingenberg, Mrs. Robert Forbes, Mrs. Henrietta Eliot, Mrs. David Shindler, Miss Alice Strong, Mrs. A. A. Lindsley, Mrs. P. F. Jones, Mrs. B. Pileter, Mrs. A. King Wilson, Mrs. E. E. Heckbert, Mrs. George A. Kyle, Mrs. H. W. Williamson, Mrs. J. M. Morton, Miss A. Block, Mrs. C. E. Groesbeck, Mrs. L. James, Mrs. R. C. French, Mrs. Frank Kerr, Mrs. Helen Ladd Corbett, Mrs. George B. Van Waters, Mrs. H. Reynolds, Miss Sally Lewis, Miss Pearl Kendall, Mrs. Charles Gauld, Mrs. Maud Crawford, Mrs. Robert H. Tate, Mrs. Holt C. Wilson, Dr. Florence Manion.

1912 April Permalink

"College Equal Suffragists, Chinese Women Dine Together," Oregon Journal, April 12, 1912, 6.





College Equal Suffragists, Chinese Women Dine Together Celestial Speaker Thanks Her American Sisters Heartily.

[Image of Luncheon Guests]
Group picture of Chinese guests and prominent suffragists who attended luncheon yesterday. Front row, left to right – Bertie G. Chan, Mrs. Herbert Low, Edna Low, Mrs. S. K. Chan, Ida tong, Mrs. Ng Tong. Back row – Mrs. La Reine, Helen Baker, Buelah Tong, Mrs. Sarah E. Comerford, Fannie Chan.

History in the equal suffrage movement was made yesterday at a luncheon of the College Women’s Equal Suffrage association, for among the guests were seven Chinese women and two babies. The luncheon was intended in the honor of Mrs. La Reine Helen Baker, a prominent lecturer and writer on suffrage and social problems, but Mrs. Baker was delighted to share her honors with the visitors of far eastern lineage.

Of especial interest was a little speech made by Mrs. S. K. Chan in her native tongue and translated by her daughter, Miss Bertie Chan. Mrs. Chan is a Chinese physician and the wife of a physician. She said in apology for her lack of familiarity with the English language that she had been so busy with her work, taking care of her babies and performing the duties of a wife that she had not had the time to study. Miss Bertie is a very accomplished young woman and translated her mother’s speech fluently.

Thank American Sisters.
“Chinese women have much to thank their American sisters for,” said Mrs. Chan, “From your missionaries we learned equality and from your commercial men we learned to take advantage of better customs and government. We took all you gave, then went a step farther by putting into practice the principles you taught. Our women were given the ballot.

“With the throwing off of the Manchu rule we have proven ourselves even more progressive than the white races, for China adopted the principles of truth and freedom as a whole. On all sides Oregon is bounded by states in which women are on equal terms with the men, China completing the square.

“We of China and Chinese heritage hope that the day will come when our people and the American people will be joined by the bonds which will place the two nations far above all others.”

Other Chinese women who attended were Mrs. Ng Tong, Mrs. Herbert Low, Miss Buelah Tong and Miss Fannie Chan. The two children were Edna Low and Ida Tong.

Tells of London Campaign.
Mrs. Baker, who had just returned from an extended tour of Europe, and especially England, related interesting incidents of the campaign in London and of the splendid organization of the English women. She related the scene at the liberation of Mrs. Patrick Lawrence, one of the leaders who served time in prison, when 1500 women sat down to a luncheon in honor of Mrs. Lawrence, and Mrs. Lawrence told of the prison and of the 600 women still in jail.

Mrs. Baker also dwelt on the terrible conditions in Russia, where in Moscow there is an institution supported by the state in which there are 1300 illegitimate children, mostly children of soldiers. Evils like this, she said, were what women would rectify, for they would not tolerate the conditions. She compared this with Denmark, where she said were the best school conditions in the world and men and women, who both had votes, discussed political questions in their homes, thus educating the children in affairs of the state.

Mrs. Sarah F. Comerford in introducing Mrs. Baker, spoke of her splendid work in behalf of suffrage and her many sacrifices. Others who spoke were Mrs. Henry Waldo Coe, president of the association; Mrs. L. W. Therkelsen, Mrs. Sara Bard Field Ehrgott. A vacant chair was placed at the head of the table as a touching tribute to Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, who was absent on account of illness.


1912 April Permalink

"Suffragists Seek Vote of Workers," Oregonian, April 08, 1912, 3.






Women Campaigners Would Enlist Laborers in Their Cause.


Mrs. Ehrgott Makes First Speech From Tonneau of Auto Pendleton—Real Fight to Start at Later Date.

Enlistment of laboring men in the cause of woman suffrage will be the object of leaders who are organizing the state in preparation for the November election, when the amendment to the constitution granting women the right to vote will come up for the consideration of the voters.

Already considerable work has been done along this line. The Central Labor Council has long been on record as in favor of the enfranchisement of women. At the state convention held at The Dalles several weeks ago the State Federation of Labor reiterated and emphasized its support of equal suffrage.

Mrs. Sarah Bard Field Ehrgott, one of the organizers of the state central committee of the Oregon Equal Suffrage League, has appeared a number of times before various labor organizations in the city to speak in behalf of the cause. Several weeks ago she addressed a large meeting of the Central Labor Council, composed of delegates from all unions in the city. She was enthusiastically applauded. Last Tuesday night she spoke upon the relation of equal suffrage to the working class before 400 members of the Building Trades Council.

Other Organizations Sought.

Labor organizations, however, have not been singled out in the effort to reach the working class. The Socialist organizations and other societies whose membership is comprised chiefly of workers will be addressed by suffrage leaders. An address to Socialist Local No. 4 was given last night by Mrs. Ehrgott at 228½ Second street.

It is among the ranks of laborers and of the farmers that the suffragists expect to obtain their most telling support.

Suffragists are now engaged chiefly in organization work. While considerable work has been accomplished in this connection, the real campaigning will not be undertaken until the battle has farther advanced. Suffrage leaders believe that the state should be thoroughly organized, and all the ground work should be laid for the campaign before the time is ripe for waging the final fight.

The last few months before the election will be the most interesting Oregon has ever seen as regards suffrage, and will be one of the most interesting of any political fight ever held in the state. Among the devices resorted to will be the automobile campaign, public mass meetings, and precinct work by bands of organized workers.

All Opportunities Grasped.

Although the active campaign work is scheduled to begin later, suffragists will lose no opportunities to urge their cause. The week preceding the last, Mrs. Ehrgott, while engaged in organization work in Pendleton, stood in an automobile while addressing an open air meeting. This is the first auto campaigning Oregon has known.

This kind of campaigning was not in the original schedule, but Mrs. Ehrgott was prevailed upon by friends. She was presented by Stephen A. Lowell, candidate for United States Senator. The throng that heard the speech included a number of cowboys, farmers and ranchers. A number of Indians from the reservation also were attentive listeners.

“I regard it as very significant that after the meeting, when several women passed literature through the crowd, not one of them was treated discourteously. Six years ago when a number of suffrage workers attempted the same thing in Pendleton, they were openly insulted,” said Mrs. Ehrgott.

Late in the week Mrs. Ehrgott and Mrs. Sarah E. Commerford, her associate, expect to go to The Dalles, Hood River and the surrounding country, and after that it is planned to visit a number of Southern Oregon towns.

1912 April Permalink

"Laws Held Unfair," Oregonian, April 07, 1912, 15.





Pioneer Men and Women Discuss Equal Suffrage
Speaker Says Movement Is Founded on Justice and Must Prevail. Struggle to Regain Rights. Victory Is Predicted.

Woman’s status today contrasted with her status during the past 75 years was presented in the experience of Dr. Mary A. Thompson, and Levi W. Meters at an equal suffrage meeting held yesterday in the Olds, Wortman & King auditorium, at which were present, among others, six men and women, each of whom was more than 80 years of age.

On the platform with the speakers were: F. X. Matthieu, Oregon pioneer, who, in his youth, was a subject of Napoleon I.  Dr. Mary A. Thompson, who presided, was a resident of Oregon for 50 years and in early life was an ardent abolitionist and woman’s rights advocate.

Levi W. Myers, aged 82, remembers the time 65 years ago when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott first proclaimed the right of women to participate in affairs of government. Other octogenarians present were Mrs. Harriett B. Lowry, Mrs. M. A. Warner and Mrs. Sarah Leo.

Suffrage Question of Equity
“The question of woman’s suffrage is simply a question of equity, of equality before the law,” said Dr. Thompson in opening the meeting. “We go forth into the world not to battle with it but to work in harmony with it.

“In my life of 87 years I took care of a sick husband for 19 years and raised a family of seven children. It hasn’t been all plum pudding and fruit cake. I can assure you. The word ‘republic’ means ‘the public,’ ‘the people.’ You know, and I know, that we have no republic in fact but only in name. I have been a taxpayer for 50 years and I have had no representation; and ‘taxation without representation is tyranny’ you know.

“I have always said that the time would, and must come, when women would stand with men and help to make the laws of this Nation. In the early years of my life I was an abolitionist and helped slaves to get away. I fancied they could not be free until I got free. Now, the colored man can vote and I cannot.
Early Day Conditions Recalled.
“In those old days there were no electric lights, no railroads, no stoves, so harvesting machines; we used the tinder box for lighting fires and the tallow dip furnished our lights. There were few vocations open to women.  I can remember that it was thought an innovation when women were permitted to teach. Now we have all things in common with men, except the ballot”
Dr. Thompson answered the query as to how women would use the ballot, by saying that her efforts would be used in improving the prison system and by making the saloon less vile until it is dispensed with.

Dr. Esther Pohl, representing F. X. Matthieu, whose diffidence and age prevented his speaking, referred to Mr. Matthieu’s part of the convention which saved Oregon to the United States and facetiously declared that he had come to the meeting to save Oregon a second time.

She recalled Mr. Matthieu’s reply of a few days ago when he was asked what he thought of equal suffrage – “What would a bachelor’s house look like.” Which, she believed, expressed the need of woman’s effort in public affairs.

Law of Nation Held Unfair
“Justice is what the world has been pleading for through all these long centuries of the past,” said Levi W. Myers in the course of his remarks. “There have been usurpers among men from the earliest times. The struggle of humanity has been to regain the rights taken from them.

“Women have always had the same right to the ballot that men have. The law has bed distinctions, the law has been unfair, the law has been based upon usurpation, upon a denial of right.

“It was true from the foundation of the world that those who are amenable to government, who pay for the support of government, have the right to participate in government. That was a principle that God Almighty declared. Men may make the laws that deny that right but they never can obliterate it. It is as if one born blind should deny the existence of light.”

Mr. Myers related his experiences in the equal suffrage movement during the past 65 years, and the predicted victory in Oregon.

1912 April Permalink

"Arguments Against Woman’s Suffrage Call Forth Reply," Oregonian, April 04, 1912, 10.

Letter to the editor, by E. M. Newell

1912 April Permalink
Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 >