"State Suffragists Prepare for Fight Part 1," Oregonian, November 01, 1912, 4.
State Suffragists Prepare For Fight
Unsigned Pamphlet to Be Traced at Once, by Law if Necessary.
BREWERS DENY ALL BLAME
Individual Saloon Keepers Suspected as Working With Vice Interests. War Now May Be Taken From Eugent [sic] Women’s Hands.
Action will be taken immediately, it was decided at the meeting of the state central committee yesterday, to discover the author and the instigator of the pamphlets issued from a Eugene printing office and sent all over the state unsigned by the author. On the other hand local women and organizations refuse to say that it was carried out by the Brewers’ Association, the majority of them saying that it was individual vice interests or corrupt influences, among whom may have been, and probably were, some private individuals who are engaged in the liquor trade.
The Brewers’ Association, through its president, Paul Wessinger, issues the following statement denying in toto [sic] the charges made by the Eugene Suffrage Association that the brewers are responsible:
“In The Oregonian of October 31 we note a charge made over the signatures of certain Eugene women that the Portland brewers have had a large quantity of anti-suffrage literature printed in Eugene and are engaged in its distribution. This charge is unqualifiedly false; we never heard of this literature until we read The Oregonian of October 31. We are not ambitious to dictate the policy of the state on any question. We are busy in the management of out business and will not take a hand in politics unless compelled to do so by a prohibition campaign or other similar attack which we must meet in self-defense.
“OREGON BREWERS ASSOCIATION.
“Per Paul Wessinger, Pres.”
Brewers Not Openly Blamed
The prevailing impression of suffragists are expressed in a general way by W. M. Davis, president of the Men’s Equal Suffrage Society.
“Local suffragists are by no means unanimous in attributing the violent anti-suffrage literature that was printed secretly at Eugene to the brewers,” said Mr. Davis, “for they spoke of the attack yesterday and even on the previous day as one made by the vice interests if not done by the anti-suffragists. The last named, or the officers of the society opposed to suffrage, have denied any and all knowledge of the pamphlets, so that they are freed. This was expected all along, as their matter has been signed by the officers.
“If only everyone would realize that the women do not think or wish to use their votes to carry out suddenly many a startling reform which they are supposed to want, the suffragists would not have such a hard battle.
“All the same, it is perfectly clear that some corrupt influence is at work in printing those infamous circulars, or the author would not hesitate to come forward, nor would the printer refuse to tell the name, as he has been told not to say who gave him orders to print them. That is why we are going after them, and that is why I, myself, am willing to sign a warrant if the people at Eugene do not want to do so.
“I can quite understand that people there, even though they know all about the matter, do not want to make Eugene a hotbed of ill feeling among people at present friends, even though political foes. Yet, though Mr. Yoran is a friend of mine, I shall not hesitate to force him to divulge the name of the author if possible.”
In this connection Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, ablest of campaign leaders though hardly able to hold a quill, immediately penned a letter to The Oregonian in which she states her ideas on the subject clearly and succinctly. These coincide with the views of many of her lieutenants and the rank and file. She, however, is of opinion that the liquor interests are implicated in the matter in some way or other, though not necessarily as an association.
Plans are Formulated.
On all sides yesterday meetings were held and suffragists gathered together to discuss the matter and to formulate plans for counteracting the evil results of the scattering broadcast of these pamphlets. As a whole it was thought that the best refutation of them was to leave them alone, per se, and to trust to the sense of the Oregon voter to consign an unsigned article, which made sweeping statements, to the place where it belonged, the wastepaper basket.
The instigator of the papers, the author and the publisher, however, will be proceeded against, the last-named more to procure the names of the others, either by Eugene members of the Equal Suffrage Association or by W. M. Davis or some other Portland person today. At the meeting of the State Central Campaign Committee in the headquarters in the Selling building, more than one person pledged themselves to procure charges, if Eugene women or men felt it too heavy a matter for a small community.
“Latest advices, however, from Eugene,” said John F. Logan last night, “indicate that the first move will be taken from there, and that one of the members of the league will come forward to sign a warrant. District Attorney Bryson has said that he will act, as the matter is a criminal offense, and he has already warned the printer to stop issuing the circulars on the ground that he was committing an offense against the laws of the state. It is understood that his advice has been taken.”
Suffragists Not Allied.
“Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad is an axiom plain to everybody not blinded by fanaticism or greed,” said Mrs. Duniway yesterday. “As is well known by all who read and think, the State Equal Suffrage Association is not allied and never has been either with prohibition or with whisky. We have always contended when forced to the question at all that the cure for the evils of intemperance and kindred vices could not come to the people through any other channel that through liberty. It is our contention that temperance is an economic question not to be settled by sumptuary legislation or votes, but through equal rights for the mothers of all the people.
“The condition of equal moral rectitude for husbands and fathers as for mothers and wives, which the state needs can only come through suffrage.
“If the brewers were properly posted in current events there would be no need to inform them hat [sic] experience has taught men too. Suffrage states that…York…dley,…ed views as to…has been announced as the…several members of the committee…no effort has been made as yet to settle on a candidate.
The fact that Chairman Hille has delayed the meeting of the National…
…mon Hirsch, will make the few antis of Oregon ashamed of their company.
“Meanwhile, I serenely await the votes of the men of Oregon next Tuesday, who can only do their duty by marking their ballots 300 X Yes.”
FOES MAY GIVE OUT NAMES
Eugene Women Hold Off Warrants Pending Antis’ Confession.
EUGENE, Or., Oct. 31—(Special.)—Satisfied with the warning given the state concerning anti-suffrage literature that was being printed in Eugene without signature would be sufficient and also modified by the efforts of the printers to secure permission from their customers to make a statement to the public of the whole transaction, local members of the Equal Suffrage League decline today to swear out warrants charging violation of the corrupt practices act. District Attorney Bryson said he had had a telephone message from Attorney Logan, in Portland, wherein the Portland man was assured that the prosecutor’s office in Eugene is ready to prosecute whenever evidence is furnished to warrant such proceedings.
“There seems to be a movement,” said Mr. Bryson, “for the people who ordered the anti-suffrage work to come out into the open and acknowledge their literature. If this is done, much of the necessity for prosecution would be done away with. There are, of course, scores of unwitting violations of the law in its strict interpretation. And to start on this case would open up a long line of litigation. However, if there is no effort to make known the authors of these circulars, then their issuance would be a flagrant violation of the corrupt practices act that a test of the law most certainly should be made.”
“We are perfectly willing to let people know about these circulars,” said Mr. Koke, of Yoran & Koke, this afternoon, “in all probability we will be able to make a statement by tomorrow morning. One thing we feel safe in saying at this time is that we are certain that the liquor interests did not order this printing.”
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