"Victory in Sight, Mrs. Duniway is Glad; Quits at 78," Oregon Journal, October 22, 1912, 16.



Oregon’s “Grand Old Woman of Suffrage” Issues Grateful Message at Close of 41 Years of Struggle.

“To the readers of The Journal I would say that I am deeply grateful for the demonstration that has been occasioned in honor of the closing period of my 40 odd years of work. The crowning act of appreciation, however, will come after November 5, when, as I verily believe, the voters of Oregon will justify the millions of good words I have said of them in proclaiming their chivalry and patriotism by making Oregon close the gap in the chain of Pacific coast states which have learned to concentrate their interests to hold the balance of power that belongs to us as pioneers. I believe that the men and women of Oregon will mach [sic] together in tune and time with the eternal spirit of prosperity and liberty.

“This in all probability will be my last appearance before the general public.

Sees Victory This Year
“The infirmities of years of toll in this work to which I have given the best of my life since my children were large enough to permit. My work has been in and for the home in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, and has extended from the home and in the family circle to the greater home of the state and the nation. My work in this direction has succeeded far beyond my most sanguine expectations.

“Idaho and Washington, daughters of old Oregon are now fully enfranchised, more largely as a result of my pioneer labors than any other agencies. Mother Oregon will not, as I verily believe, be allowed to linger in the shades after November 5, next.

“I have always claimed that women could not enfranchise women. This boon must come to us from man, and men are rising in their majesty in this year of grace and are listening as never before to our cry for help.”

This is the birthday message of Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, “Oregon’s Grand Old Woman,” who is 78 years old today.

At her home, 292 Clay street, Mrs. Duniway who is recovering from a long stage of illness, has been receiving visitors and telegrams and letters of congratulation all day, and tonight at the Gipsy Smith auditorium Mrs. Duniway will be the guest of honor at an all-Portland and Oregon birthday party. Governor West, Senator Chamberlain, Father Black, C.W. Fulton and others will speak in a congratulatory and reminiscent mood in honor of the guest of the evening.

Forty-one years ago Mrs. Duniway first took up the cudgel in her fight for suffrage for omen. At that time the subject of women’s rights was looked at askance by everyone, and in the early days of Mrs. Duniway’s campaign the work she did was of necessity far more strenuous than is even thought of by the most ardent suffrage workers of today.

Aided in Idaho
Mrs. Duniway was born at Groveland, Ill., October 22, 1834. In the spring of 1853 she started with her parents, John and Ann Scot, with and ox team train to cross the plains to Oregon. The mother died en route and was buried in the Black Hills. After a six month’s journey the party arrived in Oregon and settled at Lafayette, Yamhill county. The following year Miss Scott, then a school teacher, was married to Benjamin Charles Duniway, and rancher and stockman, and went with him to his donation land claim in Clackamas county, then a wilderness.

Mrs. Duniway became successively a ranchwoman, milliner and dressmaker and author, enduring all the hardships of pioneer days.

Because of the fact that in the early days no married woman held a right or title to any earthly possessions, not even her bridal trousseau, Mrs. Duniway began her fight in 1871 for the franchise of women, and once in the fray she has steadfastly championed the cause ever since.

Mrs. Duniway became on of the foremost advocates of women’s rights in the country, and appeared before legislatures and conventions in Washington, Oregon and Idaho pleading her cause. She assisted in organizing the National American Equal Suffrage association, in 1884. Moving to Portland in 1871 she became the owner and editor of the New Northwest until 1886.

Her address before the constitutional convention at Boise, Idaho, in 1889, did much toward putting Idaho in the list of equal suffrage states.

Mrs. Duniway composed the Centennial ode for the Lewis and Clark exposition in 1905, and was honored by an Abigail Scott Duniway day at that fair. She has been president and director of the Oregon Equal Suffrage Association for 33 years, and has been honorary president of the Oregon Federation of Women’s Clubs and president of the Federation Governmental Study club.

She is the author of a volume of poems, “From the West to ‘the West,’” “Captain Gray’s Company,” and other works.

The monster testimonial of love and appreciation planned for Mrs. Duniway at the Auditorium tonight promises to be the most remarkable demonstration of its kind ever held on the Pacific coast.

Mrs. Duniway, though not fully recovered from a long illness, is alert and bright mentally, and will attend her city-wide “birthday party” in person.

1912 October Permalink
Page 1 of 1 pages