Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

November 5, 1912: The World is Watching Oregon’s Election

“National Suffrage Leader Says England Has Eyes on Oregon,” Oregon Journal, November 5, 1912. 10.

As Oregon suffragists concluded their massive campaign, voted and waited for the results on November 5, 1912 Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, telegraphed a “message of hope” to the Portland Woman’s Club Suffrage Campaign Committee.

“The women of the world are looking to Oregon for hope,” she wrote. “May Oregon women win their deserved success, and Oregon men prove worthy of their heritage.”

They did.

Shaw Telegram Nov 1912

—Kimberly Jensen

Want to read more articles from Oregon suffrage campaigns? Click here

Posted by history class on 11/06 at 07:02 PM

October 9, 1912: Suffrage Spellbinders in Prineville, Pendleton and Multnomah County

“Suffrage Spellbinders Out,” Oregonian, October 9, 1912, 13.

By October 1912 suffrage activists in Oregon were making a strong last effort in the final days of the campaign and workers were active all across the state. Organizers sent out some of the campaign’s best speakers as “suffrage spellbinders” to rally votes. Booths and gatherings at county fairs, suffrage luncheons, rallies and street meetings signaled a concerted effort to reach male voters.

County fairs in cities like Prineville (held October 16 to 19) were a great way to get information out about suffrage. Volunteers in the votes for women booth handed out literature and engaged visitors. Margaret Sharp planned for a mammoth kickoff suffrage meeting on the eve of the fair at Prineville with speakers C.E.S. Wood, William Hanley and Dr. A. A. Morrison.

The Pendleton Hotel was the scene of a suffrage luncheon on October 8 featuring Oregon governor Oswald West, a Democrat, and Washington governor Marion Hay, a Republican, and Portland journalist Edith Weatherred. Also on the program—“one speaker from each political organization.” Party diversity underscored the scope of support for the campaign.

To reach diverse audiences Multnomah County workers planned everything from a rally at the Hillsboro Opera House to street meetings at Sixth and Alder in Portland and evening speeches from the back of a car in South Portland.

And there was more star power. Lawyer Olive Stott Gabriel, Oregonian by birth and in from New York for the campaign, joined Portland’s Mary Cachot Therkelson for a multi-city tour.

—Kimberly Jensen

Suffrage Spellbinders

Want to read more articles from Oregon suffrage campaigns? Click here

Posted by history class on 10/06 at 06:06 PM

September 16, 1912: African American Suffragists Meet in Portland

“Colored Suffragists Meet Tonight,” Oregonian, September 16, 1912, 9.

African American suffragists of the Colored Women’s Equal Suffrage Association were a part of the coalition of suffrage organizations in Portland and the state that made the achievement of woman suffrage possible in Oregon in 1912.

The association was a part of the Colored Women’s Council of Portland formed in early 1912 with Mrs. Will Allen as president, Mrs. Bonnie Bogle as secretary and some 40 active members by the fall of 1912.

Membership was open to women who were members of Portland’s African American churches — First African Episcopal Methodist Zion Church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal, Mount Olivet Baptist, and First African Baptist. When it was organized in May, 1912 Katherine Gray served as the first president, with Mrs. Lancaster the vice president and Edith Gray the treasurer. Hattie Redmond, the first secretary, became president that fall.

Members attended lectures by leaders of the African American community and also invited white suffragists to speak, including on this evening Esther Pohl Lovejoy.

Portland’s Colored Women’s Equal Suffrage Association was one of many African American women’s organizations whose members worked for woman suffrage in this period across the nation. Members of white women’s clubs had barred African American women from membership in Portland and elsewhere but Hattie Redmond and her colleagues achieved inclusion in the suffrage coalition of the 1912 Oregon campaign.

—Kimberly Jensen

“Colored Suffragists Meet Tonight,” Oregonian, September 16, 1912, 9.

Additional Reading:

City of Portland, Bureau of Planning, History of Portland’s African American Community (1805–to the Present) (Portland: Portland Bureau of Planning, 1993), 44, 18–21.

“Colored Suffragists Act,” Oregonian, September 17, 1912, 12.

Kimberly Jensen, “‘Neither Head nor Tail to the Campaign’: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and the Oregon Woman Suffrage Victory of 1912,” Oregon Historical Quarterly 108 no. 3 (Fall 2007): 350-383.

Elizabeth McLagan, A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788–1940
(Portland: Georgian Press, 1980), 120.

Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998).

Want to read more articles from Oregon suffrage campaigns? Click here

Posted by history class on 09/06 at 07:15 PM

August 26, 1912: Suffragists Organize in Dallas, Oregon

“Women Are Organizing: Many Men of Dallas Among Workers for Suffrage Cause,” Oregonian, August 27, 1912, 6.

imageBy August 1912 suffragists around the state were gearing up for the final months leading to the election on November 5. Here we read about the organization of suffragists in the town of Dallas, Oregon in Polk County. The organization of a Dallas suffrage society illustrates a number of key trends characteristic of this final campaign for votes for women in the state.

One of the reasons for the success of the campaign was the establishment of many local groups, not just the activity of supporters in Portland and larger cities. Members of local organizations worked to make specific arguments to appeal to the male voters in their community. In Dallas, as elsewhere in the state, many members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union agreed to put the contentious issue of prohibition of alcohol in “second place” to the vote during this campaign.

Men and women were part of this group, a pattern that we see elsewhere in the state. And just as in Portland and in statewide conventions, politicians by August were coming to see the strong support for woman suffrage. In addition, suffragists in Dallas, as elsewhere, were using the techniques of mass media campaigning, including votes for women badges.

Significantly, woman suffrage crossed political boundaries in Dallas as in the rest of the state. As the national election of 1912 split the Democrats and Republicans and showcased the strength of alternative political parties, woman suffrage in Oregon and in Dallas gained support from “Republicans, Democrats, Socialists, Prohibitionists and Roosevelt Progressives . . . all courting the favor of the women who want to vote.”

Additional Reading:

Kimberly Jensen, “‘Neither Head nor Tail to the Campaign’: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and the Oregon Woman Suffrage Victory of 1912,” Oregon Historical Quarterly 108 no. 3 (Fall 2007): 350-383.

Want to read more articles from Oregon suffrage campaigns? Click here

Posted by admin on 08/09 at 06:52 PM

July 5, 1894: “An Open Letter Addressed to the Friends

President Lydia Hunt King, M.D., Secretary Abigail Scott Duniway, and members of the Oregon State Woman Suffrage Association announced their reinvigorated campaign for votes for women in an open letter to “Friends of Equal Suffrage in the Northwest” in the July 5, 1894 edition of the Oregonian.

.imageIn their long letter they cited “activity of the workers in other parts of the union” particularly at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the achievement of woman suffrage in Colorado that same year, and active ballot efforts in Kansas, California and New York as reasons for them to take up the Oregon campaign again in earnest.

Oregon suffragists were in the middle of a long campaign to achieve the right to vote. Before the initiative and referendum were passed in 1902, a change to the Oregon constitution (such as removing the word “male” from voting requirements) required that such a bill pass both houses of the state legislature in two successive sessions and then it would be put before the voters. In 1872 and 1874 legislators debated a woman suffrage bill but the measure did not pass. In 1880, a bill passed the House and Senate, and one also passed in 1882, but voters defeated the measure in 1884 when it came before them on the ballot.

Now, in 1894, Oregon suffragists were ready to try again. At the close of their letter Hunt King and Duniway asserted: “As we believe the time has come for the revival of our work in the Pacific Northwest, we hereby invite the friends of the movement, both men and women, to meet our committee at the parlors of Mrs. A.S. Duniway, 294 Clay Street, on Saturday of each week at 2 p.m., beginning with July 7, where equal suffrage meetings will be held regularly until further notice.”

OSWSA activists were successful in this campaign and the legislature passed a suffrage bill in 1895, but the Oregon House did not organize in 1897 due to factional disputes. The 1899 legislature did pass the measure for the necessary second time but voters defeated woman suffrage on the ballot in 1900. These challenges would be a major reason for suffrage supporters to support the new initiative and referendum system by which voters could obtain signatures for ballot measures.

Lydia Hunt King was an 1881 graduate of the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania and after coming to Portland in 1883 married Samuel Willard King, a founder of the Olds, Wortman and King department store. She was one of five members of the original Portland Women’s Medical Society, which she joined in the fall of 1891. Hunt King resigned the presidency of the state suffrage society later in 1894 due to ill health and she died in 1900.

Additional Reading:

“The World’s Columbian Exposition: Idea, Experience, Aftermath,” American Studies Program, University of Virginia, http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ma96/wce/title.html

“Equal Suffragists,” Oregonian, August 20, 1894, 5.

“Dr. Lydia Hunt King,” Oregonian, March 11, 1900, 24

Want to read more articles from Oregon suffrage campaigns? Click here

Posted by admin on 07/01 at 02:37 PM

Page 6 of 9 pages ‹ First  < 4 5 6 7 8 >  Last ›