Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

Anna Howard Shaw at Oregon Agricultural College in Corvallis, October 4, 1912

“Suffrage Cause is Urged: Dr. Anna Shaw Speaks at Oregon Agricultural College,” Oregonian October 5, 1912, 5.

October 4, 1912 Corvallis greets NAWSA President Anna Howard Shaw.

On her tour through Oregon in September and October during the final push of the 1912 campaign for woman suffrage, Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), visited Corvallis and spoke at the Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University).

Shaw told the women students in the audience that “agriculture is woman’s original vocation” and praised them for “their efforts to secure an educational preparation that would enable them to come back to their own.” The suffrage movement was popular on college campuses in Oregon and around the state. Andrea Moss-Radke has studied the Oregon Agricultural College experience with woman suffrage in connection with other land grant colleges in the western United States.

Shaw also exhibited a view of race and ethnicity that pitted white women who did not have the vote against men “of every race and color” who did. Such arguments were part of what Louise Newman calls the movement for “white women’s rights” that has divided reform movements in Oregon and the nation. In Oregon, activists such as Hattie Redmond of the Colored Women’s Equal Suffrage League of Portland worked to make a movement that would address the rights of all women.

—Kimberly Jensen

Shaw in Corvallis Oct 1912

Further Reading:

Andrea Radke-Moss, Bright Epoch: Women and Coeducation in the American West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008)

Louise Michelle Newman, White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)

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

Posted by history class on 10/06 at 07:32 PM

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