Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

January 1911: The Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association Asks Legislature for Vote of Approval

In her “Women’s Clubs” column for February 19, 1911, 5:7 in the Oregon Journal, Sarah Evans recounted the following meeting of the executive committee of the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association:

The executive committee of the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association, at its meeting on the 31st day of January, held under approval of Mrs. Emma Smith DeVoe, president of the National Council of Women Voters, passed, by unanimous vote, the following appeal to the Legislative Assembly of Oregon, with a request that Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, the venerable president of the state association, and mother of the equal suffrage movement in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, should present, in person, as a joint memorial to that honorable body.

Mrs. Duniway, in accepting the trust, said, in a voice husky with emotion, “My years are passing, but I shall take pleasure in presenting the memorial, and sincerely hope it will be the last appeal I shall ever be compelled to make to the sons of women for equal rights before the law for the mothers and daughters of men.”

The petition read as follows:

To the Honorable Body, the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

        Gentlemen: Whereas, The agitation of the equal suffrage movement, which began in Old Oregon, in 1871, and has long been an established part of the state constitutions of Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho, and was adopted by an overwhelming vote of men at the late general election in the State of Washington; and

        Whereas, California has caught the inspiration of the movement, and has passed, by its Legislative Assembly, a resolution for a referendum vote on an equal suffrage amendment, to be taken at the election of 1912, with no reasonable doubt of its ratification by a majority of the present electorate; and

        Whereas, Montana is pressing close upon California, with a similar amendment; and

        Whereas, The Equal Suffrage Association of Oregon with over forty thousand (40,000) women adherents, and a recorded vote of over thirty-six thousand (36,000) of the electorate at the past general elections; and

        Whereas, The Equal Suffrage Association has not on file, in the office of the Secretary of State an initiative petition, for a vote for an equal suffrage amendment at the general election of 1912, and

        Whereas, This agitation can never cease until the men of Oregon have crowned our efforts with victory; therefore

        Resolved, That we respectfully request your honorable body to adopt a joint resolution, approving our proposed amendment which is herewith appended.

Sarah Evans,

Sarah Evans,

Sarah Evans, “Women’s Clubs,” Oregon Journal, February 19, 1911, 5:7.

—Kimberly Jensen

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Posted by history class on 01/06 at 04:25 PM

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