Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

January 4, 1912 Men’s Equal Suffrage League

“Men Lend Aid in Great Battle for Woman Suffrage,” Oregon Journal, January 4, 1912, 10.

Many Oregon men supported votes for women in the final and successful 1912 campaign. On January 3, 1912, dozens of men gathered at the Commercial Club in Portland to form what would become the Men’s Equal Suffrage League of Multnomah County, chaired by attorney William M. “Pike” Davis. Abigail Scott Duniway served as acting chair for the evening. Politicians, judges, attorneys and labor leaders spoke in favor of suffrage.

Some had “long favored” votes for women, including former state legislator C.W. Fulton who introduced an amendment to the Oregon constitution providing for woman suffrage in 1883. Among the more “recent converts” was attorney and state senator Dan J. Malarky who said that “the light had been breaking in on him for a long time but he was converted last year.” Labor leaders in support of suffrage included Floyd Ramp of the Socialist Party of Oregon and Eugene Smith, vice president of the Electrical Workers’ Union.

Oregon men joined men in other states who had organized to support votes for women. Their support was a significant element of the victory in Oregon in 1912.

—Kimberly Jensen

Men Lend Aid Jan 1912

Further reading:

Kimberly Jensen, “‘Neither Head nor Tail to the Campaign’: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and the Oregon Woman Suffrage Victory of 1912,” Oregon Historical Quarterly 108:3 (Fall 2007): 350-383.

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Posted by history class on 01/06 at 05:39 PM

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