Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

May 1911: The Oregon Equal Suffrage Association Opens the 1912 Woman Suffrage Campaign

On May 27, 1911 members of the Oregon Equal Suffrage Association (OESA) met in the Olds, Wortman & King Department Store and “formally renewed” the campaign for votes for women that would culminate in victory on November 5, 1912. OESA members had filed enough signatures to complete an initiative petition in December 1910. Now Abigail Scott Duniway, president of the OESA, announced that the campaign had begun.

Members passed the following resolution:

“Resolved, That the farthest-reaching and most economical and enterprising advertisement the men of Oregon can adopt for calling the world’s attention to our young and vigorous state and its many and magnificent resources, will be to vote ‘yes’ on the pending equal suffrage amendment on the fifth day of November, 1912.

“Resolved, That the movement for the enfranchisement of women is a world’s movement, non-political, and non-partisan in aim and character; and it welcomes to its ranks every man and woman in Oregon who believes in the fundamental principles of liberty, as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, regardless of their affiliation with individual beliefs in any party, sect or creed.”

The meeting and resolution reflect themes that would continue to be a part of the 1912 campaign. One was cooperation across state lines and assistance from women who had already won the right to vote. Washington suffragist Flora McKinney was there to let Oregon women know that Washington women, who had achieved the vote in 1910, “stood ready to assist the women of their sister state to gain their point at the next election.” Another theme was the emphasis on votes for women as a progressive measure that would promote Oregon.

Women Open Fight Pt 1
Women Open Fight pt 2

“Women Open Fight,” Oregonian, May 28, 1911, 7.
—Kimberly Jensen

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Posted by history class on 05/01 at 12:32 PM

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