Oregon Woman Suffrage History Month to Month

February, 1874

imageOn the first day of the convention that would create the Oregon Woman Suffrage Association the weather was “inclement” and the “Mass Meeting of the Friends and Advocates of the Woman Movement” at Portland’s Oro Fino Theater started a half an hour late. Perhaps organizers hoped that more supporters would venture out in the rain. Though small in numbers, this organizing meeting for the first state suffrage organization in Oregon had a “remarkable degree of earnestness and enthusiasm.” The men and women gathered decided to organize a state equal suffrage society “to secure more united action and influence in the work.”

imageThe OWSA appealed “to the citizens of Oregon who believe in the principle of ‘equality before the law’ to aid this Association in every possible way by placing these self-evident truths before the people that all men and women are created equal, and of right ought to be equally free and independent in law, custom, and ethos, and we urge them to proceed at once to perfect the different county organizations throughout the State.”

On the afternoon of the first day, February 14, 1873 those present elected Abbie Gibson of Portland as president of the Oregon Woman Suffrage Association, with various vice presidents representing Oregon counties and an executive committee. From the beginning women and men from around the state were officers in the association.

OR 3 17 1873 3.jpgOn the second day an African American suffragist from Portland, Mrs. Mary Beatty, addressed the group. Portland historian Tim Hills has located Mary Beatty in the Portland City Directory as a dressmaker married to J.W. Beatty. Three months earlier Beatty had joined three other Portland suffragists, Abigail Scott Duniway, Maria Hendee, and Mrs. M.A. Lambert, in attempting to vote in the presidential election of November 1872.

Other participants included Abigail Scott Duniway, Mary Anna Thompson, M.D., Bethenia Owens (later Owens-Adair) M.D. and Colonel C. A. Reed of Salem.

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

Posted by admin on 02/19 at 03:54 PM

Page 1 of 1 pages