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 The History is indebted for this chapter to Mrs. Sarah A. Evans, president of the State Federation of Clubs ten years; on the Child Labor Commission eighteen years and market inspector for Portland sixteen years.
 Sacajawea was a young Indian woman who accompanied her husband on the Lewis and Clark Expedition from the Missouri River to the Pacific Coast, the only woman in the party. She had been a captive from an Idaho tribe of the Shoshones and was the only person who could speak the language of the Indians that would be met on the way or who had ever been over the route to be traveled. With her baby in her arms she was the unerring guide through the almost impenetrable mountain pa.s.ses and on several occasions saved not only the equipment and doc.u.ments but the lives of the party. In recognition of this service the women of Oregon formed the Sacajawea a.s.sociation, with the following officers: Mrs. Eva Emery Dye, president; Mrs. C. M.
Cartwright, first vice-president; Mrs. M. A. Dalton, second; Mrs. J.
B. Montgomery, third; Mrs. Sarah A. Evans, secretary; Mrs. A. H.
Breyman, treasurer. This a.s.sociation secured subscriptions and erected a beautiful bronze statue on the exposition grounds, which later was transferred to a prominent place in the city park.
 Campaign Committee: Mrs. Henry Waldo Coe, chairman, president of the Equal Suffrage a.s.sociation; Mrs. Duniway, honorary president; Dr.
Annice Jeffreys Myers, its vice-president and auditor of the National a.s.sociation; Mrs. Sarah A. Evans, president State Federation of Women’s Clubs; Mrs. Lucia F. Additon, president Woman’s Christian Temperance Union; Mrs. C. M. Cartwright, State Pioneers’ a.s.sociation; Mrs. Clara Waldo, State Grange; Dr. Luema G. Johnson, State Labor Organization; Mrs. Eva Emery Dye, Sacajawea a.s.sociation.
Pennsylvania was a pioneer State in the movement for woman suffrage.
One of the first “woman’s rights” conventions in history took place in 1852 in West Chester under the auspices of the Friends, or Quakers, and Philadelphia was the home of Lucretia Mott, who joined with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848 in calling the first “woman’s rights”
meeting ever held. The State Woman Suffrage a.s.sociation was formed in this city in December, 1869, a few months after the founding of the National a.s.sociation, and did not cease its work until the final victory in 1920.
Mrs. Lucretia L. Blankenburg of Philadelphia was reelected to the presidency in 1901 for the tenth consecutive term and was reelected annually six times thereafter, retiring in 1908 because the work then required long journeys from home. Auxiliaries had been organized in 11 counties before the convention held in Philadelphia, Nov. 26, 1901.
Suffrage activities had been confined to southeastern Pennsylvania but now three extreme western counties and two central ones had organizations and offered a promising field. For the first time plans were made for extended canva.s.sing for members. To the courageous women of that period who carried on steadfastly under severe handicaps and with little encouragement may be attributed much of the inspiration of the suffragists of later years. Miss Jane Campbell of Germantown, poet, author and orator, president for many years of the large, active Philadelphia County Society, was responsible in a great degree for the enthusiasm and spirit which sustained the pioneers.
The convention of 1902 took place in Philadelphia November 7. A report on the canva.s.sing of one ward of Philadelphia, the 10th, showed 55 per cent. of the women in favor. Leaflets were sent to 2,184 schools during the year and a prize offered for the best essay on woman suffrage by a pupil. On December 5 the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends organized an Equal Rights a.s.sociation.
A report on the canva.s.s of the 15th ward, undertaken by the county society, the largest and most active auxiliary, was given at the annual convention held in Philadelphia, Nov. 7, 1903, and showed that of the 4,839 women interviewed nearly one-half were favorable, less than a third opposed and the rest were indifferent. This year the State Grange and the city Labor Union endorsed woman suffrage. A banquet in honor of Miss Susan B. Anthony and the other national officers took place at the New Century Club, the guests including Mayor Samuel Ashbridge and his wife. His progressiveness contrasts strongly with the fact that sixteen years later the suffragists were unable to persuade Mayor Thomas B. Smith to welcome their Fiftieth Annual Convention to the city.
Easton was the place of the convention, Nov. 3-5, 1904, where it was reported that the result of sending fraternal delegates to thirty-seven State gatherings was the adoption of woman suffrage resolutions by nineteen. The convention of 1905 was held in Philadelphia, November 14, and all auxiliaries reported large gains in membership. This year suffragists had ably a.s.sisted the City Party in a reform campaign and advanced their own cause. Kennett Square entertained the convention Nov. 6-8, 1906. An increase of 1,182 in membership had been made during the year. In 1907 the State convention was held in the western part of the State, taking place in Pittsburgh, November 6-8. A resolution was proposed for the first time to ask the political parties to put woman suffrage planks in their State platforms by Miss Charlotte Jones but it was voted down as impracticable. The State Grange, Letter Carriers’ a.s.sociation and State Woman’s Christian Temperance Union adopted suffrage resolutions during the year. A junior suffrage auxiliary of 400 Pittsburgh girls and boys was represented.
Mrs. Rachel Foster Avery succeeded Mrs. Blankenburg as president at the convention held in Norristown Nov. 4-6, 1908. The proposed program of the National American a.s.sociation to secure an enormous pet.i.tion calling upon Congress to submit a woman suffrage amendment was undertaken cheerfully, although it was a heavy task for a small group of workers with no headquarters and limited finances. The State convention took place at Newton Nov. 22-24, 1909, and Mrs. Avery was re-elected president. The Equal Franchise Society, representing a group of prominent women of Philadelphia, had been organized in the spring as an auxiliary of the State a.s.sociation and the increase of work caused by advance throughout the State made the establishment of headquarters imperative. A committee was appointed to arrange for State and county headquarters in Philadelphia and a sum sufficient to sustain them for three years was pledged.
The convention of 1910 was held in Harrisburg and Mrs. Ellen H. E.
Price of Philadelphia a.s.sumed the presidency. This year was organized the Equal Franchise Federation of Western Pennsylvania, later changed to Federation of Pittsburgh, its leaders destined to play a very important part in suffrage annals. Julian Kennedy was the first president, one of the very few men who served as president of a woman suffrage organization. The State Federation of Labor not only adopted resolutions endorsing woman suffrage but pledging itself to select men for offices who were committed to a belief in it. The political district plan was adopted for future work, in accordance with the recommendation of the National a.s.sociation. The headquarters were opened at 208 Hale Building, Philadelphia, October 7. Street meetings were inaugurated in that city the next summer and the speakers were received with amazing cordiality. Mrs. Price was re-elected president at the convention which opened in the Mayor’s reception room, City Hall, Philadelphia, Nov. 23, 1911, Mayor John E. Reyburn granting this courtesy.
Owing to the necessity of giving the work state-wide scope the convention held in Philadelphia Nov. 26, 27, 1912, recommended moving the State headquarters to Harrisburg and this change was effected in December. In March a Men’s League for Woman Suffrage had been organized with Judge Dimner Beeber of Philadelphia as president and more than 100 prominent members enrolled. Fourteen new organizations were formed during the year but the larger part of the State was still unorganized. The national suffrage convention preceded the State convention and gave an impetus to the movement. An evening ma.s.s meeting in the Metropolitan Opera House made the record of the largest and most enthusiastic suffrage meeting ever held in this city. [See Chapter XII, Volume V.] The a.s.sociation now had 7,211 members. Mrs.
Frank M. Roessing of Pittsburgh was elected president and this young, practical woman was princ.i.p.ally responsible for changing the character of the work from purely propagandistic lines to recognized business standards.
The annual convention met in Pittsburgh, Oct. 28-30, 1913, the president’s term of office was lengthened to two years and Mrs.
Roessing was reelected. The State Grange and the Federation of Labor reaffirmed their suffrage resolutions and the International Brotherhood of Firemen went on record in favor. A proposition to submit the question of woman suffrage to the voters had been favorably pa.s.sed on by the Legislature and waited action by a second.
Great strides were made in 1914. A press department conducted along professional lines supplied all the papers of the State with live suffrage news and there were suffrage editions of several papers. Miss Hannah J. Patterson of Pittsburgh had charge of organizing the Woman Suffrage Party along political lines out of the State a.s.sociation, and to Mrs. Roessing and her belongs especial credit for the strong, workable organization which was built up so carefully in preparation for the campaign year. The State convention was held in Scranton, November 19-24. There was every indication that the next Legislature would submit a const.i.tutional amendment and the Executive Board asked for a campaign fund of $100,000, of which $30,000 were pledged at the convention. Mrs. William Thaw, Jr., of Pittsburgh offered $10,000 if the fund reached $50,000 by April 1. With this splendid foundation the State was ready to take up the actual work of the campaign in 1915.
Mrs. Charles Wister Ruschenberger of Strafford announced that she would have a replica cast of the Liberty Bell to be known as the “woman’s liberty bell.” Later Dr. Mary M. Wolfe of Lewisburg was elected chairman of the Finance Committee and the $50,000 were raised on time.
The Legislature of 1915 submitted an amendment to be voted on at the regular election November 2. Mrs. Roessing was president of the State a.s.sociation and Miss Patterson was chairman of the Woman Suffrage Party, whose plan provided for organization by political districts, recognizing every political division from that of the State unit down to the precinct and township. The State was divided into nine districts but as very few women could give sufficient time to head a division comprising from seven to ten counties, only four were supervised by chairmen–Mrs. Anna M. Orme, Mrs. E. E. Kiernan, Mrs.
Maxwell K. Chapman and Miss Mary J. Norcross.
Allegheny county had four experienced organizers, Philadelphia four, Montgomery three, Bucks two, Chester, Washington, Luzerne and McKean each one. Eighteen other organizers worked under the supervision of Miss Patterson. They visited every one of the 67 counties during the year, formed new organizations, stimulated those already established, conducted booths at county fairs, addressed women’s clubs, teachers’ inst.i.tutes, Chautauquas, picnics, farmers’
inst.i.tutes, men’s organizations, political, church, college and factory meetings. During the last three months of the campaign they conducted county tours and held open air meetings daily. They formed central organizations in 64 counties under competent chairmen. Cameron and Pike were the only counties where there were no societies but in Cameron there were active workers. In the other eleven counties central organizations were not formed but legislative districts and boroughs were organized, each with a capable chairman.
To Miss Clarissa A. Moffitt, its secretary, belongs much credit for the able management of the Speakers’ Bureau. During the campaign year 56 counties were supplied, involving the services of 64 speakers; 14 were men, 33 were Pennsylvanians, 14 contributed services and expenses and 27 asked expenses only. The bureau made a study of the characteristics of each county in industry, agriculture, character of population and politics. Speakers were then offered who would be acceptable to the community as well as to the particular meeting. Dr.
Anna Howard Shaw, national president, gave 28 lectures and from every county reports came that hundreds of converts were made.
The manager of the publicity department, Charles T. Heaslip, was an expert not only in the art of journalism but also in the art of publicity. This department ultimately required the full time of three special writers. Semi-monthly a two column plate service was sent to 260 papers from February and from October 1 it was weekly, the list of papers having grown to 346. Allegheny county, in which Pittsburgh is located, conducted the most efficient county campaign. Its headquarters practically duplicated the State headquarters at Harrisburg with secretaries and organizers and it was the only one which employed its own publicity agent. A weekly news bulletin was issued to 500 papers and the regular service was supplemented by special stories. Much work was done in advance of meetings. From July to November a weekly cartoon service was undertaken, a new feature in suffrage campaign work. According to the newspaper men it comprised the best cartoons ever used in any campaign in the State and the money spent for them brought greater returns than that for any other feature. The cartoonists were C. Batchelor, Charles H. Winner and Walter A. Sinclair.
In special features the publicity department avoided sensationalism.
Suffrage Flower Gardens, Good Roads Day, the Justice Bell and Supplication Day comprised practically the entire list. Attractive yellow boxes containing seeds for the old-fashioned yellow flowers were offered for sale by the State a.s.sociation and the flower gardens furnished a picturesque form of propaganda and long continued publicity. In Pennsylvania a day in the spring is set aside by the department of highways when all residents along country roads are asked to contribute their services for their improvement. The local suffrage organizations provided coffee and sandwiches for the laborers and got in their propaganda. On Supplication Day, the last Sunday before election, ministers were asked to preach suffrage sermons. Mrs. Ruschenberger’s Bell was the best and main publicity feature and undeniably secured many thousands of votes. It visited all the counties, traveling 3,935 miles on a special truck. Hundreds of appeals by as many speakers were made from this as a stand and it was received in the rural communities with almost as much reverence and ceremony as would have been accorded the original bell. The collections and the receipts from the sale of novelties moulded in the likeness of the bell helped materially to defray the heavy expense of operating the truck, paying the speakers’ expenses and providing literature.
s.p.a.ce for the display of advertising cards was purchased in 5,748 street cars for August, September and October. Special suffrage editions of newspapers in all parts of the State, copy and cuts for which were prepared by the State Publicity Department, contributed considerably to propaganda and finance. Throughout the State the general lines of activity were the same–meetings of all kinds, parades, hearings before organizations to secure endors.e.m.e.nts, booths at county fairs, exhibitions, canva.s.sing, circularization and auto tours. The degree of success in each locality depended upon the kind and amount of work. Millions of fliers, leaflets and booklets original to Pennsylvania were issued in English, Italian, German, Polish and Hebrew and no effort or expense was spared to secure converts through the written word. During the last month of the campaign the county organizations circularized their voters twice–once with speeches of Representatives Mondell of Wyoming and Keating of Colorado in Congress and once with a personal letter written to the voter and signed by the county chairman or a suffragist in his own community. Four days before election 330,000 of these letters went to the voters.
Although a bill for woman watchers at the polls failed to pa.s.s the Legislature and the suffragists were thus denied the protection which every political party is permitted, yet in many counties the a.s.sistance of the regularly appointed watchers was secured. The Washington party and Socialist watchers were universally helpful and in many cases the Democratic and Republican watchers gave a.s.sistance.
The suffrage organizations were urged to place women workers at every polling precinct. Many men favorable to suffrage advised against this plan but the result of the election showed that nothing won as many votes at the last minute as the appeal of the women at the polls. Of the 33 counties which were carried 21 had women working at the polls; of the 36 which lost only six had women there. Of the 33 counties 17 had headquarters.
Eight of the 33 counties which gave a majority are chiefly industrial; eight are equally industrial and rural and seventeen are chiefly rural. Luzerne, Lackawanna and Westmoreland are the third, fourth and fifth counties in point of population and they won by majorities of 3,139, 2,654 and 1,140. In all of them the labor vote is heavy, as mining is the chief industry. Allegheny was the first county of its size to be carried in the history of suffrage. Fayette county, the home of Republican State Chairman Crow, who never wavered in his opposition, was carried by 1,400. Every ward in Uniontown, the county seat and his home, gave a majority for the amendment. Mrs. Robert E.
Umbel was county chairman. The eight Dutch counties lost by majorities ranging from 2,000 to 7,000. Rockbound conservatism had much to do with this result. Schuylkill county, where an adverse vote from 10,000 to 15,000 was predicted, lost by only 1,000. Miss Helen Beddall, the chairman, conducted a persistent campaign of education for two years.
Philadelphia had the most difficult problem to face with its large vote and political corruption. Its difficulties were increased by the duplication of suffrage organizations working independently. An added complication was the prejudice created by the efforts of the “militant” suffrage organization, then called the Congressional Union, to organize, this being the only center in the State in which they had secured a foothold. The large women’s clubs of Philadelphia took no part in the constructive work of the campaign. Wilmer Atkinson of this city, editor and owner of the _Farm Journal_, was president of the Men’s League for Woman Suffrage and gave unstintingly of his strength and means to secure victory. The vote in Philadelphia was 122,519 noes, 77,240 ayes; adverse majority, 45,279. The total vote was 826,382; in favor, 385,348; opposed, 441,034; lost by 55,686 votes, only 10,407 more than the majority in Philadelphia. The amendment received nearly 47 per cent. of the total vote cast on it.
Prior to election day all the political parties in the State had endorsed woman suffrage per se, except the Republican and that party had declared in favor of a referendum to the voters. The great weakness of the campaign was lack of money. The total State fund was $78,698, of which Allegheny county contributed 50 per cent. Many of the counties spent considerable sums in addition, Allegheny county’s special “budget” being $25,000. If the a.s.sociation had had an additional $25,000 the lacking 3 per cent. of the voters could have been secured and the campaign would have ended in a victory.
The State convention was held in Philadelphia Nov. 30, 1915. As amendments to the State const.i.tution can be submitted only once in five years, the delegates reconsecrated themselves to a new campaign at the end of that time. At a conference held in Harrisburg in the spring of 1916 47 counties were represented and an inspiring address was made by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, now national president. An intercounty rally at Somerset in July was attended by 500 suffragists from ten counties and a State suffrage flag was adopted. The annual convention was held in Williamsport, November 21-24, and the delegates were unanimous in their desire to continue preparations for another campaign. Mrs. George B. Orlady was elected president.
As Philadelphia is the center of population in the State, the financial center, has the largest number of newspapers and is more accessible than Harrisburg, State headquarters were moved to that city June 1, 1917. Upon the entrance of the United States into the World War the a.s.sociation without a day’s delay offered the services of its members and the facilities of its organization to the Government.
State officers, county chairmen and suffragists in the ranks served on the Council of National Defense, on Liberty Loan Committees, in the various “drives” and wherever needed. Mrs. John O. Miller, State vice-president, was appointed by Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo a member of the National Woman’s Liberty Loan Committee and also served as State Chairman. Pennsylvania contributed $20,573 to the Women’s Oversea Hospitals, maintained by the National Suffrage a.s.sociation, $11,397 of which were raised in Pittsburgh at an outdoor fete of which Mrs. Leonard G. Wood was chairman. The State convention was held in this city November 20-22 and Mrs. Miller was elected president. In the hope that the U. S. Senate would submit the Federal Suffrage Amendment the convention for 1918 was delayed from month to month and finally was held in Philadelphia April 9, 10, 1919. Mrs. Miller was re-elected. On November 10, 11, the amendment having been submitted, the 51st and last State convention was held in Philadelphia. The historic Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage a.s.sociation was disbanded and the League of Women Citizens was organized, to become the League of Women Voters when the women of Pennsylvania were enfranchised. This name was adopted Nov. 18, 1920, and Mrs. Miller was elected chairman for two years.
LEGISLATIVE ACTION. After a lapse of 26 years a second attempt was made in 1911 under Mrs. Anna M. Orme, as legislative chairman, to secure a resolution to refer to the voters a woman suffrage amendment to the State const.i.tution. The Joint Committee of the Judiciary, to which it was referred, after giving a hearing to the suffragists, sent it to a special commission which had been appointed to revise the election laws.
1912. Miss Lida Stokes Adams was legislative chairman when this commission gave an all day hearing March 22 at City Hall, Philadelphia, but took no action. This hearing was preceded by a ma.s.s meeting on the 20th in Witherspoon Hall. An effort was made to get an endors.e.m.e.nt from the State political conventions. Miss Mary E.
Bakewell of the Western Equal Franchise Federation appeared before the Republican convention May 1; Mrs. Mabel Cronise Jones, Miss Adams and Miss Bakewell addressed the Democratic convention May 7, and both gave approval. The Keystone and Prohibition party conventions also heard suffrage speakers and adopted favorable resolutions. For the first time all of the 880 candidates for the Legislature were interviewed by a letter as to submitting the question to the voters and 283 gave affirmative answers.
1913. This year the referendum measure pa.s.sed after a bitter contest.
Twice when the resolution came up in the Senate the motion to postpone was avoided on a tie vote by Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, the first time in thirteen years that the president of the Senate had voted on any question. On the final vote the majority of one was only secured by the labor leader, Steve McDonald of Lackawanna county, who forced its Senator, Walter McNichols, to represent his const.i.tuents. Senators Edwin M. Herbst, Edward E. Beidleman (later Lieutenant Governor) and James P. McNichol maintained the strongest opposition. Miss Adams, the legislative chairman, and Mrs. Roessing, the State president, did the greater part of the work at Harrisburg. The a.s.sociation was indebted to Representative Frank G. Rockwell and Senator A. W. Powell for their skill in handling this measure. The vote in the Lower House, February 5 was 131 ayes, 70 noes.
1915. A proposed amendment to the const.i.tution must be pa.s.sed by two Legislatures. Mrs. Roessing and Miss Hannah J. Patterson, organization chairman, carried on the lobby work in 1915 and it pa.s.sed the House on February 9 by 130 ayes, 71 noes. In the Senate on March 15 a great gain was registered, as 37 Senators voted aye and only 11 voted no.
The amendment was defeated at the election in November.
1916. The pa.s.sage of an Enabling Act by the Legislature of 1917 being the first step toward a referendum in 1921, the work of the State Suffrage a.s.sociation in 1916 was concentrated as never before on the legislative candidates. Practically every one was interviewed personally or by letter and before the November election reports on 40 of the 50 Senators and all but ten of the 207 members of the House had been made. Senator Boies Penrose was visited in Washington by Mrs.
George B. Orlady and Mrs. John O. Miller, president and vice-president of the State Suffrage a.s.sociation. He said he would help and authorized these officers to quote him in the public press. On October 9 the Republican State Committee meeting in Philadelphia refused a hearing to the Suffrage Board and took no action, despite the favorable a.s.surances of Senator Penrose and of State Senator William E. Crow, its chairman. On December 28 Governor Martin G. Brumbaugh promised Mrs. Miller to secure the pa.s.sage of the desired Enabling Act.
1917. Mrs. Miller led the work when the Legislature convened in January, 1917, and Mrs. Antoinette Funk, Mrs. Lewis L. Smith and Mrs.
Harriet L. Hubbs were members of the Legislative Committee. County chairmen of the suffrage a.s.sociation brought continuous pressure on their legislators; 270 powerful labor organizations in the State signed pet.i.tions with their official seal and a pet.i.tion with the names of 56,000 individual men and women was unrolled on the floor of the House. Every legislator received a special pet.i.tion signed by 445 of the most prominent men in the State, a copy of Dr. Shaw’s biography, the Story of a Pioneer, and weekly copies of the _Woman’s Journal_. Mrs. Funk had an interview with Senator Penrose at Washington with one of the most prominent members of the Republican party present. The Enabling Act was introduced in the House early in January but at the request of Senator Penrose the vote was delayed from time to time and finally took place April 17. The preceding day 121 men were listed as favorable, 104 being the required const.i.tutional majority. When the vote was taken only 101 answered “aye.”
Forty-eight hours before the vote the liquor lobby, represented by Neil Bonner, David Hardy, James P. Mulvihill and George W. Boyd, made a concentrated effort to defeat the measure. It was understood that 150 men were employed for this purpose and that the pressure brought upon the legislators was tremendous. Although other lobbyists had been denied the privilege of going on the floor of the House Mr. Boyd was always permitted to do so and he announced to Mrs. Funk a few minutes before the vote was taken that he had the bill defeated by six votes.
Speaker Richard J. Baldwin moved a verification of the roll immediately in order that no man voting in the affirmative could change his vote and ask for a reconsideration. A bill granting Presidential suffrage to women was introduced in the House May 28 but never reported from committee. From 1913 to 1917, Robert K. Young, State Treasurer, rendered inestimable a.s.sistance by the closest cooperation with the Legislative Committees.
1918. Plans were at once made for continuing the effort. In 1918 the organization carried out a most efficient plan of interviewing every legislative candidate before the primaries on two questions: (1) Will you vote to ratify the Federal Suffrage Amendment? (2) Will you vote to submit to the voters an amendment to the const.i.tution enfranchising the women of this State? After the November election 80 members of the House of Representatives for 1919 were favorably pledged in writing on both questions and 40 had given verbal pledges–16 more than the const.i.tutional majority required. From the Senate 13 written and 18 verbal pledges had been secured, 5 more than necessary. There was practically no organized opposition to the referendum and probably many of the men who pledged themselves to vote for ratification felt that the Federal Amendment would not pa.s.s Congress. The gubernatorial candidates also had been followed up carefully. William C. Sproul and J. Denny O’Neil, of the rival Republican factions, both said in interviews and through the public press that they were ready to work for any measure which would ensure suffrage to Pennsylvania women.
Judge Eugene C. Bonniwell, the Democratic candidate, did not answer any inquiries.
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