Imagine the scene where Eastern intellectual Anna Howard Shaw arrives in Oregon for the “Wild West” doings at the Pendleton Round-up. Shaw was no prim and proper lady despite her early work with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and this elegant pose taken in 1914. She was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), had graduated from Boston University’s School of Theology and School of Medicine, and knew how to work a crowd.
Shaw toured Oregon in the final weeks before the November 5, 1912 election, when women’s right to vote was on the ballot. She came to Pendleton on September 27, and spoke from her automobile to a crowd of ranchers, cowboys, and Native Americans. According to newspaper reports, the crowd cheered and threw flowers at the car. Shaw is said to have told the crowd that she regretted arriving too late to see the cowgirls compete.
The Pendleton Round-up started in 1910, and women competed in rodeo activities. This year at the Round-up (September 12-15), you might see a suffrage sash on Rodeo Queen Alex Featherstone, thanks to Oregon’s Century of Action. Get in on their project and buy a sash of your own.