Decades after the first attempt to give Oregon women the right to vote, the issue once again appeared on the ballot on November 5, 1912. The majority of men who voted in the precinct of Miriam’s family in Blue Thread voted against suffrage for women. But statewide 61,265 men didn’t share Julius Josefsohn’s opinion of women. Here’s the official tally. Yes!

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Let’s be fair. Men weren’t the only people who voted against suffrage for women–in Oregon and elsewhere. A hundred years ago this week, officers of the Oregon State Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women sent a letter to the editor of the Oregonian. The head of the association was Eva Bailey (Mrs. F. J. Bailey).

According to the 1912 Oregon Voter’s Pamphlet, Bailey and her group thought that a woman, “has done her part in the home and not on the hustings, and her power for good is the greater because she has been content to be a woman and has not striven to be an imitation man.” Granting suffrage to women would give the appearance of equality but would not make women equal to men.  Voting was a duty, not a privilege. Bailey also argued that Oregon should let California and Washington, who had recently given women the right to vote, should “experiment for us.” […]

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Abigail Scott Duniway, Oregon’s ardent–and long suffering–advocate for woman suffrage, would have been been 178 years old today. Back in 1912, Oregon’s leading suffragists gave Abigail a huge party. Abigail was ailing by then, and Dr. Viola Coe took over much of the suffrage work.

Here’s what The Oregonian had to say about it:

A most unique party was given by Dr. Coe, October 22nd, shortly before election, in the great Gipsy Smith Auditorium, the occasion being Mrs. Duniway’s 78th  birthday. The beneficiary was carried in a wheeled chair to an artistically decorated platform, amid the applause of assembled thousands.”

In this photo, Abigail is standing in the upper left, assisted by two men. I’d like to think that every eligible female voter in Oregon will send in a ballot in November 6th in Abigail’s honor. Now that would be a fine birthday present indeed.

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As luck would have it, on Thursday, October 25th at 7 pm I will be speaking at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia, PA. I’m delighted to be a guest at Big Blue Marble along with three other authors of young adult books: E. C. Meyers, Elisa Ludwig, and K. M. Walton. If you are in the Philadelphia area, come on by.

If I weren’t in Philadelphia, I’d be at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. And here’s why—straight from OHS:

Oregon Experience Screening: “The Suffragists” Thursday, October 25, 7 – 8:30 PM Free Admission – RSVP Required

The Oregon Historical Society and Oregon Public Broadcasting invite you to a special pre-broadcast screening of the latest episode of Oregon Experience, “The Suffragists”. Co-produced by OPB and OHS, Oregon Experience explores Oregon’s rich past and helps all of us – from natives to newcomers – gain a better understanding of the historical, social, and political fabric of our state. […]

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Today let’s take a look at someone else’s blog. Here’s the link to “The Phonograph” in the United Kingdom. The bloggers use the term “suffragette,” rather than the more neutral term “suffragist,” but I think “suffragette might have been more widely accepted in the UK. What struck me was the picture they used in this blog post. Look familiar?  It’s the gathering of suffragists in Portland, with Abigail Scott Duniway front row center in the black dress.

Enjoy the songs. And send me your own suffrage parodies. I’ll post the best ones here.

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One of the gems on the Century of Action website is the collection of newspaper articles about the campaign to give Oregon women the right to vote. I used some information from those articles in Blue Thread, but there is a lot more I didn’t put in the book. See for yourself. Go back a hundred years and  peek at a world you’ve never known.

Case in point: “From Pulpit, Platform, and Dinner Table Votes for Women Advocated,” by C.H. Clements. It’s an article that The Oregonian published in its Sunday, September 29, 1912, edition that featured suffrage activists in Southern Oregon. Here is much of that article, thanks to Kimberly Jensen and her students at Western Oregon University. Scroll down to the pictures, too.

 

 

Mrs. J. F. Reddy, President, Medford Equal Suffrage [Association]; Mrs. George E. Boos, Vice-President, Medford ESA; Mrs. Charles D. Hoou, Treasurer, [Medford] ESA Mrs. […]

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If this is week three of the Crazy 8s Author Tour, then the next stop for Blue Thread must be Redmond, Oregon. That’s the Redmond that was first settled by homesteaders Frank and Josephine Redmond, as opposed to Redmond, Washington, which got its name from homesteader Luke McRedmond.

Back in the Blue Thread era (the Portland 1912 part), Redmond was just getting started. A private irrigation company had platted the town (with plots of land and a canal system) in 1906 or so, and electrification came to the area in 1910. With water and power, farmers flocked to Redmond. The 1910 census showed a population of 216!

Now Redmond has a population of about 26,000. There’s still farming in the area, although tourism is now an important industry. What hasn’t changed significantly over the years–that would be thousands of years–are the caves and lava tubes that formed during volcanic eruptions. […]

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Blue Thread is traveling to Cannon Beach this Saturday, in the next leg of the Crazy 8s Author Tour. This stop is hosted by Cannon Beach Book Company and will take place at the Cannon Beach Library (131 N. Hemlock St.) on September 22 at 2 p.m. Former Oregon governor Barbara Roberts is part of the tour. Really! Come on over and see for yourself.

Oregon Historical Society, CN 018785

Back in 1912, the town that is now Cannon Beach was called Elk Creek, and to understand why you have to go back about another hundred years. In January 1806, William Clark and several others in the Lewis and Clark expedition (including Sacajawea) bartered with members of the Tillamook nation to get oil and 300 pounds of blubber from a whale that had beached near what is now Ecola State Park. The Chinook word for whale, I’m told, is ehkoli, inspiring the names Ecola and Elk Creek. […]

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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.

Alex Featherstone (www.pendletonroundup.com)

The Pendleton Round-up started in 1910, and women competed in rodeo activities. […]

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