Tag Archives: Suffrage Movement

Happy Birthday, Abigail Scott Duniway

22 Oct

AbigailToday Abigail Scott Duniway would have been 179 years old. Duniway is best known for her work as a suffragist and for founding the newspaper The New Northwest in Portland, Oregon. The paper was dedicated to women’s rights, including suffrage.  Sadly, Duniway did not live to see the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920.

While Duniway may not have lived to witness the passage of the 19th amendment, she did see and was responsible for the passage of women’s suffrage in Oregon in 1912.  Duniway was the first woman to register to vote in Multnomah County.  Despite great resistance from her brother Harvey W. Scott, who was the editor of The Oregonian, Duniway was asked by then Governor Oswald West to draft the suffrage proclamation.

Duniway wrote several books, but may be best known for her last non-fiction,  Path Breaking: An Autobiographical History of the Equal Suffrage Movement in Pacific Coast States which was published the year before she died in 1914.  How nice to see that Oregon was ahead of the curve and on the right side of history as we celebrate Abigail Scott Duniway and her work for women’s rights.

Celebrating the 19th Amendment: August 26, 2013

26 Aug

SufferageToday marks the 93rd Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.  After a very long and hard struggle for women to get the right to vote — fought by such heroes as Alice Paul and many  others — women were finally granted the right to vote.  Finally, in 1920 all women were being treated as full equals.

Oh but wait.  Sadly, this is far from true. While I am exceedingly grateful for the passing of the 19th Amendment, we still have a long way to go towards treating all women equitably.  Even more sad is that the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding the Voting Rights Act.  With this ruling, we now witness the very intentional disenfranchisement of targeted voters: poor women, women of color, and a large percentage of people of color.

Today is a great day for action.  Today we should be standing in solidarity with all women to celebrate the 19th Amendment but to also initiate respectful conversations around what populations are being kept from the polls and how we shore up the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. While five members of the Supreme Court may not remember history, there are many of us that do and are more than happy to offer a history lesson to prevent us from repeating our mistakes.

I would also like to celebrate the National Women’s History Project today, co-founded by Molly Murphy MacGregor. Today is Women’s Equality Day as proclaimed by the President of the United States.   Click here to find out more about the National Women’s History Project.

Moment in Women’s History: January 21, Sophia Jex-Blake

21 Jan

Happy Birthday, Sophia Jex-Blake

Happy Birthday, Sophia Jex-Blake. Jex-Blake was an early feminist and she was one of the first female doctors in Great Britain. In addition to being a social reformer, she was also a leading campaigner for medical education for women. While in London, Jex-Blake joined a group of feminist that would end becoming critical to the women’s suffrage movement.  Interestingly enough, her cadre of friends included Emily Faithful, Emily Davies, and Louisa Garrett Anderson, all of whom became very vocal proponents of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. She founded two medical schools for women, one in Edinburgh and one in London. For more great information on our Sophia Jex-Blake, click here.

Hero of the Week Award: August 19, Harry Burn

19 Aug

Hero of the Week

August 18, 2011 marks the 91st anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment to the constitution, granting women the right to vote.  Tennessee’s Rep. Harry Burn was the deciding vote to help grant full Suffrage.  While TSM celebrates Burn, I would be remiss not to acknowledge Burn’s mother and all of the women who dedicated their lives to the Suffrage Movement.

Suffragists from all over the country knew it was coming down to the vote in Tennessee.  Carrie Chapman Catt and others went to Nashville to push for ratification.  Apparently, men wearing yellow roses in their lapels were for suffrage and the men wearing red roses were anti-suffrage.  It was clear from the number of red roses that it would be a close deciding margin.

Burn wore his red rose into the Capitol in Nashville. Upon receiving a telegram from his mother, Febb Ensminger Burn, urging him to “vote the right way” and support suffrage, Burn offered his “yea” instead of “nay,” thus giving women in the United States the right to vote. Burn immediately encountered a hostile mob of misogynistic men when he changed his vote. Burn escaped the angry men by climbing out of the third floor window and hiding in the attic of the state Capitol until the mob went home.

On a side note, Michele Bachmann and the other insane Teahaddists might do well to remember that the Constitution is a living document and evolves to enfranchise the citizens of the United States.  History lesson anyone?  I’m rather saddened by the pool of Republican candidates for President that seem to have no sense of history and who are currently working so hard to disenfranchise the LGBT community.  Regardless of how they feel about the LGBT community, they do not have the right to deny us our civil rights. TSM offers a sincere “Thank You” to the Harry Burnses of the 21st Century who stand up for rights for all citizens despite pressure from their peers.

A Pictorial Journey Through Women’s History

14 Mar

Rosie the Riveter

Thanks, President Wilson

Alice Paul

Thank you to my friend Cheryl Fairchild for helping me collect many of these wonderful pictures.

Serving Time for a Worthy Cause


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