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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 04, 1909, Image 3

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The San Francisco Sunday Call
Mabel H. Collver
IN the matter of gathering historical
data concerning the woman suffrage
movement in this and other countries
the wouldbe student finds himself
considerably relieved of what would
otherwise be a stupendous task. Owing
to the tireless energy on tho part of
three women — Susan B. Anthony, Eliza
beth Cady Stanton and Ida 1 lusted
Harper — most of the material has "been
sealously collected and preserved.
The movement is distinctly American
In origin, and is thoroughly modern.
"The early colonists were little dis
turbed by the babblings of women,"
writes a savant, and he seems devoutly
thus to crave a retrogression to the
past. Mr. Asqulth's prayer might be
the same. Nevertheless, history does
record that as early as 1647 one woman,
a. certain Mistress Margaret Brent of
Maryland, did rise upon her two feet
end most emphatically demand "place
end voice"' in the legislature of the
time. She stands out a remarkable
personage, inasmuch as she was well
Tersed in law, and also because she
was executrix of the estates of both
Lord Baltimore and Lord Calvert. Since
representation was then based on prop
erty, her demand was duly considered.
fcetly debated — and finally denltd.
Raking the ashes a little farther
elor.g. the colonial records of Massa
chusetts disclose the fact that women
\u25bcoted. under the old province charter,
from 1691 to ITSO for all elective offi
cers, though later they were excluded
from voting for governor and mem
bers of the legislature.
"With the dawn of me new regime. In
the period just preceding our declara
tion of independence. Abigail Adams
eteps boldly into the foreground, as
rabid an exponent of woman's rights
«tny ege may wish to claim. Taking
her cue from the spirit of the times,
and keeping in mina the main griev
ance of the fiery colonists themselves,
the fair lady did indite a letter to her
husband, John Adams, then in the con
tinental congress, "March, 1778 ...
I long to hear that you have declared*
an independency, and. by the way, in
the new code of laws which I suppose
It will be necessary for you to make,
I desire you woula remember the la
dles and be more generous and favor
able to them than were your ancestors.
Do not put such unlimited power Into
the hands of husbands. Remember, all
men would be tyrants If they could.
If particular care and attention are
not paid to the ladies, we are deter
mined to foment a rebellion, and will
not hold ourselves bound to obey any
laws In which we have no voice or
Clear, concise and emphatic Yet It
Is presumed that poor John Adams, al
ready sore perplexed over many vexa
tious questions, could not do more than
admire the spirit of his militant wife.
Two years later, despite the still more
troublous times. Mrs. Hannah, Lee Cor
bin earnestly presented "her own peti
tion for the right to vote"— and was
discreetly denied the privilege.
New Jersey Gave Suffrage
Since the continental congress left
the suffrage question in the hands of
the states, to be dealt with by their
constitutions, the latter rather than the
former may be blamed for the great
omission In regard to women. Despite
any arguments that may have been
brought to bear on the subject (they
are not recorded) Jfew Jersey was the
only state gallantly to confer the fran
chise on women, even for a period, and
must therefore stand out as the first
rrate In which an American woman
ever /cast a ballot. The constitution,
adopted July 2. 1776. granted the right
•f suffrage to "all inhabitants worth
1250." The property laws of the time,
favoring male supremacy, made it diffi
cult for a married woman to possess.
anything In her own name, even $250;
but the records show that "for a' that"
many women availed themselves of the
suffrage privilege at presidential as
well as at minor elections. Such was
the disturbance. Indeed, on account of
the "female faction." that In 1807 the
legislature passed an arbitrary act lim
ltlng the suffrage to "white male citi
zens." The women claimed that this
was a rank usurpation of authority. In
asmuch as the constitution could be
changed only by action of the voter;
but despite their protest the new clause
displaced the old and the New Jersey
women's political equality became a
thing of the past.
With this sudden, suppression, of a
few women's budding aspirations the
matter seems to have lain dormant for
a number of years. When, in 1828,
Fr&acu Wriaht. a younje Scotch' :
woman oe pronounced teeas, came to
the United States and began a series
of lectures on political equality for the
eexes she met with open derision from
women as well as men. Ten years later
Ernestine L. Rose, a young Polish exile
ml education and refinement/ circulated ,
* \u25a0 -,
a petition ln'"Albany, n. r.. iw a ra-w
enabling married women to hold real
estate In their own names, but could
secure only five signatures to the paper.
In 1848, when she had obtained the co
operation of such women as Elizabeth
Cady Stanton, Paulina Wright Davis
and Lucretfa Mott, she brought 'the
matter before a favorable legislature
and a bill was passed granting property
rights to women.
Meanwhile Sarah and ~ Angelina
Grlmke of South Carolina, who, in 1826,
had freed their slaves and gone north,
were by public speeches enlisting the
sympathies of other women in the para
mount question of the day. When the
American anti-slavery . society, was
formed several women demanded' a
right to take part in the debates and
a fierce controversy was • the result.
Garrison, Pierpont, Phillips. Pillsbury,
Foster, Stanton and Gerrit Smith,
strong abolitionists, then became cham
pions for women's rights. In 1840 the
world's anti-slavery convention was
held in London'and the body as a whole
refused to recognize the women dele
gates from the United States, so strong
was public sentiment against feminine
Intrusion, even - in. matters, of reform. .
Lucretia Mott, who. was among the
delegates, bitterly exclaimed:
"As Individuals we can do nothing.
We lack organization; we ,lack num
bers — but it will all come hi time."
Eight years later Mrs. Mott; ably as
sisted by Mrs. Stanton, was Instrument
tal in calling together at Seneca Falls.
X. V., : the first woman's suffrage-con
vention the world had ever known.
In July. 184S, these two women, aided
by Martha' C Wright and Mary Ann.
McCllntock. valiantly emulating their
revolutionary fathers, drew up a "Dec
laration of Rights" and Issued a call
for a two days* convention to rbe held
at Wesleyan" chapel. • This preliminary
meeting met with enthusiastic support
from 100 men -and 'women (a goodly
number considering the spirit of the
time) and was adjourned to meet -in-
Rochester, August 2.
Mrs.Harper, commenting many years
later on these earlier meetings, said In
part: ' .
"If the first organised demand for
the rights, of •woman — made at the
memorable convention of Seneca Falls,
N. T.. in 1848— had- omitted the onefor
franchise, those who ° made It would
have lived to- sec all' granted. It asked
for woman the right to have personal
freedom, to acquire ran education, to
earn- a living, to claim her wages, to
own property," to make contracts, to
bring suit, to testify, lp court, td, ob
\u25a0 tain divorce for just cause, to possess
her children and to claim a' fair share
of the accumulations during, marriage.".
Reasonable. 'as the demands ' seem tp
day. they -were all more or less revo
lutionary measures In 1848. Susan B.
Anthony's father, mother and sister
were among the signers of the "dec
laration" In Wesleyan chapel;: but Miss
Anthony herself, whose name was later
to gain International prominence" In the
movement,* did not. enter -the field. until
First Convention in 1850
Meanwhile, in October, 1850,' the first
national convention of women was held
in Worcester, Mass., following a reso
lution drawmup at an anti-slavery. con-,
ventlon in Boston. Lucy Stone, | who
had graduated" from Oberlin In 1847,
and Paulina Wright Davis were the or
ganizers and presiding spirits of -;thls;
convention., Nine .states •were 'repre-J,
sented by as many speakers, and ana-/
tlonal committee was appointed- toYd!-"
rect annual meetings in various cities.
. A brief . report of- this; first .national ;
convention, appeared in the-i Westmln-r
ster Review] over the signature ; of , ; Mrs. l
Joh n Stuart .M ill-- I—and1 — and this .marks v the
beginning; ~ of ; " \u25a0. the \u25a0 . woman jj suffrage :
movement In- Great Britain and in other *
parts- of -Europe. .-\u25a0':...
• During, the next few^ years ienthuslr/
astic campaigns -were held '.ln
cities. Lucy . Stone, i whom, Mrs. i JullaT
Ward Howe describes as\"sweet .faced i
and ; silvery ' volced-^-the \u25a0\u0084 very,- embodl n>,
aienx-oi': Qoethe's „ eternal ? fe'mlnlne.'.''
gave a • series of; Independent speeches,"*
preaching the" doctrine, of 1 human ffree-1:
dom. She , was' a revelation ; to \u25a0 th'e.would-^
be scoffers. who^had ! derlved?thelr ideas J
of ."the suffragist"^ from t ther«*6rry ; car-},
toons'thatj had already-. made -thelr^ap^
pearance; That'a daf htyifeirilnlnVcrea-^
ture could deliberately/ choose the pub- ]
lie platform rather than the , cloister
of a home was /beyond the comprehen
sion of her average critics. Though
they found her eloquence charming, her
repartee delightful and her sincerity
convincing, her theme was so unpopu
lar that she frequently had difficulty in
gathering together an. audience large
enough to fill a single row of six
chairs. . , \u25a0• \u0084 .:\u25a0;- -i.^y
At both early, conventions the woman
suffrage theme had been sandwiched in
between temperance and anti-slavery.
The women, half fearful of the ridicule
heaped upon them : by the press, were
loth to drag their "cause" into the
arena without the other .props. In the
great gathering , of 1852 , these props
were. unanimously cast aside, and this,
the Syracuse convention, may be termed
the first genuine woman's rights con
vention, since it made no other excuse
for being. Eight states were repre
sented, and, Canada: The same year a
meeting was held in Westchester, Pa.,
under the auspices of the Quakers, and
the first state suffrage association was
formed- in Ohio. Thenceforward the
movement launched out in- various
directions, and steadily gained ground
until the bursting of the war cloud
in; 1861 r sefemingly scattered it to the
four winds.
- But neither war, pestilence nor famine
could permanently, swerve the de
termined little body of women from its
set purpose. Scarcely had Lee sur
rendered ' at Appomattox when they
..were back in the field, gathering to
gether their, spent forces. The eman
cipation: of, the ; slaves -and the enfran
chisement of women had' been argued
side by side for years, but the former
had, already been accomplished through
"a war measure," while the latter re
mained—just where the women had
Two Organizations Merge '
In -1569 ,a 'difference of opinion re
garding, theovays and means of ob
taining, the ballot for women resulted
in theforming of two separate organi
zations../ The.NationarWoman Suffrage
association had for its object the secur
ing of a. sixteenth; aniendment to the
national constitution which: would en
franchise ; women. Mrs. Stanton was
made president. and, Miss Anthony was
placed on the executive, committee. The
American Woman Suffrage association,
formed in- Cleveland the same year by
Julia Ward Howe,. Lucy: Stone and
others, had for, its object the obtaining
of- the, ballot th.rough; amendments : !to
state constitutions. Henry" \Ward'
Beecherwas president of the latter'or
ganization.. :In 1890 the two > bodies
merged; into one— tho National Ameri
can Woman Suffrage association, 'and
both;methods of work. were followed.
Meanwhile, in . 1869, the' 'legislative
council "of Wyoming had' conferred the
full 1 franchise 'on '.women, with "the
right to' hold "all offices." In 1871 a
bill, to; repeal; this woman suffrage law
wasj passed • by., the legislature,-: but \u25a0 was "
vetoed • by . Governor Campbell. A ' later"^
attempt :to pass^.the.-bill . over I his veto
met ..with, failure. ; With ; Joyful; acclaim
the \ suffragists^ published- the- news;
abroad, taking Mt for 'granted > that : the ;
states, -or at -least- Uhe others 'territories, ;,'
would fall J into; J line; •<: When,'*, in /1889; I
Just. 20) years .later,;^Wyoming applied^
for; admission to the -union," her: enf ran- ;
chisement - of (.women J was v pointed out \u25a0
as ' a i, probable < stumbHng ? block in ; her.
way.v ; Duririg -thejihot j debate^ which*
took/ place' in t congress;; lri s 1890, ; Dele-'
gate Carey telegraphed tb\the WyomlngV
legislature': his i fear - that the Tsuffrajpe :;
clause -, would -deprive? them --'of fstate- .]
hood.v wlthV a. /.mild i suggestion * that? it •
be ; withdrawn, f ' Back^ caroe7 the i famous )
;|.,"We'will/remain 'ojtit the^unionv a:;
hundred^ years' rather, * than "i come '- in
without t woman '.} suffrage." .\\.
; tit '» was* Susanlß.*; Anthony's -own -par-' \u25a0
tlcular ; little !: : triumph, for 4 " she , was -,
. among -.the. gallery gods who .listened
to the debates ; in the house.' .Wy
oming, "the first free state for women,"
was admitted June '27, 1890, by *29
ayes, 1,8 noes, 37 absent.. The women's
clubs all' over .the -country celebrated
the admission on July :4: 4 of the- same
year, acting on a -suggestion from
Miss Anthony 'arid Mrs. Stone. y< '\u25a0'\u25a0
In 1870,Vthe; territorial legislature of
Utah,, following, the "example so val
iantly set by. Wyoming, had dropped
-Into' line by conferring the"full'fran
chise on \u25a0women, to; the .consternation
of many of the , older "politicians,"; who
promptly >wanted ; to move out of; the
state. Meanwhile, arguments pro, and
con kept the; matter continually before
the . public;; though .the 'women Jmari-'
aged generally/ to exercise their privi
" lege \u25a0/\u25a0 until - 1 887,- ; when ' congress;', by
wha'f is known' as '.the' .Edmunds-
Tucker act,* deprived them : of .'their po
litical': honors ; and set them back >17 ;
years. 1 Thereafter; Utah: became the
storm.^center : for a suffrage campaign
that brought recruits" from',' all"; parts
,of the \u25a0'country,' lncluding*', 1 Susan B. An-;
thony,; and her able lieutenants.. In the
end the? women triumphantly regained
their lost "ground; for, in '1896; when
Utah; .in .- her turn entered ; the - union,
stie did ,v \u25a0so ' with ";i full '?: suffrage ~ for
women/as a .prominent, feature of her;
constitution. "V^Vv '':• '\u25a0'. ',IV'
''Women! were granted the suffrage in
Washington \ territory.: n s early ! as "188 3,
but.were* disfranchised . by,;a ; decision
of .{\u25a0; its "-supreme ' court ; in- '1887/," \u25a0 Mrs."
' Harper, alludes ;to .this as :, the 'one \u25a0\u25a0 great :
backward step; in \ the -.advance 'of f the
movement^.y'/Altnough: the "suffragists"
haveV been^focusingiUhe^r/ energies ; >on ;
j Washington ;for; the -last 2b;years, -; they
have jnot.-yet]rega|ned: the! ballot." V: The'
1 association,^.wl tH Rev. , Anna Howard :
Shaw .• as _> president, ; "is .. to t v hold \u25a0>- its
annual '•.'\u25a0'\u25a0'cohyeritibnV in s. Seat tie,' ,v-Wash. ;
; (July >• 2^7): \~\ TheK result Tof * this ~i cam- \u25a0:
.paign\is being"-^vatched',wlthjeager \u25a0 in-^
terest 1 - by: the vwomen^ concerned.*.-. \u25a0:
. In^lSgSfiCdlofadb^ granted^ full ;'suf-;
f rage vto * women^by^ aniameridmerit to
Its i constltutlonri adopted i'jby/ 6.347;{ma- !
jority,'; arid!- Idahol followed Isui t'i three '
years .later: yj,Thewlfour,F|,, states— -{Wy^ ;
omin g.'fJJtahi/^ Colorado I and? Idahb-^are'
represented*; by \u25a0 four -.golden v'stars 5 on \
the "woman's flag." Meanwhile, fully
half . the : states the union have
granted! full suffrage,: to -3 women, and
one, state, Kansas, has given them mu
nicipal suffrage. ~
summing tip the; present situa
tipn, „\u25a0 glancing .backward (60.( 60 . years, | the
American ; : women who called to order
the famous convention of 1848 may
take- proud 'place •as the "pioneer
founders" of : all the various women's
clubs, organizations and | societies v that
have since" sprung into, existence all
over .the world. . :
. In -4,888 ; Susan B/ Anthony^ and Eliza
beth Cady.Stanton, founded, in Wash
ington.' D. ; C.,~ the International Coun
cil of : Women, *in order ! to j provide I a
means of between the
various women's"; organizations' that
\u25a0were' being formed in other^ countries/
Mrs. Fawcett of England : was; its first
president, and Miss Clara Barton vice
president, j Ten f new*; countries j have
already, been added \ to .the (13 first rep
: resented, >nd ;.the : council* has - for its
president v today, her' excellency; the
countess -of ""''Aberdeen,' wife of the
viceroy; of Ireland. : \u25a0 , \ .'\u25a0 ,
iThe -. International "Woman's Suffrage
alliance 1 was .formed in' Berlin in 1904
\u25a0 with Mrs.- Carrie" Chapman Catt -as
president: A .This ; alliance 'held: its first
convention in - 1906 ; at Copenhagen and
its^second at Amsterdam: in 1908.,
: "Votes if or Women" in England
. '. Although" t tKe . American : suffrage
moyemenfj hasi>been-notably'conserva
tive "(wlth s a few^ striking exceptions),'
and \ this .conservatism has i generally
been"; deemed * '.'the* betteripolicy," :i much
controversy; concerning^ more strenuous
methods has arisen In coun
cils: owing to: the 'militant t tactics em
ployed-:during 1 the ipast>year byj the so
called 'V'suff ragettes".*;in^Great 1i:1 i : Britain."
> The .brillianH women ; leaders in r the
daughterv^Christabel "-Panßhurst; JMrs.,
; Pethick 1 Lawrence^ Annie <• Kenny, s Mrs.
Druinmorid/ ' and | others, ?,; ably v ; defend
their.^belligerent stand ; In i their* official
organil jVotes) 1 for, Women,, which is
, recognized v ?as<one; of * the"f cleverest Jpo-i
lifical" journals i published* ln Europe.': : s -•' f
5* Theiwdmen;'justifyitheriiselves onUhe
vativer£rnethodsjlf6r^4o;.; years '.without'
avail I ; andithat- wlthiri~ttiat period*hun-
dreds of worthless petitions ana argu
ments have been presented to an indif
ferent government. They claim that
they are now following the example set
them by the laboring men ,wben they
made their successful fight 'for the'
franchise. T. D. Benson, championing
the women's present attitude in a pam
phlet that is being widely circulated,
says In part:
"Of course, when men wanted the
franchise they did not behave in s the
unruly manner of our feminine friends.
They were perfectly constitutional in
their agitation. ' In Bristol, I find, they
only burnt, the mansion house," the cus
tom house, the" bishop's palace, the ex
cise office, three prisons,, four , toll
houses and 42. private dwellings and
warehouses,, and all in a. perfectly con
stitutional : and , respectable manner.
.' . . The suffragettes in those days
had a constitutional .weakness for
bishops and a savage vandalism toward
cathedrals and bishops' palaces. /. ; '\u25a0•';•
In this way the males set a splendid
example' of constitutional "methods In
agitating for the, franchise. I think we
are - well qualified to advise the suf
fragettes to follow our example, to bo
respectable and peaceful like we were,
and- then they will have our sympathy
and support."
,: Thus -far, however, the suffragettes
have riot vburned -houses nor Issued a
call to arms. Two women, Mrs. Leigh
and f Miss , New, d.id 'break the window
of the prime minister's official resi
dence, and for this they^-erved terms in
•prison, f along with scores of other re
spectable women, who have served_
terms of from one to three^months for
minor offenses against governmental
discipline. Miss' Christabel Pankhurst
herself served 10 .' days for; alleged as
sault oh the police. Her " mother *also
gloried in a prison sentence,} for" lt" Is
with exultation that these women go to
Jail and stlir more gloriously that they
commit "fresh offenses. " >"It Is well."
said ' .Mrs. Pankhurst, "that in good,
liberal England women may, be .Im
prisoned on, slight pretext, for^it, would"
be^ difficult -.to find- many women i. who'
would commit real "crime, -even' for. the
good \of "our. , cause." Moreover, • It ' is ,
quite ' true,-. as Mrs. .-" Pankhurst '•\u25a0 herself
foresaw ."\u25a0\u25a0; that ? the Jailin g ; of:; the * suf
fragettes > has *acted> like a^boomerang
on. their tormentors,' since | it ' has given
worldwide * prominence > to • a ? movement
that ; the; government ;was attempting, to,
quelllby stringent* measures. • .
J^Free* advertisement is a great boon in'
any reform" movement,' fnd . the' English"
women* are ; jubilant ' over i the * fact * that
they "; haVeT obtained ~ this boon' through
the?uriwittlng. assistance of Mr: Asquith
himself." Recruits ! have;flocked vtoVEng
land! fr6m-all|parts, of the 'globe." prov
ing,the axiom : that' "all the
a- row."
In June of last year nearly 20,000
"women marched through the streets of
London, representing all the trades and
professions in which women are em
ployed," including, artists, writer*, col
lege women, trained nurses, trades
women and laborers. Among the writ
ers were Lady Henry Somerset. Beatrice
Harraden. Mrs. Thomas Hardy. Mrs.
Israel Zangwill, Sarah Grand, Gertruds
Kingston, Cicely Hamilton and May
A quotation from the Woman's Jour
nal follows:
"The procession was to have been
headed by Lady Frances Ball our. sister
of the former "premier, and by Mrs.
Fawcett, wearing her scarlet doctor's
robe. But. out of compliment to her
American coworkers, Mrs. Fawcett
gave up. her place to Rev. Anna H.
Shaw, president of the National Amer
ican woman suffrage association, and
Mrs. Lucy E. . Anthony. They ~rod» la.
the first carriage. In the second wer« .
Mrs. Catherine Waugh McCulloch* Jus
tice of the peace of Evanston, 111.; Mrs.
Ella S. Stewart, president of the Illi
nois equal suffrage association, and
Dr. Medley."
The procession was four^ hours ' long
and an imposing pageant. The colors
of the different countries, the banners
and i the varied costumes were espe
cially attractive features of the parade.
Notably, the ridicule which the woman
fully expected would be hurled at them
by the mobs gathered along the line, of
march was not in evidence. Instead,
\u25a0cheers were the order of ths day all
along the line. One of the policeman
on guard when asked his opinion of the
procession.-'said: "It was the best con
ducted and prettiest demonstration ever
seen in London.**, »
, The English suffragettes themselves,
whose demonstrations are growing
more and more spectacular, claim that
within two years they will have univer
sal suffrage^ in Great. Britain. They
maintain that they are already sure o *
Ireland, since the latter always stands
ready to join in | any , movement on"
earth in which there is rebellion. True,
now, 'twill be far from the minds ot
the Irish ladles to sit back calmly over
their teacups." while their ; English sis
ters sweep before them to the polls.
Countries That Have Suffrage
Nor are the claims of the suffragettes
entirely 'without precedent, since nearly
all 1 ; countries of Europe now j have
some.foravof suffrage for women. The
women of Great Britain and Ireland
already possess every franchise except
that ' for.: members of parliament. New
Zealand was -the first lot. the British
colonies to- confer the parliamentary
franchise on women, and all women la
Australia now possess the same - suf
frage"! rights extended to men.
In Finland the women 'not only pos
sess, full suffrage.'. but" 2S women are
slttlng-as members of the parliament
for; 1909. >3mBBEBm&&
' Norway has granted, full suffrage to
all.women'over 25 years of age having
incomes or property or whose husbands
areppssessed of ithe same. Unmarried
women iof * Sweden possessing property
are allowed ; to >*ote in , all elections ex
cept for members of -parliament. All
women in Denmark have the same prlv
..And behold, tTwhat'a In a name" after
all! >;The; ancient- kingdom of the
of Man.^^wlth an gjr»»r^*
ment;sJnce.tt\e/tinHror the vikings an*
' mak^ngl Its", own", laws,' which only : t%~
.'"Quire thesanction-of the"crown.'*a;r* nt "
- ed ' full suffrage '"' to -> women \u25a0'\u25a0 property
owners! in"^lß3o, ."and 'the act received
the .assents of.' Queen "Victoria." ;ln :IS*l>
This ]was extended - to , all woman«rate
payers in 1392. \u0084 -j.

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