Search This Blog

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Portland's "Experimental" Woman Jury Part X: Oregonian Coverage Continued: "Mrs. Duniway Absent" and "Gloved Hands Take Oath"

We're reviewing the extensive Portland newspaper coverage of an all-female "experimental jury" in Municipal Court on December 4, 1912. In addition to featuring Leone Cass Baer's account of serving on the jury, the Oregonian provided a long article about the trial, part of which I excerpt here.

This excerpt provides some additional information about the trial. We learn that the first order of business was the clerk calling "the name of Abigail Scott Duniway, under a pre-arranged agreement to give her the honorary position of being the first woman in Oregon to be called into a jury box." As we've seen, Duniway was not the first -- Hattie Corkett of Bend, Oregon served as foreperson on a jury the week of November 25, 1912. Duniway was not present for her honorary position.

The Oregonian used a dramatic and class-related image to describe the first all-female jury. "Ten gloved hands were raised" as the jurors swore to tell the truth in voir dire and as they were empaneled. And the drama continued: "It was just the same old sordid story, so threadbare to male jurors, but throbbing with novelty and interest to the new arbiters."

Excerpt from "Unable to Agree, Woman Jury Quits," Oregonian, December 5, 1912, 12.

No comments:

Post a Comment