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Monday, February 27, 2012

February 29, 1912: Anna Howard Shaw to Esther Pohl-- "I feel Oregon to be the Surest Proposition Before Us To-day"

Esther Pohl must have been cheered to receive a letter from National American Woman Suffrage Association chair Anna Howard Shaw, written on February 29, 1912, stating that she felt the Oregon woman suffrage campaign was the "surest proposition before us to-day."

Anna Howard Shaw to Esther Pohl, February 29, 1912, Amy Khedouri Materials.

Shaw's letter is also a window into how professional women combined their work and their activism. Shaw had originally asked Pohl if she could chair the Suffrage Campaign Committee for the Portland Woman's Club but Pohl's work as a physician made it impossible for her to accept. Shaw and the NAWSA board then turned to Sarah Evans, who was the Market Inspector for Portland, a position funded through the board of health and unable to take on the chair. So they reached a solution. They would "secure Headquarters and a competent secretary" and then Evans, Pohl and "other interested women would give it general oversight."

Pohl and Evans had done just that, opening  headquarters at the Rothchild Building in Portland and hiring Nan Strandborg as secretary.

Shaw and the NAWSA board committed $200 dollars for the work, a sign that they did indeed see Oregon as the "surest proposition" for victory.

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