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Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 7, 1912 Anna Howard Shaw to Esther Pohl -- "Depend Upon Me for Two Hundred Dollars a Month . . . "

Esther Pohl and her colleagues in the Portland Woman's Club Suffrage Campaign Committee organized in January 1912 and began their suffrage work by sending resolutions to clubwomen across the state. Esther Pohl sent the news and a draft copy of the resolutions to her friend and suffrage colleague Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

On February 7, 1912, Anna Shaw responded to Pohl, delighted with the "good news of the organization of the club women and the promise that you are Mrs. Evans would take a personal oversight of the work of the committee." She confirmed that the group "might depend upon me for the two hundred dollars a month for campaign work through your committee" These were welcome funds and support indeed. Shaw, an experienced organizer, continued: "I hope you started your headquarters at once and began to reach out to the distant communities with literature."

Anna Howard Shaw to Esther Pohl, February 7, 1912, 1. Amy Khedouri Materials.   

Following more specific instructions about suffrage literature, Shaw wrote of concerns about conflicts with Abigail Scott Duniway since the failed 1906 campaign. Then, she concluded: "Please remember me to Mrs. Evans and tell her how glad I am that she is willing to give time to the work and how I hope you will all be able to rejoice with an exclusively free Pacific Coast" (where all women would be enfranchised).

Pohl was a physician with an active medical practice and Evans was the Market Inspector for the city of Portland. Both would combine their suffrage activism with full-time employment in 1912.

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