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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thanks Everyone for a Successul Suffrage Event at the Oregon Encyclopedia History Night

A one-day digression from our theme of Oregon women physicians (while remembering that women doctors like Esther Pohl Lovejoy were part of the foundation of the movement in the state) to say thank you to the Oregon Encyclopedia Project, McMenamin's and Century of Action: Oregon Women Vote 1912-2010 for a great night of votes for women history and commemoration at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse last night. Special thanks to Amy Platt, Tim Hills, Jan Dilg and Eliza Canty-Jones and to all those who made the trip to join us. And Michael and Dale, warmest thanks for your good wishes!

Time was short for my presentation so I want to post here something stated last night that needs elaboration.

The suffrage victory in 1912 did not bring the vote to all Oregon women. After 1888 Native American women who married U.S. citizens in state-sanctioned ceremonies became U.S. citizens. Specific provisions of the Dawes Act of 1887 provided for U.S. citizenship for tribal members who took part in the allotment system. But it was not until 1924 with the federal Indian Citizenship Act that all Native American women and men in Oregon could vote. Federal law, in force until 1952, also barred first generation Asian immigrant women and men from naturalized citizenship and voting. And a federal statute passed in 1907 and in force through 1922 provided that a woman who was a U.S. citizen lost that status and its privileges, including the vote, if she married “a foreigner.” The law required her to take the nationality of her husband.

Return tomorrow for more on Oregon women physicians and how they compare with their colleagues in other Western states.