Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oregon County-by-County Totals for Woman Suffrage Ballot Measure November 1912

Here are the county-by-county totals for the November 1912 ballot measure on the question of extending the right of suffrage to women from the Oregon State Archives in chart and map forms.

1912 (Measures) Abstract of Votes, Cast at General Election held in the State of Oregon on the fifth Day of November, 1912, on all measures "Referred to the People by the Legislative Assembly," "Referendum Ordered by Petition of the People," and "Proposed by Initiative Petition."  Compiled by Ben W. Olcott, Secretary of Sate, From the Official Canvass Made November 29, 1912. Bound between Oregon Blue Book 1911 and Oregon Blue Book 1913-1914 in Oregon Blue Book, 1907-1914, Oregon State Archives

“Equal suffrage amendment, extending the right of suffrage to women."
County                       Total Ballots Cast    300 Yes           301 No
Baker                           3,993                           1,577               1,519
Benton                         2,758                           1,161               1,180
Clackamas                   6,852                           2,724               2,932
Clatsop                       2,864                           1,277               1,048
Columbia                     2,213                              810                  814
Coos                            3,972                           1,846               1,255
Crook                          2,933                           1,062                  973
Curry                             661                              343                  195
Douglas                       5,081                           2,285               1,887
Gilliam                           898                              327                  392
Grant                           1,490                              545                  451
Harney                        1,361                              554                  491
Hood River                 1,715                              766                  617
Jackson                       5,514                           2,794               1,875
Josephine                    2,361                           1,193                  782
Klamath                      2,147                              919                  688
Lake                            1,123                              385                  393
Lane                            7,783                           3,508               2,424
Lincoln                        1,380                              507                  558
Linn                             5,640                           2,224               2,547
Malheur                      1,942                              775                  690
Marion                        8,273                           3,151               3,885
Morrow                      1,159                              459                  398
Multnomah                41,421                        19,288              17,701
Polk                             3,416                           1,242               1,724
Sherman                         740                              297                  280
Tillamook                    1,567                              559                  516
Umatilla                      4,659                           2,067               1,728
Union                          3,452                           1,236               1,190
Wallowa                      1,930                              802                  847
Wasco                         2,725                              984               1,239
Washington                 5,014                           1,541               2,010
Wheeler                          737                              275                  256
Yamhill                        4,339                           1,782               1,619
Totals                      144,118                          61,265            57,104

Note: Present Jefferson County created from portion of Crook County in 1914; present Deschutes County created from portion of Crook County 1916.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Equal Suffrage Victory and Suffrage Leaders Grateful

We are used to having election results the evening of Election Day. In 1912 it took three days for officials to be comfortable enough to call the election. 

On Election Day reporters from the Oregon Journal interviewed Esther Lovejoy about the prospects for victory. On November 8, with the suffrage victory assured, they interviewed her again, along with other women and men on both sides of the question.

"The Significance of Equal Suffrage," Oregon Journal, November 8, 1912, 15.

Lovejoy linked the Oregon victory to those in Kansas and Arizona (early returns suggested suffrage had passed in Michigan, but it did not pass that year), noting that 1912 was "a wonderful election for the emancipation of women."

She also compared the 1912 victory to the recent campaign of 1910, campaigns in which she and other suffragists had not been active because Abigail Scott Duniway had pushed for a tax-payer suffrage measure that privileged property owning women. Also there were thousands of workers compared to hundreds in the 1908 and 1910 campaigns. She reiterated that Oregon men had acted to support full suffrage for women as a Pacific Coast measure to complete the region's equal suffrage scope.

Lovejoy also responded to the anti-suffrage argument that women would not use the vote. "I have no doubt but what the women will vote," she noted, "of course there will be an occasional one who will not just as there are men who do not." She believed that non voters should be disenfranchised because she was "a firm believer in doing one's duty at the polls."

Lovejoy and Everybody's Equal Suffrage League had come together with other organizations, including the Colored Women's Equal Suffrage League, the Men's League and the Stenographers' Equal Suffrage Club in the Oregon State Central Campaign Committee. This did not represent all of the 23 groups in Portland, but it did represent significant coalition building and African American women's participation indicates an important, if still limited, crossing of racial boundaries in the campaign. The organizations joined in signing a letter to the editor of the Oregon Journal extending "cordial appreciation to the many editors throughout the state who have so materially assisted in the recent campaign by their generous support of the equal suffrage amendment.

"Suffrage Leaders Grateful," Oregon Journal, November 9, 1912, 4.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"If we do fail . . . we will start tomorrow to win two years hence": Esther Pohl Lovejoy, November 5, 1912

The Oregon Journal interviewed suffrage supporters and opponents on Election Day, November 5, 1912. Esther Lovejoy emphasized what she termed elsewhere "Oregon's local grievance": the state was surrounded by other states in which women could vote.

"I am certain that we will win," she told the Journal,"for I feel that the men of Oregon realize as never before the humiliating position the women of our state are placed in by being hemmed in on all sides by states who allow their women to vote." She was optimistic for a victory, even in Multnomah County, whose male voters had not supported suffrage strongly in years past. 

But Lovejoy was clear: if the measure did not pass, "we will start tomorrow to win two years hence."

"Will the 23,000 Majority Against Women Stand Pat," Oregon Journal, November 5, 1912, 12.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Everybody's Equal Suffrage League Front Page News

When prominent New York suffragist Alva Belmont sent in her quarter to join Everybody's Equal Suffrage League in the last week of October 1912 it made front page news in the Oregonian

"Mrs. Belmont Sends Coin," Oregonian, October 28, 1912, 1.
According to the report, Everybody's League, headed by Esther Pohl Lovejoy, had reached a membership of 600. And the story highlighted the grassroots nature of the organization. Belmont, the reporter noted, had sent in her dues of 25 cents "and thereby becomes a vice-president, for there is no other office and no rank and file." With her membership, Belmont greetings "wishing for the success of the cause in Oregon, and rejoicing that the prospects were bright."

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Free From All Cliques and Class Distinctions and Open to All": Esther Lovejoy and Everybody's Equal Suffrage League, October 23, 1912

Esther Lovejoy's Everybody's Equal Suffrage League was gaining ground by the time the Oregonian  reported on the organization on October 23, 1912. Esther Lovejoy noted that the League was formed to be an inclusive, grassroots organization whose members "scorn any rules and regulations" so that the group would be "free from all cliques and class distinctions and open to all."

"Novel League Forms," Oregonian, October 23, 1912, 20.

 One reason she formed the league, Lovejoy said, was because subscription fees for suffrage organizations were out of the reach of wage-earning women. "There are working women to whom a dime is as much as they can afford." The lifetime dues of 25 cents were within reach, and everyone automatically became a vice president.

This article also lets us know that Lovejoy and Everybody's League members were a part of the mass campaigning tactics that brought the suffrage movement into popular culture. "The idea of sending slides on suffrage to theaters and picture shows originated with this league," the Oregonian noted, whose members got the slides and alrea[d]y have made arrangements whereby some theaters will show their films."

The Oregonian published one of these theater advertisements on October 21, 1912, 10, showing a lone Oregon man surrounded by suffrage states, symbolized by happy couples.

The article on Everybody's League also emphasized that the group was thinking of the future. If the equal suffrage ballot measure passed that November 5, "the league would change to an Everybody's Civic League with the object of studying politics and civil government, so as to make its members efficient and able to vote intelligently." If suffrage did not pass "the league will be organized permanently and will continue until the fight is won, after which it will then be formed into the civic league."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Esther and George Lovejoy and the Suffrage Flying Squadron in the Last Weeks of October 1912

The 1912 votes for women campaign in Oregon was effective because of coalition building with a variety of grass roots associations such as Esther Lovejoy's Everybody's Equal Suffrage League. And it was also effective because of the use of mass advertising and campaign techniques -- such as the Suffrage Lunch Wagon for the Portland Rose Parade week with which Esther Pohl was associated.

Esther Lovejoy participated in another series of events that utilized mass campaigning techniques in the last weeks of October 1912: suffrage flying squadrons.

"Women Workers on Tour: 'Flying Squadron' of Suffragists Cover Country With Literature,"
, October 20, 1912, 13.

Participants in these suffrage flying squadrons blanketed "signboards, crossroads stores and private mail boxes along the rural routes" with suffrage materials in communities around Portland. And this Oregonian article provides us with the information that Esther Lovejoy and her new husband, suffrage supporter George A. Lovejoy, participated together as squadron members.

According to the article, they squadron covered "a circle of 70 miles outside of Portland through Milwaukie and Estabada. Signs were tacked in convenient places and a veritable storm of literature was precipitated upon the people in the district through which the party passed." And the group planned for more trips "until all the outlying territory directly tributary to Portland has been covered."

Other suffrage groups used the flying squadron tactic to educate the public about suffrage through the achievement of the federal suffrage amendment in 1920.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 15, 1912: Anna Shaw and Everybody's Equal Suffrage League

Anna Shaw wrote to Esther Lovejoy on October 15, 1912 from Kansas City, Missouri, on her return from her western states suffrage tour. The letter gives us more information about Everybody's Equal Suffrage League, formed by Lovejoy in September and announced at a dinner honoring Shaw in Portland on September 30. The letter is part of the Amy Khedouri materials.

On stationery from the Santa Fe Eating House and Dining Car System, Shaw concluded: "Well, dear Doctor, do come to Phil[adelphia]. May our Everybody's League grow. I am glad I was the first member to join at the dinner. . . . Remember me to Mrs. Evans and all friends. Affectionately, Anna H. Shaw."


Sunday, September 30, 2012

October 1912: Esther Lovejoy and Everybody's Equal Suffrage League

National American Woman Suffrage president Anna Howard Shaw's visit to Portland as part of an Oregon and Western U.S. tour was a vital part of the fall 1912 campaign. And Esther Pohl Lovejoy used the event to launch a new suffrage organization, Everybody's Equal Suffrage League. Press coverage in October 1912 lets us know how and why the new organization had such appeal.

Here's one early example. On October 11, 1912, the Oregonian, in a long article chronicling the various suffrage activities around the state, posted this about the group:

Section of "Suffrage Rally Dates are Fixed," Oregonian, October 11, 1912, 3.

The paper used a familiar negative stereotype about the difficulty women had in keeping a secret, but revealed that Lovejoy kept the new group under wraps until she could announce it, with maximum publicity power, during Anna Shaw's visit.

There were many suffrage organizations with many officers and hierarchies, and Lovejoy hoped that Everybody's would emphasize the grass-roots nature and non-hierarchical characteristics of the work for suffrage in which she believed. One "subscriber" noted that "for the expenditure of 25 cents you have the inestimable advantage of knowing that you are vice-president of at least one organization. You can forget that everybody else is also a vice-president who has put up a modest two bits. Dr. Pohl Lovejoy is the only president, for the idea began with her."

It appears that in some suffrage groups it was difficult to have one's voice and opinions heard. Everybody's members were opposed to that. "The members do not stand on ceremony nor do they believe in parliamentary law or etiquette. A meeting is held whenever two or more meet, and any one may talk or all may talk, provided they want to."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 30, 1912: Esther Pohl Lovejoy Forms Everybody's Equal Suffrage League

A paragraph in a larger story about NAWSA president Anna Howard Shaw's visit to Portland at the end of September 1912 contains the first news of an important new suffrage organization in the city, Everybody's Equal Suffrage League. 

"Another Fine Tribute Paid Suffragist: Hundreds Hear Woman Leader's Address," Oregon Journal, September 30, 1912, 5.

Lovejoy used the publicity-generating visit of Shaw to launch the new suffrage organization and Everybody's really took off in the weeks before the November 5 election. I'll be blogging with more posts about the grassroots goals and publicity about the group in October. This first newspaper account gives an important clue -- subscriptions were only 25 cents. More in the weeks to come about why Everybody's Equal Suffrage League became so successful.

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 27 - 30 1912: NAWSA President Anna Howard Shaw Visits Portland and Suffrage Colleague Esther Pohl Lovejoy

One of the major events in Esther Pohl Lovejoy's 1912 suffrage year was her successful facilitation of the Oregon tour of National American Woman Suffrage Association president Anna Howard Shaw. Shaw and Pohl had become suffrage colleagues in Oregon's 1906 votes for women campaign and Shaw was supporting Pohl Lovejoy, Sarah Evans and others in the Portland Woman's Club Suffrage Campaign Committee with a $200 a month donation to the Oregon cause. Shaw was also battling the negative views of Abigail Scott Duniway.

Shaw arrived in Pendleton in time for the Round-up and then came to Portland for a series of speaking engagments, luncheons, and strategy meetings through September 30, when she toured the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon.

The Oregonian published this photo of suffragists greeting Shaw at the Union Depot in Portland on September 28, 2012. Esther Pohl Lovejoy is front and center. The caption gives some of the names of the women with her. We'll live with this grainy photo from the paper, but if you know of a copy of this image in better condition please let me know!

"Snapshot of Suffragists Greeting Dr. Anna Shaw on Arrival at Union Depot," Oregonian, September 29, 1912, 16.
Caption: "Starting with Third From the Left the Names of the Committee and Visitors Are: [Elizabeth] Mrs. F. Eggert, Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, Mrs. Sarah A. Evans, Dr. Esther C. Pohl Lovejoy, Mrs. [sic] Lucy Anthony, Niece of the Late Susan B. Anthony, Who Accompanies Miss Shaw; La Reine Helen Baker. On the Extreme Right of the Picture is Dr. Mary Thompson, 87 Years "Young," as She Says, Who Waited for Two Hours for the Arrival of the Distinguished Visitor."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Part II of Esther Pohl Lovejoy's Speech to the Milwaukie, Oregon Grange

Here are two final, extended excerpts from Esther Lovejoy's suffrage speech on August 17, 1912. 

The first highlights Lovejoy's belief that the vote would empower women to enact legislation and policies for healthy communities:

"Women are members – mighty important members of society. They pay taxes and are amenable to the laws of the land but they have no vote regarding the dispensation of those taxes or regarding the laws under which they live. If a woman fails to pay her taxes – which are mighty high at times because of a wasteful, inefficient administration – if she fails to pay for her street improvement – which may have been put in because some powerful asphalt company needed a job, or to subsidize some suburban real estate enterprise – the government will see her home over her head to satisfy that lien against it. If a woman commits a crime against the commonwealth is she not punished? If she is compelled to drink infected water because the city in which she lives empties is sewage into the river at one point and takes its drinking water out of it at another is she not just as apt to die from Typhoid as the man who approves of the system? If she is too poor to pay the water rate fixed by the city government the water is promptly turned off though she may have a half dozen thirsty children waiting at the faucet. Now since women pay taxes and are obliged to abide by the laws of the land why should they not have a voice in dispensing those taxes and making those laws?"

The second represents Lovejoy's frustration with opponents of suffrage who, she felt, framed the entire suffrage question as a danger to women's role as mothers. 
"And now we come to the mooted question of Woman’s Sphere. It is delightfully entertaining to listen to a gentleman anti-suffragist – especially if he happens to be a Doctor of Divinity – rhapsodize upon Woman’s Sphere. The woman that he conjures up is a poetic creation of the imagination. How she does rock the cradle! It’s a wonder her baby doesn’t die of sea-sickness! She never washes dishes or peals [sic] potatoes, or feeds the chickens, or goes to market or engages in any gross and material occupation. She just rocks the cradle from morning until night! That is her strong suit. It is her one manifestation of life! She is a woman of one instinct – one idea – one possibility – and it is easy to believe any Right Reverend Doctor of Divinity who predicts that such a creature will forsake that over-worked cradle on the first opportunity and rush to the polls with a ballot in her hand and vote and vote and vote and do nothing else for the rest of her life but vote.

"But the normal woman in her natural sphere – the home – who lets her baby sleep while she does her house-work will find time on election day to vote for the things that will influence the welfare of that home and that baby. A pure water and food supply if she lives in the city."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 17, 1912: Esther Pohl Lovejoy's Speech to the Milwaukie, Oregon Grange

On August 17, 1912 Esther Pohl Lovejoy gave a suffrage speech to the members of the Milwaukie, Oregon Grange and other suffrage supporters. The Grange represented farmers and included women as voting members within the organization. Lovejoy's speech tells us much about the nature of the suffrage movement in Oregon by August, 1912 and also something of Lovejoy's suffrage philosophy.

"Suffragists Meet at Milwaukie Saturday," Portland Evening Telegram, August 13, 1912, 10.

The gathering provides evidence of the networking and coalition building that were key factors in the suffrage victory for 1912. The Portland Evening Telegram reported four days in advance of the meeting that the "regular meeting of the Grange will be given over to a suffrage programme." Local suffragists Frances and Florence Dayton were "working with the [Portland] Women's Club Campaign Committee and other local organizations," and all were "endeavoring to make this one of hte most enthusiastic gatherings of the campaign for 'Votes for Women.'" Workers made this a very public occasion and event, and a "committee of young girl suffragists will be waiting to welcome all comers and conduct them to the Grange Hall."

A typescript of the speech is part of the Amy Khedouri materials and I'll share excerpts here and in the next few posts. 

Lovejoy was a seasoned speaker and so she began with compliments to her audience that also underscored the importance of women's equality:

“Mr. Chairman, Men and Women of the Oregon Grange – Women are members of this organization, are they not? They pay their dues, they have a vote regarding the dispensation of those dues, and regarding the constitution and by-laws and in all matters pertaining to this grange. Then why is it necessary for me or any body else to talk to this organization upon the subject of Woman Suffrage? Women enjoy all rights and responsibilities in this grange – perhaps that it why it is such a well balanced and flourishing organization.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 30, 1912: "Suffragists Get Married" -- Esther Pohl Marries George A. Lovejoy

In the midst of the 1912 suffrage campaign and without the knowledge of their friends, Esther Pohl and George Lovejoy went to Victoria, British Columbia to get married. Esther Pohl's first husband Emil Pohl had died in May 1911. George A. Lovejoy was a business and community leader who was also a woman suffrage supporter.

The two, the Oregonian noted, "will henceforth work for the suffrage cause in double harness."

"Suffragists Get Married," Oregonian, August 9, 1912, 16.

Their marriage lasted for eight years but did not weather the storms of the First World War, differences in outlook, and political rivalries. But for the rest of the 1912 campaign it appears that the two did work in "double harness" for victory.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 25, 1912: Dr. Esther Pohl gives a suffrage presciption to the members of the Portland Transportation Club

Esther Pohl was a very effective public speaker. By all accounts she used humor, strong preparation of material and evidence, and a confident delivery to put her points across. The Portland Evening Telegram for July 25, 1912, provides evidence of her skill in a report on her speech to members of the Portland Transportation Club at a luncheon at the Hotel Imperial.

"Asks Transportation Club to Aid Suffrage," Portland Evening Telegram, July 25, 1912, 8. 

Pohl worked her audience even before she began to speak. "Unique invitations in the form of a prescription signed by Dr. Pohl warned them that they would be expected to take a 'dose' of 'Woman's Scope and Responsibility' on this occasion, and the members came in a willing mood, having been assured that the dose would be of homeopathic dimensions" -- a small one, in other words.

She touched on the staples of her suffrage philosophy in her speech. Votes for women was equitable and just, she noted, quoting Abraham Lincoln to emphasize that women bore the burdens of the state and should share in its privileges. Wage earning women needed the vote, because corporate, male interests had driven the "industries of the home" into the factory. She recounted the accomplishments of notable women, including Eve, "who gave us our right to knowledge and our right to travel. If it had not been for her we should still be sitting in the Garden of Eden at a perennial picnic," and Sacajawea, "path-finder of the Northwest."

And she focused on an enlarged vision of the home and women's responsibilities therein: "nowadays the home touched every phase of life from the garbage collection up and that the changed conditions demand" that woman should vote to "meet her responsibilities to her home and children."

The Telegram reporter noted that Pohl held the attention of the audience, brought laughter, and was eloquent in her points. She closed with a plea "that the members as sovereign men of Oregon prove their trust in Oregon womanhood by granting them equal rights with the men next November."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July 1912: Suffrage Organizing and the Professional Woman's League

Esther Pohl and her colleagues, part of a second generation of votes for women activists, participated in broad coalition building and organizing to achieve victory in the 1912 campaign. Suffrage organizations appear to have engendered other leagues and associations, including a Portland Professional Woman's League.

The Oregonian reported in June 1912 that the new club had its first organizing meeting at the home of Portland librarian Mary Frances Isom. "The club is strictly non-political and has for its object the creation of good fellowship between professional women and ultimately the establishment of a downtown club." Members "represent many different professions, including medicine, music, journalism, library and craft work." Members elected Mary Frances Isom to be the group's president. Esther Pohl was there and her colleagues asked her to be a member of the committee working to create the league's constitution. ("Professional Woman's League," Oregonian, June 2, 1912, 3:3)

Whether by design or by serendipity, July brought Pohl and league members together with another kind of constitution. The Portland Spectator reported that the Professional Woman's League "gave a delightful launching party on the 'Constitution,' which steamed up the Willamette River at 5 c'clock Wednesday evening."

"News for Clubwomen -- The Professional Woman's League," Portland Spectator, July 20, 1912, 14.
The establishment of the Portland Professional Woman's League in the midst of the 1912 suffrage campaign suggests that activists were thinking about ways that they could build women's rights beyond the vote, including in their professions. Perhaps the successful proliferation of suffrage leagues and societies became a model for other organization building. And this report reminds us that even though Esther Pohl was hard at work advocating for votes for women and building her medical practice, she still took the time to socialize and to celebrate friendship and good fortune with a launching party and voyage on the Willamette in the summer of 1912.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Esther Pohl in 1912: Women Physicians and Suffrage

Esther Pohl was one of many women doctors in Portland active in the suffrage cause. Much of her suffrage rhetoric and organizing involved using the vote to achieve public health; her experiences in medical school, being denied an internship, and her struggle to gain a place in the male medical establishment all contributed to her support for votes for women. 

The Portland City Directory for 1912 lists 449 physicians, 38 (eight percent) were women. Many were suffrage activists. Here's the list:
Bixby (Griff)
Alys A
6 Lafayette Bldg

761 Broadway
Flora A
517 Dekum Bldg
Mae H

601 Dekum Bldg
606 Marquam Bldg

412 Swetland Bldg
800 Union Ave N
230 ½ Russell
Marie D

326 Medical Bldg
845 Thompson
C Gertrude

525 Medical Bldg
Luzana E

E 13 Holbrook Block St. Johns
Kittie P

417 Medical Bldg
L Victoria

475 W Park

315 Mohawk Bldg
427 Mohawk Bldg
861 Mississippi Bldg
Eugenia G

583 Spokane Ave
Jessie M

511 Medical Bldg

525 Medical Bldg
Mary V

503 Oregonian Bldg
517 Medical Bldg
917 Corbett Bldg
788 E Yamhill

10 E 15th
Elsie D

300 Marquam Bldg
216 Failing Bldg
Margaret N

412 Swetland Bldg
424 Williams Ave
Ravena T

645 E 21st

211 23rd N
1384 Rodney Ave
Van Alstine
512 Marquam Bldg
301 Dekum Bldg
Emma J

321 Montgomery

216 Failing Bldg
Nina E

18  Selling-Hirsch Bldg

520 Medical Bldg