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Thursday, March 29, 2012

March 31, 1912: Portland Woman's Club Campaign Committee Tallies Successes with a $275 Price Tag for March

Sarah Evans, in her weekly Women's Clubs column in the Oregon Journal for March 31, 1912, presented a proud report on the successes of the Portland Woman's Club Suffrage Campaign Committee, a committee on which Evans served with Esther Pohl, Grace Watt Ross, and Elizabeth Eggert.

Sarah A. Evans, "Women's Clubs," Oregon Journal, March 31, 1912 5:5 
Evans's pride in the work is evident from the first sentence: "That the Woman's club campaign committee exists for work and not to be ornamental," she wrote, "may be seen from the following extract taken from the committee's last report to the club."

The report provides detailed evidence that the committee was using the new campaign tactics of mass media and advertising.

Evans noted that the committee had "communicated with every newspaper in the state" to ask them to endorse the suffrage ballot measure in November and had included votes for women materials for them to publish. "A large number have answered, and wish few exceptions favorably." The committee had a news service bureau to supply the state's newspapers with regular updates and information.

The committee had purchased ten thousand votes for women buttons and additional pennants. They celebrated St. Patrick's Day with flair, including a green votes for women banner at headquarters. They supplied information for school debates and held public forums.

The committee had sent 1003 letters with suffrage literature enclosed and "mail is growing to huge proportions coming from all parts of the state."

All this for a monthly expenditure that March 1912 of approximately $275.