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Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 6, 1912: Octogenarians for Suffrage

On April 6, Esther Pohl and her colleagues from the Portland Woman's Club Campaign Committee linked "Old Oregon" with the new directions in the suffrage campaign by inviting six men and women over 80 to attend one of the suffrage forums held at the Olds, Wortman & King auditorium.
"Laws Held Unfair: Pioneer Men and Women Discuss Equal Suffrage," Oregonian, April 7, 1912, 15.

The six included Francois X. Matthieu (Pohl and colleagues had visited him on his birthday on April 2 and received an endorsement for woman suffrage), Mary A. Thompson, Levi Myers, Harriett B. Lowry, Mrs. M.A. Warner and Sarah Leo, as reported by the Oregonian.

Mary Thompson spoke of her long life of activism and that, as a taypayer for fifty years she had experienced taxation without representation. Levi Myers "related his experiences in the equal suffrage movement during the past 65 years and predicted a victory in Oregon."

Esther Pohl represented Francois X. Matthieu, "whose diffidence and age prevented his speaking." She "referred to Mr. Matthieu's part in the convention which saved Oregon to the United States and facetiously declared that he had come to the meeting to save Oregon a second time.

"She recalled Mr. Matthieu's reply of a few days ago when he was asked what he thought of equal suffrage--'What would a bacherlor's house look like.' Whieh, she believed, expressed the need of woman's efforts in public affairs."