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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."