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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.