Women's Suffrage Handbill

The Oregon chapter of the College Equal Suffrage League produced this handbill as part of a successful 1912 state campaign to give women the right to vote.

Newspaper editor, Oregon pioneer, and suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway began working for women’s rights in the 1870s, when she launched her Portland-based newspaper, the New Northwest. Between 1887 and 1912, Oregon women fought for six suffrage campaigns. Duniway and other suffragists put a state constitutional amendment for women’s suffrage before Oregon’s male voters five times. The amendment failed in 1884, 1900, 1906, and 1908 before passing in 1912.

One of the leaders of the 1912 campaign was Sara Bard Field, who traveled the state promoting women’s suffrage. Field, a poet and a pacifist, went on to work for the national suffrage movement. In 1919, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote nationally.

Further Reading:
Kessler, Lauren. “The Ideas of Woman Suffrage and the Mainstream Press.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 84, 1983: 257-76.

Kessler, Lauren. “A Siege of the Citadels: Search for a Public Forum for the Ideas of Oregon Woman Suffrage.” Oregon Historical Quarterly 84, 1983: 117-49.

Written by Kathy Tucker, © Oregon Historical Society, 2002.

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This entry was last updated on Sept. 18, 2019