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The Woman Suffrage Campaign of 1912

Kansas Historical Quarterly, August 1943by Martha B. Caldwell

August 1943 (Vol. 12, No. 3), pages 300 to 326.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

THE woman suffrage campaign of 1911 and 1912 was one of the hard-fought campaigns in Kansas history. For over fifty years Kansas women had been striving for political equality and twice, in 1867 and 1894, equal suffrage amendments had been defeated at the polls. From the beginning of statehood the women of Kansas had exercised the privilege of voting at district school elections. [1] This small concession granted by the first legislature in 1861, largely through the efforts of Mrs. Clarina I. H. Nichols, [2] was in advance of any other state with the exception of Kentucky whose legislature had passed a limited school suffrage law in 1838, allowing widows with children of school age to vote for trustees of school districts. [3] The Kansas Equal Suffrage Association was formed in 1884, and the pressure from this organization became so strong in 1887 that the legislature offered a sop of municipal suffrage. Kansas was again the first state to make women legal voters at municipal elections. [4] The defeat of the suffrage amendment in 1894 produced sort of a paralysis among the suffragists and no attempt was made to go to the voters again for some time. The suffrage association, however, continued its work, held annual conventions, and in 1910, its president, Mrs. Catharine Hoffman, decided that the time was right to make another appeal to the legislature. On December 9, she called her officers together and outlined a plan of action. Headquarters were set up in one of the State Historical Society's rooms at the state house with Mrs. Lilla Day Monroe as superintendent. Mrs. W. A. Johnston, Mrs. W. R. Stubbs and Mrs. C. C. Goddard were appointed a legislative committee. [5] Governor Stubbs' friendliness toward the issue gave the women much encouragement.

On January 13 a resolution was introduced in the house providing for the submission to the people of an equal suffrage amendment to the constitution. The women worked valiantly for its passage, every legislator being asked by each member of the committee to vote for



it. At all dinners, receptions and teas given for the members' wives the subject of woman suffrage was kept to the front. Mrs. Lillian Mitchner, president of the state W. C. T. U. was an invaluable helper. The result was that the amendment resolution passed both houses by a large majority and was signed by Governor Stubbs on February 9. [6]

The suffrage issue was now to. be decided at the general election of 1912. The Kansas Equal Suffrage Association held its annual meeting in Representative hall at Topeka on May 16, 1911. It was of unusual importance for the women were for the third time entering upon a campaign to secure political privileges. A new constitution adapted to the needs of the campaign was adopted. Officers of the state organization and the district presidents were selected. [7] These together with the chairmen of the several committees became the board of management.

At the meeting of the board on July 10 the president submitted a plan for the complete organization of the state. The district presidents were to effect in each county an organization similar to that of the state, and the county officers were to keep in touch with every precinct in their county. By this means the board hoped to create an interest among the women and prepare for the final campaign. Organization, education and publicity became the watchwords. Doctor Corbin, as chairman of the membership committee, presented a plan for enrolling every woman either as a member of the suffrage association, a sympathizer, or opposed to the cause. Membership included a fee of fifty cents. The board agreed that public speakers for other associations or occasions might be requested to speak for suffrage but suffrage speakers must not put any other "creed, doctrine or ism" into their speeches. [8]

The department of education with Miss Effie Graham as chairman had a three-fold plan: The distribution of literature, the endorsement of suffrage by educational bodies, and essay contests in public


schools. The essay contest, which Miss Graham thought would provide an excellent chance to make converts of the parents, was to be one of elimination. The essays written by the children in the district schools were entered for county prizes; the county winners entered the district contests, and the winners in the districts competed for the state prize. [9] Debates between the schools were to be arranged also. Mrs. C. A. Hoffman, chairman of the press department, furnished suffrage articles to the many state papers, thus reaching the remotest parts of the state.

One of the first problems to be met was that of finance. Politicians had told the women that they would need at least $30,000 to conduct a campaign. The suffragists knew that they would never be able to raise that amount, having no favors or patronage to bestow, if successful, in return for financial aid. But with only $140 in the treasury they set resolutely to work to raise the money. As a beginning the members of the board pledged from $25 to $200 each. Throughout the campaign money kept coming in in driblets as local organizations held bazaars, food sales, ice cream festivals, suffrage teas, or some suffragist sold a bit of fancy work or made a gift of money. Russell county's equal suffrage association gave a dinner on one day of their chautauqua, clearing thirty-five dollars. They boasted that William Jennings Bryan ate with them. [10]

Many of the county-seat towns put on the play, "How the Vote Was Won." Minstrels and picture shows were also popular ways of raising funds. Some farm women donated hens or fries to the cause. Mrs. C. W. (Lizzie) Smith of Stockton wrote: "I have sold two dozen eggs, ten pounds of butter, one peck of crab apples, and engaged two pecks more. This goes to the suffrage fund." [11] Some women also did their own work and saved the servant hire. Self denial weeks and "tag days" were held.

One lucrative source instituted by Mrs. Pansy (C. Charles) Clark was the sale of balloons. These balloons were from two to two-and-a-half feet in circumference when blown up, of a bright orange color and lettered with "Votes for Women" or "Votes for Mother." They were sold on the streets, at picnics, fairs, parties and other gatherings. June 29, 1912, was set aside as "Balloon Day" and all profits from the sale of these balloons were given to state headquarters. Over $500 was raised in this way during the campaign. Mrs. Clark


received orders for balloons from Massachusetts and inquiries from all parts of the United States.

Financial aid also came from outside the state. Nebraska, Florida, Arkansas, California, Missouri, Kentucky and Pennsylvania all sent contributions. Chadron, Neb., sent a check for $16.85, the proceeds of a food sale for the Kansas campaign. [12] Emma DeVoe of Tacoma, Wash., sent cook books to be sold at one dollar each. The national suffrage association helped liberally, giving in all $2,200. The total amount received from May, 1911, to November, 1912, was a little less than $16,000, the greater part of which came from Kansas. [13]

The campaign was constantly hampered by lack of funds. The task of organizing 105 counties and educating 400,000 people could not have been carried on successfully but for the sacrificing work of many of the women, notably the president and secretary, who gave all their time without pay. Only the stenographers in the state headquarters received compensation. And with the exception of ten dollars a week to a few capable women to take care of their share in helping maintain the family, none of the workers received pay for their services. Prominent speakers and organizers from outside the state gave of their time. The traveling expenses of these workers were met in a majority of cases by collections taken at the meetings, and their entertainment was usually provided by resident suffragists. Soon after taking up her work Mrs. Johnston received a letter from a representative of an Eastern magazine asking for an account of the "spectacular propaganda" they expected to use in the campaign. She later wrote:

Looking over the situation I could not think of a single woman that I would dare ask to carry a banner down Kansas Avenue, the business street in our capitol city, or a woman who would speak on a street corner, and I answered that since John Brown, Jerry Simpson and Carrie Nation had gone to Heaven, and Mary Ellen Lease to New York, we were rather short on the spectacular and would probably have a very hum-drum campaign but that we were going to win without either spectacular or militant methods. [14]

The district presidents returned from the July board meeting and began the work of county organization. The need for organizers was immediately felt. Mrs. Grinstead, president of the "Big Seventh" with its thirty-two counties, wrote that it would be "humanly impossible" to visit every county. She thought that with


two helpers she might do one-third the district. [15] Later Mrs. Cora G. Lewis and others gave her the needed assistance. Dr. Helen Brewster Owens, a Kansas girl living in New York, offered to pay her way to Kansas and give eight weeks of her time to the work, providing her expenses in the state were paid. [16] She came in November and proved a most efficient organizer. The next year she returned and was paid by the national association. Mrs. Johnston spent much time in the field helping the untrained organizers with their first counties.

An extremely hot summer was followed by a severely cold, stormy winter. The women traveled over the state when the temperature ranged from 110 degrees in the shade to 20 degrees below zero. Their reports to headquarters gave interesting accounts of the difficulties and discouragements encountered. They found the press not too friendly at first, and complained that some of the papers grudgingly gave a little space on the last page, [17] or put the items in "small nooks and corners" where they were hard to find. [18] One paper was accused of double-dealing, of pretending friendship and administering "a blow at every opportunity." [19] Mrs. Grinstead wrote of her troubles in the seventh district:

I want you to know some of the embarrassments I am meeting. The editor of one of our papers ridiculed me . . . until I have had plenty of indignation to spare. I either had to take him over my checkered apron or challenge him to debate & I chose the latter-he hasn't answered yet.

In the spring I shall take my children to my mother, roll up my sleeves & go to work for the campaign. One old lady down here, dared to tell me the rest of them were not smart enough to make money out of the suffrage work like I am. I informed her otherwise. . . . [20]

Mrs. Hoffman reached home in October after an extended trip and informed Mrs. Johnston: "This is the first breath I have had since I returned home. I found the house so dirty and have had no help -so cleaned it entirely my self." [21] Another prominent suffragist in order to get in her home duties packed away forty pounds of sausage and a big pan of souse on Sunday. [22] Dr. Helen Brewster Owens went by freight from Greensburg to Liberal when she found that Rock Island No. 1 was nine hours late. The train crew discovered


that she wanted to make an engagement and succeeded in making up three-fourths of an hour putting the train into Liberal on time, for the first time in over a month. [23] And Mrs. Cora W. Bullard wrote of her direful experience in an attempt to organize Leavenworth county:

If you have not already heard, you are wondering about our meeting at Leavenworth on Dec. 20th, I know, but I have been too ill and worn and worried to get you a line before this. . . . I wish with all my heart that it might be my privilege to write you that the meeting at Leavenworth was a success and that a good strong county organization was effected at the meeting-even as I myself had so fondly hoped-but the meeting was not a success, generally speaking-every thing seemed to go wrong that day. In the first place the weather could hardly have been worse-a steady down pour of rain and sleet all afternoon and evening. The ladies insisted upon calling the meeting off at the last moment, but it was too late to stop Dr. Owen from coming, so I insisted upon a meeting. Every body was crazy-busy with Christmas work-telephone and telegraph messages got mixed, trains were late-no one wanted to assume the task of entertaining Dr. Owen at such a busy time,-Mrs. Goddard could not-her maids brother had just died-and so after many trips to station, and getting soaked and splashed and ruining some good clothes, I caught Dr. Owen on the 7-30 P. M. electric car at Lansing and Mrs. Codding very kindly entertained us there. We reached the Art League rooms at about eight forty five, and found a few faithful ones waiting-a little conference meeting was held, with no attempt at organization. I paid for telegraph messages also telephone, and gave Dr. Owen five dollars out of my own pocket . . . and came home next day with a very severe cold utterly worn out, only to find husband with a badly injured hand-cut while he had been directing some work in pruning apple trees the morning before.

By January 1, 1912, one third of the counties had been organized, the essay contest was under way in the schools, and state headquarters had been established in the Mills building in Topeka. But the task was a huge one and the workers were all of the opinion that it would take an enormous amount of work to win. Mrs. Ella W. Brown speaking for Sedgwick county said, "Suffrage is worse than luke-warm here." [25] Mrs. Matie Kimball, president of the fifth district, summed up the feeling in that district as a general sentiment for suffrage, "but stupendous apathy among the women." [26] And from the seventh district Mrs. Minnie Grinstead wrote: "The thing that surprises me is the lethargy of the `short grass' region on suffrage. We who are alert on every other question are so far be


hind on this." [27] Mrs. Lizzie Smith reporting on her work in the sixth district observed:

Mrs. Johnston, the apathy of the women is something frightful; Our task is something appalling to me, when I see the carelessness of the women. . . . We have many things to encourage us, but the work is prodigious. . . . I have never done any harder work than this organizing. It is something furious. . . . [28]

And Mrs. May Johnston was astonished at the indifference and opposition to suffrage in Wichita. "I find," she wrote, "politicians who have frivolous or intellectually inferior wives are not in favor of suffrage." [29]

The work of organizing the counties was rushed forward during the early months of 1912 in hope of completing it before opening the campaign for votes. Dr. Owens returned February 18 and began work immediately. In spite of storms and blockaded trains she had the counties of Wabaunsee, Morris, Marion and Chase organized by early March. One newly-elected county president facetiously described the meeting in her county as follows:

Helen Brewster Owens is a darling. . . . I promised to write you the results of her visit here. First the county is organized with a complete set of officers District & Co. The first . . . that she has left in that condition. I used the telephone for about 80 calls and am now a dead paralized defunct woman. . . . It rained, snowed & blizzarded but she had as good an audience at the Court House in eve as we would have expected had the weather been good. . . . She organized a club of 21 members.

The president elected is antiquated spavined & ringboned but she is broke to harness & will pull if you use the whip- It was a case of her or none & she came into dock in reasonably good shape. Please send any literature & all literature that we are entitled to [as] if you were missionaries & we blind heathen- We will see to collection of dues etc. as soon as the president is recussitated & prods up the other officers. For Heavens sake send what we need we don't know!! . . .

Remembering the mistake in the campaign of 1894, [30] the suffragists steered clear of political alliances and sought to keep the campaign on a non-partisan basis. However they attended political meetings and the speakers usually had polite notes passed to them asking that they speak a word for the suffrage amendment. Such a note was sent and supposedly received by Theodore Roosevelt when he spoke at Wichita in April, 1912. According to the president


of the Sedgwick county association, he never referred to woman suffrage and even "addressed his audience of which nearly 1/2 were women, Men & Women, the Men were first and foremost in everything." "He hasn't got the vision yet," she wrote, "that lifts him out of self and political aspiration so he can work for and comprehend the idea of `The Common Good.'" [31]

Suffragists were frequently given a place on the program at political meetings of both parties. While the women avoided affiliation with political parties, they did seek the endorsement of other organizations in the state. During the campaign all state organizations of women, comprising more than sixty thousand persons, endorsed the suffrage amendment. Such endorsements made an effective answer to the alibi that women did not want the ballot. The amendment was also endorsed by nearly every other organization in the state, including the Teachers Association, State Federation of Labor, State Grange, State Board of Agriculture, Conference of Churches, G. A. R., Editorial Association, State Temperance Union and many others. [32]

In April, 1912, a Men's League for Woman Suffrage was organized. In her appeal to the men to co-operate in woman's "struggle for political liberty," Mrs. Johnston advised that the interests of the sexes were inseparable; that women had ever stood by men in promoting a good cause; and that men had never failed to help other men in their struggles for liberty. She knew that there were thousands of Kansas men in sympathy with the cause but they were not organized. [33] In a letter to Thomas Hardy of Parsons she gave the following suggestions as to how men could help in the campaign:

There are people whom women cannot approach, and places where women do not congregate, and in these places you could be of valuable service, that is in barber shops, hotel lobbies, all kinds of shops, on the streets, and at public meetings for men. These are most excellent places where an opportunity could be seized to talk for "Votes for the Woman's Suffrage Amendment." Men will not come to suffrage meetings arranged by women, unless already interested, and we cannot well take our meetings into these places, and so we are depending largely upon our men friends and their chivalry to help us in this effort we are making to help American women. . . . [34]

In response to the appeal a men's state league was formed with Dr. E. S. Pettyjohn as president. The league had many influential members including ministers, teachers, professors, lawyers, business


men and politicians. The governor, chief justice of the supreme court and other state officers were members. The organization was important in giving prestige to the cause; members were invaluable advisers, and some were active workers. [35] A highlight at the beginning of the campaign was the visit of Miss Jane Addams of Hull-House, Chicago. Miss Addams wrote that she would arrive in Kansas in time for the state convention on May 7, and had to be back in Chicago by the 13th. [36] She wished to spend the last Sunday with her sister, Mrs. Haldeman of Girard. [37] All the larger towns began to clamor for her and the secretary had difficulty in arranging her itinerary. Dr. Anna Shaw wrote suggesting that they "do not spread Jane Addams out too thin," but to save her for a few important meetings, [38] and she herself asked not to be scheduled for more than two speeches a day. [39] She arrived in Kansas City on May 6. The Wyandotte county association had made extensive preparations for her coming. A parade of decorated cars escorted her to Armour's packing company where she addressed the workers. In the afternoon she spoke to a large crowd at the high school auditorium. Her visit is best described perhaps, by Dr. C. Charles Clark, husband of Pansy Clark, who wrote Mrs. Johnston:

I met her at the depot in your name. I am glad to report that to you, to the Associated Press and to Nan Williston and the untiring and resourceful work of Mrs. Clark is due the fact that this was a-howling success. We were hampered on all sides. I was personally insulted, but we calmly stuck-and when it was over our enemys of all sorts gave their praise without stint, they took to the brush with their tails dragging and ears flopping. It was wonderful. When Jane Addams was at the turn of the viaduct, Mrs. Clark bade her look back, and the gayly decorated automobiles were still coming. We had at least 200 people in cars. Nan Williston, Jane Addams and my Mrs. Clark cried, and Jane Addams took the girls hands and said-this is one of the greatest events of my life. . . . When they were all in the court at Armours, the last truck load of women drove up scattering flowers and singing America. The working men took off their hats and cheered, and everyone cried. . . . Mrs. Clark by personal request got Armours superintendent to have all the 1000 workingmen present, the supt. had a special platform builded, and when Mrs. Clark presented the great armful of American beauties, Miss Addams cried, and said she wouldn't have missed this for anything. The crowd was wild with enthusiasm. We are tired and happy. Victory is sweet and we are going to win next November. . . . [40]


From Kansas City Miss Addams went to Lawrence where she spoke in the Bowersock theater. The crowd was large and enthusiastic and the only regret Doctor Corbin had was that they "did not do more to make money" out of her visit. [41]

The state convention, held at Wichita on May 7-9, was the "biggest, most enthusiastic suffrage convention ever held in the state." [42] The state officers were unanimously re-elected; many campaign pledges were made, and the convention voted to again unite with the national organization. The district presidents and department chairmen gave encouraging reports. The principal speakers were Miss Jane Addams and the Rev. Olympia Brown Willis of Wisconsin who had campaigned for suffrage in Kansas in 1867. At least 1,400 people crowded into the Crawford theater to hear Miss Addams' plea for the recognition of women. At two street meetings she stood on the rear seat of an automobile and spoke in a street packed with men. An evening reception at the Masonic Temple closed the convention. [43] Miss Addams also addressed large crowds at Wellington, Winfield, Arkansas City, Pittsburg and Girard. The Rev. Olympia Brown Willis went from Wichita to Junction City to speak. The visits of these women greatly inspired the workers and made many votes for the cause.

In June the campaign began in earnest. The suffragists soon learned that they would have to go where the crowds were instead of waiting at a church or hall for the crowds to come to them. This they did by attending chautauquas, county fairs, old settlers' reunions, teachers' institutes and wherever there was a gathering. They also planned picnics, parades, concerts, rallies, etc. Chautauquas were favorite places for campaigning since they were held in many counties, lasted for a week or more, and drew unusually large crowds. The suffragists frequently maintained headquarters at these gatherings and their speakers were often given a place on the program. Lecturers usually responded gladly when asked to say a word for suffrage. Mrs. Johnston, however, recalled one exception:

I remember especially of one chautauqua assembly at Olathe where with others, among them the Governor's wife, I had made a suffrage talk in the main auditorium during the afternoon. A noted lecturer from the sunny southland was to speak in the evening. I was introduced to him a short time before he was to go on the platform and politely assured him that the women in his audience would appreciate it if he would say a word during the evening favorable to the suffrage amendment. I had heard much of southern chivalry


so was surprised that he continued to puff his cigar while he declared that the women of the south had no- desire to vote, and that southern men would not permit their women to mingle in the dirty pool of politics, that the women of the south preferred to remain within their sphere and upon the pedestal where the chivalry of southern gentlemen had placed them, and then forgetting, or perhaps he had never known, that Kansas women had been voting for fifty years, for taking a fresh pull at his cigar he proceeded to draw. a picture of all the deplorable things that would happen in the home while the women went to vote. Men and women, he told us, who had always lived together in love and harmony would quarrel and separate, and all women would lose respect in the eyes of men, they would have to pick up their own pocket handkerchiefs and hang on to the straps in the street cars, etc. etc. It was a horrible picture and I gave up protesting. However, as I thought of the clay feet forever dangling from a pedestal I resolved to keep my feet on the ground and take the chances about the handkerchief. [44]

The following excerpts from a mimeographed headquarters' bulletin was typical of the field work being done over the state during the summer:

I have been traveling for seven weeks in the Seventh District, have gone over 200 miles overland, made many speeches in towns and school houses, and I trust have many converts to my credit.-Mrs. Lillian Mitchner.

A suffrage parade and open air meeting at Holton, June 22nd was a great success. I have spoken nine times within five days in Jackson County, in all to 800 or 900 people. Now for Troy, Hiawatha, Sabetha, and Seneca.-Dr. Helen Brewster Owens. Mrs. Baldwin will speak for us on the Fourth. On July first we give a playlet in the airdome. This will be repeated in the surrounding towns in Johnson County. Merchants, grocers, and laundry men, one day in the week, put a suffrage leaflet into each package sent out. A suffragist stays in each store on that day to assist.-Mrs. Angeline Allison.

We left a rainbow flyer and Congressional speech in every mail box between Topeka and Lawrence. We decorated the car with balloons before we started and at every house' we tooted our horn and when the people came running out, we gave them literature-Mrs. C. Charles Clark, Rosedale, State Chairman of Finance.

House to House Canvass well under way in Riley County, 600 members. Enrolled 58 members after a talk to the Institute June 25th. . . . In two blocks canvassed only one opposed. Mrs. Matie Kimball, Pres. Fifth District.

Douglas County is wide awake. North Lawrence has practically completed the canvass. Very few are opposed. Miss Laurenia Shaw and her lieutenants are working among the teachers in the Institute. She is driving all over the county organizing the school districts. We expect soon to give the play "How the Vote Was Won"--Dr. Alberta Corbin.

Leaders and workers for every county were hard to secure and one woman described the situation in her community as follows:


I am sending you a report of our first meeting, that you may know that we are at work, and that you may see that I am wearing the "martyr's cap, dyed with my own blood," to quote Savonarola. I simply had to take hold, for there was no one else, and the woman who had promised to be Press lady was too lazy to do anything, and told me there was absolutely no work to the office, or she would not have taken it, and that she only took it to help out Mrs. B-.

Just what I will be able to do with it I cannot say, but it is a lead pipe cinch that I have not the same allusion about the office as the lady who preceded me. But send along a bunch of bulletins. I have absolutely nothing new, and Mrs. L- did not turn over any to me when she left town.

We have a problem here. Mr. 's editor-a nice little man with a sweet little wife-the pair of them think they invented matrimony-was very much of a suffragist until his sweet little wife took a decided stand against it, and now he is so overcome with her arguments that he won't see the other side. Mrs. B- and I are going to labor with him tomorrow. . . .

This neck of the woods surely looks like a big desert to us, if you will excuse the mixed metaphor, and we do not promise anything. I have been asked to talk before the County Institute this week, and will do my best, but so few people will do anything. We are all so busy. . . .

Literally tons of literature were distributed during the campaign. The national association and the California organization sent thousands of leaflets and other materials, and approximately five hundred dollars were expended with Topeka printers for leaflets and pamphlets. [45] This literature was given out at all gatherings, distributed at schools, placed on rural mail boxes or wherever it would reach a voter. A letter from the president in August urged the coworkers to do all the publicity work possible. In addition to using the newspapers, the suffragists were urged to watch the candidates. When they put up their plea for votes on telegraph poles, trees and fences, it was suggested that "Votes for Women" be pasted or tacked alongside. Eventually the whole state was to be placarded so that no farmer could ride to town without seeing the words many times. [46] Mrs. C. A. Hoffman, motoring to Colorado from Enterprise, "nailed literature to trees, left it in hotels, and on mail boxes, and talked suffrage all the way to the Colorado line." "Will return in two weeks," she wrote, "then I'm in the harness to the end." [47]

Much credit for the success of the campaign was due to suffrage workers from other states who generously answered the call for personal service. Miss Jane Addams, the Rev. Olympia Brown Willis and Dr. Helen Brewster Owens have been mentioned. Doctor Owens came to Kansas in November, 1911, and worked six weeks.


She returned the next February at the solicitation of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw who offered her a salary of one hundred dollars a month. She remained as field organizer until the last of July when overcome by heat, she went home for a month's rest. Returning the first of September, she worked unceasingly until the election. [48] Omar E. Garwood, a well known Denver lawyer and orator, donated ten days-from July 21 to 29-to Kansas. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, spent ten days in the state just before the election. Mrs. Maud Wood Park of Boston, Mass., sent out by the National College Equal Suffrage League, made a tour of the Kansas colleges. Miss Laura M. Clay, president of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association and a descendent of the great Cassius M. Clay, came to Kansas for a six-weeks' campaign beginning September 3. She not only gave six weeks of most strenuous service and paid her own expenses home, but on leaving donated one hundred dollars to the campaign fund. [49]

Other out-of-state workers were Mrs. Kate Chapin House of Peru, Neb., Mrs. Clara Bewick Colby of Portland, Ore., Dr. Julia Riddle of Wisconsin, Mrs. Edwin A. Knapp of Parkville, Mo., Miss Mary Graham Rice of Norwalk, Ohio, Mrs. C. C. Holly of Colorado, David R. Smith of Arizona, Mrs. Augusta Zehner of Dallas, Tex., and S. J. Brandenburg of Ohio. The favorable Catholic vote was due partly to, the work of Mrs. Mary E. Ringrose and her sister, Miss Catherine Fennessy of California, who came the last week of September and stayed until October 22. [50] The militant methods used by English suffragists were banned and no speakers who employed them were invited to the state.

The automobile was an effective means of reaching the farm communities and towns

and counties without railroad facilities. Special efforts were made to reach farmers for it was the farm vote that saved the day in the newly-enfranchised state of California. Workers were urged to make auto trips to every part of their county, school districts as well as towns; to take speakers, music, literature and suffrage banners, and to speak in the open air or wherever there was an opportunity. [51] Many such trips were made during the campaign, frequently through extreme heat and dust. Mrs. Minnie Grinstead made an auto tour through the then railroadless counties


of Stanton, Grant, Haskell, Morton and Stevens. Returning to Liberal on July 13 she informed headquarters:

Just "arrove" and have had a lunch. We have starved since we left Santa Fe. We were not entertained anywhere else. . . . My face is almost blistered, but I organized. It was a great trip and I have at all places tried to open the way for Miss Burtis. . . .

I hope you appreciate the fact that this is the hardest trip the cause will have 52

A number of counties organized automobile teams to go into the small towns to hold street meetings. [53] Mrs. H. P. Pomeroy of Phillipsburg planned an auto tour of fifteen decorated cars for every Saturday to the different towns in Phillips county. A double quartet and several young women readers furnished the entertain ment. [54] One automobile trip included a part of the same route covered by the Rev. Olympia Brown Willis and other suffrage workers in the campaign of 1867, when they often rode in "ox-teams or on Indian ponies," and spent the nights in "dugouts or sod houses." [55] A big parade of decorated cars carried Hutchinson suffragists to a barbecue at Nickerson. The women stayed up until midnight the night before decorating their automobiles, and got up at 5:30 the next morning. There were few of the 7,000 persons at the barbecue who were not given literature, and the suffragists reported finding little opposition. [56] Another party of fourteen and often more automobiles traveled over the old Santa Fe trail from Larned through seven counties. [57]

Two auto trips to cover the greater part of the state were planned for September. The first, to be initiated by Mrs. Clara Colby of Portland, Ore., was to start from Kansas City and was to include parts of the first, third and seventh districts and all of the second district. For various reasons this enterprise failed and Mrs. Colby went by train. The second was a success. [58] On September 4, Mrs. Lucy Johnston and Miss Laura Clay left Topeka in the Stubbs' car for Enterprise. [59] They addressed large crowds in nearly all the towns en route and held street meetings at Rossville, Wamego, Manhattan and Abilene. At Enterprise Mrs. Catharine Hoffman and Mrs. Matie Kimball, president of the fifth district joined them; the


Stubbs' car returned to Topeka, and in Mrs. Hoffman's car the four proceeded on their tour of the fifth district including ten counties. The local suffrage associations made preparations for them in each place, "and when the suffrage car came honking into sight way down the main street, it was followed by the majority of the voters of the village." [60] They spoke from their car, in schoolhouses, theaters, parks, tents, public halls, in private homes, on soap boxes and stumps. At Minneapolis they attended a circus and spoke under the tent. Never just sure of what kind of a reception they would receive, they usually approached a town with some "trepidation," but they always rode away "as gay and happy as a band of school girls." [61] "Everywhere we had bouquets; no where did we have cabbages," said Mrs. Johnston. The trip covered over 1,000 miles, included forty towns and reached 10,000 people. [62] At Stockton Mrs. Lizzie W. Smith, president of the sixth district, took charge of Miss Clay who continued her speaking tour, and the rest of the party returned home.

Miss Clay entered the "big seventh" district around October 1, and spoke at a street meeting in Harper. Mrs. Shriver sat with her during the speaking and Miss Neff secured Mrs. A. G. Washbon, wife of the leading attorney, to occupy the other seat. "No two women in town," wrote Miss Neff, "could have lent more prestige and both of the other ladies are larger than Miss Clay so it's no wonder the tire flattened during the speech." [63] From Harper Miss Clay went to Kiowa for a celebration on October 3. She then spoke at Wichita and Emporia and reached Topeka on October 6.

No group or class of people was overlooked. Mrs. Munson of the third district, who did much work among the miners, wrote:

You must visit the miners unions wherever they meet at the various camps. I have been to a number and one cannot go alone, as it is hardly safe to go about the camps alone at night. . . . It is easy to gain admission to any of the unions. I went to the carmen's union last evening. Received the most courteous treatment and hearty applause from all of them. More voters can be reached in this way than by any number of public meetings. Even the secret orders let us in. Don't ask permission in advance, as they would debate it and refuse. Just go and knock at the door as you would visit a neighbor and they will let you in. Sometimes we have to wait a little while, but never long. . . . [64]

Mrs. Ringrose worked among the Poles and in other foreign settlements in Kansas City. In general the foreign element was opposed


to equal suffrage. Special attention was given the colored people and in Lyon county they had their own organization, preferring to do their work "in their own way and under their own officers." [65]

The prize essay contest and suffrage debates conducted in hundreds of county schools interested both parents and students and made many votes for suffrage. Literature was supplied to all contestants who asked for it, and fully two thirds of the counties took part. The contest was open to both girls and boys but the girls were in the majority. One county winner was a thirteen-year-old boy whose mother was opposed to suffrage and whose father was a foreigner. The district contests closed October 12, and not long after the judges awarded the state prize of $25 to Marian McIntyre of Bucklin. Bertha Clark of Downs received second prize. [66]

The work increased in intensity as the campaign progressed. At state headquarters two secretaries and three stenographers and the president "broke all the minimum wage and maximum hour laws in trying to keep pace with the activities throughout the state." [67] Early in October the president appealed to the clergy of Kansas to reciprocate woman's helpfulness in the church by preaching a sermon October 13 on the subject, "Woman and Her Place in the World's Work." [68] Reports to headquarters showed that the ministers throughout the state responded liberally. Members of the men's league engaged actively in the work, giving several weeks to speaking tours. Among these were U. S. Guyer, John MacDonald and W. Y. Morgan. "The more I have worked, the more interested I become," wrote W. Y. Morgan. "In fact, I am not interested in anything but the amendment, and I will go any where I can do any good in the next few days." [69] The Good Government Club of Topeka, working independently of the Suffrage Association, conducted a campaign in Topeka and surrounding towns.

As the election drew near the workers met with encouraging signs. They had the feeling that people were interested by the way they were willing to wait for delayed speakers. For instance, Mrs. Lucia O. Case was forced to go by carriage to fill an engagement at Lenora when her automobile failed to start. She telephoned the chairman that she was coming as fast as "horse flesh could carry her," and the crowd waited until after nine o'clock for her arrival and then sat


on until after 10:30 listening to her speech. And again, when Mrs. Clara Colby's train was three hours late, she telephoned Kingman where she was to speak for someone to "hold the fort" until she arrived. Mrs. Dora Mitchell proceeded to do the talking until after ten o'clock, saying occasionally, "Mrs. Colby will soon be here." Mrs. Colby arrived and spoke until after eleven -o'clock and the greater part of the crowd remained. [70] Another favorable omen, noticed by Mrs. Yaggy, was that the politicians who had formerly opposed equal suffrage were beginning to explain why they did so. "Not because they were personally but on account of this and that and the other thing!" "In other words," she said, "I think they feel it is coming and want their past sins forgiven!" [71]

The foe that women dreaded most was the liquor interests, which, they had been warned, "would rather defeat suffrage in Kansas than in any other two states." 72 Early in the summer literature designed to arouse prejudices had been sent to Kansas with appeals to the newspapers to publish it, but without success. Later the women of Oregon sent word that a minister who had "united his efforts with the worst elements to defeat the suffrage amendment in two campaigns" in that state, was coming to Kansas. "The Men's League, the press and the ministers co-operated with the women and 'Clarence, the Untrue,' was effectively bound and gagged." [73] An attempt in the nature of a roorback was also made, that of circulating anti-suffrage literature containing false statements just before "the election and too late to be refuted. Suffrage in Ohio had been defeated by this method just a few months before. About ten days before the election samples of such literature fell into the hands of a Kansas City, Mo., man who loyally reported it to the president. The staff at headquarters remained all night at the office getting out letters to expose the plan. These were sent to all weekly papers for their last issues before the election, and an Associated Press letter in the dailies of November 3 and 4 made a sufficient defense. [74]

The crowning event of the campaign was the coming of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, during the ten days preceding the election. Doctor Shaw and Miss Lucy Anthony, niece of the noted suffragist, Susan B. Anthony, came into Kansas from a tour of Arizona. At Syracuse they were met by a large party of suffragists who welcomed them


in the name of the women of Kansas. Doctor Shaw's tour across the state was a continuous ovation. Everywhere she spoke to large audiences and thrilled them with her eloquence. Doctor Corbin was enthusiastic over her visit to Lawrence, writing to Mrs. Johnston: "At the morning service she stirred the soul of every man and woman present and made even the commonplace faces shine. Her two hours' lecture at the Bowersock in the afternoon was magnificent, and only Champ Clark has had so large an audience." [75] Doctor Shaw's visit was a fitting climax to the strenuous campaign.

The last issue of the headquarters' bulletin came out on October 28, with the heading: "KANSAS MUST NOT FAIL." It reported workers in every part of the state making a heroic effort to cover the field thoroughly. House to house canvasses were being made in doubtful districts. When election day came on November 5 hundreds of women worked at the polls all day, and sat up far into the night for the returns. They felt their efforts were sufficiently rewarded when the final count showed 175,246 votes for the amendment and 159,197 against. In Lawrence every ward carried with the exception of one in which there was a tie. The trouble in that ward, it was reported, was that an automobile of politicians went there on election day and frightened the colored vote into believing that if they voted for Wilson the "Jim Crow" law would be passed and if they voted for suffrage a "grandmother" law would be enforced. [76]

Congratulations poured into headquarters from everywhere. Those who had been in the heat of the battle were especially happy. Mrs. Edwin Knapp, of Parkville, Mo., wrote to Mrs. Johnston:

Now that I am actually ready to write to you, my pen falters and words fail me. In the face of the great truth that Kansas has won I am dumb-dumb with gratitude. I feel almost overwhelmed. . . . Such a song of rejoicing fills my heart. . . . I would love to be with you and dance the Highland fling with Mr. Johnston. [77]

Dr. Anna Shaw telegraphed: "First authentic returns from suffrage vote in Kansas victorious. The national welcomes the seventh star."

A jubilee convention, May 19-20, 1913, was held in the Baptist church at Lawrence in celebration of the victory. Men and women came from all parts of the state. As befitted such a convention, [78]


music, feasting and addresses filled the program. The name of the association was changed to the Good Citizenship League. [79]

In enumerating the elements that led to victory, Mrs. Johnston placed first the fact that Kansas had been a prohibition state for thirty-two years, and said:

In our state we have no legalized saloons or any kind of places where liquor is sold, and in this way the principal enemy which woman's suffrage has in this country, the liquor interests, was deprived of centers where they could congregate their forces. Of course, they did not give up on this account, but our people, both men and women, having had 32 years experience in keeping the brewers and distillers out of our state, knew how to meet them in this battle, and to circumvent their activities. . . . [80]

Other reasons for success were that Kansas women, had had school suffrage for fifty years and municipal suffrage for over twenty years. Thus the women of Kansas were already voters and had only asked for promotion.


1. General Laws of the State of Kansas, . . . 1861, Ch. LXXVI, Art. 111, Sec. 2, p. 261.
2. A brief biographical sketch of Clarina I. H. Nichols was published in the Kansas Historical Collections, v. XII, pp. 94, 95.
3. Nathan G. Goodman, "The Extension of the Franchise to Women," The Historical Outlook, Philadelphia, Pa., April, 1927, pp. 157, 158.
4. Ibid., p. 168.
5. Harper, Ida Husted, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage (1922), v. VI, pp. 195, 196. This chapter on Kansas, pp. 193-206, was prepared by Lucy B. (Mrs. William A.) Johnston.
6. Laws, Kansas, 1911, p. 597.
7. The officers were as follows: Mrs. W. A. Johnston, president; Mrs. W. R. Stubbs, first vice-president; Mrs. Cora W. Bullard, second vice-president; Miss Gertrude Reed, corresponding secretary; Miss Helen N. Eacker, recording secretary; Mrs. S. A. Thurston, treasurer, and Mrs. William A. White, auditor. The district presidents were consecutively: Mrs. Cora W. Bullard, Mrs. Genevieve H. Chalkley, Mrs. P. H. Albright, Miss L. C. Wooster, Mrs. Matie E. Kimball, Mrs. Anna C. Waite, Mrs. W. Y. Morgan and Mrs. Nannie Garrett. Later three district presidents resigned, and Mrs. Magdalen B. Munson was appointed to the third, Mrs. H. C. Wirick to the fourth and Mrs. Minnie J. Grinstead to the seventh. Mrs. Catharine A. Hoffman was made chairman of the press committee, Dr. Alberta Corbin, chairman of the membership extension, and Miss Effie Graham, chairman of education. A department of finance was created in 1912 with Mrs. Pansy (C. Charles) Clark as chairman. History of Woman Suffrage, v. VI, pp. 196, 197.
8. Minutes of the executive board, meeting of July 10, 11, 1911.-Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston Collection, Manuscripts division, Kansas State Historical Society. (Unless otherwise stated all letters, bulletins and reports used in this article are from the Johnston collection.)
9. Topeka Daily Capital, November 3, 1912.
10. "Echoes From Suffrage Headquarters," Topeka, August 19 [19121, p. 2.-Mimeo graphed bulletin.
11. Ibid.
12. Dr. Emma W. Demaree to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, October 7, 1912.
13. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston to Mrs. Chrystal MacMillan, London, Eng., November so, 1912.
14. "Lessons From the Kansas Campaign," by Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston.-Typewritten statement dated at St. Louis, Mo., April 2, 1913.
15. Mrs. Minnie J. Grinstead to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, August 23, 1911.
16. Dr. Helen Brewster Owens to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, June 24, 1911.
17. Mrs. Magdalen B. Munson to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, August 28, 1911.
18. Mrs. Catharine A. Hoffman to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, November 13, 1911.
19. Mrs. Magdalen B. Munson to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, August 28, 1911.
20. Mrs. Minnie J. Grinstead to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, November 27, 1911.
21. Mrs. Catharine A. Hoffman to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, October 31, 1911.
22. Mrs. Mattie B. Hale to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, December 2, 1911.
23. Dr. Helen Brewster Owens to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, December 1, 1911.
24. Mrs. Cora Wellhouse Bullard to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, December 26, 1911.
25. Mrs. Ella W. Brown to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, December 20, 1911.
26. Mrs. Matie Kimball to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, December 23, 1911.
27. Mrs. Minnie J. Grinstead to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, December 29, 1911.
28. Mrs. Lizzie W. Smith to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, February 8, 1912.
29. Mrs. May J. (W. T.) Johnston to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, April 19, 1912.
30. The suffrage amendment in 1894 was endorsed by the Populist party and conse quently was opposed by both the major parties.
31. Mrs. May Johnston to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, April, 1912.
32. "Lessons From the Kansas Campaign," by Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston.
33. Circular letter, n. d.-Mimeographed.
84. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston to Thomas Hardy, June 12, 1912.
36. History of Woman Suffrage, v. VI, p. 198.
36. Miss Jane Addams to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, April 5, 1912.
37. Ibid., April 13, 1912.
38. Dr. Anna H. Shaw to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, April 30, 1912.
39. Miss Jane Addams to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, April 5 and 13, 1912.
40. Dr. C. Charles Clark to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, May 7, 1912.
41. Dr. Alberta Corbin to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, May 18, 1912.
42. History of Woman Suffrage, v. VI, pp. 198, 199.
43. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston to Dr. Anna H. Shaw, May 11, 1912.-Carbon copy.
44. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, "What Will It Profit Us If We Gain the Vote and Lose the Gallantry of Men! V"-Typewritten speech dated about 1913.
45. Topeka Daily Capital, November 3, 1912.
46. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston to Co-workers, August 10, 1912.
47. Headquarters' bulletin, August 12, 1912.-Mimeographed.
48. Topeka Daily Capital, November 3, 1912.
49. Headquarters' bulletin, October 28, 1912.-Mimeographed.
50. Mrs. Mary E. Ringrose to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, September 26, October 22, 1912.
51. Miss Helen N. Eacker to Co-workers, September 12, 1912.-Mimeographed letter.
52. Mrs. Minnie J. Grinstead to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, July 13, 1912.
53. Headquarters' bulletin, August 12, 1912.-Mimeographed.
54. Ibid., September 9, 1912.
55. History of Woman Suffrage, v. VI, p. 200.
56. Mrs. Laura Reed Yaggy to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, September, 1912. 57. Headquarters' bulletin, June 1, 1912.
58. The Woman's Journal, Boston, Mass., September 21, 1912.-"Equal Suffrage Scrapbook."
59. "The Topeka Daily Capital, September 9, 1912.
60. Ibid., September 20, 1912.
61. Mrs. Lucy Johnston, "Lessons From the Kansas Campaign"; Topeka Daily Capital, September 20, 1912.
62. Headquarters' bulletin, September 16, 1912.-Mimeographed.
63. Miss Maggie Neff to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, October 2, 1912.
64. Mrs. Magdalen B. Munson to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, October 2, 1912.
65. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston to Alice Stone Blackwell, February 9, 1912.-Carbon copy.
66. Topeka Daily Capital, November 3, 1912; Effie Graham, circular letter.
67. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, "History of Suffrage Organization."-Typewritten manuscript.
68. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, "Lessons From the Kansas Campaign."
69. Cowper, Mary O., "A History of Woman Suffrage in Kansas" (1914).-Typewritten thesis, Library, Kansas State Historical Society; W. Y. Morgan to Miss Helen Eacker, October 28, 1912.
70. Topeka Daily Capital, October 14, 1912.
71. Mrs. Laura Reed Yaggy to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, September, 1912.
72. History of Woman Suffrage, v. VI, pp. 200, 201.
73. Ibid., p. 201.
74. Ibid.
75. Dr. Alberta Corbin to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, October 28, 1912.
76. Miss Helen Eacker to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, November 16, 1912.
77. Mrs. Edwin A. Knapp to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, November 6, 1912.
78. Dr. Anna H. Shaw to Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston, November 6, 1912.
79. History of Woman Suffrage, v. VI, pp. 201, 202.
80. Mrs. Lucy B. Johnston to Mrs. Chrystal MacMillan, London, Eng., November 30, 1912.