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Woman Suffrage history collection, 1867-1891

Microfilm Roll MF 1049 (Ms. Collection No. 656)



To characterize the nature of the campaign for women’s suffrage in Kansas, it seems as if the suffragette movement achieved success in roughly twenty-five year increments.

In Kansas, the woman suffrage movement began in 1859, as the territory was in the process of preparing for statehood. At first, there was an association of twenty-five men and women whose objective was to convince the delegates of the state constitutional convention to open the franchise to women and to African Americans. They were successful only in securing the right for women to vote in local school district elections.

The Kansas State Legislature in 1887 granted women the right to vote in municipal elections[see Series J in this collection]. From that time onward, the Women’s Equal Suffrage Association staged a number of campaigns in an effort to sway the state Legislature to grant women full suffrage in state elections.

The next big campaign to effect change in the electorate took place in 1910. Under the leadership of Catherine Hoffman, then president of the Equal Suffrage Association, that organization used the slogan “Votes for Women” in its campaign. When Governor Walter R. Stubbs was reelected in 1910, he advised the Legislature to commence debating the issue of women’s suffrage. The governor’s proposal ignited another campaign to expand the franchise for women. The members of the E.S.A. heavily lobbied each and every member of the Kansas House and Senate. They also entertained their wives so that they in turn might influence their husbands. The measure passed, and Governor Stubbs signed the bill on February 12, 1911. This amendment became a part of the state constitution in 1912.

The final campaign in the woman suffrage movement came in 1919 when, upon the request of Governor Henry J. Allen, the Legislature ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to allow universal women’s suffrage.

Scope and Content

The manuscripts in this collection originally came from a variety of different sources, and were brought together into one collection because of their subject matter.

For any researcher or scholar of the woman suffrage movement, this collection offers a great deal of primary sources. Though these papers are relatively few in number, they do involve many people prominent in the suffrage movement; such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott and others. Also, there are organizational records of some of the better known suffrage organizations: the American Equal Rights Association, the Kansas Equal Rights Association, and the Woman Suffrage Association.

This collection is divided into fourteen different series, and is arranged mostly in a chronological order. A brief examination of the collection outline will familiarize the researcher with the contents and arrangement of the collection for faster and easier use.

Contents List

Box 1    
Series A   Campaign of 1867 : letters received by Samuel Newitt Wood
f.1 1867 Jan. 15 C. H. Bent
  Feb. 17 Jane B. Archibald
  Mar. 12 Lucretia Mott [American Equal Rights Association]
  Apr. 2 H. B. Blackwell
  Apr. 4 William Larimer
  Apr. 6 C. Robinson
  Apr. 6 L. F. Green
  Apr. 7 C. H. Lanston
  Apr. 7 S. M. Strickler
  Apr. 8 H. B. Norton
  Apr. 8 Joel Moody
  Apr. 8 Hiatt, H.
  Apr. 9 J. Chess
  Apr. 9 George J. Martin
  Apr. 10 J. W. Scott
  Apr. 10 N. J. Waterman
  Apr. 10 Susan B. Anthony
  Apr. 12 Wm. Laurence
  Apr. 12 S. J. Harvey
  Apr. 15 C. Robinson
  Apr. 16 J. H. Prescott
  Apr. 21 Susan B. Anthony
  Apr. 23 J. H. Prescott
  Apr. 27 P. P. Elder
  Apr. 28 James M. Harvey
  Apr. 28 B. W. Williams
  May 2 C. E. Dewey
  May 6 George W. Cooper
  May 6 M. D. Curtis
  May 7 J. W. Jenitt
  May 9 S. W. Ward
  May 10 C. H. Bent
  May 12 J. W. Horner
  May 13 S. S. Prouty
  May 14 S. O. Thacker
  May 14 S. J. Reader
  May 15 S. S. Prouty
  May 16 George S. Scammon
  May 16 A. Danford
  May 16 R. W. Massey
  May 17 W. H. Dodge
  May 20 J. Holler
  May 20 J. C. Hebbard
  May 21 Richard Yates
  May 23 W. B. Slosson
  May 25 Theodore Hilton
  May 27 Mrs. Updegraff
  May 27 H. Wilson
  May 28 W. H. McClure
  May 28 Mrs. Updegraff
f.2 Jun. 2 George J. Martin
  Jun. 3 J. T. Haughey
  Jun. 3 Mrs. F. H. Drenning
  Jun. 6 C. Robinson
  Jun. 6 W. Mitchell
  Jun. 7 Geo. J. Martin
  Jun. 7 P. L. Hubbard
  Jun. 10 S. D. Houston
  Jun. 13 William T. Hazard
  Jun. 15 H. C. Whitney
  Jun. 15 J. D. McClure
  Jun. 16 J. B. Rake
  Jun. 19 C. I. H. Nichols
  Jun. 19 Susan B. Anthony
  Jun. 20 C. H. Langston
  Jun. 21 W. G. Coffin
  Jun. 21 W. H. McClure
  Jun. 21 C.I.H. Nichols
  Jun. 25 C. E. Dewey
  Jun. 26 John S. Brown
  Jun. 30 A.A. Wheelock
  Jun. 31 S.A. Crawford
  Jun. 27 W. G. Coffin
  Jul. 4 J.A.B. Abbott
  Jul. 9 J. W. Hutchinson
  Jul. 11 J. H. Prescott
  Jul. 11 D.K. Babbit
  Jul. 13 [author unknown]
  Jul. 15 John Haller
  Jul. 18 Mrs. Nichols
  Jul. 18 S. S. Prouty
  Jul. 20 A. Venard
  Jul. 22 G. Roberts
  Jul. 23 J. W. Hutchinson
  Jul. 25 H. B. Blackwell
  Jul. 25 O. Brown
  Jul. 25 A. V. Peters
  Jul. 26 George Roberts
  Jul. 29 H. B. Norton
f.3 Aug. 1 W.S. Blakely
  Aug. 2 Joel Moody
  Aug. 5 Thomas Moonlight
  Aug. 9 Susan B. Anthony
  Aug. 9 F. P. Baker
  Aug. 10 J. W. Hutchinson
  Aug. 14 H. B. Norton
  Aug. 16 H. B. Norton
  Aug. 17 H. Henry
  Aug. 19 J. T. Haughey
  Aug. 19 O. Brown
  Aug. 21 M. E. Gage
  Aug. 22 T. Moonlight
  Aug. 23 Susan B. Anthony
  Aug. 23 J. W. Hutchinson
  Aug. 23 G. S. Scammon
  Aug. 25 Bessie Bisbee
  Aug. 27 William G. Coffin
  Aug. 28 Bessie Bisbee
  Aug. 29 J. P. Mather
  Sep. 1 W. Mitchell
  Sep. 1 Olympia Brown
  Sep. 7 P. L. Hubbard
  Sep. 10 J.W. Hutchinson
  Sep. 10 Susan B. Anthony
  Sep. 12 D. Walker
  Sep. 20 B.W. Williams
  Sep. 22 W. Mitchell
  Sep. 22 Bessie Bisbee
  Sep. 24 George Storch
  Sep. 26 S.S. Prouty
  Sep. 27 H.B. Blackwell
  Oct. 2 Susan B. Anthony
  Oct. 10 Susan B. Anthony
f.4   Undated letters
    Susan B. Anthony
    O. Brown
    J.T. Haughey
    L.M. Hill
    F.C. Jones
    J.B. Rupe
    Jake Slotter
    W. Stiner
Series B     Manuscript of the first speech delivered by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in Kansas, November 1867
Box 2      
Series C     Constitution, by-laws and minutes of the Woman Suffrage Association of Topeka, 1880-1881
Series D     General Correspondence
f.1 1891 Mar. 2 N.W. Lyon, to Friend of E.S.A.
    Jul. 27 Franklin G. Adams, to Susan B. Anthony
  1892 Apr. 10 Catharine P. Wallace, to an unspecified addressee.
    Apr. 13 Catharine P. Wallace, to Franklin G. Adams
  1901 Jan. 24 Etta W. Gilmore, to John Chaney.
  1901 Feb. 22 George W. Martin, to Theodore C. Carey
f.2     [undated correspondence], 13 items.
Series E     Correspondence about portrait of Mrs. C. I .H. Nichols, 1880-1881
Series F     Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. Topeka Auxiliary. Minutes of meetings, 1891
Series G     Kansas Equal Suffrage Association Fair (1892), 1891-1892
Series H     Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. Minutes, 1907-1911
Series I     Municipal suffrage : petitions (1887)
Series J     Municipal suffrage : correspondence relating to the campaign for (1887), 1887-1901
      [This series consists almost entirely of pre-addressed post cards, sent by city clerks to Franklin G. Adams, reporting on the numbers of women who voted in the municipal election of April 1888.]
Series K     Municipal suffrage : manuscript copies [of articles published in Kansas newspapers], 1887
Series L     Suffrage enrollment, 1893
Series M     History of woman suffrage / by Lucy Browne Johnston, n.d.
Series N     Printed items, 1890-1891

Notes On the Microfilm Copy

Microfilm roll MF 1049 contains the Woman Suffrage history collection in its entirety. Each series in this collection is marked with a microfilm target to indicate the beginning of the series. Used in conjunction with this finding aid, locating a particular series on this microfilm roll becomes more convenient.

This manuscript collection was microfilmed in order to preserve the original papers (already becoming fragile and brittle), to protect them from being handled by patrons, and to provide for greater security. Also, being microfilmed, this collection becomes accessible to a wider range of people, as manuscript collections on microfilm are available through interlibrary loan.

Related Records and Collections


Series A. Campaign of 1867: Letters received by Samuel Newitt Wood
Series B. Manuscript of the first speech delivered by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in
  Kansas, Nov. 1867
Series C. Constitution, by-laws and minutes of the Woman Suffrage Association
  of Topeka, 1880-1881
Series D. General Correspondence, 1891-1913
Series E. Correspondence about portrait of Mrs. C. I. H. Nichols, 1880-1881
Series F. Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. Topeka Auxiliary. Minutes of
  meetings, 1891
Series G. Kansas Equal Suffrage Association Fair (1892), 1891-1892
Series H. Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. Minutes, 1907-1911
Series I. Municipal suffrage : petitions (1887)
Series J. Municipal suffrage : correspondence relating to the campaign for (1887),
Series K. Municipal suffrage : manuscript copies [of articles published in Kansas
  newspapers], 1887
Series L. Suffrage enrollment, 1893
Series M. History of woman suffrage / by Lucy Browne Johnston, n.d.
Series N. Printed items, 1890-1891

Additional Information for Researchers


various sources


Footnotes or citations referring to this collection should include the Kansas Historical Society, State Archives & Library, Woman Suffrage history collection, no. 656, and the appropriate series and / or item identification.

Copyright Notice

This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights are derived from the principle of common law, affirmed in the 1976 copyright act, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof for the duration of the copyright. Unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right, the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of the author or his or her publisher to secure permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

Processed by

Robert A. McInnes

Prepared for microfilming

November 1996