Skip to main content

tv   C-SPAN Cities Tour- Womens Suffrage  CSPAN  August 18, 2020 9:52am-10:53am EDT

9:52 am
forged each president's leadership style. to learn more about our presidents and the book's future historians, available in paperback, hard cover, e-books, wherever books are sold. >> in 1848 a convention was held in seneca falls, new york, to discuss the state of women's rights in the country. the gathering was seen as the beginning of the women's suffrage movement. however, it took until 1920 for the women to earn the right to vote. the national women's suffrage and created a national movement. yet, it was women in every community who led the efforts in their towns and states to demand rights. through the cities tour we'll look at women who dedicated their lives to this call. from a publishing in oregon, to
9:53 am
a 23-year-old in montana arrested for protesting on the white house lawn. learn why the western territories and states were on the leading edge of the movement. and a letter from a mother to her son that would lead to the ratification of the 19th amendment giving the women the right to vote. we begin in syracuse, new york, where an author talks about one of the lesser-known figures, lucretia mott. >> lucretia mott is one of the most important abolitionists the and women in history. she has not received the attention that elizabeth katie stanton has. it entitled lucretia mott, heresy, and women's rights in america. and heresy refers to other activist strategy. she always said to other activists we must agitate.
9:54 am
whether there be abolitionists or feminists so she advised reformers to stand out in our heresy, to confront social injustices. political injustices. legal injustices, and not be afraid to be labeled a heritage or an infidel or you know, a nonconfirmist. someone who was willing to go against the tides of society for their beliefs and that's what lucretia mott did. she was a women's rights advocate and quaker minister, mrifd from 1793 to 1880 so she lived a very long life. she was born on the island of nantuck nantucket, but lived in philadelphia from which she based her activism which stretched across the united states and the atlantic as well. lucretia mott definitely
9:55 am
defined herself as a feminist and women's rights activist and she traced her commitments to women's rights to her childhood on the island of nantucket. it was a community based on the whaling industry so the men in the community would often go on three, four, five year voyages, leaving women to the household and the household finances and a lot of them on nantucket ran businesses. so for mott, women's independence and capability was self-evident. as the quakers, the society of friends were also one of the first denominations to allow women to preach. so she'd always seen female ministers in her childhood and she eventually became one herself in 1821 so i think that sort of capacity for religious authority also informed her commitment to women's rights. >> she got married to her husband james mott in 1811.
9:56 am
and in the 18 teens and early 1820's, there was nothing to necessarily indicate that she would become a great activist. she eventually had six children, five of whom lived to adulthood. she taught in a quaker school and became a quaker minister. none of this was unusual. i think the key moment in lucretia mott's life was a controversy in the society of friends and this occurred in 1820's. by 1827 the society of friends in the united states had split into two competing hostile groups known as hicksite and orthodox quakers. >> lucretia was an hixite
9:57 am
quaker, named off their leader: and the leader of society of friend had become complacent on slavery. they had done away with their ownership of slaves long before and viewed that as enough, right, to have removed themselves from direct contact. but elias hicks and lucretia mott believed you had to suffer all ties to slavery. for wealthy merchants in philadelphia that was asking quite a lot because they had economic ties to the south and they all dealt in cotton and even james mott, he struggled for a while to find a profession, to find a career that would support his family and eventually he succeeds, but it's as a cotton merchant. and so, lucretia mott puts a lot of pressure on him actually to give up that business and eventually he became a wool merchant by 1830. so i think that was a
9:58 am
radicalizing decade for her and she would speak on women's issues and anti-slavery issues in that, you know, when she became a minister and that was sort of the formative period for her. but i think in the early 1830's in philadelphia, philadelphia had the largest population of free blacks in the north. lucretia mott would have nonthem and interacted with them in free produce societies, for example, and probably tried to speak in african-american churches and otherwise connected with them. and there were a lot of race riots in philadelphia in the early 1830's. so, the intensity of northern racism was very visible to her. so when she attended the founding meeting of the ant anti-american slavery society and then the female anti-slavery society, she believed not only fighting
9:59 am
slavery, but racial prejudice. so it was a two-pronged approach. one of the things she did frequently, whenever she met a slave holder as she did tra feel -- frequently travelling around, slave holding states in kentucky, she spoke. she would engage and try to convince that slave holder that slavery was wrong and whether they were being polite or you know, just tolerating this lady, you know, poking them in the ribs, that she seemed to have had some individual personal success, you know, that she said, oh, this one slave holder i met told me to send them some pamphlets when i got home. i'm going to send them some pamphlets. so, i think that's-- you know, again, she was notten afraid of confrontation and engagement, and she was going to try to persuade that slavery was wrong no matter who they
10:00 am
were. lucretia mott was not interested in the politics, but did speak on occasions in washington d.c. and at one point she was supposed to speak in congress, but because she would not agree, not to talk about slavery, if that's clear, they wouldn't let her speak. ... i think all turned mr. calhoun over to you, you can negotiate with him for me, that was the level of her philosophy and
10:01 am
intransitive on the issue. they first met elizabeth cady stanton in 1840 and she was younger than her, she was 22 years younger than her and when they met, it was an unlikely place at the world antislavery convention in england in 1840, to americans meeting in london, they had other connections but it was there as a delegate from various americans and antislavery society, she was officially there to attend the world antislavery convention. elizabeth cady stanton was there on her honeymoon she just married an abolitionist named henry stanton, it was a european tour versus a political journey as it was for the accretion law, the two women i think instantly
10:02 am
connected and elizabeth cady scan later described the revelation of womanhood, and never met a woman like this before and i did not know that it was possible for women to be so outspoken and independent, so she really became in a and mey meyer. >> it was actually labeled that she rejected, she said no elizabeth, you should claim that for yourself, is really your idea. but the fact is that she was in the area that the convention was held in her presence was advertised to draw attendees, so her sister lived in auburn you nork which is not far from seneca falls so she would come up regularly to central new york regularly, when she came up in
10:03 am
1848 she was actually engaged in a number of different activities, she attended an annual quaker meeting, she traveled to ontario canada to visit former slaves there, american slaves who fled to canada, she went to the seneca reservation and witnessed them writing their constitution, she is actually engaging in all these and very interesting activities in the summer of 1848, native rights, african-american rights and then women's rights. , before the seneca falls convention in july 1848, she meets up with her old friend cady stanton and they decide to hold a convention devoted to women's religious condition and they advertise that she will be there and be the principal
10:04 am
speaker. i think the public's perception is very interesting, one newspaper once called her grizzled caesar of the movement, she somehow showed her femininity by engaging in this activism. but the women's rights movement in the antislavery movement held her up as a paragon of womanhood they would say lucretia is an example that you could be both, he could be a wife, mother, grandmother and have a public life, you could also be an activist, i think for her the activism in the family life blended seamlessly because her husband was also an abolitionist and active in a lot of the same organ nations that she was, he attended the first women's rights convention and shared the convention and her children also became involved in the female antislavery society and other organizations for woman's rights
10:05 am
and suffrage in philadelphia, it was a family affair and there was not a lot of conflict, at her funeral someone said there was silence, this is appropriate for a quaker funeral but somebody said who can speak the preacher is dead, how much avoid had been left by lucretia mott death because she always had something to say, i think that has made her in some ways too good, she has become with what elizabeth cady stanton made her as saint, and actuality, she was a deeply radical person for her time and was not afraid to speak her belief. >> in 1869 in new york city, elizabeth cady stanton into th susan b anthony founded the
10:06 am
national suffrage association to advocate for constitutional amendment guaranteeing women a right to vote, however, much of the women's rights movement progress came in the west were safe and territories adopted more favorable rights for women, in oregon, abigail scott dunaway who established a pro-suffrage newspaper became adam after her husband's business failed. >> benjamin dunaway was a very good husband and father to the children, he did not have the level of business skill the somebody should have in managing the farm because of his kindness and generosity he cosigned a loan for a friend and the friend defaulted on the loan and so as a result the dunaway's lost their farm, that was in the mid 60s i believe, after that
10:07 am
benjamin was involved in a farming accident, he became disabled, therefore failed to abigail to be the winner for the family. she did some teaching again but eventually decided to move down to albany oregon, little town further south, she set up a ha t shop, she's quite successful in the business, she traveled to san francisco to get supplies for her business and important thing happen when the women came into hat shop, she became aware of the difficulties women lead in their lives and she had no life and standing in the community, they cannot own property, they were dependent on
10:08 am
their husbands and their husbands goodwill to lead a good life and she saw a lot of women who were suffering because of that so at one point she realized, if women could vote, they could enact change laws to benefit women and all women and all people she turned her attention to the suffrage movement, she moved her family back up to portland so this was in the 191870s, her first effort was to start her own newspaper that was a new northwest with her equal suffrage efforts, i believe many members of her families were involved in producing this newspaper, one of her sons was a
10:09 am
printer, it was kind of like a family enterprise, so she communicated through the new northwest, that was an important part of her developing scale and becoming a suffrage leader in the northwest, she also communicated with national suffrage leaders and in 1871 she coordinated visit by susan b anthony out to the west and speaking to her in california, in very short order is pretty remarkable in very short order, she all of a sudden a significant standing and presence in the suffrage movement, harvey scott was her brother look what he traveled in the oregon trail, apparently he had been abusive to, their
10:10 am
accounts of him beating at the sisters when they were growing up and he kinda continued that tradition when the family came to oregon, eventually he became an editor at the portland or gordon the largest newspaper in oregon, one of the largest in this pacific enter pacific northwest, he was an anti-suffragist, he wrote editorials against suffrage, he continued to beat up on abigail, even as they were adults in the 1900 campaign, i believe suffrage for women would have passed had it not been for harvey scott, if you tabulate the number of votes cast primarily, it was really what sunk the passage of suffrage
10:11 am
this is the 1900 campaign and when they were waiting for the return to come in, she says my dear clyde at the five days of anxious waiting for returns during which the order going on in your mad uncle had subjective every woman of oregon with insult he came to me with the cheering news that the return showed 25% of the vote to be in the affirmative. we depend most upon to be heard from and then she says i was quite sick until he got return besides the awful indecent abuse of the oregonian, now i shall set the coward up, i think she's referring to her brother harvey. one of the interesting things to
10:12 am
pass suffrage in oregon and dunaway's involvement in the effort, the change that came about in the way that majors can be measured to the citizenry for voting. initially when dunaway started out on her campaign work, she used what she called the still hunt, that was to quietly get in good with the man who had been elected to the oregon legislature into curry their favor and she did it quietly, she did not want to disturb the opposition, that resulted in the major for women's suffrage to be presented on the ballot. each time it was defeated, in oregon suffrage presented six times more than any other state,
10:13 am
eventually during the progressive movement and in particular a person name william wanted to change that process and he advocated for the referendum system which all the states now used, is called the oregon system and that way people could gain support for majors by getting enough signatures, then it would be presented to the voters, by the time suffrage was passed in oregon, dunaway's technique of the still hunt was not effective, it was not necessary, eventually there were many other women who came forward to carry
10:14 am
on the campaign, one woman in particular in portland spearheaded the effort, it was largely through their effort in the use of more modern campaign techniques like mass mailing, marching in parades, more radical techniques like that that really pushed it over and managed to pass suffrage in 1912 in oregon she was often bedridden during the 1912 campaign she was not much affected by people she devoted
10:15 am
her life to this cause, she was celebrated when suffrage finally passed which was really great. >> a lot of people sent congratulatory telegrams to her, here are some examples to mrs. abigail scott dunaway, congratulations on the triumph of justice, long-lived oregon man from the national suffrage association, this went from mefford to mefford, equal suffrage begged to offer you the congratulations and assure you it is making every effort to win the franchise at the coming election that many days of effort for the cause of women may be crowned with success, this is actually sent before the vote, this was october and the boat was in november, we consider leaked graduate oregon
10:16 am
of citizenship this must help us to success in the near future from the cleveland women's suffrage party, bless that they and send love and congratulations towards year's trail breaker who has made it possible, the congratulations poured in and it's so wonderful that she lived long enough to see suffrage passed in oregon and she voted, she was able to vote which is pretty special. >> we have in the collection the scrapbook that dunaway kept during her years as a suffrage leader, has some photographs in it but mainly it includes a summary about her lectures and also includes things like correspondence and newspaper clippings that she kept, this is
10:17 am
also a really great resource for any researcher that wants to study the topic about the history of suffrage about dunaway's life. >> in her pursuit for suffrage in oregon, abigail scott dunaway traveled throughout the northwest to meet the fellow suffragist, whatever stops was at the home of daniel and elizabeth bigelow in washington, they would work to bring suffrage to washington in 1910, two years before oregon. >> there is a bigelow house on the east side of olympia, one of the city's oldest homes by 1860, it was built by daniel and elizabeth white bigelow, they came over the oregon trail in the early 1850s, daniel bigelow
10:18 am
arrived in olympia in november of 1851, he set up the law practice and evidently he was a great orator as well, he was called upon to give the fourth of july order ration in olympia in july of 1852, that is widely credited with the development of the suffrage. tory for washington from oregon, while washington did become a separate territory from oregon in 1853 in daniel bigelow was elected to the very first legislative session held here in olympia, we know that daniel and elizabeth bigelow were active in the campaign for voting rights for women in this is the chair were susan b anthony sat when she came to the house in 1871, she and abigail scott dunaway, the organ suffragist were on a flame through the pacific northwest and she had dinner here at the bigelow house, we know that from her diary where she called mrs. bigelow splendid, at the time there was
10:19 am
a lot of advocacy for women's right to vote, daniel bigelow was serving in the territorial legislature and in fact he gave a landmark speech about women's suffrage, he said if i understand the principles of self-government, man has no more right to say that women shall or shall not vote then women have the same of his man, a matter of natural right, i know no valid argument to deny franchise to women anymore than two man, and our form of government the more universal, the right of franchise, the greater the security to individual rights, in 1871 susan b anthony address the territorial legislature, and she in the bigelow's one another local suffragist work together to form the very first of washington territory women's suffrage association, and they held their convention here in olympia in november of 71, this
10:20 am
really set a wonderful framework for advocacy for women to gain the right to vote. when the territorial legislature right to vote in washington. it was only in wyoming and utah had it as a warm-up for women in washington, it was quite challenging as you might imagine, there was concern that women would vote for prohibition and besides having the right to vote they could serve on juries and there were a series of cases that came before the territorial supreme court, first upholding the right to vote and then in 1887 women's right to vote was invalidated on a technicality, finally in 1910 women in washington permanently achieve the right to vote and were just the fifth state in union where women have the right to vote. >> this year marks the hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote, wyoming was the 27th state to pass that amendment.
10:21 am
however, decades earlier wyoming is a territory past the first woman suffrage laws in the u.s., our visit to laramie helps explain why the newly formed territory was a prime spot for the historic legislation. >> we are in the women's hallway of the laramie plains museum in the mansion, in this hallway we begin to tell you the story of why wyoming was so unique, granting women this right to vote hold property and elected office, december 10 of 1869 the wyoming territorial legislature dictated this, it was signed by governor campbell, granting women the fact, so remarkable that we had a copy of this, they do have it at the capital, but we have this copy that is so extraordinary, you see that writing that said what was
10:22 am
happening because of this act, december 10, 1869 giving women full rights, we had the first women voter in the world, louisa gardner, with the first women be left, atkinson, with the first women on a jury, we had all of wyoming women able to be in the legislature, this was mary, we had yes, sir morris he was the first women justice of the peace out of south pacitti, we had nelly, the first woman governor in the world, all of these were the fallout from the beautiful suffrage act of december 10 of 1869, here we have a few more mentions of our women who were important and here we have a great thing for exira where her friends were so worried, she's out in the west caught in the suffrage act it is see and she
10:23 am
writes about it, she says yes, some of my friends are eastern girls who judge women's suffrage by the english suffrage act report and think that any woman who votes must be dreadful while the women who hold office must be beyond hope, i told them about a friend of mine who recently been elected to a county office and assured them that she was nice and modest and womanly in any of them were much shyer, they assured me that you cannot possibly say so, you would undoubtedly become bold and managed in a very short time. when we leave this hallway, we are going to go out into the salon which is been set up as a defense of suffrage. come with me, were going to go into the drawing room in the victorian age so they went through a special event, we are here showcasing the dissents of
10:24 am
the suffrage act, we have the exhibit set up in the ivins is withdrawing worm, jane and edward and their adopted daughter maggie, this home is the largest artifact that we have in the place of residence after 24 years and they first came to laramie in 1868 when there is nothing here, made the fortune about the house 24 years later, we have salvage this house and like the suffrage act in 1869 we have december 10, 1869, the wyoming territorial legislature passing this law that disgruntled a lot of peop people, why is that happening in the west, why is it happening in wyoming territory, at the time we had just become wyoming territory from dakota territory, so we were here in the legislature, one of the reasons they did it we believe is they
10:25 am
needed to attract women to the west, this was a place of adventures and cowboys and railroad workers, hammering out a railroad, with the central pacific coming in from california, the union pacific and it was fast and furious, weird crazy living conditions in the legislature wanted to attract those women to come be part of this venture so they gave them full rights, full rights, i'm telling you it was full voting rights, it was holding property rights, full political office rights, there is no other state that could claim that were territory, north dakota like to believe that the first voter, they may have but in restricted elections, they were on the same terms with men, which is quite extraordinary, and here, we had maybe elizabeth cady stanton coming to the salon
10:26 am
to listen about the defense of suffrage, what happened was passed in 1869 and in 1871 wyoming was getting so much grief that the legislature was saying maybe we should resend this act, stephen downey, this is an exhibit of stephen speaking about this possibly in the salon, speaking about the defense of the act because in 1871 people were giving wyoming territory such grief about having an act that women have the same rights as men and downey stood there and wrote a very remarkable speech and spoke to the wyoming public about how important this was that we keep this, we retain this and it was retained in 1871 by one vote in the legislature, then
10:27 am
fast-forward, let's fast forward 17 years, wyoming territory is wanting to become a state, washington, d.c. act, no one also the world or in the united states is giving women these kind of rights, you need to resend that act and then will let you become a state. wyoming said don't care, then we are territory we will not become a state unless we can hold all of these rights that our women have had, when you talk about that wyoming had the first women voter right and turn in 1869, the first women on a jury in 1870, first women they left, first women justice of the peace, all of those could happen, because wyoming had given women that right, it is remarkable, it's a fact that nobody ever knows about, how great is it that we could tell the story, the 150th anniversary of that gift to women and two men by the men of
10:28 am
one roaming territory. >> the national american association will continue to focus on gaining women's suffrage at the state level, the national women's party wanted constitutional amendment, throughout the u.s. their strategy would include into your protest in front of the white house from 1917 to 1919, one of these protesters was a 23-year-old from montana, hazel. >> a tiny great haired woman with a feminist vocabulary and notorious in a really surprising sharp tongue, hazel grew up in colorado, came to billings in 1903 and becomes one of the better students at billings senior high he was actually voted most popular second
10:29 am
smartest and third most conced conceded, in 1908 she makes her weight off to college, get the chemistry degree and works in chemistry labs until 1916, she goes back home to care for her ailing mother and when her mother starts feeling better, she starts applying for more jobs, for chemistry labs, she is told several times you are qualified but we really don't want a woman working in our lives and she decided that is what i'm going to do, i'm going to get involved with women's fights and one of the first things that her inner comrades did was protest in front of the white house for several years, the protesters in front of the white house carrying signs, demanding more from equal rights and suffrage for women, at one point they had 2000 anti-suffrage is protesters against less than two dozen women, protesting for their rights and these women in the
10:30 am
anti-separatist protesters poured their signs away, the next day they would come back again, hazel brings another sign saying we want the right to vote and then they would be arrested, these two or three dozen women kept this vigilant activity in front of the white house, basically women eyeshot of president wilson who they hoped would create national suffrage, we did not hear of her or know her story and billings montana, but once we looked at the national press, the san francisco examiner had stories, hazel hankins of billy montana, climbed over the white house and lit watchfire's below the white house and the washington post would write stories about hazel in front of the white house and had her sign torn away from her and was arrested, the same story is covered in the billings gazette and it says billings
10:31 am
woman, innocent victim and so the coverage she was getting here and billings was completely different than what the national press was getting, initially the press welcomed them, isn't this sweet, yummy cute little girl from montana, age 23, she is smart but once world war i kicked in in april 1917, the protesters were looked at completely different in what she said to defend herself was we see all the soldiers being sent overseas to fight for democracy, were just doing the same thing here in the country, the women with the national women's party are fighting for democracy on our own soil, finally when the passes of the 19th amendment went through 1920, hazel hudgens completely transforms herself and becomes a different type of
10:32 am
feminist, she actually married charles a chicago reporter and they moved to england, they moved to england and she lives in london for the next 50 years, becomes the leader of the six-point group, feminist organization out of england, she is the only american-born leader of the group and the whole 50 years and in 1977, she comes back to the u.s. to fight for the equal rights amendment, 1977 she ends up marching in the protest, she is called a hellraiser at age 87, she ends up at a rose garden ceremony with president carter to sign for national women's day and he supports their activities and their clauses, this is a lifelong process for her, it's fun when i told the story, i could stop at the equal rights amendment in 1920 and say this is a life worth looking at, but then you add 50 years of feminist leadership in england and then i stopped and and say
10:33 am
this is a life worth looking at but then i take people right into the 1970s and talk about her work with equal rights amendment and that fight their, she was not afraid to speak her mind, in the end she chose to be buried with her husband at mountain view cemetery here and billings. >> in the early years of the suffrage movement, 8-year-old emma smith would attend the speech with susan b anthony inspiring her to carry the fight into the 20th century, it would play an important role in the passage of suffrage legislation in several states including washington in 1910. >> washington's importance in the national suffrage effort comes by the fact that we were the first state in the 20th century and followed almost a 20 year lag between states adopting
10:34 am
their own suffrage amendment and it takes a certain number of states to pass a national amendment to the constitution and we were the fifth state and all of the first states, about six were located here in the west, washington became a pivotal state making that leap into the 20th century and after we passed in 1910, there was a domino effect across the country, immediately oregon passed at 1911 followed by california and moved to the dakotas in nebraska, montana and progressed across to new york in 1919 and then the national amendment passes in 1920, you can call us a big turning point in the effort to gain suffrage for women in the united states. in 1848, the big event that
10:35 am
began the suffrage movement did happen in new york, that was the women's convention in seneca falls led by susan b anthony among other leaders, interestingly enough, right after that, you susan b anthony began a world wind trip to the territorial areas of the united states and states to advocate for women's rights and to vote, one of the early leaders in the 20th century in washington state saw her in 1848 as an 8-year-old, barnstorming through illinois and that is investment the bow who ends up becoming a leader of the washington state suffrage movement and lived in worked right here in tacoma near our history museum, she saw susan b anthony and central illinois when she was eight years old, susan b anthony asked
10:36 am
who in the audience believed women should have the right to vote and as an 8-year-old she stood up and that was a memorable experience, that definitely has a connection to our state from 1848 right through to 1910, right about the same time as the women's convention in seneca falls, women and men, families were traveling west, these were hardy people and at that time about 1850, congress passed the organ donation lien claim laws, anybody who came to the oregon territory before 1849 got out right 640 acres of land, after 1850 they cut that in half to 320 acres, the interesting thing is, that amount of land, half of it was in the woman's name,
10:37 am
320 acres were given to a coup couple, if you were a single man, you got half of that if you were a single woman you got half of that, half of that acreage was in the woman's name, so right away women have land claim ownership, that was an important part of the oregon trail era, by 1853, washington becomes a separate territory from oregon and in the first territorial legislative meeting which was in olympia which becomes our capital city eventually is the early parties an early delegates wanting to pass a women's suffrage and washington, that was part of the platform for the first legislative session territorial is the got voted to call but it was brought up right away and they were very early men in the legislature who
10:38 am
advocated for women's suffrage, fast-forward to the 1880s in washington is working very hard at the effort to become a state which is achieved in 1889, but in the 1880s women in the territory when the right to vote, and 1883, now, immediately they start to vote for a more progressive agenda in the territory legislature and they also unseat some of the more corrupt leaders in communities like the seattle mayor he was known to have influence with the saloons, prohibition, prostitution and gambling, they vote him out of office, you can imagine that suffrage is not proving that popular with a lot of people, while the legislature
10:39 am
in those days before we were estate could vote yea ordinate impasse suffrage, it did not take an amendment to the constitution, women argued that the first territorial constitution said he or mail in a lot of places, it should be he or she, women or men and they voted for in 1883, and past but who got it rescinded in 1888, the territorial supreme court in one particular justice really opposed it opposition came because men did not want woman serving on juries, that is where the division came up in the territorial supreme court chart
10:40 am
version as they voted to resend, they passed a decision that removed women's rights to vote. from 1848 has relocated, she has an interim years been a paid staff are working on behalf of suffrage and throughout the midwest, by paid, $100 a month american woman suffrage association, you unchanged she comes out here to be the leader of the washington state suffrage movement by 1906, her husband worked for the great northern railroad she has a salary and he gets her railroad passes, she can travel all over on a free railroad ticket which is a great advantage, they moved to tacoma
10:41 am
and she along with others establishes the washington equal suffrage association which she is president of, i thought it was interesting that her message becomes the most powerful to counteract that washington women don't want suffrage, they really work hard organizing through 19 05, 0 six, 0 seven, 0 eight and we know that we want to get the suffrage bill passed, so we have to get an amendment out there to the voters and has to be passed by two thirds of a majority of voters, male voters in the state of washington to pass we have a combination of important women coming together, and ms. smith are tacoma based leader of the washington state suffrage group
10:42 am
joins up with a very colorful women named mei, she was a camp in the silver mind of northern idaho in the district, she married a railroad engineer by the interest in the herculean mine, becomes the most profitable silver mine of that era and idaho, they become millionaires almost overnight. she is a very colorful figure, you have to emma who comes out of the abolitionist suffrage movement, the first thing you do, together they descend and they have a legislature back, they work together to get the
10:43 am
legislature to approve an amendment for the ballot. in january of 1909 the houseboats for an amendment and passes by 10 - 20 boats, and february, the senate votes, the washington state senate passes by a bigger majority in 1909 the governor signed the bill to create the opportunity for washington to vote for suffrage for women and washington state, there is that vote is going to come up before washington men in november of 1910. so the suffrage amendment passes
10:44 am
on november 8, 1910 in the becomes a fifth state in the union to pass suffrage, the people coming westward the people were risk takers looking to break out of a conventional life that they might've experienced in the east and a lot of suffragist came out here and worked hard because they saw the opportunity. >> since the seneca falls convention, 71 years would pass before congress proposed a 19th amendment to the u.s. constitution. prohibiting the denial of voting rights based on gender. the amendment would require ratification by 36 states, by august 1920, 35 states had ratified the amendment with a tennessee legislator sent to vote on the matter, on the eve
10:45 am
of the vote, one young legislator received a persuasive letter from his mother. >> a letter that was written by phoebe barnes and her son who was a brand-new legislature in 1920, he was 24 years old, he had just been elected to the legislature in the suffrage, the push to ratify the suffrage amendment was coming to a close, the suffrage leaders had eight states to choose from and they thought tennessee was the best bet, they had a lot of supporters and a lot of people who are extremely hostile, and had a postmark on it of the 17, 1920 in the boat, i think it was august 20, a short time later that the state senate had approved of the ratifications and it was 25 - 4, is really strong, the governor refers
10:46 am
ratification and it was a seesaw, 49 - 49 votes a couple people changing positions could tip the balance, he was just getting the start in life and his mother, his mother was a widow, a brother and sister back in tennessee, where their home was, he was in nashville with the state legislature and had to deal with the couple located question, he was reading law with a man who was extremely and came out as extremely anti-suffrage and he was unwilling to take a stand, they thought he was either or, they thought maybe he was going to vote no, he got this letter, six-page letter from his mother right before the vote in augus august 1920, it was a letter handwritten on a tablet with six
10:47 am
pages written in pencil, in the course of the letter it was not just about politics, it was not asking about the vote, she twice asked him to vote for suffrage, particularly like this passage right here where he says her rate and vote for suffrage and don't leave them in doubt and noticed chandler's speech was very bitter watching to see how you stood and had not seen anything yet, chandler was reading law and also in the legislature, he was kind of in a pickle situation, when he came into the vote, there was a lot of parliamentary and maneuvering in the final vote took place, he voted in a way that look like he was going to be a no vote until the final roll call was taken and it was going to be a close
10:48 am
law at time and they really did not know until he voted and then when he voted yes they got hopeful and there was one other boat at the end of the alphabet that they had to get and when that man voted, it was pandemonium in the legislature. i like this little part, towards the end of the letter that she said don't forget to be a good boy and help mrs. thomas with her rats, is she the one with the rat ratification, this was a cartoon and she was the leader of the people pushing for suffrage and she was at the hotel and the cartoon around the country she had a broom chasing ret that was separated from the rest of the word ratification and she was trying to shoo those
10:49 am
together so the ratification would happen, this was a sweet letter and it was rumored that it was they thought maybe the people had said they destroyed it because it was not really a formal letter written properly and all of that, it was not, harry burns son wanted this letter to be put here so that people can have access to it, for a while people said that it never was even real or written, so when the 75th in a bursary of suffrage came around and people focus on tennessee, we were able to bring it out and show people, it did exist and when we have it along with the other material with ratification, he was in the center of the storm. >> c-span city tour travels the country exploring the american story with the support of local cable providers, we gave you the history and literary life of a
10:50 am
different city on the tv in american history tb. to watch videos of any of the places we have been, go to tour and follow us on twitter at c-span cities. >> you are watching the tv on c-span2, every week and with the latest nonfiction books and authors, cspan2 created but america's cabled television company as a public service and brought to you by your television provider. >> this afternoon president trump will deliver in yuma, arizona on immigration and border security, watch live coverage beginning at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2 and also online at or you can listen with the free c-span radio app.
10:51 am
>> weeknights this month were future book tv programs is a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span2, tonight starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern university of california berkeley law professor and former deputy assistant attorney general in the george w. bush administration, john neil weizen on presidential powers in the u.s. constitution, then princeton university history professor explores the political offenders the speaker of the house, and argues that his congressional leadership was the beginning of america's hyper- partisan divide. later he offers his thoughts on why president trump should be reelected in 2020. enjoy book tv on c-span2. >> are live coverage of the democratic national convention continues tonight with congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez, former president bill clinton and former second lady joe biden, live coverage of the democratic national
10:52 am
convention tonight at nine eastern on c-span, live streaming and on-demand as or listen with the free c-span radio app, c-span, your unfiltered view of politics. >> next visit to the smithsonian national portrait gallery, historian kate clark lemay gives american history tb a guided tour of an exhibit marking the centennial of the 19th amendment, using images of early suffrage leaders, she shows how the movement intersected with the abolitionist and temperance movement, this is the first of a two-part program. >> hi everyone welcome to the gallery at the smithsonian institution, i am kate, i am the curator of vote for women, portrait of the system, for this exposition, i took three and half


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on