One Hundred Years Ago Today

NEVADA ANTIS PROTEST:

Tell President That Suffragists Are Not Representative of the State

One hundred years ago today, on July 27, 1914 The New York Times reported that the Nevada Association of Women Opposed to Equal Suffrage handed to officials at the White House a formal protest against any action by the President that would give encouragement to the “Votes for Women” propaganda in that state. The protest said in part:

“We are informed that Congress has been petitioned in the name of the women of Nevada and that the President has been urged to advocate an extension of the franchise by amendment of the Federal Constitution, notwithstanding the fact that the last three and most representative and populous states voting on the questions Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan, have recorded their vote against it by majorities approximating 90,000 each.”

“We are advised that after a most strenuous and expensive campaign covering many months these petitions assuming to voice the sentiments of the womanhood of Nevada bore the signatures of more than 500 women…We deny the right of these 500 women to speak, without consent, for the 17,000 women in Nevada…on a subject so vitally affecting the State, the family and the home.”

Such protests illustrate the strong presence the Anti-Suffrage movement presented throughout the country. As Susan Goodier has reported in her excellent book, No Votes for Women, many women who opposed suffrage were not against equal rights for women. Rather they were concerned about losing their “distinctive feminine identities as protectors of their homes and families.” After suffrage was achieved Goodier reported that many of them accepted the change graciously and became active in the League of Women Voters.

 

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