Wednesday, September 9, 2009

State Suffrage Movements

---latest constitution: 1876
--- w/s was raised during CC1868/69 but was rejected by convention
---1875CC--2 resolutions for w/s intro'd, but neither made it out of committee (HY of TX handbook URL: ____)
---TX ERA organized in 1893--dissension in ranks-->ceased to function by 1896. From Creating the New Woman by Judith N McArthur:
KY's Laura Clay used Henry Blackwell's strategy of statistical white (woman) supremacy as basis for organizing NAWSA's Southern Comittee. 1893 TERA organized with her help. (11o)
---TERA didn't use race-->used Seneca Falls/SBA language--equal justice & natural rights-->no taxation w/o representation, consent of the governed, etc. (110)
---Argument over SBA visiting Atlanta in 1895 (former abolitionist in racist/ex slave city) killed early TERA group (mix of Yankees & Southerners) (111)

---LA women taxpayers got to vote on tax issues in 1898 (CC of 1898) (Judith N McArthur, 110; HWS, vol 3, 681)
Elizabeth Lyle Saxon and Caroline E Merrick went before LA legislature in 1879 to petition for woman suffrage (HWS Vol 3 pg 678)
---1892-Portia Club (suffrage organization) organized by Merrick. 1896-LA state suffrage association (679-680). SBA visited in 1895 on her Southern tour.
---1898--group of suffragists petitioned suffrage committee for "Full Suffrage for the educated, taxpaying women of LA", based on a bill which had been intro'd. Carrie Chapman Catt came to speak (1898) as did Frances Griffin of Alabama (681)

---proposal for w/s died in committee during 1890CC
--"A proposal to enfranchise women who owned or whose hubands owned $300 worth of property was considered by the MS CC of 1890, as they looked for ways of countering black voting without risking congressional censure. A Elizabeth Taylor, "The Woman Suffrage Movement in Mississippi," in Journal of Mississippi History 30 (February 1968), 207-211. And MS Proceedings CC1890, pg 79 and 134. After MS politicians considered the use of w/s to solve "the negro problem," suffragists were sufficiently encourage to promote this idea before subsequent disfranchising conventions, beginning with the next such convention in South Carolina in 1895. Bellows, Virginia Durant Young, pg 54-88. (Wheeler, pg 204, fn 42)
J of MS HY: F336 .J68

---first w/s org in 1881 (AWSA)
---AESA organized in 1888
---AESA dispersed in 1899 when organizer died
---started back up in 1911 Encyclopedia of Arkansas

South Carolina
North Carolina

From Elna Green, SS:
(92)The frequent use of this statistical argument has led numerous historians to contend that southern antis and suffs, whatever else their differences, were identical in their support for white supremacy.92 Such an interpretation might seem valid, considering the vigor with which some southern suffragists, like Louisiana's Kate Gordon, endorsed white supremacy. Gordon and others claimed that black disfranchisement, obtained by questionable means and maintained only by constant vigilance, would ultimately be reversed. The disfranchising clauses, based as they were on literacy and property requirements, would eventually "act as a stimulus to the black man to acquire both education and property," making disfranchisement null and void.93 Gordon argued that southern legislatures should enfranchise women, thus helping to(page 93) tip the scales in favor of the white majority. Gordon claimed that woman suffrage could legally do what the current state constitutions had illegally done: insure a white supremacy over the electorate.
Gordon's extreme position, however, did not represent that of the majority of southern suffragists. Most southern suffs found the statistical argument so appealing because it allowed them to sidestep the race issue. 94 As the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association wrote, "it would be impossible to raise the color issue on the equal suffrage amendment, because there is no mention of color, and color cannot be dragged in by the utmost strain on construction."95 The statistical argument was a moderate means used by women who wanted to clam white southerners' fears of black suffrage without engaging in race baiting."

No comments:

Post a Comment