With our partners the Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon State Capitol Foundation, and with the support of the national Votes for Women Trail project and the William G. Pomeroy Foundation, we will unveil the new marker to place Oregon suffrage history at the State Capitol.
What is a “map-a-thon”? We fashioned it on Wikipedia-a-thons where people gather together to add important content on any subject. Often they have focused on adding women: medical professionals, scientists, engineers, artists, politicians—you get the idea. We expected to be holding gatherings of groups of people at archives and historical museums to work together to compile historical resources, share stories of the individual suffragists, anti-suffragists and organizations that made women’s right to vote a reality, and then add those Oregon women’s suffrage sites to the National Votes for Women Trail (NVWT) online map. Turns out that type of gathering is not possible during a pandemic. Following in the steps of our intrepid suffrage predecessors, Greta and I quickly regrouped and radically changed our plans. Today OWHC launches our virtual map-a-thon and we can’t wait for you to join in on this mapping adventure!
What is a Virtual Map-a-thon?
What is a virtual “map-a-thon”? Instead of meeting together in rooms to share historical documents, names and places, and completing a nomination to the National Votes for Women Trail on the spot, we have figured out how to do it from the comfort of your home. All of the necessary historical materials have been collected into handy, shareable electronic files. Once you select a site that interests you (see list of potential site nominations below), contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send those materials to you. We’ll be available to answer your questions and provide support to ensure your site entry is successful.
List of potential site nominations
Included here is our first list of the Oregon locations where women, men, and organizations met, debated, and educated each other on the issue of voting rights for women. Campaign tactics ran the gamut from auto parades to handing out pamphlets at fairs, hotly debating the pro- and anti- points on women voting to handing out sandwiches to hungry male workers to persuade them in favor of the suffrage cause. And since Oregon women and men formed the first equal suffrage organization in 1872, extended voting rights to most women in 1912, and then ratified the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, there are plenty of sites all across the great state of Oregon:
Note: Italicizeditems on the list are in the process of being nominated. Items in purplehave been nominated and are on the map!
Astoria Equal Suffrage League:Active suffrage league that organized for “the vote” in Clatsop County. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Chelsea Vaughn)
Beatrice Morrow Cannady: Journalist, black activist who worked for full suffrage for women and the black community. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
The Chan Family: Dr. Pesie Chan and daughters Bertie and Lillian participated in, and spoke at, a large suffrage luncheon at the Portland Hotel April 12, 1912 and remained involved in suffrage issues for many years. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
Gladstone Chatauqua:Hosted large suffrage events and debates on the issue. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Gladstone Historical Society)
Corvallis College Equal Suffrage League at Oregon Agriculture College, Waldo Hall:Each college in Oregon organized an equal suffrage league, and president of the league, Emma Wold spoke to women students about the question of suffrage. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Jan Dilg)
Corvallis College Equal Suffrage League: Meetings held by the College Equal Suffrage League at Corvallis.
Eva Bailey: An ardent anti-suffragist involved in five of Oregon’s campaigns (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Mary Hansen)
Eva Emery Dye: Suffragist, author, and an organizer of the Willamette Valley Chautauqua Association.(Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Jenna Barganski)
Everybody’s Equal Suffrage League: A novel organization created to engage working girls and women in the movement. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
Grant County Woman Suffrage Association: A long-time active suffrage organization centered in Canyon City, but organized throughout Grant County. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
Harriet “Hattie” Redmond: Black suffragist who led the Colored Women’s Equal Suffrage Association during the 1912 campaign. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Jan Dilg)
Josephine Hirsch: Served as president of the College Equal Suffrage Association in Portland. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Alisha Babbstein)
Katherine & Wallace McCamant: The dynamic duo of the Oregon State Association Opposed to the Extension of Suffrage to Women. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Eliza Canty-Jones)
Kathryn Clarke: The first woman senator elected to the Oregon Legislature from Douglas County in 1914. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Pat Sherman)
Klamath Falls Woman’s Equal Suffrage Club: A dedicated group of women who knew the value of the vote and made their own fair booth to help them spread the word on votes for women. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
Lizzie K. Weeks: A dedicated black social reformer who organized voter registration and education events. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Jan Dilg)
Malheur, Vale Equal Suffrage Association:This hearty group of suffragists used both local and regional supporters to gain a majority of voters to pass the suffrage measure in the 1912 election. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
Marian B. Towne: The first woman representative elected to the Oregon Legislature from Jackson County and served in the 1915 session. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Kira Lesley)
Medford Equal Suffrage League:Denied one location to meet and organize their efforts for voting rights, they simply moved to a more welcoming location. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Greta Smith Wisnewski)
Medford Equal Suffrage League Suffrage Parade: Used new technology—the automobile—to engage local citizen’s while they educated them on the virtues of voting rights for women.
Sara Bard Field*: Suffrage speaker at multiple events across Oregon. Field joined the Congressional Union, later the National Women’s Party, and continued her activism until ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.*Sara Bard Field was also known as Sara Bard Field Ehrgott, which was her married name. After her divorce she went by Sara Bard Field for the rest of her life. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map. Nominated by Karl Vercouteren of the Original Courthouse and Wasco County Historical Society)
Sylvia Thompson (D-The Dalles):Sponsor of House Joint Resolution No. 1, the bill to ratify the 19th Amendment. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Layne Sawyer)
William M. “Pike” Davis:A staunch suffrage supporter he organized men around the state in favor of women suffrage. (Nomination complete, site listed on NVWT map, Nominated by Jan Dilg)
Want to add a site from Southern Oregon? Look no further!
Like championing underdogs? Anti-suffragists await!
Highlight men involved in the suffrage movement? Check!
In addition to this first list we’ll continue to compile more sites. But, we don’t know every person, place, or organization involved in Oregon’s decades-long suffrage movement. Perhaps you know of a person, event, or organization associated with a building or location in your city, town, or region connected to Oregon’s woman suffrage history. We welcome your suggestions for nominating that site, and to learn something new ourselves. Please contact us and we’ll help you determine what materials you need to document the site and use that information to submit a successful entry on the National Votes for Women Trail.
Share your story
We have shared a few recent stories of people’s fun and educational experiences submitting a site to the trail here. We hope they have inspired you! And we’d love to highlight your experience–who you selected, what did you learn, and what should the rest of us know about your site! We would love to have a photograph of the site if possible. Sharing what we know is always a goal for any OWHC project!
The goal for the NVWT project is to have 2,020 sites entered onto the map by August 26, 2020—Women’s Equality Day and the exact day that the Nineteenth Amendment was certified and added to the U.S. Constitution. Currently there are 1,445 sites on the NVWT map!
Our goals for Oregon are to have at least one site in each of the state’s 36 counties, and at least 50 sites overall. Currently we have 14 sites on the NVWT map in 3 counties. To meet, or exceed, these goals we need all of us to contribute a little bit and nominate one site. Those individual bits will add up to a significant collective outcome; we will all know more about our persistent, smart, clever, and determined ancestors who worked long and hard to gain access to the ballot, to let their voices be heard, and to have their opinions count.
Take this once-in-a-century opportunity to Help Put Oregon on the Map!
OWHC’s work on the National Votes for Women Trail is supported by a grant from The Kinsman Foundation and support from the Oregon Heritage Commission.
I must say that the research and writing required to submit an entry to the National Votes for Women Trail was relatively easy and a bit of fun. The fun came from getting to know my entrant again, Mattie Cone Sleeth, who also happens to be my great grandmother. I never knew her, she died in 1934, but she made a few dents in life. Not just as a suffragist, a temperance advocate and a Methodist Minister, but as an example for subsequent generations.
My wife and I named our youngest daughter after Mattie, and have told both our daughters of her courage in the Old West as a preacher and in 20th Century Oregon where she fought so hard for a woman’s right to vote.
I would advise anyone who wishes to submit an entry to use the practice form provided by the OregonWomen’s History Consortium. The beauty of the practice form is you can get all your ducks in a row before having to submit the entry. It is much easier.
Kim Argraves Huey Nominates Gladstone Chautauqua Park
Our new NVWT site nomination highlight is by Kim Argraves Huey, Historian of the Gladstone Historical Society and author of the books “Images of America – Gladstone,” and “Chautauqua at Gladstone – Historical Fun Facts and Activities about the Third Largest Chautauqua in the United States.”
Kim supplied a crucial bit of information needed to put together our information packet for the
Gladstone Chautauqua Park, and then offered to take on the nomination! Here are her thoughts on the nomination process and even more history for us to learn from:
Gladstone Park was a magical place in its heyday, and researching it is always fun. Each new venture into the park’s past always brings something new to light. Did you know that in 1893, Gladstone Park served as a military training camp for the Oregon Nation Guard? Or that in 1907, Gladstone Park hosted the first appearance of a Ferris Wheel at an Oregon fair? And even more importantly, from 1894-1927, Gladstone Park functioned as the permanent location of the third largest Chautauqua Assembly in the United States.
During the Chautauqua years, many important and famous people came to Gladstone Park to appear before audiences that numbered in the thousands: orators like William Jennings Bryan, politicians like Theodore Roosevelt, educators like Booker T. Washington, and dancers like Isadora Duncan. But along with the usual variety of self-enrichment classes, outdoor activities, and evening entertainments, Chautauqua gave civic, charitable, and cultural groups an opportunity to promote their causes. One such group that maintained an active presence at the annual summer assembly was the Women’s Club of Portland.
Beginning in 1896, leading suffragettes such as Susan B. Anthony, Anna Howard Shaw, and Abigail Scott Duniway began making appearances at the Gladstone Park Chautauqua. And on July 17, 1912, fifteen hundred women (and some men sympathizers) converged on Gladstone Park for a major Women’s Suffrage Day Rally. So engrossed in the day’s events, which included speeches, impassioned poetry readings, and the long-awaited pro and con debate about a woman’s right to vote, the attending ladies forgot all about their lunch to sit in place and demand that the argument for the cause continue. It did. Their zeal changed minds.
The process of nominating a site for the National Votes for Women Trail is easy. I would recommend doing all the groundwork (research) first. It can take time. Even searching your own historical, already-researched, files can take time. And do use the practice form. Copy and paste makes filling in the final online application a breeze. . .except, I did have one surprise. My perfect, concise, and precise 85 word nomination summary was rejected for too many words. After three failed attempts at downsizing, the online form finally accepted 67 words/469 characters with spaces–an even more concise and precise, but equally perfect submission (in my humble opinion).
–Kim Argraves Huey
Interested in doing your own site nomination and helping us put Oregon on the NVWT map? Send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll help you get started!
Currently, the map has 1,386 sites total nationally, with 13 sites in Oregon. The 1912 suffrage campaign was truly a statewide campaign, and the Oregon Legislature voted unanimously to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. We believe every county in Oregon should be represented on the map.
We asked Mary Hansen of Portland City Archives and Records to do a site nomination for the National Votes for Women’s Trail (NVWT) map. What follows is an account of her experience.
When Jan asked me to be “Test Mapper” for the National Votes for Women Trail, I said I would be happy to help as best I could. I am not a public historian or a historian of any kind. As an archivist, my focus is on finding the materials and letting other folks write up the history. I was glad that there is a place in this process for multiple kinds of skill sets. I also felt reassured that Jan would review my work and answer my questions about the process.
To begin, each volunteer “mapper” is given articles, census data, Polk City directory information for a particular group, place or person. I did a little more digging, but I found the materials already collected were just what I needed.
As I read through the materials for Eva Bailey (Mrs. Francis James Bailey), I was surprised to find she was an anti suffragist. She placed editorials and paid advertisements in newspapers all over Oregon talking about the dangers and burdens of women voting.
“To put upon these women a responsibility from which they have hitherto been exempted and which they do not wish to assume is not ‘Woman’s Rights’.”Woman’s Suffrage Opposition Strong, Mrs. Francis J Bailey, The Times Herald (Burns)_Oct 19, 1912, 1
The most surprising language was from a speech given by Miss. I.T. Martin from New York. Bailey, President of the Association of Women Opposed to Equal Suffrage introduced her.
“We hear a great deal about the right to vote. We all know that there is no such thing as an inherent right to vote. Voting is a duty, not a privilege, and women have been exempted from this duty and not deprived of a privilege. The obligation to vote carries with it other obligations – the right to bear arms if need be, to quell riots, to fight fires, to serve upon juries, to act as policemen. Women are absolved from these duties, just as they are absolved from the duty of voting.”
The process of entering information is quite simple and getting ii typed up in the sample form/template beforehand makes it even easier. And I was reminded again, that history repeats itself over and over.
Author Mary Hansen, Portland City Archives and Records
Interested in doing your own site nomination and helping us put Oregon on the NVWT map? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get started!
The year 2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. That amendment eliminated gender as a reason to deny access to the ballot. The long history of voting rights—who has had access to the ballot, how voting rights have been gained, or lost, by US citizens—extends beyond the anniversary of the 19th Amendment. In recognition of this ongoing struggle for voting rights, the Oregon Women’s History Consortium and the Oregon Historical Society are spearheading: Chalk the Vote! This DIY project will commemorate the 19th Amendment, as well as all constitutional amendments and acts that expanded voting rights. The year 2020 is the:
150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment (removed race, color or prior servitude from denying voting rights)
100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (removed sex from denying voting rights)
56th anniversary of the 24th Amendment (ended the poll tax)
55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (prohibited racial discrimination in voting)
49thanniversary of the 26th Amendment: right to vote cannot be denied on account of age for those 18 or older (This amendment has roots in an Oregon legal case, Oregon v. Mitchell, 1970)
Together these five legislative remedies extended the right to vote/suffrage/the franchise to vast numbers of citizens who had previously been denied full citizenship. Each of these pieces of legislation righted previous wrongs by adding new voices to the governance of our nation, and moved us closer to the stated equality laid out in our nation’s founding documents.
To honor all of these important changes to our state’s and our nation’s history of voting rights, OWHC and the Oregon Historical Society are collaborating on #ChalkTheVoteOR for August 26, 2020.
What is #ChalkTheVoteOR?
#ChalkTheVoteOR is a DIY activity to mark these five legislative milestones. So:
Grab some chalk
Find a sidewalk or other outdoor surface
Copy out the text of the voting rights amendment/act of your choice. Text to amendments provided in multiple languages below.
Be creative—add flair to your Chalk art!
Post your Chalk the Vote! creations to your social media accounts, tag OHS (@oregonhistory) and OWHC (@oregonwomenshistory) on Facebook or on the OHS (@oregonhistoricalsociety) and the OWHC (@oregonwomenshistory) Instagrams, include the hashtag #ChalkTheVoteOR, and we’ll share posts on our social media channels.
When is Chalk the Vote?: August 23-29, 2020. There will be a focus on August 26th, the day the 19th Amendment was officially added to the US Constitution.
Chalk the Vote! is a non-partisan activity, intended to raise awareness of these historical milestones and discover new twists and turns in the American story. We encourage you or your organization to plan now for chalking the text of any or all of these significant amendments and acts (English and Español amendment text available below. More translations coming soon).
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
AN ACT To enforce the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States . . . No voting qualifications or prerequisites to voting, or standard, practice, or procedure shall be imposed or applied by any State or political subdivision to deny or abridge the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color.
The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of age.
15th Enmienda, 1870
Los Estados Unidos o cualquier Estado no negarán ni restringirán el derecho de los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos a votar por motivos de raza, color o condición previa de servidumbre.
19th Enmienda, 1920
El derecho de los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos a votar no será denegado ni restringido por los Estados Unidos ni por ningún Estado por razón de sexo.
24th Enmienda, 1964
El derecho de los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos a votar en cualquier elección primaria u otra para Presidente o Vicepresidente, para electores para Presidente o Vicepresidente, o para Senador o Representante en el Congreso, no será denegado ni restringido por los Estados Unidos ni un Estado por no pagar impuesto de votación u cualquier otro impuesto.
Voting Rights Act, 1965
UNA LEY Para hacer cumplir la decimoquinta enmienda a la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. . . Ningún estado o subdivisión política impondrá o aplicará calificaciones de votación o requisitos previos para votar, o estándar, práctica o procedimiento para negar o restringir el derecho de cualquier ciudadano de los Estados Unidos a votar por motivos de raza o color.
26th Enmienda, 1970
Los Estados Unidos o cualquier estado no negarán ni restringirán el derecho de los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos, que tienen 18 años de edad o más, a votar.
Chalking sidewalks in support of Votes for Women is nothing new! Noted national lecturer on suffrage and labor issues, Frances Squire Potter, came to Oregon in 1912. On the day the Potter was to lecture at the Taylor Street Methodist Episcopal Church, young supporters chalked the sidewalks around the church to encourage passersby to attend that lecture.
Morning Oregonian, July 9, 1912, p3.
To see an example of a contemporary chalk project that inspired this project, click here.
To see an Image Roundup of #ChalkTheVoteOR,click here.
It is difficult to preserve something as ephemeral as chalk, but we wanted to try. On this page, you will find images* from community partners and inspired individuals who showed up to #ChalkTheVoteOR in the streets, on sidewalks, on walls, or wherever they felt the mood strike them. While these images reflect only a fraction of the many that are out there in the social media stratosphere (search #chalkthevoteor on Facebook and Instagram to see more!), the images here highlight a diversity of approaches, abilities, and interpretations around creating voting-rights related chalkings. We believe they are all striking in their creativity, innovation, and strength of message.
Our education on the history of the 19th Amendment and the women’s suffrage movement accelerated as the centennial year unfolded. We understood that our approach to #ChalktheVoteOR, originally titled Chalkthe19th, needed to expand and change. Highlighting just the 19th Amendment, without also focusing on the 15th, the Voting Rights Act, the 24th, and the 26th Amendments would not accurately detail the long history and ongoing struggle of all U.S. citizens to achieve full voting rights, or suffrage. In the midst of these tumultuous times, social distancing and masking requirements were not enough to make many people want to gather with others, even out of doors. The stress of the pandemic and social and political upheaval have left many burned out, and many people are working on their own projects or going to their jobs. We understand and share those issues. So, the enthusiastic public turnout exceeded our expectations and we hope this public demonstration around a core piece of our democracy—voting—resonates with you long after the chalking vanishes. A heartfelt thank you to all who participated in #ChalkTheVoteOR events during the week of August 23rd-29th, 2020!
For more information about this project, visit the #ChalkTheVoteOR main page.
*Image credits and location provided in captions where possible.
#ChalkTheVoteOR Image Roundup
KTVZ Bend press coverage of #ChalkTheVoteOR at Deschutes Historical Museum with Executive Director Kelly Cannon-Miller