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The Movement Comes of Age

Erminia Thompson Folsom to Annette Finnigan, December 23, 1912

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Erminia Thompson Folsom was born in Oswego, New York, on November 6, 1878, the daughter of Allan Perez Folsom and Mariana Thompson Folsom. Her family came to Texas in 1881. After graduating from Austin public schools, Erminia entered the University of Texas by 1900, where she received a B.S. in 1907.

She taught school in the Eanes School near Austin (ca. 1903) and also near Fort Stockton. In 1911 she ran one brother's law office for a summer, while both brothers were in California. Most of her career was spent lecturing and writing articles for various reform movements. She was an active member of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (she marched in the first suffragette parade in Washington, D.C.), the Texas Equal Suffrage Association, and the Austin Woman Suffrage Association; she was also an official organizer for the Texas League of the College Equal Suffrage League.

By 1919 she was on the executive committee (assistant secretary) of the Texas Prison Association, and was acting secretary of the Travis County Prison Association in 1921. In 1928, she campaigned for Herbert Hoover. She was active in the Texas Woman's Christian Temperance Union, being a delegate to the state convention in Galveston in 1939 and attended many other Woman's Christian Temperance Union conventions, as late as 1957; in 1948, she was an authorized reporter for the Texas White Ribbon, the official publication of the Texas Woman's Christian Temperance Union.

Folsom never married and continued to live in Austin after her brothers' families moved to California. She died in 1967.

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Erminia T. Folsom to Annette Finnigan, 1912

12-23, 1912

Dear Miss Finnigan

            Your letter has just been received, and

I doubt if you can imagine how I

rejoice over your letter from Miss B. [Eleanor Brackenridge]

Austin can willing [sic] wait for a state conven-

tion until after Jan. 1; but we want it held

very soon, so please in justice to Austin,

do what you can to have it as soon as

Miss B. can feel it is best to hold it.

I know something of how terrible busy

you are just now; but you cannot go

to San Antonio an hour before we wish

you to go, and I know that the sooner

you go the better it will be for the Cause.

There is a reason for my saying that I

wish Miss B. will feel your enthusiasm

for the Cause and the bright prospect there

is for the Cause in Texas just now. If

you are not really as enthusiastic as I

hope and believe you are, I should like

to be with you for an hour or two.

            Judging from a letter I just received

from Dr. [Anna Howard] Shaw, I shall have to plead

guilty to probably having fired Miss Hess

with too much enthusiasm for the

Cause without impressing enough of

the constitution upon her. In justice


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Erminia Thompson Folsom to Annette Finnigan, December 23, 1912, Erminia Thompson Folsom Collection, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: June 17, 2011