Women Mobilize for the Vote

The Women's Power, Women's Vote exhibit logo showing that text with a check mark acting as a V in the word vote. Links to the home page of the online exhibit.

Early attempts to recognize woman suffrage in the Texas constitution in 1868 and 1875 failed, but the movement gained support in 1888 when the Texas Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) voted to endorse the effort. More women became involved in social welfare causes and supported suffrage because of their interest in prohibition. It became common wisdom that a vote from a woman would likely be a vote against alcohol. Anti-suffragists opposed the vote for a host of reasons, espousing that men sufficiently represented the needs of women, that politics would sully a woman’s delicate disposition, that the power of the vote would threaten the harmony of the home and that enfranchised African American women would aggravate racial tensions in the South, among other arguments.

The Texas Equal Rights Association formed in 1893 but quickly faded into non-existence until a resurgent group led by Houston sisters Annette, Elizabeth and Katherine Finnegan attempted to revive the organization in 1903. After the Finnegans left Texas in 1905 the momentum slowed once more, with only one suffrage club remaining in Texas, the Austin League, active until 1912. Eleanor Brackenridge led an energized San Antonio Equal Franchise Society that year and went on to be elected president of a statewide organization, the Texas Woman Suffrage Association. This group held its first annual convention in 1913, supported a federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizing a woman’s right to vote and became very active in promoting suffrage by organizing, forming local societies and distributing literature.

Exhibit Items

The front paper cover of Bill file for House Joint Resolution 29, 24th Legislature, Regular Session, 1895. Page 1Cursive handwriting on the front page of Bill file for House Joint Resolution 29, 24th Legislature, Regular Session, 1895. Page 1

Cursive handwriting on page 2 Bill file for House Joint Resolution 29, 24th Legislature, Regular Session, 1895. Page 2Back paper cover of Bill file for House Joint Resolution 29, 24th Legislature, Regular Session, 1895.Bill file for House Joint Resolution 29, 24th Legislature, Regular Session, 1895. Front paper cover, Page 1, Page 2, Back paper cover. Bill files, Texas Legislature, Box 100-1937.

This resolution introduced by Rep. A.C. Tompkins marks the first time a constitutional amendment for the enfranchisement of women was introduced in Texas. It was referred to the Committee on Constitutional Amendments but moved no further. [Digital facsimile on display. Original document transferred to Legislative Reference Library.]Click or tap on thumbnails or links for larger images.


 

The cover of “Wm. Jennings Bryan Against Liquor Traffic: Stenographic Report of His Speech in Part Before Catholic Total Abstinance [sic.] of America,” undated. Thomas Jefferson Holbrook papers, Box 1965/111-5

The cover of “What We Owe to Alcohol,” “True Temperance Monographs No. 4,” undated. Thomas Jefferson Holbrook papers, Box 1965/111-5“Wm. Jennings Bryan Against Liquor Traffic: Stenographic Report of His Speech in Part Before Catholic Total Abstinance [sic.] of America,” undated. Thomas Jefferson Holbrook papers, Box 1965/111-5 and “What We Owe to Alcohol,” “True Temperance Monographs No. 4,” undated. Thomas Jefferson Holbrook papers, Box 1965/111-5.

The temperance movement was deeply tied to the women’s suffrage movement. These publications outline what these groups saw as the negative influence of alcohol on society and advocate for prohibition.

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The cover of Program of the M. Eleanor Brackenridge Training School, 1918. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2. Cover - Page 1

Pages 2 and 3 of Program of the M. Eleanor Brackenridge Training School, 1918. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2. Back of Program of the M. Eleanor Brackenridge Training School, 1918. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2.  Page 2Program of the M. Eleanor Brackenridge Training School, 1918. Cover - Page 1 Pages 2 and 3, Back - Page 4. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2.

The Texas Equal Suffrage Association presented a day of training for new suffrage workers at the Driskill Hotel in Austin in 1918. This program contains the schedule, which included sessions on organizing, election day logistics, public speaking, campaigning and media publicity. Click or tap on thumbnails or links for larger images.

 

 

An image of the open book showing a photograph on the left hand side and page 107 on the right hand side of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909

An image of the open book showing the text on pages 108-109 of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63t.An image of the open book showing the text on pages 110-111 of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63tAn image of the open book showing the text on pages 112-113 of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63t

An image of the open book page 114 and page 115 of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909

An image of the open book showing the text on pages 116-117 of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63t.An image of the open book showing the text on pages 118-119 of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63tAn image of the open book showing the text on page120 and a photograph on the right hand side page of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63t

An image of the open book page 1120 is blank and page 121 has text on it -  of Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909

Stoddard, Helen M. “Fort Worth Address, 1898” in “To the Noon Rest: The Life, Work and Addresses of Mrs. Helen Stoddard.” Butler, Indiana: L.H. Higley, 1909.  Photo and Page 107, Pages 108 and 109, Pages 110 and 111, Pages 112 and 113, Pages 114 and 115, Pages 116 and 117, Pages 118 and 119, Page 120 and Photo and Page 121. TSLAC-Main Collection, 920.7 ST63t.

Helen M. Stoddard was president of the Texas Women’s Christian Temperance Union from 1891 to 1907. During this time, she traveled the state organizing and delivering addresses such as those collected in this volume. Click or tap on thumbnails and links for larger images.

 

 

An image of blue text on yellow paper ofRepresentative C.B. Randell to Erminia T. Folsom, 1910. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-1Representative C.B. Randell to Erminia T. Folsom, 1910. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-1.

Representative C.B. Randell links his opposition to women’s suffrage to the “race question” and wonders if those who support woman suffrage also support the right to vote for African American women.

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An image of black text on yellow paper with hand writing and signatures present on the front page of Representative Rufus Hardy’s response to Congressional Committee questionnaire, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2

An image of the back of the document showing black text on yellow paper with hand writing Representative Rufus Hardy’s response to Congressional Committee questionnaire, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2Representative Rufus Hardy’s response to Congressional Committee questionnaire, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2.

In his response to a questionnaire created by the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Representative Rufus Hardy elaborates on his reasons for opposing suffrage.

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A photograph of a woman in profile wearing a long sleeved white dress. Mary Kate Hunter portrait, about 1880. Prints and photographs collection, Image 1987/022

Mary Kate Hunter portrait, about 1880. Prints and Photographs collection, Image 1987/022.

This copy print depicts Mary Kate Hunter, who served as vice president of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association from 1915 to 1916. She went on to organize a local unit of the Woman's National Foundation and was elected poet laureate of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.

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The cover of the UT bulleting showing black text on a grey cover and the University of Texas seal.  Clifford Howard. “Why Man Needs Woman’s Ballot” in the “Bulletin of the University of Texas, No. 31. June 1, 1915, Woman Suffrage: Bibliography and Selected Arguments,” ed. Shurter Edwin DuBois, 1915. Cover, Pages 24 and 25, Pages 26 and 27, and Pages 28 and 29. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2

Pages 24 and 25 showing black text on yellow paper of Clifford Howard. “Why Man Needs Woman’s Ballot” in the “Bulletin of the University of Texas, No. 31. June 1, 1915, Woman Suffrage: Bibliography and Selected Arguments,” ed. Shurter Edwin DuBois, 1915.  Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2 Pages 26 and 27 showing black text on yellow paper of Clifford Howard. “Why Man Needs Woman’s Ballot” in the “Bulletin of the University of Texas, No. 31. June 1, 1915, Woman Suffrage: Bibliography and Selected Arguments,” ed. Shurter Edwin DuBois, 1915.  Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2Pages 28 and 29 showing black text on yellow paper of Clifford Howard. “Why Man Needs Woman’s Ballot” in the “Bulletin of the University of Texas, No. 31. June 1, 1915, Woman Suffrage: Bibliography and Selected Arguments,” ed. Shurter Edwin DuBois, 1915.  Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2

 

 

 

 

 

Clifford Howard. “Why Man Needs Woman’s Ballot” in the “Bulletin of the University of Texas, No. 31. June 1, 1915, Woman Suffrage: Bibliography and Selected Arguments,” ed. Shurter Edwin DuBois, 1915. Cover, Pages 24 and 25, Pages 26 and 27, and Pages 28 and 29. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2.

This bulletin was produced as a resource for schools participating in University Interscholastic League debates. It collects articles and essays illustrating a range of affirmative and negative arguments regarding women’s suffrage. Click or tap on thumbnails and links for larger images.

 

A photograph of a letter on tattered and frayed paper writen with a typewriter to the Hon. W. P. Hobby from Ida Darden. Ida Darden scrapbook, 1912-1925. Call number 1985/063

A yellowed paper newspaper clipping with the headline of Women Opposed to Suffrage in Session Here from Ida Darden. Ida Darden scrapbook, 1912-1925. Call number 1985/063A yellowed paper newspaper clipping with the headline of Mrs. Darden Tells Attitude of Women Opposing Suffrage from Ida Darden scrapbook, 1912-1925. Call number 1985/063A yellowed paper newspaper clipping that starts with "Mrs. Ida Darden o fFort Worth has been appointed state chairman of the anti-suffrage association of Texas. From Ida Darden scrapbook, 1912-1925. Call number 1985/063A yellowed paper newspaper clipping of an editorial with the headline of Peril of "Equal Rights" for Women.  From Ida Darden scrapbook, 1912-1925. Call number 1985/063Ida Darden scrapbook, 1912-1925. Call number 1985/063. [Supplemental item for web version only. Due to size and condition this item is not on display.]

Ida Darden was a conservative activist who opposed suffrage for women. In 1916, she served as the publicity director for the Texas Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.

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A postcard with a cartoon drawing of a girl in a bonnet and umbrella with the text of "Votes for --MEN" (The WO is crossed out) and "I've a dandy hubby, who works and votes for me. I should Worrry." “Votes for Women” postcard, undated. A.M. Wiggington family papers, Box 2-23/1038“Votes for Women” postcard, undated. A.M. Wiggington family papers, Box 2-23/1038.

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A newspaper clipping of black text on yellow paper of “The Price of a Drink” poem, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-5“The Price of a Drink” poem, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-5.

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A broadside with black text on aged, brown tattered paper. “About Voting” broadside, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2“About Voting” broadside, undated. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2.

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Black text on yellow paper Page 1. Texas Equal Suffrage Association constitution, 1916. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2

Black text on yellow paper. Pages 2 and 3. Black text on yellow paper Page 1. Texas Equal Suffrage Association constitution, 1916. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2Black text on yellow paper. Page 4. Black text on yellow paper. Pages 2 and 3. Black text on yellow paper Page 1. Texas Equal Suffrage Association constitution, 1916. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2Texas Equal Suffrage Association constitution, 1916. Cover - Page 1, Pages 2 and 3, Page 4. Erminia Thompson Folsom papers, Box 1985/119-2.

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Page last modified: November 14, 2019