Scott Duniway Resources

Those who wish to learn more about Abigail Scott Duniway may explore two major repositories. The Abigail Scott Duniway Papers, Coll. 232B, Division of Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, include manuscripts of speeches, poetry, and novels, two scrapbooks primarily of news clippings and editorial columns (as a journalist, Scott Duniway subscribed to a clipping service), suffrage campaign materials, the overland diary she kept on the trip from Illinois, business records, and correspondence with family and others. In addition to its Abigail Scott Duniway Papers (Mss 432), the holdings of the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, in Portland, include scrapbooks with clippings and other material related to woman suffrage, the Pacific Empire in text, the New Northwest on microfilm (five reels), other area newspapers that printed her work, notably the Oregon Farmer, the Oregon City Argus, and the Oregonian, all on microfilm, the records of the Duniway Publishing Company and the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association, and some correspondence, notably in the Eva Emery Dye Papers. The Washington State Historical Society possesses some correspondence, notably with Emma Smith DeVoe and May Arkwright Hutton. The archives of the Oregon State Library, in Salem, also contain some miscellaneous materials. Finally, because Scott Duniway also wrote frequently to other women’s publications, including the Revolution, the Woman’s Journal, and the Woman’s Tribune, investigators may wish to consult the History of Women collection of the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies.

Secondary sources are numerous. The definitive biography is Ruth Barnes Moynihan’s doctoral dissertation, “Abigail Scott Duniway of Oregon: Woman and Suffragist of the American Frontier,” revised and condensed as Rebel for Rights: Abigail Scott Duniway. New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick has penned an elegant, thorough, yet concise, biography, “The Fabric of an Oregon Life,” as well as a compelling fictionalized novel of Abigail’s life, Something Worth Doing, that rings true. Other valuable scholarly studies include Letitia Lee Capell’s master’s thesis, “A Biography of Abigail Scott Duniway”, Martha Frances Montague’s master’s thesis, “The Woman Suffrage Movement in Oregon”, and Leslie McKay Roberts’ bachelor’s thesis, “Suffragist of the New West: Abigail Scott Duniway and the Development of the Oregon Woman Suffrage Movement”. An engaging but less informative popular history is Helen Krebs Smith, The Presumptuous Dreamers: A Sociological History of the Life and Times of Abigail Scott Duniway (1834-1915). Among the best shorter accounts are L. C. Johnson’s entry in Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary, Moynihan’s “Abigail Scott Duniway: Mother of Woman Suffrage in the Pacific Northwest,” and Linda Steiner’s “The New Northwest.” Others include: “Abigail Scott Duniway: Oregon’s Foremost Suffragette”; Chittenden, “Western Pioneer”; Clark, “Duniway”; “Duniway, Abigail Scott”; “Duniway, Abigail Scott”; “Duniway, Mrs. Abigail Scott“; D. Duniway; Hopkins; J. Johnson; Kessler; Lake, “Abigail Scott Duniway”; Morrison; Moynihan, “Let Women Vote”; Moynihan, “Of Women’s Rights and Freedom”; Mulford 32-39; Richey, “The Unsinkable Abigail”; Richey, “Abigail Scott Duniway“; N. Ross; Shein, Abigail Scott Duniway; Shirley; Ward, “Abigail Scott Duniway.”

Scott Duniway’s autobiography, Path Breaking: An Autobiographical History of the Equal Suffrage Movement in Pacific Coast States, was published in 1914 and reprinted in 1971; two excerpts appear in Cullen-DuPont, American Women Activists’ Writings: An Anthology, 1637-2002. She also penned a shorter account of her life and work (through 1884) for the History of Woman Suffrage (3: 768-80). Portions of her newspaper, the New Northwest, have been republished in Ward and Maveety, “Yours for Liberty”: Selections from Abigail Scott Duniway’s Suffrage Newspaper and in Moynihan, Armitage, and Dichamp, So Much to Be Done: Women Settlers on the Mining and Ranching Frontier. The complete paper is now available via the Oregon Digital Newspaper Program, a project of the University of Oregon Libraries.

Other relevant websites include: