The following speech, the primary purpose of which was to rally Republican support for women’s voting rights, was delivered to a number of equal suffrage societies during the 1892 Presidential election campaign.

Historian Samuel Eliot Morison once observed: “In 1890 American politics lost their equilibrium and began to pitch and toss in an effort to reach stability among wild currents of protest that issued from the caverns of discontent.”1 For two decades, factory workers had been organizing in groups like the Knights of Labor and, later, Samuel Gompers’ American Federation of Labor, and striking for decent working conditions. But their gains were sporadic and their struggle against wealthy, often well-armed, capitalists and an unsympathetic judiciary given to ruling against labor on Spencerian, social darwinist grounds remained bitter and intractable. Meanwhile, as Kansan Mary Elizabeth Clyens Lease exhorted them to “raise less corn and more hell,” destitute farmers, victims of both drought and monopolists, turned their fraternal and economic alliances to politics and revolt. In 1892, these forces gave birth to the People’s, or Populist, Party, whose platform demanded reforms including: free and unlimited coinage of silver; government ownership of railroads, telephones and telegraphs; a graduated income tax; an eight-hour work day; popular election of U.S. Senators; and initiative and referendum.

Thus, while the principals in the 1892 Presidential election were Republican Benjamin Harrison and Democrat Grover Cleveland, the contest also featured two minor party candidates: General John Bidwell of California, of the Prohibition Party; and General James B. Weaver, a former Greenbacker from Iowa, of the new Populist Party.2

Scott Duniway approached this election with mixed emotions. On one hand, her antipathy toward the Prohibitionists reinforced a general suspicion of third parties. Six years before, she had blamed Cleveland’s 1884 victory on “the reflex action of the Prohibition fiasco . . . by which the party of the first part could easily be beaten at the ballot-boxes but for the stop-thief cry of Prohibitionists, who manage to decoy enough of the blinded but honest voting element from the [Republican] candidate who eschews fanaticism to elect the Rummy every time.”3

On the other hand, although born and raised in Tazewell County, Illinois, and an ardent admirer of Abraham Lincoln, she was not a complacent Republican. Her anti-slavery commitments made the “Democratic Party of the South,” as she liked to call it, forever anathema. But she believed that the Republican Party had betrayed not just women but also farmers and laborers, and was seriously attracted to Populism (as she had been to Greenback ideas fifteen years earlier). Certainly she espoused a variety of communitarian and joint-ownership ideas that were quite socialistic and at odds with the prevailing faith in laissez-faire economic principles.4 In the same year in which she wrote this address (also the year of the great Homestead strike against the Carnegie Steel Company), she confided to her son, Clyde, that the Republican Party was “dead” because it had lost its “moral purpose” and had sold out to the “almighty dollar.” “I do believe,” she wrote, “the Populists will eliminate enough of their crudities to make of this new party a moral force, so divested of cant and trickery that the rank and file of the Republican masses can become allied to it.”5 Perhaps only her aversion to third parties stopped her from joining.6

In any event, while often critical, Scott Duniway never gave up on the party of Lincoln. In this speech, she challenges the Republican Party to live up to its roots. She positions equal suffrage in the tradition of abolition and hallowed Republican principles of liberty. She also addresses more pragmatic political concerns. First, she argues that women have been loyal to the Republican Party, supporting the Union’s war effort during the “Great Rebellion,” biding their time during the “Negroes’ hour” of emancipation and enfranchisement, and helping overcome Horace Greeley’s defection in 1872. Thus, she concludes, women have earned the party’s strong support in the cause of equal suffrage. Second, she warns of the growing influence of the “foreign” vote7 and suggests that Republicans must court women to preserve their power. Third, echoing her third-party fears, she repeats her views on the political dangers of a suffrage-prohibition alliance and argues that Republican support of equal suffrage would leave the Prohibition Party dying on the vine. Just as noteworthy as these overt appeals is an almost palpable undercurrent: Scott Duniway’s fervent wish to be kept from political temptation by a Republican Party worthy of her support.8

The text is taken from a hand-edited typescript in Scrapbook #2 of the Abigail Scott Duniway Papers.

With the gradual approach of another important national campaign, in which not only the two great leading political parties are to play a prominent part, wherein one or the other must be the loser, while at least two newer and lesser parties will be in the field with their divergent demands for the people’s franchises, there comes a time when the Republican party must bestir itself with renewed activity along some line of progress, to which it has hitherto been too often cravenly and selfishly oblivious, or it will surely meet the defeat it invites by its procrastination.

It is not the purpose of this paper to discuss the merits or demerits of the many temporary political uprisings of the people upon partisan bases, with all of whose movements the true philanthropist must have much interest, in some, if not many directions. But it is well to call the attention of statesmen who have grown rich and prominent in the service of the Republican party, to which the writer is by nature as loyal as they, to the partially unwritten history of this party’s younger and more vigorous years, when its leaders were not afraid to openly avow their loyalty to the fundamental principles of a Republican form of government so aptly defined by Abraham Lincoln, when he termed it “A government of the people, for the people and by the people” that no new definition is necessary.

The active politician of a couple of decades gone, who is as earnestly engaged today in manipulating the partisan machine as he was in his younger days, has no need to be reminded that the summer of 1872 was a period of great uncertainty for the Republican party. An extremely doubtful campaign was before it, in which great complications had arisen to disturb and perplex its leaders. Horace Greeley9 had virtually gone over to the Democratic party, taking with him, for a time, a third part of the loyal voters of the nation who had acquired the habit of yielding unquestioned obedience to the behests of the renowned editor, and who found themselves allied by political wedlock to the Lost Cause before they were fully aware of their predicament. Not so the loyal equal-rights women of the North, who had been the valued allies of Mr. Lincoln during all the stormy years of the war, and who naturally desired to perpetuate the principles of Liberty, to whose cause they had given their fathers in council and their husbands and sons in battle.10

During the entire period of the Great Rebellion the patriotic mothers, wives, daughters and sweethearts of the American soldiers refrained from holding woman suffrage conventions. They accepted the “Negroes’ hour” with unselfish disregard of their own disenfranchisement, and cheerfully performed the work of the farm, the fireside, the hospital and the sanitary commission, even though almost every home was thrown into mourning for its patriotic dead. Whatever any woman could do, notwithstanding she had perilled her life in her younger years to give existence to its soldiery, was eagerly done in her maturer state to mitigate the horrors of a war that women though doubly taxed to support it, had not been permitted to forestall. Then, when the protracted conflict was over and the Negro came to the front as an enfranchised citizen; while yet the mother hearts of the nation were torn and bleeding from the reflex wounds of battlefields and prison pens, these loyal women again came to the front, asking for the full and complete recognition of their own equality with the colored man. They came confidently, believing they had, through bereavement and loyalty, honestly earned their right to the same law making power that had been conferred upon the colored man without the asking; but alas, for the glory of the Republican party! their loyalty was repulsed and their patriotism insulted.

Anna Ella Carroll11 who had freely furnished Abraham Lincoln with her plan–and the only accepted and practicable one–for the Tennessee campaign; and who had unselfishly loaned the United States government her entire fortune to carry it forward to victory; Mary A. Livermore12, whose work for the sanitary commission won for her and womankind the lasting gratitude of every sick and wounded soldier; Clara Barton13, to whose philanthropic zeal the nation is so deeply indebted that nothing but woman’s complete enfranchisement can ever discharge its obligations, and Julia Ward Howe14, whose “Battle Hymn of the Republic” will stir the patriotic pulse of nations yet unborn–these are types of the many women who came, and alas for Liberty! are still coming to the front, knocking for their admittance to the rights, emoluments and privileges of a government which treats them as aliens in times of peace, though glad to recognize them as allies in times of peril.

The Republican party, when confronted with its great dilemma in 1872, finding its supremacy imperilled, quite naturally remembered “the loyal women of America,” and proclaimed through its national platform in that memorable year that “their demands for additional rights” were entitled to “respectful consideration.”

Although this “plank” in the platform was rejected by many women as a “splinter” quite too slender to support a principle, the majority accepted it as the best and only concession the party was in a position to make to any constituency, however large, which when comprised only of prospective voters, had no present power to speak effectively in its behalf at the ballot box. This majority made such excellent use of the proferred “splinter” that it surprised Mr. Greeley into the admission to some of his closest lady friends, at the close of his unfortunate candidacy, that his most effective opponents during the contest had been found among the woman suffragists.

A few days after the disaffected Republicans had met in Cincinnati and nominated Mr. Greeley, the National Woman Suffrage Association held a convention in New York at Steinway Hall, Elizabeth Cady Stanton15 presiding. The great editor had a few pronounced friends at the convention, whom Miss Anthony16, with her usual diplomacy, contrived to enlist in a mission of great importance to Mr. Greeley and ourselves. A committee was formed, at her instigation, of which the present writer was made chairman, with instructions to interview the great editor and learn from his own expression, just what help we might expect from him, if elected president, in securing our own enfranchisement.

We found the famous editor in his sanctum surrounded by his subalterns, all bristling, like himself, with hostility to the woman suffrage cause. Mr. Greeley gravely asserted, among other absurdities, that he didn’t “want women to be men”! And when we assured him that “ballots couldn’t change the sex of anybody,” he replied curtly, “Go tell your convention that when the time comes that there is no prospect that the help of Horace Greeley can do them any good they can have it.”

The result is too well known to require repetition.17 But the important part played by women in securing the defeat of Mr. Greeley, who, especially after being championed by the Democratic party at Philadelphia, (a few days after the woman suffrage convention in New York) considered himself invincible, was too lightly heeded by the Republican party for its own subsequent good; since all well informed women know that the tribulations which beset it in 1876 were the result of woman’s apathy and opposition during the Hayes-Tilden Campaign.18 Their enthusiasm, which had subsided into apathy after the Republican victory of 1872, for the good reason that it had brought them no redress of political grievances as had been promised, was reduced to frigidity when the Republican party was again in need of votes; and with remarkable unanimity they resolved to make no effort to assist in the canvass for Hayes and Wheeler. The party in which they had trusted had “been unmindful of its pledges to the loyal women of America.” It had placed the Negro man upon a political level with the Scandinavian; the Italian was recognized the equal of the Finlander; the Irishman as the peer of the German; the Englishman as the compeer of the Frenchman and the American as the co-equal of every thing masculine. But they, “the loyal women of America” were remanded to the political companionship of infants, idiots, insane persons, criminals, Chinamen and Jefferson Davis19, – a certain well remembered agitator whom the government afterwards punished for high treason by consigning him to the political equality of women, a condition under which he was humiliated during the remainder of his remarkable career; being the governmental peer of Mary A. Logan20, Mother Bickerdyke21, and Harriet Beecher Stowe22!

Colonel Thomas H. Benton23, in his reliable “Thirty Years’ View”24 asserted that the election of William Henry Harrison25 to the Presidency in 1840 was largely due to the influence of women, who came into active participation in political contests for the first time during the enthusiastic campaign of that memorable year.

There is one note of alarm heard frequently during later years, and one well worth considering by a discerning public. It is the cry of “too much voting now.” The Reverend Olympia Brown26 of Wisconsin has recently furnished Congressional Committees with important facts compiled from duly accredited statistics, concerning the present and rapidly increasing domination of foreigners in the affairs of government, her discoveries being of a nature so startling, with results and so far reaching if their tendency is not checked, that the Republican party cannot afford to ignore them. The vote of the State of Wisconsin was chosen for analysis by Mrs. Brown-Willis because it was believed by her that its foreign element was already sufficiently established to form a fair basis for logical deductions for the future consideration of the several states where its numerical strength has not yet reached a maximum. The native population of Wisconsin, although outnumbering the foreign born at the census taking of 1880 by 504,847 persons, was dominated at the general election of 1888 by an excess at the polls of 40,006 foreign votes. This vast discrepancy between the census and the vote arises from the fact that native born women, who figure in the census returns as the numerical equals of men, and outnumber the foreign-born of their own sex by tens of thousands, are not reckoned in the ballot box returns, where foreign born men are counted in their full strength. The numerical excess of foreign born men over foreign born women is easily accounted for. Men leave the Father-lands in large numbers while yet unmarried, or with wives and families left behind them, and seek American soil to avoid conscription; to escape punishment for crime; to conquer poverty; to secure homesteads, and often to engender riots and breed anarchy. Women come, when they can, to accompany or follow husbands and sons. But many wives and mothers who fondly hope to come are left behind indefinitely, or altogether.

Educated, intelligent, tax-paying, patriotic, school-teaching American women cannot reasonably be expected to remain content, or silent under the rule of foreign born men, many of whom never learn to speak our language, but the most of whom combine, whenever opportunity is presented, to “impose taxes upon us without our consent.”

Of course there are many native born men who never fail to join the foreigner in this most un-American procedure. Like Mr. Greeley, they “don’t want women to be men;” and like him they persist in believing or trying to induce others to believe, that their refusal to grant women the ballot alone prevents the transformation.

I once heard a Senator solemnly explain his adverse woman suffrage vote on the theory that God had “designed women to be mothers;” as if anybody had ever doubted the self-evident fact. And when a lady, who had no opportunity to back her readiness of retort with a reply in the Senate Chamber, told him as he came out smiling to meet her in the rotunda, that “God had also designed men to be fathers; therefore, according to his logic men should not be allowed to vote,” the grave lawmaker was silent. Another Senator said, “If women vote they must fight.” This opponent is a little man, not tall enough for military duty; therefore, there is no probability that he will ever smell gun-powder in battle, but he would think the situation most desperate if those women who are tall enough to shoulder arms, and quite ready to do it when necessary, were to arise in their might and deprive him and all men of his stature of the elective franchise.

In the year 1884 the Republican party was again in a dilemma but, because it was again managed by bad advisors, who refused to profit by its lesson of 1876, it failed to guarantee to women’s “demand for additional rights” any “consideration” whatsoever. Women in large numbers retaliated that year by allying themselves with the Prohibition party; and so cunningly did they combine their forces that the pivotal state of New York was influenced, more largely by them than in any other way, to cast its vote for Mr. Cleveland and thus turn the scale in favor of the Democratic party.

If the Republican party had remained true to the pledge it gave to women in its platform of 1872, there would have been no Prohibition party in 1884 with legions of women at its back to urge it forward on new lines of political action. And it is reasonably certain that, although less than 2 per cent of the women of the Nation are Prohibitionists, the great mass of them would have been enrolled under that banner under stress of political necessity during the Presidential campaign of 188827 if the Republican party had not grown wise enough under previous defeat to give our sex such recognition as it could afford to offer in its “election plank” in its Chicago platform of that year.

Any class that is persistently denied the exercise of its right to do what it ought to build up will naturally do what it can to tear down. An irresponsible class is always a dangerous class, doubly armed with the elements of impatience and impetuosity, which the wisest and strongest leaders always find it difficult to guide in emergencies. It was this class of women that joined the Prohibitionists and gave the government to the Democratic party in 1884; and it was this class that in 1888 persisted in saying, “The Republican party is opposed to woman suffrage. We do not believe it means to include women in its demand for ‘a free ballot and a fair count’; it is again trying to deceive us. It does not mean women but Negroes when it says it ‘recognizes the rights of every citizen to cast one vote and have the ballot honestly counted’ let it learn its duty through the bitterness of another defeat!”

Thousands of women are today acting with the Prohibitionists, and will continue to do so, because their awakened activities are welcomed nowhere else. It was largely through their influence during the national campaign of 1888 that Warner Miller28 was defeated in New York. They could not, or would not see with Miss Anthony, Olympia Brown-Willis, Lucy Stone29, Lillie Devereux [sic] Blake30, and many other leaders of large political experience, that the election plank of the national platform upon which General Harrison31 was to be made President, had promised all that any party, working with the determination to win, could afford to promise to a disenfranchised class at a most critical time in its own experience, especially since it was well known that a bona fide pledge to the woman suffrage cause at that time, would arouse much of the foreign, all the vicious and ignorant and much of the religious voting element of the country against it.

Men fear, most of all, the “unknown element” of women in politics. The thoughts and deeds of many of the women of today  are like the first over-flow of a long pent lake. The waters of the Conemaugh were not more unruly, after their sudden escape from the enforced confinement of massive masonry32, than is the woman Prohibitionist, whose long-pent patriotism, finding sudden popular, if erratic, vent in the opposite direction of Liberty, is impelled to devastate the political party of her choice because she is forbidden to assist in guiding it. This long repressed power in woman, having once gained the impetus of activity, cannot be silenced, urged forward as it is by political parsons and peripatetic stump orators, each backed in his turn by hebdomadal “organs” whose chief motor is the Almighty dollar. And this thoroughly awakened woman-power is destined to grow more and more aggressive and difficult to cope with successfully until men, under the banner of the Republican party, or its otherwise inevitable successor, shall become wise enough to heed the warnings of the political heavens.

It matters not for the purpose of this paper that prohibition as a means for the cure of intemperance is as inadequate to accomplish desired results as were the efforts of Dame Partington to stay the waves of the Atlantic Ocean with her mop.33 The large majority of women, even if in the Prohibition ranks, understand this perfectly. When prohibition, even in the local option, or least objectionable form was placed before them at a test election in Washington Territory in 1886, large numbers of women helped the men to vote it down. They realized that common sense methods must ultimately supersede the fanaticism of the prohibition movement. And their argument with pulpit orators and stump speakers against prohibition per se, which never has been refuted, was with many variations, like this:

If you have a friend who is afflicted with an abscess in his side and you should call a physician who would prescribe an ironclad prohibitory plaster to cover up the swelling, or outward evidence of the disease, you would at once brand that physician with quackery.34 If the doctor understands his business, he will see that the abscess is a result of diseased conditions. And, instead of plastering over the affected part with an adhesive covering, he will speedily place the patient under proper hygienic treatment and permit nature to effect a cure through the wonderful recuperative power which is inherent within the man.

We have a national abscess to deal with in this country, called the liquor traffic. This traffic is not the cause of intemperance, but the result of the diseased conditions of humanity,- financially, politically and morally. The sale of liquor, like the sale of shelf-worn clothing, would cease to be so large as to menace communities if it were not for the demand that creates it. Women dislike drunken husbands quite as much as men dislike drunken wives. Given: a race of women who are free and equal with men before the law; with consequent equal opportunities for occupation, emolument, education and office holding, and two generations will not pass away before husbands and fathers will voluntarily hold themselves to as strict a line of moral rectitude as they today, by tacit feminine consent, demand of wives and daughters. Women under such conditions can refuse to be mothers of men who are slaves to appetite. A mother-hen will hatch geese or ducks instead of chickens when circumstances compel her to do so, just as mother-women will often bear drunkards, or other moral monstrosities, when they would have gladly borne honorable and upright men, if the conditions surrounding them had made their dearest desires possible of fulfillment. Mother-love–the strongest of the feminine attributes–will surely enhance maternal enlightenment, resulting in crowning good to the race, when empowered, as it surely will be in the near future, with the moral, domestic and financial emancipation which can only accrue to it through political liberty.

The two words force and freedom are in exact juxtaposition. One signifies coercion and the other implies responsibility. The idea one would convey is that men must be compelled to abstain from evil by forcing the government to place the opportunity to err beyond their reach, and that of the other would inspire men to do right from the love of right. Woman suffragists represent this latter and larger class; prohibitionists the former, the smaller and we think the wholly illogical one.

It was not the “tariff issue,” great as it was, nor the “river and harbor question”, nor yet the “record of the war” that induced the great multitude of loyal women of America to stand by the Republican party in the last presidential campaign. Had we been unanimously in favor of the Prohibition party; or, rather, had we not been very largely opposed to it, the scale would have turned again in favor of the Democratic party, as it did in 1884, when we were given no recognition by the Republican party, and consequently made no effort to secure its triumph. But the party’s platform plank of 1888 that pledged us all we had any right to ask at that time, because it was all the party could safely accord to us under stress of its own peril, inspired our National method, put Judith Ellen Foster35 at the head of our National Committee, and placed our foremost speakers and journalists at the party service. Should the leaders of the party, now fortunately in the ascendant, dodge the issue again, as it did in 1872, and ever after until 1888, it will be compelled in 1892 to learn a more humiliating lesson than was taught it in 1876, and may prepare to meet even a more disastrous defeat in 1896 than befell it in 1884. History always repeats itself with added emphasis.

The party acted wisely in avoiding specific mention of women in its platform of 1888. To have raised the question of woman suffrage at such a time would have arrayed against it all the ignorance and tyranny of the native and foreign vote. But when the party is again triumphant; after it has gained another four years’ lease of power, it can safely declare itself in favor of woman’s enfranchisement and thus perpetuate its supremacy. That the vast majority of its leaders and thinking men are not averse to this measure, so manifestly in keeping with the party’s entire line of action in its vigorous youth, was proven in 1888 by the affirmative vote of twenty-four Republican senators in Congress in favor of recognizing the right of the women of Washington Territory to retain their right to vote in spite of the adverse ruling of the Democratic judges of the Supreme Court of the Territory, who were appointees of President Cleveland.36 Those judges over-rode the expressed will of the majority of both sexes by this ruling. They declared themselves “invested with power to legislate for women in all cases whatsoever.” And, to make their ruling effective, they, as women believe, and as Congress has decided in regard to Wyoming’s women voters, transcended both the letter and spirit of the Organic Act, which expressly delegates to Territories, not in rebellion, the right to determine the qualifications of their own voters through their respective Legislatures. Of the United States Senators whose names appear in the Congressional Record in disapproval of this ruling and in favor of a Sixteenth Amendment to the National Constitution granting suffrage to women, all are Republicans, as follows:-Messrs. Hoar, Cullom, Chace, Palmer, Dolph, Blair, Mitchell, Teller, Dawes, Stewart, Manderson, Platt, Wilson, Paddock, Farwell, Bowen, Stanford, Davis, Jones, Sabin, Frye, Chandler, Plumb, and Sherman.37 A formidable showing, truly; and one which so plainly indicates the drift of Republican sentiment as to require no comment.

General Harrison, who, by the grace of God, the votes of men and the influence of women, was safely seated in the Presidential chair in 1889, made use of the following significant language in his famous letter of acceptance:-

“I would like to hear a bugle call resounding through the land demanding a pure ballot. A free ballot, honestly expressed and fairly counted, is the main safeguard of our institutions; and its suppression, under any circumstances, is not to be tolerated.”

In the President’s inaugural address, is found the following: “Those who have been for years calling attention to the pressing necessity of throwing about the ballot box and about the elector further safeguards, in order that our elections might not only be pure and free, but might clearly appear to be so, will welcome the accession of any who did not so soon discover the need of reform. …The freedom of the ballot is a condition of our National life, and no power vested in Congress or in the executive to secure or perpetuate it should remain unused upon occasion….The sympathy and help of our people will not be withheld from any community struggling with special embarrassments or difficulties connected with the suffrage if the remedies proposed proceed upon lawful lines and are promoted by just and honorable methods….The man who has come to regard the ballot-box as a juggler’s hat has renounced his allegiance.”

The “special embarrassments” connected with the suffrages of women in Washington Territory were quite as difficult to meet, and certainly as unlawfully promoted, as those which were in use to suppress the colored vote in the Southern States. And it would have been gratifying indeed to women who have faithfully adhered to the Republican party, in spite of the proferred aid of the Prohibitionists, if they could have seen in the seat of power a man who was broad enough in his views and fearless enough in expressing them on the very threshold of his administration to make such declarations, sufficiently honest to carry them out, to the end that they could feel warranted in relying upon his firmness in executing the laws for the protection of women as well as Negroes. But the loyal women of Washington Territory relied in vain upon the Republican party to perpetuate their enfranchisement. They denied the authority of an appointive and ephemeral Democratic judiciary to “exercise an unwarrantable jurisdiction over them.” And they did what they could to undo its nefarious work in the Autumn of 1889, while the vote was pending that made their Territory a state with their ballots excluded by the Constitution. By thus conniving at political usurpation in the Northwest the Republican party became the active tool and willing ally of the Democratic party of the South. Its judges of election refused the votes of women electors in direct violation of the Federal law, and in open hostility to the same Republican form of government which is in active force today in Wyoming, where the status of woman suffrage under Territorial law was precisely analogous to that of Washington under the laws enacted by its own legislature.38

It was through this policy, carried out under cover of a Democratic method, in a commonwealth largely Republican, that the men of Washington were able to shut the iron doors of a state constitution in the faces of the women voters. But the Republican party, despite its many sins of omission and commission, is so solidly allied to the cause of equal rights that it cannot wholly dodge its manifest duty, since by the record it has made in Congress, in its efforts to prevent the unwarrantable jurisdiction of political usurpers over those empowered at any time with electoral rights, it has plainly provided Federal, if not local redress for such grievances (See United States Revised Statutes; law enacted May 31st, 1870; Chapter 14, Section 2, page 80), which especially stipulates that every judge of election who refuses to receive and record such ballots “shall forfeit the sum of Five Hundred ($500) Dollars to the party aggrieved by such refusal or omission, to be recovered by an action on the case with costs, and such allowance for counsel fees as the court may deem just.”

That the Republican party has not, in its later and less honorable years, obeyed the law of its earlier making, and is therefore under the ban of the righteous impeachment by patriotic citizens, is evidenced by the late decisions of the courts of Washington State, wherein this enactment of Congress is flagrantly nullified.

The enfranchisement of women as a question of abstract right, cannot be successfully opposed by anybody. There are questions of political expediency to be considered, however, in connection therewith, which the Republican party cannot long remain dominant and ignore. The Whig Party dallied with human slavery until internal dissensions wrought its complete disintegration. The uprising of the Prohibitionists–a distinctly anti-Republican measure–the formation of the Farmers’ Alliance, the active coalition of Labor Reformers of every grade, alike proclaim the prevailing discontent within the rank of the Republican party, which formerly comprised a political unity of forces as patriotic as it was irresistible.

The party is again upon the verge of perilous times. It approaches a National Campaign, handicapped by a Democratic House of Representatives, into whose hands it will be the policy of opposing political forces to throw, if possible, the decision of the Electoral vote. It has not fulfilled its pledges to “the loyal women of America,” nor sustained President Harrison in his ringing promise (made before election) “not to tolerate the suppression of the ballot under any circumstances.”

What does it propose to do with the woman suffrage question in the coming crisis? There is no other vital issue before it that has not already been espoused or openly opposed. The “loyal women” are in its ranks and they are there to stay, if recognized as equals; but if they deem it necessary to repeat the lesson of its defeat, as in former years, it will find them organized as never before to perform the unpleasant duty.


  1. 104. []
  2. Morison 80-86, 104-06. Harrison was the incumbent, having defeated Cleveland four years earlier, at which time Cleveland had been the incumbent, having defeated James G. Blaine in the election of 1884. []
  3. New Northwest 12 Aug. 1886. Her claim (repeated here) was not unfounded: The 25,000 votes received by Prohibition Party candidate John P. St. John in New York may have cost the Republicans the state and thereby the election (Robert C. Kennedy, “Cold Water Comfort”). []
  4. “The Destiny of Our Republic” n. 4-6. []
  5. Qtd. in Moynihan, Rebel 197. Cleveland was to be returned to the Presidency with more than 5.5 million votes to Harrison’s almost 5.2 million. Cleveland, who carried seven Northern states and the solid South, had a heavy electoral majority. However, Weaver polled more than a million votes and carried four states. Even Bidwell received more total votes–over 270,000–than any Prohibition candidate, before or since. []
  6. Moynihan, Rebel 166. []
  7. A nativist theme she had been sounding at least since the 1884 defeat (“U.S. Senate Select Committee on Woman Suffrage”). []
  8. Three years later, in response to a comment by a populist that he was “ashamed” of the party for “dodging” the suffrage question at its convention, “Mrs. Duniway replied that self-preservation is the first law of nature; that the populist craft had as much as it could do, in its present stage of progress, to carry the driftwood of the voting contingent which was beached by the older parties and always attached itself to new political movements. She said it was the duty of the republican party to lead the suffrage movement, because it was strong enough to carry it without peril” (Pacific Empire 14 May 1896). []
  9. (1811-1872): journalist, politician; founded widely-read New York Tribune, 1841; served briefly in U.S. House of Representatives, 1848-49, thereafter failing several attempts at election to Congress; abolitionist; free soil sympathizer; prominent Republican who bucked public opinion by opposing Lincoln’s renomination, 1864, and signing bail bond for jailed former president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, 1867; nominated for President by anti-Grant Republicans, and endorsed by Democrats, 1872, but lost conclusively (Nevins; Ashley, 1690-1872 256-72). []
  10. Fed up with corruption in the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, who had been elected in 1868, anti-Grant Republicans formed the short-lived Liberal Republican Party and nominated Greeley. The Democrats did not nominate their own candidate, instead endorsing Greeley (“United States presidential election, 1872“). Suffragists, who had reason to hope that he would embrace their cause, were bitterly disillusioned upon learning that Greeley’s liberality did not extend to women’s enfranchisement. None was more disillusioned than Scott Duniway, who had been an avid and regular reader of the Tribune since the age of 14 (Moynihan, Rebel 10). Abigail held her nose and supported Grant’s re-election (Bandow 62-64). This also was the election in which radical Victoria Claflin Woodhull ran on the Equal Rights ticket (ostensibly with abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass as her running mate, although he never consented to do so). Scott Duniway strongly disapproved of Claflin Woodhull (“San Francisco County Woman Suffrage Association” n. 13; “Eminent Women I Have Met” n. 29). []
  11. (1815-1893): political pamphleteer for the anti-foreign, anti-Catholic “Know-Nothing” party of the mid-1850s, later for the Union as a border stater who opposed abolition. A purported military strategist, she claimed to have authored the plan to invade the Confederacy via the Tennessee, rather than the Mississippi, river valley and attempted for 14 years to obtain payment from Congress (Boyer). Her claim was highly dubious but Scott Duniway here repeats the sympathetic interpretation widely argued and publicized in the 1880s by suffragists, who portrayed her as a victim of male injustice. []
  12. Mary Ashton Rice Livermore (1820-1905): born into strict Calvinist Baptist family; became abolitionist while tutoring children on plantation, regarding slavery as “demoralizing and debasing,” 1839-42; married Universalist minister Daniel Livermore to dismay of her family, 1845; three daughters; prize-winning author of Thirty Years Too Late, concerning temperance, 1845, and A Mental Transformation, about religion, 1848; nurse and key organizer, Northwestern Branch, U.S. Sanitary Commission during Civil War; organized first woman suffrage convention in Chicago, 1868; edited Agitator, Chicago suffrage organ, and Woman’s Journal when two merged, 1870-72; president, American Woman Suffrage Association, 1875-78; lyceum speaker, known as “Queen of the American Platform” (Riegel; Charles A. Howe, “Mary and Daniel Livermore”; Lord passim). []
  13. (1821-1912): born North Oxford, Massachusetts; taught first in hometown, then in Trenton and Bordentown, New Jersey; worked in U.S. Patent Office, Washington, D.C., c. 1853-56; earned title “Angel of the Battlefield” for efforts on behalf of wounded soldiers and Sanitary Commission during Civil War; introduced to Society of the Red Cross while in Switzerland, 1869, and during Franco-Prussian war; returned to U.S., 1873; founder, in 1877, and president, for 23 years, of American Red Cross; instrumental in U.S. ratification of Geneva treaty for Red Cross, 1882 (Curti; M. Roberts; Willard and Livermore 1: 60-62). []
  14. (1819-1910): woman’s club and suffrage leader; authored “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” 1862; helped found New England Women’s Club and New England Woman Suffrage Association, 1868; became leader in more conservative A.W.S.A.; served on committee that negotiated union of A.W.S.A. and N.W.S.A., 1890 (Boyer, “Howe”; Huxman, “Julia Ward Howe”; Lord passim). []
  15. (1815-1902): abolitionist, suffragist; authored “Declaration of Sentiments” of 1848 Seneca Falls woman’s rights convention; publisher, Revolution, 1868-69; first president, National Woman Suffrage Association, 1869; first president, merged National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1890; co-authored first three volumes of History of Woman Suffrage, 1881-86, and The Woman’s Bible (2 vols. 1895, 1898) (Lutz, “Stanton”; Campbell, “Elizabeth Cady Stanton”). []
  16. Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906): born South Adams, Massachusetts; abolitionist; leader in woman’s rights reform; teacher, c. 1835-1850; joined Daughters of Temperance, 1847; organized New York State Temperance Association, 1852; publisher, Revolution, 1868-70; co-founded National Woman Suffrage Association, 1869; vice president at large, 1869-92; president, National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1892-1900; arrested and tried for voting in 1872 Presidential election, refusing to pay $100 fine; initiated History of Woman Suffrage; helped found International Woman Suffrage Alliance, 1904 (Lutz, “Anthony”; Barry; Willard and Livermore 1: 30-31). []
  17. Following a bitter campaign, Grant was re-elected. Greeley polled more than forty percent of the popular vote; he died before the electoral college met, and his eighty-six electoral votes were distributed among four minor candidates (“Horace Greeley“). Grant was to confirm the Liberal Republicans’ worst fears (and embarrass those Republicans, including suffragists, who had remained loyal) when the notorious Whiskey Ring scandal, in which distillers bribed government officials in order to avoid taxes, was exposed three years later, in 1875 (“Whiskey Ring“). []
  18. See “Constitutional Liberty and the Aristocracy of Sex” n. 39. []
  19. (1808-1889): president of the Confederacy for the duration of the Civil War, 1861-65. []
  20. Mary Simmerson Cunningham Logan (1838-1923): political wife and writer; married General John Alexander Logan, Republican politician and Army officer, 1855; freed slave given by her family as wedding gift; tutored by Mrs. Stephen A. Douglas in social politics, 1858; during Civil War, accompanied Logan in the field, mustering supplies and recruiting nurses for hospitals; nationally renowned creator, “Striped Hospital of the Thirty-first Regiment”; inventor of Memorial Day, to honor Union heroes; closely associated with Woman’s Relief Corps, auxiliary to Grand Army of the Republic, and with Clara Barton and American Red Cross; Board of Lady Managers, World’s Columbian Exposition, 1890; after husband’s death, 1886, turned to writing in magazines and books, including The Part Taken by Women in American History, 1912 (Louise Young; Leah Sheffer, “Mary Logan: A Distinguished American Woman”). []
  21. Mary Ann Ball Bickerdyke (1817-1901): Civil War hospital worker and spokesperson for Sanitary Commission; born near Mount Vernon, Ohio; helped establish hospitals in Memphis, nursed the wounded of battles of Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, and Chattanooga; accompanied Sherman on his “March to the Sea”, attending to some 13,000 wounded; later moved to San Francisco, volunteered with Salvation Army and other benevolent organizations; helped organize California branch of Woman’s Relief Corp (auxiliary of Grand Army of the Republic) (G. Adams; Willard and Livermore 1: 81-82). []
  22. (1811-1896): born Litchfield, Connecticut, to Roxana and Lyman Beecher; educated and taught at Hartford Female Academy, and Western Female Institute, Cincinnati, founded by sister Catharine, 1823 and 1832, respectively; married Calvin Stowe, 1836; seven children; authored several novels, including best-selling Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1850; following publication, become prominent anti-slavery speaker in U.S. and Europe; wrote another anti-slavery novel, Dred, 1852; met President Abraham Lincoln, 1862 (Cross; “Harriet Beecher Stowe”). []
  23. Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858): lawyer, journalist and politician; served in War of 1812; editor of (St. Louis) Missouri Enquirer, 1818-20; U.S. Senate, 1821-25; nicknamed “Old Bullion” for opposing the national bank and championing “hard money”; moderate on slavery; a loyal Democrat, opposed his own son-in-law, John C Frémont, Republican candidate for the presidency in 1886; grand-uncle of painter Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) (Corning 27; “Thomas Hart Benton Biography”). []
  24. Thirty Years’ View: or, A History of the Working of the American Government for Thirty Years, from 1820-1850. 2 vols. New York: Appleton, 1854, 1856. []
  25. (1773-1841): soldier; Indian fighter who battled Tecumseh’s rebels in battle of Tippecanoe, 1811; Congressman, 1817-19, and Senator, 1825-28, from Ohio; elected ninth President (as a Whig), running with John Tyler, on the slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” []
  26. (1835-1926): Universalist minister; born Prairie Ronde, Michigan; Antioch College, A.B. 1860, A.M. 1867; graduated St. Lawrence University Theological School and ordained, 1863; pastor in Massachusetts, Connecticut and especially Wisconsin; charter member of American Equal Rights Association, 1866; made at least three hundred suffrage speeches, 1867 Kansas campaign; married John Henry Willis, 1873, retaining her maiden name; president, Wisconsin Woman Suffrage Association, 1884-1912; vice-president, N.W.S.A., 1884; formed Federal Suffrage Association, 1892 (reorganized as Woman’s Federal Equality Association, 1902), to campaign for Congressional suffrage resolution; president, 1903-20; member, Alice Paul’s Congressional Union (later the National Woman’s Party); supporter of American Civil Liberties Union and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (Graves; Who was Who 1357). []
  27. The first contest between Cleveland and Harrison, in which Harrison received almost 100,000 fewer popular votes but carried the Electoral College, 233 to 168. []
  28. (1838-1918): born Hannibal, New York; graduated Union College, 1860; enlisted in New York cavalry regiment, serving under General Philip Sheridan in Shenandoah Valley; married Caroline Churchill, 1864; paper-manufacturer in Herkimer; delegate, national Republican convention, 1872; New York state assembly, 1874-76; U.S. Representative, 1879-81; appointed to fill unexpired term of Senator Thomas C. Platt, 1881; defeated for Governorship by incumbent David Bennet Hill, 1888 (“Warner Miller”; Who was Who 844). []
  29. (1818-1893): first Massachusetts woman to earn college degree (at Oberlin, 1847); lecturer for American Anti-Slavery Society; instrumental in calling national woman’s rights convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, 1850; presided over seventh national woman’s rights convention in New York, 1856; instrumental in organizing American Equal Rights Association to agitate for both woman and Negro suffrage, 1866; co-founder, American Woman Suffrage Association, 1869; founder, chief financier and, after 1872, editor of Woman’s Journal (Filler, “Stone”; Lord passim). []
  30. Elizabeth Johnson Devereaux Blake (c. 1833-1913): author, reformer; born Raleigh, North Carolina; tutored at home in Yale College course, New Haven, Connecticut; married attorney Frank G. Q. Umsted, 1855; widowed, 1859; turned to writing stories and novels; married New York merchant Grinfill Blake, 1866; agitated for opening of Columbia College to women, 1873, leading to founding of Barnard College; President, New York State Woman Suffrage Association, 1879-90; contender with Carrie Lane Chapman Catt for head of N.A.W.S.A., 1900; organized National Legislative League to correct legal abuses (Willard and Livermore 1: 96-97). []
  31. Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901): 23<sup>rd</sup> President of the United States, 1889-93; grandson of ninth President, William Henry Harrison; born North Bend, Ohio; three years as Union officer during Civil War; strongly supported Reconstruction; lost election as Indiana governor, 1876; U.S. Senate, 1881; moderate Republican; nominated for Presidency, 1888, losing popular vote by more than 90,000 to Democrat Grover Cleveland, but winning electoral majority; renominated, 1892, but growing labor strikes and Populist discontent over economic depression gave election to Cleveland. []
  32. A reference to the famous Johnstown Flood: On May 31, 1889, the catastrophic failure of the South Fork Dam on the Conemaugh River drowned Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in 20 million tons of water, killing more than 2,200 and causing $17 million in damages. The disaster posed the first major relief challenge for Clara Barton’s American Red Cross (“Johnstown Flood“). []
  33. A well-known figure in antebellum American folklore, Ruth Partington was said to inhabit a beach cottage in Sidmouth, Devonshire. Her fame was made by English clergyman, political reformer and wit, Sydney Smith, in a 1831 speech to a crowd angry over the defeat of a parliamentary reform bill in the House of Lords, in which he compared the Lords’ resistance to public outrage to Dame Partington’s dogged but futile determination to resist a gale: “In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm [at Sidmouth], Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused; Mrs. Partington’s spirit was up. But I need not tell you that the contest was unequal; the Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington.” American humorist Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber picked up the character in the Boston Post in 1847; the popular Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington appeared in 1854 (James M. Cornelius, “Mr. Lincoln and Mrs. Partington“; cf. “4879. Sydney Smith. 1771-1845. John Bartlett, comp. 1919. Familiar Quotations, 10th ed“). []
  34. Scott Duniway had employed this metaphor in the third of her series on “The Temperance Problem,” six years before (New Northwest 22 July 1886). []
  35. Judith Ellen Horton Foster (1840-1910): temperance leader, lawyer, Republican organizer; born Lowell, Massachusetts; Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, New York, 1855-56; removed to Clinton, Iowa; married E. C. Foster, 1869; admitted to Iowa bar, 1872; legal adviser to National W.C.T.U., 1880; strongly opposed Frances Willard’s commitment of the W.C.T.U. to the Prohibition Party, fearing harm to the 1884 presidential candidacy of James G. Blaine, finally bolting W.C.T.U., 1889, and organizing Non-Partisan National W.C.T.U., 1890; organized Woman’s National Republican Association, 1888, and helped found nearly a thousand local Republican woman’s clubs (Byrne). []
  36. “Ballots and Bullets” n. 40. []
  37. George Frisbie Hoar (1826-1904), Massachusetts, 1877-1904; Shelby Moore Cullom (1829-1914), Illinois, 1883-1913; Jonathan Chace (1829-1917), Rhode Island, 1885-89; Thomas Witherell Palmer (1830-1913), Michigan, 1883-89; Joseph Norton Dolph (1835-1897), Oregon, 1883-95; Henry William Blair (1834-1920), New Hampshire, 1879-85, 1885-91; John Hipple Mitchell (1835-1905), Oregon, 1873-79, 1885-97, 1901-05; Henry Moore Teller (1830-1914), Colorado, 1876-82, 1885-97, 1897-1901, 1901-09 (would later become a Silver Republican, and then a Democrat); Henry Laurens Dawes (1816-1903), Massachusetts, 1875-93; William Morris Stewart (1827-1909), Nevada, 1864-75, 1887-93, 1893-01, 1901-05 (a Silver Republican in his third period of office); Charles Frederick Manderson (1837-1911), Nebraska, 1883-95; Orville Hitchcock Platt (1827-1905), Connecticut, 1879-1905; James Falconer Wilson (1828-1895), Iowa, 1883-95; Algernon Sidney Paddock (1830-1897), Nebraska, 1875-81, 1887-93; Charles Benjamin Farwell (1823-1903), Illinois, 1887-91; Thomas Mead Bowen (1835-1906), Colorado, 1883-89; Leland Stanford (1824-1893), California, 1885-93; Cushman Kellogg Davis (1838-1900), Minnesota, 1887-1900; John Percival Jones (1829-1912), Nevada, 1873-95, 1895-1901, 1901-03 (a Silver Republican in his middle term); Dwight May Sabin (1843-1902), Minnesota, 1883-89; William Pierce Frye (1830-1911), Maine, 1881-1911; William Eaton Chandler (1835-1917), New Hampshire, 1887-89, 1889-1901; Preston B. Plumb (1837-1891), Kansas, 1877-91; John Sherman (1823-1900), Ohio, 1861-77, 1881-97. []
  38. Historian T. A. Larson interprets these events somewhat differently. Noting that men rejected woman suffrage by a margin greater than two to one, and that only four of 34 counties favored it, he observes: “Suffragists have usually explained the loss of suffrage as the work of prejudiced judges. Apparently, the judges were prejudiced, but so also were most of the male electors in 1889” (“Washington” 55). []

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