Women's Suffrage, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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Women's Suffrage

A Collection of News Articles Contributed by Kim Fowles

The Chief, February 11, 1887.

The women suffrage bill before the state legislature, only gives women the right to vote at municipal elections.

The Chief, April 8, 1887.

It is said the eyes of all the states were on Kansas last Tuesday to see what interest the women would take in the election. If that is so, and any of the many eyes gazing over this way dwelt upon Medicine Lodge any length of time, they would have discovered 179 fair ones voting early and late.

The total vote of the city cast on last Tuesday was 435, 179 of which were women.

The Union, Sept 9, 1887

A Girl’s Opinion of Woman’s Suffrage.

Perhaps there is not, in all the world today, a question of so universal an interest as woman’s suffrage. The first gathering of women to consider their rights and the best way to get them was held in 1848, at Seneca Falls, NY, headed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Mrs. Stebbens and Fredrick Douglass. Some one of them proposed a Woman’s Declaration of Independence, for the next Fourth of July; but there is no record of its having been written. Since 1848, societies have been formed in every city and town, to forward the cause in every way possible. Petitions for different laws have been signed by hundreds of women, and sent to legislatures; and from these petitions, the men have turned to vote in the opposite way. Cruel creatures! And what does woman claim as her right? The answer is: the right to vote at any election if she choose; the right to follow any profession she may choose; or to accept any office, from County Clerk, or Superintendent of Public Instruction, to President of the United States. Some of the more hopeful Woman’s Rights people say we will, one day, have a woman in the White House with a cabinet party of women.

But let us see whether woman really desires the ballot as much as many think she does. In my opinion most women would find more Rights in voting than they had bargained for; would become tired of dry reading in political papers; and, either would not vote at all, or would vote carelessly, so that, from want of vigilance on the part of the Right, the Wrong would triumph. It is true some women would have time to read and keep up with the times if they would read politics instead of novels. But they do not form the class who would do the most good in politics for they have not depth of characters sufficient to stand firm always, no matter what fascinations a candidate might use in electioneering, and vote for the other candidate be he ever so unattractive. These women (or rather dolls) of the richest class in cities, seldom care enough about the serious, every-day matters to make intelligent voters, and the class who would be energetic, intelligent voters, have not time to read all the political questions. More-over some of them have no inclination. A woman who does her full duty at home, has a more powerful influence upon the government of her country, than she could have by voting; since the home is where characters are formed; and upright character is the only safeguard against all manner of evils.

Integrity, honesty and self control are the prerequisites of a good man in any office. Many women think if they could vote they would soon put down the demon Alcohol, but here again we may say that if a woman will make home attractive, the men and boys will not seek the saloon or corner grocery to spend a pleasant hour. The saloon-keepers will miss their profit and temperance will flourish by woman’s tact and sympathy: But not by her vote. So it is with every good cause in which woman wishes to work; there are plenty of ways in which she can make herself felt without going to the polls, jostling against crowds of men (not gentlemen) and inhaling the smoke of tobacco, which the laws should prohibit but do not. Then if Woman’s Suffrage would not help in any way but would only hinder an element that can help in every way; viz: the home if its influence is not for good, it should not exist. If woman has an already established sphere in which she can work for the good of government and home, she ought to stay there and do her duty. This cry for Woman’s Suffrage is merely the expression of a few wandering, unsettled minds, who crave something new and think, like the child who cried for a slice of the moon, that because the ballot box is out of their reach, it is the very thing they want. Then let men have the ballot box and use it to elect good men; and all women do their best to help men vote right, but not vote themselves, for that is surely not their sphere.

Also see:

The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation, by Carry A. Nation, Revised edition, 1905.

Biography: Carry A. Nation

Thanks to Kim Fowles for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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