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Open Letter on Suffrage to Women’s Clubs in 1910

(The New Citizen/March 1910) No thoughtful woman, and especially no woman so thoughtful as to be identified with the vast club organization of the enterprising women of the nation for the mutual benefit of the individual and of society through the individual, can be indifferent to the thrill in the air of the effort of the equal suffrage organizations for full political freedom for women, in order that having by interchange of ideas discovered the things to be desired for human betterment they may help to attain them through direct influence upon the laws.

None can ignore the fact that men by securing political power have been able to improve their condition from the time of Magna Charta to today. Women as a body have in the past been quiescent for obvious reasons, timidity, lack of organization and initiative until the last half centry, since the Civil War forced them out into the world to solve the problem of existence for themselves and often for the families left by the war to their support. [women] The industrial and social conditions existing today as they affect women and children press home to the heart and consciousness of every live woman the need of her sex for all the political power obtainable in order that they may influence those conditions for their safety and welfare.

The discussion of the political franchise for women has heretofore been excluded from the program of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, but the fact that at its next Biennial in Cincinnati in May at an open evening session, Mrs. Carrie Chapman-Catt, President of the International Equal Suffrage Association, has been asked to present that subject indicates the cordial attitude of that body towards what is now a live issue in the greatest civilized nations.

In our own state an amendment to the State Constitution granting the franchise to women will be voted upon in November of this year. This is indeed an opportunity for Washington women to put forth a mighty effort towards its success, and that accomplishment depends upon the personal interest and endeavor of every interested woman in the State.

Will you not entertain the subject in your club, and for this season enlist all your interested members into an active movement from now on till the amendment is carried and the women of Washington, like the women of the four other Northwestern States, are dignified with full citizenship?

 

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