In 1896, Utah (Episode 25) became a state and restored women’s voting rights as part of the new state constitution thus becoming the 3rd state to grant full suffrage.
Our independent lady, Abigail Scott Duniway (Episode 29), continued to lead the charge for suffrage in the West. Between the years 1876-1895, Duniway traveled about 12,000 miles across the states and territories of the Great Northwest giving speeches, addressing state legislatures, writing pamphlets, and even going house to house when necessary.
The Idaho chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) (Episode 31) was led by Henrietta Skelton who encouraged local chapters to add suffrage to the temperance cause. In 1889, when Idaho was on the verge of becoming a state, Sketlon lobbied for both suffrage and temperance clauses to be added in the new state constitution--both proposals failed. The danger of tying suffrage and temperance together was that it brought the powerful alcohol manufacturers and distributors into direct conflict with women’s right to vote. For as much as Skelton tried to link the causes together, Duniway kept trying to separate them.
As with any movement, strong leaders can disagree with each other even when trying to accomplish similar goals. Such is the case with Abigail Scott Duniway, Susan B. Anthony, and the temperance leaders in Idaho. Duniway did not want suffrage tied to temperance fearing that linking them would doom suffrage. Duniway also did not like public spectacle campaigns that upset the general population. She preferred patient persistence. Leaders like Anthony thrived on making noise and agitation. In 1895, Anthony ordered Duniway to leave Idaho and confine her efforts to Oregon.
The WCTU was relentless in its effort to get suffrage and temperance legislation up for a vote in the state congress. In 1896, their work with the Idaho Equal Suffrage Association paid off and Idaho became the 4th state to grant full suffrage to women. With the help of women voters, temperance continued to be at the forefront of politics and symbols like temperance water fountains were erected throughout the state. In 1916, Governor Moses Alexander signed temperance into state law.
This week’s song pick:
“Perfect Day” by Hoku (Drama club lip-synch fan video) https://youtu.be/LZScuTBZUw4
Episode 46 Sources: