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The Suffragists

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Until 1912, Oregon women lived by men’s law. They had few legal rights with little power to improve their lives or communities. That changed when women won the right to vote.

For decades, Oregon women worked to get the vote with no success. Then, just after the turn of the twentieth century, a younger generation of women burst onto the scene. They challenged traditional society by taking on male roles and demanding change.

They came from different backgrounds, and often had different agendas. But the diversity of the movement allowed more women to become engaged in their own communities. Their experiences empowered them as they gained valuable experience in leadership, politics and civic involvement.

Together they won the vote for Oregon women, and went on to help implement social change that dramatically altered the lives of women and children, and improved working conditions for all Americans.

This era of women’s mobilization changed Oregon, and ultimately, the country.




Kimberly Jensen, Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War

Kimberly Jensen, Oregon’s Doctor to the World: Esther Pohl Lovejoy and a Life in Activism

Barbara Roberts, Up The Capitol Steps: A Woman’s March to the Governorship

Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote

Shanna Stevenson, Women’s Votes, Women’s Voices: the Campaign for Equal Rights in Washington



Entire Fall Issue dedicated to Women and Citizenship

Oregon Historical Quarterly, Fall 2012


Web sites

Gov. Barbara Roberts on Think Out Loud

Century of Action: Oregon Women Vote 1912-2012

Jailed for Freedom: American Women Win the Vote, by Doris Stevens

Oregon Experience: Abigail Scott Duniway

Suffragists Oral History Project

Sara Bard Field, Oregon Suffragist Oral History

Votes for Women Suffrage Pictures, 1850 – 1920, Library of Congress

Women of Protest, Library of Congress

Woman Suffrage in Oregon, The Oregon Encyclopedia Project

Washington Women’s History Consortium 1910 – 2010

Not for Ourselves Alone: the Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B Anthony

Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage


Broadcast Date: November 05, 2012


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The Suffragists