Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, August 11, 2019, Pg. 10
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage (June 4, 1919) of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. Congress which gave women the right to vote. Ratification was completed by the states on August 18, 1920 just over a year later. This feat was accomplished after many decades of struggle by individuals and organizations across our country.
Here in Albion, an Albion Equal Suffrage Association was formed in the early 1910s. President of the group was Mrs. Nellie Carlton, whose husband Frank was an economics professor at Albion College. This group of women met at the Womenís Christian Temperance Union building on E. Erie St. One of their first guest speakers was Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919), who delivered a rousing suffrage speech here on September 5, 1912. Shaw, of course, was president of the National American Womanís Suffrage Association, and had been a student at Albion College from 1873 to 1875.
The group launched a "Suffrage Campaign" at its meeting on Monday, August 26, 1912, in preparation for the November election in which Michiganís male voters would decide on an amendment to the Michigan Constitution to allow the legislature to pass laws to allow Michigan women the right to vote. In the following weeks, numerous suffrage meetings were held throughout the city. One of the favorite speakers for the group was Albion College English professor Charles H. Woolbert, who encouraged the men (husbands) of the women to "come forward and take a part in the work themselves," according to one report.
A "Suffrage Headquarters" was established at 314 S. Superior St., the location of the Dysinger sisters Margaret and Saradaís florist shop. In addition, a large banner was hung across S. Superior St. which stated, "6,665 WOMEN IN MICH. PAY TAXES AMOUNTING TO $3,155,266.42. TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION IS TYRANNY."
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1912 postcard of downtown showing that banner, and a close-up of the text. How many of our readers are registered to vote?
Suffrage banner, close up 1912
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic