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7 1880s Mariana Folsom Organizes for Suffrage in Texas Marianna Folsom, a Unitarian minister, was also a lecturer for suffrage who worked closely with the American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1881 Folsom moved with her family from Iowa, where she had been a lecturer for that state's suffrage association, to Texas. Evidently she made an attempt to organize in Texas, as Lucy Stone's letter attests. (The "P.S." was written by Stone's husband, Henry Blackwell.) Notes for one of Mrs. Folsom's lectures illustrate the kinds of arguments she used on the Texas circuit. DOCUMENT* TO MARIANNA FOLSOM FROM LUCY STONE Office of the Woman's Journal, No 5 Park St, Boston January 22, 1885 Dear Mrs. Folsom If a state society can be formed that is strong enough to carry itself, it is quite worth while to form one. A suffrage association does not go alone by any means. It takes time and money and friends of the cause. A good deal of all. I should think that it required a great deal more work done in Texas before a state society could have enough men and women to sustain it—but the American Association will send you fifty dollars to help you form the Society, provided it is made auxiliary to the American Assn. You say Mrs. McKinney is going to make her home in Texas. You know perhaps that she is not in sympathy with the American Association—and would far rather have an auxiliary to the National in Texas. But you will see that if the American sends money to organize a society , it should be auxiliary to the American. Hoping for the best for you and for our cause in Texas I am yours Very truly, LUCY STONE *From: Lucy Stone to Mariana Folsom, 22 January 1885, Erminia Folsom Collection, Archives Division, Texas State Library. 76 DOCUMENTS 77 0MMM '•/: ''M/^^'-i^ 'StA3 ^'f^.f;'/*^ ftfe; --i>. Admision Free. (Mli^to'feken PRESS ,1 She dues, nothing for effect, butj Fiquagl! Winy! Ebq^fii! She* is enehdns be? audience without- extra-1 one of the'most entertaining* instroetordinary Banoer. effect.—*Wakefield (Mass.), ive and eloquent speakers who Las lev--'?, kctured in ffeosho, Neosho A most apt and eloquent address j > ^ ^ f Mcdnnfc •" ' -Fulton CM, Y,) Patriot. * ! S h e£*«***e speech was adnvrahl? m lone, The subject was well treated aad presented in every phase* , Galveston (Tex,) News.' „ - ' Her nddre$,s was ' impromptu but . - , . t d d | C 0 ^ # f '7oo Jie0pte. dieewd ^IKI hard to* answer.. - Omaha (Ns*.>hif mm hw'tfiy, Lmpmm' (Tex.) ^c<% - ' ' \c^iimf^MmxofHoustonpott/Mariana Thompson Folsom of Austin spoke publicly on behalf of suffrage in Texas as early as the 1880s. She continued her activities for the Texas Equal Rights Association after its formation in 1893. (Courtesy Erminia Thompson Folsom Papers, Archives Division, Texas State Library, Austin.) 78 CITIZENS AT LAST P.S. My wife and I, in consultation with the officers of the American W S Assn, feel that we cannot consistently use its funds except in the work of organizing auxiliary state societies. As you know the American differs from the National in respecting State rights and holding an annual meeting of delegates from State Societies. . . . DOCUMENT* THE BALLOT To talk of freedom for women without the ballot is mockery. What is this ballot? Gentlemen, what does your vote mean? What does the right say to every possible man, native and foreign, black and white, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, drunk and sober, to every possible man outside of State prison, the idiot and lunatic asylums? It says your opinion is worthy to be counted. That is what it says under the shadow of the American flag. What does it say to every possible woman, native and foreign, white and black, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, virtuous and vicious , to every possible woman under the flag? It says, "Your judgment is not sound, your opinion is not worthy to be counted." This fact that every possible man's opinion the moment he arrives at the age of 21 is thus respected, and thus counted, educates all men into the knowledge that they possess the political authority of every other man? The poorest ditch-digger's opinion counts one the same as the millionaire's. It is right. I believe in it. I would not take from the most ignorant man the right to vote. It gives him self respect and self protection . We can not rise in rebellion as men do, but we will stand and plead and demand the right to be heard and have our votes counted until the crack of doom, if necessary. *From: [Mariana Folsom], 'The Ballot/' Erminia Folsom Collection, Archives Division, Texas State Library. ...


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