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11 1893-94 Local Suffrage Societies Make the News During 1893 and 1894 local suffrage societies were organized in eight Texas cities. The first, in Denison, was organized on April 18, 1893, even before the founding of the first state organization in May. In July and November , clubs were begun in Taylor and Granger. In March of 1894 Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Belton organized affiliates of the Texas Equal Rights Association (TERA), and in June a Beaumont society was organized. Five TERA leaders who traveled extensively during the two-year period helped organize local suffrage clubs. Rebecca Henry Hayes, the president, traveled 9,000 miles. Mariana Folsom, Alice McAnulty, Dr. Ellen Lawson Dabbs, and Elizabeth Fry were popular speakers as well. Newspaper coverage of suffrage activities was widespread, as the following examples show. DOCUMENT* A WOMAN'S EQUAL SUFFRAGE MEETING Took place Monday night, April 2nd. at Prof. Wedemeyer's school house and it being the first of the kind held here it becomes of interest to our people to notice it and give a brief outline of the movement. Mrs. Hayes, of Galveston, was the speaker. She was introduced by Mr. Hillyer as follows: "Not many years ago the woman's suffrage movement began as a little cloud in the east not bigger than a man's head. It has grown and increased until now it shadows our land; it is a live issue. It has come to stay, and whether we like it or not it is high time that we should investigate it and see what it means, what there is of merit in it and to this end we have met here to-night and will now listen to an address from Mrs. Hayes, an old and highly respected citizen of Galveston." who was then introduced to the audience. She is a woman of splendid physique, of fine culture, ease of manner, made no effort at rhetorical effect, but in a plain earnest manner, spoke for about an hour, explaining the movement and urging the ladies of Belton to aid in the good work. There was perhaps one hundred and fifty persons present, largely ladies and all seemed pleased. Her claims and demands are about these: Our constitution an- *From: "A Woman's Equal Suffrage Meeting/' Belton Journal, 2 April 1894. Texas Equal Rights Association Scrapbook, Jane Y. McCallum Family Papers, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. 94 DOCUMENTS 95 Alice McFadin McAnulty's convention badges are on display at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Museum, Austin. (Courtesy Daughters of the Republic of Texas Museum, Austin.) nounces that all men are born free and equal and at a certain age in this nation are entitled to vote, this includes whites, blacks, Indians who pay taxes, paupers, and reprieved criminals, but excludes Chinamen , idiots, and insane and women. She denounced this as an insult to the sex that should be resented by every woman in the land, and to liberate and enfranchise the grand noble women of our country was the object of this association. That they had enlisted for the war and would keep up the fight until women were accorded equal rights with men in every state in the union. All they asked was equal rights and privileges, nothing more. This was simple justice and right and they would never be satisfied with less. She answered many objections against woman's voting, and told of many instances in which our laws and customs worked a hardship upon woman. Among these, woman is taxed without representation. Cannot sue for her own property except in the name of her husband in divorces, could not claim of a right her own children unless they 96 CITIZENS AT LAST were decreed to her by the court upon the ground of viciousness or incompetency of the husband. Then in all public and private work women were paid less for the same kind and amount of labor than men. In public schools a woman with the same ability and certificate would receive forty or fifty dollars for teaching the same grade that men were paid sixty to seventy-five dollars for and scaling of woman's wages was done in all private work in office, stores and factories. She further claimed that the political parties of our country were thoroughly corrupt. She paid a high eulogy to our good men. But said they were too few in number and influence. Let the women vote and you may...


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