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17 1903-1905 Annette Finnigan Begins the Second Phase of the Texas Struggle In February 1903 Annette Finnigan and her sisters Katherine and Elizabeth organized an Equal Suffrage League in Houston. By December they had formed a new state organization, The Texas Woman Suffrage Association . The Finnigans brought in national suffrage leaders, including Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, and Carrie Chapman Catt, to address public meetings designed to influence public opinion and recruit members. In 1905 the Finnigans left Texas, and no statewide suffrage organization was active again until 1913, when Annette Finnigan, who by then had returned to Texas, would join Eleanor Brackenridge in reviving the organization . Note that in the account that follows Finnigan seems unaware of the earlier suffrage organizations of the 1890s. DOCUMENT* COPY OF LETTER TO TEXAS WOMAN New York, 16 December 1918 You have asked me a great many questions about the beginning of Woman Suffrage work in Texas, and I should love to tell you all I know, for I realize that no one knows what occurred during those first years as I do, but I am really not able, at present, to go into the details of it. I intended, about two years ago, to make out a full report for the National Association, but I was taken very ill at that time, and since have been slowly recovering. However, I will do what I can for you, and you can use the information, if you desire, putting it all in your own language. You asked how my sisters and I became interested in Woman Suffrage . Our family was always interested at least, from the early days, but my father was particularly so. I remember often hearing him speak of Julia Ward Howe, also of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, both of whom I afterwards knew. Elizabeth Cady Stanton visited Houston on one of her lecture tours—I think this was in the *From: Annette Finnigan, "Copy of Letter to Texas Woman/' New York, 16 December 1918, Jane Y. McCallum Family Papers, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. 115 116 CITIZENS AT LAST late seventies, and spoke at the Opera House on the subject "Our Girls." My father attended, of course, but there were less than a dozen people present, all being men. They were so charmed with her lecture that they tried to get her to remain over and repeat it the following night, promising her a large audience, but her lecture engagements prevented. I took no particular interest in the subject, in fact, I never heard it discussed outside of my home, until my first year in college, when I attended a large meeting in Boston, and heard Lucy Stone speak. But here, let me give you a little bit of my own history. I was graduated from Wellesley College in 1894. The next year I spent in travel abroad, then for several years I was in my father's office in New York, primarily to help him, as he needed me, and I stayed with him until his death, when I took up the management of his estate. I did not give all of my time to business. I was engaged to some extent in settlement work, was interested in the City History Club and belonged to the Wellesley Club and the Women's University Club. About 1900, there being no Suffrage Club in New York, a college friend suggested that we start one. Lillie Devereux Blake had at one time previous to this, organized a suffrage club in New York, but at the time referred to it was no longer in existence. The first meeting of our Club was held at our home, when Bolton Hall spoke. This Club was only started, when a large club was planned with many prominent women taking part in its organization. We had a number of meetings at the home of Doctor Mary Putnam Jacobi, which resulted in the organization of the New York Equal Suffrage League. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt was the first president, and I was the first corresponding secretary. We disbanded the first club we had started, and put all our energy into the new League. I served only one year as corresponding secretary, when my family returned to Texas to live. Of course, we took up suffrage work there. The field was entirely new. Elizabeth Cady Stanton had spoken some years before, as I have stated previously, on the subject of "Our Girls," with...


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