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18 1907 Suffragists Testify at a Legislative Hearing On February 1,1907, State Representative Jess Baker of Hood County offered House Joint Resolution No. 17 to amend the state constitution and extend suffrage to women. Texas had no official suffrage organization at the time, but a number of women, including the noted sculptor Elisabet Ney, converged on the Committee on Constitutional Amendments hearing to give their views on suffrage. The committee reported the resolution unfavorably . Baker filed the favorable minority report, which later died on the Speaker's table. DOCUMENT* WOMAN SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT IN TEXAS Several letters and newspapers from Texas all indicate that great interest is being taken at this time in the Lone Star State on the subject of Woman Suffrage. Miss Elisabet Ney, the famous sculptor, who made the statues of Generals Houston and Austin for the Statuary Hall in the Capital, writes that she was distributing copies of the Woman's Tribune among the legislators when she discovered that one of them had actually prepared a bill to give women the ballot. Accepting his invitation, she went to the committee room, when the hearing was to be given on the subject and spoke in behalf of the bill. Miss Ney speaks especially of the address of Mrs. Mallette, of Colorado, and of her reading the statement of ex-Governor Adams: "One of the committee tried to drive Mrs. Mallette into a hole, but she turned the tables and he was heartily ridiculed by all the other members, and a second attempt ended in the same way." Mrs. Alice McAnulty, who was the secretary of the State Association when it was active in former years, writes that the women met before the constitutional committee without any pre-arrangement, or without any of them knowing that others would be there. After the hearing, the women present had a conference and every one favored re-organization. Mrs. H. J. Kenyon, 2010 Wichita Street, Austin, *From: "WomanSuffrageMovementinTexas/' The Woman's Tribune, 13April 1907,JaneY. McCallum Family Papers, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. 119 120 CITIZENS AT LAST was delegated to correspond with the National Association and ask cooperation. The story is well told by leading papers, and their friendly attitude is a great source of encouragement in taking up the work again. The staff correspondent of the Houston Chronicle, reported the occurrence as follows: House committee on constitutional amendments had an open session yesterday for the purpose of giving several ladies an opportunity of expressing themselves on the subject of woman's suffrage. A proposition to amend the constitution so as to allow the women to vote in all State elections was before the committee in the form of a joint resolution being fathered by Hon. Jesse (sic) Baker, a big hearted lawmaker from Grandbury (sic) in Hood County. He had notified the correspondents that the ladies would be given a hearing yesterday, and when the resolution was called up eight ladies were present to testify to the fact that they should be allowed to vote. Those present were Mrs. Helen M. Stoddard, Mrs. Lane, wife of Representative Lane of Fort Worth; Miss Ney, Miss Jarvis, Mrs. Holden, Mrs. Emma J. Mallette of Waco, formerly of Colorado; Mrs. H. J. Kenyon, and Mrs. Alice McAnulty, of Circleville. Some of them made speeches in behalf of the measure and for a time the members of the committee thought that they were in a convention of some kind, where things had been primed and fixed in advance. The ladies were very earnest in what they had to say and were quick to answer all questions put to them by members of the committee. At one time Judge Neblett, of Corsicana, persisted in asking questions, drawing replies that caused some members to think that he had been drilled in advance of the meeting as to what he should ask. The quickness of the answers led some to think that the colloquy prearranged. The ladies maintained the position that they should be allowed to vote, one of them declaring that if she had this privilege she would kill her husband's vote every time, as he is a Republican while she is a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. The committee decided to wait a week before acting on the resolution , and should it be reported adversely there will be a minority report . It is stated that Representative Lane will support the bill. The Granbury Graphic-Truth says: Hon. Jesse (sic) Baker has introduced...


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