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19 1908-1915 The Austin Woman Suffrage Association The Austin Woman Suffrage Association was the only active suffrage organization in Texas from 1908 to 1912. Founded by thirteen people at French's Music Hall on December 4,1908, its great service was to keep the movement alive in Texas' capital city, where the state legislature, the key to securing votes for women, met every two years. The Austin Association also proved a training ground for emerging suffrage leader, Jane Y. McCallum, who was elected its president on October 22,1915. DOCUMENT* AUSTIN WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION MINUTES Jan. 23,1909 . . . Sec'y read letter from Carrie Chapman Catt, chairman of National American Woman Suffrage Association, urging all Texas Suffragists to work on a petition which is confidently expected to be the largest petition ever presented to Congress on any subject. Its object is to secure an Amendment to the National Constitution which shall enable women to vote. Petition blanks were distributed and instructions read relative thereto, with the request that each member endeavor to secure a page of two signatures at least. March 20, 1909 . . . Another letter from National Headquarters was read containing the request that inquiry be made at the public library for "History of Woman Suffrage" and also "Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony." The former in four volumes, the latter in three. October 21, 1910 . . . Our National Congressional Committee has received replies from two republican nominees for Congress, who are in favor of full suffrage for women and state they will help support amendments to the state and the national constitutions for woman suffrage. They *From: "Austin Woman Suffrage Association, Minutes, 1908-1914," Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin. 122 DOCUMENTS 123 are Mr. Noah Allen, Brownsville, and Mr. Marvin Connor, Dallas. Mr. James Slayden, the Democratic nominee for Congress from San Antonio, is in favor of partial suffrage for women. . . . Jan. 27,1911 . . . It was reported that Mr. Eugene Debs will lecture at the Opera House on Jan. 30 and will talk directly on woman suffrage for a few minutes. Judge Jess Baker's joint House Resolution submitting a constitutional amendment on woman suffrage was introduced Jan. 23 and reported out of the committee on Jan. 25 with an adverse majority report and a favorable minority report signed by Hon. J. W. Minton of Hemphill. . . . It was reported that the educational department does not employ any woman regularly, though other State Departments do. A motion was made and carried that a letter of protest against such discrimination be sent to the State Superintendent. . . . Feb. 24, 1911 . . . There is a bill... to allow a married woman to control her own separate property, which has a favorable majority and an unfavorable minority report. Woman suffragists in different parts of the State have written their Senators asking them to support it. The work which woman suffragists as the legislative committee of the Federation of Women Clubs were doing for the Child Labor bill, was mentioned. . . . June, 1911 An informal meeting . . . was held at the home of Mrs. Anne E. Walker, who had invited the members and others interested to meet Miss Perle Penfield an organizer for National American Woman Suffrage Association. . . . Her expressions of pleasure and approval of the condition of the Austin association . . . and the information of the probability of clubs being formed in other towns in the near future and also of a more active state organization, was received with pleasure. . . . . . . Miss Penfield dwelt on the great advantage of adding to the membership and recommended that the officers form a council, and a ward worker appointed for each ward,—that is, one member in each ward to obtain as many names as possible, the conditions of membership being the payment of 50 cents yearly dues and a willingness to have their names quoted as Suffragists. The distribution of literature as a means to inform and educate the 124 CITIZENS AT LAST people on the suffrage question, and the advisability of publishing interesting matter in the Sunday papers was also recommended. Oct. 27, 1911 . . . A motion was made and carried, that the candidates for governor and . . . other officers . . . be questioned as to the stand they will take on getting certain definite better laws for women in Texas. Just what they will be asked about, will probably not be decided until we hold consultation with the Texas Congress of Mothers, the W.C.T.U., and the State Federation of Woman's Clubs. Nov. 24, 1911...


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