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23 1917 Houston Chronicle and Herald Endorses Suffrage Texas suffragists understood the importance of good press contacts, and they worked hard to persuade newspapers to endorse their cause. At the 1916 convention the Texas Woman Suffrage Association changed its name to the Texas Equal Suffrage Association, and Jane Y. McCallum, who studied journalism at the University of Texas, became chair of public relations. Under McCallum's leadership, the Association issued press releases and news items regularly, and by 1917 many Texas newspapers, particularly in the large cities, had editorialized in favor of votes for women. DOCUMENT* THE FIGHT FOR WOMAN SUFFRAGE The fight for woman suffrage is the most remarkable of any campaign ever waged in this country, save perhaps the fight against whiskey. A more striking evidence of womanly persistence has never been displayed in the history of any nation. There is, however, in the action of the women far more than obsession on one subject or mere determination to achieve an end because the attempt was once made. The women of America are prompted by the deep-seated conviction of the justice of their cause, and by the knowledge that they have been and are still being unjustly treated. No such rank, inexcusable, indefensible injustice has ever been perpetrated by constitutional provisions as the denial to women of a privilege given to the lowest and meanest of the male species. If it were possible to reverse in a day present conditions, and take from every man the privilege of the ballot and the right to sit on juries, and confer or give all those privileges to women only, there would be a howl go up from all the realm of mandom that would make a cyclone sound like an Eolian harp. Yet, would any more injustice be *From: 'The Fight for Woman Suffrage/' Houston Chronicle and Herald (Clipping undated , probably late 1916 or early 1917), Minnie Fisher Cunningham Collection, Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library. 136 DOCUMENTS 137 done than has been done, is being done, and will continue to be done, to women by men as regards suffrage? Most men believe not only in suffrage for men, but in universal suffrage , such as we have, and a man may be as ignorant as a guide-post, as depraved as a professional burglar, and as drunk as a distillery sow, yet he has just as much power at the ballot box as the best man in the land—but no woman can approach the ballot box. If a woman buys property her title is determined by man-made law. If she has to go into court a jury of men pass on her claims and weigh her evidence. If she violates the law a jury of men try her. If she owns property men may vote any tax on it they choose, and she has no vote or voice to protect her property. Fifty years has wrought a wonderful change, and the man who does not see that every woman in America is going to have the right to vote—no, not the right but the privilege—is blind to the obvious and immune against intelligence. Woman has just as much inherent right to vote as she has to eat, and a widening intelligence and a quickening public conscience and a clearer perception of right and justice are going to give her the privilege of the ballot, and that very soon. As well try to dam the Mississippi with cheese straws as to try to keep the ballot from the women of America. Fifty years ago the cause of woman suffrage seemed hopeless; now its success is assured. Then women voted nowhere; now 4,000,000 vote, and their votes decided a presidential election. Women gave us Woodrow Wilson for four more years—and that alone entitles them to the ballot everywhere. ...


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