Excerpt from Path Breaking: An Autobiographical History of the Equal Suffrage Movement in Pacific Coast States If we formulate laws to shut away from the child the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he grows to maturity as a moral weakling. When thus bereft of the power of resistance, he falls an easy prey to evils which he will surely encounter somewhere in his journey through the world. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com ...
Excerpt from Path Breaking: An Autobiographical History of the Equal Suffrage Movement in Pacific Coast States If we formulate laws to shut away from the child the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he grows to maturity as a moral weakling. When thus bereft of the power of resistance, he falls an easy prey to evils which he will surely encounter somewhere in his journey through the world. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
Although this work is subtitled an autobiographical history of the Equal Suffrage movement in the Pacific Coast States, it is not an autobiography of the author. It does touch on the facts of her being born in Illinois, traveling the Oregon Trail, maintaining a journal of that trek, at her father's behest, as well as her later marriage and motherhood experiences. It is mainly a collection of her memoirs associated with the right to vote for women in the Pacific Northwest that makes this work and eye-opener for the way things were a mere century ago for women of the United States.
It is arranged by theme, and gives accounts of Duniway's unceasing efforts, once she launched her campaign to achieve equal suffrage for women in Oregon. While she was instrumental in gaining that right for women of Idaho and Washington and played a small role in the California campaign, she endured loss after loss in Oregon at the ballot box. After each defeat, she came back swinging and finally was victorious in 1912 after more than 30 years of dedication to that issue.
As she said Equal Suffrage was not an issue of men vs. women regarding women's right to vote. It was a continued effort of broad-minded women and men to overcome the narrow minds of other women and men. In fact it was generally the women populace who worked hardest to defeat Duniway's campaigns, although many Protestant ministers and certain business men including some influential newspaper editors were the ones providing the greatest impetus for maintaining the status quo.
Duniway learned many hard lessons in the political arena and had to overcome major obstacles all along the way. One of the most formidable contests was convincing voters that women were not universally prohibitionists and would not vote away man's right to imbibe. As the Women's Christian Temperance Union organized, marched, and openly campaigned to shut down the liquor trade in all aspects, Duniway quietly organized, lectured, and educated on the fact that giving women the right to vote was securing a right, while the temperance union was working to deny a right.
Another unusual twist to Duniway's work was that the Suffragettes of the East Coast tended to do more harm than good when they came to the West to "help." While Susan B. Anthony remained in the good graces of suffragettes everywhere including with Duniway's women's club members, some of the other workers came on too strong and increased antagonism among the anti-suffrage groups.
Another fascinating factor about the content of this book is Duniway's unwavering loyalty and praise for the State of Oregon, its potential and its beauty. This is an account that while it has no direct bearing on today's issues, it is certainly educational in how to persevere in the public domain in order to overcome injustices in society. I sincerely believe that all high school students should read this account before taking their place as voters in our society. Their appreciation of that privilege would be enhanced greatly.
*Abigail Scott Duniway is named in the Women's Hall of Fame as Oregon's representative.
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