Would Women Vote?

Would wo voteIn 1888 a miniscule number of American women had the right to vote.  Opponents of woman suffrage repeatedly argued that women didn’t want the vote.  The popular journalist Grace Greenwood, was curious – “Would women vote if they could?  She found that 12 would, 10 would not, 8 reluctantly would out of a sense of duty.  Greenwood, the pseudonym of Sara Jane Clarke, advocated for abolition, women’s rights, and fair pay for writers. She would vote, she wrote, ” to make up for my long political disability.”  Mary Livermore responded:  “Would I vote? Bless your heart, I do vote, every year, as by the laws of Massachusetts I am allowed to vote for school committee. It is but a crumb from the loaf, the whole of which belongs to me. Nevertheless, I bravely deposit my beggarly and semi pauperized vote, and then, like Oliver Twist, reach up my hand for ‘more.’”  I scanned and cropped the image from the article published in the Fort Worth Daily Gazette, Oct. 28, 1888, p. 12.   When women finally won the right to vote in 1920, Carrie Chapman Catt said: “The vote is the emblem of your equality, women of America, the guarantee of your liberty . . . .Prize it!”

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