A Profile of
Political Activists: Women of the West Virginia Woman Suffrage
By Anne Wallace Effland
The West Virginia woman suffrage movement involved the work of a dedicated group of women who committed their personal resources to the cause of winning the vote for themselves and the other women of their state and nation. From the end of the nineteenth century until the victory of the movement in 1920, these women organized, spoke, raised money, held office, corresponded with state and national political leaders, and carried out the strategy of the national suffrage associations. Facing repeated defeats, they, and the many men who also joined their ranks, worked constantly against the odds in a state plagued by poor transportation, limited economic development, ties to the Old South and conservative religious beliefs.1
Who were these women who successfully advocated such a radical change in West Virginia and American politics? What experiences led them to fight the ride of public opinion to bring about a new place for women in public life? Answers to these questions are elusive for all but a few of the women involved in the West Virginia woman suffrage movement. Yet the answers are essential for a thorough understanding of a movement that brought permanent changes to the political life of the state and nation. Political movements such as that for woman suffrage are initiated and carried out by individuals whose motives, ideals, and actions explain much about the results of the movements of which they were a part.
This study gathered data from available evidence to create a profile of the women activists of the West Virginia woman suffrage movement. The study employed two methods to establish such a profile. Quantitative analysis of selected characteristics was used to develop a collective biography of the many women about whom scattered and often quite limited biographical information survives, despite their activism in the movement. Narrative biographical sketches of some leaders for whom sufficient evidence survives supplement the collective biography with fuller descriptions of the lives and experiences of some of the women who led the movement. The results of these two methods allow some tentative conclusions about West Virginia's women suffragists.
Estimates of the number of women involved in this movement have not survived, but indirect evidence seems to indicate that the numbers were never very large and fluctuated widely as the progress of the movement rose and fell. Active work for the woman suffrage movement began in West Virginia in 1895, strengthened by a statewide woman suffrage convention in Grafton at which nine local clubs joined together to form the West Virginia Equal Suffrage Association (WVESA). Seven of the nine original clubs disbanded within the year, however and four years later, in 1899, state president Beulah Boyd Ritchie reported the association's discouraging position to the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA): "School Boards turn a deaf ear, City Councils are oblivious, while legislators openly scoff at our claims. That everything comes to him who waits has become a truism. The practice of this virtue is our only resort just now. . . "2
Paralleling an increasing activism on the woman suffrage issue nationally, West Virginia suffragists gained a higher profile in the state after 1910. A slow growth in the number of organized suffrage clubs began in 1905 and accelerated after 1912. High hopes for suffrage's success in West Virginia followed the state legislature's passage of a woman suffrage referendum in 1915, to be voted on by the electorate in November 1916. The suffragists opened their campaign with a widely publicized convention in Huntington, concluding with a large parade, "one of the big features of the week. . . with every detail. . . indicative of the great campaign of persuasive education which the suffrage advocates propose to wage in West Virginia between this convention and the November election in 1916... ."3
The 1916 referendum failed, overwhelmingly, and many of the movement's activists soon turned their attention to support of the American effort during World War 1. But a core of the state's suffrage advocates refused to accept defeat. Regrouping for the ratification battle over the Nineteenth Amendment, which would guarantee the vote for women throughout the United States, West Virginia suffragists applied persistent pressure to the state legislature during a special session in 1920. State ratification Chairman Lenna Lowe Yost characterized the vote for ratification as an "exciting battle and dramatic finish."4 By a fifteen to fourteen vote in the State Senate, West Virginia became the thirty-fourth of the thirty-six states needed to ratify the amendment. The victory played a critical role in the national strategy planned by NAWSA president Carrie Chapman Catt. Following notification of the West Virginia success, Catt wrote:
The people who have followed the course of woman's suffrage from outside with indifference or small understanding of what has been at stake will have no comprehension of the real message which the West Virginia victory carries to women. To us it means that the nation is won, that the seventy year struggle is over, that the women are enfranchised American Woman.5
The personal motives of women who chose to support suffrage in West Virginia were not often recorded, but they may be suggested by the rhetoric prosuffragists used to gain recruits. Aileen Kraditor, in The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, has described three arguments frequently used in the twentieth-century woman suffrage movement. Based on questions of race, immigration, and women's sphere, these positions serve as an appropriate guideline for examining the motivations of West Virginia suffragists, since the state's movement falls entirely within the period (1890-1920) analyzed by Kraditor.6
Race, or more accurately racism, was not a dominant issue in the suffrage movement in West Virginia. Prosuffragists sometimes claimed that antisuffragists in the southern sections of the state were using the issue to scare voters away from supporting woman suffrage and they responded with the prevailing suffrage argument that the votes of enfranchised white women would more than cancel any increase in black votes.7 But prosuffragists apparently did not adopt this racist argument as a regular strategy to gain converts.
They also do not appear to have adopted the comparable strategy used in northeastern states of assuring voters that white women could outweigh the influence of foreign-born men at the polls. The absence of the race question might be explained by the small number of blacks in the state, concentrated in the southern mining counties far from the active centers of suffrage work in West Virginia. The question of foreign-born voters would presumably have played a greater role in West Virginia suffrage strategy, since the northern and more industrial cities of the state had witnessed increasing immigration from southern and eastern Europe in the late nineteenth century.8 Yet the issue does not appear in the speeches and writings of West Virginia suffragists.
The arguments that do appear regularly are those representing the third category described by Kraditor. This argument stressed the value that women's moral standards and community interests would bring to the state. The capabilities of West Virginia women were demonstrated by working for such reforms as improvements in education, better efficiency in city government, protections for women and children in industry, and establishment or improvement of prisons and state institutions for the care of children and the physically and mentally ill. By 1918, the value and quality of women's assistance on the home front during World War I also became a winning argument. Arguments based on the special contributions women voters could make to the state and nation apparently carried most weight with West Virginia suffragists.9
In contrast to the rather uncertain area of motives, some attributes of the West Virginia women suffragists lend themselves to simple quantification. In developing a collective biography of West Virginia's women suffragists, 115 women active in the movement were identified from historical studies of the West Virginia suffrage movement, biographical dictionaries of West Virginia women and men, collections of personal papers and memoirs, and newspaper coverage of the suffragists and their activities. Women were included in the study if they were listed as officers in the statewide organization or if they appeared as activists, either by writing letters to Congressmen, introducing petitions to the state legislature, attending conventions, or appearing in newspaper coverage of suffrage events.10 This evidence was tabulated under the categories of marital status, date of birth, place of residence while working as a suffragist, occupation, college education, husband's occupation, kinship with other women suffragists, membership in organizations in addition to the WVESA, and membership in political organizations following the victory of woman suffrage. The question of race in the American woman suffrage movement remains an important one, but data on the race of women in this sample were not available. It may be fairly assumed that most, and very likely all, of the West Virginia suffrage activists included in the collective biography were white, since that was the case in most other states, but it can not be absolutely asserted.11 Simple percentages were calculated for marital status and place of residence to provide an indication of common characteristics of suffrage leaders in West Virginia. For the other categories, only raw numbers are indicated since information on such a limited number of women was available that percentages would be inappropriate.
Within the category of marital status, information was available for 106 of the 115 individuals. Of that group, eighty-two (77%) were married, twenty-four (23%) were single. The national rate of marriage for women at this time was about 90 percent,12 indicating that West Virginia suffragists may have been less inclined to marry than the general population. Unmarried daughters of older suffragists who may well have married later in life were included in this survey, so it is possible that the marriage rate of West Virginia suffragists was actually closer to the national average than appears in this sample.
Ages were not commonly indicated in stories about these women, but for nine, birth dates were noted or could be estimated from other dates such as completion of college. Despite the very limited sample, a wide range of ages within the movement is apparent, with two women born in both the 1840s and 1860s, and one each in the 1830s, 1850s, 1870s, 1880s, and 1890s. This wide range of ages also allows for some comparison among women of different generations of the suffrage movement, perhaps showing the development of opportunities for women over the century and reflecting some of the changes in the movement between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries described by historians.13 Unfortunately, the small number of women in the sample whose birth dates were available precludes such an analysis, as does the lack of detail regarding these women's lives. Where such information is available, the varieties of experience in these women's lives cannot fairly be attributed to age and, in fact, do not illustrate any identifiable trends.
Place of residence during the suffrage movement could be determined for one hundred of the 115 women. Although one hundred women lived in twenty-nine different locations around the state, almost two-thirds (63) were concentrated in five cities: Wheeling, Fairmont, Morgantown, Huntington, and Parkersburg. The significance of these locations and numbers is its support for previous research on the West Virginia woman suffrage movement that indicates a regional character to the suffrage movement apparent in the activism and chronological order of the formation of suffrage clubs. The oldest and most continuously active clubs in West Virginia were established in Wheeling and Fairmont in 1895. In this sample, these cities contained the largest concentrations of suffrage activists, twenty-one and fifteen, respectively. The next largest concentrations were Morgantown and Huntington with ten each, followed by Parkersburg with seven. Part of a second wave of suffrage organizing and activism that swept the state in the five years preceding the state suffrage referendum in 1916, the three cities came to rival Wheeling and Fairmont as centers of activism and leadership during the state referendum and later national amendment ratification campaigns.14
Data on place of residence further support this picture of the West Virginia suffrage movement when presented as percentages by region. The North Central region, which includes both Fairmont and Morgantown, accounted for thirty-six of the one hundred women in the sample. The Northern Panhandle, including the city of Wheeling, accounted for twenty-four. The Southwest region, where Huntington is located, held sixteen of the women and the West Central region, the location of Parkersburg, held twelve women. The two remaining women came from the Central region and the Southeast.15
Perhaps the regional characteristics of the West Virginia suffrage movement are explained by the long-standing economic, geographical, and political divisions that influenced the development of the state on many fronts. Wheeling and Fairmont, and later Huntington and Parkersburg, were commercial and transportation centers, as well as centers of manufacturing and extractive industries. Their economic ties to the more progressive Northeast and Midwest may account in part for their interest in the suffrage issue. Morgantown, in addition to commercial and transportation links to northern states, was the site of the state university, with intellectual connections to progressive ideas and reforms. Other parts of West Virginia remained isolated by poor transportation and a relative lack of economic development, making it less likely that speakers and organizers bringing new ideas would reach these areas. In addition, political sympathies and cultural identification rooted in the Civil War period tied much of the southern and eastern parts of the state to conservative southern ideals of social structure and family roles, contributing to rejection of reform in general, especially reform emanating from northern progressives.16
Occupational information was available for sixteen women of the study sample. The occupations included four physicians, four teachers, one college professor, two newspaper editors, one lawyer, two administrators, one business owner, and one actress. An interesting correlation in the data occurs between marital status and occupation. Of the thirteen women whose occupation and marital status is known, seven were single. Considering the overall percentage of single women within the sample was 23 percent, the number of single professional women agrees with recent research that suggests a significant percentage of such women were unmarried.17
Explicit information on college attendance is available for only four of the 115 women, three of whom were among the women whose occupations were identified. Most of the other professional and business women mentioned above, however, must have received college and even postgraduate education to pursue their occupations. Certainly the physicians, teachers, and professor would have been required to do so by the early twentieth century. Therefore, although it is impossible to know how many of the other 115 women might have attended college, at least sixteen of the West Virginia suffragists in this sample can be counted as college educated.
For married women in the sample, the sources also occasionally provide information on the occupation of husbands, which can serve to give some indications of social class among women suffragists in West Virginia, as well as marital agreement on the suffrage issue. Data on the occupation of husbands was available for fourteen women. One husband was a judge, one was a lawyer, one was a politician, two were both politicians and lawyers, one was a politician and farmer, one was a leader of a state farm organization, two were physicians, two owned businesses, two were newspaper editors, and one was a college professor. This information indicates middle-class or upper middle-class social status for women whose husbands' occupations are known, although the simple fact that these mens' occupations are known indicates sufficient position in society to have it recorded. At least three of the husbands shared an interest in the suffrage movement.
For some women, activism in the suffrage movement was shared with female relatives. Information on kinship with other women in the movement was available for seventeen women in the sample. Among these, five had daughters in the movement, five had mothers involved either simultaneously or previous to their own activism, five worked in the movement with their sisters, and two worked with their sisters-in-law.
Women in the suffrage movement were members of other women's organizations at the same time they were active in the suffrage cause. Seventeen women in the sample held membership in several organizations in addition to WVESA. Four women in the sample combined WVESA suffrage work with membership in the National Woman's Party, a more militant branch of the woman suffrage movement that championed the strategy of a national constitutional amendment for woman suffrage. Five women also belonged to the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), a common combination for suffrage activists elsewhere.18 Eleven women were members of the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs or its affiliates. Additional organizations appearing within this sample, with one member in each case, were the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, Ladies of the Maccabees, and an unaffiliated women's relief society.
Women also joined new organizations following the victory of woman suffrage and championed new political causes. Among the women of this sample, six continued their political interests through organizations. Three joined the West Virginia League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan group formed out of the WVESA after the ratification of the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment. Two joined the Republican party and were active both behind the scenes and in elective offices, and one was active in the Democratic party.
West Virginia suffragists whose narrative biographies can be pieced together allow a closer look at the experiences and backgrounds of a few political activists. Suffrage leaders for whom narrative biographical sketches can be constructed include Lenna Lowe Yost, Dr. Harriet B. Jones, Julia Walker Ruhl, Irene Broh, Izetta Jewell Brown, and Beulah Boyd Ritchie. Among these leaders, the life of Lenna Lowe Yost, president of the WVESA during both the state woman suffrage referendum campaign of 1916 and the national amendment ratification campaign of 1920, has been most fully documented. Yost's personal papers were donated to the West Virginia and Regional History Collection at West Virginia University by a cousin, Mrs. Virginia Brock Neptune. These papers, supplemented by interviews with Mrs. Neptune and Betty Boyd, former Dean of Student Life at West Virginia University, who worked with Yost on women's education issues, allow for the most complete biography of any West Virginia suffrage leader.19
Born in 1878, Yost was raised in Basnettville, a small town in Marion County, and graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, Upshur County. She married in 1899 and lived in Fairview, Clarksburg, Morgantown, Huntington, and Washington, D.C. Active in the Morgantown WCTU soon after her son's birth in 1902, Yost became president of the state WCTU by 1908. In 1918, she left the presidency to accept a national WCTU role as Washington correspondent of that organization's journal, the Union Signal.
At the same rime, she developed an interest in the suffrage movement and joined the WVESA in 1905. Paralleling her rise to leadership in the state WCTU, Yost became president of the state suffrage organization in 1916; conducted a vigorous, although unsuccessful, state referendum campaign; and served the organization again in 1920 as leader of its campaign to secure ratification by the West Virginia legislature of the Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment. Following the success of this amendment, Yost joined the Republican party, in which her husband, an attorney, was also active throughout his life. She served on the West Virginia platform committee, as the West Virginia Women's Activities Director as an active campaigner during the presidential races of the 1920s, and eventually as Director of the Women's Division of the national party.
Yost continued her activism in the temperance movement, attending international conferences on alcoholism in 1921 and 1923. She also accepted an appointment to the West Virginia State Board of Education, which oversaw administration of all state educational institutions, including the state colleges and university. Always concerned with women's issues, she championed the establishment of a women's physical education building at West Virginia University, worked for the recognition of West Virginia colleges by the American Association of University Women, advocated equal salaries and rank among women and men faculty, and served on the board of directors of the federal women's prison at Alderson.
Dr. Harriet B. Jones, born in 1856 in Edensburg, Pennsylvania, was raised in Terra Alta. She attended Wheeling Female College and later studied medicine at the Women's Medical College of Baltimore, graduating in 1875. Following post-graduate work in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, she began her career as a physician in 1886 with a private practice in Wheeling, the first woman doctor licensed in the state. Two years later, she became assistant superintendent at the West Virginia State Hospital for the Insane in Weston, then returned to Wheeling in 1892 to open a hospital for women, which operated for twenty years. Jones was active in the West Virginia woman suffrage movement from its inception in the 1890s and held various offices in the WVESA until the victory of woman suffrage in 1920. She advocated admission of women to West Virginia's colleges and university, which was finally accomplished in 1889, and was active in the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs, the WCTU, and, later, the League of Women Voters. She lectured frequently on public health issues throughout the state and actively lobbied for state sanitariums for victims of tuberculosis, serving as the executive secretary of the West Virginia Tuberculosis Association for ten years. She also lobbied successfully for establishment of a state children's home, and a state girls' reformatory, as well as working for the private organization of boys' clubs. In 1924 she entered politics, winning election, and later re-election, as a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from Marshall County.20
Julia Walker Ruhl served as president of the WVESA from 1917-19, between the state referendum and the national ratification campaigns, which was a period of discouragement and competition between suffrage and women's war work for the World War I effort. Born in Groton, Connecticut, Ruhl graduated in 1881 from Mt. Holyoke College, a prestigious Massachusetts college for women, then came to Clarksburg as a teacher at Broaddus College. She married a West Virginian, John Ruhl, who was a successful banker and businessman. Following her marriage, Ruhl became active in a number of volunteer women's service organizations, including the YMCA Women's Auxiliary, the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs, and a local Clarksburg group that worked for the establishment of a public library in that city. After the victory of woman suffrage, she joined the West Virginia League of Women Voters as a charter member.21
Irene Drukker Broh, born in 1880 in St. Louis, Missouri, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She married Ephraim Broh and the couple soon moved to Huntington, where Mr. Broh opened a wholesale clothing company. Mrs. Broh was active in the Huntington Equal Suffrage Association and was president of that group in 1918. Her mother, Sarah Drukker, was active in the woman suffrage movement in St. Louis and Cincinnati and knew Susan B. Anthony, according to the family. Following the success of woman suffrage in 1920, Irene Broh joined the League of Women Voters when a chapter formed in Huntington out of the Equal Suffrage Association. In later years she expressed her unhappiness with the number of women who left the suffrage movement to join political parties and accept party appointments and nominations. She believed joining the men's parties led the women to abandon the fight to change politics that had been part of the suffrage movement. Irene Broh also was active in the Huntington Woman's Club, education issues, and led a fight for poultry inspection in the state.22
Izetta Jewell Brown, a former actress in Washington, D.C., married Congressman William G. Brown of West Virginia and moved with him to rural Kingwood, Preston County. After her husband's death in 1916 she managed the family dairy operation, becoming active in the Preston County Farm Bureau and state Farm Bureau programs for women. The daughter of a founding member of the National Woman's Party, Izetta Jewell Brown became the West Virginia party chairman and worked on the national amendment ratification campaign in Charleston. Following the success of that campaign, Brown joined the Democratic party and became active immediately in the national and state party organizations. She also championed the League of Nations and tried unsuccessfully in 1922 and 1924 to win the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate. In 1927, Brown remarried and returned to Washington, D.C. with her new husband Hugh Miller, dean of the College of Engineering at George Washington University. Later, during the New Deal, she renewed her West Virginia ties as a regional supervisor for the Professional and Service programs of the Works Progress Administration, overseeing projects in most of the Midwest, of which West Virginia was considered a part. Her activism for women resurfaced in the 1960s when she joined the lobbying effort for the Equal Rights Amendment.23
Beulah Boyd Ritchie, born in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1864, was the daughter of Judge George E. Boyd and Annie Caldwell Boyd, both active supporters of the woman suffrage movement in West Virginia. Her mother held numerous offices in the WVESA beginning in the 1890s and while continuing to support this NAWSA affiliated organization, also supported the direct action activities of the National Woman's Party. Before her marriage, Ritchie attended Wooster University in Ohio and taught in schools in Missouri and West Virginia, her last three years at Fairmont State Normal School (now Fairmont State College). After her marriage in 1893 she was active in the Fairmont Political Equality Club and eventually served as president of the WVESA. She was also active with the WCTU and the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs.24
These six narrative sketches illustrate the findings of a limited, collective biography. Five of the six were married, one remained single. Their birth dates, where available, vary between 1856 and 1880. Four lived their suffrage years in cities and towns in the North Central area of the state, including Fairmont and Morgantown, and the other two worked for suffrage in Wheeling and Huntington. One of the Fairmont women was born and raised in Wheeling.
Of the six, two never held paid jobs before or during their years with the suffrage movement, two were teachers before their marriages, one was an actress before her marriage, and one was a physician and never married. The husband's occupation was available for three of the five who married. One was a farmer and politician, one a lawyer, and the third a businessman. Three of the six had mothers involved in the suffrage movement and at least two of these began their activism in the movement when their mothers included them in suffrage activities. Five of the six were also active in the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs, three in the WCTU, and one in the National Woman's Party. Following the end of the suffrage movement, three joined the nonpartisan League of Women Voters and three joined political parries. Of these three, one attempted and one succeeded in winning election in the 1920s, the other accepted only appointive positions within her party and state government.
This profile of West Virginia woman suffrage leaders does not stray much from those compiled by historians studying the suffrage movement on a national scale. In a brief "collective sketch" based on entries in the biographical dictionary Notable American Women, Anne Firor Scott and Andrew MacKay Scott found that suffragists had a marriage rate of 75 percent, birth dates ranging over nearly a century, a relatively high level of education, a significant number of husbands active in politics (about one third), and, in some cases, mothers and daughters included in the same biographical collection. Barbara Kuhn Campbell's statistical profiles of prominent women of 1914, based like the Scotts' on entries in Notable American Women and in two other biographical dictionaries compiled in the early part of the century, suggest that women who were suffragists were likely to be married, well-educated, executives in women's clubs, and involved in other reform work in addition to their suffrage activities.25
Nor does the profile vary much from those suffragists described in individual states. Although in large urban areas like New York City and Chicago leaders represented more varied groups in the population, including workers and socialists, research on other state movements supports a view of suffragists similar to the West Virginia movement. Carol Nicols found Connecticut suffrage leaders were middle and upper class, well-educated, and often involved with other reform movements such as child welfare, public health, and protection of women. Illinois women suffragists outside Chicago in the period after 1890, which corresponds to the period of suffrage activity in West Virginia, have been characterized by Steven M. Buechler as primarily "Conservative middle-class women" who were part of the "traditional and conservative women's club movement," interested largely in community betterment and the use of the vote to effect social reform. Although not offering an explicit profile, A. Elizabeth Taylor's articles on the woman suffrage movement in Georgia suggest that many suffragists in that state were the sisters, daughters, and mothers of other suffragists, members of the WCTU and other women's clubs and reform organizations, and were married to prominent businessmen and politicians of the state, as well as being teachers, business, and professional women themselves.26
Although West Virginia's suffrage leaders never held positions of national prominence, they shared the same background and experiences of suffrage leaders around the nation. They identified themselves and their cause with that of the national movement. The effort for woman suffrage in West Virginia was a fundamental challenge to the status quo, as it was in other states. Yet, as in other states, it was a challenge posed by moderate women whose personal lives were closely connected with the traditional order. Their social class, educations, family connections, organizational memberships and activities, were all part of the mainstream.
That mainstream, however, was one that combined tradition with reform. The woman suffragists subscribed to a view of women's sphere that bridged the private home responsibilities of women with the public aspects of the same responsibilities - health care, education, culture, and morality. Their vision retained the traditional notion of women's sphere, while expanding it into broader arenas. The generations of women in the movement from 1890 to 1920 represented a progression from a partially connected world of home and society into a fairly public role, but that role remained for most within the traditional sphere of women's concerns. The West Virginia suffragists did not view votes for women as a radical political aim, but as an integral part of and a necessary tool in their overall effort to reform the society around them.
Anne Effland is a Ph.D. candidate at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She contributed earlier articles to West Virginia History, and earned her master's degree in history at West Virginia University.
1. For a detailed description of the West Virginia woman suffrage movement, see Anne Wallace Effland, '"Exciting Battle and Dramatic Finish': The West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement," West Virginia History 46(1985-86): 137-58 and '"Exciting Battle and Dramatic Finish': West Virginia's Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment," ibid. 48(1989):61-92 [hereafter "The West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement"].
2. National American Woman Suffrage Association, Proceedings of the 31st Annual Contention (Warren, OH: NAWSA, 1899), 122.
3. "Huntington to Witness First Suffrage Parade in State," Huntington Herald Dispatch, 3 November 1915.
4. Lenna Lowe Yost to Carrie Chapman Catt, 10 March 1920, National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) Records, Manuscripts Division, New York Public Library (NYPL), New York, NY.
5. "Lenna Lowe Yost (Mrs. Ellis A. Yost): West Virginia Political and Government Leader," Lenna Lowe Yost Papers, West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Library, Morgantown, WV [hereafter WVRHC].
6. Aileen S. Kraditor, The Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 1890-1920 (New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1965; reprinted., New York: W. W. Norton, 1981), 52-74, 123- 218.
7. Elizabeth Cady Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 6: 1900-1920 (Rochester; National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1902, 1922), 693; "Would Improve W.Va. Electorate," Woman's Journal, 2 September 1916.
8. Charles Henry Ambler, West Virginia: The Mountain State (New York: Prentice Hall, 1940), 540.
9. This assessment is based on coverage of suffrage speeches in local newspapers, especially the Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling Register, the Charleston Mail, the Huntington Advertiser, Huntington Herald Dispatch, the Fairmont Times, Farmer's Free Press (Fairmont), the Morgantown Post, and the Parkersburg Sentinel during the 1915-16 referendum campaign; materials in a number of manuscript collections, including the Howard Sutherland Papers, the Ohio Valley Trades and Labor Assembly Records, the West Virginia State Federation of Labor Records, and the Lenna Lowe Yost Papers, WVRHC; and on published records of West Virginia suffragist activity in Stanton et al., History of Woman Suffrage. Quotations and more detailed descriptions of the rhetoric of West Virginia suffragists may be found in Effland, "The West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement."
10. Sources used to gather data for the quantitative analysis include John William Leonard, ed.. Woman's Who's Who of America,1914-1915 (New York: American Commonwealth Company, 1914, reprint Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1976); Stanton et al., The History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. 4: 1883-1900, Vol. 6: 1900-1920; Jim Comstock, ed., West Virginia Women (Richwood, WV: Jim Comstock, 1974); Mary L. Leibold, "Henrietta Fulks and the Suffragette Movement in Wheeling," unpublished mss. in possession of the author; Ethel Clark Lewis, "Interesting Daughters of West Virginia: A Crusader for Health and Righteousness," West Virginia Review, July 1929, 393; Linda Yoder,'"Persistent Initiators'; Women of the Equal Suffrage Movement in West Virginia," unpublished mss. in possession of the author; Anne Wallace Effland, "Lenna Lowe Yost," in Missing Chapters (Charleston: West Virginia Women's Commission, 1983) ;Vera Andrews Harvey, The Silver Gleam: Pageant and History of the West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs (Charleston: West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs, 1929); West Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs yearbooks, 1908-20; John T. Harris, ed., West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register (Charleston: State of West Virginia, 1916); West Virginia House of Delegates, Journal of the House of Delegates of the State of West Virginia (Charleston: State of West Virginia, 1908, 1920); West Virginia Senate, Journal of the Senate of the State of West Virginia (Charleston: State of West Virginia, 1920); Huntington Herald Dispatch, 3 and 17 November 1915; The Morgantown Post, 13 November 1937; The Suffragist, official journal of the National Woman's Party, 14 February, 25 April, and 13 June 1914, 23 January and 6 February 1915, 6 February and 30 September 1916; The Woman's Journal, official journal of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, 15 May and 9 October 1915, 24 June and 2 September 1916, 20 January 1917; Forty-Second Annual Report, 1909, National American Woman Suffrage Association; Irene Broh Papers, in possession of the family; Howard Sutherland Papers, WVRHC; Papers of the National Woman's Party, Library of Congress and National American Woman Suffrage Association Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. A complete list of the names of women included in the study is available from the author.
11. A brief discussion of the position of blacks in the woman suffrage movement is included in Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1959; reprint ed., New York: Antheneum, 1973). Gerda Lerner also touches on this subject in The Majority Finds its Past: Placing Women m History (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1979).
12. Barbara Kuhn Campbell, The "Liberated" Woman of 1914: Prominent Women in the Progressive Era (N.p.: UMI Research Press, 1979), 76.
13. See especially Kraditor, Ideas of the Woman Suffrage Movement, 43-74; Flexner, Century of Struggle, 115-270; and Anne Firor Scott and Andrew MacKay Scott, One Half the People: The Fight for Woman Suffrage (Philadelphia; Lippincott, 1975; reprint ed., Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1982), 3-50.
14. See Effland, "The West Virginia Woman Suffrage Movement."
15. The regions used in this study contained the following counties: North Central - Monongalia, Marion, Harrison, Taylor, Barbour, and Preston; Northern Panhandle - Marshall, Ohio, Brooke, and Hancock; Southwest-Mason, Putnam, Kanawha, Boone, Lincoln, Cabell, Wayne, Logan, and Mingo; West Central - Wetzel, Tyler, Doddridge, Pleasants, Ritchie, Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Jackson, and Roane; Eastern Panhandle - Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, Hampshire, Mineral, Hardy, and Grant; Central - Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, Braxton, Webster, Clay, and Nicholas; Southeast - Fayette, Raleigh, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Summers, Monroe, and Greenbrier; East Central - Pocahontas, Randolph, Pendleton (no suffrage activists in the sample were from this region).
16. See discussions of the influence of regional divisions on development in West Virginia in Ambler, West Virginia, 491-92; John Alexander Williams, West Virginia and the Captains of Industry (Morgantown: West Virginia Univ. Library, 1976), 97, 278-79; and John Alexander Williams, "The New Dominion and the Old; Ante-bellum and Statehood Politics as the Background of West Virginia's 'Bourbon Democracy'," West Virginia History 33(July 1972):322-29. For a discussion of the influence of southern traditions on the woman suffrage movement see Anne Firor Scott, The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830-1930 (Chicago and London: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1970), 166-70.
17. Campbell, The "Liberated" Woman provides statistical analysis of this phenomenon, and of many others, for women who were included in at least one of the following biographical collections: Leonard, Woman's Who's Who; Frances E. Willard and Mary A. Livermore, eds., A Woman of the Century (Buffalo: Charles Wells Moulton, 1893); and Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, and Paul S. Boyer, eds., Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard Univ., Belknap Press, 1971).
18. Discussions of the interactions between the temperance and suffrage movements may be found in Campbell, The "Liberated" Woman, 119-20; Flexner, Century of Struggle, 185-89; and Steven M. Buechler, The Transformation of the Woman Suffrage Movement: The Case of Illinois, 1850-1920 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Univ. Press, 1986), 117-21.
19. For further details on Lenna Lowe Yost see Effland, "Lenna Lowe Yost."
20. "Jones, Harriet B.," National American Woman Suffrage Association Papers; "Jones, Harriet B.," West Virginia Women; and "People of State Owe Much to Dr. Harriet B. Jones," Morgantown Post, 13 November 1937; Lewis, "Interesting Daughters of West Virginia."
21. Harvey, The Silver Gleam; Julia Walker Ruhl Papers, Mt. Holyoke College, Mt. Holyoke, Massachusetts, cited in Linda Yoder, "Persistent Initiators." I would like to thank Linda Yoder for sharing her research on West Virginia woman suffragists with me.
22. Interview with Irene Broh, WPBY TV, 1975; interview with Dolph Broh, Nancy Whear, 1983; Irene Broh Papers, in possession of the family. These papers consist of several scrapbooks kept by Mrs. Broh, which include newspaper clippings about herself and her mother, a pamphlet written by her mother, and family photographs.
23. National Woman's Party Papers; "Izetta Jewell Brown Miller," West Virginia Women, Izetta Jewell Brown Miller Papers, WVRHC.
24. Leonard, Woman's Who's Who.
25. Scott and Scott, One Half the People, 164-65; Campbell, The "Liberated" Woman, 133-42.
26. A good discussion of the role of socialists and labor activists in the New York woman suffrage movement is Mari Jo Buhle, Women and American Socialism, 1870-1920 (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press, 1981), 223-27, 232-36; the Chicago woman suffrage movement is described in Buechler, Transformation of the Woman Suffrage Movement, especially 148-98; Carol Nichols, "Votes and More for Women: Suffrage and After in Connecticut," Women and History 5 (Spring 1983): 14-15; A. Elizabeth Taylor, "The Origin of the Woman Suffrage Movement to Georgia," The Georgia Historical Quarterly 28( 1944) :63-79; Taylor, "Revival and Development of the Woman Suffrage Movement in Georgia," ibid. 42(1958):339-54; Taylor, "The Last Phase of the Woman Suffrage Movement in Georgia," ibid. 43(1959):11-28.
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