JavaScript must be enabled to display this page properly.

Austin Treasures: Online Exhibits from the Austin History Center

Photo: Jane McCallum
Jane McCallum and the Suffrage Movement Jane McCallum and the Suffrage Movement Photo: Jane McCallum
The Road to Ratification
The Road to Ratification

In late 1918, drained by the efforts to achieve primary suffrage, Texas suffragists opted to postpone proposals for a state constitutional amendment until after World War I. They chose instead to work for ratification of the federal amendment. This was in keeping with the National American Suffrage Association's philosophy, as passage of the federal amendment was expected in January of 1919.

Quote: It's all over--I can not realize that this thing we've been waging such a terrific fight for is now actually a matter of history.The Texas Equal Suffrage Association formed a Ratification Committee, chaired by Jane Y. McCallum, in anticipation of the efforts necessary to lobby the Texas Legislature for ratification once the federal amendment was passed. Minnie Fisher Cunningham moved to Washington to labor for the national office by lobbying southern Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

Prohibition arguments often overlapped with suffrage issues since most temperance leaders came to believe that woman suffrage would be the means by which to achieve their goals. Many of the Texas Equal Rights Association members were also members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Texas prohibitionists, needing the woman's vote, succeeded in pressing the suffragists to support an early state referendum on both prohibition and suffrage in 1919.

Although the U.S. Senate failed to pass the federal amendment in January, Hobby signed the full suffrage bill on February 5, 1919. Suffragists launched an intensive campaign, but the May 24 election mandated by the suffrage bill resulted in the amendment's defeat. Election fraud and irregular election ballots were a major cause. Another important factor was the inclusion of a citizenship clause, passage of which would have stopped the custom of permitting aliens who had filed "first papers"--an application for citizenship--to vote. In the election of May 24, "first paper" aliens were able to vote while women were not.

On June 4, 1919, the U.S. Senate passed the federal suffrage amendment. By June 28th the Texas legislature had ratified the amendment, making Texas the ninth state in the nation, and the first in the South, to do so.

Printed flyer saying, Printed flyer saying, "Men of Texas: The women of Texas need your help on May 24th" issued by the Texas Equal Suffrage Association
[FP E.4 B #26 (Folder 6)] enlarge image
Printed sample copy of ballot used in special state election on prohibition and suffrage Printed sample copy of ballot used in special state election on prohibition and suffrage
[FP E.4 B #4 (Folder 1)] enlarge image
Printed flyer titled Printed flyer titled "Are You an American Citizen?" issued by the Texas Equal Suffrage Association
[FP E.4 B.3 #26)] enlarge image
Printed flyer titled

Printed flyer titled
Printed flyer titled "Many Factors Contributed to the Apparent Defeat of Suffrage"
[FP E.4 B.3 #5] enlarge side 1, enlarge side 2
Typewritten letter from Jane Y. McCallum to Mabel Lee Eldridge dated June 17, 1919

Typewritten letter from Jane Y. McCallum to Mabel Lee Eldridge dated June 17, 1919
[FP E.4 F (I/11/02)] enlarge image
Printed flyer titled Printed flyer titled "Six Reasons Why Farmers' Wives Should Vote"
[FP E.4 G #12] enlarge image
Printed flyer that says Printed flyer that says "A person without a vote is handicappedů" issued by the Texas Equal Suffrage Association
[FP E.4 G #9] enlarge image
Flyer titled Flyer titled "Do You Realize That in Every Country Woman Suffrage and Socialism Go Hand in Hand?"
[FP E.4 E.1 Folder 2 #11] enlarge image
Printed pamphlet titled

Printed pamphlet titled
Printed pamphlet titled "Woman Suffrage and the Liquor Question" distributed by the Texas Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage
[FP E.4 E.1 Folder 2 #23] enlarge side 1, enlarge side 2
Flyer titled

Flyer titled
Flyer titled "A Talk on the Tax Paying Woman by the Antis" distributed by the Pennsylvania Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage
[FP E.4 E.1 Folder 1 #15] enlarge side 1, enlarge side 2
Cover of The Woman Citizen magazine from May 10, 1919, showing a sign with the words Cover of The Woman Citizen magazine from May 10, 1919, showing a sign with the words "Justice to Women" and the caption "A sign of the times too large for him to see."
[FP E.4 E.2 May 10, 1919] enlarge image
Cartoon from the February 8, 1919, issue of The Woman Citizen implying that the liquor interests were opposed to woman suffrage in Nebraska Cartoon from the February 8, 1919, issue of The Woman Citizen implying that the liquor interests were opposed to woman suffrage in Nebraska
[FP E.4 E.2 Feb. 8, 1919] enlarge image
Flyer titled Flyer titled "Woman Suffrage Has Been Defeated"
[FP E.4 E.1 Folder 2 #25] enlarge image
Photograph of Governor Hobby signing the full suffrage bill on February 5, 1919 Photograph of Governor Hobby signing the full suffrage bill on February 5, 1919
[PICA 11670] enlarge image
Previous page Next page
Austin Suffrage Association | The Early Years | Primary Suffrage in Texas
Road to Ratification | Ratified and Released

Austin Treasures Home Austin History Center Home