Ballots for both: an address

Please read carefully and hand to some intelligent friend.






"In North Carolina the white population is 70% and the negro 30%, hence there are 50,000 more white women than all the negro men and negro women put together. The admission of the women to the suffrage therefore could not possibly jeopardize White Supremacy, but would make it more secure."

"No matter how bad a character a man has, if he can only keep out of the penitentiary and the insane asylum we permit him to vote and to take a share in the government, but we are afraid to trust our mothers, wives, and daughters to give us the aid of their intelligence and clear insight.

"We let an illiterate foreigner from Italy, from Hungary, from Syria come to our State, and after five years, if he is a male and goes through a certain formula, you will adjudge him fit to be a voter. We let the bartender and those who live upon the evils and vices of life have a vote, while you deny it to your mothers, your wives, your sisters, and your daughters.

"They say that a woman has no time to vote. If women cannot get half an hour off once in two years to go to the polls then they need the ballot badly. They say there is dirt in politics. The men put it there, for they alone have been running it, and we need the women to give us a good house-cleaning. As Mr. Bryan said, `We need the ballot of the women more than they need it for themselves.' "



Since this address was delivered, the following States have adopted Presidential Suffrage: North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, Indiana, and in Arkansas the women can vote in all primaries, so that now there are 19 States, casting 172 electoral votes, in which the women can vote for President. In North Dakota, Nebraska and Indiana, they have also been admitted to Municipal Suffrage, and in Vermont they have acquired Municipal Suffrage. In Indiana they can vote for, and are eligible as, delegates to the Constitutional Convention already called. Women have acquired Full Suffrage in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. In England the bill for Equal Suffrage has passed third reading in Lower House 389-56, and the new Republic of Russia is pledged also to grant it.

Maine will vote on a Referendum for Full Suffrage for women September, 1917; New York November, 1917; North Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma in 1918.


O'er the Garden of Eden the very first dawning, Like a flood from the East was beginning to roll,

When the very first tortoise remarked without warning, "What a curious light," to the very first mole.

The very first mole made reply without turning, "It is only a craze—just a fad of the skies."

But the thing kept on growing and glowing and burning; "This is really a menace," they said, looking wise.

But by noon when the sun was well up and was cheering The tortoise, and even the mole in the hole,

They forgot all about their alarm and their sneering; "We have always approved," said the tortoise and mole.

NOTE.-It is said that the tortoise and the mole are the slowest and the blindest of all created things—except some men.





Ladies and Fellow Citizens:

At the request of the Suffrage League of your city I am here to say a few words in behalf of this great democratic movement which, world-wide in its extent, and irresistible in its progress, will lift humanity to a higher level and better conditions. In the great political contest through which we have just passed, the one subject on which all five of the National parties agreed was in pledging themselves to grant suffrage to women on the same terms with men. To speak in its support is like advocating the Ten Commandments. Some may not favor, but none are exactly in a condition to say that they are opposed. I am not here to pass any eulogy upon Woman. As Webster said of Massachusetts, "She needs none. There she is. Behold her and judge for yourselves."

Four years ago either the Democratic and the Republican National Conventions did not consider suffrage or voted it down in committee. The Progressive Party, under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, was pledged to it and came in under the wire 800,000 votes ahead of the Republican organization under President Taft. But this year, when the Republican Convention met at Chicago the leaders became aware that the suffrage States had doubled in number and that in twelve States, casting 91 electoral votes, the women could vote for President on equal terms with the men. And that those votes might be, as in fact they proved to be, the deciding vote in the contest. The humor of the situation was that they put up Senator Lodge of Massachusetts, the Prince of Standpatters, to read the report which pledged to the women of the Equal Suffrage States the enfranchisement of their sisters in the unenfranchised States.

President Wilson not many months back had refused to receive a delegation of Equal Suffragists, but as he said in a recent speech, "A wise man may change his opinion. but a fool never does." He did not belong to the latter class, and later he journeyed to New Jersey to register, and again to vote in the suffrage election in that State. When the Democratic Convention met at St. Louis the captains of the hosts had become aware that as to 91 electoral votes the women could control the choice of President. They also knew that the Republican Party had recently pledged itself to Equal Suffrage. A resolution to pledge the party to Equal Suffrage in the unenfranchised States was introduced, and when it met opposition it was stated from the platform that President Wilson had drawn that plank with his own hand, and deemed its adoption "essential to his success, and requested its passage." It was accordingly passed by a vote of 881 1/2 to a vote of 188 1/2, a majority of the North Carolina delegation, headed by its chairman, Gen. Julian S. Carr, voting for it. After the National Republican Convention had endorsed Equal Suffrage it would have defeated Mr. Wilson in all the 12 States in which women have Equal Suffrage to have gone before them without the same pledge in the Democratic platform.


This pledge was given not by an emotional mob, but calmly and deliberately, because it was deemed necessary to secure the majority of those 91 votes. The Democratic Party has received the goods. Without that resolution, which President Wilson foretold was essential to his success, the Democratic Party could not have secured the Presidency, and all that goes with it. It has received the goods, the public patronage, the post offices and the administration of the destinies of this great country. Will it repudiate its pledge? No one believes that a great party can stand in the attitude of obtaining goods under



false pretenses. No one will charge that President Wilson and the men around him and the leaders of the great historic party made this promise with the intention of getting the Presidency and then repudiating the conditions.

Years ago a President was elected by a party on a platform containing a pledge. After the election, by the enormous influence of the lobby backed by certain great financial interests, the pledge was broken by Congress, and the President promptly denounced the act as "party perfidy and dishonor." These were words that blistered and burned and that party was defeated at the next election.

I say that the pledge for Equal Suffrage was not only put in this platform to secure the electoral votes of the 12 Equal Suffrage States, but that it did secure the electoral votes in 10 of them and gave the election to Mr. Wilson. On Monday of this week William J. Bryan, before an intelligent audience in the city of Raleigh, in my hearing, advocated the redemption of that pledge, and told his audience that deeming that the crisis of the battle lay in those States, he had canvassed them thoroughly, and that everywhere he had appealed to the women to support Mr. Wilson on that pledge, and on his vote for suffrage in New Jersey, that they had done so, and that Mr. Wilson owed his election to the confidence of the women of those States in that pledge.

No one will question Mr. Bryan's accuracy in any statement that he makes, but there is corroboration in the election returns. An analysis will show that in the nonsuffrage States, where the women did not vote, Mr. Wilson's gains over the vote of four years ago averaged from nothing to 20%, but that in the Suffrage States his gains averaged from 76 to 126%. The leaders of that party made the pledge to win the Presidency, and they have won. It should not go down in history that when the Democratic Legislature in North Carolina met in 1917 they repudiated the promises upon which the party had won the Presidency. There have been instances of men who made promises to women and then thought it a joke to deceive them, but the world has never held such to be honorable men, and some of them have figured in the prisoner's dock.

It is true that this pledge was for Suffrage to Women on the same terms as men by "State Action." It is only such action that can be taken by the Legislature of North Carolina, and I will state presently what it can be.

It is true that the Republican Party did not receive the goods. It did not obtain the Presidency. The women in the Suffrage States preferred to believe Mr. Bryan and other leaders who told them that Mr. Wilson had gone to New Jersey to register and to vote for suffrage; that the plank in the Democratic platform in their favor had been drawn by his own hands, and that Mr. Hughes had never voted for the measure in his own State, and while Governor had vetoed a bill to give them equal pay with men for equal service. Still it is the doctrine of the Republican Party, and must so remain till an-other convention shall change it, and more than that, when the next election comes on for President there will not only be 91 electoral votes from States in which women vote. but there will be many more, and neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party can afford to go into another Presidential election without a pledge to enfranchise the women in the unredeemed States. if any such shall remain at that time. What faith will be given to such pledge when made by a party that. has broken the one given this year'? In this, as in all other matters, honesty is the essential policy.

"There are hills beyond Pentland, there are lands beyond Forth."

There will be other Presidential elections, and those who have broken faith as to their pledges in this election will find it hard to be credited with pledges then. No party can henceforth elect a President who is not an advocate of Equal Suffrage.

No one will place much reliance upon the gratitude of any political party for services rendered or pledges given. In polities "gratitude is a lively sense of favors to come." The guarantee of good faith is that there are other elections and it will not lie safe to face the electorate in the Suffrage States with a record of broken pledges. Besides, both parties have pledged suffrage by State action. If this is not had then the demand for suffrage by amendment of the Federal Constitution will be such that the average Congressman will not risk his re-election by voting against it.



It may be asked what can be done, in view of the Constitution of North Carolina, to procure justice for women? There are four measures which I will submit for the consideration of this audience as feasible and which should be adopted by the Legislature this winter:

1. In Illinois in the last election 876,700 women went to the polls and voted for President and a woman was one of those chosen as elector. Yet in that State their Constitution, like ours, prescribes that only male persons 21 years old can vote. What the Illinois Legislature did we can do and every State can do. Presidential suffrage is not fixed by the State Constitution, but the federal Constitution prescribes that the electors for President shall be chosen "in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct." In many of the States for fifty years the Legislatures chose the electors themselves, and this was done by South Carolina till after the Civil War and by Colorado as late as 1876. When the women of Illinois perceived that the influence of the liquor trusts and brewers was such that a constitutional amendment to strike out the word "male" in State elections could not be adopted at the polls, they procured the passage of an act by a majority of the Legislature, indeed in one house by a majority of one, which directed that the selection of the 29 ('Presidential electors for that State should be made by the vote of men and women 21 years of age. Upon the validity of this action the Presidential election might have turned. But not a lawyer from ocean to ocean has ventured to question the power of the Legislature of Illinois to do this.

This winter the Legislature of North Carolina should pass an act conferring Presidential suffrage upon the women of this State. This will require only a majority vote in each house, and will not need to be ratified at the ballot-box. As the Democratic Party has pledged itself for Equal Suffrage by "State Action," no member of the Legislature who stands by the platform of his party can vote against it. The same is true of the Republican members of the Legislature, for that party, too, is pledged to Equal Suffrage by State action. These pledges were put in the respective party platforms as a bid for the 91 electoral votes in the State where women voted, and to repudiate that pledge would prove insincerity and an attempt to obtain the Presidency under false pretenses.


2. Since the adoption of the recent amendments to our Constitution cutting out local legislation it will be necessary to pass a general act providing for the incorporation of towns and cities. That general act should contain a provision conferring municipal suffrage in all the towns and cities of the State upon women equally with men, or at least a provision that it shall be inserted in the charter of any town where on a vote by men and women such provision shall be adopted. This has been done in Florida, where many towns have admitted women to municipal suffrage by local vote.

There are lawyers who at first blush will say that this is contrary to the State Constitution, and indeed it was so held in Van Bokkelen v. Canady, 73 N. C. Reports, 198, at a time when the Republican Supreme Court thought that it should prevent a Democratic Legislature from taking possession of the government of the city of Wilmington. But these lawyers must not forget that to meet this very matter the Constitutional Convention of 1875 put in the Constitution a provision authorizing the Legislature to control in any manner it saw fit, the selection of city and county governments, and that under this measure the Legislature elected the magistrates for many counties, who were empowered to choose the county commissioners and other county officers, and thus control the county government. The Legislature was thus given the same power over the selection of county government and city officials as the Federal Constitution has given to the State Legislatures as to the manner of appointing electors for President. Later on, as to the same city of Wilmington, the General Assembly authorized the Governor to select one-half of the aldermen of that city, and in Harris r. Wright, 121 N. C., 172, the Supreme Court of this State held that this was valid and that the entire


machinery of electing county and city governments was vested in the Legislature. Indeed, if the Legislature can, as it did, select a few magistrates as the electorate to choose the county commissioners and other county officers, and can, as it did, make the Governor the elector to choose half the board of aldermen of Wilmington, it has the power to direct the election of city officials by the men and women of each town.

It is entirely in the power of the Legislature to create and change the form of city government and provide by a general statute how those officials shall be chosen and by whom. For some towns the Legislature may prescribe a business manager, for others a commission form of government, and for others a government elected by the men and women of the city.

In Harris v. Wright, 121 N. C., 172, it was held that the Constitution, Art. VII, sec. 14, "providing that the General Assembly shall have full power by statute to modify, change, or abrogate any and all of the provisions of that article (except secs. 7. 9 and 13) and substitute others in their stead, all charters, ordinances and provisions relating to municipal corporations are entrusted to the discretion of the Legislature" and held valid the act authorizing the Governor to select one-half the aldermen of Wilmington. This case has been repeatedly approved since down to Newell v. Green, 160 N. C., 463.

This act conferring municipal suffrage on women can therefore be passed by a majority vote in each house without submission to the ballot-box.


3. The third act that can be passed by a majority vote of each house, without reference to the ballot-box (where such measures would be fought by the liquor interests and the element that is opposed to the moral influence of women on politics), would be to authorize women to hold any office or position created by the Legislature, including especially all positions in the school system of the State.

I know, indeed, that it will be objected at once that women are debarred by our Constitution from holding office in North Carolina. Not merely to lawyers, but I appeal to every man or woman who can read the English language to say if there can be found in the Constitution of North Carolina the word "male" used as a qualification for office. I know that preconceived opinions and prejudice and custom and our method of taking things for granted, be-cause they have not been questioned, will predispose men to say that our Constitution disqualifies women from holding office. I assert without fear of contradiction that no such qualification can he found in that instrument.

In the Federal Constitution there is no disqualification which bars any woman to hold any office in the Federal government from President down. Many thousands have been postmasters and others have held important offices such as Collector of Internal Revenue, and but recently three women have been chosen Presidential electors and one is a member of Congress.

Our State Constitution does use the word "male" as a qualification for State suffrage. It is not to be wondered at that this brand was placed upon the women at a time when the subject was not considered. But that Convention did not go so far as to disqualify the people from selecting a woman as a public servant. It provides that "every voter shall be eligible to office." This was intended to prevent any future Legislature from disqualifying negroes from holding office, but it did not provide that "no one but a voter should hold office." You will see the distinction.

But even if women had been disqualified to hold office, it has been held in every State, except ours, that qualifications required for office in a State Constitution apply only to those offices which are created by the Constitution, and that as to positions and offices created by the Legislature, that body can prescribe the qualifications for every position created by it, its tenure and everything concerning it and change these at will. In North Carolina alone of the forty-eight States, it was held many years ago, under the pressure of peculiar conditions, in Hoke v. Henderson, that an office was a contract, and therefore the Legislature could not change the encumbents of a position created by it. This doctrine was not followed by any other State, and for seventy years it was a source of endless vexation in this State whenever the Legislature


was controlled by one political party and the Supreme Court by the other. The result was at last unendurable, and in Mial v. Ellington, 134 N. C. Reports, the doctrine of Hoke v. Henderson was utterly repudiated, and this State has ever since conformed to the universal ruling elsewhere.

The truth is that offices named in the Constitution are beyond legislative control, not because they are contracts, but because being created by the Constitution the qualifications for, and tenure of, such offices are beyond legislative control. But as to all offices and positions created by the Legislature itself the qualifications and tenure are entirely at the control of the Legislature, who can change them at will. It is true that some one has said that women cannot be notary publics until the Constitution is amended. There is another way, and that is for one judge to change his opinion, for the decision was made only by a majority of one vote. It has been suggested that it is more difficult for a judge to do this than to get a constitutional amendment adopted. but there have been judges who have overruled their previous opinions upon being convinced that they are wrong. If this cannot be accomplished, there are methods of legislation by which the Legislature can always accomplish its purpose without straining the consciences of the judges.

The Executive Department of our State is at least staked out on this question. By what I think a just recognition, the Governor has appointed a lady, who had already filled the duties of the office during the illness of her predecessor, to be Private Secretary. The statute, Rev. 5330, prescribes the duties of the office, and adds, Rev. 2737, that besides the salary of $2,000 the incumbent shall ex officio be the Secretary of the Board of Internal Improvements at a salary of $5 per day. "Ex officio" means, as you know, "by virtue of the office," thus expressly recognizing the position as such. Every pardon, every commission, every assignment, of a judge to hold a special term, signed by the Governor, must be countersigned by her as Private Secretary, and she must affix the State seal to every State bond and every grant. Rev. 2737. If a notary public cannot certify to the evidence taken down by herself as a stenographer because that would make it an office, what becomes of the validity of pardons, of commissions, of special terms, of State bonds and grants, and all other official acts of the Executive which are thus counter-signed by a woman? Besides our volumes of laws in publishing the list of Commissioners of Affidavits from this State (who are North Carolina officers). have carried for years the names of women appointed to that office by our Governors, and upon the validity of such appointment depends many deeds probated before them, especially in New York City and Danville, Va.

The Constitution of North Carolina, Art. VI, sec. 7, states the qualifications for office, and sec. S of same article and secs. 2 and 7 of Art. XIV state the disqualifications for office, but none of these disqualify women. If there is any power to bar them out it is not to be found in the Constitution, nor in any statute.


4. The fourth measure which this Legislature should pass (since the Democratic and Republican Parties were in good faith when they pledged to the 12 Equal Suffrage States that they would favor the adoption of equal suffrage by State action) is the passage of an amendment to the Constitution conferring upon the women of the State full suffrage. This measure, unlike the others above named, would require a vote of 3/5 in each house of the General Assembly and its adoption by the people at the ballot-box, where it would be fought by all the powers of reaction and prejudice, by all those who are opposed to any change and by the full weight of the liquor interests, which in every State have furnished the campaign funds for that purpose, and by those party leaders who fear that the advent of women to the polls may jeopardize any compact, well defined inner circle which may happen to control affairs anywhere. The measure might be beaten the first time, but the campaign will educate the voters and will win in North Carolina is it has done elsewhere, ultimately, if not at the first election. In the meantime we shall have had the


demonstration of the fitness of women by their exercise of Presidential and municipal suffrage and their example of fitness in offices created by the Legislature.

In 1776, at Philadelphia, in that immortal Declaration, from which dates all free and representative government, it was solemnly declared to the peoples of the world as a fundamental truth that all men are "created free and equal." Every one knew that this embraced the women as well as men. It was also pledged that "taxation without representation was tyranny." Thomas Jefferson, who drew that instrument, so understood it, for he declared in 1804, more than a century ago, that it was inconceivable to him "that any State should bestow the suffrage upon the most ignorant and besotted man and deny it to the most intelligent and virtuous woman."

In 1836, Abraham Lincoln so understood it. for in his canvass for the Legislature he announced as his platform the grant of suffrage "to all of sufficient intelligence and character. not excluding women." His phrase of "government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people" never meant "govern-of all the people, by half the people, and for half the people."

If the honor and the faith of all the great political parties and their leaders were not already pledged to the grant of suffrage the fact remains that 91 electoral votes are cast by States in which the women vote, and the number will be never less, and no political party henceforth can hope to swing the vote of those States unless by a pledge to which full faith is given by the women voters of those States.

The possession of the 91 electoral votes, the balance of power, reminds one of the incident in Charles O'Malley, that delightful picture of life in Western Ireland. On one occasion, when a man's father died, his son went to the priest to pray him out of purgatory. Not paying a large fee, the priest a little later reported that he had got the father's head out. The son paying another small fee, the priest reported that the father had his right arm and shoulder out. Whereupon the son declined to make any further payment. The priest reproving him for his unfilial conduct, the son replied: "You do not know the owld mon. If he has got his head and right shoulder and arm out, all h—ll can't hold him."

The facility with which some party leaders have changed front on this question is only equaled by an incident which Senator Smith of South Carolina related to the Chamber of Commerce in Raleigh. He said that a constituent of his, a man of some local prominence, who happened to be in Washington, insisted that the Senator should see the President and urge him to end the war in Europe, pointing out the terrible loss of millions of men and of property, the suffering of women and children, and indeed the destruction of the foundations of society. The Senator told him that it was a good suggestion, and he would tell the President about it, and then added: "By the way, Jim, the Germans, French, and British have 4,000 big guns which they are firing every two minutes, night and day, and to make the gun cotton requires a bale of cotton for every discharge." Thereupon his friend said: "Good gracious, I hope the war will last ten years."


The efficiency with which the women have managed their political campaign by getting President Wilson on their side, and then getting Judge Hughes to go a little bit further, and then getting Mr. Wilson to make a still further bid for their support, shows no small adaptability for political life. It may be, that as they have spent their lives in controlling individual men, they know well how to move them en masse. But they have not limited themselves to persuasion. In the Congress before the present there were several members who were offensive in their opposition, and when the returns came in for the present Congress 25 of the most conspicuous of these men were left home. It is said that in the coming Congress between 40 and 50 seats will be filled by new men who are friends of suffrage and replacing its enemies. This condition reminds us of the city man who in these times of high prices applied to a farmer for employment. He was given the work of cleaning up the premises, which he did so well and intelligently that the farmer went back to the


house. In about half an hour the man burst in the door with his face swollen and marked in all colors like a war map of Europe, and said hastily : "Squire, gim'me my coat; I am going." The squire asked what was the matter. The man had no time to answer, but threw back over his shoulder, "I don't know, but it started when I began to dust the beehives."


It may be asked why women should have the vote. It is enough that they are taxpayers and of equal intelligence and character with men, and hence, are entitled to a voice of the government which they do so much to support. They raise the men who fill your armies and carry on the work of the country, and they should have a voice in the laws which should protect the morals and the wellbeing of the home, the women and children, and of the men whom they have brought up for their country's service.

Women own probably one-half of the property in every State. In New York the tax list shows that of the five largest taxpayers, three, including the two very highest, are women; and in New Orleans considerably over half the property is owned by the women. And yet they say that "taxation without representation is tyranny." Many large taxpayers are widows or unmarried women, but they are not allowed to vote in this State even on bond issues.

It is said that they do not want the suffrage. The answer is that they have brought forward the demand for it before every State in the Union. Whenever submitted to the ballot-box, in only a few States has it been carried at first for only men can vote on the amendment. In some the amendment has been voted on three and four times. In Oregon the vote was taken five times, and five times it went down in defeat. On the sixth ballot it carried the State. As further proof that they do want it, in the last election in every State where the women voted they cast about the same proportion of ballots as among the men.

What is true among the women in these other States and countries is true here. They are silent and not aggressive after these long years of repression, but the feeling is deep and general. During the Know-Nothing campaign in Virginia before the war, Wise, who was the Democratic candidate for Governor, in one of the counties in Southwestern Virginia made a rabid attack upon the Know-Nothings as a secret order, and eliciting no response, taunted Flournoy with the assertion that there was not a Know-Nothing in the audience. To this Flournoy replied by waving his hand, and saying: "Get up, Sam!" and thereupon, to Wises utter consternation, the entire audience to a man rose to its feet.

After Judge Hughes had gone beyond his party in pledging himself to Equal Suffrage by Federal amendment, as well as by State action, President Wilson went to the National Convention of the Woman's Suffrage Convention at Atlantic City, and in his speech he told them that he had come "to fight with them," not against them; that their "enfranchisement throughout the country would be certain and soon." The convention then in twenty minutes raised a campaign fund of $818,800, which has since, I believe, been increased to $1,000,000. In New York, where suffrage was beaten last year, the Legislature has already passed an act again submitting the amendment for suffrage to the people next year, and in a meeting at Albany $300,000 was raised by the women in a few moments. This is talking in a tongue which politicians can understand, and it is not the language of those who are indifferent about suffrage. Mrs. Frank Leslie left the Equal Suffrage cause $1,500,000, which has been affirmed by the courts, and others have given the cause large gifts and bequests. Not a dollar of this money will be used for corruption, but for educational campaigns which is all that suffrage needs. This is not the language of those who do not want the right to vote, but of those who intend to win it.

The greatest obstacle to Equal Suffrage outside of the money and paid orators of the liquor interests is ignorance and overconservatism. This is best typified by an incident told by the elder Judge Dick. When riding the circuit as a Superior Court Judge, in Surry County he overtook a half-grown lad going to mill on horseback with a bag thrown across the horse, in one


end of which was the corn and in the other a stone to balance it. He asked the lad why he did not balance it by putting half the corn in each end of the sack. With amazement he replied: "Grandad did this way, and I guess he had more sense than you be."


Ninety years ago the first college for girls was established by Miss Willard at Troy, New York. The outcry against the education of girls went up on all sides. Exactly the same arguments were used against it as now against Equal Suffrage—predictions of an increase in divorces, of the supremacy of the wife over the husband, of immorality, and every other possible evil. When years later it was proposed to change the laws by which till then all the wife's property became the property of her husband instantly upon marriage, precisely the same predictions were again uttered, only more fiercely, if possible. It was said that every man and his wife would quarrel over the property, just as it is now predicted that they will quarrel over politics. It was not till 1874 that the Supreme Court of this State overruled its previous uniform decisions that a man had a right to whip his wife with a switch no larger than his thumb, for had not Chief Justice Pearson said that "It was the duty of the husband to make the wife behave herself, and therefore he had a right to whip her." It is hard to get out of the heads of some men the idea that they are lords, and the women are naturally their subjects. It is amusing to hear some of these express their intimate knowledge of the intentions of the Almighty by saying "God never intended that a woman should be equal to a man." The conduct of such men is generally such as to throw a doubt upon their being especially privileged to express the will of God; their conduct certainly does not show much acquaintance with it.


It is difficult to answer the conflicting arguments against suffrage. One will assert that if women vote they will take to drinking: another, on the contrary, will say that they will not allow a man to get within a mile of a drop of whiskey. The truth is that the liquor interests furnish the speakers and the campaign funds to fight the adoption of Equal Suffrage. Liquor dealers have no illusions about the views of the women who are the chief sufferers from the debauchery of the men.

There are those who will say that the women will vote like their husbands, and it will simply double the vote without any benefit, forgetting that there are in the United States 9,000,000 of unmarried women, while there are others who will say that if the women are allowed to vote they will differ from their husbands and thus increase divorces. But the fact is that the ratio of divorces has diminished in every State that has adopted suffrage for the reason that wives are better treated. There are those who assert that if women are given the suffrage but few of them will go to the polls, which is contradicted by the election returns from every suffrage State. Others assert that they will vote in block as a sex and overwhelm the male vote, which is also contrary to experience.

There are those who assert that in the South to allow the women to vote will bring out the negro women and overwhelm us. The truth is that in North Carolina the white population is 70% and the negro 30%, hence there are 50,000 more white women than all the negro men and negro women put together, and their admission to the suffrage could not possibly jeopardize white supremacy. Besides, if the white men are able to prevent the colored cook's husband from voting they ought to be able to prevent the cook herself voting. Equal Suffrage will strengthen and not jeopardize White Supremacy.

Possibly the cheekiest objection is that the doubling of the number of voters will increase the cost of holding an election. For 150 years the women have been paying taxes to pay the costs of elections in which they had no share. Surely they should be allowed to vote, as they pay their half of the cost of the elections.


There are those who oppose woman's suffrage upon the ground that it wilt demoralize and degrade the women, while others are equally bold in saying that if they are allowed to vote they will pass blue laws enforcing morality that will make life intolerable. Experience in the States which have suffrage contradicts both extremes. And so it is with every argument that has been used against suffrage. The opponents cannot agree among themselves as to the result, and experience has proven all sinister predictions to be false. Where-ever it has been tried there has resulted improvement in public morals, in the character of candidates for office, and better laws, especially from the stand-point of home, education, sanitation, and children. In those States no man of shady character dares run for office. The women are sure to defeat him, and men of that kind are always irreconcilable opponents everywhere to allowing women to vote—naturally so.

In truth the basis of Christian civilization depends upon the conservative morality and clear intelligence of the women. They till your churches, they keep your schools alive, and bring up each succeeding generation to be good citizens. Equal suffrage will broaden the basis for ascertaining the popular will and will by the intelligence and character of the new voters elevate and purify the ballot.

There are those who say that Scripture is against it. But we know that Deborah was a successful general and a great judge and for 40 years ruled Israel, and that during her reign "all the land had peace." But they say that St. Paul spoke somewhat against women and urged that they should keep silent. Did he ever try to make them do so? No one will presume to criticise Paul, who was one of the greatest men in history, but it is permissible to quote what Peter, the chief of the Apostles, said of him: "Our adored brother Paul" (note the courtesy of this fisherman of Galilee) "hath said many things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unlearned do wrest to their own condemnation." 2 Pet., ch. III : 15, 16.


The logical, the just, the inevitable result of Democracy is the extension of the suffrage to women, and to throw open the honors and the employments of government to all those who contribute to the material and moral welfare of the Republic, and who as a class are possessed of the mental capacity and moral character to be worthy of the trust, and to give an avenue open to merit without distinction of birth or sex. What is the provision in the Constitution of your State as to voting? It grants the right of suffrage to every adult excepting only four classes:

1. Idiots and lunatics—because they are mental defectives.

2. Convicts—because they are moral defectives.

3. Illiterates—unless their ancestors were white.

4. Women—the mothers, wives, and daughters of the white men of North Carolina.

No matter how bad a character a man has, if he can only keep out of the penitentiary and the insane asylum we permit him. to vote and to take a- share in the government, but we are afraid to trust our mothers, wives, and daughters to give us the out of their intelligence and clear insight.

We let an illiterate foreigner from Italy, from Hungary, from Syria come to our State, and after fire; years, if he is a man, and goes through, a certain formula, you rill adjudge him fit to be a voter. We let the bartender and those who live upon the evils and vices of life have a vote, while you deny it to your mothers, your wives, your sisters, and your daughters.

They say that a woman has no time to vote. If she cannot get half an hour off once in two years to go to the polls then they need the ballot badly. They say there is dirt in politics. The men put it there, for they alone have been running it, and we need the women to give us a good housecleaning. As Mr. Bryan said, "We need the ballot of the u-omen more than they need it for themselves."

We are drawing upon the latent powers of our soil and making one acre produce what three did before. We are drawing upon the latent resources of our people and educating our boys and girls, bringing out those powers of


mind which will develop our State. Why should we stop there? If a man had two sons and when their education was completed should say to one that all avenues of opportunity were open to him and all honors, even the Presidency itself, but should say to the other of equal education, and perhaps greater ability, that he should hang around the back lot, should have no share in the government, no voice in the disposition of the taxes he paid, what would you think of the wisdom and justice of that man? Yet we are doing this identical thing when we open the door of every opportunity and the path to every honor to the boys and close it to the girls with equal education and sometimes of superior ability.


Let me give you one illustration. Many years ago there was a good woman, a womanly woman, who had a home in a foreign country and a nursery in which she raised up nine children. Her legal married name was Mrs. Alexandrina V. Wettin. Her maiden name was Guelph. Probably few of you have heard of her by that name? None of us would have heard of her by any name, but because her country did not disqualify women from a share in the government she is known to all of you as Victoria, sixty-four years Queen of Great Britain and Ireland; Empress of India; sixty-four years Sovereign over 500.000,000 men, one-third of the human race, and ruler over a Dominion upon which the sun never sets, and of which Daniel Webster said "Whose morning drum beat following the sun and keeping company with the hours encircles the globe with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England." Her influence upon the moral and social life at Court and among her people raised it from the low level to which the debaucheries of her predecessors had sunk it and made life gentler, sweeter, and purer. Her influence, like that of all good women everywhere, was not bounded by the rising of the sun or the setting thereof, but, like the mercies of God, shall endure throughout all generations.

She was also head of the Church, and appointed all the bishops and arch-bishops, and upon the validity of such appointment by her and by another woman, Queen Elizabeth, depends the regularity of ordination and confirmation of those who believe in apostolic succession, but in this State there are still a few churches which will not allow women to have a voice in the churches which they support and fill.

In England a woman could be a great and good chief executive and a power for good beyond calculation. In North Carolina she is denied all share in the government, and cannot even be a notary public to certify to her own acts as stenographer, and can no longer, as in the past, render even subordinate service as deputy clerk, or deputy register, or in any other capacity. Why have the women of North Carolina so deteriorated from the qualities with which they are still invested in the country from which we came? Or are our men less capable of knowing their value?

In Montana a woman has been elected Representative in Congress. In North Carolina she cannot be a justice of the peace. In Colorado and several other States for years women have been State superintendents, and in Wyoming, out of thirty counties the superintendents of schools in twenty-nine counties are women, and the same is true throughout the West.

At the great Convention of the Democratic Party at St. Louis, Miss Kate Gordon, a member of one of the proudest families in the South, said to the Convention: "In the South the women are the political inferiors of your negroes." It struck the Southern delegates as if a lash had been laid on their cheeks. It was true.


This movement is world-wide. It reaches from pole to pole. Throughout Australia, with an area equal to that of the United States, women vote for, and are eligible to, every office equally with men. The same is true in New Zealand, which has the most progressive government on earth. It is equally true of half the area of Canada, that is, four provinces out of nine. Equal


right to suffrage and to office prevails in all the Scandinavian countries—Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland. In Holland in the last few days they have struck out the word "male" from their Constitution, and it is strange that they have not done so before, for their Chief Executive is a woman, and her heir apparent is an only child, a daughter. In this country twelve great States have conferred suffrage upon their women, and in the ninety-one votes cast by them was the balance of power which decided the Presidency and the administration of this great government for the next four years. In twenty other of our States the women already have municipal or school suffrage. In England, Scotland, and Ireland for thirty years women have had municipal suffrage, and they have been on the board of aldermen in the greatest city in the world, London. The Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith, who has hitherto opposed the admission of women to full suffrage. now has pledged himself to grant it, seeing that the patriotism of the women and their efficient aid in making munitions and in filling civil positions from policeman to street-car conductor have saved the situation and enabled England to face the German storm. The new Premier, Lloyd-George, has long advocated it.

This movement is not a fad, a passing fancy, but is a world-wide movement, one of the greatest movements of all time, lifting mankind to a higher level. It appeals to every sense of justice by calling to a share in the government those who do full half the work of Christian civilization, and in whose moral and mental qualities and unbounded patriotism there is an unlimited reservoir of mental and moral force to develop society and the State and to make our future great and glorious.

When Aycock and Alderman and Joyner and McIver went up and down in the State to awaken interest in education, that you might develop your State, they did not limit their appeal to the education of the boys. But why should you educate the other half if you are to awaken in them ambitions and hopes and a sense of mental power only to frustrate them?

The German Emperor, who believes in brute force and divine right as the basis of all government, said that women should be confined to the three K's-Kuchen, Kirche, and Kinder, that is, to the kitchen, the church, and the children. In doing this he has stated the three bases upon which Christian civilization rests—the Children, that is the future; the church, that is the morality of the Christian religion, and the kitchen, the physical support of mankind.

As Owen Meredith said:

"We may live without poetry, music and art;

"We may live without conscience, and live without heart; "We may live without friends, we may live without books, "But civilized man cannot live without cooks."

If a woman can fulfill these duties and fill them well, like Atlas she bears the burden of the world on her shoulders, and instead of being denied all voice in the government which she supports, she should rather be entitled to a double vote.


It is true that the greatest sphere for women is at their homes, though this overlooks the fact that many are not married and are not the heads of families if home is the natural sphere of a large portion of one sex, so is the farm, the blacksmith shop, the lawyer's office, the bank, the mercantile establishment and other avocations the sphere of the other sex. We do not disfranchise a farmer, a merchant, a banker, or any other man because that such is his sphere, but we call them to share in the government and to help make the State all that it should be by an intelligent exercise of the right of suffrage.

We live not by figures on a dial plate, but by heart throbs. Let me tell you ladies how to know when a man is old. If his heart and head are not open to pleas for justice to women, and he does not perceive that we need their aid, then indeed he is a left-over from the past. His ideas are not those of the new world that is opening before us, but he is hopelessly old in thought and


feeling and belongs to the past. There is a disease known as hardening of the arteries. Our learned medical brethren call it arterio-sclerosis. Such a man has arterio-sclerosis of the brain.

This measure has been long in preparation; its success is inevitable because it is based upon elementary justice, and is required by the best interest of the State which demands the best talent and the participation of all the people in the development of our State. Already the eastern sky is tinted with the golden coruscations of the dawn. Suffrage will come as surely as the daylight comes when the night is done. It will come like that far-off Divine Event when "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters and said, let there be light, and there was light."


The movement for justice to women in North Carolina is nonpartisan, as it has been in every other State. We did not expect that a partisan appeal would be made to deny us a fair share in the government under which we live, and to the support of which we pay our taxes and contribute our full share of labor, in view of the fact that every party has, through its papers, platform, and speakers, called strenuously upon the women for support.

There are in this State 700.000 white adults, of whom 350,000 are white women; and 300.000 negro adults, of whom 150,000 are negro women. There are, therefore, 200,000 more white women than negro women, and it is impossible that their admission to the polls should jeopardize white supremacy. The negro women have the same grandfathers as the negro men and would be disqualified to exactly the same extent. If under the present "grandfather clause" the Democratic majority is 50.000. by doubling the white vote the Democratic majority in the State would be doubled if the white women are Democratic in the same proportion as the men.

If after experiment with municipal suffrage, it is shown that the women here, as in other States, desire the suffrage by voting as fully as the men do, and that they have the judgment and the patriotism to vote intelligently, then the question will come up whether suffrage shall be extended to us in State matters. How else can we ever prove ourselves competent for suffrage if we are denied even this small measure as a trial? If on such experiment it will he found that women are "faithful in a few things," as by making the towns cleaner in every respect, shall we not then be admitted to a larger degree of suffrage? If we shall not prove as competent and intelligent as our brothers, our husbands, and our sons, we shall not ask for full suffrage. We believe that if granted a voice in municipal affairs, we women will prove that woman suffrage means an extension of the "home idea." so as to make our larger home, the town or city in which we live more homelike, cleaner, healthier, and a safer and more virtuous place in which to rear our children.

The argument used against us does not answer the proposition that women are intelligent and patriotic and competent to vote, nor does it answer the fact that there are 200,000 more white women than negro women in North Carolina, but it is based upon "if" after "if," and runs somewhat thus : If the negro women shall all register and vote, and if thereupon all the negro men shall for some unexplainable reason become competent to register and vote, and if the white women here (contrary to statistics in suffrage States) shall not vote, then the Democratic party might be defeated. Should such a combination of "ifs" upon "if" deter our legislators from passing such an act as will allow women to vote on town matters in those towns where the people are willing to trust us?


The colored people are here, and will be for the next thousand years. Shall the white women of North Carolina be disfranchised on this account, when our sisters in other States are admitted to share in the governments under which they live, and which they support as fully as the men by their contributions in taxes and labor?

Under a government which avowedly rests "upon the consent of the governed," and where it has been always maintained that "taxation without representation is tyranny," we appeal to the sense of justice of the people of this State, acting through their representatives in the General Assembly, to permit the mothers, wives, and daughters of the voters of North Carolina to prove by a trial in the municipal elections in such towns as shall trust them to make the experiment, to prove that the women of the State do wish to vote, and that they can do so intelligently, and that they will not fail to voice what is for the best interests of the communities in which they live.




MRS. C. A. SHORE. Chairman. RALEIGH, N. C., 3 February, 1917.


By the Census of 1910 the population of North Carolina was upwards of 2,200,000

Now, 7 years later, at the same rate of increase it is over 2,500,000

The rule is one adult male to every 5 persons which gives us as adult males 500,000

There are fully as many adult females 500,000

Total adult males and females 1,000,000

As the ratio in North Carolina by the Census is 70% white and 30% negro, it follows that the negro adults, male and female, are 300,000 and the white adults, male and female, are 700,000. One-half (350,000) of these last are of course white females, making 50,000 more adult white women than the 300,000 negro men and negro women combined.



(Don't Overlook Rhode Island)

White States: Full Suffrage

Dotted " Presidential Suffrage

++ " Primary Suffrage

(Municipal, School, and Bond Suffrage Not Shown)

Ballots for both: an address
Ballots for both: an address/ by Chief Justice Walter Clark at Greenville, N.C., 8 December, 1916. Raleigh, N.C.: Commercial Print. Co. 16 p.: map. Caption title. Address delivered before the Equal Suffrage League. "Municipal suffrage for women: reply of the Legislative Committee in 1917 of the North Carolina Equal Suffrage League": p. 14-15.
Original Format
16cm x 24cm
Local Identifier
JK1911 .N8 C37 1917
Location of Original
Joyner NC Reference
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