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(suffrage icon)1921

About 1902 suffrage headquarters were established at the state capital "for the distribution of literature and knowledge." Here also was kept a register of men and women who wished women citizens to vote. The circulation of the Tax Paying Woman's Pledge was actively promoted in Wisconsin, the text of the pledge circulated by the Oshkosh society being as follows:

We, the tax paying women of Wisconsin, hereby agree to do what we can by protest and argument to emphasize the fact that taxation without representation is tyranny as much for American women today as it was for American colonists in 1778. And we also pledge ourselves that when 5,000 or more women in Wisconsin shall have similarly enrolled we will simultaneously take action by whatever method may seem best in accordance with official advice from the Wisconsin Suffrage Association to the end that public attention may be thoroughly and effectively called to the injustice and injury done to women by taxing them without giving them any voice as to how their money should be employed.

Chautauqua grounds, Lake Monona

In the summer of 1896 the Wisconsin Woman's Suffrage Association kept open house for ten days at the Monona Lake Assembly; Dr. Anna Howard Shaw was one of the Chautauqua speakers, her audience numbering 4,000 persons.

Dr. Anna Shaw

David Evans

Cora M. Evans

Organization, public speaking, press publicity, conventions, in those days as later, had one object, suffrage legislation in state and nation. Wisconsin legislators whose especial aim was to avoid making enemies found woman suffrage a stumbling block in the path. A typical incident happened in April, 1901 when Assemblyman David Evans' measure, "designed to pave the way to woman suffrage"--it was a memorial to Congress--was under discussion in the assembly. The Wisconsin State Journal of that date tells us that "the sergeant was ordered to bring in the timid who sought to dodge the vote. Half a score of half-ashamed men on whom female constituents had brought pressure came trooping to their seats." The assembly killed the measure by a vote of 61 to 20, although it had passed the bill on its third reading.

Measures embodying full or partial suffrage for women continued to pour in at each session of the legislature; and frequently that body was urged to use its influence to secure the passage of suffrage legislation by Congress. These measures received some favorable consideration during the first decade of the new century, but not enough to secure their passage.

Wisconsin suffragists and especially their leader, Mrs. Brown, were greatly interested in a decision of the Supreme Court in 1884 that the office of member of Congress is created by the constitution and that the states do not by right prescribe the qualifications for voting for such members. In the belief that Congress alone had the right to give women the vote for members of that body, resolutions supporting that idea were passed at a number of Wisconsin conventions, with petitions addressed directly to members of Congress or to the state legislature asking that it pass a memorial to Congress urging such action.

The proposed amendment to the constitution of the United States, then known as the sixteenth but destined to become in fact the nineteenth amendment, was also the object of unceasing effort.