New York: National Woman Suffrage Association Publishing Company, January 1917. First edition. Original self-wraps with adverts to rear. Measuring 160 x 90mm and complete in 19 pages. Some faint offsetting and soiling along spine and outer margins of wraps. Internally clean and unmarked. A scarce pocket-sized guide and part of the NWSA's "Efficiency Series," it is recorded at only one institution on OCLC and is the only copy on the market.
As the fight for women's suffrage rolled from the 19th into the 20th century, activists became increasingly aggressive about the branding of their mission. Pamphlets and booklets like those of the Efficiency Series were designed to assist equality advocates -- not only women but also their allies -- in using consistent language when opening dialogue about the vote, providing effective answers when questioned in debate, and composing effective marches, speeches, and petitions. "Everywhere suffragists are becoming alive to the fact that they must have greater efficiency...through efficiency only can they attain the goal of suffrage." Thus, six pamphlets were produced to assist in "educating suffragists themselves," covering topics from working in an election precinct, fundraising, oration, and reaching rural voters. Previously at an educational disadvantage given that oratory and elocution were often lessons required for boys in school but not for girls, the National Woman Suffrage Association offered a corrective in providing cheap or free materials to fill that gap with a "Suffrage Training School." And thus the number of women capable and comfortable in speaking out for women's rights expanded and gave greater grassroots support to national efforts. Justina Leavitt Wilson was author of several such educations booklets. In the present work, she opens up with a concise object for her reader: "The object of the suffrage argument is to convince men and women that women need the ballot. The first step is to state the point clearly; the second is to tie it up to the need for suffrage." What follows is an incredibly logical, easy to memorize and follow multi-point argument that no other equality interests can be fully served until woman have an electoral voice within those discussions.
Not in Krichmar. Near Fine (Item #4205)