Correspondence Regarding Publications Promoting Women's Suffrage
New York, New York; Salem, Ohio: June 1912.
New York, New York; Salem, Ohio: June 1912. Typed Letter Signed by Florence Woolston, editor of The Woman Voter on letterhead; single page dated June 27, 1912, measuring 8.5 x 11 inches with writing to recto and with by the transmittal envelope. Accompanied by a one page Autograph Letter unsigned but composed by the recipient Homer Boyle in response to Woolston's TLS; dated June 29, 1912 on blank stationery measuring 5.25 x 8.5 inches with writing to recto. Together, these letters give insight into the relationship between national suffrage publications and local grassroots organizations as the women's movement entered the final push toward the 19th Amendment.
In her capacity as editor of The Woman Voter, Florence Woolsten writes to Homer Boyle of Salem, OH regarding his offer to "write something about the early Suffrage movement in Ohio"; and she notes that an acquaintance "Mrs. Peck is confident that you will give us a charming sketch." Much as her own letter is concise, Woolston requests that Boyle be efficient as well: "I must ask you not to run over 1500 words. I should like you to have one illustration for your article, but unless you can furnish cuts I am afraid I cannot do so, our funds are very low." In many women's activist groups, members themselves often took on the extra expenses of printing and distributing materials; and Woolston's appears to be in a similar state, working on tight budgets. But because of the critical campaign happening in Ohio at the time, she presses Boyle for a quick turnaround as "I hope that this effort of ours will help the campaign in Ohio a step toward victory." The Woman Voter, a monthly periodical that ran from 1910 to 1917, was founded by Mary Ritter Beard before being run by Woolston in April of 1912. This letter, sent only a few months into her leadership, show her taking charge at a critical juncture, and considering how to best use the journal as an organ for supporting the movement throughout the country. Ohio would vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in September of that year.
Homer Boyle, the proprietor of a plumbing shop according to the U.S. Census of 1910, also occasionally published progressive pieces in Salem's local newspaper. Within two days of receiving Woolston's letter, he displays his serious commitment by "enclosing matter for your acceptance or rejection." Yet he also reveals a struggle to meet Woolston's professional requirements. "As to the 1500 word limit, guess I have exceeded it, but I couldn't think of giving up a word...As to cuts, I could furnish one (Sojourner Truth) and as I say very little about her, I do not send it." Seeming to recognize his possible missteps, he closes by appealing to another more local female authority. "I imagine Miss Elizabeth Hauser must be preparing a Salem article for you. She was in town about 3 days; asked me what I had written you, and commended it."
A pair of letters ready to spark research into the role of men in the suffrage movement, their responses to women's authority, the publication and processes of woman suffrage journals, the depiction of suffrage history and its key figures, and the relationships among more grassroots contributors to the movement. (Item #4537)