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Exhibition Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

Multnomah County Clerk John B. Coffey registers Abigail Scott Duniway (1834–1915) as first woman voter in Portland, February 14, 1913. Photograph. NWP Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (048.00.00)
Abigail Scott Duniway (1834–1915) to Carrie Chapman Catt (1859–1947), June 19, 1915, NAWSA Records, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (049.00.00)

“Mother Duniway” and the Suffrage Campaign in the Pacific Northwest

Abigail Scott Duniway was the author of twenty-two novels and publisher of the New Northwest (1871–1887), a weekly Portland, Oregon, newspaper promoting women’s rights. She was instrumental in securing suffrage victories in Idaho (1896), Washington (1910), and eventually her home state of Oregon (1912), after four failed campaigns whose opponents included her brother, editor of the Oregonian. Duniway blamed the unwelcome involvement of national suffragists from the East and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. She told Carrie Chapman Catt, they “threw back our work for six years,” by linking suffrage with the “side-issue” of prohibition.