The Journal of San Diego History
Fall 1977, Volume 23, Number 4
James E. Moss, Editor
Thomas L. Scharf, Assistant Editor

Images from the Article

The drive for women’s suffrage has evoked images of militant women in long skirts and broad-brimmed hats marching in parades, carrying “Votes for Women” signs, and struggling with determined police. Unfortunately for the sake of drama, little of this happened in San Diego. The movement was a concerted effort of dedicated citizens, who tried to persuade rather than protest. The demand for extending the ballot to women began in earnest after the Civil War. Negroes could vote; why not women? While San Diego had its share of advocates for women’s rights,1 there was no concerted movement. Activity was limited to an occasional announcement of a suffrage meeting or a comment in the press.2 Excitement and interest rose, though, when the great Susan B. Anthony herself3 and her close associate, Anna Howard Shaw,4 spoke to a full house at the First Methodist Church in June of 1895.5

By this time, women could vote in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado. In 1896, the year after Miss Anthony visited San Diego, women’s suffrage appeared on the California ballot as the Sixth Amendment. Even though it received more attention than any of the other amendments and even though there was extensive campaigning, the Bryan-McKinley presidential race and the debate over free silver far overshadowed it. Suffrage passed in San Diego County, but statewide it went down to a narrow defeat. Northern California carried the brunt of the failure. The “no” vote in San Francisco and Alameda Counties alone made the difference.6 Suffragists were disappointed but not unduly discouraged.

Yet, surprisingly, it would be fifteen years before the people of California would again express an opinion on this subject. The legislative action of 1909 served as a model for the frustrations its proponents encountered. That year, the measure did not even come to a vote in the State Senate; in the Assembly, there were forty Assemblymen for it, thirty-six against, with fifty-seven votes required to submit such an amendment to the people.7

In 1910, control of the Republican organization and of the state legislature passed to the Progressives, forerunner of the national party of the same name. In their platform they pledged such reforms as initiative, referendum, and recall, as well as women’s suffrage. Under the leadership of the newly elected governor, Hiram Johnson,8 they kept their promises. When the legislature began its session in 1911, it voted to submit twenty-three amendments, these among them, in a special election to be held October 10. The principal legislative opposition came from the “Old Guard” Republicans; of the five state senators9 who opposed the idea, one of them was San Diego’s Leroy A. Wright.10

Northern and Southern California conducted separate campaigns. Southern California was working to improve its 1896 record, while Northern California wanted to avert the disaster of the same year. Their campaigns featured many innovations: huge billboard ads, electric signs, high school prize essay contests, pageants, plays, and other kinds of special entertainment.11 The National Suffrage Association and its affiliates in other states provided much assistance in the forms of speakers, literature, and funds. While such aid was nothing new to a state campaign, the amount of support that poured in from all over the country was unprecedented. San Diego received its share of speakers, among them one of Illinois’ best, Helen Todd,12 and Kansas’ Laura Johns.13 These ladies spoke at open air rallies and at club meetings, primarily in the city and its suburbs.

Support came from other areas, too. The press was generally sympathetic.14 Political parties, all women’s and most men’s organizations, schools, and churches all worked together for the passage of the amendment.15

Two remarkable, civic-minded women spearheaded the San Diego campaign. These were Dr. Charlotte Baker,16 president of the Equal Suffrage Association, and Mrs. R. C. Allen,17 its corresponding secretary. There were other workers of importance, too, namely Mrs. Florence Watson Toll,18 Mrs. George Ballou,19 Mrs. George Norton,20 and Mrs. Annie Sloane.21 Nor was all the activity confined to women. One of the most tireless suffrage workers was Judge William A. Sloane.22 Another prestigious gentleman who lent his active support was a former San Diegan, the newly elected United States Senator John D. Works.23

In the weeks that followed the legislative action, the Equal Suffrage Association made plans for the upcoming campaign. Mrs. Toll outlined the group’s initial strategy.

Every house is to be invaded. Every man whose name appears on the register will be interviewed by a committee of women. Of course, if we find out a man isn’t with us, we intend to keep right on after him until he is convinced.24

Each precinct of the city was to have its “captainess,” whose sole duty was to organize the precinct and to attend to house-to-house canvassing. The Association also planned a rainbow shower of literature, consisting of multi-colored pamphlets containing arguments for suffrage. The women thought they might use this device at the July 22 parade for the ground-breaking ceremonies of the 1915-1916 Panama Exposition. They planned, too, to have a float in that parade.25

During the late spring and summer, members of the Association and their other supporters set to work. Finding their YWCA meeting place too cramped, they set up new headquarters at 312 Granger Street. They spoke and debated at churches and at various organizational meetings around the town. Under Mrs. Allen’s direction, they entered a float in the groundbreaking ceremony parade—a flower-laden bark, floating in a sea of green, manned by a group of “Indians” and drawn by six yellow-draped horses, also led by “Indians.” The yellow sails of the bark read “The Modern Boston Tea Party.”26 The slogan of the float was “Taxation without Representation Is Tyranny Now as It Was in 1773.27

The suffragists also endured a “Week of Self-Denial.” During this week, California and New York women did without “candy, sodas, theatres, excursions, ribbons, laces, and everything claimed not necessities.”28

With the coming of September, the pace of the campaign quickened. Early in the month, Dr. Baker, Mrs. Allen, her daughter Eleanor,29 and Miss Lydia Harris30 set out in the Allen’s decorated automobile for a tour of San Diego’s back country. The women visited Oceanside on Monday, where they spoke from benches while the people ate their lunches.31 They stopped in Escondido that evening, visited Fallbrook on Tuesday, and Ramona on Wednesday, all the while presenting their views and distributing literature.32

In the city there were nightly meetings as both local and outside speakers tried to persuade the voters on street corners and from automobiles.33

Their arguments appealed to a sense of justice and fair play. They objected to women being placed in the same category as idiots, paupers, criminals, the insane, and Indians who had not abandoned tribal relations.34 By payment of taxes on property and indirect taxes on food and clothing, women contributed to government revenues. Denying them the vote thus subjected them to taxation without representation. Furthermore, women’s special cares, home and children, were not legally protected. California’s women were well-educated, almost every woman in the state being able to read and write, and more women than ever were earning a living.35 These suffrage proponents felt that women would be nobler when they found their opinions mattered36 They contradicted the assertion that women did not feel interested enough in public affairs to vote by citing that more women than men voted in Colorado.37 Giving women the ballot would insure better government, for only first-class men could get the support of women voters.38 The fact that the opponents of suffrage were gamblers, saloon keepers, and corrupt politicians was a good argument for it, too.39 They countered the idea that the voting privilege implied an obligation to military service by saying that women had done their share during wars40 and that voting was no substitute for fighting41

Of course, there was opposition to the amendment, but it seemed minimal, almost negligible. Senator Wright promised to vote against suffrage. He felt that it would not bring the results its advocates predicted, that it would only provide more voters for the demagogues to deceive. It would neither benefit society nor improve woman’s condition, he maintained.42 There were occasional negative letters to the editors of both the Union and the Sun. Said one irate writer:

Those who have witnessed the contortions of a hen trying to crow like a rooster will wonder why any woman should be anxious to distort herself trying to do politics like a man… What could women gain by depositing a piece of paper in the ballot box? As voters they would still have to depend upon men for protection, support, and employment43

Another letter by the same author stated: Consider the case of Mrs. Helen Dixon, the noted politician of Colorado.. .’Politics caused my downfall and drink my ruin. Late caucuses and conferences put me on the highball route and I never got off.’44

The Sun printed excerpts from Molly Seawell’s book, The Ladies Battle. She reasoned:

If voting is a natural right, not only men and women, but children may vote, for a natural right is acquired at birth and lasts until death… The Supreme Court of the United States has decided that voting is not a moral right but a privilege.45

Opposition was not limited to letters and newspaper articles. Anti-suffragists spoke at public and organizational meetings, too. At one debate a Colorado minister contended that the legislature there was the worst in the United States, proof that women were unfit for a political careers.46 A group of Los Angeles businessmen dedicated to fighting the amendment sent a Mrs. William Force Scott of New York as a speaker at the San Diego Women’s Press Club meeting.47 She maintained that:

There is no relation between taxation and the vote. Taxation is a method of raising money to meet the expenses of government for the protection of life and property. The vote is the symbol of the power to enforce law… Equality of right does not imply identity of function.48

Such statements kept suffrage supporters busy rebutting their arguments.

The time for debate ended with the arrival of election day. Twenty of the suffrage workers were out that morning, mostly in automobiles. Those not on duty at the polls were at the Granger Street Headquarters. Dr. Baker and Mrs. Allen stayed there until two in the morning, awaiting the election returns. As in 1896, suffrage carried San Diego County,49 although it received the smallest majority of the twenty-three amendments. Statewide the results were not encouraging. The amendment seemed to be going down to defeat.

When reporters asked Dr. Baker about her reaction to the returns, she replied:

I haven’t lost hope, but I’m not going down to register in the morning. I am very much gratified at the showing made by San Diego both city and county. Indeed the city surpassed my most sanguine expectations. The result here is far better than what it was in the election of fifteen years ago. The returns from the state at large have afforded many surprises. In some cases, 1 have been agreeably disappointed; in others, quite the reverse. Thus, while I am a little disappointed made by the showing of Los Angeles, I am surprised that San Francisco did not do worse. Again, while I thought that we would carry Santa Barbara, 1 did not expect that we would get a majority in Fresno. At all events I am not giving up at this hour by any means. The vote so far announced has been mostly from the larger communities, while our greatest strength seems to lie in the rural regions. The lead against us is not so great but that it may be overcome.50

Privately, she was not quite so optimistic. “Between five and six bad reports from San Francisco,” she wrote in her diary. “Made us feel blue. But cannot give up hope.”51

Dr. Baker’s analysis of the situation proved to be an accurate one. As reports came in from the rural communities, the tide turned. By Friday, October 13, the amendment was definitely carrying.52 The final count was 125,037 for the amendment, 121,450 against; the margin of victory was little more than 3500, an average of one vote in every precinct53

Disturbed at rumors that “lowbrows”54 had left San Francisco and were heading south with the intention of “jobbing the count,” Dr. Baker sat down at the telephone and sent out instructions to be on guard when ballot boxes were opened to see that no unauthorized hands touched them.55

On October 16, almost one week after the election, Dr. Baker received a phone call from the City Clerk telling her to go ahead and register. She did so and had herself and three other women sworn in as deputies so they could begin registering others.56 She was anxious to accomplish this as quickly as possible so that women would be able to vote in the upcoming November harbor bond elections.57 There was some concern over the legality of women voting in this particular election and that if they did vote, the results might be invalidated.58 The State Attorney General, wired for a ruling on the matter, replied immediately.59 The election of November 14, 1911, was the first city-wide60 election in which women of San Diego voted. The result was a municipal pier constructed at the foot of Broadway.61

The Equal Suffrage Association did not disband but devoted itself to becoming a political education society in which the issues of the day were discussed and debated.62

At a “jollification” at the YWCA the women of San Diego celebrated their hard-won victory. Prominent among the decorations was a green mascot banner sent by the women of Washington .63 They had sent it with the understanding that it would be forwarded to each state in succession in which women were struggling for the vote.64 This was a sobering reminder that the victory was an incomplete one. In some ways the battle was just beginning. There was still the necessity for making women’s suffrage a reality throughout the country, and in this campaign, for the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the suffragists of San Diego would play their part.



1. One of the earliest references to a San Diego suffragette is of an otherwise-anonymous Mrs. Kingsbury, who “delivered an off-hand, spicy, interesting, and exceedingly sensible address” at a suffrage convention in San Francisco. “Woman Suffrage Convention Held in San Francisco,” San Diego (Weekly) Union, February 6, 1871, page 1.

Two of the more interesting of the early feminists were Mrs. Flora Kimball and Clara Shortridge Foltz. Mrs. Kimball was the wife of Warren Kimball, one of the founders of National City. A teacher, a writer, and a horticulturalist, she also maintained an active interest in civic affairs. For further information, see Irene Phillips, Women of Distinction Under Three Flags (National City, California: South Bay Press, 1956) pages 34-37, Laura De Force Gordon, “In Memoriam,” an identified newspaper clipping, October 13, 1898, and “A Noble Life Ended,” San Diego Union, July 2, 1898, no pagination.

Clara Foltz, known as the “Portia of the Pacific,” finished two terms of teaching when she was fifteen, eloped shortly thereafter, and, while raising five children, taught herself law. Presumably, she was California’s and San Diego’s first woman lawyer, practicing in the city from 1887 to 1890. Many of her cases involved women’s rights. Leland G. Stanford’s Tracks on the Trial Trail (San Diego: San Diego Law Library Justice Foundation, 1963), page 37, Reda Davis’ California Women (San Francisco: 1967), pages 150-151, and Illustrated History of Southern California, (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1890), pages 110-111, deal with Mrs. Foltz.

2. Among the articles of this nature are “Women’s Rights Talk Senseless Clamor,” San Diego (Weekly) Union, June 8, 1871, page 2, column 1, “Fallacy of Argument Against Women’s Inferiority,” San Diego (Weekly) Union, September 28, 1871, page 1, column 3, and Nell Wayne, “Letters from San Francisco,” San Diego (Weekly) Union, February 24, 1870, page 2, column 5.

3. Susan B. Anthony was the organizer of the suffrage movement and gave it force and direction for more than half a century. Born in 1820 of a Quaker family in Adams, Massachusetts, she turned to teaching. Dismayed with the discrimination she encountered, first as a woman schoolteacher and later as a paid agent for the temperance movement, she turned to fighting for women’s rights. With Elizabeth Cady Stanton she launched the National Woman Suffrage Association. Although she stepped down from the presidency of this organization in 1890, she remained active in the movement until her death in 1906. Eleanor Flexner, Century of Struggle, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1959), passim.

4. Anna Howard Shaw was the orator of the suffrage movement. Born in England in 1847, she came with her family to the United States when she was four. She persuaded Albion College in Michigan to accept her, then attended Boston Theological School, graduating in 1878. She preached as a supply pastor for two Cape Cod churches, but in 1880 the Methodist Episcopal Church refused to ordain her. The rival Methodist Protestant Church did accept her, and she was the first woman to be so honored. She added a medical degree in 1885 and worked in the Boston slums. For several years after leaving her ministerial work, she headed the suffrage department of the WCTU. Later she devoted her whole career to suffrage. When Susan B. Anthony stepped down in 1890, Miss Shaw expected to succeed her, but the post passed to Carrie Chapman Catt. However, she did become the Association’s president in 1904, serving until 1915. Mildred Adams, The Right to Be People, (Philadelphia, New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1967), pp. 78-84, and Flexner, Century of Struggle, pp. 237-8.

5. For details of the Anthony-Shaw visit, see “Woman Suffrage: Two Fine Speakers Address a Large Audience,” San Diego Union, June 18, 1895, page 5, column 1.

6. The “aye” vote was 110,355, the “nay” vote was 137,099 . a difference of 26,744 votes. The “no” margin in San Francisco County was 23,772 and in Alameda County 3627, both counties otherwise returning the Republican ticket.

Liquor interests apparently had a great deal to do with the amendment’s defeat. A few days before the election the Liquor Dealers’ League sent a letter to saloon keepers, hotel proprietors, druggists, and grocers throughout the state, urging them to vote no. Flexner, Century of Struggle, p. 224.

Such interests may also have had a hand in rounding up some 5000 eligible Chinese voters, who, if they did nothing else, voted against the amendment. Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Rogers Shuler, Woman Suffrage and Politics, (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1923), p. 123.

7. Franklin Hickborn, “The Constitutional Amendments: Equal Suffrage,” San Diego Sun, October 2, 1911, page 9, column 3, asserts that suffrage was also opposed as a moral issue in the 1909 session. Machine leaders wanted the State Senate to go on record on the local option bill before the Assembly considered it. They managed to achieve their ends by saying that the Assembly had acted first on two other “moral issues,” namely equal suffrage and racetrack gambling, and that it was unfair to compel the lower house to lead off on every moral issue. The local option bill became sidetracked in the Senate; hence, the suffrage bill never reached it.

8. Hiram Johnson, 1866-1945, challenged the power of the old railroad machine and won the California governorship in 1910. After two terms, he entered the United States Senate, where he served until his death. He was Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose running mate in 1912. He had presidential ambitions himself, but lost out to Harding in the 1920 convention. In 1932, he left the Republican Party to campaign for Franklin D, Roosevelt. Throughout his career, he was a consistent isolationist.

9. “Vote for Suffrage,” San Diego Sun, January 26, 1911, page 3, column 1.

10. Leroy A. Wright, a Republican attorney, served as State Senator from both the Thirty-Seventh and Fortieth Districts from 1907 to 1913. He not only opposed woman suffrage but also such other progressive measures as an eight-hour working day for women. See “`Big Business’ Senators Apply ‘Gag’ to Women,” San Diego Sun, February 27, 1911, page 1, column 1, and “Wright Defends His Position on Eight-Hour Bill,” San Diego Sun, March 1, 1911, page 1, column 4.

Frederick C. O’Brien, political writer of the Sun, felt Wright was “honest and able and even lovable” but wrong for the times as he marched “to corporation music.” Frederick C. O’Brien, “Wright Is in Wrong,” San Diego Sun, February 7, 1911, page 4, column 4. Mrs. Mary E. Mansfield, a Coronado laundress who heckled a Wright speech on the eight-hour day, was less charitable. “Wright is a Senator for the rich people, not the poor. He is dictatorial and autocratic and ought to have lived before the war when they had overseers of slaves with big whips in their hands to beat the slaves if they didn’t do enough work.” “Woman Who Beat Senator L. A. Wright in Eight-Hour Argument Went to Aid Sex,” San Diego Sun, April 13, 1911, page 1, column 3.

11. How many of these techniques San Diego used is hard to ascertain. The movement did have its own campaign song, “Mother Dear,” composed by one of the local suffragettes, Addie Woolsey. There is evidence, too, that suffrage propaganda extended to children. See “Children, Too, for Suffrage,” San Diego Sun, October 9, 1911, page 5, column 2.

12. Helen Todd was a state factory inspector in Illinois. She struggled to obtain the ten-hour law for women and to improve sanitary conditions. “Suffragist’s Plea Impresses Crowd,” San Diego Union, September 27, 1911, page 5, column 3.

13. Laura Johns, a Republican, was the former president of the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. Catt and Shuler, Woman Suffrage and Politics, p. 120.

14. In San Diego, the Sun went all out for suffrage. There was a special column devoted to the subject, advertisements, urging people to vote for the amendment, and periodic blurbs. The Union was more cautious in its support, but was generally favorable.

15. Adams, The Right to Be People, p. 112.

16. Charlotte Baker was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1855. While she was attending the University of Michigan medical school, she met and married Fred Baker, a fellow medical student, who was distinguished in his own right. They began their medical practice in Akron, but when she developed malaria, they moved to New Mexico for a change of climate. There, their two children were born. In January of 1888, the Bakers arrived in San Diego where they were welcomed into the Medical Society only two days after their arrival. In San Diego she delivered more than 1000 babies and used to express her gratitude that she never lost a mother. She was the first and only woman president of the San Diego County Medical Society. She worked in local vice crusades, advocated shorter hours for labor, served in the city civil service commission for eleven years, nine of them as president, headed the movement to build the Children’s Home in Balboa Park, and was honorary president of the YWCA. With all these accomplishments to her credit, she felt the campaign of 1911 was the highlight of her life in San Diego because it was “a triumph for justice and right.” See Robert Hippen, “The Bakers—Drs. Fred and Charlotte,” San Diego Physician, July, 1970, pp. 64-5, “Private Rites for Pioneer Doctor,” San Diego Evening Tribune, November 1, 1937, “Dr. Fred Baker and Wife Pass 50th Milestone,” San Diego Union, March 31, 1932, no pagination, and “She Would Only Fight Harder in Living Long Life Over Again, Dr. Charlotte Baker Declares,” unidentified newspaper clipping, December 3, 1933.

17. Mrs. Allen was born Ella Bradford Copeland in Boston. In 1888, she married Russell C. Allen, who organized the Sweetwater Fruit Company. They settled in Bonita. Like Dr. Baker, she was active in civic affairs. She was especially interested in children and was one of the founders of the Boys’ and Girls’ Society of San Diego and of the San Diego Door of Hope. “The Context of Mr. Richard Allen’s Speech to the Children of Ella B. Allen School on May 10, 1957,” Mrs. R. C. Allen, “The History of Bonita,” and Carl H. Heilbron, History of San Diego County, (San Diego: San Diego Press Club, 1936), p. 115.

18. Little information was available on Mrs. Toll, other than that she was a widow, lived at 467 Twentieth Street, and served as publicist and as vice president of the local suffrage association. “Suffrage Society Elects Officers,” San Diego Union, September 23, 1911, and “Suffragists Promise Sizzling Campaign,” San Diego Union, April 27, 1911, page 16, column 2.

19. Mrs. George Ballou was born Harriet A. Whitcher. She and her husband came to San Diego January 18, 1889. He established the G. H. Ballou Company, one of the largest wholesale dealers in tea, coffee, and spices.

20. Mrs. George Norton was a friend and neighbor of Mrs Allen. According to Mrs. Allen, she was the first to serve on a county school board after the winning of equal suffrage. Allen, “The History of Bonita.”

21. Mrs. Annie Sloane was born Annie Kimball in Croyden, New Hampshire. She had a musical education and wrote several light operas. She married William A. Sloane when he was editor of the Sedalia, Missouri, Eagle Times. The couple moved to San Diego where they were leaders in both the suffrage and temperance movements. Sloane Biographical File, San Diego History Center Library and Manuscripts Collection.

22. William A. Sloane was born October 10, 1854, in Rockford, Illinois. He divided his early career between journalism and the law. In 1887, he opened a law office in San Diego; in 1889, he was elected justice of the city court. In May, 1911, Governor Johnson appointed him a judge of the Superior Court. Later he served on the California Supreme Court. In 1929, he was appointed presiding judge of the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Heilbron’s History of San Diego County, p. 404, Samuel Black’s San Diego County, California, Volume II (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913), pp. 91-2, and Leland G. Stanford’s Footprints of Justice.. . In San Diego and Profiles, (San Diego: San Diego County Law Library, 1960), p. 63, provide biographical sketches of Judge Sloane.

23. John D. Works came to San Diego where he served as city attorney. He moved to Los Angeles, where he served as president of the city council and as both superior and supreme court judge. At the time of the 1911 campaign, he was a newly elected United States Senator, serving in this capacity from 1911 to 1917.

24. “San Diego Suffragists to Wage Sizzling Campaign,” San Diego Union, April 27, 1911, page 16, column 2.

25. Mrs. Toll felt that Mary E. Mansfield, Senator Wright’s laundress adversary should be the central figure in the float. She would be shown at her ironing board, surrounded by bright, smiling girls in scholastic gowns. From the ironing board would stream Abraham Lincoln’s statement: “I go for all sharing the privilege of the government who assist in bearing its burden, by no means excluding women.” Also featured would be the poem:

For the long work day,
For the laws we obey,
For the taxes we pay,
We want something to say.

“San Diego Suffragists to Wage Sizzling Campaign.” The actual float turned out to be quite different.

26. “Floral and Historical Parades Gorgeous Pageants, Streets Last Night Seething Mass of Merry Revelers,” San Diego Union, July 21, 1911, page 1, column 7.

27. Beth Mohr, “San Diego Battleground; 50 Years Ago: Women Win Vote,” San Diego Union, August 20, 1961, Section D, page 1, column 1.

28. Mohr, “San Diego Battleground,” page 1.

29. Eleanor Allen, now Mrs. Collis Mitchum, was a young woman at the time of the campaign. She drove the family car, as her mother was unable to manage it. She, the Allen sons, and their friends were the figures on the July float. Mrs. Mary Allen Ward, private interview held at her Bonita home, March 23, 1972.

30. No biographical information was available on Miss Harris.

31. Mohr, “San Diego Battleground,” p. 1.

32. “Suffrage Trip in the Back Country,” San Diego Sun, September 13, 1911, page 1, column 5.

33. Information on the various meetings and rallies may be found primarily in the September and October issues of both the Sun and the Union.

34. “Suffragists Speak from Automobile,” San Diego Union, September 23, 1911, page 5, column 2.

35. “Clubs: Equal Suffrage,” San Diego Sun, January 28, 1911, page 5, column 3.

36. Judith Parsons, editor, “Reasons and Arguments Why California Women Should Vote Given by Speakers,” San Diego Sun, August 17, 1911, page 5, column 2.

37. “Suffrage Meeting Held at Booklovers Hall,” San Diego Union, September 8, 1911, page 7, column 5.

38. “Suffragists Hold Meeting at Plaza,” San Diego Union, October 7, 1911, page 3, column 3.

39. Clifford Howard, “Why Man Needs Woman’s Ballot,” San Diego Sun, August 9, 1911, page 5, column 3.

40. Parsons, ed., “Reasons and Arguments,” p. 5.

41. “Suffrage Battle Closes with Good Rally,” San Diego Union, October 10, 1911, page 10, column 1. Occasionally, the logic in the arguments was a bit weak. For example, Mrs. Sloane maintained that giving women the vote would lower the divorce rate. Colorado had had the highest percentage of divorce, but since the granting of suffrage, had dropped to eighth place. “Suffrage Is Cure for Divorce Evil, Says Speaker,” San Diego Union, October 4, 1911, page 18, column 1.

42. Leroy A. Wright, “Senator Wright Explains Meaning of Amendments,” San Diego Union, October 5, 1911, page 8, column 1.

43. Leroy Cummings, “Why These Suffragettes?” San Diego Union, September 8, 1911, page 10, column 2.

44. Leroy Cummings, “Raps Recall and Woman Suffrage,” San Diego Union, September 23, 1911, page 4, column 4.

45. Molly Elliot Seawell, “Women Suffrage Illogical, According to Molly Elliot Seawell Who Writes a Book to Prove It,” San Diego Sun, July 22, 1911, page 7, column 3.

46. “Club Hears Debate on Women Suffrage,” San Diego Union, June 14, 1911, page 18, column 1.

47. “Campaign Against Equal Suffrage Is Launched,” San Diego Union, September 12, 1911, page 15, column 1.

48. “Mrs. Scott Argues Against Woman Suffrage,” San Diego Union, September 13, 1911, page 5, column 1.

49. Ironically, Dr. Baker’s Roseville district voted more than two to one against suffrage. “Result Woman’s Suffrage Vote is in Doubt,” San Diego Union, October 11, 1911, page 1, column 1.

50. “Result Woman’s Suffrage Vote Is in Doubt,” page 5, column 1.

51. Mohr, “San Diego Battleground,” page 1.

52. “Suffrage Wins by Steadily Increasing Majority,” San Diego Union, page 1, column 1.

53. Catt and Shuler, Woman Suffrage and Politics, p. 176.

54. Their opponents.

55. “Suffragists Jubilant; Planning Celebration,” San Diego Union, October 13, 1911, page 18, column 6.

56. Mohr, “San Diego Battleground,” page 1.

57. “Women Determined to Register for Bond Election,” San Diego Union, October 15, 1911, page 14, column 1. 58. “Ask Webb If Women May Vote,” San Diego Sun, October 16, 1911, page 1, column 1.

59. “Sixty-one Women Registered by Clerk Butler As Voters,” San Diego Union, October 17, 1911, page 13, column 1.

60. According to the Union, a Miss Emma Hanley of Normal Heights was the first woman to vote, as she cast her ballot over a proposed lighting district. October 24, 1911, page 18, column 2.

61. George White Marston: A Family Chronicle, Volume II, compiled by Mary Gilman Marston (Ward Ritchie Press, 1956), page 85.

62. “Scores of Women on New Lists,” San Diego Sun, October 18, 1911, page 1, column 8.

63. Women had won voting rights in Washington in 1910.

64. “Great Gathering of Women Hold Jubilee over Victory of Suffrage,” San Diego Union, October 20, 1911.


Marilyn Kneeland received her B.A. degree in History from Tufts University in Massachusetts and her M.A. degree from the University of San Diego. The article published here is a part of her Masters Thesis and was an award winning paper at the 1972 San Diego History Center Institute of History.