Nevertheless, They Persisted: The Nineteenth Amendment and Women’s Voting Rights

Photo of Margaret Howe with Oregon shield during woman suffrage march in Washington, D.C., March 1913, Library of Congress, LC-B2- 2668-6 [P&P], Bain News Service Photograph collection

March 13 – November 8, 2020

  • Family-friendly
  • Free for Members
  • Researchers
  • Teachers
  • Handicap Accessible Friendly

Location:
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, Oregon 97205
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Oregon’s first constitution, from the late 1850s, banned slavery but also made it illegal for free African Americans to live in the state. Not long after, in 1872, Mary Beatty, an African American woman who lived in Oregon, joined Abigail Scott Duniway, Maria Hendee, and Mrs. M.A. Lambert in their attempt to vote. Along with activists across the country, these four women brought attention to the campaign for women’s voting rights — known as “woman suffrage.”

One hundred years later, the Oregon Historical Society commemorates the bravery of those activists and many others in an original exhibition, Nevertheless, They Persisted: The Nineteenth Amendment and Women’s Voting Rights. This exhibit will show the many ways Oregon history connects to the national history of woman suffrage and to the complex history of democracy in the United States.

Nevertheless, They Persisted focuses on the work necessary to win the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment (granting women the vote). It also invites visitors to think about subjects such as how and why political leaders have denied women the vote, how women have fought for equal rights, and how teamwork and fights across race, class, and organizing tactics have shaped this history. Through storytelling, interactive experiences, and original artifacts and documents, visitors will connect to the past and feel the struggles and triumphs of the women (and men) who demanded the vote and used their rights to shape our nation and our world.

Highlights from the Oregon Suffrage Movement

Photograph of man driving Mary G. Fendall, left, and Margaret Whittemore, right, in Pendleton, Sept 23, 1916, Library of Congress, National Woman's Party Records, Group I, Container I:159, Folder: Campaign of 1916

Photograph of man driving two women (Mary G. Fendall, left, and Margaret Whittemore, right) in car on street in Pendleton. Banner on car: “We Demand an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Enfranchising Women,” September 23, 1916

Library of Congress, National Woman's Party Records, Group I, Container I:159, Folder: Campaign of 1916

National American Woman Suffrage Association meeting in Portland, Oregon; signed by Abigail Scott Duniway and Susan B. Anthony; July 1, 1905, OHS Research Library, OrHi 59438

National American Woman Suffrage Association meeting in Portland, Oregon; signed by Abigail Scott Duniway and Susan B. Anthony; July 1, 1905

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OHS Research Library, OrHi 59438

National suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. with women from Oregon, Library of Congress, National Woman's Party Records, Group I, Container I:159, Folder: Campaign of 1913

National suffrage parade in Washington, D.C. with women from Oregon

Library of Congress, National Woman's Party Records, Group I, Container I:159, Folder: Campaign of 1913

Abigail Scott Duniway, Oswald West and Viola Coe, signing woman suffrage amendment for Oregon, Nov 1912, Library of Congress, Records of the National Woman's Party, Manuscript Div., Group I, Container I:150, Folder: Duniway

Abigail Scott Duniway with Oswald West and Viola Coe, signing woman suffrage amendment for Oregon, November 1912

Library of Congress, Records of the National Woman's Party, Manuscript Div., Library of Congress, Group I, Container I:150, Folder: Duniway, Abigail Scott Duniway

Mrs. Amanda Garvin, formerly enslaved, casts her first ballot in Portland, Oregon, pictured in the November 8, 1916 issue of the Oregonian

Mrs. Amanda Garvin, formerly enslaved, casts her first ballot in Portland, Oregon, pictured in the November 8, 1916 issue of the Oregonian

1909 Election Day postcard, OHS Research Library, Mss 1534

1909 Election Day postcard

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OHS Research Library, Mss 1534

Hattie Redmond, 1912 Oregon suffrage campaign leader, c. 1880, OHS Research Library, bb09628

Hattie Redmond, 1912 Oregon suffrage campaign leader, c. 1880

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OHS Research Library, bb09628

Woman Suffrage Handbill, produced by the Oregon chapter of the College Equal Suffrage League, OHS Research Library, Mss 1534

Woman Suffrage Handbill, produced by the Oregon chapter of the College Equal Suffrage League

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OHS Research Library, Mss 1534

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated), and Susan B. Anthony, between 1880 and 1902, LC-USZ61-791 (b&w film copy neg.)

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated), and Susan B. Anthony, between 1880 and 1902

LC-USZ61-791 (b&w film copy neg.)

Suffrage rally in Laurelhurst Park, 1905, OHS Research Library, ba019208

Suffrage rally in Laurelhurst Park, 1905

OHS Research Library, ba019208

Photo of Abigail Scott Duniway voting for first time, May 5, 1913, OHS Research Library, OrHi 4601a

Photo of Abigail Scott Duniway voting for first time, May 5, 1913

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OHS Research Library, OrHi 4601a

Alice Paul sews stars on flag to represent each state as it ratifies the 19th Amendment, 1920, Library of Congress, LC-F8- 7084 [P&P], National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress

Alice Paul sews stars on flag to represent each state as it ratifies the 19th Amendment, 1920

Library of Congress, LC-F8- 7084 [P&P], National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress

Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee registering to vote in Alameda in 1911 with Emma Tom Leung and the women's husbands; Lee was born in Oregon and was the first Chinese American woman in the U.S. to register to vote, Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Clara Elizabeth Chan Lee registering to vote in Alameda in 1911 with Emma Tom Leung and the women's husbands; Lee was born in Oregon on October 21, 1886 and was the first Chinese American woman in the U.S. to register to vote

Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Generously Sponsored by:

Yours for Liberty Organizer

Remember the Ladies Campaigner

Exhibit Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

Commemorate a woman in your life and help us to inspire thousands of visitors as they learn about the brave people who fought for the vote in Oregon. Donate $1,000 or more in honor of your mother, grandmother, daughter, aunt, sister, or mentor, and we will share their story and photo inside the exhibit. Read about sponsorship opportunities here (PDF), or contact Ali Griffin, Donor Relations Manager, at 503.306.5258 or ali.griffin@ohs.org.