Oregonian/1905/October 7/Unite to Honor Mrs. Duniway

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Oregonian, October 7, 1905
Unite to Honor Mrs. Duniway


One Woman for Whom Special Day Is Given at the Exposition.


Oregon Building Is Scene Where Friends Gather to Pay Tribute to Her Work for Suffrage in the State.

The Oregon building, at the Lewis and Clark Exposition, has never been the scene of a greater assemblage of women than that which gathered there yesterday afternoon to pay their respects to Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, the one woman to be honored with a special day at the Fair. Many of those who attended the exercises and consequent reception were friends of the guest of honor; others knew her by her work of good in the cause of her sex. The Oregon building, upstairs and down, was crowded to overflow, and tho occasion proved a delightful one throughout.

Two Addresses for Day.

But two addresses were made, one of welcome by President Jefferson Myers, of the State Commission; the other by Mrs. Duniway, In response. Following the addresses, the guests were Introduced to Mrs. Duniway by her lifelong friend, Mrs. H. W. Coe. Mrs. George E. Chamberlain, wife of Governor Chamberlain, stood in the receiving line with Mrs. Duniway.

The building had been decorated and prepared for the occasion by Mrs. Jefferson Myers, Oregon's gracious hostess at the Exposition. The second floor, where the exorcises and reception were held, was arranged in particularly attractive order. Mrs. Coe served as chairman of the day, with Mrs. Sarah A. Evans as secretary. Dr. L. G. Johnson presided at the refreshment booth. Mrs. C. M. Cartwright looked after tho programme, assisted by Mrs. M. A. Dalton. DeCaprio's Band played a special concert on the veranda during the reception.

Speech by Jefferson Myers.

The first speaker was President Myers, who paid a high tribute to Mrs. Duniway, both as a pioneer and as a worker in the cause of woman's suffrage. In outlining the life and works of the honored guest, Mr. Myers said, in part:

I have been requested to say something: In an address of welcome on behalf of one of the greatest living pioneers of this state, and a member of one of the greatest families of noted pioneers Oregon has ever had. Her name is known to every man, woman and child in this Northwest territory.

The pioneer mother whom I am going to discuss In somewhat a casual way was only, a small girl when she came to the Pacific Coast. The trip which she made at that early age with the ox team was one of the greatest undertakings of any age in the history of our country. It was a very unfortunate one in her case, for, when perhaps half way across the plains, her mother died and she thereby lost her greatest strength and support. After she reached the Coast she almost immediately began to be prominent, and we find that she was among the early teachers, trying to do good in educating the young of the pioneer community. Married at an early age, we hear of her cares and struggles in rearing her family. This family is before the people of this country and the success of each of the members of it is a crowning glory in the life of this good woman.

Farther along in her history she was the head of the first woman's paper published in this territory, advocating and supporting, beyond her strength, the rights of her sex. Here, it seems to me, is the great struggle in the history of this pioneer, and something that should be considered and respected by every woman in our country. She is determined in this effort to place her sex on an equality with the other, blazing a pathway and then preparing a road by which they may earn for themselves an independent way and asking that they be granted every consideration that any other citizen has. The principles advocated by this pioneer are just, they are right. She is asking that the same kind of brains. Independence, honor and industry should share equally under a just and considerate government. I desire to congratulate her on the success of this undertaking, and her example today for young women who are supporting or assisting themselves by their own means is the right principle of success for every good American citizen, believing as I do that no person has a right to anything in this world unless they exercise some industry, independence and power to procure it.

In conclusion, I hope that we will honor and respect this, the day of one of our greatest pioneers, Mrs. Abigail Scott Duniway, and that here may begin a history by which we may remember hereafter that the pioneer mother was a great factor and support la procuring this vast domain to the United States, and I hope not many years may elapse until there may be erected to these noble pioneer mothers a suitable monument to tell the world what they have done for the men and women who will live after they have all gone to their eternal rest.

Mrs. Duniway's Response.

1905 Abigail Scott Duniway.jpeg

Responding to Mr. Myers address, Mrs. Duniway spoke in part:

To say in cold words that I feel deeply moved in making this response to the first invitation to accept the honors of a special day ever yet accorded by the official management of any International exposition to-any living woman, not a potentate, but feebly expresses my emotion and gratitude. And, In accepting this testimonial to the humble and earnest efforts I have made during the past three and a half decades on behalf of the women of old Oregon, whose organization along tips lines of progress are now numbered by scores, I realize anew the fitness of our decision that this testimonial, ostensibly In my behalf, belongs of right to all women—yes, and all men (for we will never forget our fathers, husbands, brothers and sons)—without whose assistance and co-operation nothing of which I have had the honor to be a forerunner could possibly have been accomplished.

Forty years ago there was not, to my knowledge (outside of a few women's auxiliaries to various benevolent and secret societies, for most of which the women would prepare annual banquets and then retire to an anteroom while the products of their culinary skill were being eaten and the remains of the feast presided over post-prandially while the said auxiliaries washed the dishes), any organization, consisting primarily of women In any part of this Oregon domain. While I do not wish to be understood as entirely favoring any organization composed of men alone, or of women alone, whether It be a prayer meeting or a National Government, a rummage sale or an International exposition, I do wish to emphasize the fact that women's organizations today are equal in numbers, if not per capita (they certainly are not In financial power), to the organizations of men. And, although most of these associations of women—all, indeed, except the Equal Suffrage Association, the original Alma Mater of them all, have combined to further different lines of effort In which the enfranchisement of their sex was expected to have no part, you can all judge that it Is exceedingly gratifying to me to emphasize the fact that today they are all combined, as with the voice of one. In a womanly and honorable demand that the men by a large majority shall be moved to hearken to their plea that the locked doors of state constitutions shall be opened wide, permitting them to enter or not. as they- themselves shall from time to time elect; to share equally with the aforesaid fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, the duties, responsibilities and emoluments or a free, untrammeled citizenship. I need not remind you that Idaho, youngest daughter of old Oregon, is represented here today by her radiant daughters, who are already crowned with the Insignia of Liberty, which we are looking expectantly to you. men and brethren of the mother state, to bestow upon us at the state election in the coming June.

Not only are the women of Oregon appealing to you to grant us this boon, but the women of the entire Nation, by many tens of thousands strong, are joining us in the appeal, all of whom are looking expectantly to the broad-brained, big-hearted men of this mighty state. In the midst of whose splendid achievements we are so proudly standing In three enchanted grounds today by your gracious invitation, to arise in the majesty of your patriot ism and chivalry and swing wide the doom to our Joint Inheritance, leaving us to choose. of our own free will, whether or not we will accept the opportunities which have already been extended by men to our sisters, net only In Idaho, but in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

Never again can any man truthfully say to us that he withholds the right of citizenship from us because we do not ask for it. The women of the state in their different organizations and auxiliaries have already appealed to you by many thousands, representing a greater majority than any set of men who have yet voted us down, to swing open the doors, to span the chasm that now separates us In the bridge of liberty; and, as I again repeat, leave the choice to us at every coming election as to whether or not we are willing to embrace our opportunities. The women, not only of the four states of our Union just mentioned, but of many foreign countries are already in possession of the elective franchise.

Australia is watching you, the men of Oregon, from her ocean-girded shores, where women enjoy, equally with their brothers, the full endowments of citizenship. It is a far cry from Australia and New Zealand to America, and a still farther cry to India. But even in India the women of the zenanas are watching the outcome of the pending battle of ballots in this historic state of Oregon. The more enlightened women of the Hawaiian Isles and the Philippines and Japan are also watching and waiting for the glad tidings of citizenship that await the women of Oregon, when the present electors shall have arisen in their might and declared through the still small voice of the ballot that their wives and mothers are, and of right ought to be, free and equal with themselves before the law.

I believe, as I address the honorable gentlemen, the official managers of this great International Exposition, by whose courtesy we are here assembled, that through your heroic, manly and chivalrous action at the ballot box next June, you will, in extending to Oregon's pioneer women the right of suffrage, lay the foundation for an exposition on these grounds one hundred years from now in which your deeds of moral chivalry and patriotic valor stall eclipse in spiritual power and enlightened importance the mighty exploits of Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, Dr. John McLoughlin and the founders of the Provisional Government, all of whom have had their days in this great international Exposition, all of which have foreshadowed this historic day in honor of the pioneer women of old Oregon, of whom your humble, but pleased and happy respondent, is but one.