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we should be very glad to answer them; but if there are no further questions, this is all the time we care to occupy, and we shall be very glad to turn the rest of our time over to the Federal Woman's Equality Association.
Mr. DYER. May I ask Mrs. Funk a question first. What is your idea as to the importance of congressional action in preference to leaving this question to the States? I should like to have Mrs. Funk explain that.
Mrs. FUNK. I tried to make that clear. The obstacle in the States is this: It is in the matter always of having to go to the legislature. Now, you must remember, gentlemen, that when this thing finally goes back to the people it has to go back to the men, not to the women. So we have a two-fold task: First, we must win the legislature and then, if we are fortunate enough to win the legislature and I want to tell you that in a great majority of the States this has to pass the legislature by two-thirds and in some it must be passed twice. In some States it must pass by a majority only and in some States by three-fifths. Now, after you have gone to work and won the legislature it does not stay won, because another one comes on, and then we have to go out and win the men in the State to vote for us.
Suppose the men do not do it; of course we are not discouraged. Then we have to come back and do this heart-breaking work with the legislature all over again. And the history of suffrage has been that they have worked with the various legislatures anywhere from 5 to 20 years before getting the question submitted to the voters for consideration.
We feel that this question should at least safely go to the people. It might be submitted by petition of the voters.
In addition, let me make this point along the line of the State's rights argument: You see, a legislature per se has no right; it is nothing; it has no privilege the privilege is all in the people themselves, and you could not say it would be contrary to the rights of the people in the State to take down an obstacle that was built up in front of them. And so, in view of the action of the Democratic caucus in the House, we think you can at least do this much for us; you can take down this obstacle-State legislatures.
Mr. DYER. Your point, then, if I understand it, speaking for an organization, is that you do not need the congressional action except to make it easier for the various States to express their wishes in regard to this matter? You simply want to leave it for the States to decide?
Mrs. FUNK. I want to be quite clear about that. We need and want congressional action for complete suffrage. If the Members of the Senate and House would give us complete suffrage, we would be the happiest people in the world. But if you will not, I suggest something that, perhaps, you will do at this session. My personal belief is that it would be a great thing for the men and women in the various States. We do want to be effective as far as we can, and that is why we suggest this thing that you may do, if you do not want to do more. [Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. Have you any other speaker?
Mrs. McCORMICK. We will turn the rest of our time over to the Federal Woman's Equality Association.
The CHAIRMAN. We shall be very glad to hear from the Federal Woman's Equality Association.
STATEMENT OF MRS. CLARA BEWICK COLBY, OF PORTLAND, OREG., CORRESPONDING SECRETARY AND CHAIRMAN OF THE CONGRESSIONAL WORK FOR THE FEDERAL WOMAN'S EQUALITY ASSOCIATION.
Mrs. COLBY. I first wish, Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, to introduce Mr. Frank W. Mondell, of Wyoming, whose earnestness and devotion to our cause not only led him to introduce House joint resolution No. 1, but so to plan that it became House joint resolution No. 1, and therefore took precedence of anything else that might come up in the way of amendments to the Constitution.
It is always a great pleasure for us to hear Mr. Mondell, for he speaks for a State that dared in 1869 to settle this question once and for all. They settled it so well that after 21 years' experience with it, when Wyoming wished to come in as a State and its admission was trembling in the balance because it had woman suffrage in its constitution, the men of Wyoming held a mass convention, and they telegraphed to the Delegate, Joseph M. Carey, in Congress, Stand firm for the women. We will wait 100 years, if need be. We will not come in as a State without the women. That was after they had voted 21 years. I do not think Mr. Mondell was in this mass convention, but at any rate ever since he has been old enough to speak for us he has spoken for us and worked for us.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you wish to occupy all your time?
Mrs. COLBY. No, sir. Mr. Mondell is our first speaker.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK W. MONDELL, A MEMBER OF CONGRESS FROM WYOMING.
Mr. MONDELL. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, just before the beginning of the present Congress a number of the good women connected with the Woman's Federal Equality Association suggested the advisability of having a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution affecting woman suffrage introduced as joint resolution No. 1. Upon making inquiry of the officer of the House having charge of the numbering of the resolutions, I discovered that Gen. Sherwood, of Ohio, by reason of an early application, had obtained the privilege of having No. 1 attached to a joint resolution he proposed to introduce. I thereupon approached that gallant old warrior, and after stating to him the character of the resolution I desired to introduce, he very kindly and very graciously waived his right, and so the resolution stands as House joint resolution No. 1. It provides that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or prejudiced by the United States or any State on account of sex.
Gentlemen of the committee, in the very brief period alloted to me it would be impossible for me to make an argument, or at least an extended one, as to the propriety and advisability of giving the peo
ple of the States an opportunity to express their opinion relative to this very important subject. A very high authority in this country-the highest of all authorities in the country-has recently said that the ladies were abundantly able to speak for themselves. We are sure that has been demonstrated this morning and will be further demonstrated as the hearing proceeds. Unlike that high authority, I am very happy to speak for them if the opportunity affords, but I think it is hardly necessary to speak for them at any great length, for, as the president says, they are abundantly able to speak for themselves.
Personally, while I belong to the Republican household of faith, which is supposed to be somewhat Federalistic in its tendencies, I am a good deal of a "States' righter," as you, my colleagues, know. And yet I believe that it is entirely proper, expedient, and wise that this matter of granting the franchise to women, or of preventing any State from denying or prejudicing the right of franchise to women, be presented to the people of the country for their determination. The Federal Constitution is difficult of amendment. For one, I would not make it less difficult. I believe that the fundamental law should not be changed except after careful consideration and upon the approval of a very large majority of the people. But, gentlemen, I understand it to be your duty not to decide whether you individually believe that it would be wise and proper and for the public interest that women should vote, but the decision with you is as to whether this is a question of sufficient importance and sufficiently lively interest throughout the country that it is your duty as members of this great committee to give the Congress an opportunity to pass upon the question of presenting it to the States for their determination. [Applause.]
There is, it seems to me, one very strong and really convincing argument among the multitude of arguments presented that ought to appeal to us all relative to this matter. The National Government, the people as a whole, have invaded-if I may use that word-the rights of States relative to suffrage in the fifteenth amendment. I think no one will suggest that it is not infinitely more important that the States shall not deny the suffrage to the more virtuous and intelligent half of its citizenship than that they shall not deny the suffrage to people by reason of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. [Applause.] And the necessity, the importance, the wisdom of a Federal amendment increases as suffrage spreads through the States, because as State after State grants its women the franchise we are gradually reaching that condition where a denial of franchise to women by some of the States results in depriving American citizens of the franchise as they move from one Commonwealth to another. [Applause.]
Uniformity in the exercise of the franchise is a most excellent thing, and it seems to me that our Federal Union will be more and more cemented as we come more nearly to that point where qualifications for citizenship are approximately the same throughout the Union. I would not deny to the States the right to withhold the franchise from the illiterate, or from other classes, by reason of their own faults, who are believed not to be entitled to the franchise; but to deny the franchise by reason of a failing which the individual may
himself cure and to deny the franchise because of sex are two widely differing propositions. [Applause.]
Why, you gentlemen of the Sunny South-you know, up in our mountain country where the bleak winds blow and where the air is ofttimes keen and cutting many of our people look forward to the time when, having amassed a competency, their hair having become silvered, they may go to the Sunny South, there to prolong their lives amid pleasing surroundings. But do you expect to acquire any additional population from Wyoming in Alabama, Tennessee, or Mississippi when by that removal half of our citizens are deprived of the right of participation in government? [Applause.] Possibly this is not the time or place to argue in favor of woman suffrage, but if I may make such an argument in the minute that I haveThe CHAIRMAN. Your 10 minutes have been consumed. Mr. MONDELL. I shall use only a moment more. I have lived, as Mr. Colby has told you longer than she has told you-in a womansuffrage State, and did participate in the convention to which the lady alluded. For 27 years I have lived and voted where women vote; in fact, I have never voted anywhere else, and, of course, I ought to be in favor of woman suffrage, for nine different times the ladies have made it possible for me to come to Washington. But, aside from that, speaking from out of my experience as a citizen, I say to you gentlemen in all earnestness and sincerity, use every effort that you have at your command to bring to your States and your communities this great blessing which we enjoy. [Applause.]
Mrs. COLBY. Perhaps some one would like to ask Mr. Mondell some questions before he leaves the room.
Mr. MONDELL. I do not care to take up any more time, but, of course, I shall be very glad to answer any questions.
Mrs. COLBY. There is a gentleman here that asked a question about the proportion of women voting. Could you say something on that? Mr. MONDELL. I am not taking anyone's time or imposing upon anyone?
The CHAIRMAN. You are taking somebody's time, certainly.
Mr. MONDELL. I simply want to be sure that the ladies do not object to my taking the time, and I shall be very brief. In Wyoming, where women have voted now for 43 years, as large a proportion of women vote as of men. A considerable proportion of our population lives on ranches and farms, far distant from the polling places, and sometimes in stormy weather it is more difficult for our women to get to the polls than for the men, but ordinarily quite as large a proportion of the women vote as of the men. And it is a larger proportion of the registered voters, by reason of the fact that men employed upon the railways and in other occupations that take them away from home are not always able to vote. Their wives, sweethearts, sisters, and mothers who are at home do vote.
Mr. DYER. Mr. Mondell, in that connection, will you state, if you know, whether or not the men and women of the same family vote the same way or if they are divided upon candidates and upon questions?
Mr. MONDELL. I said in a former hearing before another committee of the House what I will repeat now, that in 27 years' experience, in 11 State-wide campaigns, during which I have gone into every county and practically every hamlet in my State, I have never known of a
single solitary instance, not one, where there was any family jar on account of disagreement on political matters. [Applause.]
Mr. DYER. But do they differ?
Mr. MONDELL. My experience is that in politics as well as in religion, in our State as well as elsewhere, children properly reared and trained generally follow the political views of their parents. That applies to the girls as well as the boys, and two young people united in marriage, having different political views, if they live happily together, generally come to an agreement on politics, as they ordinarily do in matters of religion. [Applause.] And the one having the strongest convictions and the greatest earnestness in regard to these matters generally has the paramount influence in politics, as well as in other things, so that the question as to whether the household shall become a Republican, Democratic, or Progressive household depends quite largely upon whether the wife or the husband has the most intense convictions, the greatest earnestness, in regard to these matters. But such a thing as questioning one's right to his individual view, such a thing as having any unpleasantness over these matters, important as they are, is never dreamed of, much less heard of, in the State where women have voted for a generation and a half. Mr. CHANDLER. Mr. Taylor, of Colorado, in a very admirable speech on woman suffrage in Colorado, which was incorporated in the Congressional Record, says that a very strange political phenomenon has resulted, in that it seems there is a tendency after woman suffrage has been established for Democratic boys to marry Republican girls and for Republican boys to marry Democratic girls. Have you ever noticed that phenomenon in Wyoming, and does that in any way account for the origin of the Bull Moose Party? [Laughter.]
Mr. MONDELL. Well, they say that opposites attract. Whether that is true politically I do not know, but if it were so I would hope that the result would not be a Progressive household. [Laughter.]
Mr. CHANDLER. Mrs. Funk offers the explanation that in Chicago it was the nonpartisan movement that caused that. I judge from your remarks, however, that out in Wyoming the women do have party affiliations, and the result is not the same in Wyoming as in Chicago.
Mr. MONDELL. The State of Wyoming, I think, in some respects, has had a very happy political history. [Applause.] We have never at any time lacked a very virile, earnest, and effective minority. The minority has for many years been on the other side of the political fence, but it has at all times been active, forceful, and, so far as local offices are concerned, exceedingly fortunate, so that in the strongly Republican counties in my State a majority of our county officers are often Democrats. Women in politics are fairly good partisans. In our State they understand the principles of the party to which they belong, but they refuse in local matters to be bound by the party mandate for always to vote for the party ticket. [Applause.]
Mrs. COLBY. Mr. Chairman, 20 minutes were allotted to the Federal Woman's Equality Association; but, due to the courtesy of the National Woman's Suffrage Association, we have more time allotted.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, the arrangement was that the National Woman's Suffrage Association should have an hour and your association 20 minutes. It was not agreed among the committee that