Слике страница

official catalogue of the National American Woman Suffrage Association commends and advertises feminism.

It is a significant fact that the only woman's organization in the country that issues feminist literature and that campaigns for feminism is the National American Woman Suffrage Association and its auxiliaries.

Those opposed to suffrage stand for the conservation of the home, the suffragists for the sex revolution which means the disruption of the home.

The United States is composed of 48 States; a State is made up of many communities; communities are made up of rows and rows of little homes. The woman with the masculine chip on her shoulder and the woman who may be able to perform exceptional tasks are fortunately in the minority-they are not the women upon whom society depends-the women who count are the busy women of the homes; they outnumber the others a hundred to one.

Will we have better government under feminist ideals with woman as man's competitor, sex antagonist, or under the old régime, where woman's work is to form the character of the future citizen of the republic?

Shall we abandon honor, morality, civilization, at the call of a minority of women whose slogan is "votes for women" but whose evident intention is a sex revolution?

Conservation is one of the watchwords of the hour-the men of. this country are conserving out forests, our waterways, etc. May I suggest that the time has now come for you to conserve the womanhood of the country and thereby preserve the Nation?

Mrs. DODGE. I now desire to introduce to the committee as our next speaker Miss Minnie Bronson, the secretary of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.


Miss BRONSON. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, the question of the expediency of passing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States granting to women the franchise has been argued pro and con before the Judiciary Committee for some years. The suffragists have denied the ability of this committee to pass upon such an amendment, one leader affirming that you were so constantly engaged with the affairs of law and the legal status of questions that you were temperamentally unfit to grapple with a question of pure sentiment. I need not say to you that we are more than glad that this question, dealing with such a serious matter as an amendment to the Constitution and especially with the extension of our present franchise laws, should come before the Judiciary Committee, whose business it is to inquire into the legal aspects of the question, to judicially consider the results of such an amendment, and not to treat such a momentous question as one purely sentimental. And I do not for one moment believe that there rests in the mind of a single member of this committee, whether he is in favor of suffrage or opposed, the slightest belief that the Federal Government should enact such an amendment, that it would

be a course of wisdom or of sanity either for the present or the future of our Government.

It would be presumption on my part to call your attention to any of the legal aspects of the case, and I shall not so presume, but since we are here to give you our views of the question, it may not, I assume, be a presumption to mention two or three facts easily demonstrable.

First, then, if such an amendment should be recommended by this committee and passed by Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the States of this country, it is more than probable that it would represent the minority opinion and not the majority opinion of those voting. There are 48 States in the Union; 36 are necessary for ratification, but it is not only possible but entirely probable that these 36 would be largely recruited from that part of our country which lies west of the Mississippi, where the population is sparse and the people are homogeneous and the difficult questions of racial differences cut no figure.

In other words, Wyoming, with its 145,000 inhabitants, would counterbalance New York, with its 10,000,000. Idaho, where it is a question of the extension of the franchise to some thousands of women of American birth, would counterbalance Massachusetts, which is two-thirds foreign and has 80,000 more women than men. The great industrial States of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, where this question of woman suffrage is most menacing because it means more than doubling an electorate which to-day is of great concern to those Commonwealths, would be counterbalanced by Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, whose combined population is about equal to that of Connecticut, with an area considerably less than a single county in any of the four. Nine States, including the eastern industrial States I have mentioned and the three States of Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, where within the past 18 months woman suffrage has been defeated with majorities approaching 100,000 in each, contain a greater population than any 36 States of the Union if we exclude the States which have disfranchised an electorate which was forced upon them by an act identical with that proposed in this bill. Our greatest President, although the friend of that enfranchised race, was opposed to that amendment, for he more than any of his contemporaries foresaw the result.

Does anyone doubt his love of fair play, his great heartedness, or his friendship for the colored man because in his greater wisdom he opposed this amendment to the Constitution, and as he said, labored not for their race for the present time, but for the good of mankind for all time?

Mr. NELSON. May I ask a question right here?

Miss BRONSON. Certainly.

Mr. NELSON. Would not your argument apply with equal force against any constitutional amendment?

Miss BRONSON. It is possible, but I do not think so. I think it applies more to the question of suffrage than to any other amendment to the Constitution.

I think it should be very difficult to pass a constitutional amendment, and I know that the suffragists have said that this systemwhich is that the voice of the majority shall rule-I know that they have said that this system is too slow for them, and so they say they

want a constitutional amendment because it is quicker. They say if the Constitution stands in their way you should tear up the Constitution.

Mr. NELSON. As I understand it, your argument so far has been as to the relative size of New York and Wyoming. Is that so? Miss BRONSON. Yes; I have spoken of that.

Mr. NELSON. That would be an argument against every amendment to the Constitution.

Miss BRONSON. I think it is rather an argument against amending the Constitution hastily.

Then, this same greatest President of ours, President Lincoln, has been quoted as being in favor of woman suffrage. If I read the English language correctly, certainly what he said does not indicate that he was in favor of universal suffrage. This is what Mr. Lincoln said:

I go for all sharing the privilege of government who assist in bearing its burdens. Consequently I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms (not excluding females).

If there is anything in that utterance which indicates that he was in favor of universal woman suffrage I am not familiar with the English language. I have a little map here which I picked up on this table showing that 20 States to-day have a taxpaying suffrage. Mr. Lincoln stood for taxpaying suffrage for women, but I can not for the life of me believe that Mr. Lincoln would have advised that women should bear arms in order that they might vote.

This question has been argued before various committees of Congress this winter. It has met repeated defeat in various quarters—in committee, in caucuses, before the President. And yet here we are again to-day arguing the same thing over again. Not because the suffragists can hope for favorable action, but because, as it seems to us, they dare to use the Federal Government as a means of advertising their cause.

I don't know whether you would call that petty grafting or not. Mr. DYER. You are the secretary of the Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage?

Miss BRONSON. Yes, sir.

Mr. DYER. You have the records showing the membership of the organization?

Miss BRONSON. I have the records, but not in my hands at the present moment.

Mr. DYER. Can you give the committee an idea as to that approximate membership of your organization?

Miss BRONSON. We have approximately 100,000 members 21 years of age and over.

Mr. DYER. Have you the membership by States?

Miss BRONSON. I think we have it by States.

Mr. DYER. Will you give that statement to the reporter, so that it

may be printed in the record?

Miss BRONSON. I can give it to the committee later.

Mr. DYER. We can have it later?

Miss BRONSON. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Before such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States is recommended there are certain things that ought to be fairly established.


The one thing that contributes more than all other factors to bad government, as every governmental authority acknowledges, is what is known as the stay-at-home vote.

I have in my hand statistics which I shall ask to have incorporated in the report of this hearing, which show that in November, 1912, at the presidential election, which, of course, brings out the maximum vote of every four years, in the six suffrage States of California. Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, only 471 per cent of the possible electorate of both sexes voted. But in the surrounding States, then male suffrage, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon. Nevada, South Dakota, and Missouri, 69 per cent of the male voters voted. One of two conclusions equally disastrous must be accepted. If 69 per cent of the men in the equal-suffrage States voted. as they did in the male-suffrage States, then only 17.5 per cent of the women entitled to vote voted. If a greater per cent than 17.5 per cent of the women voted, then more men remained at home in these States than in the surrounding male-suffrage States. These figures are the returns of the various secretaries of state.

Mr. CHANDLER. This morning a statement was made to the effect, as I recollect, that less than 1 per cent less of women voted than Was that a mistake?


Miss BRONSON. I do not know, but I question such figures. I have the statistics of the secretaries of state, which, of course, are both accurate and authorative. I will give those statistics to the reporter and have them incorporated in the hearing. I have the facts and figures showing that only 47.5 per cent of the electorate in the suffrage States voted-that is, in the six suffrage States-and that in States of like condition, geographically and socially, 69 per cent of the men voted.

Woman-suffrage States.

[Population 21 years of age or over, exclusive of Japanese and Chinese.]




Total possible vote__

Actual vote for Presidency-


890, 794
665, 450

1,556, 244
673, 527

269, 211

213, 340

482, 551

266, 871

61, 519

28, 426

89, 945



Total possible vote..

Actual vote____




Total possible vote_.

Actual vote__.

42, 296

428, 825

[blocks in formation]



[blocks in formation]

South Dak
Votes c

Votes ca
Total men 21

Total vote in
Percentage of

If 69 per

they did in shows that o

States actual
Here are th
per cent of

States near th
as cast, show
Thich have bee
States and from
to decrease the
interest in politi

An ordinary phen
ne who was ther
automobiles a

Tet. with all their


[blocks in formation]

Total population of men and women 21 years or more of age, ex-
clusive of Japanese and Chinese, in 6 suffrage States, and, there-
fore, the total possible vote in those 6 States--

Total vote actually cast in those 6 States for Presidency in 1912.
Per cent which voted_.

187, 550

111, 894

3, 200, 152 1, 521, 590


Nonwoman suffrage States.


Males 21 years of age or over, exclusive of Japanese and Chinese_
Vote cast

[blocks in formation]

508, 425 356, 422

352,995 249, 871

244, 719

137, 040

38, 443

20, 744

178, 054

116, 325

972, 483

698, 562

2, 295, 119

Votes cast

Total men 21 years or over in six nonsuffrage States.
Total vote in the six nonsuffrage States for President_.
Percentage of possible vote cast in six nonsuffrage States-

1, 587, 984


If 69 per cent of the men voted in the woman suffrage States, as they did in the nonwoman suffrage States, an analysis of the figures shows that only 17.8 per cent of the women voters in the suffrage States actually voted.

Here are the striking facts: In the six woman suffrage States only 471 per cent of the total possible vote was cast. In the six nonsuffrage States near the suffrage States 69 per cent of the total possible vote was cast, showing that woman suffrage, according to these statistics which have been secured from the secretaries of State of the various States and from the most accurate published figures available, tends to decrease the actual voting strength rather than to increase healthy interest in politics.

Mr. CHANDLER. Do you regard the late result in Chicago just as an ordinary phenomenon of woman suffrage?

Miss BRONSON. I would like to speak of the vote in Chicago. Anyone who was there will remember how they got out their carriages and automobiles and tried to get the women to go to the polls; and yet, with all their efforts, out of 620,000 women in the city, only 158,000 registered, and of these 158,000 less than 47,000 voted, so

« ПретходнаНастави »