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Collection Number RG1073.AM
Collection Name RG1073 Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association
Identifier Organizational records
Size and Materials 2.5 cu.ft.; 6 boxes, 4 scrapbooks and oversize
Title Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association collection
Date or Date Span 1888-1920
Year Range from 1888
Year Range to 1920
Admin/Biographical History Efforts to enfranchise the women of Nebraska date to as early as 1855 when suffragist Amelia Bloomer spoke before an audience at Omaha's Douglas House. In 1881, several local groups formed the statewide Nebraska Woman's Suffrage Association. With their first periodical, The Western Woman's Journal, the movement for equality gained a unified voice. Attempts to gain the vote over the next years sometimes met with reversals.

In 1917, women were given the municipal vote, but this was suspended when an anti-suffrage group produced a referendum petition seeking an annulment of the new statute. The suffragists contested the petition (in Barkley vs. Pool) and after a two-year court battle, the petition was declared fraudulent. While the results of this case came too late to achieve the statute's original purpose, the court battle itself boosted support of the Nebraska suffragists while discrediting their opponents. On August 2, 1919, Nebraska became the fourteenth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. In the next year, the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association reorganized as the Nebraska League of Women Voters, signaling a new era in the political life of the state.
Level of description Fonds/Coll
Scope & Content This collection, records of the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association, is arranged as follows:
Series 1 - Correspondence, 1910-1920, n.d.
Series 2 - Minutes, 1910-1920, n.d.
Series 3 - Miscellaneous business records, 1913-1920, n.d.
Series 4 - Printed matter, 1888-1920, n.d.
Series 5 - Court case materials, c. 1918
Series 6 - Miscellany

The materials in this collection relate to the operation of the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association, particularly in the years 1910 to 1920, chronicling its efforts to secure the vote for women in the state of Nebraska. The records concentrate on official business, media coverage, relationship to the national organization, and details of the 1917-1919 court case, Barkley vs. Pool. The collection contains an abundance of primary materials (such as minutes, correspondence, and NWSA publications) and secondary materials (mostly clippings), and also contains some documents available elsewhere (such as national suffrage publications, and copies of court documents). Even the secondary and duplicated materials add to the scope of this collection, as it brings varied sources together into a cohesive resource.

Many of these materials were donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1950, commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The scrapbooks, compiled by Grace C. Richardson, include her commentary.
Creator Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association
Other Creators Richardson, Grace C., 1896-1956
Finding Aids Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association finding aid
Related units of description See the NSHS Library catalog and the Nebraska History index for published materials relating to the Nebraska Woman Suffrage Association.
Subjects Suffrage
Women's rights
Women's suffrage
People Barkley, Edna (McDowell), 1867-1956
Dietrich, Margaretta Shaw Stewart, 1881-1961
Richardson, Grace Crandall, 1896-1956
Wheeler, Grace Margaret (Mason), 1864-1947
Search Terms Barkley vs. Pool. Lancaster County District Court
National Woman Suffrage Association
Law and legislation -- Nebraska
Legislation -- Nebraska
Women -- Nebraska
Women -- Suffrage