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Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers

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  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID89CE0E77A9288EBF3247563656BEB219.jpg

    Article about Mrs. Minnie Fisher Cunnigham's campaign to pass a suffrage amendment to the state constitution. The campaign will largely be an educational one, with speakers sent to every part of the state. Article clipping includes a photograph of Mrs. Cunningham.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID4A4453CBF10CF6A37A6B80ED68B18002.jpg

    Correspondence between Woodrow Wilson, Minnie Fisher Cunningham, & Elizabeth Potter

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UIDD9DA94CA40BE92FE83972BB953170250.jpg

    circular letter with guidelines on how to approach national and state candidates to find out their feelings on women's suffrage.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID5E8A92F8F6D59EF9809B88C340F13D1D.jpg

    Clipping about turnout of women voters

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID7A28A437B72D0667F4AA929EF4EA3372.jpg

    Pamphlet encouraging local communities to organize on a variety of public health and morality issues. Includes suggestions for how to organize and ideas for public talks and publications.

  • /files/collection_slideshows/D20130719UID941F74579DBD2677FFB590B6A230672A.jpg

    Pamphlet describing Girls Protective League in New York City.

This extensive digital collection documents the activities of Minnie Fisher Cunningham and other leading suffragists who pushed for equal voting rights for women, culminating in the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Dated mostly from 1917-1919, the materials include correspondence, pamphlets, flyers, speeches, newspaper articles, photographs, and legislative measures. Many of the 518 items in the collection contain multiple pages.

Minnie Fisher Cunningham was elected president of the Galveston Equal Suffrage Association in 1910 and toured Texas to speak for the cause. She subsequently served as president of the Texas Woman Suffrage Association, opened state suffrage headquarters near the Capitol in Austin, and successfully campaigned for the 1918 legislative approval of woman suffrage in state primary elections. In 1919, the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association persuaded Minnie Cunningham to lobby the United States Congress for the 19th Amendment.

While Minnie Cunningham was based in Texas, the scope of the materials is relevant on both state and national levels. Correspondence among the suffragists details the struggles and strategies to advance the movement; highlights include letters to and from President Woodrow Wilson, acknowledging his support. Flyers, press releases, and other printed materials illustrate the activities of groups and conferences such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the Texas Woman Suffrage Association, and the League of Women Voters.

Copies of the Texas Constitution, a Texas House bill, and a resolution by the Texas Legislature demonstrate the movement’s progress in the state. Newspaper articles, magazine essays, and printed speeches further present the many voices and opinions surrounding the issue of equal voting rights around the country.

Of particular interest are three published, one-act plays: the 32-page Back of the Ballot: A Woman Suffrage Farce in One Act by George Middleton; the 31-page Jonathan's Night Shirt: A Farce in One Act by Ferdinanda Wesselhoeft Reed; and the 17-page Uncle Sam's Daughters and What They Have Done: A Pictorial Fantasy in One Act and One Scene by Augusta Raymond Kidder.

The collection also includes wartime pamphlets regarding resource conservation as it pertains to food, complete with recipes using wheat substitutes and sugar substitutes.

The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections in the Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers.

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