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Call No.: M-133, reel D2; WRC 114v-117v
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government, 1901-1920
Title: Records of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1916-1920
Quantity: 4 Volumes
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Executive board minutes of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government, a civic and suffrage organization. These records are part of the Woman's Rights Collection.
Suffragists Maud Wood Park, Pauline Agassiz Shaw, and Mary Hutcheson Page were among those who founded the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government in 1901. Its purpose being "...to promote a better civic life, the true development of the home and the welfare of the family, through the exercise of suffrage on the part of the women citizens of Boston..." (1918 By-laws), Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government was symptomatic of both the widening of suffragists' interests and their desire to expand their constituency by attaching themselves to other social reforms.Although originally Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government focused equally on suffrage and on the concerns (such as poverty, vice, street conditions, and prison reform) that it shared with other civic reform groups, by 1910 the organization concentrated almost solely on suffrage, convinced that without the vote women could not effectively improve government. Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government joined other Massachusetts suffrage organizations in using tactics borrowed from militant British suffragists, such as house-to-house canvassing and open-air meetings and speeches. In addition, Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government educated women about the functions of government so as to prepare them to be responsible, well-informed, voting citizens. After 1920, Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government became the Boston League of Women Voters. For further historical information, see Lois Bannister Merk, Massachusetts and the Woman Suffrage Movement (Ph.D. thesis, 1961), Schlesinger Library microfilm (M-19), or Sharon Strom, "Leadership and Tactics in the American Woman Suffrage Movement: A New Perspective from Massachusetts," Journal of American History 62 (September 1975): 296-315.
The four volumes contain typescript minutes of weekly Executive Board meetings, 1916-1920. The minutes include committee reports and announcements presented to the board, and the board's decisions on issues ranging from appropriating funds for activities, to endorsing the efforts of other organizations. The amount of detail varies, but is generally sparse.