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M-133, reel D2; WRC 114v-117v

Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government. Records of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1916-1920: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
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
Date(s): 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

These papers of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government fill four volumes of the Woman's Rights Collection, which was given to Radcliffe College in August 1943 and formed the nucleus of the Women's Archives, later the Schlesinger Library. The material in these volumes was prepared for microfilming in January 1990 by Kim Brookes. It was microfilmed as part of a Schlesinger Library/University Publications of America project.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use microfilm, M-133, reel D2.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government Records in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1916-1920; item description, dates. WRC, volume #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.

HISTORY

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.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

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.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Clubs--Massachusetts--Boston
Women--Suffrage--United States

sch01012