Thursday, January 28, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 28

Suffragette Pin*

January 28, 1913 – Women’s suffrage was defeated in the Minn. State Senate today. Hundreds of women in the galleries and on the floor of the senate saw the measure lose by a vote of 33 to 30.

The closing moments of the debate on the question were exciting ones. Two senators made explanations for changing their votes. Senator F. A. Duxbury of Caledonia, who voted for the measure two years ago, announced his intention of voting against the measure, saying that he was one of those senators who “had changed his mind.” Incidentally, Senator Duxbury impugned the motives of the city newspapers in supporting the measure. He made vague assertions about the papers supporting the measure because they were controlled by the “big interests.”

Senator W. S. Dwinnell of Minneapolis announced his intention of voting for the measure this time. He had voted against it two years ago. He said that while he did not personally believe in woman’s suffrage, he, nevertheless, felt that the men of the state should be permitted to decide the question for themselves. The action of Senator Dwinnell was heartily applauded.

Four senators who voted for the measure two years ago, Senators Duxburry, Cheadle, Olson and C. D. Johnson, voted against it this year. Four other senators, Dwinnell, Duea, Clague and Fosseen, changed their votes the other way. The vote against the bill two years ago was 30 to 32. It was 30 to 33 this year, the extra vote against the measure being cast by Senator Stebbins, who was absent two years ago.

Rumors were flying around the capitol that the “tonnage tax” club had been used in influencing senators to vote against the suffrage bill. Two of the senators whose districts are in the iron range country and who voted for the measure two years ago were found on the other side this year. They are Senators Cheadle of Duluth and Johnson of Brainerd.

The women who were present today commanded the respect of every legislator by their conduct. When the vote was announced they filed out calmly. There was some disappointment apparent, but the attitude of determination was more noticeable. The women say that they will now fight all the harder for the measure. Only once during the debates on the question was there any disturbance. When Senator Hackney of St. Paul, an opponent of the bill was speaking, some few in the gallery hissed. Their action was resented by most of the women near them.

Long before the doors of the senate were opened today women began pouring into the capitol. They came from all classes. There were women present who work for a living. There were mothers with their daughters. Very few anti-suffragettes were present.

Powerful arguments for the cause were presented by Senators Haycraft, Boyle and Sageng, who was the author of the bill. Senators Hackney and Duxbury spoke against it.

Senator Ole O. Sangeng, represented Ottertail County1

Senator Haycraft of Medial was the first speaker of the day for the bill.

“No harm is done if this question is submitted to the people and lost,” Haycroft said. “We are committing a most grievous act if we fail to submit this question. If the people of the state want woman’s suffrage they should have it. We are not public guardians. If the people of the state wish even to make a mistake it is their mistake. The people know as much about this question as their representatives in the legislature.  Why not submit it now and find out once and for all how the people of the state stand on this question.

“I believe in woman suffrage. I believe that woman has as much right to vote as man. It does not lie within my power to withhold the vote for her.”

Sen. Julius E. Haycraft represented Martin and Watonwan Counties2

Senator Hackney of St. Paul was the first speaker for the opposition.

“I am here in defense of the American home,” he said. “Woman suffrage means just this: It means a doubling of the vote and division of the home.”

It was at this point that there was a hissing in the galleries. Senator Sullivan objected to the hissing and it was ordered that the galleries would be cleared if it were not stopped.

“I would never impose upon my wife those duties which men of the state even loathe to take up,” continued Hackney.

“I don’t believe that the people of my district want to vote for this measure.”

Senator Joseph M. Hackney represented St. Paul3

Minneapolis Morning Tribune
; “Minnesota’s Women Are Denied the Vote. Suffrage Measure Defeated in the State Senate 33 to 30. Members of Fair Sex Throng Galleries to Hear Debate on Bill. Suffragists Are Disappointed, but Bravely Plan Another Campaign.”; Jan. 29, 1913; pp. 1 & 2.





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