This means that there will be no repeat of what happened in New Jersey a week ago when the most powerful political machine in the State campaigned vigorously against the suffrage amendment, and used every trick in the book on Election Day to insure its defeat.
In just over a week, the largest, second largest and sixth largest states in regard to population could be added to the roll of suffrage States, and if this feat is accomplished, it could certainly add to the already growing impression that the “Votes for Women” movement is an unstoppable force sweeping the nation!
From Boston, Massachusetts, to Biglerville, Pennsylvania, there has been a great deal of activity, as suffragists in all States enjoy increased respect, attention and confidence after the success of yesterday’s stunning pageant on Fifth Avenue in New York.
No matter what happens on Election Day, the most vivid and long-lasting memory any local suffragist will have of this campaign will be of the unprecedented turnout today and the flawless way in which every participant performed.
But while big suffrage parades have now become a tradition, there has never been anything quite like this, and there will be non-stop activity at all the suffrage groups’ headquarters until sometime tomorrow night when the last marcher finishes the route. It’s not just a matter of getting a lot of people to walk down a street. What’s hard is to get them to march in an organizational, geographic or occupational group, and in some occupational groups, in a costume symbolizing it. There are also large banners still being made, floats being decorated, bands rehearsing and automobiles being tuned.
“My Betty shall march if there is not another child in the parade. Betty is nine, and she and the children of her age have learned in school about Washington and his fight for liberty, and they are old enough to understand women’s fight for freedom. There is no more reason why children should not appear in a suffrage parade than at the Piping Rock Horse Show or at other social events. They will be much safer in the parade with police protection than on the sidewalks watching with the crowds” said Elizabeth Selden Rogers.
If any anti-suffragists in New York, Massachusetts, or Pennsylvania went out for a walk this morning, hoping to stroll by a suffrage headquarters and peek in the window to see a small, dispirited group of workers grimly going about their tasks while preparing for more defeats like the one in New Jersey yesterday, they would have been greatly disappointed. Far from being demoralized, or suffering any desertions in the ranks, our staff workers and volunteers are all present and accounted for, and eager to continue the fight.
Reverend Anna Howard Shaw says, “We have not lost New Jersey because it has never been ours; we cannot lose; we can only win. The failure to carry the election in New Jersey is not a defeat. It is simply a postponement, and instead of despairing of final success will only inspire the true lovers of freedom to more perfect cooperation and greater zeal. This delay is still a victory for suffrage, for this splendid campaign has proved woman’s loyalty to a great purpose and her indomitable courage in the face of great odds and unscrupulous foes and methods.”
Tomorrow the male voters of New Jersey will decide whether months of intense work was persuasive enough, and if their State will become the first one East of the Mississippi in which women will have equal suffrage, or whether they will deal a major setback to our movement just when it needs a boost to help with three other referenda coming up on November second.
William Jennings Bryan told the church members: “You have had a recent convert to the cause of woman suffrage. I see that the President has recently announced that he will vote for woman suffrage at the New Jersey election. I have believed that women should have the vote, but if there was only one question on which they could vote I would say that should be the question of peace or war.”