The department recently received a letter, pictured below, that has now been placed in the Woman Suffrage Collection, MS 471.
This letter, written on October 14, 1912, was addressed to Mrs. E. N. Mann of Boone, from Mary Safford, President of the Iowa Equal Suffrage Association. Rev. Safford wrote urging Mrs. Mann to accept a position on the Board of Directors of which she was elected after having left an unnamed convention. Rev. Safford wrote:
In any event, I wish to congratulate you on the honor conferred, tho [sic] you may think yourself more in need of sympathy. That is understood, at all times, on my part.
In her effort to persuade Mrs. Mann to take the position, Rev. Safford added the following:
I urge all this for the sake of our common cause, and wish to add my personal urgent request that you do not permit anything to cause you to refuse to serve.
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to know how this turned out, and what convention this was. The following remark makes me even more curious (the words in brackets are educated guesses – the letter is a bit worm-eaten):
I greatly admired your [action] in [the] Convention and wish to express my personal appreciation of your womanhood as manifest by your frank statement.
What was this “frank statement?” What exactly went on at this convention? Perhaps someday we’ll know more about all of this, but in the meantime we have many other women’s rights-related collections that are worth viewing. These include Iowa State University. University Committee on Women Records, the Carrie Chapman Catt Papers, and the collections within the Archives of Women in Science and Engineering. Also see the Women’s Collections subject guide. If you’re at all curious about the history of women’s rights in Iowa, come in and read the rest of the letter and have a look at any of these great collections!