Document 16: Minnie J. Reynolds, Article in the Colorado W.C.T.U. Bulletin, reprinted as “The Chance in Colorado,” Woman’s Journal, 24 (2 September 1893), p. 276.
The Colorado W.C.T.U.’s dedication to the woman suffrage campaign was buttressed by the strong support offered by the Populists and the Knights of Labor, as expressed in Minnie J. Reynolds’s report on suffrage developments in Colorado. Reynolds (1865-1936) worked as society editor at the Rocky Mountain News beginning in 1890 and served as press chair for the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association. She is credited with winning the endorsement of 75 percent of the state’s newspapers for female enfranchisement, and after achieving victory, she unsuccessfully ran for the Colorado state legislature on the Populist ticket. Her sister, Helen M. Reynolds, also a suffragist, was corresponding secretary for the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association.
In this report, Reynolds explained the combination of forces which would make the achievement of woman suffrage possible in Colorado, including the constitutional provision for a popular referendum and the political coalition of temperance, labor, Populist, and Republican advocates. But, she warned, individual women needed to shake off their apathy to make it happen.
THE CHANCE IN COLORADO. _______
Miss Minnie J. Reynolds writes in the Colorado W.C.T.U. Bulletin:
The question of giving the ballot to women will be voted on at the next general election, on Nov. 7. It is not a constitutional amendment. Section 2 of article 7 of the constitution provides that a law granting suffrage to women may be passed at any time, but it cannot go into effect unless the people vote favorably on it. This was done by friends of suffrage in the constitutional convention of the State, so that the question could be submitted to the people at any time by a simple majority, instead of requiring a two-thirds majority, as an amendment would. In no State in the Union except Wyoming has there ever been so good a chance to obtain equal suffrage. The universal discussion of new and broad theories of government last fall, the widespread interest among women in political affairs, the strong woman suffrage sentiment in the People’s party, the solid ranks of the Knights of Labor on our side[A], the favorable resolutions passed by the National Convention of Republican Leagues in St. Louis, the passage of the amendment in Kansas to be voted on in 1894, the granting of municipal suffrage in the great, rich, highly educated State of Michigan-all combine to render the general feeling among men favorable toward suffrage. It only remains for women to wake up-to realize that they have a great and rare opportunity to work for their own enfranchisement.
A. Knights of Labor leader and investigator for women’s work Leonora Barry (Lake) campaigned in Colorado in 1893.
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