Biographical Sketch of Anna E. Goodwin

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Anna E. Goodwin, 1863-

By Sarah Walsh undergraduate, University of California, Berkeley

Mrs. Anna E. Goodwin, born Anna Ellen Healey and later known as Anna Yungbluth, was a white suffragist who worked as an officer of the Washington Equal Suffrage Association. Anna was born around 1863 in Fairbault, Minnesota, to Mary and Michael Healey, two immigrants from Ireland. During the height of her work, she established herself in Columbia, Washington, although she also resided in Seattle with her first husband, Albert E. Goodwin, a carpenter whom she married August 1, 1901 at the age of about 40. Anna resided in Hamilton, Washington as well, with her second husband, Jacob Yungbluth. Yungbluth declared bankruptcy in 1915, yet she married him a year later, on August 7, 1916, at the age of about 53.

Anna's most prominent role as a suffragist was in the Washington Equal Suffrage Association. As an officer of the organization, whose president was Emma Smith DeVoe, Anna campaigned for a 1910 constitutional amendment to grant women full political equality (House Bill 59). Like many other women's groups during the time, the association supported Prohibition, distributing "extremist" pamphlets and letters emphasizing the importance of Prohibition, as well as attacking the "evils of drink," blaming nearly all societal problems, especially those of the middle class, on alcohol. The primary purpose of this attack was to bring the responsibility of states to the forefront of voters' attention, which later aided the movement for granting women's rights by moving suffragists' bills through individual states. Beginning in 1908, the association amassed support for a new bill put before state voters, which proposed a constitutional amendment for equal suffrage, by sending members to Olympia, Washington in order to launch lobbying efforts. The leaders of the organization, however, recognized that they needed more members, having only 1,700 in 1908, so they also began circulating petitions, thereby gaining the signatures of 20,000 Washington women. Because of Anna's role as an officer of the organization, as opposed to a general member, by the time of the bill's passing in 1910, it is likely that she was one of the original 1,700 members.

Although petitioning was an integral part of the organization's efforts, one of the most notable actions on the part of the Washington Equal Suffrage Association was also one of its least public. The association relied heavily on petitioning in order to gain new members, but it also realized that the method was legally insufficient to put the proposed bill on the ballot. The women's new strategy, which they preferred to be less public and therefore less likely to attract controversy, was to publish the Washington Women's Cook Book in 1909. This cookbook contained not just recipes, but also quotes from eminent women during the time speaking in favor of women's rights, as well as essays about the history of equal suffrage activism. The cookbook represented the grassroots campaigning that became vital to the association. Its beginning pages list Anna E. Goodwin as a member of the state executive board, a "rec secy (recording secretary) of Columbia press, Eastern Washington," though she did not personally contribute any recipes. Despite its intended purpose of not attracting controversy, the cookbook was derided by the National American Woman Suffrage Association and its leader, Carrie Chapman Catt, as being "too domestic."

Sources:

American Bankruptcy Reports. Vol. 34. 1915.

Ancestry.com. Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Clark, Norman H. The dry years: prohibition and social change in Washington. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988.

Jennings, Linda Deziah. Washington Women's Cook Book. Seattle, WA: Trade Register Print, 1909.

Richards, Cindy Koenig. Awakening: rhetoric and the rise of new women in the new northwest, 1868--1912: ProQuest, UMI Dissertation, 2012.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, Susan B. Anthony, Mathilda Joslyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper. History of Woman Suffrage: 1900-1920. Vol. 6. Fowler & Wells, 1922.

U. S. Census Bureau. Fourteenth census of population, 1920. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. 5A.

Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Marriage Register

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