In June of 1896, in the midst of an economic depression and after campaigning in California for several months, Susan B. Anthony made her second trip to the Pacific Northwest, including Portland, where she participated in the Oregon Woman’s Congress. This series of diary entries begins in California, where Anthony, often accompanied by Ellen Clark Sargent, Sarah B. Cooper, Anna Howard Shaw and other suffrage leaders, attended and spoke at mass meetings, and participated in the California Women’s Press Association meeting in San Francisco, the Woman’s Congress of the Pacific Coast, and the Populist State Convention at Sacramento. Although some diary entries are sketchy, or even missing, Anthony included enough specifics to show how active she was during this extended California visit, which began in March and ended in November, when California voters defeated an amendment to give women the ballot. In the midst of the California campaign, Anthony accepted an invitation to come to Oregon to help organize support for a referendum on woman suffrage, originally scheduled for 1897 but later delayed until 1900. She traveled by rail, first to Seattle, Washington, where the Woman’s Century Club hosted a two-day conference, and she arrived in Portland on Sunday, June 7, to be greeted as the houseguest of Abigail Scott Duniway and her family. During the next week, Anthony spoke at every session of the three-day Congress and enjoyed the “splendid audiences and profusion of flowers” that marked the event, which was held at Portland’s Taylor Street Methodist Episcopal Church. At the end of the week, Anthony spoke in Vancouver, Washington, attended a Portland Woman’s Club reception on June 12, and departed the next day for California, reaching Sacramento on June 15.
by Jean M. Ward