National Council of Women Voters
Shortly after the Washington suffrage victory in 1910, Emma Smith DeVoe spearheaded the creation of the National Council of Women Voters (NCWV), a nonpartisan coalition of women from voting states. DeVoe organized this separate group partly in response to her rebuff by NAWSA at their 1909 national convention in Seattle. She also wanted to show the dissatisfaction of western states with the organization. The goals of the NCWV were to create an educational organization for women voters, to lobby for legislation, and to extend women’s suffrage nationally. DeVoe envisioned an evolving group that would add members from states as they enacted women’s suffrage. Creation of this coalition highlighted the differing strategies among western suffragists and NAWSA and enfranchised women who desired to take a more active role in the national campaign.
Jennifer Ross Nazzal’s Ph.D. Dissertation, Washington State University, 2004. “Always Be Good Natured and Cheerful”: Emma Smith DeVoe and the Woman Suffrage Movement,” is the source of much of this information. Her forthcoming book incorporating this history, Winning the West for Women: The Life of Suffragist Emma Smith DeVoe will be published this spring by the University of Washington Press. See: http://www.washington.edu/uwpress/search/books/ROSWIN.html.
Emma Smith Devoe: Practicing Pragmatic Politics in the Pacific Northwest
Teaching Citizenship to Women