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Vadae G. Meekison Collection - MS 211

Vadae Meekison Correspondence - 1912

June 1912

June 10, 1912

June 10th, 1912

Dr. Charles Mowry,
Napoleon, Ohio.

Dear Doctor:-

We have a very sweet little German woman, who is president of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association. She has been speaking for us two weeks in Ohio, will then go to Wisconsin and return to us. Could some of you arrange a few dates for her in Henry County? She speaks in German as well as English. We think she does better work in her own tongue,.

You spoke of there being so many German people in Napoleon that I am making this suggestion.

I will want to know whether you can take her as soon as possible, because I must arrange her itinerary.

I had a chance to Miss Foley, who has done such remarkable work in Boston and who is pleasing our people everywhere to have her stop off at Napoleon for some street meetings. She had to do it at the time she did because she had dates made which had to be filled.

Brand Whitlock wrote that she made one of the most remarkable addresses he had ever heard.

I hope she will put a little enthusiasm in your community, so that when we are ready to do more work in Napoleon it will be started.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

June 13, 1912

June 13, 1912

Mrs. Vadae G. Melkinson,
Napoleon, Ohio.

Dear Mrs. Melkinson:

Miss Foley wrote me on a Wabash Railroad Freight Card that you arranged three meetings for her, and that they were successful.

I write you to thank you for giving us the help and am wondering if you will be willing to arrange some meetings for speakers who will come into your part of the country a little later.

Miss Helen Todd, who was in the automobile trips in Illinois two years ago, and who stumped California for Woman Suffrage Amendment, and who is now on her way east with the Roosevelt Delegates to Chicago Convention, is going to come here some time in the near future. She is a splendid speaker and a live wire, and I would so much like to have her visit Napoleon.

Under another cover I am sending you some literature.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

June 15, 1912

June 15th, 1912

Mrs Vada G. Mekison,
755 Welsted St,,
Napolean, Ohio.

Dear Mrs. Meetison:-

So glad Miss Foley pleased you. We will send Mrs. Leddy on her return from Wisconsin. She won't be there until the first week in July because she has given her time to Wisconsin.

I am sending you some membership blanks and some pledge slips for voters. There is no membership fee connected with this campaign committee, but such committees are sometimes known as Woman Suffrage Party or Campaign Committees. If these want to belong to the state association the whole association pays $2.00 and one delegate is allowed at the annual convention.

I think it is splendid that you say you will work with an organizer, if we sent one.

Better get us some names from Deshler.

I will see that somebody goes later.

Cordially yous,
Harriet Taylor Upton

June 18, 1912

Fremont, Ohio June 18, 1912

My dear Mrs. Meekison -

I'm wondering who is running the Suffrage League in Napoleon. I hope very much it is your sweet self else I shall be terribly disappointed. I wrote Mrs. Upton about you, as being the only live wire in Napoleon.

I do hope she caught on and will drop Mrs. Mowry, until Sept. 3rd at least.

Did you manage to get anything in the papers and will you kindly send me three copies of the papers for files. Mail them to Warren Ohio, c/o Ohio Suffrage Assc. and they will forward them to me. Don't send the whole paper just the clipping on Suffrage Meeting and please leave the headline of the paper or showing place and date.

How is dear Virginia? Kind regards to the happy family.

Cordially yours
Margaret L. Foley


I'm having splendid meetings all along the line.

June 20, 1912

June 20, 1912.

Miss Vadal V. Melkison,
755 Wellsted St.,
Napoleon, Ohio.

My dear Miss Melkison:

If you can get us any names from Deshler please do so. We surely must do something in Henry County.

The German lady of whom I wrote is Mrs. Clara P. Laddey. She is at present at Wisconsin but will return to Ohio about July first. We have instructed her to go to Cleveland where she will be for about a week, but if you can arrange a meeting for her early in July, we will have her some to you. She speaks German beautifully and is a very charming lady.

Miss Foley will be in Toledo the latter part of our Campaign and you may be able to get hold of her late in August.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton


I assume that it is Mrs. Ella S. Stewart to whom you refer as just having written. Mrs. Stewart is now in Michigan helping in the campaign and Mrs. Upton is also in Michigan a few days having gone there via Toledo with Mrs. Catt from our Cleveland Conference. How I do wish you could have been with us in Cleveland!

We find interest in the cause growing and more and more are we encouraged by the attitude of the women themselves. They seem to be taking their responsibilities seriously. Fulton county is beginning to organize. They have the beginnings of a county association with Mrs. Cora Mercer of Wauseon as President and also a local association at Wauseon with Mrs. Mary Touville as President. We have just had a number of meetings in Williams County with Miss Mary Graham Rice, our chairman of State Finance Committee as the speaker, and we propose to follow the advantage gained there by sending someone else to Williams county soon who can organize. We might arrange to have the same person to go you on the same trip if this seems desirable. Of course it is the everlasting question of money which confronts us. I begin to feel encouraged however about the western part of the state and we shall push the work there just as rapidly as possible.

Mrs. Upton and I will always be glad to hear from you and we want you to know that the state association stands in readiness to co-operate with you in every possible way. However you are on the ground, you know your locality and are in a position to advise what should be done.

When I wrote to Florence Allen I shall tell her of your nice letter.

With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
Elizabeth J Hauser

July 1912

July 1, 1912

July 1, 1912.

Miss Vadal G. Melkison,
Napoleon, O.

My dear Miss Melkison:

I have your letter of June 24th. You ask to have some balloons. That balloon business has been a very funny one.

At the time of the Mississippi Valley Conference in May, one of our Ohio friends who lives in Illinois, pledged us $10.00 worth of balloons. The reporters forgot the dollar sign and said 10,000 balloons instead of $10.00 worth. Every couple of days we get a request for some of those balloons. As a matter of fact, the friend who pledged them, has evidently forgotten to make good and we have never had a single balloon.

Now, if these balloons should come, I will send Napoleon its share. I think there will be but very few of them, not enough to begin to spread all over the state, but of course, if we do get them, we will want to make use of them. I do not know of any one of the headquarters in the state that has these balloons.

We sent you some documents that we would be glad to have you address to voters in your vicinity. We have a large supply of these documents and can furnish you with more, if desired. They save postage since they are franked and require readdressing only. They should go to the reading public. We have sent a copy to every newspaper in the state, so you need not bother with the newspapers in your vicinity but the ministers and teachers and people who will take the trouble to read them, ought to get a good bit of information out of them. Doesn't it seem unjust to think that just because you moved into Ohio from Colorado, that that act disfranchised you?

[end of letter, no signature]

July 2, 1912

July 2, 1912.

Miss Vadal Melkinson,
Napoleon, O.

My dear Miss Melkinson:

We have just sent you a telegram that we are supplying you with a speaker for the Fourth of July. She will arrive on the morning of that day from Sandusky. Her name is Mrs. Ella Reeve Bloor and you will find her very effective indeed. She is fine for a big demonstration and an outdoor speech.

We are mailing to you some posters and some literature for distribution. Please call for these, so as to get the posters up for advertising purposes.

We were fortunate in having Mrs. Bloor arrive from her European trip in time to fill an Independence Day engagement. She goes to Sandusky this morning for two days work and then will come to you.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

July 5, 1912

July 5th, 1912.

Miss Vadal Melkison,
Napoleon, Ohio.

My dear Miss Melkison:-

We are to have a German speaker who can come to Henry County, if you will arrange meetings for you. Her name is Mrs. Clara V. Laddy. She is a very cultured woman and we can arrange to let you have her for three days. If you are sure you can get up some big meetings we might possible let her stay with you a little longer, then we would like her to go to Bowling Green, but we will give her to you in Henry County first.

Please let us know immediately if you desire Mrs. Laddy.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

Mrs. Laddy could come about July 8-11.

July 6, 1912

July 6, 1912.

Miss Vadal Melkison,
Napoleon, O.

My dear Miss Melkison:

We have just found that we must give you another date for Napoleon. Mrs. Laddy's arrangements in Cleveland are more lengthy than we expected that so she will be in Cleveland until the 11th, Bowling Green from the 12th to the 15th and the date we can give Napoleon is the 16th only.

I trust you can get up a meeting for her and wish we could have her stay with you longer, since we understand there is a large German population in Napoleon and vicinity.

Please advise if this is satisfactory.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

July 8, 1912

July 8th, 1912.

Mrs. Vadel G. Melkinson,
Napoleon, Ohio.

Dear Mrs. Melkinson:-

We have your two communications of July 8th and are glad to hear from you, especially now that we know something about you. Mrs. Bloor writes that you are a "cracker-jack" and a "corker". Higher praise than these two terms does not exist. Congratulations.

Mrs Laddy will not get to Napoleon, she has been obliged to cancel her dates following Saturday, July 13th, owing to the illness of her daughter. This necessitates her return to New Jersey.

We surely must reach that German township later in the campaign.

I will you would tell us to whom to write in regard to a meeting. We have one or two people who speak German and who live in Toledo.

Since you are a Colorado woman you will probably be interested as well as dismayed to learn of the death of Mrs. Sarah Platt Decker. She was operated on last Friday while attended the Bienniel, and never rallied from the operation, which was for gall-stones.

Am glad you write me so fully and Mrs. Bloor's meetings. She is an indefatigable worker.

Am using description of the float for our Woman's Journal letter. You showed a good bit of discrimination in selecting your girls for that float.

Richard Barries article has been pretty thoroughly rattled. Have you read the one by Minnie Bronson? Am enclosing a reply. Miss Bronson is the most able anti-suffrage speaker than I have heard, but she is chiefly remarkable for the forceful manner in which she makes mis-statements.

In your anti literature, did you get a circular comparing the Ohio and Colorado laws? If so, [new page]

2. Melkison; 7-9 '12

will you kindly mail to us at headquarters? We have heard of this circular and we are curious to read it.

Don't bother about the canning. It is just about as cheap to buy it as to hire some one to do it and surely no man can protect his wife while she is standing over the hot stove.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

July 15, 1912

July 15, 1912.

Mrs. Vadal G. Merkison,
Napoleon, O.

Dear Mrs. Merkison:

It is very encouraging to have you say that you think we do not need to send a speaker just now into your district. I hope this good news will come from surrounding counties.

We are putting some speakers in the Northwest counties but they will not stay to do exhaustive work. Let us know when you think you need some one and we will try and supply the necessity.

I do not know what we can do for Deshler in the way of putting it on a route but we will look up the matter. I notice it is on the railway and electric line from Toledo so we will have some one go there. Can't you give us a few names from Deshler so that when our worker goes there, she will have something to help out.

Am glad you found Mrs. Bloor so effective. Really, it just seems as if she rolls up scores of friends wherever she goes. If you can get her for Labor Day, September 2nd, she would be a great addition but I have an idea she may be anywhere and everywhere at that time. So many people are pulling for her.

You must know something of Mrs. Frances Goddard, as you are a former Colorado resident. The antis are distributing from house to house a cute little leaflet with that Goddard business on it, in which Mrs. Goddard relates her change of attitude in regard to Woman Suffrage and says that votes for women have never done Colorado any good; and never helped the Child Labor situation in Colorado; and that women workers haven't shorter hours in Colorado, etc., etc., etc.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

July 16, 1912

July 16, 1912.

Mrs. Vadal Merkison,
Napoleon, O.

Dear Mrs. Merkison:

Read with a good deal of pleasure that you helped to carry off the honors on graduation. There were two points there that were comforting - the one that women can compete successfully in intellectual contests and the other the great molding power of instructors. I wish every teacher could realize what she means to the growing generation and what suffrage would mean to her in raising her standard of professional equality by means of political equity.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

July 18, 1912

July 18th, 1912.

Mrs Vadae G. Meekison,
Napoleon, Ohio.

Dear Mrs. Meekison:-

Let me express my gratitude that you printed your name, for we had Melkison and Merkison and now, when the campaign is winding up, we find it is Meekison. It was bad enough to misspell your christian name, but it was inexcusable not to get the last name straight.

Miss Allen, who was to head the trolley party of which we wrote you, was sent with an automobile party to Zanesville. There they found so much to do, having constant meetings and organizing, and then the party separated, Miss Allen going to one town, Miss Hauser to another and they found by staying a little longer they could organize and so they did. I was hoping she would come back to Cleveland, but as I could not reach her by telegraph yesterday, at Cleveland, so I think she must have gone directly from New Philadelphia to Napoleon.

In reference to Brandt Whitlock, he is such a good suffragist and does so much for suffrage and will be so crowded during this campaign, that I do not know whether we can get him to go to Napoleon, but if we can, we will let you know in amply time to get up a meeting.

Like you, I thought that the last of the campaign would be a whirl wind of activity, but to my great surprise, the whirl wind has started in so early that I do not know as we could whirl any faster if it was the day before election! We have a large staff of speakers in the field now and they are busy every minute.

A letter from one of our workers this morning, says that she made five speeches in one afternoon, of course they were short and at different factories.

We are sending some literature to your German minister, Rev. Lankenan.

Do you suppose the Germans will vote against the amendments as a whole, or will they vote at all in your county? [new page]

#2. Mrs. V. G. Meekison; 7-18th, -'12

I am delighted to know that you are going to have a Men's League, for men will have to help us on election day, if they do nothing else. We should have them at the booths and at the time of the count.

You are very enterprising to have secured down town headquarters, and we are sending you a couple of large posters that will help in the way of decorations.

Mrs. Ella Stewart will speak at Deshler and I am going to write the ladies whose names you have given me, trusting they will be interested in the meeting.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

July 24, 1912

Defiance, Ohio -
July 24 - 1912

Dear Mrs. Meekison,

I have just returned to Defiance from Paulding - and have your card - too late to get the Jones notices in the paper but I will send some under separate (later, inside) conc. - with window cards, hoping they will be useful in other ways.

If you have no morning meeting I can leave here at 10:20 p.m. Sunday.

But - if you have arranged anything for Sunday morning let me know and I will come out the early train. I speak at Hicksville Sat. Night, so will be late getting back to Defiance -

Ella S. Stewart.

August 1912

August 10, 1912

Aug. 10, 1912

Mrs Vadal Meekison, Secy.,
Woman Suffrage Assn.,
Napoleon, Ohio

My dear Mrs. Meekison:

We are planning to make the August 17th edition of The Woman's Journal a special Ohio number. This issue will be profusely illustrated with pictures of prominent suffragists who have been active in the campaign and will be devoted almost exclusively to the situation and activities in Ohio.

How many copies of this edition will you order? Our rates are 1 1/4[cents] per copy. Get your order to us by the morning of August 15th so that we can get the papers to you the following Saturday.

Trusting that we may receive your order without delay, we are,

Very sincerely yours,
The Woman's Journal
(Mrs.) Beulia B Carlin
Circulation Manager.

August 10, 1912

August 10, 1912.

Mrs Vadae Meekison,
Napoleon, O.

My dear Mrs. Meekison:-

We have just got the good news that Miss Ellis Meredith, the president of the Election Committee, of Denver will come to Ohio for a number of days.

In order that we may not lose a moment of her valuable time I am making route for her this Saturday afternoon. I am hoping that you will be able to arrange for a meeting for her on Saturday the 17th. She can speak out of doors or in the house as you may care to have her and you will not be at any expense excepting entertaining her. It is quite a task for me to raise money for this campaign but still I know that local people cannot work and raise money too. Somehow, it seems easier for me than for most people. I would like to have you pay her railroad expenses from Napoleon to her next stop.

Let me hear from you as soon as possible. I would rather you would telegraph me at my expense than to have any delay.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

August 14, 1912

August 14, 1912.

Mrs Vadae G. Meekison,
Napoleon, O.

My dear Mrs. Meekison:

I have your letter of August 13th in which you state that the coming of Mrs. Meredith or any other woman speaker at this time would not be particularly wise. We will therefore route her elsewhere, of course. I merely wanted to lend all possible help to Napoleon, but I think the local people are the best judges of what they want.

I think you have done splendid work in your canvassing and mailing of literature. We have heard several times of the fine work Miss Lemert has done and feel very grateful and indeed we appreciate all your valuable help, for you have worked from the standpoint of a onetime voter who was disfranchised by coming to Ohio.

We have Miss Florence Allen and some of her trolley helpers at St. Marys this week. They have sent in some names from St. Marys and we will get literature there.

Mrs. Meredith's first stop in this state will be at Defiance, August 15th; August 16th, Wauseon, the 17th was to be at Napoleon and the 18th Bowling Green.

Have you any colored voters in your county? If so, drop me a postal card and I will send you some of the enclosed leaflet, which is a special one.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

August 14, 1912

August 14, 1912.

Mrs. Vadae Meekison,
Napoleon, O.

Dear Mrs. Meekison:

Let me thank you most cordially for your kind personal note dated August 13th. I am glad Mrs. Stewart pleased you all so much. She certainly is one of the very ablest women in the entire suffrage movement.

Replying to your questions about provision for the polls on September 3rd, we now have a letter in the printer's hands, containing instructions about the matter to workers for Election Day, which are to be mailed within the next two or three days. I think this answers your questions.

I certainly congratulate you on your success with the country meeting in the German community.

Yours most cordially,
Harriet Taylor Upton

September 1912

September 5, 1912

September 5, 1912.

Dear Friend:

It is quite evident from the meager reports in the newspapers that we cannot depend upon the public press for any accurate report of the vote on the various amendments Tuesday. The vote on Amendment 23 is steadily mounting, as even the meager returns show and it is very important that we should be able to learn just how many votes were cast for our measure.

Please get for me through your newspapers, if they report it, or, if they don't, through your Board of Elections, the report of the vote in your county on the Woman Suffrage Amendment.

With best wishes, I am
Yours for victory next time,
Harriet Taylor Upton

September 7, 1912

September 7, 1912.

Mrs. Vadae G. Meekison,
Napoleon, Ohio.

Dear Mrs. Meekison:

Thank you for your letter of September 6th. It was too bad we were beaten in our fight. Somehow, it didn't discourage me the way I think it ought to discourage me. People were so nice to me during the campaign. With very few exceptions no one was unreasonable. I tried to be fair to others and others were more than fair to me. My greatest care was raising money for the campaign. We had to have so many thousands of dollars and sometimes I was afraid we would not make it. However, we are going to get through and pay all our debts.

I was not afraid to start another campaign. I feel sure that help will come to us, but somehow I often wonder if I can raise the money necessary for another effort.

Anyway, our work developed women and we are a hundred times as strong now as when we started in a year ago.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

September 14, 1912

Sept. 14th, 1912.

Dear Friend:

The Executive Committee of the Ohio Women Suffrage Association will hold a meeting in Cleveland at one o'clock, Bangor Building, 942 Prospect Avenue.

As the most important question which we will consider is that of renewing our campaign immediately, under the Initiative and the Referendum. I am very anxious that you and the women in your community who were interested in and worked for out campaign should be present.

There are some good reasons given why we should wait a little and our only thought is to determine which is the best thing to do and then do it and I do not think that the Executive Committee alone ought to do this. I think the women who worked actively in the campaign should be the ones to help settle it. Of course, technically when it comes to a vote, it would probably have to be settled by the Executive Committee, but of course, that committee would be only too glad to carry out the wishes of the local people.

Of course, this is no time for me to write at any length in regard to the campaign, but I must say in a few words that it was the most remarkable campaign I have ever had anything to do with and I have financed a goodly number for the National Association and know the workings of the same. The splendid loyalty which all our women showed towards each other and the administration, the courage which they displayed at defeat; the amount of work which they put in under circumstances which were not pleasant, surpassed anything which has ever come under my observation.

I feel that if this campaign did nothing else and it did much else, it showed us what the real womanhood of the state of Ohio is and it also showed where women will stand and what they will do when they come into their own inheritance.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

September 21, 1912

September 21, 1912.

Mrs. Vadae G. Meekison,
Napoleon, O.

Dear Mrs. Meekison:

Mrs. Upton is away on a little vacation and I am in charge of the office during her absence.

Permit me to thank you for your letter of the 17th giving the vote in Napoleon.

I think we all are agreed that we must go on with the work, but from the general tone of the letters received her, I should say that most of our women feel that the next campaign should last one year or two years. We have a bast amount of education to do and we want to move very carefully.

We dare not take too long a breathing spell for if we do, we shall lose the enthusiasm created among our women by this campaign.

With best wishes,
Yours most cordially,
Elizabeth J. Hauser

October 1912

October 21, 1912

October 21, 1912.

Mrs. Vadae Meekison,
Napoleon, O.

Dear Mrs. Meekison:

I sent you a copy of the report of our conference in Cleveland and also one of the calls to the suffrage convention. You will see by the report of the conference that we made an attempt to raise money for the carrying out of the work of the coming campaign.

There were several ways to do this. The best way seemed to be to appoint women in a community who would secure a number of people to give a dollar a month until suffrage was won. Some people went to work immediately and I think that this scheme is going to be a very good one.

Now, could you appoint a finance committee for Henry County and could you work out this scheme? It seems to me that there ought to be hundreds of women in every locality who could give a dollar a month. I know here, in our vicinity, many women who have given nothing in the last few years and who could not afford to give a great deal who have pledged this amount and are paying it.

Let me hear from you as soon as possible in regard to this.

Cordially yours,
Harriet Taylor Upton

October 26, 1912

New York, Oct. 26, 1912.

Mrs. Vadae Meelsison,
Napoleon, Ohio.

Dear Madam:-

Elizabeth Hauser, your state organizer, has asked us to send you a copy of the October number of "The Woman Voter", and it goes to you by this same mail. Miss Hauser tells us that your state convention is recommending the Woman Suffrage Party plan of organization and she says you will find "The Voter" an invaluable aid in your work.

We trust you will wish to subscribe.

Very truly yours,
Eldred Johnstone

November 1912

November 5, 1912

November 5, 1912.

My Dear Friend:

Today the men of five states, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin, are deciding at the ballot box whether the women, who share all their responsibilities and burdens, are capable of becoming real citizens. Whether woman suffrage wins or loses in any or all of these states, the fact remains that this is the most important as well as the most hopeful period in the history of the movement up to this time. Women now vote on equal terms with men in California, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, and at the special election in our own state, September 3, 1912, nearly 250,000 men voted in favor of woman suffrage in Ohio - - a larger number than has ever voted before on both sides of this question in any other state.

We shall win next time, and Ohio will be the first eastern state to establish real democracy within her borders. Without victory here, New York, which is practically assured of a referendum election in 1915, can scarcely hope for success. The granting of suffrage to women in New York state will mark the end of the struggle for women's political emancipation in this country, for the example of the Empire State will be followed by so many states that it will be possible to force an amendment to the United States constitution enfranchising the women of the nation, even as the negroes were enfranchised.

Not for our sakes alone, then, but for the success of our cause throughout the land is it our duty to make "Ohio Next."

All the forces of evil are arrayed against us. We must array the forces of good on our side. Come to Columbus to our annual State Convention. We need your presence, your counsel, your financial and moral support. Please come!

Yours faithfully,
Harriet Taylor Upton

December 1912

December 13, 1912

Warren, Ohio Dec. 13th, 1912.

My dear Mrs. Meekison:-

At the recent Convention of the Ohio Woman Suffrage Association I was appointed Chairman of the Committee on Enrolment. I am making it my first duty to try to ascertain how many enrolled suffragists there are in the State. I have already a record of about ten thousand. This does not include enrolment in any organization other than a suffrage society. To secure the numbers who have endorsed the suffrage principle through other organizations will also be a part of my duty.

Please tell me how many members you had in your campaign organization. If you cannot give the exact number, give the approximate number. Perhaps you can give me the figures for the whole county. Will you also give me the names of any organizations in your town, other than suffrage, which you know have endorsed woman suffrage and their approximate membership.

There is no doubt that the claim made and so persistently insisted upon by the Anti-suffragists that 80% of Ohio women do not want the vote did our cause much harm in our recent campaign.

[end of letter - no name]

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