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League of Women Voters of Kansas Records

Creator: League of Women Voters of Kansas

Date: 1968C-1983C

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 42659

Abstract: The League of Women Voters of Kansas records include a variety of documents organized into subject files, documenting the organization's political activity on various social, national, and international issues. The records include correspondence, publications, pamphlets, reports, the national Voter newsletters, the local Topeka Voter newsletters, and clippings. Topics include China, health planning, international relations, Kansas Corporation Commission, air pollution, energy, Washington D. C. representatives, constituents, congressional reform, education, political participation, unemployment, Kansas election laws, the organization's 50th anniversary, and other political topics.

Space Required/Quantity: 9.00 cubic feet

Title (Main title): League of Women Voters of Kansas Records

Administrative History

Administrative History: The League of Women Voters of Kansas (LWVK) is a non-partisan, grassroots, volunteer and political organization with eight local Leagues across the state. They provide members with voter registration, information on elected officials, and voter education on various issues and legislation. The LWVK also takes official positions on pieces of legislation after thorough research, deriving these positions from a consensus of members. The league works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy, as well as through political lobbying of Congress.

The LWVK began to develop in the mid-19th century as women were seeking suffrage on both the state and federal levels of government. As early as 1859, feminists Clarina Nichols, Mother Armstrong, and Mary Tenney Gray from Douglas and Shawnee counties attended the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention. In 1861 when Kansas became a state, women were given the right to vote in school elections. In 1867, both women's and African American suffrage was considered but both proposals lost. This, however, made Kansas the first state to consider women's suffrage.

In 1879, the Equal Suffrage Association (ESA) was established in Lincoln, Kansas, with a statewide ESA formed in 1884. The ESA continued to campaign for women's suffrage, but a constitutional amendment was again defeated in 1893. As the women's suffrage movement continued into the 20th century, in 1911, a Kansas suffrage amendment was resubmitted to the legislature and passed by a vote of 94 to 28. In 1912, Kansas adopted a constitutional amendment granting women full suffrage.

At the final convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the League of Women
Voters was born. In March 1919, Carrie Chapman Catt, the strategist who led the suffrage movement to
its final victory, called for the formation of a league of women voters to "finish the fight." The occasion was the 50th Anniversary Jubilee Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jane Brooks of Wichita, Kan., wife of a prominent attorney and president of the Kansas Equal Suffrage
Association, was elected chairman of the national league of women voters. She went home to Kansas
and set about dissolving the KESA and establishing the first local League of Women Voters in the
country. The KESA held its last meeting on Wednesday, June 4, 1919, and laid the foundation for the Kansas League of Women Voters. In addition officers were elected for the Sedgwick County League of Women
Voters. One week later, the first annual meeting of the Kansas League of Women Voters was held June 10-11, 1919, at the Hotel Lassen in Wichita.

[League of Women Voters of Kansas. "Our History." http://www.lwvk.org/PDF/lwvkhistory.pdf (accessed October 28, 2009).]

Index Terms

Subjects

    League of Women Voters (U.S.)
    League of Women Voters of Kansas
    League of Women Voters of Kansas -- Political activity
    Women -- Kansas -- Societies and clubs
    Women -- Political activity -- Kansas
    Women -- Suffrage
    Women -- United States -- Societies and clubs
    Women's rights -- Kansas

Creators and Contributors