Oregon Legislature Passes Resolution Honoring Abigail Scott Duniway

February 27, 2015

Abigail Scott Duniway

Abigail Scott Duniway

Today the Oregon Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 7 honoring Oregon pioneer, author and activist Abigail Scott Duniway:

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway was the embodiment of a true pioneer, traveling the Oregon

Trail and eventually becoming one of the leading voices in the nationwide struggle for woman

suffrage; and

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway was born Abigail Jane Scott in Illinois on October 22, 1834; and

Whereas Abigail Scott traveled to Oregon Territory with her family in 1852, settling in

Lafayette; and

Whereas Abigail Scott married Benjamin Duniway in 1853 and together they had one daughter

and five sons; and

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway wrote 22 novels over the course of her life, including Captain

Gray’s Company in 1859, the first book commercially published in Oregon; and

Whereas the Duniway family lost their farm properties due to fire and Benjamin Duniway’s financial

difficulties, circumstances soon followed by an accident that left Benjamin Duniway unable

to perform hard physical labor; and

Whereas following her husband’s injury, Abigail Scott Duniway became the primary breadwinner

for the family, opening a millinery shop, running a school and taking in boarders; and

Whereas the Duniway family moved to Portland in 1871, where Abigail Scott Duniway founded

a newspaper, The New Northwest, in 1871, and served as editor and writer for the newspaper until

it closed in 1887; and

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway worked for women’s rights as a lecturer, organizer, writer and

editor, founded the Oregon State Woman Suffrage Association and the Oregon State Equal Suffrage

Association, served as one of the five National Woman Suffrage Association vice-presidents-at-large

and traveled throughout Oregon and the United States to advocate for woman suffrage; and

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway advocated the use of persuasive words and nonconfrontational

tactics to further the causes she espoused; and

Whereas in addition to the cause of woman suffrage, Abigail Scott Duniway promoted discourse

regarding many other topics, including social injustices she observed; and

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway died on October 11, 1915, after seeing women granted the vote

in Oregon but before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified,

guaranteeing the right to vote for all women in the United States; and

Whereas Abigail Scott Duniway’s tireless work on behalf of woman suffrage has led many to

honor her as the “Mother of Equal Suffrage”; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon:

That we, the members of the Seventy-eighth Legislative Assembly, honor Abigail Scott Duniway

for her pioneering work for woman suffrage and for her place in Oregon’s history as one of its

earliest and most influential leaders.

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