Women at Work for Democratic Victory, August 7, 1912



Suffrage Does Not Enter Into This Contest, the Founder of Society Explains.


A Series of Meetings Over the Country Will Be Held -- Chairman McCombs Welcomes the Aid.

A call sent out yesterday to women all over the country to become politicians and work for clean government marked the formation of a new woman's political body, the Woman's National Wilson and Marshall Organization, with headquarters at Room 1,058. Fifth Avenue Building. Mrs. J. Borden Harriman is the Chairman and founder.

Mrs. Harriman, who has done important work in the interest of pure milk, and who is a member of the Woman's Department of the National Civic Federation, said yesterday:

"Gov. Wilson has passed splendid laws for the benefit of women and children in New Jersey, and as President he can do the same for the entire country.

"Suffrage has nothing whatever to do with this," she continued in answer to a question. "Yes, I am a suffragist, but what we want now is to have the women come out and work by indirect influence for a clean government. My husband is a Republican and he is going to vote for Wilson. I am an independent. I come from a family of independents which was Republican until its members voted for Cleveland. I believe in getting the best man for the place, whatever his party."

Room 1,058, the office of the new woman's organization, had every appearance of being a hustling political headquarters yesterday. There were pictures of the candidates on the walls, secretaries were busy at the typewriters, electric wires were being put in, and there was a continuous string of callers. Among these was Senator Gore, who is on the Advisory Board of the new organization. Judge S. C. Herren of Chicago called to see the Senator, and incidentally remarked that he drafted the suffrage plank for Idaho, and was a strong believer in the enfranchisement of women.

A big meeting of women, to be held next Monday in the vicinity of the headquarters, will begin a series for the country, indoors and outdoors, wherever women can be brought together, with both men and women speakers. Many of these meetings will be held in the noon hours, and in New York some of them will be held in the vicinity of Twenty-third and Thirty-fourth Streets and further uptown.

The women have a big supply of Wilson buttons, and will try to make arrangements to have stamps which are now being printed, bearing the heads of Wilson and Marshall, sold for a cent apiece in the shops.

Before arranging to float her new political organization Mrs. Harriman wrote Chairman McCombs of the Democratic National Committee to ask if the work of the women would be acceptable. Following is the cordial response from the Chairman:

New York, Aug. 3, 1912.

Woman's National Wilson Organization,
Fifth Avenue Building, New York, N.Y.:

My Dear Madam: I am in receipt of your favor of July 31st, 1912, advising me of the proposal to organize a "Woman's National Wilson Organization," the object of which is to promote the election of Wilson and Marshall. I beg to assure you that the organization which you propose will in no wise interfere with the plans of the Democratic National Organization. Many patriotic organizations are being perfected to assist in the election of Wilson and Marshall, and the [cooperation] of all worthy and patriotic organizations such as you contemplate will be serviceable and will be appreciated. We welcome the support and aid of your organization.

I may add that the high cost of living is daily a tragedy in many households in this country. That tragedy affects the women, the wives and mothers of the household most vitally. It is one of the great issues in this campaign, and I can well understand and appreciate the interest which the women of the land are taking in the effort to fix the responsibility and bring relief to those who are suffering from the evil effects of the oppressive and excessive cost of living. I beg to remain, Respectfully yours,


On the Organization Committee of the organization are Mrs. Archibald S. Alexander, Mrs. Caroline B. Alexander, Mrs. A. S. Burleson, Mrs. Josephus Daniels, Mrs. Joseph E. Davies, Mrs. J. B. Eustis, Mrs. Thomas P. Gore and Mrs. Oswald G. Villard. Besides Senator Gore there are on the Advisory Board, Joseph E. Davies of Wisconsin, Josephus Daniels of North Carolina, W. G. McAdoo of New York and Gov. Shafroth of Colorado.

The call of the membership asks the women to become active members of the organization to work for clean government in the election of Wilson and Marshall, or to give their influence or the use of their names. The new Wilson stamps which the women will try to sell are about the size of a special delivery stamp and have "Win for Wilson" at the top and "Cut the Cost of Living" at the bottom.