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MSA SC 4062-6-6
CollectionHandy Collection
The topic of correspondence in this file was Woman Suffrage in Maryland. All of the letters are form letters. A couple of letters were addressed specifically to Miss Rozelle Handy. The purpose of the letters was to motivate women to contact their representatives in the State legislature. In one letter, the Woman Suffrage League of Maryland was clarifying the “facts concerning the negro population in the South.”

Additional notes compiled by Sharon Miyagawa, MSA Research Intern, August 2014:

  1. Letter from Madeleine LeMoyne Ellicott to Mrs. Handy. No date, written from Woman Suffrage League of Maryland. Note: The document seems to be a generic letter sent out asking the individual to go visit their delegate or senator this upcoming weekend when the delegate/senator is at home to urge them to vote for ratifying the suffrage amendment.
  2. Letter from those at the Just Government League of Maryland to Miss Handy, no date, although it seems to be a generic letter sent out to many supporters. This letter informs recipient that they are being mailed copies of the “Suffrage Prayer which we hope you will distribute among the people in your community who are interested in the righteous and just cause now before the Maryland Legislature.”
  3. Letter from Matilda B. Maloy (Mrs. William Milnes Maloy), 2nd Vice President and Publicity Chairman, at the Women Suffrage League of Maryland sent to supporters. This letter is a response to correspondence printed in a local paper to the Legislators of Maryland written by the Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. Ms. Maloy believed the published letter to be full of false statements about suffrage. Maryland is grouped together with the southern states. The anti-suffrage letter stated that in all southern states, including Maryland, the legislature had been flooded with strongly worded and overall untrue anti-suffrage literature. Ms. Maloy wrote: “With the personal attacks made by the anti-suffrage material, we are not concerned. Our business is to present the argument for the democratic principle of suffrage…” A majority of states have already ratified the suffrage amendment, while the bulk of southern states have not. She asks: “What is the matter with the Southern women, including those of Maryland, that they should be excluded?”
  4. Letter, mass mailing, from Matilda Maloy to “Madam” dated February 10, 1920 that lists members of committees in each house of the legislature that will hear bills regarding the passing/denial of the suffrage amendment. Asks the recipient to get in touch with a member of the committee if they are part of that member’s district.
  5. Another mass letter from Matilda Maloy, Publicity Chairman of the Women Suffrage League of Maryland. Dated February 5, 1920. Addressed to “Sir.” The letter states that the suffrage amendment has already been ratified by 27 states, meaning that complete ratification of the amendment is inevitable. Ms. Maloy wrote: “There are those ‘professional southerners’ who would play upon prejudice and ignorance, not hesitating to prostitute the most sacred traditions of the south in their effort to cloud the real issue of the suffrage question by linking it with the negro question.” She gives the number of black women in comparison to white women total population for southern states and also total number of white women in comparison to the entire black population in southern states. She also wrote that “Anti-suffragists will tell you that negroes will rule the South when women vote. Surely you do not believe that the white race is puny, pusillanimous and degenerate. That race will continue superior which is superior and the talk of ‘negro domination’ is a bug-a-boo which will frighten no man when he knows the facts.”

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