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Abigail Scott Duniway papers

  • Mss 432
  • Collection
  • 1852-1915

Writer, pioneer, editor, and champion of women's suffrage, Abigail Scott Duniway was born in Groveland, Illinois, in 1834. One of her brothers, Harvey Scott, would become the editor of the Oregonian. The Scott family traveled overland to Oregon in 1852, a trip on which Abigail's mother and youngest brother died. The family came first to Oregon City, then settled in Lafayette. Abigail taught school at Eola, and in 1853 she married Benjamin C. Duniway, with whom she had four children. After her husband was incapacitated in an 1862 accident, Duniway supported her family through teaching and a millinery business in Albany, Oregon. After moving to Portland in 1871 she published and edited The new northwest and became Oregon's leading advocate of women's suffrage. She moved to Idaho in 1887 and helped to achieve women's voting rights there in 1896. After returning to Oregon she was instrumental in the passage of Oregon's own women's suffrage bill in 1912. Her writings include the autobiography Path Breaking (1914) and the novel Captain Gray's Company.

The collection, which represents only a small portion of Duniway's papers, includes: the records of the Oregon State Equal Suffrage Association, including minute book, membership and account books, constitutions, a small amount of correspondence, and a copy of a letter from Susan B. Anthony regarding the woman's suffrage movement; and records of the Duniway Publishing Company, consisting of cash, mailing and advertising ledgers (1880-1886) of the publication The new northwest. Also included in the collection is a copy of a typed transcript of Duniway's journal kept during her family's overland trek from Illinois (1852 April 2) to Oregon City, Oregon (1852 September 28), on which her mother and younger brother died. The transcript contains an introduction by Leslie M. Scott. A subscription list from the Oregon State Secular Union from 1891 can also be found in the collection.

Duniway, Abigail Scott, 1834-1915

Horse car

Photograph showing a small horse street car, with “Columbia Land Improvement Co.” written on the side. The car sits on a track on a wooden platform. The photograph is a reproduction of a pinned image (pins can be seen on the frame) with the caption “Horse Car.”

Horse cars

Photograph showing multiple horse-drawn streets cars, shown in front of a building. People stand near the cars while looking at the camera, and at least one horse can be seen, attached to the first car. Written on the side of the cars is “W.B.BT Co.” The photograph is a reproduction of a pinned image (pins can be seen on the frame) with the caption “In the Old Street Car Days.”

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