Rockford Equal Suffrage Association. Records, 1888-1900 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of a single bound volume of records, primarily comprised of meeting minutes but also including membership lists and the governance documents, for the Rockford Equal Suffrage Association.
Begun in February 1888, the Rockford Equal Suffrage Association was formed "in order to work more systematically and unitedly for Equal Suffrage" and "to better promote the cause by persistent joint endeavor" as an auxiliary of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association. Although they noted that "The more immediate object of this Association shall be to secure municipal suffrage for women," the association also sought "at the same time to work persistently for their full political enfranchisement" (see 'Constitution of the Rockford Equal Suffrage Association,' page 1). In June 1897, the group changed its name to the Political Equality Club.
The meeting minutes note the group's work in advancing the cause through various avenues, including arranging for speakers and lectures at public events such as the county fair, distributing literature, and organizing petitions. In their work they also collaborated with the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.). The group was granted meeting space ("temperance headquarters") by the W.C.T.U., and the record book notes several joint meetings of both groups in 1900.
The Library purchased the volume in 2002 along with a group of W.C.T.U. records and handbooks, described separately.