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Erasmus and Lucy Correll
Workers for Woman's Suffrage


Erasmus Correll was born in Canada in 1846. As a child he lived in Illinois and in California. He studied civil engineering and surveying at Eureka College in Illinois and, in 1869, moved to Thayer County to work as a surveyor. He married Lucy L. Wilder in 1868. In 1871 he started a local paper, the Hebron Journal, and in 1882, he began publication of the Western Woman's Journal, a newspaper that enjoyed a national pro-women's suffrage readership. He and Lucy campaigned tirelessly for suffrage and he served as president of the American Woman Suffrage Association. He died in 1895 and Lucy died in 1924.

Autograph books mark a significant occasion by recording the signatures and sentiments of the people present. The two autograph books in the Correll papers at the Nebraska State Historical Society commemorate two momentous events in the fight for woman suffrage in Nebraska.


Erasmus Correll's autograph album was compiled on the occasion of the Feb. 3, 1881, vote in the Nebraska Legislature to place woman suffrage on the ballot that November. The bill passed but the amendment fell in November at the hands of Nebraska's all-male voters. He notes the purpose of his album on the inside front cover.

Historical
    "House Roll No 162, Joint Resolution providing for the submission to the electors of this state of an amendment to section 1, article VII of the constitution." was introduced by the undersigned in the House of Representatives of the Legislature of Nebraska, Feb. 3, 1881. It passed the House Feb. 21, 1881, the Senate, Feb. 25, 1881, and received the signature of the Governor Feb. 26, 1881. The amendment is to be voted on by the electors of the state Nov 7, 1882.
    The following signatures are the autographs of the members of the House and Senate who voted for the bill.
Lincoln, Neb.,         Erasmus M. Correll
May 20th, 1882        Rep. from Thayer County


The Women of America are equal in intellect & morals, identically with men & should have the elective franchise extended to them.
Geo. W. Brown, Dayton Boone Co. Neb.
4th Dist Extra Session


Commending your stand for liberty
Yours Robert B. Daley Red Willow Co.


Yours for equal rights and fair play.
C. Cole
1st Dist. Extra session


The autographs in Lucy Correll's album are all dated September 14, 1882. The American Woman Suffrage Association held its annual convention in Omaha at that time and undoubtedly Lucy's album was signed by delegates to this meeting. These inscriptions almost always included some slogan or wish for success in achieving woman suffrage.


Yours for the cause of woman
M.E. Hastic Sept 14, 1882, Summerset Iowa


The love of your co-worker for justice
Belle G. Bigelow Omaha September 14th 1882


Yours for a peoples' government
Mrs. J. Be Fenn
Nevada Story Co. Iowa

  

The most notable autograph in the book may have been added later in the month. Susan B. Anthony, while not mentioned in the local newspapers as attending the September 14 convention, was scheduled to speak at the convention of the National Woman Suffrage Association held in Omaha later in the month. Her signature in Lucy's book was, perhaps, acquired then.

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E. & L. Correll, Suffragists
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Last updated 15 April 2010  

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