Suffrage In Sixty Seconds: Clark And Caldwell And The Eclectic Society Debate

Aug 6, 2019

The 1883 Eclectic Society’s debate on women and the right to vote reveals several prominent pro-suffrage Arkansas men. S.F. Clark, a Railroad director, said the notion that “the right to vote would unsex a woman was absurd,” calling the argument “weak, shallow – and mere poppycock.”

Judge H.C. Caldwell was even more adamant. He said, “The election as now conducted was a disgrace to American manhood. The polls were surrounded by a herd of vulgar and violent men who made it unpleasant and often dangerous to visit the polling places.... The time has come,” he said, “If men are such vile creatures at elections…to see if women cannot do better.”

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