QUASQUICENTENNIAL SUFFRAGE CELEBRATION SOUTHERN COLORADO
Judy E. Gaughan
Women’s Suffrage Centennial Southern Colorado
Link to the pdf of the play here.
This show was written using literal excerpts from Southern Colorado newspapers between 1876 and 1893. Very little liberty was taken with the language of the newspapers so most of the words the characters of the newspapers speak are word-for-word what the newspapers actually said. Most of the editing was for the sake of brevity. In Act III, a small amount of liberty was taken in putting the language from one newspaper into a different newspaper. If you are interested in looking at the originals from which this script is largely derived, please visit the research section of our webpage (http://womensuffragecentennialsoutherncolorado.org). The source used to find these newspapers was the searchable database available at https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org. The main search term used was “suffrage.”
In addition to the newspapers, primary source material from the Queen Bee Collection in the Denver Public Library Central Branch was used. That includes the poem from the epilogue and some of the words put in the mouths of 19th century suffragists. Some additional language put into the mouths of the suffragists in this play comes from the article, “The Other Side of the Woman Question,” by Julia Ward Howe, Lucy Stone, Tomas Wentworth Higginson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Wendell Phillips, published in the North American Review of Books, volume 129, number 276) in November of 1879 (on pages 413-446). The newspapers often did not give details about what the suffragists said in their speeches so the Colorado suffragists’ voices were enhanced with arguments we know were being made at the same time by other suffragists.
About the Authors:
The Women Suffrage Centennial Southern Colorado is a group formed in February, 2018 to commemorate 125 years of Colorado Women’s Suffrage and to celebrate the centennial of National woman’s suffrage in 2020.Judy E. Gaughan, professor of History at Colorado State University-Pueblo wrote the script with the assistance of other members of the Women Suffrage Centennial Southern Colorado. Dr. Gaughan’s main field of emphasis is ancient Roman History. She is the author of Murder was not a Crime: Homicide and Power in the Roman Republic. In addition to her interest in antiquity, she is dedicated to equality for all women and created this script in celebration of women’s achievements and dedication to the pursuit of justice.
This show was produced for the first time on November 7, 2018 in the Ryals Room of Rawlings Library, the main branch of the Pueblo City and County Library District. This date was 125 years to the day after the majority of Colorado voters (men) voted in favor of a state-wide woman’s suffrage amendment to the constitution. The directions in the script, as well as some of its content, is suited to that venue.
You are welcome to produce the play as is or to adapt it to your own venue. If you are a Southern Coloradan, we recommend that you investigate archives for your own town’s newspaper(s) and replace or supplement the content of Act II to reflect your own paper’s reports on women’s suffrage.
If you do produce the play, we would love to hear about it. Please jot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how it went.