“Votes for Women” – Coal Region newspaper published a “Women’s Suffrage Edition” in March 1914

On March 18, 1914, the staff of the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader turned over their newspaper’s pages to the “Equal Suffragists of Luzerne County.” This organization advocated for women earning the right to vote in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Suffrage Cover (1)

The edition they published, 32 pages in all, was put together by the women of the “Equal Suffragists.” They wrote the news stories, gathered the advertisements, wrote the editorials, and printed the edition on the newspaper’s presses. The issue is a stunning piece of the history of the women’s rights movement.

The editors placed a small note on the editorial page of the Times-Leader. It explained the issues purpose and what the authors of the “Women’s Suffrage Edition” intended by its publication.

Here friends – on March 18th, 1914, we, the Equal Suffragists of Luzerne County, make our bow to you and the world at large.

We ask you to look kindly upon our effort to entertain, amuse, and instruct both the Pros and Antis. We hope we have converted many and antagonized none. To the businessmen and women of Wilkes-Barre and vicinity we extend our appreciative thanks for their courtesy and the faith they have shown in our enterprise, and hope they will reap many golden dollars for their willing cooperation.

To our friends who have been so ready with pen, brains, and wit to help make these sheets what we hope you have found them, a pleasant hour’s companion, our thanks are due.

To the management of the Times-Leader, we are especially grateful for the opportunity given us to find out whether we can make good in newspaperdom, and for aid extended by every department, from the editorial to the newsies. Our life is but for a day. Is it success – or failure? The verdict is now in your hands.

Editors List - Suffrage
A list of the editors of the “Women’s Suffrage Edition” on March 18, 1914.

Over the subsequent weeks, we will be examining stories from that special issue of the Times Leader. As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, this special edition provides fascinating context for the suffrage movement in Pennsylvania’s Coal Region.

We hope you’ll stay tuned – you can find all our stories about women’s suffrage by following this link. 

Featured Image: Suffragists in New York in 1908 holding a famous “Votes for Women” sign. (Library of Congress)

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