Duniway, Abigail Jane

Duniway, Abigail Jane (b. Scott)

(1834–1915) suffragist; born near Groveland, Ill. She moved with her family to Oregon (1852) and taught school briefly. She married a farmer in 1853 but in 1863 her husband was injured and became an invalid. She supported their six children as a teacher and by running a millinery shop and became keenly aware of inequality between the sexes. She organized the Equal Rights Society in Oregon (1870) and, with the help of her six children, published the weekly newspaper The New Northwest (1871–87) and continued to work for women's rights. She drafted the resolution that gave the vote to women in Washington Territory (1883) and was instrumental in winning the suffrage in Idaho (1896), the state of Washington (1910), and Oregon (1912). In her day she was noted for disagreeing with many other national leaders over linking the women's right to vote with other reforms such as the prohibition of alcohol. In addition to her account of the suffrage movement in the Northwest (1914), she published two novels and poetry.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.