Albina L. Washburn
Albina L. Washburn (or "Washburne") was a feminist activist and anarchist writer active in Denver, Colorado, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was involved in the woman suffrage campaign in Colorado; participated in the Colorado Woman Suffrage Association, the Colorado State Grange, the People's Party and the Socialist Party; and contributed to labor newspapers and Anarchist newspapers including the Denver Labor Enquirer, Lucifer the Lightbearer and Free Society.
- 1876. "Annual Meeting, American Woman Suffrage Association: Colorado Report,” Woman’s Journal, 7 (7 October 1876). 327, 328.
- 1877. “Minority Report of Committee on Woman Suffrage,” reprinted in “The Grangers on Woman Suffrage,”] Woman’s Journal, 8 (1 September 1877). 280.
- 1892. “Colorado Suffrage Items,” letter to the editors of Woman’s Journal, 23 (27 August 1892). 276.
- 1902. "'How will a Free Society Come and How will it Operate?'" in Free Society IX.14 (April 6, 1902). 2-3.
From Jennifer Frost et al. (eds.) Why Did Colorado Suffragists Fail to Win the Right to Vote in 1877, but Succeed in 1893? (2002)
From Jennifer Frost, with Leslie Chomic, Marcia Goldstein, Rebecca Hunt, Heidi Voehringer, and the Colorado Coalition for Women's History, University of Northern Colorado (Spring 2002), Introduction to Document 2, "Excerpts from Albina L. Washburne, 'Annual Meeting . . .'":
- The Colorado Woman Suffrage Association, founded in 1876, gave organizational shape to suffrage sentiment in the state. The state association affiliated with the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA), one of two national organizations dedicated to achieving votes for women. The AWSA, which began in November 1869, sought to pass state laws granting women the right to vote, making it the logical affiliation for the Colorado Woman Suffrage Association.
- In this report to the AWSA, Albina L. Washburn[A] sketched the early history of the Colorado suffrage movement, particularly during the Colorado Constitutional Convention. A teacher, founding member of the Colorado State Grange, union supporter, as well as suffragist, Washburn (birth/death dates unknown) wrote a woman’s rights column for the Denver Labor Enquirer beginning in 1887.
- . . . [A] “Washburn” was the later spelling of her name.
From Jennifer Frost, with Leslie Chomic, Marcia Goldstein, Rebecca Hunt, Heidi Voehringer, and the Colorado Coalition for Women's History, University of Northern Colorado (Spring 2002), Introduction to Document 4, "A. L. Washburn, 'Minority Report of Committee on Woman Suffrage . . .'":
- Albina L. Washburn, of the Colorado Woman Suffrage Association, also was a member of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, or Grange, founded in 1867. An umbrella organization for farm cooperatives that sold crops and bought supplies, the Grange aimed to improve the situation of farmers (or “grangers”) vis-à-vis railroads and other corporations. Washburn attended the Grange’s national convention in Chicago in 1877 as a delegate from Colorado. As chair of the Committee on Woman Suffrage, she urged the organization to endorse a resolution in favor of woman suffrage: “Resolved, That justice to Woman demands and the exigencies of the times require that women be allowed to vote in all elections subject to the same restrictions and qualifications as other voters.” Despite the Grange’s commitment to equality between the sexes, the delegates in attendance voted to postpone discussion of the subject indefinitely.
- Washburn expressed anger and dismay over the organization’s unwillingness to commit to suffrage reform. In the following report, presented at the convention, she used arguments both from equality and difference as well as the Grange’s anti-monopoly rhetoric.
From Jennifer Frost, with Leslie Chomic, Marcia Goldstein, Rebecca Hunt, Heidi Voehringer, and the Colorado Coalition for Women's History, University of Northern Colorado (Spring 2002), Introduction to Document 11, "Albina L. Washburn letter to the Editors of the Woman's Journal . . .":
- By the early 1890s, pro-woman suffrage sentiment was growing in Colorado. The Colorado People’s, or Populist, Party--the political arm of the Farmers’ Alliance, the 1880s successor to the Grange--constituted a stronghold of support, due to the agitation of its women members.
- The following report on the founding convention of the Colorado People’s Party in July 1892 from Albina L. Washburn indicated how support for women’s political equality co-existed with a lack of explicitness regarding the Party’s stance on woman suffrage.