Women in Texas History
Texas women gained the right to vote two years prior to the adoption of the 19th amendment to
the U.S. constitution; these women are the first in Travis County who registered to vote in the
1918 primary. This movement was headed by Minnie Fisher Cunningham, (not present in the
photo), although Jane Y. McCallum stands in the middle front row on the steps of the courthouse.
From All Texians Were Not Males
by Jane Y. McCallum
Reprinted with permission from the
"If all Texians were not males," you ask,
"how come the history books don't tell about
some who weren't?"
They do; now and then. But still, too
much after the manner of the Mayflower
Chronicle who wrote over 300 years ago,
"The people have gone ashore for recreation,
and the women to wash the clothes."
When, in times long gone, our brother
man preempted the writing of "history books"
he set the pattern. And as all who read must
know, history to the masculine mind means
accounts of grabbing lands, fighting wars and
wrangling over politics.
The "omission of women," suggests Mrs.
Mary R. Beard, "may be the reason so many
children have found history dull and unreal.
Women are very much a part of the life they
know, and histories which leave them out
only paint half the picture."
Some writers disagree with the distinguished
historian, notably our friendJ. Frank
Dobie, who goes so far as to declare that "the
New World has been a world of men neither
lured nor restrained by women," while the
late Owen P. White stated that Texas was a
"challenge to the tall, the tough, and the ugly
to come and get it" and they were "who
came, and they got it."
Remarkable statements, yet typical of the
general run of writings and broadcasts dealing
with Texas. This was especially true during
our celebrations of 1936 and 1946 in
commemoration of the centuries of Texas Independence
from Mexico and of her Annexation
to the United States.
Heroes and martyrs of frontier and Republic
days, both real and legendary, as well
as the "tall, the tough and the ugly," were
again. What a turbulent panorama the latter,
especially, made: rowdies, ruffians, rogues,
bandits, desperadoes, feudists, horse-thieves,
pirates, gamblers, cattle rustlers, freeshooting
Mexicans, scalping Indians, and
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 04, Number 02, Fall 1986. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45442/. Accessed May 6, 2015.