Abigail Jane Duniway (Scott) (1834 - 1915) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Groveland, Tazewell, IL, USA
Death: Died in Portland, Multnomah, OR, USA
Managed by: Alice Knapp
Last Updated:

About Abigail Jane Duniway (Scott)

Abigail Scott Duniway (October 22, 1834 – October 11, 1915) was an American women's rights advocate, newspaper editor and writer, whose efforts were instrumental in gaining voting rights for women.

Duniway was born Abigail Jane Scott near Groveland, Illinois, to John Tucker Scott and Anne Roelofson Scott. Of the nine children in her family who survived infancy, she was the second. She grew up on the family farm and attended a local school intermittently. In March 1852, against the wishes of Anne, who had concerns about her health, John organized a party of 30 people and 5 ox-drawn wagons to emigrate to Oregon, 2,400 miles (3,900 km) away by trail. Anne died of cholera near Fort Laramie, on the Oregon Trail, in June, and Willie, age 3, the youngest child in the family, died in August along the Burnt River in Oregon. In October, the emigrants reached their destination, Lafayette, in the Willamette Valley. After teaching school in Eola in early 1853, Abigail married Benjamin Charles Duniway, a farmer from Illinois, on August 1. They had six children: Clara Belle (b. 1854), Willis Scott (1856), Hubert (1859), Wilkie Collins (1861), Clyde Augustus (1866), and Ralph Roelofson (1869).

The Duniways farmed in Clackamas County until 1857, when they moved to a farm near Lafayette. They lost this second farm after Benjamin endorsed notes signed by a friend who defaulted. Soon afterward, Benjamin was permanently disabled in an accident involving a runaway team, and Abigail had to support the family. At first, she opened and ran a small boarding school in Lafayette. In 1866, she moved to Albany where she taught in a private school for a year, then opened a millinery and notions shop, which she ran five years. Angered by stories of injustice and mistreatment relayed to her by married patrons of her shop, and encouraged by Benjamin, she moved to Portland in 1871 to found The New Northwest, a weekly newspaper devoted to women's rights, including suffrage; that is, the right of women to vote and run for office. She published the first issue on May 5, 1871, and continued The New Northwest for 16 years.

Duniway encountered personal setbacks such as poor health, money problems, and opposition from her brother Harvey W. Scott, who also edited a Portland paper, The Oregonian. She persisted despite political opposition in the form of local resistance, the consistent failure of women's suffrage referendums on state ballots, and divisions with Eastern suffrage organizations. She and her newspaper actively supported the Sole Trader Bill and the Married Women's Property Act which, when passed, gave Oregon women the right to own and control property.

Her persistence paid off in 1912 when Oregon became the seventh state in the U.S. to pass a women's suffrage amendment. Governor Oswald West asked her to write and sign the equal suffrage proclamation.] She was the first woman to register to vote in Multnomah County.

Duniway is buried at River View Cemetery in Portland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abigail_Scott_Duniway Source:

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Abigail Duniway's Timeline

1834
October 22, 1834
Groveland, Tazewell, IL, USA
1854
May 26, 1854
Age 19
Clackamas, Clackamas, OR, USA
1856
February 2, 1856
Age 21
Clackamas, Clackamas, OR, USA
1859
March 24, 1859
Age 24
Lafayette, Yamhill, OR, USA
1861
February 13, 1861
Age 26
Yamhill, OR, USA
1866
November 2, 1866
Age 32
Albany, Linn, OR, USA
1869
November 7, 1869
Age 35
Albany, Linn, OR, USA
1915
October 11, 1915
Age 80
Portland, Multnomah, OR, USA
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Portland, Multnomah, Oregon, United States