Graduate Student - Alice Robertson: Oklahoma’s Anti Suffrage Congresswoman and Conservative Women in the Progressive Era
Graduate Student Thesis - Emily Ruggs
In 1920, the second woman in American history was elected to Congress. Miss Alice Robertson, a Republican from Oklahoma, had never served in an elected position, nor had she ever run for political office, but her first attempt for a seat in the House of Representatives proved a success. Despite her election to Congress, Robertson did not believe women should participate in politics, and she fought the passage of woman suffrage through her activities as the secretary of Oklahoma’s National Anti Woman Suffrage Association. Even after her election to Congress, she publicly referred to voting as a “burden.” By analyzing her papers located in Special Collections at the University of Tulsa’s McFarlin Library, Robertson emerges as an intriguing figure of the Progressive Era who embodies many of the contradictions and ambiguities that are associated with that time period. Looking at Robertson’s political role will provide a clearer picture of the female anti-suffrage movement, as well as the experience of female political leaders during this time period.