Title

Mrs. Abbie C. French: Doctor and Suffragist

Presenter Information

Madeline Hagan

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

A trailblazing female figure, Mrs. Abbie C. French of Portland, Oregon was the treasurer of the Oregon Women's Suffrage Association and the director of home economics for the Portland Women's Research Club. While there is little detailing the extent of her work with suffrage, we do know that she worked with nationally recognized suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway and participated in women's groups up until her death in 1917. Mrs. French was also a doctor, one of very few women at the time, and practiced "magnetic massage" on female clientele. Her work as a doctor was highly publicized in local papers and city directories, even advertising that she had traveled "East" to study, and was extremely well educated in her profession. In researching Mrs. French, I studied national census records, Oregon public records, city directories, and local and national newspapers. Additionally, I researched scholarly articles on the Oregon suffrage movement and read books about the history of women in medicine. Her work as a suffragist was not well documented, but she is present in a few newspaper articles detailing Oregon suffragist activity, such as the welcoming of President and First Lady Roosevelt to Oregon in 1903, and the writing of a letter to President Roosevelt on the dignity of women. Regardless of her relative obscurity, I was able to infer her thoughts on suffrage from the sentiments of the Oregon Suffrage Association during Mrs. French's participation. Additionally, her work as a doctor, while heavily advertised, is not entirely detailed, so I relied heavily on the historical information of women in the practice of medicine. Mrs. Abbie C. French is a woman of historical significance in the ways she defied the status-quo, and is an excellent example of the new age of women at the turn of the 19th century.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 17th, 2:20 PM Apr 17th, 2:40 PM

Mrs. Abbie C. French: Doctor and Suffragist

UC 332

A trailblazing female figure, Mrs. Abbie C. French of Portland, Oregon was the treasurer of the Oregon Women's Suffrage Association and the director of home economics for the Portland Women's Research Club. While there is little detailing the extent of her work with suffrage, we do know that she worked with nationally recognized suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway and participated in women's groups up until her death in 1917. Mrs. French was also a doctor, one of very few women at the time, and practiced "magnetic massage" on female clientele. Her work as a doctor was highly publicized in local papers and city directories, even advertising that she had traveled "East" to study, and was extremely well educated in her profession. In researching Mrs. French, I studied national census records, Oregon public records, city directories, and local and national newspapers. Additionally, I researched scholarly articles on the Oregon suffrage movement and read books about the history of women in medicine. Her work as a suffragist was not well documented, but she is present in a few newspaper articles detailing Oregon suffragist activity, such as the welcoming of President and First Lady Roosevelt to Oregon in 1903, and the writing of a letter to President Roosevelt on the dignity of women. Regardless of her relative obscurity, I was able to infer her thoughts on suffrage from the sentiments of the Oregon Suffrage Association during Mrs. French's participation. Additionally, her work as a doctor, while heavily advertised, is not entirely detailed, so I relied heavily on the historical information of women in the practice of medicine. Mrs. Abbie C. French is a woman of historical significance in the ways she defied the status-quo, and is an excellent example of the new age of women at the turn of the 19th century.