There has been a lot in the news in the papers about the so-called Republican’s “war on women.”

I’d like to tell you a story about a Republican couple that supported and encouraged women.

The story starts back in December 1849 when a man from Massachusetts arrived in San Francisco on a clipper ship.

He studied law and in 1861 was elected to Congress. After serving several terms, he was subsequently elected to the U.S. Senate.

In January 1879, this Republican senator became the first person to introduce the resolution that was to become the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — granting women the right to vote.

His amendment was introduced and reintroduced in each subsequent session of Congress long after his death.

At first, there was little support for the senator’s legislation, but in time the tide turned.

The work first started by this Republican was carried on by many others after his death in 1887.

Eventually, the senator’s resolution, having been passed by the House and Senate, was being considered by the states and was one state short of ratification.

Ninety-four years ago today, on Aug. 18, 1920, the state of Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment and it was added as the 19th Amendment to our Constitution.

While in the Senate, this Republican also introduced legislation that would require equal pay for equal work by federal workers regardless of their sex — a measure that also would eventually become law.

The senator and his wife were close friends of Susan B. Anthony and corresponded on a regular basis.

His wife — also a Republican — was an important force in the women’s suffrage movement.

Her son, who was an attorney in San Francisco, used to jokingly comment “The headquarters of the women’s suffrage movement is on Market Street but its hindquarters is in my living room.”

At one point, the senator’s wife paid her property taxes to the city of San Francisco then sued, claiming she was being taxed without having representation.

In 1911, she passed away and for the first time, the city of San Francisco held a public memorial service for a woman — a Republican woman no less.

For the first time, flags in the city and across the state were flown at half-staff to honor a woman.

The effort to give women the right to vote involved many people from different backgrounds. It took more than 40 years to accomplish, but it started with one Republican senator and his wife, who against all odds, pursued what they knew to be right.

The senator was my great-grandfather, Aaron Augustus Sargent.

Today, sadly, we see far too many men and women not voting.

In June, a runoff election was held in La Marque where only 315 votes were cast and the decision as to whom would serve as city councilman was decided by just one vote.

Think about this and please don’t take your right to vote lightly.

People have fought too long and too hard to secure this right for you to see it frittered away. Register to vote; go to the polls and vote. It’s important that you do so.

Bill Sargent lives in Galveston.

(16) comments

Paula Flinn

Nice story!

Now, let's see more credible Republican and Democratic women running for office. We need some willing ones to represent Texas and the United States. Let's get behind some women, on both sides of the aisle, to run for President! They are out there!

Lars Faltskog an oxymoron LMAO [beam][beam][beam]

Lars Faltskog

I hasten to say that in the teens and twenties, Republicans and Democrats had different philosophies, different platforms.

We're in the "here and now". Republicans in 2014 (and for quite a long time) are not friends of women nor minorities.

Carlos Ponce

Which are you sverige, a woman or a member of a recognized minority? As a member of the Hispanics I can say neither party represents all Hispanics, the Republicans are closer to my views but the Conservatives truly represent the views of many of my Hispanic relatives.

GW Cornelius

Nice story too bad the GOP of today is so filled with hate. Maybe they should go back to 1849.

Carlos Ponce

Welcome to the 21st century Island Runner! All members of the GOP of my acquaintance are loving people who want what is best for their family. I see no hate from any of them. The same can be said for most of the Democrats I am familiar with. Disagreement with political stance is not hate. It's just politics.

George Croix

The right wants to make it possible for more people, men and women, to have a chance for productive employment and self-sufficiency, while the left wants to get as many people as possible dependent on government and making just enough to get by in return for their votes.

It should be an easy choice...but does require thinking for oneself....

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 2:14 pm on Mon, Aug 18, 2014:

Well, to answer your question - I don't belong to any recognized "minority" group. But, I do belong to the middle class, which is eve-so shrinking as the years go by. I agree, neither party represents the true beliefs that most of us represent. Example: I personally watch my spending and finances and have excellent credit, no deficit spending...unless I count the 21 years I still have on my mortgage. I don't go to lavish parties that are financed by either party.

However, I identify with the more liberal/progressive because my nature has been to help people who need help. The republicans have (since Richard Nixon) have become caricatures of themselves and represent the stultifying non-progression, along with crackpot fear-mongering elements (teaparty). Republicans of today are envisioned as Hatfield-type closing-off people who carry their rifles when a "foreigner" stranger comes up their doorstep. Democrats/liberals have a more healthy-minded disposition. And, to tie in with the subject of women, democrats have made the strides since the 60s to help with the betterment of women, minorities, and struggling middle class through job opportunity and greater acceptance. On the other "war" with women and also with social progression, i.e. they 'war' with the right for transgenders to freely assemble and they "war" with folks who want to marry who they love through anti-marriage laws. All of this "traditional save the family" malarky is quite an example of the continuance of the "war".

Carlos Ponce

So sverige, when you say "Republicans in 2014 (and for quite a long time) are not friends of women nor minorities" it's just noisy rhetoric since you are a member of neither group. Only speak for yourself. I am certain that women and minorities can speak for themselves. I will speak for myself but I will also speak on behalf of the over fifty million babies whose lives have been taken through abortion. My Lord commands me to.

Paula Flinn

To sverige1 posted at 3:22 pm on Mon. Aug. 18, 2014

Whatever you say the conservatives will refute. They are just "baiting" you, and telling you what to do. ("Only speak for yourself.") You can speak for whomever you want, your friends, relatives, etc. Many believe like you do. You will continue to post because you want to refute the bullies. There are some on this that will bully you, bait you, and "pull your chain" until it gets downright discouraging. Do not let them. Their opinions should not matter to you.

Abortion is such a "hot" topic, that I stay away from expressing my opinion. It is not that I am afraid, it is just that it is so personal, that I like to keep it to myself. Some things do not need to be discussed, argued, or debated. They are between you and a Higher Power (God).

George Croix

Usually two for the price of one is a good bargain...but not when its standards...

Carlos Ponce

No, pflinn. To speak for a group of people you are are not a member of is ABSURD. I am not so presumptuous to speak for ALL Hispanics. I can only speak for myself. We are NOT a monolithic group. No minority is. As a male can I speak for females? Can I speak for African-Americans? If you have read his other posts you would see a very stereotyped view of Hispanics. To say that one party is not a friend of women nor minorities is sheer lunacy.

Paula Flinn

People pass judgement on others everyday, and no one is immune. You may not like it, or do it, but it occurs everyday.

I am not a man or a Republican, but I can sure pass judgement on them if I want to. It may not be "correct" in your eyes, but oh, well...

Carlos Ponce

Do not misconstrue my post. You can stand with another group and show support but what sverige is doing is patronizing, i.e. treating in a condescending manner.

Lars Faltskog

Well, pflinn..I've always thought that forums and comment blogs were meant for folks to express OPINIONS, and quite a few of those opinions could very well reflect people that aren't "like" them. I would like to think that my perspective as an anglo man would be reasonable enough to encompass anyone who may perhaps not have another individual at hand to "confide" in.

I know that some of my favorite people as a schoolchild were people who I, at 1st, wouldn't think "represent me". For some reason, African-American middle-aged teachers were on my side, and they appreciated my writings in English class. I would even today let them "speak for me" in a New York minute.

So, carlosrponce - As a former teacher, didn't you feel you could at times "speak for" people who didn't fit in your demographic nor sex? I've always thought that a healthy-minded individual learns to trust people who may not initially be their number one mentor or confidant. So, in short.....I will speak for whomever I want to speak for.

- - - HILLARY 2016 - - -- WE HAVE PROGRESSED!!

Carlos Ponce

I can stand by them, I can show support but I cannot speak for them. Like I said that would be patronizing. "Now sit there like good little women and good little minorities, we'll speak for you" -that's demeaning and degrading. Let me point out the "Progressive sverige". In a previous post you pointed out the jobs Hispanics hold - mowing grass and working at taquerias. Then you posted a multi-racial TEA Party rally on Youtube where the speaker spoke of "donkeys". You equated "donkeys" with African-Americans. In context it was referring to members of the Democratic Party. The donkey has represented the Democratic Party ever since Andrew Jackson. Everyone knew this, even the African-Americans at the TEA Party rally, everyone except sverige. Then you announce the superiority of Northern Europeans. Progressive, sverige? There are many more examples, all archived in As Billy Joel put it " If that's moving up then I'm moving out."

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