Meet Maine Here.
The Maine Story
Referendum at Home, War Abroad
“The gateway of political equality is creaking on its hinges.”Deborah Knox Livingston, 1917
National suffrage groups had urged Maine not to go forward with the state referendum. Time was short, money tight, and the vital statewide campaign organization weak. Maine went ahead, though. Members of different suffrage groups, who often disagreed, worked together to urge passage.
Governor Carl E. Milliken, a suffrage supporter, signed the declaration for a woman suffrage referendum to be held on September 10, 1917, surrounded by prominent supporters of the measure.
From left are Mabel B. Cobb, Emma Milliken, Gov. Carl E. Milliken, Deborah Knox Livingston, Florence Brooks Whitehouse, Charles Milliken, Anne Macomber Gannett, Katharine Reed Balentine, and Gertrude Pattangall.
The suffrage bill and impending referendum culminated 63 years of effort by supporters since the question was first raised in the Maine Legislature in 1854.