Washington Lobbyist And National Leader
This chapter examines Cunningham's stature in the national suffrage movement. As a result of her success in Texas, Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, called her to Washington, D.C. to join NAWSA's Congressional Committee. Led by Maud Wood Park, its sole function was lobbying Congress to pass a federal suffrage amendment. In addition to lobbying southern congressmen and senators, Cunningham also led a delegation to President Woodrow Wilson. While she was in Washington, the Texas Legislature — against the wishes of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association — passed a constitutional amendment granting women full suffrage; she was forced to return to lead the (unsuccessful) referendum campaign. After Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment and Cunningham ensured its ratification in Texas, NAWSA sent her to work for ratification in other states.
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