Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) Speech with autograph corrections by Roosevelt
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July 30, 1912.
TO THE STATE AND COUNTY CHAIRMEN
OF THE NATIONAL PROGRESSIVE PARTY, -
[struck: In my [inserted: new] key note speech I am favoring] [inserted: I favor] woman suff[struck: e]rage by states; that many of the [inserted: State] leaders [struck: of this party agree with me] [inserted: in the National Progressive party movement also the same view] is shown [inserted: both by the Month in various Progressive state platforms as] by the fact that even in the non-suffrage states, women have been elected as delegates to the National Convention. The suffrage organizations have never been given representation in any party, and have sought to gain their rights outside of party lines. [struck: In the boss-ridden, machine-ruled states east of the Mississippi no state has given women the vote; and the progress of the fight has been marked by broken pledges, false promises, cowardice and subterfuge.
I believe the time has come when we should not only stand for votes for women, but that] [inserted: In a number of States the experiment of woman suffrage has [inserted: now] been tried; in that practice it has been found to work well. [struck: it has not produced a single one of the evils which its] Progressive party as a whole undoubtedly believes in it. We do not attempt to dictate what any State should do in this matter for we know that the needs and feelings of the States vary; but we do cordially [text loss]ommend the matter to be well thought out judgement to the people of [illegible] state, both the men and the women.] [struck: w][inserted: W]omen should should make the fight with [inserted: in] the Progressive Party[struck: , within party lines, and] [inserted: They] should help in founding a party which will represent the [inserted: whole] people in their fight [inserted: /] for social justice. [struck: Let us not forget that this includes] [inserted: One chief feature in that fight is] the protection of working women and children in their struggle for fair hours, [inserted: for] decent wages and [inserted: for] living conditions which will make vice and poverty unnecessary.
I therefore [struck: favor] [inserted: hope that wherever it is possible we shall see] women delegates to the National Convention, and women members of the State and County Committees.
I believe that the women members of such committees would constitute [struck: a] very valuable [struck: State] Campaign Committee[inserted:s].
[inserted, struck: ] [struck: While it is] [inserted: I do] not [struck: my] desire in any way to [struck: dictate concerning] [inserted: interfere in]  the conduct of our campaign[inserted: ;] [struck: it is my earnest [inserted, struck: wish] desire] [inserted: but I venture respectfully to suggest] that you take this matter under advisement and, so far as possible, [struck: make it effective]. [inserted: get the women to aid the men in this great struggle to [struck: make the conditions] [inserted: lift] to a higher plane, morally and materially, the conditions of life and labor for both men and women].
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