Annie (Le Porte) Diggs
Annie Diggs was born in 1848 in Canada. While young she moved to New Jersey and later to Lawrence Kansas, where she married Alvin Diggs. Her nickname was “Little Annie,” here in Kansas. Annie Diggs is known for her involvement in the temperance and women’s suffrage movement. Her involvement in the Unitarian Church in Lawrence sparked a feeling of responsibility to this movement.
In 1882, Her and her husband began a newspaper called the “Kansas Liberal.” By 1890 she became an associate editor of the Alliance Advocate, which was a leading reformist paper at that time. In relation to our topic this week, we know her most from joining the Farmer’s Alliance that we all know led to the Populist Party. She later served on the Populist National Committee. Diggs believed that the Democratic Party and the Populist Party should merge. A quote from Annie Diggs about the Kansas Farmers’ Alliance meetings where populists arrived, she claimed they were, “more like religious revivals than like unto any ever before known in the realm of politics.”
All the while Diggs was still juggling her involvement for women’s suffrage, and wanted women’s voting rights. She did this by serving in the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. Diggs was appointed state librarian of Kansas in 1898 as well as the president of Kansas Press Women in 1905. Although Diggs did not stay in Kansas, she still had a lasting impact.
Bouncing off the lecture of the Populist movement, I chose to focus on Annie Diggs. She interested me because of her involvement in the populist movement and at the same time women’s rights. The two together are both extremely valuable things in History, and for one woman to balance the both of those shows her strength and knowledge in politics relating to men and women. It brings back the idea that Kansas, the movements, and people involved were valuable to the entire nation. Although voting for women did not occur until the 1920s, the motion started way earlier on, and Annie Diggs was involved in such a powerful movement. It is nice to know that women such as Annie Diggs had a role in Kansas History, and especially in the politics of Kansas.
Biographical information drawn from:
Info on Annie Diggs and the Essay of Populism