Henry Augustus Buchtel, Sr.
A prominent Colorado historian has suggested that Governor Buchtel was opposed to women's right
to vote. In Denver Decides 2003
the author wrote, "Women won despite vicious opposition, including that of
Colorado Governor Henry Buchtel who claimed that 'only the dregs of
womankind vote in Colorado.'" There was no citation. I have established to my satisfaction that the
"interview" from which this quote was extracted was a fabrication. I am grateful to
Marcia Goldstein and Richard Chapman for helping me find the source of this
erroneous quote. The source is a scrapbook in the Denver Public Library, containing clippings collected by Martha Conine. On p. 53 is the article containing the quotes:
(For the full text of the article, click
HERE. For another version of the article, published in the Hartford Courant via Zion's Herald, click HERE (includes the retraction, printed later by Zion's Herald). )
Interestingly, and not apparently noticed by those who have used the quotation, is the statement on the right side of p. 53 in which Ex-Gov Buchtel states that the attributions were false. According to Marcia Goldstein, this kind of "interview" of prominent people in order to make a political statement (in this case an anti-suffragist statement) was not uncommon in the early 1900s. It has a modern day counterpart in the tabloid accounts of aliens and romantic affairs by movie stars.
There are several lines of argument supporting Ex. Gov Buchtel's assertion that he would not have made the statements in the article.
- First, he would not have been elected without the votes of women, who had been able to vote in Colorado since 1894.
- Second, on the same page as the "dregs" quote, Martha Conine placed the clipping in which Ex. Gov Buchtel denied that he made the statements.
- Third, on the day before the election, he spent an hour with women voters, explaining why he thought they should vote for him. See the following notice from the Denver Republican, November 5, 1906:
- Finally, he was identified as being a supporter of universal suffrage (see New York Press article from
January 1909 below).
(For original image, see
MemoryLoc.gov 1909 From Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911 -
(NB - large image 1.51 MB)
Some other interesing articles about the Governor
Last modified 19 August 2009 (Letter about pronunciation of name