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Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers

Identifier: MSS 0074

Scope and Contents

The Cunningham Papers contain extensive correspondence and records of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association from efforts to amend the state constitution to the campaign for ratification of the 19th Amendment and all the local and county crusades in between. The collection is invaluable to the study of the women's movement in Texas from 1915 to 1920. T.E.S.A. and Mrs. Cunningham also initiated such projects in support of World War I as Liberty Loan drives and food conservation and they vigorously contributed time and money to state-wide anti-vice efforts. The papers include a chronicle of these projects as well as materials related to the promotion of several political candidates. The impeachment of Jim Ferguson and the subsequent election of William P. Hobby to the governorship in 1918 were due in part to the work of Mrs. Cunningham and the Texas Equal Suffrage Association.


  • 1914 - 1944
  • Majority of material found within 1914 - 1920

Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions


Biographical Note

In 1915, Minnie Fisher Cunningham, an active clubwoman and popular speaker, became President of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association. It was a major step in the lifetime of reform movements and political involvement at both state and national levels that included participation in the organization of the League of Women Voters, management of the Women's National Democratic Club, and a candidacy for governor of Texas in 1944.


12.5 Linear Feet ((9 Microfilm Rolls); Original documents are housed in 25 document boxes at the University of Houston Special Collections and Archives)

Language of Materials



In an effort to provide the most useful organization for the researcher, arrangement is primarily topical and may include several types of materials within a grouping. The papers begin with national, then state, suffrage correspondence and materials and these make up the major portion of the collection. Under the heading of Texas Equal Suffrage Association, there is general and city correspondence, correspondence by county, correspondence with speakers and organizers, correspondence concerning specific state and federal amendment efforts, and correspondence with T.E.S.A. officers. Political, anti-vice, war programs and several miscellaneous subjects follow. The researcher is advised that although a division by topics seemed the most manageable approach, much overlapping of campaigns and purposes requires careful consideration of the container list and perhaps a search of more than one subject area. Political materials, for example, are often closely associated with suffrage efforts.


The Cunningham Collection was microfilmed as part of a cooperative effort between the Houston Metropolitan Research Center and the University of Houston Special Collections and Archives. As part of the project, the University of Houston produced these microfilm copies for use by HMRC patrons. The original documents in this collection are available through the University of Houston Special Collections and Archives.

Microfilm Reels

  1. Roll 1: Folders 1-31
  2. Roll 2: Folders 32-65
  3. Roll 3: Folders 66-110
  4. Roll 4: Folders 111-148
  5. Roll 5: Folders 149-198
  6. Roll 6: Folders 199-247
  7. Roll 7: Folders 248-293
  8. Roll 8: Folders 294-337
  9. Roll 9: Folders 338-359

Alternative Format

The collection is available on microfilm at HMRC. Original documents are housed at the University of Houston Special Collections and Archives.
Minnie Fisher Cunningham Papers
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


(832) 393-1662

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed