At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, there were a number of women in St. Johns who were involved in social activism. Their participation in groups which addressed various social issues, including temperance, child welfare, and, during World War I, the plight of both soldiers and displaced persons, provided them with many of the skills, and connections, which would make them effective leaders in the drive for the enfranchisement of Newfoundland women. Although their groups were often under the titular leadership of a woman from the upper-class, the muscle for the activities was provided by women from St. Johns emerging middle-class. Most were married women who were well-travelled, well-read, if not formally educated, and from families which were prominent in church, political, and fraternal organizations. Anna Mitchell was such a woman.
Published in Newfoundland Quarterly, 104 (2), 32-38, Fall 2011.