“It has been said that the biggest man in the Populist Party of Kansas today is a woman,” wrote The Leavenworth Times in 1900. Annie Diggs became interested in the Populist movement in the 1870s through her involvement with the Unitarian Church in Lawrence, KS. By 1882, she and her husband had begun publishing the Kansas Liberal from their home. Their paper criticized an economic and political system run by a small wealthy class, demanding rights for laborers and farmers. Throughout her career, Diggs became a respected journalist and orator. She held leadership positions in several local and national organizations, including the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, National Populist Committee, Social Reform Union, and Kansas Women’s Press Association. Her political influence led opponents to criticize her “petticoat politics.” In 1898, she became the first woman to serve as Kansas State Librarian. In her later years, Diggs retired from politics to focus on writing, publishing two books before her death in 1916.
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This is #112 in the Celebrate People’s History Poster Series.