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supporter of the Populist movement, temperance, and women's suffrage
Annie LaPorte was born in London, Ontario, Canada, on February 22, 1853. Her father, Cornelius, was a lawyer of French descent. When Annie was two the family moved to her mother's home state of New Jersey, where she attended school. She moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1873, and was working at a local music store when she met postal employee Alvin S. Diggs, whom she married in March of that same year; the couple had three children--Fred L., Mabel, and Esther.
Annie joined the Unitarian church soon after her arrival in Lawrence, and her involvement in the church led her to become interested in the growing Populist movement, temperance, and women's suffrage. By the early 1880's she was writing articles in support of Populism for many local newspapers, including the Topeka Commonwealth, Lawrence Journal, and for the British paper Westminster Review. Over the years she also lectured on Populism, prohibition, women's suffrage, and other social issues in virtually every state. She joined the Liberal Union in 1881, started the Kansas Liberal paper with her husband in 1882, and became became associate editor of Alliance Advocate, the leading reformist paper of the day, in 1890. In addition to these activities, she also served on the Populist National Committee; served as president of the Women's Alliance in Washington, D.C., the Kansas Woman's Free Silver League, the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, and the Kansas Woman's Press Club; and was a national delegate to both the International Co-Operative Congress in Manchseter, England, in 1903, and the Peace Conference in Rouen, France, in 1904. She also served as Kansas State Librarian from 1898 to 1902.
Annie Diggs finally retired from her very active schedule and moved to New York City in 1906. She published The Story of Jerry Simpson in 1908, and Bedrock in 1912. She moved to Detroit in 1912, and died there on September 7, 1916.
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This page was last updated on September 22, 2017.