Reformer, journalist. Born: February 22, 1853, Ontario, Canada. Married: A.S. Diggs, March 1873. Died: September 7, 1916, Detroit, Michigan.
Annie LaPorte Diggs was a Kansas poet, author, newspaperwoman, temperance worker and Populist advocate.
Annie LaPorte was born in London, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Cornelius LaPorte, a lawyer of French descent. Two years after her birth, her family moved to New Jersey, her mother’s home state. Annie LaPorte moved to Lawrence, Kansas at the age of 19 and found work at a local music store.
There she met A.S. Diggs, a postal employee. The two were married in March 1873 and had three children: Fred L., Mabel, and Esther. Annie began her public career shortly after her marriage, making speeches supporting the cause of temperance and, for a year, occupied the pulpit at the local Unitarian church in Lawrence.
By the early 1880s Diggs had become interested in the Populist movement and wrote articles on the Populist cause for several newspapers, including the Topeka (Kansas) Commonwealth, the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal, and the Westminster Review, a British publication. Over the next twenty years, she lectured extensively on Populism, prohibition, and women’s suffrage in nearly every state in the union.
She served terms 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. She was a national delegate to the International Co-Operative Congress in Manchester, England, in 1903 and to the Peace Convention in Rouen, France in 1904. Diggs also served as Kansas State Librarian from 1898 to 1902.
Annie Diggs retired to Detroit, Michigan, and died there on September 7, 1916.
Entry: Diggs, Annie
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: May 2009
Date Modified: January 2013
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