News and Music Discovery
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re having some technical issues with WKMD 90.9 FM in Madisonville. The signal is currently at low power and we’re working to get back up fully. Thanks for your patience.

Online Archive Details Tennessee's Role in Granting Women Voting Rights

Untitled.jpg
tn.gov
/

The Tennessee State Library and Archives has unveiled a new online collection highlighting Tennessee’s involvement in the Women’s Suffrage movement and passage of the 19th Amendment.  

The collection is drawn from documents and photographs stored in the archives and includes papers from pro-suffrage lobbyist Carrie Chapman Catt, anti-suffrage lobbyist Josephine A. Pearson and Governor Albert Rogers. 

Click here to browse the archive at the Tennessee State Library & Archives' website

In a release from the TN State Library & Archives: 

In 1920, after a debate that had raged for years, 35 of 48 states then in the Union had ratified the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would give women the right to vote. One more state's approval was needed in order to meet the requirement that three-fourths of the states supported the measure.

Eight states had rejected the amendment and five had not yet voted on it. Tennessee was seen as the best chance of getting the amendment approved before the 1920 presidential election. At a special session called in August of that year, the amendment was quickly approved by the state Senate but then faced stiffer opposition in the House of Representatives. Harry T. Burn, a young House member who initially opposed the amendment, changed his vote - reportedly after being lobbied by his mother - and broke a tie that ensured the passage of a law guaranteeing half the country's population a fundamental right.
 
"Speaking as a son and a husband, Tennessee's vote to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was surely one of our state's finest moments," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "This online collection will make these important historical documents readily available even for people who can't visit the Library & Archives building and inspect them in person. This access is part of our mission to make more of state government available to everyone."
In all, the online collection features more than 100 items including letters, telegrams, political cartoons, broadsides, photographs and audio clips.  

More items will be added leading up to the 100th anniversary of the suffrage vote in 2020.  

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
Related Content