Primary Source

Virtual Archive: Tennessee and Passage of the 19th Amendment

"Women's Suffrage: Tennessee and the Passage of the 19th Amendment." Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Era: Suffrage Era | Media: Cartoons, Curated Photos/Ephemera, Government Document, Radio/Audio, Web-based

The Tennessee State Library and Archives put together an online archival resource that documents the state’s pivotal role in passing the 19th Amendment, which ended the exclusion of women from using the ballot box.

36 states were needed to ratify that amendment. By the time the suffrage debate reached Tennessee, 35 states had ratified the change. In August 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. The state, and the rest of the United States, will celebrate the centennial of suffrage in 2020.

The state’s archives features documents, photos, cartoons and audio from pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage forces. The website explains:

This initial collection focuses on pro- and anti-suffrage activity in Tennessee in 1920, primarily drawing from the papers of suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, anti-suffragist Josephine A. Pearson, and Governor Albert H. Roberts. In addition to letterstelegramspolitical cartoonsbroadsides, and photographs, it contains three audio clips from an interview conducted in 1983 with Abby Crawford Milton. As the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment approaches, we plan to add to this online collection, expanding the chronological and narrative scope.

 Check out the whole website here.

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