Votes for Women

The Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee, the South, and the Nation

  • Author(s): Wheeler, Marjorie Spruill
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 1995-11-21
  • Status: Active
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A unique collection of scholarly essays and primary documents, Votes for Women! brings into sharp focus the suffrage battles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Not only does the book examine the struggle at the national level but it looks in depth at how the drama played out in the South and in Tennessee, which in 1920 became the pivotal thirty-sixth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment—thereby making woman suffrage the law of the land.

The volume contains six essays by leading scholars on topics ranging from the strategies suffragists used to raise the national consciousness to the participation of African-American women in the movement. Also included are discussions of anti-suffragist beliefs and literature, the obstacles to woman suffrage in the South posed by white supremacy and state’s rights, and the ways in which women have used their political power since receiving the vote.

A special feature of the book is its compilation of primary materials—articles, speeches, cartoons, and broadsides—representing the viewpoints of suffragists and anti suffragists alike. Among these documents are the previously unpublished memoirs of the Tennessee anti-suffrage leader Josephine Anderson Pearson and a chapter on Tennessee from the 1923 book by Carrie Chapman Catt and Nettie Roger Shuler, Woman Suffrage and Politics, which contains a fascinating firsthand account of the final, no-holds-barred battle over woman suffrage in Nashville during the summer of 1920.

Published to coincide with the seventy-fifth anniversary of the suffragists’ victory, this book, at once stirring and thoughtful, commemorates the courage of those involved in the suffrage movement and recaptures the intensity of emotions and ideology on both sides.

The Editor: Marjorie Spruill Wheeler, associate professor of history at the University of Southern Mississippi, is the author of New Women of the New South: The Leaders of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the Southern States and editor of One Woman, One Vote: Rediscovering the Woman Suffrage Movement and a new edition of Mary Johnston’s 1913 suffrage novel, Hagar.