• Equal Suffrage League of Virginia

    The Equal Suffrage League of Virginia was founded in 1909 to lobby for the vote for women as part of a national wave of suffrage activity. Prominent women involved in the league included writers Ellen Glasgow and Mary Johnston, artists Adèle Clark and Nora Houston, physician Kate Waller Barrett, and reformer Lila Meade Valentine (Image courtesy of Virginia Museum of History and Culture).

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  • Virginia Suffrage Memorabilia

    Members of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia engaged in a host of activities to promote women’s suffrage, many of which pressed the bounds of allowable activity for women at the time: they spoke in public parks and at county fairs, canvassed door-to-door, and distributed "Votes for Women" buttons on statewide speaking tours (Image courtesy of Library of Virginia).

  • Lucy Branham on the "Prison Special" Tour

    Virginia-born suffragist Lucy Branham took part in the "Prison Special" tour in 1919 to lobby for the Nineteenth Amendment. Branham was among 33 women imprisoned in 1917 at the Occoquan Workhouse, in Lorton, Virginia, where they were beaten and tortured, for peacefully protesting in front of the White House for the right to vote (Image courtesy of Library of Congress Manuscripts Division).

     

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  • The Virginia Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage

    Virginia had one of the most active southern chapters of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. The Virginia Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage claimed that women were too "excitable and impractical" to vote and stoked fears about black women voting to depress support for the Nineteenth Amendment, which didn’t pass in Virginia until 1952 (Image courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division). 

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  • Virginia League of Women Voters Poster

    After women won the vote with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920, the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia disbanded and reorganized as the Virginia League of Woman Voters. The league produced this poster to encourage women to cast their ballot in the national election of 1920 (Image courtesy of Library of Virginia).

     

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  • First African American Voters in Ettrick, Virginia

    These faculty members at Virginia State University, a historically black land-grant university, were the first black women to vote in Ettrick, Virginia, although black women throughout the state had difficulty registering to vote in 1920 (Image courtesy of Special Collections and University Archive, Virginia State University).