Excerpt from oral interview with Abby Crawford Milton about methods used by anti-suffragists in Nashville
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- Created Date
- 1983 August 3
Abby Crawford Milton, president of the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Association during the fight for ratification of the 19th Amendment, spoke in 1983 at the age of 101 about the methods anti-suffragists used in 1920, including offering positions like railroad commissioner, bribery and sending false messages about illnesses at home, to keep legislators who favored suffrage from voting. She described the drunkeness and fighting at the Hermitage Hotel, noting that anti-suffrage legislators wore red roses on their coats. Interview excerpt is from Tape 2- 25:22-27:27.
The 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution granted women the right to vote. When the Tennessee General Assembly passed the ratification resolution on August 18, 1920, it gave the amendment the 36th and final state necessary for ratification. Suffragists and anti-suffragists lobbied furiously to secure votes during that intense summer in Nashville. The ratification resolution passed easily in the Tennessee State Senate on August 13, but the House of Representatives was deadlocked. When young Harry T. Burn of Niota changed his vote to support ratification of the 19th Amendment, he broke a tie in the House of Representatives and made history. Abby Crawford Milton (1881-1991), a mother of three with a law degree, served as president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage League during the battle to ratify the 19th Amendment in Tennessee. She gave speeches and helped establish suffrage organizations across the state, and spent August 1920 in Nashville working to convince legislators to vote for women's suffrage. Her husband, George Fort Milton, was the majority owner of the Chattanooga News, a newspaper that supported women's suffrage and was frequently critical of Governor Albert H. Roberts. Abby Crawford Milton became the first president of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee.
- Hughes, Marylin Bell
- Digital Library of Tennessee
- Contributing Institution
- Tennessee State Library & Archives
- Milton, Abby Crawford
Suffragists -- Personal narratives
Women -- Suffrage -- Tennessee
Constitutional amendments -- United States -- Ratification
Women -- Political activity -- United States
Women in public life
Lobbying -- United States -- 20th century
- Chattanooga (Tenn.)
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- Hughes, Marylin Bell. Excerpt from oral interview with Abby Crawford Milton about methods used by anti-suffragists in Nashville. 1983 August 3. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm15138.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll27/id/294. (Accessed December 8, 2019.)
- APA citation style
- Hughes, Marylin Bell, (1983 August 3) Excerpt from oral interview with Abby Crawford Milton about methods used by anti-suffragists in Nashville. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm15138.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll27/id/294
- MLA citation style
- Hughes, Marylin Bell. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm15138.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll27/id/294>.