Search using this query type:



Search only these record types:

Item
File
Collection
Simple Page
Exhibit
Exhibit Page

Advanced Search (Items only)

Louisa County and Women Voters

Dublin Core

Title

Louisa County and Women Voters

Subject

The effects of the 19th Amendment in Louisa County.

Description

Women fought for their right to vote for much of the early 20th century. Platforms and vocal petitions attempted to persuade the American population, as well as Congress, to extend Constitutional rights to include females. The Women's Suffrage Movement influenced Congress to pass the 19th Amendment on June 4, 1919, which guaranteed women's right to the polls. On August 18, 1920, the amendment was ratified and introduced to American society. In the state of Virginia, there were many attempts to influence these decisions; much of the documented information illustrated that Louisa County joined the fight. 

The Equal Suffrage League of Virginia was founded in November of 1909 by several influential Virginian women, including Kate Waller Barrett, Kate Langley Bosher, Adéle Clark, Ellen Glasgow, Nora Houston, Mary Johnston, and Lila Meade Valentine. With the intention of securing women's right to vote, these women continued to push for equal rights. In 1912, Lila Valentine convinced a group of men to form an equivalent Men's Equal Suffrage League, with the hopes of having greater influence. As this association grew to be one of the largest Southern organizations, individuals would sign membership cards to join the cause. A few of the cards, signed in 1915, illustrated a Louisa County origin. The organization disbanded soon after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, as their fight had been won. 

Polls opened to women in the early 1920s, and many Louisa women registered to vote. Perhaps, because of slackened regulations or documentation, the earliest registry illustrates that Maude G. Maddox was the first to register in Louisa County, with a date of June 28, 1920. Closely behind her, Mrs. Edwin Mitcheltree (Myrtle Mitcheltree) registered July 29, 1920, and both Edna Moss and Elsie H. Williams registered on September 3, 1920. Of the 82 Louisa women who registered before the 1920 election, most labeled themselves as housekeepers, housewives, or teachers. Of the precincts, the most frequented were Louisa, Mineral, or Yanceyville. Voters typically fell between the ages of 30 to 50. 

When the Louisa members of the Equal Suffrage League were crossed with the Louisa County poll books, only a few men and women were found: (Name, registration year, age at registration, occupation, precinct) 

L. L. Loyall, 1902, 26, Teacher, Shelton's Mill
W. T. Davis, 1902, 50, Merchant, Thompson's X Roads
David R. Shelton, n/a, 41, Merchant, Bumpass
James S. Guild, 1923, 62, Farmer, Shelton's Mill
John F. T. Anderson, 1907, 49, Farmer, Zion

Nannie M. Smith, 10/02/1920, 29, Teacher, Yanceyville
Ida Maucher, 1927, 61, Housekeeper, Bumpass

Continue reading: "AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN VOTERS IN LOUISA COUNTY (1920)." 


McDaid, Jennifer Davis. "Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (1909 - 1920)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 7 Apr. 2011. Web. 28 May. 2014.

Source

Louisa County Historical Society

Publisher

Louisa County Historical Society

Date

1920

Rights

All items in our archives have been donated to The Louisa County Historical Society with express permission to use them only for not-for-profit purposes of education and individual research. We make them available online to further those ends. Anyone wishing to use images online or in printed publications must obtain express written permission to do so from the Louisa County Historical Society and the legal copyright holder. Users assume full responsibility for disputes arising from copyright violations or invasions of privacy.