Journal Jottings, November 2018

By Diane L. Richard, NCGS Journal Editor, journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org

Planned Special NCGS Journal Edition (February 2019) on Women’s Suffrage

On 18 August 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution Women's suffrage photo was ratified[1]. This guaranteed women the right to vote. Although North Carolina did not ratify the amendment before it became law, there was a vibrant suffragist community within the state.

We know that many petitions were sent to the United States House of Representatives and Senate from North Carolinians in the years leading up to 1920. Real-time newspaper articles reveal that two daughters of U.S. Senator Furnifold Simmons, who was vehemently opposed to women voting, signed said petitions.[2] It has proven challenging to locate (and acquire copies of) these petitions. I am working with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to acquire a couple indexed in their collection.

Additionally, several North Carolina colleges submitted petitions, but even their archives do not have copies of them. There are a few collections at the State Archives of North Carolina that I will be exploring and a recent visit to Duke yielded a list related to suffrage in Durham County.

Much ephemera documenting the suffrage movement survives and will be the focus of many exhibitions I expect to see created between now and 2020. Petitions or membership lists of women’s organizations are what I seek now to illustrate and document the breadth of North Carolinians involved with women’s suffrage activities. Your ancestors might have been amongst them.

If you are aware of materials regarding women’s suffrage that would be appropriate to include in this planned special edition of the Journal, please send them to journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org.  Additionally, there are many women’s organizations that emerged (Sir Walter Cabinet[3]) or were strengthened during this same period. Membership lists and related information for other women-focused organizations are of interest, also.

This special edition is timed for 1919 as we have clear evidence that 100+ years ago, North Carolinians were actively involved in the suffrage movement.

As always, if you are interested in helping transcribe materials collected in anticipation of this special issue, please email Diane at journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org.

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 Thanks again to all who have helped and to those who will volunteer in the future. It does take a village to create a journal. As always, I can be reached at journaleditor@ncgenealogy.org to answer your questions, and to receive your submissions and suggestions.

Go Journal Team!

You may also view a printer-friendly pdf version of the November 2018 Journal Jottings.

[1] This Day in History, August 26, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/19th-amendment-adopted (accessed 31 August 2018).

[2] The Woman Citizen, by the State Equal Suffrage League of North Carolina, The Dispatch (Lexington, North Carolina) · 06 Mar 1918, Wed · Page 7 (via Newspapers.com, accessed 31 August 2018).

[3] Sir Walter Cabinet has its own traditions, Teresa Leonard, News & Observer, 20 Jan 2017, https://www.newsobserver.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/past-times/article127649879.html (accessed 31 August 2018).

(Image source: “Help Us to Win the Vote“, photograph, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC, no known publication restrictions.)