Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Women’s History Month—A Photo Essay of Tennessee Women

By Beth Cavanaugh

Every year, the month of March is recognized as “Women’s History Month.” At the Tennessee State Library and Archives, women’s papers including diaries, journals, and letters comprise a significant part of our collections. There are numerous documents relevant to Women’s Studies at the local, state, and national levels which cover subjects such as military, suffrage, journalism, politics, and social life. In 1987, Congress expanded National Women’s History Week to a month, and it has issued a resolution every year since then proclaiming March to be Women’s History Month. While recognition of Women’s History Month is a fairly recent phenomenon, the important historical contributions made by women have been chronicled for many years. Many photos at the Library and Archives tell the story of these contributions and their impact on Tennessee and the world.

Carrie Chapman Catt was a field organizer with Susan B. Anthony, and founded the League of Women Voters. Catt’s leadership was a key factor in Tennessee becoming “The Perfect 36,” the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. This undated photograph is by Bachrach Studios and is part of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee Papers, 1920-1989.

Anne Dallas Dudley, a native Nashvillian, was a national and state leader in the fight for women's suffrage who worked tirelessly to secure the ratification of the 19th Amendment in Tennessee. This picture of Dudley reading with her children, Trevania and Guilford, Jr., was used in women's suffrage publicity materials to counter the stereotypes of suffragists as mannish radicals intent on destroying the American family. This undated photo is from the Library Photograph Collection.

Corinne Dodds Sanders was a suffragist, a national leader in the League of Women Voters, and the first woman in the South to vote. She cast her historic ballot in a 1917 municipal election in Lookout Mountain, which had just passed local women's suffrage that year. This photo is from the April 29, 1916 issue of The Lookout, the official publication of the Tennessee Federation of Women's Clubs from the Tennessee Federation of Women's Clubs Records, 1893-1992.

Jeanette Tillotson Acklen marched for suffrage in the Tennessee campaign and was married to U.S. Representative Joseph H. Acklen. In this photo, Acklen holds the banner she marched behind during the Tennessee campaign for women's suffrage. This photo is from the January 18, 1948 issue of the Nashville Tennessean Magazine.

After the United States entered World War II, Jean Anderson joined the Red Cross and served overseas in the Civilian War Relief department. In this photograph, Anderson is wearing her Red Cross uniform and a portion of Oxford University, where she was stationed, can be seen in the background. This photo from February 7, 1944 is from the Sadie Warner Frazer (1885-1974) Papers, 1894-1974.

These four women were the first women stationed at Quantico Marine Base. Lieutenant Abbott, on the left, is pictured handing her orders to Lieutenant Colonel W. P. Kelly as the other three women observe. Mary Washington Frazer is the second woman from the left. During her commission as a Marine officer, Frazer was stationed at Quantico Marine Base as the Assistant Adjutant General. This photo from November 10, 1943 is from the Sadie Warner Frazer (1885-1974) Papers, 1894-1974.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to visit The Library and Archives’ Public Services Resource Guide #07, “Women’s Studies at the Tennessee State Library and Archives,” on our website for a list of excellent collections relevant to women’s history. We also encourage you to visit us in person or online to learn more.

You can view all of these photos online on the Tennessee Virtual Archive: https://teva.contentdm.oclc.org/customizations/global/pages/index.html.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

No comments:

Post a Comment