Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John L. Gordon

Second Advisor

Dr. Sydney E. Watts

Third Advisor

Dr. Barry Westin


In 1909, twenty women launched an eleven-year campaign to win the vote in the Old Dominion. In 1920, the necessary number of states ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution. However, Virginia was not among these states; her General Assembly rejected the "Anthony Amendment" by a wide margin. This study attempts to answer the following question: What was the woman's suffrage movement like in Virginia? By exploring the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia, its leaders, arguments for and against suffrage, the public's reaction, the reaction of the legislature and the conclusion, the answer(s) to this multi-dimensional question can be discovered. Primary sources included newspapers, letters, interviews, pamphlets, broadsides, and articles. In addition, manuscripts such as the Papers on Woman Suffrage in Virginia, the Lila Meade Valentine Papers, and the Adele Clark Papers provided an invaluable look into the soul of the movement.

Included in

History Commons