New in the collection: Women’s suffrage flyer

Broadside for women's suffrage

“During the latter half of the 18th century, women’s suffrage associations formed across the Union; however, one did not form in North Carolina until 1894. That year, 45 women and men convened in Buncombe County at the courthouse and established the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association (NCESA).

“For the first 20 years, NCESA remained almost inactive, but when it became part of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1913, the association became a political influence…. In 1915, NCESA found sponsors to introduce a bill allowing women to be notary publics. The bill passed both houses, but the state Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. NCESA also found sponsors to introduce an Equal Suffrage Bill. Both houses defeated the bill….

“In 1920, Tar Heel women obtained suffrage because the necessary number of states (36) had ratified the [19th] Amendment and made it part of the U.S. Constitution. North Carolina, as historian William Powell writes, ‘in a meaningless action, finally ratified the amendment in 1971.’ ”

Entry on NCESA from the North Carolina History Project

This flyer from Raleigh is undated but similar to one, circa 1915, attributed to the National American Woman Suffrage Association. For whatever reason the North Carolina version omits the passage addressing “Women of Leisure.”

Here’s how the Charlotte Observer reported “Suffrage Folks” opening their Raleigh office (July 23, 1920).

 

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