KY Woman Suffrage

Kentucky Woman Suffrage Association, 1881 Constitution and Charter Members

KY Woman Suffrage

As part of the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project, H-Kentucky offers images of the original Constitution of the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Association (KWSA) adopted on October 27, 1881 - with many thanks to Sarah Dorpinhaus, Director of Digital Services in the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

The Power of Primary Sources - Discovering Hidden Gems That Tell Our Suffragists' Stories

KY Woman Suffrage

Genie Potter sent in a wonderful find that was obtained from (and given permission to publish) The Avery Memorial Association, Groton, Connecticut. I published it here on H-Kentucky as a primary source in our Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project's Annotated Bibliography.

Who's Working on What Biographies for the Project These Days?

KY Woman Suffrage

It's worth pausing for a few minutes to talk about what's in the works these days - there's so much happening with the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project! The hard work of getting to know who the historical women were and how they contributed to the movement - especially when so many of them chose to keep their names out of the local press - needs some support here today.

Louisville Suffrage Centennial Events - What's In the Works So Far

KY Woman Suffrage

Here's a list of planned events in Louisville that was forwarded to me from Genie Potter (representing KY with Vision 2020 in Philadelphia) and Marsha Weinstein (President of Board of Directors, National Collaborative for Women's History Sites now housed in the Francis Willard house museum in Indiana, and leading the collaborative National "Votes for Women" Trail).

Welcome Kelli Lemaster, KWSP intern, majoring in Secondary Ed Social Studies

KY Woman Suffrage

We are very excited to welcome Ms. Kelli Lemaster as our new intern here with the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project. Her work this spring is for three hours of academic credit, sponsored by Dr. Melanie Goan in the UK History Department. She describes her plans as following:

History of Kentucky Women's Suffrage: An Overview

KY Woman Suffrage

In 1838, Kentucky passed the first statewide woman suffrage law (since New Jersey revoked theirs with their new constitution in 1807) – allowing female heads of household to vote in elections deciding on taxes and local boards for the new county “common school” system. The law exempted the cities of Louisville, Lexington and Maysville since they had already adopted a system of public schools. Kentucky was crucial as a gateway to the South for women’s rights activists.

Connections between Kentucky and Tennessee - history of woman suffrage and voting rights today

KY Woman Suffrage

This post was co-written by Dr. Randolph Hollingsworth (coordinator for the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project) and Dr. Margaret Spratt (coordinator for the Tennessee entries for the Women and Social Movements in the U.S. project on woman suffrage) as they consider a proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities for a community outreach project to include both Kentucky and Tennessee:

Audio and the History of Woman Suffrage in Kentucky

KY Woman Suffrage

Under the expert advice of Dr. Margaret Spratt, consultant with Making History Matter, when we were building the LexArts Gallery HOP exhibit in the offices of the Lexington History Museum, we undertook a brief experiment with recording audio clips relating to Kentucky woman suffrage. We're thinking we want to do more, but would very much appreciate your feedback on the ones we currently have done. (Click on the links below to get to each of the recordings and details about each of them.)

Main Themes in Kentucky Woman Suffrage History

KY Woman Suffrage

In 2020, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.  It took 82 years from Kentucky’s groundbreaking state law in 1838 for woman suffrage (partial, for educational issues only); 72 years from the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments adopted at the 1848 Seneca Falls meeting

Thankful for Local Historical Societies

KY Woman Suffrage

This week I experienced first-hand just how indispensable local historical societies are to our project.  I contacted the Christian County Historical Society in Hopkinsville where William Turner is the director.  Even though we had never met, when I spoke with Mr. Turner I felt like I was talking to an old family friend.  My ancestors settled in Christian County almost two hundred years ago, and I still have family living in Hopkinsville.  As soon as I told Mr.

"The Suffragists had the Town"

KY Woman Suffrage

During the last decade of the fight for voting rights, many suffragists embraced public protests, and suffrage parades and other types of demonstrations became more common.  Kentucky’s first suffrage parade (which the Kentucky Equal Rights Association claimed was the first in the South) was held in Louisville in 1913 and was followed in succeeding years by parades in other cities.

Laura Clay's "Time Protest": A Baptist Newspaper Editor's Warning

KY Woman Suffrage

For several weeks I have been looking forward to researching Kentucky’s religious leaders’ attitudes toward the suffrage movement, and this week I was able to begin one portion of my research at the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives in Nashville, TN.

A Conversation with Melanie Goan

KY Woman Suffrage

This week I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Melanie Goan.  Dr. Goan, an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Kentucky, is currently conducting research for a book on the suffrage movement in Kentucky.  I asked her to address some of the ways she is seeking to fill the gaps in our knowledge of the movement, as well as some of the challenges and unexpected findings she has encountered along the way.   

JL: What are some of the main questions you are hoping to answer through your research?

Election Day

KY Woman Suffrage

Hello everyone!  I wanted to take this opportunity on Election Day to introduce myself.  My name is Joanna Lile and I am very excited to be a new fellow with the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project.  I graduated with a BA in History from Georgetown College and have a PhD in History from the University of Kentucky.  I have taught US History, History of the South, and Kentucky History at Georgetown College, Transylvania University, and the University of Kentucky.  I also want to thank Kristen Dawson for her impressive contributions to the project.  Thank you, Kristen, for your careful research an

Welcome our new KY Woman Suffrage Project Fellow, Dr. Joanna Lile!

KY Woman Suffrage

It is with great excitement that I write to announce the hire of a new Fellow for the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project: Dr. Joanna Pollard Lile. She comes on board with sterling recommendations from the H-Kentucky Advisory Board, the KY Woman Suffrage Project steering team and State Historian, Dr. James Klotter.

Drawing to a Close

KY Woman Suffrage

          Good morning everyone! It’s time for the final blog post of September, hard to believe, I know, but it's true! Having another month draw to a close is an appropriate time for this blog post, because I have finally finished going through all of the minutes of the Kentucky Equal Rights Association. As September ends, so does my experience with the minutes. I’m sure you’re all dying to know how the minutes concluded, so that’s what I’m going to write about today.

Lost to Time

KY Woman Suffrage

            Good morning once again to all my readers. September is just flying by here at the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project, and it's already time for the first blog post of the fall! This week I found a story in the KERA minutes that really struck me. It is probably not a tale any of you have heard before, in an unlikely setting, starring characters whose names are not familiar to you. This was how I felt when I started reading it, but by the end I was hooked. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Mrs. Lee Campbell.

Surrounded by Suffrage

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hello once again! Another week is about to draw to a close here at the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project, and that means another update for all of you! As I worked this week, I found myself continuing to think about the idea behind last week's blog post, how we are often surrounded by suffrage sites and don’t even know it. I decided to test myself and really think about this for my own life, and what I realized is that the history of woman suffrage is around me all the time!

Shakers and a Suffrage Film

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hello everyone! It’s the time for the first blog post of September. It’s hard to believe it’s already September, but I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun, like we are here at the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project. This week has been an exciting one, as I got some really great contributions from people around the state.

Big Things This Week

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hello once again folks! It’s time to give you another update on what has been happening with the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project over the last few days. This week has been a very exciting one, because our page has officially launched on H-Kentucky! We’ve been working all summer to be able to share this page with all of you, and now we finally get the chance! For me, this week has been largely about working on this page, and taking the time to look through some more of the KERA minutes.

In Their Own Words

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hi there everyone! It’s Thursday once again, and you know what that means, another update from us here at the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project. This week has been an exciting and busy one as we continue to work on our portal and database, which will be rolling out to all of you guys very soon! Even with all those new developments, research hasn’t stopped, so I’ll give you an update on that. This week I set out to find out more about the writing of suffragists themselves.

Tackling Anti-Suffrage Sentiment

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hi everybody, it's time for another blog post here at KY Woman Suffrage! This week I want to mix it up a little bit and talk about a part of the suffrage movement that we haven’t really discussed on this blog yet: the people against the suffrage movement. While this may seem like an odd thing to discuss on a blog that is meant to celebrate woman suffrage, the anti-suffrage sentiment was a big part of the story of women getting the right to vote, and this week I seem to have run across a lot of sources with this sort of tone.

Getting the Vote in the Mountains

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hi folks! Another week down, and you know what that means, another blog post. For the past couple of weeks, the focus has been primarily on newspapers, and the minutes of the annual Kentucky Equal Rights Association, but for this week I wanted to change it up a little bit. Earlier in the project, I began listening to some oral history interviews with women from Eastern Kentucky regarding their recollections of the suffrage movement and their early days of voting.

Newspapers Part II

KY Woman Suffrage

            Greetings everyone! Another week will soon draw to a close, and that means another update for all of you about what has been going on with the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project in the past few days. Research continues for now, primarily in more newspapers and the Kentucky Equal Rights Association minutes. I have found looking through the newspaper particularly enjoyable, as they have a great deal of variety and often contain fun quotes or images. A few papers in particular stood out to me, and I’m going to share some of those stories with all of you!

Digging Deeper

KY Woman Suffrage

            Hi readers! After our break with routine due to the Kentucky History Education Conference last Thursday, this week we are back to our regularly scheduled programming. That means more research, and continuing to think about how best to get all of you involved with and engaged in the project. We have some exciting things in the works, and we can’t wait to share them with all of you!

KY Woman Suffrage Hits the Road

KY Woman Suffrage

Hi everyone! After a brief break, the KY Woman Suffrage Blog is back, and ready to go. This week was an exciting time for the project, because we took our show on the road with a trip to the Kentucky History Education Conference. This meeting brought together history educators from around the state, which was perfect for our project. At our table, we were able to spread the word about our goals and the work that has been done so far.

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, Alice Lloyd, and a Recipe for Ham

KY Woman Suffrage

Hi everyone! It’s the end of another week and so its time for another blog update. Research continued this week, and I had a few really interesting finds. The first was a speech by Madeline McDowell Breckinridge given before the House of Representatives’ Committee of Rules regarding the Committee on Woman Suffrage. During a hearing that lasted from December 3-5, 1913, Breckinridge and other leaders of the movement from around the country, including Anna Howard Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt, spoke to lend their support to the suffrage cause.

Humanizing the Suffrage Movement

KY Woman Suffrage

            Another week has come and gone here at the KY Woman Suffrage Project, and with that comes a new blog post. For me, this week has really been about beginning to understand the personal nature of the suffrage movement. As much as we might like to think history happens in the hallowed halls of government or the bloody battlefields of war, all too often smaller things shape it. The relationships, interactions, and emotions of human beings all come together to influence the course of events, and often are just as important as the laws and dates we are taught to remember.

Welcome to KY Woman Suffrage

KY Woman Suffrage

Hi everyone! This is the inaugural post of the KY Woman Suffrage Blog so I just wanted to take some time to introduce the blog and myself. My name is Kristen Thornsberry, and I am a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky. While a student at UK, I majored in History and got my minor in Appalachian Studies. I have recently begun working with as a Fellow for the Kentucky Woman Suffrage Project and am excited to see what the future holds for this work.