Re: Kentucky Ratifies the 19th Amendment

This post is a reply to one of the entries on the KWSP Timeline. Kentucky was the 24th state to ratify the "Susan B. Anthony" Amendment - not the 23rd as has been stated in several reputable sources. Rhode Island's legislature had also met on its opening day on January 6, 1920, and passed the ratification resolution in both houses soon after 1 p.m. Kentucky's legislature did not finalize its resolution until just after 4 p.m. the same day.

Laura Clay's Split from the Kentucky Equal Rights Association

KY Woman Suffrage

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Kentucky equal rights movement is the tension that led to Laura Clay’s break from the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (KERA) and the National Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). From the establishment of KERA in 1888, Clay had dedicated her life to the organization and fighting for women’s rights.

Pamphlet of suffrage sites in downtown Lexington KY

Title: "A Tour of Downtown Lexington, KY of Sites Relating to Women's Suffrage History"

Publication: Developed by Randolph Hollingsworth, PhD, in support of Breaking the Bronze Ceiling - an initiative to build a monument commemorating women's history in the Bluegrass. See more at

Date: [2019]

Re: Help identify women in photo with Governor Morrow signing KY ratification of 19th Amendment

Here's a list of people we've identified so far in the iconic photo of Kentucky Governor Edwin P. Morrow signing the Kentucky legislature's ratification of the 19th Amendment passed on June 6, 1920. Library of Congress, Lot 5543, Suggestions for corrections to our guesses are heartily welcomed.

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge (1872 – 1920) founded the Women's Emergency Committee in Lexington and the Lexington Associated Charities; she lobbyed for the establishment of the Kentucky Tuberculosis Commission on which she took a leadership role in administration as well as fundraising. She volunteered for and took on several leadership roles in the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs as well as putting out publications for the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (KERA). From 1912-1915 and then 1919-1920 she served as president of KERA.

Re: Help identify women in photo with Governor Morrow signing KY ratification of 19th Amendment

Doraine Bailey has been hot on the trail of mystery to find out who the people are in the above mentioned photograph with Governor Morrow - and she encouraged Dr. Melanie Goan to request the Library of Congress (LOC) to send out a photo of the notes on the back of the photo - as mentioned in the LOC notes for the archived item. An intern for Dr. Goan transcribed the handwritten notes as follows:

KERA Delegation Sent to Republican National Convention to Lobby for Woman Suffrage Plank

According to a May 1916 press release published in the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Equal Rights Association appointed a Suffrage Plank Committee for the Republican Party under the leadership of Virginia Lee Hazelrigg O'Rear of West Liberty. O'Rear was the wife of Edward C. O'Rear, formerly the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals who had resigned to run in a failed bid for governor in 1911. They were living at this time in Frankfort.

Woman Suffrage Amendment Effort Loses in Kentucky General Assembly

On March 12, 1914, the Kentucky General Assembly almost passed, but eventually defeated, a bill to send a woman suffrage amendment to the people of the Commonwealth for a referendum vote. Even though women of Kentucky had won partial suffrage in 1912 (voting in school related elections), many county clerks resisted allowing women to register and vote.

Subscribe to RSS - Madeline McDowell Breckinridge