Mrs. French was nominated in
a stirring speech by Miss Daviess, who
referred to her as a parliamentarian
under whose leadership all business,
would be conducted legally and according to the constitution. The elections were conducted viva voce, by
The constitution was amended to
read that the president should choose
her own corresponding secretary for
her term of office.
The delegates to the national con-
vention were chosen as follows:
Mrs. L. Crozier French, Mrs. S. B.
McKinney and Miss Sarah Rutherford,
of Knoxville; Mrs. Guilford Dudley,
Mrs. John Kenney, of Nashville; Mrs.
Isaac Keese, of Memphis; Mrs. Frank
Woodward, of Jackson; Mrs. Case, of
Chattanooga, and Miss Isabelle Gettys,
Alternates—Mrs. John Trice, of
Jackson; Mrs. M. K. Purnell, of Knoxville; Mrs. James Ezell, Miss Russey
and Mrs. Perkins Baxter, of Nashville;
Miss Moody, of Athens; Mrs. F. M.
Jones, of Chattanooga; Mrs. D. T.
Crockett and Mrs. Pryor Lilly, of
Mrs. French Speaks.
Mrs. L. Crozier French in a
lengthy address to her faction charged Miss C. J. Wester of Chattanooga
state treasurer of the association with
insubordination. When the latter asked to be heard in order, she said to
repudiate the charge and defend herself, a stir was created. Mrs. French
refused to hear Miss Wester when the
latter declined to recognize her, as the
state president and presiding officer
of the convention.
"I will not hear the treasurer of the
Tennessee association until she
acknowledges the president," said
"I will not recognize Mrs. French
as the presiding officer of the state
convention," said Miss Wester, who
from the beginning of the schisn (sic.)
was with the opposing faction.
Charges Are Answered.
Mrs. French answered the charges in
her address, in which she exonerated
herself, Miss White, the correspond-
ing secrtary (sic.) and her followers. She
reviewed the events of Thursday, when
the split was made in the convention,
stating that she had done all she could
to restore order and peace. The split
came Thursday when the question of
membership of the Morristown league.'
In discussing the alleged insubordination of the state treasurer, Mrs.
"The president is overseer as far as
she acts within her rights. Else what
is the use of having a president? The
president must be looked to for protection, and I thought I was acting as
a protector of the association when I
demanded an inspection of the books
of the association kept by Miss Wester."
She then reviewed the finances of
the year, charging that the disbursements of funds by the Morristown
league to the national association—was
twice us great as was on the previous year, and that this increase had
been paid without confirmation by the
president. This, she said, was contrary
to the constitution of the association
and was entirely irregular and unwarranted.
"When I asked to see the books of
the treasurer, she defied me, and refused to let me have an intrview (sic.)," said
Following Mrs. French's address a
motion was made by one of the delegates in her faction to suspend the
meeting five minutes for the purpose
of reconciliation with the other faction
"This meeting will go on," said Mrs.
French. "Those who wish to harmonize may go and do so."
No one moved.
"Then I cannot hear the treasurer,"
said Mrs. French, firmly.
Miss Wester was suspended as
treasurer by Mrs. French, and this was
confirmed by her faction.
The whole trouble was apparently
caused by the minutes of the state executive meeting of May 13. Mrs.
French's opponents charged her with
having been elected president of the
state association at that time in an ir-
regular manner, and it was also
charged that Nashville was made the
meeting place of the national suffrage convention for November 12-17,
against a majority which chose Chattanooga. It was alleged that "dirty
politics" had been used in the executive functions of the president.
Miss Sue White, of Jackson, recording secretary, and an expert court reporter, whose minutes of the May
meeting of the state executive committee were challenged, made an ad-
dre[ss] in which she defended herself
against charges of misrepresentation
in the minutes.
Members of the faction of which
Miss White is now recording secre-
tary, that over which Mrs. French
presides as president, who were pres-
ent at the meeting of the state executive committee, testified by rising
vote as to the correctness of the de-
tails of Miss White's minutes, as read
before the convention.
Foll[owing] this the officers (missing)
There are now two state associations
of woman suffrage, according to the
stand taken by each faction of the
convention. Each side, in special
statements, maintains that its faction
or party is the only and original Tennessee Equal Suffrage association.
The stand taken by that faction over
which Mrs. McCormack was elected
president is as follows:
"While we were in session Thursday afternoon, waiting for reports of
committees, those headed by Mrs.
French wished to stop the meeting and
go auto riding, thus to delay important matters. There were many of
us who wished to stay and settle all
differences, and we were not willing
to substitute pleasure for business.
"When the other faction left the
room, We carried the convention on,
appointing temporary chairman and
other officers. We received reports
from committees appointed temporarily, and this morning those reports
"At 9 o'clock Friday morning, we
met and were ready for business at
the stated time. We waited for a
quarter of an hour for the convention
to gather as scheduled, and then began where we had left off yesterday.
The minutes were read. While this
was being done, the other faction entered and seated itsalf at the other
end of the room independently of us.
We considered ourselves the regular
convention and have acted so. Our
officers are elected, and we maintain
that we are the Tennessee Equal Suffrage association."
Do Not Recognize Opponents.
"We refuse to recognize the opposing faction as being the Tennessee
Equal Suffrage association, or any
part of it," was the statement of members of the faction of the state convention headed by Mrs. L. Crozier
French. "Ours is the recognized state
association, and this convention has
not change it." Mrs. French is a rea-
ognized member of the national association, and the Tennessee Equal Suffrage association is affiliated with the
"The 'bolting' of the opposing fac-
tion in this convention removes the
'bolting' members automatically from
membership in the state association
and from affiliation with the national
The only settlement, in view of the
question of which will be the recognized state association, affiliated with
the national associaton, will be a decision of the national evecutive com
mittee, according to the members of
Miss Wester's Statement.
Miss Wester, treasurer, charged with
insubordination to the president and
violating the constitution on eight
counts, said that she had entered on
the books all checks and monies submitted to her. The counts were not
specified. The trouble, she said, seemed to arise over the fact that a check
from a Nashville club made out to the
president, Mrs. French, and not to the
treasurer, had been received after the
books were closed and the treasurer
naturally had not entered this on the
books, as she had not seen the check
until the morning of the convention.
As each club is allowed so many
votes in the convention according to
the amount paid in to the treasury,
the report of the treasurer assumed
The report of the treasurer and of
the auditing and credentials commit-
tee was part of the cause of the split,
Miss Wester's report was accepted by
the convention over which Mrs. Mc-
Cormack presided. It was not accept-
ed by that over which Mrs. French
presided and Miss Wester was sus-
pended because she refused to recognize Mrs. French as president.
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