FORTY YEARS OF WORK FOR
SUFFRAGE BY MRS. FRENCH
Gratification and relief "beyond
all powers of expression" over the
ratification of the woman's suffrage
amendment by the Tennessee legislature and its consequent nation-wide
adoption was voiced this afternoon
by Mrs. L. Crozier French, Knox-
ville's pioneer worker in the votes for
• The crowning of forty years of
aspiration, organization and work
gives me this profound feeling of
satisfaction, Mrs. French explained,
while the great relief springs from
the realization that the fears we have
been experiencing that the antis
would win and force us to fight the
battle all over again have proved
This veteran battler for woman's
rights then gave her opinion as to
the effect of the granting of woman's
suffrage would have on national and
world affairs besides sketching in
graphic and interesting fashion the
history of the movement in Knoxville in particular and the state of
Tennessee in general.
"Ratification by our legislature
gratifies me not only because this
is my home state but because it is
a southern state," declared Mrs.
French. "The action of Arkansas,
Kentucky, Texas and Tennessee redeems the south. Votes for women
will mean first and supremely the
protection of the home and make for
"For just as man was endowed by
the Creator with the spirit that
drives him forth to overcome obstacles in the way of himself and family so "He endowed the woman with
the nourishing, cherishing maternal
spirit that causes her to see that the
weaker one of the flock have an equal
chance with the stronger. The man naturally tries to advance his sons to succeed him while the woman tries
to bring out the girls along with the
Began Life Forty Years Ago
From her girlhood days Mrs.
French had been an admirer of Susan
B. Anthony and the other original
suffrage leaders, and as far back as
forty years ago, when to be a suffragist was regarded in the south as
being a freak she began to plan toward introducing the cause in Knoxville.
For many years she stood almost
alone as far as Knoxville was concerned but throughout the state at
large the entering wedge for suffrage was driven by the Woman's
Christian Temperance Union.
Even after the organization of the
Tennessee State Suffrage association
it was the W. C. T. U. that produced
the deepest impression because on
account of its "dry" activities. It en-
joyed wide popularity in the south
while the avowed suffrage bodies
were far from popular.
Prominent among the very earliest
and most faithful workers for the
cause in this state was Mrs Lide
Meriwether, of Memphis, a W. C. T.
U. Leader, who with Mrs. Lyle Saxon,
of Memphis, organized the State Suffrage association of which Mrs.
French was one of the earliest mem-
Associated with them were Mrs.
J. D. Allen and Mrs. Betts, the latter a daughter of Mrs. Meriwether,
both of whom lived in Memphis.
Organized Ossoli Circle.
Meanwhile the women of Knoxville
remained either indifferent or hostile
toward suffrage, but as a means toward getting women to act together
Mrs. French organized the Ossoli circle, the literary organization which
celebrated its thirty-fourth anniversary-
last November, and which still
remains purely literary in its aims.
Educational And Industrial Union.
Five years later the first effort (missing)
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