Proceedings of the second annual convention of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina

Equal Suffrage Association



Asheville, N. C.

OCTOBER, 29TH, 1915


Jones-Stone Printing Co.

Henderson, N. C.

Equal Suffrage Association



Asheville, N. C.

OCTOBER, 29TH, 1915


Jones-Stone Printing Co.

Henderson, N. C.


The Second Annual Convention of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina was opened in the lounge of the Battery Park Hotel, October 29, 1915, at 10:30 a. m. The President, Mrs. Archibald Henderson, called the meeting to order. The following delegates and officers were present: Miss Suzanne Bynum, of Charlotte; Mrs. Lalyce Duffy Buford, of New Bern; Mrs. Susan Taylor and Mrs. Kate Hoosfeld, of Morganton; Mrs. Charles Malcom Platt, Miss Susan Frances Hunter, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Bynum, of Asheville; Miss May Jones, of Raleigh; Mrs. Al Fairbrother, of Greensboro, and Mrs. R. G. S. Davis, of Henderson.

The first business taken up was the election of officers. Mrs. Charles M. Platt was nominated for President. Mrs. Fairbrother moved that the Secretary cast the ballot for Mrs. Platt. The motion was carried unanimously.

Mrs. Fairbrother: Madam President, in rushing the election was it quite understood that you would not accept the presidency again?

Mrs. Henderson: It was understood that I could not accept it again. I would have been unable to do the work for the past two years without secretarian assistance. Mrs. Platt accepts the presidency with the understanding that she has secretarian assistance.

Mrs. Thomas W. Lingle, of Davidson, was nominated for First Vice-President. The Secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for Mrs. Lingle.

Mrs. Platt nominated Miss Suzanne Bynum for Second Vice-President. Miss Bynum declined on account of being out of the State. Mrs. Fairbrother was nominated but declined on account of holding other offices.

Miss May Jones nominated Mrs. Palmer Jerman. Miss Bynum: Will Mrs. Jerman accept?

Miss Jones: I think she will do so. I will telegraph Mr. Jerman to find out.


It was voted that the Secretary cast the ballot for Mrs. Jerman.

Mrs. Susan Taylor, of Morganton, was nominated for the office of Third Vice-President. Mrs. Taylor asked if she would have active duties.

Mrs. Henderson: You would be a member of the Executive Board and entitled to vote and are requested to do all you can to help, but no active duties. The Secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for Mrs. Taylor.

Mrs. L. D. Buford was nominated for Recording Secretary. Mrs. Buford nominated Miss Sarah Stuart, of New Bern. Discussion followed.

Mrs. Taylor: In case Miss Stuart declines would it be possible for Mrs. Buford to take the office?

Mrs. Henderson: The Executive Board could be instructed by the Convention to fill the office but it is undoubtedly better to elect some one whom you know will accept because last year there was so much red tape and so much extra correspondence about the offices, and if possible I would suggest positive knowledge that each officer has accepted before the Convention closes.

The Secretary was instructed to cast the ballot for Mrs. Buford, who accepted the office.

Miss Susan Frances Hunter was elected Corresponding Secretary and Miss Lida Rodman was re-elected Treasurer.

The following is a list of the officers for the coming year:

President—Mrs. Charles Malcom Platt, of Asheville.

First Vice-President—Mrs. T. W. Lingle, of Davidson.

Vice-President—Mrs. Palmer Jerman, of Raleigh.

Third Vice President—Mrs. Susan Taylor, of Morganton.

Recording Secretary—Mrs.Lalyce Duffy Buford, of New Bern.


Corresponding Secretary—Miss Susan Frances Hunter, of Asheville.

Treasurer—Miss Lida Rodman, of Washington. The President's report was next read.


Owing to the illness, absence from the State, or resignation of several officers and committee chairmen, it has been necessary during the past year for the President of the Association to carry on in large measure the work of the Corresponding Secretary and of the Membership Committee in addition to serving on other committees. It is not desirable that the President should carry on the work of committees or chairmen, since it diverts to other fields energies which should be used for her own particular work. It is hoped that the organization may be effected for the coming year in such a manner as to leave the President free for the exercise of her proper functions, and to throw the responsibility for the work of the various committees entirely upon their several chairmen.

I have to report a very marked increase in the interest in the cause of suffrage throughout the State. Letters which reach me daily from every part of the State, and from every age and class, show plainly the fact that this interest is confined to no particular class or section. The question is constantly being debated in the schools throughout the State, and a great deal of literature has been sent out for debating purposes.

Letters have been sent out in large numbers to prominent women throughout the State in the effort to arouse their interest and enlist their assistance for the cause. Literature has also been widely distributed.

The two special editions of the leading State papers, edited by the Press chairmen, have been invaluable in the interest aroused and the publicity given to the work of the Association.

The special hearing at the Legislature, reported by the Chairman of the Legislative Committee, was the outstanding feature of the past year's work. This hearing not only compelled the interest of the Legislature, but served as well to focus the attention of the State upon the work of the Association. In view of the marked interest of the women of the State in all civic work, and their consequent interest in municipal government, I wish strongly to recommend the adoption of the report of the Legislative Committee looking to the adoption of resolutions concentrating upon municipal and electoral suffrage for the next two years.


A Suffrage Study Club has been formed in Wilmington which will, I am sure, lead to the formation of a regular league. A strong league has been formed in Durham with Mrs. E. J. Parrish as President, and another in Pine Bluff. Various other leagues will, I am sure be formed shortly in towns where the interest is now being worked up with that end in view.

The Suffrage Booth at the State Fair gave us great publicity, and served as well to bring out clearly the fact that the people of the State are favorably inclined to suffrage. Several hundred signatures were secured during this time, and many more declared themselves favorably inclined toward suffrage, but unfavorably inclined toward signing their names to anything!

A speaking tour was arranged for Mrs. Breckenridge, who spoke in several towns in different parts of the State, and I have spoken also in a number of towns. Judge Clark, with his usual great kindness and enthusiasm, has spoken several times and has furnished a number of his speeches, and a great many of Senators for distribution. These have been very valuable.

In conclusion, I wish to recommend that the organization for the ensuing year be placed upon the most businesslike basis possible; a system of reports which will keep the local leagues in close touch with the Association, to their mutual advantage; the adoption of resolutions supporting municipal suffrage; the concentration of responsibility for the work of the various departments in the committees; the establishment of a strong finance committee; the effort to secure signatures and new members by every member of the league; strong support of the National Organization; and finally, and most important, close co-operation with the State Association and hearty support of its work.


The Corresponding Secretary's report was embodied in that of the President's. The Recording Secretary read a report of the work of the last Convention. Report of the Treasurer was called for and the following telegram was read from Miss Rodman:

Washington, N. C., October 28, 1915.

Mrs. Archibald Henderson,

Equal Suffrage Rooms, Battery Park Hotel,

Asheville, N. C.

I wish to report amount received, two hundred and ten dollars and eighty-two cents; total paid out, ninety-nine dollars and twenty-three cents. Cash remaining in bank, one hundred and eleven dollars and fifty-nine cents. Itemized report follows by mail.

Best wishes for a successful meeting.




The President stated that all the debts incurred by the Association had not yet been paid but there would be sufficient money in the treasury to pay them.

Reports of committees were called for. Miss Suzanne Bynum read her own report of the Press Committee and the report of the Legislative Committee for Miss Henderson.


The Press Committee reports that during the past year its work has been as follows:

First, in order to establish the work on a sound basis, the editors of the State's leading publications were interviewed. The result was most gratifying, and the assistance rendered through the editorial columns of the papers has been invaluable. The Charlotte Observer offered two columns to be used each week for Suffrage propaganda. This space was utilized in the Sunday edition under the caption "Ad Astra Per Aspera."

From November 11 until March 20, weekly articles concerning the activities of the League were sent to fifteen of the representative papers of the State and regular reports to the Woman's Journal and New Southern Citizen.

A Suffrage section of the Raleigh News and Observer was edited during the legislative hearing with great success, largely due to the efforts and contributions of the State President and the Chair-man of the Legislative Committee, who was one of the editors. These papers were sold and distributed throughout the entire State and aroused an enormous amount of interest in the movement.

After March 20, during the Chairman's absence from the State, the work was in charge of the Vice-Chairman, Mrs. J. V. Blacknall. After her resignation a month ago Miss Susan Hunter assumed the responsibility.

The Press members of the various leagues have contributed largely to the development of the publicity department, especially through the columns of their local papers.

In conclusion, the committee wishes to recommend the adoption of a budget for the continuation of the work, which necessitates some expenditure.

Respectfully submitted,




The Legislative Committee reports that three bills, relating to the position of women and drafted by this committee, were introduced in the General Assembly of 1915. These were the Notary Public Bill, the Age of Consent Bill, and the Equal Suffrage Bill.

The bill making women eligible for the position of Notary Public was reported out of committee favorably and seemed at first to meet with negligible opposition. It passed the House by a large majority, then the unexpected happened: a dilatory legislator, hotly opposed to the tiniest broadening of women's activities, re-turned from a brief vacation and found this dangerous bill had been passed. Through a technicality the bill was put back on the calendar and a second vote taken. Debates over this bill became heated and for a short time its fate seemed decidedly in doubt. It passed on the second vote but the majority was decidedly decreased. The bill passed the Senate by a large majority.

The press of the State supported the bill warmly and gave it great publicity. With the successful passage of the bill the responsibility of this committee ended. We regret to add that the Supreme Court of North Carolina, by a vote of three to two, has since declared this bill to be unconstitutional. They hold that the position of Notary Public is not "a place of profit and trust," as the Legislature had enacted, but "an office," and consequently only a voter is eligible thereto.

This decision is in direct conflict with the great weight of authority in the United States. An interesting discussion of the subject will be found in the dissenting opinion of Judge Clark in the case of Bickett and Knight. This opinion is now available in pamphlet form and can be secured by application to the President.

The present age of consent in North Carolina is fourteen years. By law no persons under twenty-one years are allowed control of their property. A child of fourteen years, however, is supposed to be capable of deciding a question of honor which will affect every hour of her future life. At the instance of our President a bill was introduced in the Senate raising the age of consent from fourteen years to twenty-one years; the age of legal majority. This bill was reported out of committee unfavorably and tabled as too unimportant for further consideration.

In Georgia the age of consent is ten years. In Mississippi the age is twelve years. North Carolina, together with five other States, occupies an unenviable third place from the bottom in the list of States. We hope that this bill will be again sponsored by the Equal Suffrage League and that the General Assembly of 1917


will make the age of consent twenty-one years, thus raising North Carolina to the standing of her neighbor, Tennessee.

We now come to the Equal Suffrage Bill entitled, "An Act to Amend the Constitution so as to give Women an Equal Right to Vote With Men." The plan of campaign was that recommended by the Legislative Committee of 1914, and adopted by the Charlotte Convention. In November we wrote to every legislator in the interest of the bill, enclosing in each letter a post card to be returned, on which were printed the following questions:

"Are you in favor of Equal Suffrage?" "Are you opposed to Equal Suffrage?" "Are you open to argument?"

A few of these letters were never heard from. The majority of the legislators declared themselves open to argument. Fifteen were flatly opposed and twelve were in favor of Equal Suffrage. When no answer was received within a reasonable time we wrote again, each time enclosing selected literature. We have on file many letters as well as the returned post cards. Whenever we had members of the Suffrage League, we endeavored to have the legislators personally interviewed by a local suffragist. By the time the Legislature convened we had a very good catalogue of enemy legislators.

The data collected covered items ranging from views on Suffrage and political affiliations to personal characteristics. In January the Chairman of the committee went to Raleigh to look over the field and to establish an information bureau. Mr. Griffin, the manager of the Yarborough, very generously gave us the needed space in the balcony of the Yarborough House and Miss Martha A. Higgs, an enthusiastic member of the Raleigh League, took charge of the Bureau. The Bureau played an important part in the publicity work of the League, as Miss Higgs was always ready to answer questions and to send out literature upon request.

We were fortunate in securing Senator F. P. Hobgood, Jr., and Representative Gallatin Roberts, two of the strong, experienced men of the session of 1915, to introduce the Equal Suffrage Bill for us. Their advice and assistance proved invaluable. The bill was introduced simultaneously in both houses. In the afternoon of February 2d, the Senate committee and the House committee having the bill under consideration granted a joint hearing to the Equal Suffrage League. This hearing was a public one held in the hall of the House, and was under the management of the State President and the Chairman of this committee. The hall was


packed to overflowing an hour before the appointed time. The speakers included Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, President of the National Woman Suffrage Association; Mrs. Archibald Henderson, President of the Equal Suffrage League of North Carolina; Mrs. Eugene Reilley, First Vice-President of North Carolina League; Mrs. Adelaide T. Goodman, President of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union of North Carolina; Mrs. Al Fairbrother and Mrs. Thomas Single, prominent suffragists.

The very able speeches were received with the most flattering and profound attention. The hearing was reported in full in the Equal Suffrage sections of the News and Observer for February 3d, edited by Miss Suzanne Bynum. Copies of this valuable and historic edition can be obtained upon application to the State President. Both committees reported unfavorably on the bill, but nevertheless the bill was put on the calendar and brought to a vote in both houses. Each League was urged to remind its legislators by letter and telegram that they hoped their representatives would vote for the bill. The bill was defeated in both houses, but received many more votes than we expected.

This defeat was a foregone conclusion. As a method of arousing public interest in the question of Equal Suffrage, the Equal Suffrage Bill was triumphantly successful. Equal Suffrage was, by all odds, the most widely discussed subject before the General Assembly of 1915, and the State is now fully alive to the fact that the Equal Suffrage movement is to be seriously reckoned with.

The Legislative Committee has given such information to the Congressional Committee of the National Association as it could collect. The Legislative Committee has received from the Associated Charities of Charlotte an act to amend section 3355 of the Revisal of 1915. This act is in regard to desertion or non-support of wife, parents or children and is attached to this report. We recommend that it be endorsed by the Convention. We recommend that this Convention adopt a program for legislative activities looking toward the General Assembly of 1917 as candidates for the Legislature will be nominated during the summer of 1916, and these nominees should be approached in behalf of suffrage measures as soon as they are nominated.

In the opinion of this committee, the people of North Carolina have shown themselves to be friendly and sympathetic to the Suffrage movement, but cautious about committing themselves too hurriedly. We therefore recommend that no bill asking for full suffrage be submitted to the next Legislature. We recommend instead an Act to Authorize the Choice of Presidential Electors


by Equal Suffrage and a Municipal Suffrage Act, providing rules and regulations by which any town in North Carolina may vote upon the question whether women shall be admitted to Suffrage there. These two measures require only a majority vote in each house and do not go to the people of the State to be voted upon.

We also recommend, as a supplement to the Municipal Suffrage Bill, that each local League shall be urged to submit to the Legislature a bill for Municipal Suffrage for the town where the said League is situated.

If we now wish for tangible results, it is the sense of this committee that the ways recommended are the surest and most practical means of obtaining such results.

Respectfully submitted,



1. An Act to Authorize the choice of Presidential Electors by Equal Suffrage.

(Note.—Cons. of U. S., Art. 11, sec. 1, clause 2, provides that Presidential Electors shall be chosen "in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct." It was in this manner that the women of Illinois became entitled to Presidential Suffrage. Such act re-quires only a majority vote in each house and does not require a vote of the people.)

2. An act providing rules and regulations by which any town in the State may vote upon the question whether woman shall be admitted to Suffrage therein.

(Note.—This requires only a majority vote in each house and does not need a vote of the people of the State.)

3. An act submitting to a vote of the people a constitutional provision admitting women to full Suffrage.

(Note.—This requires a three-fifths vote in each house of the General Assembly and the majority vote at the ballot box.)

The program of demands of the next Legislature was discussed.

Mrs. Fairbrother: Greensboro is going to petition the Legislature for municipal suffrage.

Miss Jones: Raleigh voted to recommend the resolutions.

The first two resolutions, electorial and municipal suffrage


were adopted by the Convention as a platform and members urged to work for same during the next few years.

The President appointed a committee composed of Mrs. Fairbrother and Miss Jones to present to the Convention a set of General Resolutions for adoption.

Miss Hunter: Are we going to give up the Age of Consent bill?

Mrs. Henderson: The two resolutions replace no resolutions except the former bill for suffrage. These are our present platform but it is important to express ourselves in favor of various humanitarian measures. Our plat-form has been adopted but we can recommend other bills.

Mrs. Fairbrother: Ought we not to make it very clear whether or not we are lining up with the Congressional Union?

Mrs. Henderson requested Mrs. Platt to take the chair so she could speak on the subject.

Mrs. Henderson: The North Carolina Association is affiliated with the National Association. The Congressional Union is a strong organization but its methods would not suit the conditions of the Southern States. All Southern leagues are affiliated with the National Association. Idea of the Congressional Union is to oppose and work against any party whose leaders oppose equal suffrage, and in North Carolina we do not wish to work against or oppose any party. We do not wish to work against anybody that is working for equal suffrage, but the National Association has been obliged to say that it does not co-operate with the Congressional Union.

A motion was carried that the Committee on Resolutions word a resolution expressing loyalty to the National Association.

Miss Jones announced that a telegram had been received from Mrs. Jerman accepting the office of Second Vice-President.


Mrs. Henderson received a telegram of congratulations from Dr. Henderson, which was read at the evening public meeting.

The two following telegrams were also received:

Cheraw, S. C., October 29, 1915. Mrs. Barbara Henderson,

Battery Park Lounge, Asheville, N. C.

The South Carolina Equal Suffrage League in Convention assembled sends fraternal greetings to the North Carolina Equal Suffrage League. HARRIET P. LYNCH,


Chicago, Ills., October 29, 1915. Mrs. Archibald Henderson,

President N. C. State Suffrage Convention,

Asheville, N. C.

Deeply regret my inability to be with you today. The success of our Washington Convention, which is more important this year than ever before will depend upon the size of the delegates from our affiliated organizations. Suffrage is now an important national issue and the strength of our members will so convince the public. We depend upon North Carolina to send a full delegation this year and are counting upon your enthusiastic support.


Work on the revision of the Constitution was taken up. Miss Jones read the revised Constitution and each article was discussed and passed upon. This work could not be finished at the morning session so the meeting was adjourned in time for a luncheon at the Langren Hotel.


A meeting of the Executive Committee was called to order at 4 p. m. Mrs. Henderson presided. The following members of committees were appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Committee:

Legislative—Miss Mary Henderson, Salisbury, Chair-man; Miss May Jones, Raleigh; Mrs. Archibald Henderson, Chapel Hill; Mrs. Al Fairbrother, Greensboro; Mrs. Palmer Jerman; Raleigh.


Press—Miss Mamie Leatherman, Raleigh, Chairman; Miss Maude Waddell, Asheville; Mrs. Charles Dock, Chapel Hill; Mrs. Lila Rigley Barnwell, Hendersonville.

Membership—Mrs. Archibald Henderson, Chapel Hill, Chairman; Mrs. Margaret Bell, Salisbury; Mrs. Exum Clement, Asheville; Mrs. Sidney Cooper, Henderson; Mrs. S. L. Dill, Jr., New Bern.

Finance—Mrs. Lida Rodman, Washington, Chairman; Mrs. E. B. Cline, Hickory; Mrs. R. G. S. Davis, Henderson; Miss Gertrude Weil, Goldsboro; Mrs. Clyde Eby, New Bern; Mrs. H. W. Carter, Washington; Mrs. E. J. Parish, Durham, and the treasurers of all local leagues.

The Corresponding Secretary was instructed to write a letter of general instructions to each league and ask that one member be selected from each league for membership on the Press Committee.

Mrs. Nellie Summerville, Vice-President of National organization, then addressed the Executive Committee. She told of the work in Mississippi, and recommended the District Leader and County Chairman Plan. She ex-pressed her opinion that local interest and good, steady, co-operative work was the best means of furthering the cause. "Outside speakers are good and well to have but the local woman's work is what counts. Also, do not be discouraged because the leagues are not at white heat all the time, because no organization can keep at that point. Try methods that will suit local conditions, it all has to be experimental work at the start." She also expressed her approval of the plan to have no fixed dues but to solicit contributions. "You want all the names you can get on your membership list, whether active members or not. It is not right to worry the men, especially for petty dues, every little while, but no one will be quicker than the men to realize that no organization can run without money and to contribute if asked to do so voluntarily." This finished the business of the Executive Committee.



Immediately after the Executive Committee meeting the Convention held its afternoon session, which was called to order by Mrs. Platt. Work on the Constitution was continued. Miss Jones read each amendment separately and the Convention passing upon same. The revised Constitution and By-laws are added to these Minutes. Mrs. Summerville advised an annual midyear meeting of the Executive Committee. This idea was incorporated in the Constitution. Mrs. Summerville also advised a system of quarterly reports, the Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer to send out blanks to each league for quarterly reports to the President, the state officers to report quarterly to the President, and the President to send a condensed statement of the work to each league and to her officers quarterly.

Mrs. Henderson moved that this plan be adopted as a plan of work by the Convention but not incorporated in the Constitution. The motion carried.

An invitation to meet in Greensboro at the next Convention was extended by Mrs. Fairbrother. The invitation was accepted with thanks. Mrs. Fairbrother ex-tended more than hospitality when she announced that at the next Convention a special suffrage edition of "Every-thing" would be published free of charge to the Association. There was much applause.

Mrs. Summerville made other suggestions during the reading of the constitutional amendments. She advocated one delegate to any Convention for every ten members of any league beyond its minimum membership of five as being more democratic than one delegate to every twenty-five additional members. Mrs. Summerville spoke in favor of nominations coming from the floor but Mrs. Henderson advised the appointment of a Nomination Committee as it had been her experience that so much business came before the Convention in so short a time that some of the red tape could be eliminated by appointing a Nomination Committee. (See revised Constitution.)

After the work on the Constitution was finished the Resolutions Committee (Mrs. Fairbrother and Miss Jones) reported.

The following resolutions were adopted by the Convention:


"Whereas, Under the leadership of the National Association, eleven States have won full suffrage, many States have won partial suffrage and organizations for the securing of Suffrage have been formed in every State, therefore be it

"Resolved, That we affirm our loyalty to the National Organization and that we urge upon our members that they do not weaken the State and National Organizations by giving their support or by dividing their efforts among any other organizations now in existence or which may hereafter be formed.

"Whereas, In view of the fact that the Congressional Union has undertaken some work in North Carolina, therefore be it

"Resolved, That while conceding to all the right to follow their own vocations the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association wishes to declare that they have no connection with the Congressional Union nor are they in sympathy with the methods used by that organization."


The moonlight school movement was endorsed as follows:

"Whereas. North Carolina has gone on record as making a determined effort to stamp out forever illiterary within her borders by a system of moonlight schools inaugurated by the State Board of Education:

"The Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina hereby ex-presses its hearty approval and endorsement of this movement with the sincere appreciation of the splendid work done by the teachers and the organizations co-operating with them."

A warm tribute was paid to the retiring President, the following resolution being adopted:

"Whereas, Our beloved and untiring President, Mrs. Archibald Henderson, has found it impossible to longer serve as our executive head, we, the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina, hereby express our gratitude and deep appreciation of her unselfish labors for the womanhood of North Carolina and for the cause of human freedom. We recognize that it is largely due to her individual efforts that women's suffrage has become a live issue in this State."

The good roads resolution was adopted as presented. It reads:

"We, the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina, note with pride the forward step the State is taking under the leadership of our chief executive in the matter of good roads, as a means of bringing in closer touch the people of our city and rural districts, and thereby putting within the reach of all the privileges of advancing civilization."

Thanks were presented to C. E. Railing, who placed the lounge and orchestra of Battery Park Hotel at the disposal of the Association; to F. L. Seely, of Grove Park Inn, for the reception tendered by him to the delegates and their friends; to J. Baylis Rector, for the luncheon at the Langren Hotel; to Mrs. O. C. Hamilton, Chairman of the Music Committee; to the ladies who furnished


automobiles for the ride over the city; to the Asheville Citizen and the Asheville Gazette-News for their reports; to Mrs. Platt and the other members of the local Suffrage League who contributed so largely to the pleasure and profit of the meeting; to Congressman James J. Britt, Commissioner D. Hiden Ramsey, Judge Jeter C. Pritchard and Representative Gallatin Roberts, for their speeches championing the cause; to Mrs. Thomas Rollins, who aided financially and otherwise on the rehearing of the Notary Public case; to Senator Zebulon B. Weaver for his work in the last State Senate, and to other citizens who have added to the comfort and pleasure of the Suffragists while in the city.

Whereas, The visit of Mrs. Summerville has proved of inestimable value to the Association in putting it in touch with the objects of the National Association as well as in touch with the neighboring States, therefore be it

Resolved by the State Executive Committee of the North Carolina Equal Suffrage Association, That we request the National Association to adopt as a settled policy the sending out of a member of the board to all Southern conventions.

Adopted October 30, 1915, and ordered sent to Mrs. Medill McCormick, Conway Building, Chicago, Ills.; also to Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, President, New York City.

Mrs. Summerville spoke of the work of the National Organization and asked for loyal support of this organization, both now and in the future. She paid tribute to Mrs. Medill McCormick. Mrs. Henderson spoke of Mrs. McCormick's help in sending her field secretary to look over the field in North Carolina and of much personal work of Mrs. McCormick.

It was moved and carried that a telegram of thanks and appreciation be sent Mrs. McCormick in response to her telegram.

It was moved and carried that 1,000 copies of Mrs. Henderson's address be obtained for distribution. The Convention was adjourned.


The Equal Suffrage League of Raleigh has been active in a good many ways during the year 1915. While its activities have brought little of permanent result to our cause, still every effort has made some impression and we feel that we have progressed. The League now has a membership of 60. At the January meeting of this year it began its real working existence with the adoption of its Constitution and election of its officers.

With the assembling of the last Legislature the first active work for Equal Suffrage in North Carolina began, and a great deal of the interviewing of Senators and Representatives fell upon the Raleigh League.


Aside from the proposed Constitutional Amendment, there were several bills before the Assembly that seemed peculiarly to deserve the support of suffragists, notably the Notary Public bill.

Whenever discussion upon any of these bills was to come up in either house this League had a full representation in the visitors' galleries during the debates, hoping thus to show at least a passive protest against the failure to pass the measures. This proved effective for several of our advocates freely admitted that the presence of the ladies had given courage to them in their efforts.

When the question of the Suffrage Amendment was to come before the Joint Committee of the House and Senate Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, came to Raleigh to add her plea for its passage to those of our State President, Mrs. Henderson, and other influential women of North Carolina.

The entertainment of Dr. Shaw devolved upon the Raleigh League as well as the arrangements for the overflow meeting it was necessary to hold to satisfy the enormous demand to hear her speak.

The President of the Raleigh League gave a breakfast in honor of Dr. Shaw to about forty-five ladies. The guests included the Executive Board of the Equal Suffrage League of North Carolina, the Executive Board of the Raleigh League, visiting suffragists, the President of the Raleigh Woman's Club and the presidents of the many book clubs in Raleigh.

Just prior to Dr. Shaw's coming the Raleigh League, through the courtesy of Messrs. Aronson and Brown, proprietors of the Almo Theater, presented the suffrage moving picture, "Your Girl and Mine."

Twenty tickets were given gratis to the members of the Legislature who had expressed themselves as in favor of suffrage, to the two daily newspapers of the city, and to several others who had been active in our behalf.

From the proceeds of "Your Girl and Mine" and from private contributions the entire expenses of Dr. Thaw's visit to North Carolina were paid without having to assess any other of the leagues in the State. Also a contribution was sent to the State Budget from the moneys received from the entertainment.

During April Mrs. Desha Breckenridge, Third Vice-President of the National Association, visited Raleigh on her trip through the State, and was entertained by the local league. She gave a notable address to Suffragists and their sympathizers in the hall of the House of Representatives.

At the May meeting of the Raleigh League the Chairman appointed a Program Committee to draw up a course of study to be pursued by the league members during the coming winter.

There were no sessions during the summer months but at the October meeting the Program Committee submitted a splendid plan of work which is now being followed by the members of the League.

The final accomplishment of the year up until now was the management for the State League of its booth at the Fair. The State League erected a very charming booth in its concession in Floral Hall and furnished a most generous supply of suffrage novelties to be sold to replenish the treasury as well as to serve as means of propaganda amongst the many thousands who visited the exposi-


tion. The Raleigh League contributed ten dollars towards the fund for the booth and also donated and installed all the decorations and lights for the week.

Different ones of its members remained in attendance at the booth throughout each day of the exposition. Great quantities of literature were distributed each day and during the week 298 signatures were received to the pledges of belief in suffrage which were available to all who wished to thus signify their interest in the cause. It was the first time the people from the State at large had been given a chance to judge for themselves as to the merits of the issue, and for the work accomplished I think we all may feel extremely gratified.

I have perhaps gone very fully into details in writing up this report, but it has been done with a plea for recognition of the fact that the Raleigh League in the first year of its existence has been idle and has tried to meet most of the demands made upon it.





The name of this organization shall be The Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina, Inc.



The object shall be to promote Equal Suffrage in North Carolina. It shall be auxiliary to the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

ARTICLE III. Membership.

Section 1. There shall be four classes of members, viz.: Auxiliary, Members at Large, Co-operative, and Life Members.

Sec. 2. The Auxiliary members shall be composed of any Suffrage organizations in this State, consisting of five or more members.

(a) Auxiliary members shall, four weeks prior to the State Convention, submit to the State Treasurer, in a writing signed by two officers, the membership recognized by them at that time.

(b) The Treasurer of each Auxiliary member shall be empowered to request a yearly subscription from among its membership for the furtherance of the work of the league. One-half of the amount thus collected shall be paid into the State Association. Such subscriptions shall be purely voluntary. Such subscriptions to be taken within three months after the Convention.

Sec. 3. Members at Large shall be any individual not affiliated with a local league.

The Treasurer of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina shall be empowered to collect from among the members at


large an annual subscription for the support of the State Association. Such subscriptions shall be purely voluntary. Such subscription to be taken within three months after the Convention.

Sec. 4. Co-operative members shall be those individuals who, wishing to advance the cause of Equal Suffrage in North Carolina, give $100 at one time.



Section 1. The officers of this Association shall be: President, First, Second and Third Vice-Presidents, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer. Their duties shall be such as usually pertain to their several offices.

Sec. 2. The officers mentioned in Article IV, Sec. 1, shall compose the Executive Committee. The committee shall fill all vacancies occurring between annual meetings.

(a) There shall be one annual midyear meeting of the Executive Committee.

(b) Other meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the President.

Sec. 3. The Executive Committee, chairmen of standing commit-tees and the Presidents of auxiliary organizations shall compose the Board of Directors. This board to meet during the Annual Convention and at any other time the Executive Committee may deem it necessary.

Sec. 4. All officers shall present yearly written reports at the Annual Convention.



Section 1. The Annual Meeting of this Association shall occur in the autumn before the Annual Convention of the N. A. W. S. A. The place of meeting and date shall be fixed by the Executive Committee.

Sec. 2. Each local league shall be entitled to representation at the Annual Convention as follows:

Any league may be represented by its President, one other delegate at large and an additional delegate for every ten members above the membership of five.

See. 3. Ten delegates shall constitute a quorum.


Nominations and Elections.

Section 1. All officers shall he elected annually by ballot. Section 2. Each officer and delegate is entitled to one vote, which vote must be given personally.

Sec. 3. A Nomination Committee of five members shall be appointed for the succeeding year by the Executive Committee at its meeting the day following the Annual Convention. This committee to present a ticket at the first session on the first day of the Convention. Nominations from the floor will also be in order at this time.




This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any Annual Convention, notices of such amendments having been given with the call for the meeting.


1. Four standing committees shall be appointed by the President, viz.: Press, Membership, Finance, and Legislation. These committees subject to ratification by the Executive Committee.

2. The Press Committee shall attend to the newspaper work and use all means it deems advisable for making the Suffrage question a live issue in this State by various forms of propaganda.

3. The Membership Committee shall have direction of the campaign for members.

4. The Finance Committee shall devise means of raising funds to meet the expenses of the Association, and shall carefully investigate every claim against the same before payment. This committee will prepare and present to the Convention, for its consideration and action, a tentative budget for the ensuing year.

5. The Legislative Committee shall have direction of the way to obtain the proper laws to gain Equal Suffrage in North Carolina. When bills pertaining to the rights of women are pending, this committee shall maintain a bureau in Raleigh and actively work for their passage.

6. These By-Laws may be amended at any Annual Convention by a two-thirds vote.

Proceedings of the second annual convention of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina
Proceedings of the Second Annual Convention of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina, held at Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N.C., October 29th 1915. Henderson, N.C.: Jones-Stone Printer, 1916. 20 p. Includes constitution and by-laws. "Although the organization was chartered as the Equal Suffrage League of North Carolina, the term 'association' was often used in lieu of league."--Cf. A. Elizabeth Taylor. "The Woman Suffrage Movement in North Carolina." North Carolina Historical Review Jan. 1961: p. 59.
Original Format
14cm x 22cm
Local Identifier
JK1885 .E63 1915
Location of Original
Joyner NC Rare
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