Skip to main content

Women's Suffrage, Georgia Collection

Identifier: 0000-0079aM

Scope and Contents

Records of Georgia women's suffrage groups, mainly the Central Committee of Woman Citizens, led by Eleanore Raoul (later the League of Women Voters of Atlanta). Other groups include the Georgia Woman's Suffrage Association, organized by H. Augusta Howard of Columbus, Georgia, in 1890; the Georgia Woman Suffrage League, organized in 1913 by Frances Smith Whiteside for teachers and business women; the Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia, organized in 1914 and affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association; and the Fulton County Suffrage Association, dating from 1919. There is also information on national women's suffrage groups.


  • 1890 - 1899, 1911 - 1920, 1944, and 1958 - 1964
  • Majority of material found in 1913 - 1919

Biographical / Historical

Although there was suffrage activity in Georgia from at least 1890 in connection with the well-known national organizations, most of the activity for women to get the vote occurred in the decade before 1920. In May 1919 women were granted the vote in the white primary of Atlanta by the Democratic Executive Committee who regulated practices in municipal primaries. The next month the U.S. Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman's suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. Just over a year later, the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution became law.

By 1922, the Atlanta League was involved with massive publicity about the need for a revised city charter for Atlanta.

The term "Atlanta League of Women Voters" has an interesting background. The June 3, 1919, minutes of the Central Committee of Woman Citizens record a motion "to change the name Atlanta League of Women Voters which was purely of newspaper origin to the Central Committee of Woman Citizens." The Central Committee continued to function under that name until the Atlanta League of Women Voters was founded after the ratification of the Woman Suffrage Amendment in 1920. For the purposes of the Georgia Archives collections, the Atlanta League is termed the "League of Women Voters of Atlanta."

The records in the collection document some of activities of the various women's suffrage organizations in Georgia and indicate their affiliations with national women's suffrage organizations. Information on the following organizations is included: CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF WOMAN CITIZENS [Atlanta]. This organization was sometimes called the Central Committee of the Women Voters League. Eleanore Raoul, chairman. The minutes and correspondence document a lengthy deliberation with the city Democratic Executive Committee concerning the registration funds received by the city from the registration of women to vote. The Central Committee understood that a representative "Central Committee" of women was to be formed to register women and that the proceeds would be spent for a worthy civic cause. The city, however, held the over $3000 registration fund, and legal litigation over the fund continued for over 10 years. (See also, League of Women Voters of Atlanta Records, Series 11, folder 27, concerning the 1930 litigation.)

EQUAL SUFFRAGE PARTY OF GEORGIA. Organized in 1914. Mrs. Emily MacDougald, President ca. 1915 - 1918. Mrs. W.G. Raoul was also involved with this organization. By 1915, there were about 2000 members. Correspondence files in this collection indicate that this organization was affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. They also indicate that Mrs. MacDougald was involved with the issue of municipal suffrage, ca. 1915.

FULTON COUNTY SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION. Mrs. A. G. Helmer, chairman. May 11, 1919, correspondence from Eleanore Raoul indicates that this association quietly canvassed members of the Democratic Executive Committee to obtain support for municipal suffrage in Atlanta and arranged to call an extra meeting of the committee where suffrage was granted to women voting in the 1919 Atlanta municipal election. No minutes or other records of this organization, however, are located with this collection.

GEORGIA WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION. Organized in 1890 by H. Augusta Howard of Columbus. She arranged to bring the annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association to Atlanta in 1895. Mrs. Mary Latimer. McLendon was president of the Georgia Woman's Suffrage Association ca. 1915 - 1918. The collection includes various records of this organization.

GEORGIA WOMAN SUFFRAGE LEAGUE. Organized in 1913, composed of teachers and business women. Mrs. Frances Smith Whiteside, sister of Hoke Smith, was involved with this League. The collection includes an August, 1916, letter from Mrs. Smith of this organization to Carrie Chapman Catt concerning the work of the League. At this time, Mrs. A.G. Helmer, cited above, was listed as the auditor of the organization; Ethel Merk was listed as the treasurer.

The collection also contains minimal correspondence and/or information about these Georgia women's suffrage organizations:

Bibb County Equal Suffrage Party Equal Suffrage League of Augusta Muscogee County Equal Franchise League Rome Woman Suffrage Association

This collection documents some of the contact these groups had with the national women's suffrage organizations. In 1890, the American Woman Suffrage Association and the National Woman Suffrage Association combined to form the NATIONAL AMERICAN WOMAN SUFFRAGE ASSOCIATION (NAWSA). Their publication was titled, The Woman Citizen. Rose Young was editor in 1919; contributing editors included Alice Stone Blackwell and Carrie Chapman Catt. The collection includes correspondence of NAWSA, particularly with Mary Sumner Boyd of the NAWSA Data Department which conducted research concerning states' suffrage laws, suffrage activities, and state legislation concerning women. This organization was affiliated with the INTERNATIONAL WOMAN SUFFRAGE ALLIANCE and the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN.


.50 Cubic Feet

1 folders (oversized folder)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

Related collections in this repository: League of Women Voters of Atlanta Records, 1920-1963; League of Women Voters of Georgia Records, 1920 - 2008; Ethel Merk Papers, 1915-1916; Women's Equality Day Rally Records, 1981; and Robert L. Rodgers Collection, 1872-1927 (contains anti-women's suffrage broadsides).

Women's Suffrage, Georgia Collection
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia Archives Manuscript Collections Repository

5800 Jonesboro Rd
Morrow GA 30214 United States