I Shall Not Be Moved: Tennessee and Women’s Suffrage

With the election in just over a month, we asked Tabetha Garman, associate professor of history and humanities at Northeast State, to talk about the history of women’s suffrage in Tennessee. Watch the video of her talk below.

Garman is passionate about women’s voting rights, and particularly the role of Tennessee women in the suffragette movement. Garman believes that studying and discussing women’s voting rights is particularly important in the present day, because we tend to forget the battles that have been waged and won on our behalf. She explains, ” Tennessee has the third lowest voter turnout in the nation, with only half of Tennessee’s eligible voters showing up at the polls. I think at least part of the reason for this is due to our disconnection from our own role in the history of women’s voting rights.”

Garman continues, “Tennessee had its fair share of radical women who were willing to challenge political leaders, and who deserve to be remembered. And of course, without the vote of Tennessee legislators, particularly Rep. Harry Burns, the Constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote would not have passed. We are a vital link in the historic chain—and most Tennesseans do not even know it.”

Watch Garman’s talk below to learn more about that “vital link in the historic chain”, the significant role that Tennessee in general, and Tennessee women in particular, played in the passing of the 19th Amendment.



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