- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new sculpture planned for the state Capitol complex will celebrate Tennessee women’s role in passing the 19th Amendment.

In 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the amendment that gave women the vote.

The Tennessean reports (https://tnne.ws/1OBrB1S) the sculpture being molded by Alan LeQuire depicts five women who played critical roles in that struggle. Anne Dallas Dudley and Frankie Pierce were from Nashville, Sue Shelton White was from Jackson, Abby Crawford Milton was from Chattanooga, and Carrie Chapman Catt was a national leader who came to Tennessee to rally support for ratification.

The sculpture will also feature a relief at its base with three more contemporary female political trailblazers, showing what the work of the earlier suffrage leaders made possible. Jane Eskind was the first woman to win a statewide election in Tennessee. Beth Harwell is the first woman to be Speaker of the House. Lois DeBerry was the longest-serving member of the state House of Representatives, the second African American woman to serve in the General Assembly and first woman to be speaker pro tempore of the House.

The Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument organization commissioned the work and is raising the $900,000 to complete it. The group’s website lists the various monuments around the state capitol that are dedicated to men but notes there is nothing that reflects women’s contributions to Tennessee history.

“We are seeking to rectify that with a monument to the Tennessee suffragists,” the site says.

Paula Casey, the group’s president, said, “Public art represents what people think is important. The fact that we don’t already have a statue like this shows people don’t know the story, and we want people to be grateful that this happened in Tennessee.”

The sculpture will be dedicated Oct. 27. It will stand in War Memorial Plaza outside the state capitol building.


Information from: The Tennessean, https://www.tennessean.com

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