Collection Highlights: Joint Letter of the National League of Women Voters and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs

The 2019-2020 Georgia History Festival theme, “Women’s Suffrage at 100: the 19th Amendment and Georgia History,” focuses on exploring the legacy of women’s suffrage in Georgia and the United States in commemoration of the struggle to pass the 19th Amendment in which women won the right to vote 100 years ago. Throughout the Festival the Collection Highlights Blog will share materials from GHS collections that present varying perspectives, opinions, and efforts related to the women’s suffrage movement and its legacy in Georgia.

Joint Letter of National League of Women Voters and General Federation of Women’s Clubs, from the Walter Charlton Hartridge Jr. Collection, MS 1349

This announcement of a joint letter signed by Mrs. Maud Wood Park, President of the National League of Women Voters, and Mrs. Thomas G. Winter, (Alice Ames Winter), President of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs was promoted in publications such as The Woman Citizen in 1921, the year after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The letter discussed the “full force to be derived from co-operation” of organizations with similar goals. The national presidents recognized that the struggle of reaching out to women to utilize their right to vote was too large to engage individually. Although the goals of each organization were similar, the National League primarily focused on getting women more involved in voting and political issues, while the General Federation taught women about current political issues.

By working together, the two organizations could work more efficiently by taking advantage of each other’s strengths. They gained support from Maud Park’s experience lobbying and Alice Winter’s focus on the organization’s grass roots. These women’s clubs across Georgia, along with others, promoted legislation protecting women and children, pre-natal and maternity education and support, labor laws, and prohibition.

The General Federation of Women’s Clubs

League of Women Voters