"S" is for South Carolina Equal Suffrage League

Jul 31, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Equal Suffrage League. The South Carolina Equal Suffrage League (SCESL) was formed by the Spartanburg New Era Club and other members of the white South Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1914. Hannah Hemphill Coleman was elected the first president of the organization—which was affiliated with the National American Woman Suffrage Association. By 1917, the membership of the SCESL had grown to twenty-five clubs and some three thousand members. The organization lobbied the Democratic Party and the General Assembly to put the question of woman suffrage before the public and later to ratify what would become the Nineteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. When the amendment became law in 1920, South Carolina women began voting and the South Carolina Equal Suffrage League became the South Carolina League of Women Voters.