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"W” is for Women’s suffrage

"W” is for Women’s suffrage. The enfranchisement of women in South Carolina was first discussed publicly at a women’s rights convention in Columbia in 1870. In 1872 the General Assembly endorsed a petition of the American Woman Suffrage Association to grant women political rights, but took no action. In 1890 Virginia Durant Young of Fairfax formed the South Carolina Equal Rights Association. Among the leaders in the early 20th century were Susan Pringle Frost of Charleston and Eulalie Chaffee Salley of Aiken. In 1921 the legislature overwhelmingly rejected the 19th amendment. But, following the national ratification of the amendment, the General Assembly reluctantly passed a law giving women the right to vote, but simultaneously passed another statute excluding women from juries. The state finally ratified the 19th amendment in 1969.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.