Role Of Abby Crawford Milton In Gaining Right For Women To Vote Is Celebrated

Monday, October 21, 2019 - by Joseph Dycus
County Mayor Jim Coppinger discusses women's suffrage in the home of voting rights leader Abby Crawford Milton in Fortwood
County Mayor Jim Coppinger discusses women's suffrage in the home of voting rights leader Abby Crawford Milton in Fortwood
- photo by Joseph Dycus

Hamilton County kicked off its historic centennial celebration of women’s suffrage at an equally historic location. Congregating at Abby Crawford Milton’s former estate, a collection of historians, governmental figures, and Hamilton County dignitaries gathered in the stately mansion in Fortwood to formally declare the start of the year-long celebration.

Linda Moss Mines, Hamilton County historian, said, “Her spirit is still here. Every time a woman votes, a woman steps forward to lead a committee, whether it’s Rotary or Kiwanis or on a foundation board, there’s a little bit of Abby Crawford Milton there with them.”

Ms. Milton, a leading suffragette during the movement for equal voting rights, was from Milledgeville, Ga., but had adopted Chattanooga as her home town. She was noted for travelling to all corners of the state in order to lobby for equal voting rights. Tennessee was the deciding state in the battle for women’s voting rights, and Tennessee’s own vote came down to one man named Harry Burn.

Ms. Milton lived until the astounding age of 110, and even recorded an interview just before she passed. Rep. Robin Smith played the recording, where Ms. Milton recounted the story of how Mr. Burn decided to vote for suffrage.

“When Harry Burn voted for the suffragists, he sort of, for the first time, broke the deadlock,” said Ms. Milton on the recording, “His mother had made him promise that if it came to his vote, that he would favor the women. And he kept that promise to his mother.”

Ms. Mines, wearing the attire suffragists would have worn a century ago, believed that even though women’s suffrage was a battle 100 years old, it is one that should not be forgotten.

“It’s incredibly important. I’m a firm believer that we have to know where we have been to understand where we are, and we have to plan appropriately for where we want to be,” said Ms. Mines, “Even today, there are still issues related to the right to vote, and that campaign needs to continue so that all our citizens have the right to vote.

Continuing on this tangent, the historian implored her fellow citizens to not take their voting rights for granted. After all, the woman who they were honoring devoted a large portion of her life to securing half of the population the ability to exercise this right.

“I do really believe it’s our greatest right as Americans and citizens, and it is also our greatest responsibility,” said Ms. Mines, “It’s critical, and Jefferson said this so many times, it’s critical the electorate be informed and that they understand the issues, and they vote for the good of the nation and not for the individual.”

Ms. Mines said the celebrations, which will be announced at a later date, will focus on more than just the life of Ms. Milton. The county will also celebrate the other suffragists, who along with Ms. Milton helped give women the right to vote.

“At a time when women had very little rights, and women of color and European women had fewer rights, they joined together. In many ways, the suffrage movement was also an equal rights movement, and we’re going to celebrate those movements all over the county too.”

Abby Crawford Milton
Abby Crawford Milton

Food And Funds Drive Set For April 4-5

Girl Scout Cookies Available For Order Online, For Delivery Or Donation

CDOT Announces Upcoming Road Closures


The Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation is assisting the Samaritan Center in a food and funds drive called Together, we CAN make it through this. It will be accepting canned and dry food stuffs, ... (click for more)

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) has disrupted the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Public cookie booths were suspended halfway through the booth sales. This disruption means that troops across the 46-county ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Department of Transportation announces the following road closures: E. 3rd Street at Erlanger Medical Center On Saturday, E. 3rd Street between Hampton Street and Wiehl ... (click for more)




Happenings

Food And Funds Drive Set For April 4-5

The Collegedale Tomorrow Foundation is assisting the Samaritan Center in a food and funds drive called Together, we CAN make it through this. It will be accepting canned and dry food stuffs, toiletries, cash and checks written to the Samaritan Center out in front of The Commons, under the sign that says “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People” as folks drive by on Saturday ... (click for more)

Girl Scout Cookies Available For Order Online, For Delivery Or Donation

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) has disrupted the Girl Scout Cookie Program. Public cookie booths were suspended halfway through the booth sales. This disruption means that troops across the 46-county footprint have nearly 300,000 boxes of cookies on hand that need to find a home. The cookie program allows troops to raise funds for their troop activities, outdoor adventures and community ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Georgia Coronavirus Deaths Now At 79, Total Cases Is 2,446

Georgia state health officials said Saturday that 79 people in the state have died of the coronavirus. That total is up from 38 on Tuesday. The cases have climbed to 2,446 - up from 1,387 on Wednesday with a rapid spread around the Atlanta area. The Tuesday report showed 1,026 cases. It was at 800 on Monday. Officials said 660 have been hospitalized, which is 27 percent of ... (click for more)

McKamey Animal Center Grateful For Local Community Stepping Forward

McKamey Animal Center reported an enormous outpouring of foster and adoption support and is now asking those interested in fostering to be patient. "Thanks to our community's outstanding response, we’ve placed almost every adoptable pet into a home," said Jamie McAloon, executive director. "We are now in a safe zone and will be postponing any foster care appointments until April ... (click for more)

Opinion

Focus On Treating COVID-19, Not The Blame

Our novice senator needs a lesson in first responder process. The house is on fire and she has run off to find who brought the matches. There will be plenty of time to do this hunt of witches. Now is the time to focus on what the whole of Tennessee needs from the good senator. That being hospitals, care facilities and health departments having the tools and supplies they need ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: And Now Horror Begins

CNN’s famed newsman Wolf Blitzer repeatedly hammered New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a live interview on Thursday for not cancelling this year’s Marti Gras carnival. It is widely believed that Mardi Gras, which brings an estimated 1.4 million revelers into the city, will be the reason that Louisiana will soon become the new epicenter for the deadly and very swift coronavirus. ... (click for more)