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John W. Cherry Norfolk, Virginia November 10th, 1919. Mrs. Jessie E. Townsend, Legislative Chairman, Dear Mrs. Townsend: - Yours of Nov. 6th duly to hand, requesting my presence at Red Circle Hall, No. 2, on Friday, Nov. 14th. I appreciate the invitation, but am afraid that my engagements will prevent my being present at the meeting on the date named. Remembering, as I do, the conversation I had with you at Richmond during the Special Session of the Legislature; and recalling also your intense interest in the matter of Equal Suffrage, I regret that I cannot look with some degree of favor on the proposed Federal Amendment; and regret still more, that the ladies of your League cannot see the danger that is so apparent in this proposed Amendment; danger to the peace and order in our State at this time. I AM A STATE-RIGHT MAN, believing in the RIGHT of the various states to regulate certain matters within their borders; and while I would NOT oppose the demand of a reasonable minority of the women of our State for Equal Suffrage, I will not now, or any any future time, VOTE for an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States conferring such a privilege. In this I do not wish you, or those associated with you, to understand that I am a rapid and uncompromising opponent to Equal Suffrage; But rather that I am opposed to AMENDMENTS to the Federal Constitution. Moreover, I DO NOT believe that a sufficient number of States will vote for this Amendment to make it effective. While many of our States MAY vote for Equal Suffrage, I am not of the opinion that the Southern States will be among the number. I cannot believe that the daughters and grand-daughters of the women who were the pride, the inspiration, and the encouraging supporters of the "men in grey," who so gallantly fought for the "cause they thought was right," will ever support this Federal Amendment and its dangers of race trouble; hence my unswerving opposition. If the day does arrive when the women of Virginia, as Virginians, ask the State to give Equal Suffrage, by State legislation, and NOT be Federal enactment, I will cheerfully yield my support, but NOT otherwise. With much respect, I am Very truly yours, John W. Cherry