NORFOLK LEDGER DISPATCH-FRID [written on side of page 1] March 19 1920 WOMAN'S VAR Virginia Suffragists To Have Citizenship Education Campaign Mrs. Townsend Tells Of The Work Done At National Convention
Mrs. Jessie Townsend, vice-president of the Virginia State Equal suffrage league, one of the few Virginians who attended the nation suffrage convention just closed at Chicago, gave an interesting talk before the Norfolk Equal Suffrage League at its March session in the Young Women's Christian Association Today. Mrs. Townsend described the convention as the greatest event in the history of the suffrage organization. "To see those 2,000 prominent women from forty eight states gathered together in the gold room of the Congress hotel and to not their dignified hearing, their intellectual faces and their earnest manner, was a truly inspiring sight," she declared. This was the fifty first convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Long before the convention was over, the organization was merged in that of the league of women voters, members of both organization agreeing that in view of the triumph of enfranchisement now practically assured, there was no further need of a suffrage league, but vital need for a tremendous organization to teach women citizenship. Accordingly, ten regional directors were appointed under Mrs. Maud Wood Park, of Massachusetts, now president of the league of Women Voters, with Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, honorary president. The Virginia league will be under the direction of the southern regional director, Miss Delia Dortch, of Tennessee, and a full program of "citizenship" will be started immediately. Mrs. Townsend pointed out that while Virginia was meagerly represented at the convention, it was not because such prominent women as Mrs. B.B. Valentine, president of the state league, were obliged to remain in Richmond, where the legislature was in session, in order to look after the interests of the women voters. "I was not at all anxious to tell what Virginia had done," stated Mrs. Townsend, "on the contrary, I felt very much ashamed of her when representative from twenty-nine different states eulogized their legislation for ratifying the amendment. I feel like going back again now and making a speech and telling them that the men have finally decided to recognize us here in Virginia, and that notwithstanding their tardiness, we are duty appreciative of their motives," she laughing added. Mrs. Townsend stated that the method, the systematic planning and the tremendous work of the convention would go down in history as an unprecedented achievement of woman and added that some of the biggest men in the whole country, intellectually, had expressed amazement at the volume of work accomplished. Mrs. Townsend was the only Norfolk representative at the convention. Mrs. E. G. Kidd, treasurer of the state league; Miss Elizabeth Pigeon, state organizer, and Mrs. Jobson, of Richmond, were three other Virginia delegates. The meeting at the Y.W. today was well attended and Mrs. Townsend's interesting report was frequently interrupted by applause. Very little routine work was done, the meeting being turned in a forum. Mrs. J. F. Blackwell presided.
[photo of Mrs. Townsend] -Photo By Faber. Mrs. C. E. Townsend
Norfolk's representative at the 51st National American Woman's suffrage association, which convened in Chicago on Friday, March 13.