The seventh annual convention of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia held at the Jefferson Hotel Auditorium in Richmond, November, 12, 13, 14, 1917 was an epoch making one. Two events helped to make it so. One was the coming of Dr. Anna Howard Shaw to speak at the Mass Meeting, the other was the strong sentiment for the Federal Amendment prevailing in all sessions of the convention. Virginia suffragists, true to their agreement with the National Association, have always worked along both State and Federal lines. Up to this year, however, the feeling in Virginia against federal legislation has been so marked that work for the Federal Amendment has made little or no progress. Now, however, that Virginia is eating and heating and employing labor federally, suffragists feel that she may be willing to have them dealt with federally. In no uncertain terms, Mrs. B. B. Valentine, president of the Virginia League, making her, annual address, used that eloquence for which she is noted, in urging a drive for signatures to the Federal Amendment petition all over the State, before Congress meets in December.
A meeting of the Executive Council was held at State Headquarters on the evening of the 12th. The result of this conference was that policy for the ensuing year be dependent upon the action taken by Congress, which recommendation was later acted upon favorably by the convention.
The convention was called to order by the president promptly at 10.30 O'clock, opened by prayer offered by the Reverend H.D.C MacLoughlan, and welcomed by the Hon. George Ainslie, Mayor of Richmond. Mrs. Barton H. Wise extended a graceful welcome to the convention in behalf of the Richmond League, responded to earnestly by Mrs. W. T. Yancey of Bedford. Minutes of the previous convention, reports of treasurer, auditor and secretaries, preceded the president's survey, which made such an impression upon her hearers that a request to have it in print was later embodied in the resolutions. Appointment of committees closed the morning session.
Elections Committee: Miss Adele Clark, of Richmond chairman; Mrs. Wm. A. Peck of Lynchburg; Mrs. John M. Miles of Roanoke; Mrs. C. E. Townsend of Norfolk; Mrs. J. M. Seaton of Roanoke County.
Resolutions committee: Miss Cally Ryland of Richmond, chairman; Mrs. J. H. Whitner of Roanoke County; Mrs. T. W. Goodwin of Roanoke; Mrs. Faith Morgan, Newport News; Mrs. W. T. Yancey of Bedford; Mrs. John H. Lewis of Lynchburg.