Document Bank of Virginia

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The woman suffrage movement, which succeeded in 1920 with the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, coincided with major national reform movements seeking to improve public education, create public health programs, regulate business and industrial…

The Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (ESL) was founded in 1909 in Richmond. The ESL became one of the most influential suffrage organizations in the country. Among the twenty founding women, Lila Meade Valentine, a Richmond native, was elected the…

This broadside was circulated in Staunton, Virginia, sometime between 1900 and 1919. In it, the women of Staunton asked the men in their community to vote in favor of prohibition, or the legal elimination of alcohol consumption and sale. The women…

This photograph depicts a marble statue of George Washington, our nation’s first President. The statue was created by Jean-Antoine Houdon and is located in the Virginia State Capitol. Washington was born in 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia to…

This document is the first page of a treatise that was first issued by King James I (1566–1625) in 1604 and later received a new printing in 1674. He was the King of Great Britain from 1603 until his death in 1625. The first English ruler from the…

For a majority of American history, women were not allowed to vote. Although they were considered citizens with rights equal to men, voting was considered a privilege and not a right and thus legally kept away from women. In the 1910s, women became…

At the close of the Civil War and the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment, all men, regardless of their race or previous status, were supposed to be able to vote.  However, states, including Virginia, found ways to exclude blacks from voting such as…

In October 1859, John Brown and other antislavery men slipped across the border between Maryland and Virginia and occupied the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry. Brown hoped to arm enslaved men and lead a campaign to abolish slavery. However,…

Richmond native Lila Meade Valentine was born in 1865 and devoted much of her life to advocating education and health-care reform and woman suffrage. In 1909, Valentine cofounded the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia (ESL) and was elected the…

Along with the abolition of slavery, women's rights were also a topic for reformers. The woman suffrage movement began in 1848 at the first woman's rights convention, which was held in Seneca Falls, New York, with the participants calling for…
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