We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia

A group of women with suffrage banners

The Library of Virginia’s exhibition, We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia commemorated the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote.

The Library’s exhibition closed on May 28, 2021, but our traveling exhibition is on the road. Check out the schedule to see if it will be on display near you.

While our gallery was closed to help stop the spread of Covid-19, exhibition curators created short videos highlighting sections of the exhibition. Check them out in our Suffrage playlist on YouTube.

Click here to view this companion exhibition which highlights the roadblocks and ongoing work that has surrounded voting rights in Virginia since the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Virginia suffragists were a remarkable group of talented and dedicated women who have largely been forgotten. 
Learn more about these women who campaigned for the vote.

photographs of Adele Clark, Emma Kelley, Elizabeth Lewis, Sophie Meredith, Kate Langley Bosher
Adele Clark, Emma Kelley, Elizabeth Lewis, Sophie Meredith, Kate Langley Bosher

Explore our timeline of the campaign for woman suffrage in Virginia.

Listen to excerpts from suffragists and anti-suffragists as they explain their opinions about votes for women.

Check out our posts on woman suffrage at the Library’s blog, The UncommonWealth.

Map of known Equal Suffrage League of Virginia chapters.
Map of known Equal Suffrage League of Virginia chapters.

Learn more about the local chapters of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia with our map.

Equal Suffrage League of Virginia letterhead

The Equal Suffrage League of Virginia Records are now online through the Library’s catalog. Select the Finding Aid link and then select folders with links to digital images. Each link contains digitized images for all the items in that folder (unless otherwise noted). Keyword searching is not yet available.

The Campaign for Woman Suffrage in Virginia is a new book, available in The Virginia Shop, that explores the remarkable achievements of women who fought for the right to vote in the commonwealth. Authors Brent Tarter, Marianne E. Julienne, and Barbara Batson—whose research unearthed new information and discovered women who have never before appeared in history books—are also the curators of the Library of Virginia’s exhibition We Demand: Women’s Suffrage in Virginia.

The Library of Virginia issued a call for submissions in 2020 for textile banners addressing the theme of Women’s Suffrage. Our goal was to involve Virginia’s artist and artisan communities in creative expression around women’s suffrage and equality, both historic and current. View our Suffrage Banners Gallery HERE.