Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rebecca Latimer Felton in her own words

I noticed that on this day in 1922 Rebecca Latimer Felton was the first woman inducted into Senate, even if it was only symbolic.  She was probably best known for her work, Country Life in Georgia in the Days of My Youth.  This online text also includes speeches she gave before the Georgia Legislature Women's clubs and other organizations.  She was quite a lady!


  1. The Feltons are a storied family in Georgia legal and legislative circles.

    1. Montana has joined the secession movement -- so much for being "Patriots" -- but Atlanta (so far at least) has us beat:

      Number 140 (1.256 signatures) is a petition to allow the city of Atlanta to secede from the state of Georgia, on the grounds that “Atlanta continues to suffer deprivations of economic, civil, religious, and political freedoms imposed upon it by Georgians (who are hostile to Atlanta). Furthermore, the petitioners state “we would also like to annex Athens, Georgia, Decatur, Georgia and the parts of Macon, Georgia made famous by the Allman Brothers.”

  2. THIS DAY IN HISTORY gives a little more insight into her history. This reminds me of disputes historians had over 20 years ago in the Upper Midwest about early feminists and their roles as white supremacists. The problem was especially evident in Iowa where some feminists donated monies from their late husband's estates to colleges. The legacies were often not quoted in public as they contained words which stated that these monies were to be used exclusively for the advancement of the white race. Therefore, Felton's story of being a feminist and white supremacist was not unusual for that time.

    I should add that the schools, student bodies, and alumni have all reconciled their differences with the donor estates.

  3. I wonder how much was actual racism and how much was frustration that black men were given the right to vote before women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was also quite outspoken in this regard to read Eric Foner's Reconstruction, in which he spends a lot of time on the early women's suffrage movement and how women were terribly disappointed that the 15th amendment didn't extend to women. Stanton actively campaigned in Wyoming, Utah and other states for women's suffrage amendments.

  4. In my past readings and discussions on the subject, it was pointed out that while black men were given the right to vote (on paper) many were lynched in the attempt to do so. There were many other forms of voter suppression such as re-districting and others. This quelled much of the argument white feminists made in those early discussions.

  5. The cards certainly were stacked against black voters, particularly in the South. Not to excuse the venerable Mrs. Felton for her racist comments but it was a pretty bitter to swallow when those voting rights amendments were passed and women still found themselves on the outside looking in.