Texas League of Women Voters minutes book

Becoming the League of Women Voters

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In October 1919, Texas suffragists convened in San Antonio for their final annual convention, known as the Victory Convention. They took immediate steps to transform the Texas Equal Suffrage Association into the League of Women Voters Texas.

The Texas league (LWVT) predated the formal start of the national League of Women Voters (LWV) by four months. In March 1919, the goal of female suffrage seemed to be fully in grasp. Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, introduced the idea of a women’s league to support voters by providing voter education and lobbying for issues important to women. It was agreed that the national suffrage association would become the League of Women Voters when their work was concluded.

Formally established in February 1920, the LWV grew quickly with organized leagues in 346 of 433 congressional districts by 1924. The league’s main goal was to educate voters on the issues surrounding each election so they could make informed decisions. While the group was non-partisan, they did lobby for issues that impacted women’s lives like health care, education, labor laws, and child welfare.

In Texas, suffragists formed their chapter of the LWV soon after the state ratified the 19th Amendment. Jessie Daniel Ames, from Georgetown, was elected the league’s first president. She served as president from 1919 to 1923, leading the group’s efforts to educate Texas’s newly enfranchised women. This book details the meetings held by the league in its early years as it urged women to pay poll taxes, conducted citizenship schools, held "Get Out the Vote" campaigns, issued a "Voter's Calendar," and published queries of political candidates. 

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