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Woman Suffrage in Alabama

The fight for women's suffrage in Alabama began in 1892, when women in Decatur, Morgan County, created the state's first civic organization devoted to the cause. Advocacy in the state increased during the lead up to the creation of Alabama's 1901 Constitution, culminating with Francis Griffin addressing members of the constitutional convention, but was unsuccessful. Interest waned until the Progressive era of the 1910s. In 1911, Birmingham social reformer Pattie Ruffner Jacobs and several other women founded the Birmingham Area Suffrage Association, and Selma suffragist Hattie Hooker Wilkins founded the Selma Equal Suffrage Association around the same time. The following year, the statewide Alabama Equal Suffrage Association was founded. Its members, under the leadership of Bossie O'Brien Hundley, took on the task of lobbying state legislators for a state amendment allowing women to vote, ahead of anticipated federal measures. When the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was sent for ratification by the states, they lobbied the Alabama legislators again. The amendment was staunchly opposed by a group of influential women who objected to women?s suffrage for reasons rooted in white supremacy and states' rights ideology. Among them were Marie Bankhead Owen and Montgomery socialite Nina Pinckard. They and other women founded the Women's Anti-Ratification League of Alabama to oppose woman suffrage and were successful in their efforts in the state. Women in Alabama were granted the right to vote when the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 26, 1920.