Anne Dallas Dudley
Anne Dallas Dudley was a champion for women’s rights who played a key role in winning American women the right to vote. Raised as a privileged socialite, she defied social pressure and the condemnation of her peers to speak out courageously for social reforms. Articulate, beautiful and shrewd, she was a compelling public speaker who testified persuasively before Congress and state legislatures. Her personal charm and motherly image helped make the cause of women’s equality socially acceptable and helped overcome conservative resistance to reform.
Ms. Dudley was a national leader in the women’s suffrage movement, serving as Vice President of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. She worked closely with NAWSA’s president, Carrie Chapman Catt, to plan the strategies that culminated in Tennessee’s vote in August 1920 to approve the Nineteenth Amendment extending the vote to American women. Tennessee was the final state needed to make the Amendment part of the United States Constitution. Ms. Dudley also advocated for women’s access to contraceptives during decades when that was highly controversial, and she remained a champion of women’s rights for the rest of her life.
Anne was born in Nashville in 1876 and died in 1955. Anne attended Ward’s Seminary and Price’s College for Young Ladies. She married Guilford Dudley (1854-1945). They had two children.
Sources: MTSU Center for Historic Presentation
Tennessee Encyclopedia/National Women’s Hall of Fame