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35 1918-1919 Texas Legislature Ratifies the Nineteenth Amendment The final push for congressional passage of Susan B. Anthony's suffrage amendment took place in Washington, with letters pouring in to congressmen from suffrage supporters in all of the states, including Texas. Mrs. Elizabeth Herndon Potter of Tyler went to Washington to lobby the Texas members of Congress. On the final vote both Texas senators, Morris Sheppard and Charles Culberson, supported the amendment. Ten of the eighteen Texas House members voted for it: John C. Box, James Young, Halton W. Sumners, Clay Stone Briggs, Fritz G. Lanham, Lucien W. Parrish, Carlos Bee, Claude Hudspeth, Thomas L. Blanton, Marvin Jones. Seven were opposed : Eugene Black, Sam Rayburn, Rufus Hardy, Joe H. Eagle, Joseph J. Mansfield, James P. Buchanan, John N. Garner. Tom T. Connally did not vote. The amendment passed and was sent to the states for ratification. In June 1919, a month after Texas voters defeated the state amendment, the Texas Legislature became the first in the South to ratify the federal suffrage amendment. Minnie Fisher Cunningham's account reveals that not even that battle was an easy one. DOCUMENT* LETTER July 2, 1919. Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, 171 Madison Ave., New York. My Dear Mrs. Catt: Enclosed please find a copy of the Ratification Resolution passed by the Texas Legislature; in the house by 96 to 20, in the Senate 19 to 10. It was a hot battle with the advantage on our side from the start because we went to work the day after we knew we had lost our referendum , whereas the Antis were too busy counting up a great big majority against us so we wouldn't contest the election and expose their cheating. They depended too much on that majority, and it very properly failed them. The Legislature met Monday, June 23rd. Our Resolution was No. *From: Minnie Fisher Cunningham to Carrie Chapman Catt, 2 July 1919, Jane Y. McCallum Family Papers, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library. 193 194 CITIZENS AT LAST One in both House and Senate. We were strongest in the House, so we planned to rush it there to help the morale of the Senate. It was committed at once. At the noon recess the committee met and brought out a unanimously favorable report. The Antis had arranged a big convention here for Monday morning so they were attending that while we were getting the Resolution thru Committee; as we came down from the Capitol at noon we met their Chairman (ex-Congressman R. L. Henry) going up to arrange a hearing before the Committee! They say his face was a picture when he was told that the Committee had met and reported unanimously favorable. The rest of the way in the House was purely a question of how fast the machinery could be made to grind, with the Antis fighting for delay at every step. We went thru finally Wednesday afternoon at four, as I wired you. In the Senate things were more difficult. We had a sufficient number of signers to the Resolution to put us thru but the Dallas Senator went back on his pledge. Two nights before the Legislature met one of our Senators was shot and killed leaving us with a tie vote 15 to 15 with the Lieutenant Governor pledged to vote it off on our side, and three of the other side certain to vote for ratification if it could be put to them straight, but certain also to vote for a referendum if that ever came to a vote first, while there were constant rumors that two of our signers also favored the Referendum. Naturally we held up action here and waited for the House bill to come over with its splendid vote. Because we had to hold up the Antis were able to arrange a hearing before the Committee, which was staged Wednesday afternoon at four. Miss Charlotte Rowe, and Mr. Henry spoke for the Antis. Miss Rowe was asked if she received a salary or compensation for her services and she said not for her work in Texas (she has been in Texas three months), that she worked on a paper in New York and had a leave of absence! She was also asked if she was a prohibitionist and declined to say, being very much amazed at the questions, and demanding of the chairman to know if the Senators had a right to interrogate her. The chair ruled that the...


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