Harry Burn

One hundred years ago on Aug. 18, 1920, a young Tennessee legislator cast the deciding vote that made women’s voting rights a national reality. When Harry T. Burn changed his vote and broke the tie that ratified the 19th Amendment, he said a particular lady influenced him. Who was she?

Did Burn remember Abigail Adams, who took initiative and asked her husband John Adams to remember the ladies when making a new code for America in 1776?

“If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation,” Abigail predicted.

Did Burn think of the vision of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who claimed the Declaration of Independence for women and called for women’s voting rights in 1848? “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal,” Stanton published in the Declaration of Sentiments.

Did he think of the persevering faith of Sojourner Truth, a former slave who used her powerful voice to call for the abolition of slavery and women’s suffrage? “Why children, if you have woman’s rights, give it to her and you will feel better. You will have your own rights, and they won’t be so much trouble,” Sojourner said.

Did Burn recall the steadfast spirit of Susan B. Anthony, who fought for a constitutional amendment for women’s right to vote until the day she died?

“We respectfully and earnestly pray that, in restoring the foundations of our nationality, all discriminations on account of sex or race may be removed; and that our government may be republican in fact as well as form; A government by the people, and the whole people, for the people and the whole people,” Anthony proclaimed.

Read the full article as originally published on TheHill.com.

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