19th Amendment

Tennessee certificate of ratification of the 19th Amendment, August 24, 1920

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

The woman suffrage amendment needed one more state for ratification when the Tennessee legislature met in special session during the summer of 1920. States that had already granted women the vote quickly ratified the amendment, but the momentum slowed as southern states began considering the issue. The struggle over ratification centered on the Tennessee House of Representatives. After intensive lobbying, the resolution passed when Harry Burn announced that he would honor the promise he had given to his mother to vote for ratification. Governor Albert H. Roberts immediately sent instruments of ratification to Washington, DC. On August 26, 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification of the 19th Amendment.