The Crab-Orchard Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution marked Women’s Equality Day Aug. 26 by planting a yellow rose bush at Pioneer Hall Museum in Pleasant Hill.
Yellow roses were the symbol of the women’s suffrage movement as the fight over the 19th Amendment came to Tennessee — the deciding vote in ratifying the amendment ensuring women the right to vote. Anti-suffragists wore red roses.
Pleasant Hill has its own connection to the suffrage movement. Abby Crawford Milton was present in Nashville during the final ratification effort on Aug. 18, 1920. She had traveled across the state giving speeches and organizing suffrage leagues in small towns across Tennessee.
Harry T. Burn, a young legislator from McMinn County, cast the deciding vote in the House of Representatives. Though he arrived wearing a red rose pin, he voted “aye” when asked if he would vote to ratify the amendment.
On Aug. 26, 1920, a package of documents arrived in Washington, noting Tennessee had become the 36th state to ratify the amendment ensuring the right to vote would not be denied or abridged by the United States, or any state, on the account of sex.
Today, Milton is among the women featured on the Woman Suffrage Monument in Nashville’s Centennial Park.
Though she lived in Chattanooga, she served on the Uplands Board of Directors in 1935 and 1946 and was a personal friend to Dr. May Cravath Wharton.