“Mrs. Charles V. Meredith Leader of Suffragists” (November 12, 1909)


This article, published November 12, 1909 by the News Leader, is based on an interview with Sophie Gooding Meredith about her plans to host a gathering of socially prominent white women in Richmond to formalize the movement for women’s suffrage in Virginia. This was the founding meeting of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia.


Mrs. Ben Valentine is Regarded as Most Aggressive Leader of Local Movement.

Women of High Social Position Lead the Fight

Meeting of Those Interested Called for Thursday at Mrs. Meredith’s Home to Plan Campaign.

Mrs. Pankhurst to be Invited to Come Here

Ladies in the Demand for Votes for Women Mean Business and Will Battle for Their Rights Without Resort to Violent Methods Observed Abroad.

A bevy of the most cultured, intellectual and socially brilliant women of Richmond will head a suffragette movement, which in the course of a few days will be given wide publicity.

Some of the most distinguished family names in Virginia are on the suffragette roster, now partly completed.

Mrs. Charles V. Meredith, one of the leaders of the movement, graciously received a reporter for The News Leader, who solicited an interview on the subject this afternoon.

Seated in the parlor of her home at 204 East Grace street, Mrs. Meredith chatted of the plans of the Richmond branch of the organization that is now commanding attention throughout the civilized world.

“Our plans are far from complete and not at all definite at this time,” said Mrs. Meredith. “The movement is not wholly new in this city. Those who attempted to do something toward gaining for our sex the civic rights to which we are entitled have heretofore abandoned the fight, but when we get started I think we shall accomplish something.”

The reporter said he was sure of it. Replying to questions, Mrs. Meredith vouchsafed the information that Mrs. Ben B. Valentine was regarded by the Richmond suffragists as the most brilliant, aggressive and earnest of the circle here.

She said that Mrs. Charles G. Bosher and Mrs. Dabney Crenshaw were also prominently identified with the great movement to win the ballot for the gentler sex. One of these ladies had some years ago agitated the question of suffrage for women, but had been compelled to abandon the work for lack of sympathy.

Suffragettes to Meet.

A meeting of the suffragettes is to be held next Thursday afternoon at the Meredith residence. At this meeting something in the way of a permanent organization will be formed and officers will be probably elected. The ladies will also consider a proposition to invite Mrs. Pankhurst, the high priestess of suffragettism, to visit Richmond and make a series of addresses.

It is not the purpose of Mrs. Meredith’s circle of suffragettes to build bonfires on the front steps of the capitol building or to march upon the halls of the legislature. But they do intend that they shall be heard.

“Later on.” Mrs. Meredith promised. “I shall be better able to outline our campaign and discuss our aims and objects.”

APA Citation:
Leader, The News. “Mrs. Charles V. Meredith Leader of Suffragists” (November 12, 1909). (2021, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Leader, The News. "“Mrs. Charles V. Meredith Leader of Suffragists” (November 12, 1909)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2021). Web. 21 May. 2024
Last updated: 2021, December 07
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