Lila Meade Valentine

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Portrait of Lila Meade Valentine

Lila Meade Valentine (1865-1921) was one of the lesser known participants in the woman's suffrage movement.


Born in Richmond, Virginia, Valentine actively campaigned for not only women's rights, but also for higher public health standards and a better public education system. She was the founder and president of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. Created in 1909, the primary goal of this group was to achieve equal voting rights for women in the state of Virginia. After women were given the right to vote, through the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, the organization was renamed the Virginia League of Women Voters.

Along with participating in the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia, Valentine was also an active member of the National Woman Suffrage Association. She also cofounded the Richmond Education Association. Ironically, while she fought for women's voting rights, Valentine herself was never able to cast a ballot. She was too ill to go to the polls in 1920, and died without ever exercising her right to vote.