Abby Crawford Milton

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Abby Crawford Milton (6 February 1881 – 2 May 1991[1]) was an American suffragist.[2][3] She was the last president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association.[3] She traveled throughout Tennessee making speeches and organizing suffrage leagues in small communities.[3] In 1920, she, along with Anne Dallas Dudley and Catherine Talty Kenny, led the campaign in Tennessee to approve ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.[4][5] On August 18, Tennessee became the 36th and deciding state to ratify the amendment, thereby giving women the right to vote throughout the country.[4]

After the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, Milton became the first president of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee.[3] She also worked toward the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and attended Democratic national conventions as a delegate-at-large.[3] In 1924 she gave the seconding nomination speech for William Gibbs McAdoo as he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination.[3] In the late 1930s she ran as a New Deal Democrat for the Tennessee State Senate, but lost.[3]

On August 26, 2016, as part of Women's Equality Day, a monument by Alan LeQuire was unveiled in Centennial Park in Nashville, featuring depictions of Milton, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anne Dallas Dudley, Juno Frankie Pierce, and Sue Shelton White.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Abby Crawford Milton was born in Milledgeville, Georgia to newspaper publisher Charles Peter Crawford and Anna Ripley Orme.[8]

In 1904, Abby, married George Fort Milton Sr., an editor of the Pro-Suffrage Chattanooga News, this was George's second marriage.[8][9] While George was busy with the newspaper, Abby went to school. She attended Chattanooga College of law where she received her law degree but never practiced it.[9] Together, George and Abby had three daughters; Corinne, Sarah Anna, and Frances. When George's first wife, Caroline Mounger McCall died in 1897, she left a son behind, George Fort Milton Jr. He became Abby's stepson when she married George.[8] When George F. Milton Sr. died in 1924, Abby and stepson George took over the Chattanooga News until it was sold in the 1930s.[10]

Later, Abby Crawford Milton moved to Clearwater, Florida where she began to write.[9] She published "A Report of the Tennessee League of Women Voters," "The Magic Switch," poetry for children; "Caesar's Wife and Other Poems"; "Lookout Mountain"; "Flower Lore"; and "Grandma Says".[10]

Further reading and resources[edit]


  1. ^ Gerontology Research Group: Photo gallery of supercentenarians born in 1881
  2. ^ Tennessee Through Time, The Later Years. Gibbs Smith. 1 August 2007. pp. 172–. ISBN 978-1-58685-806-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Carole Stanford Bucy (December 25, 2009). "Abby Crawford Milton". The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, Version 2.0. Tennessee Historical Society. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
  4. ^ a b "Services For Mrs. Dudley To Be Held Thursday". Nashville Banner. September 14, 1955.
  5. ^ Anastatia Sims (1998). "Woman Suffrage Movement". In Carroll Van West. Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Tennessee Historical Society. ISBN 1-55853-599-3.
  6. ^ "Women's Suffrage Monument Unveiled - Story". Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  7. ^ "Nashville's Newest Monument Celebrates State's Role In Women's Winning The Right To Vote". Nashville Public Radio. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
  8. ^ a b c "Gaston: Abby Crawford Milton, advocate for women". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  9. ^ a b c "Abby Crawford Milton (1881 - 1991) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  10. ^ a b "Milton, Abby Crawford". Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2017-03-09.