Abby Crawford Milton
Abby Crawford Milton (6 February 1881 – 2 May 1991) was an American suffragist. She was the last president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association. She traveled throughout Tennessee making speeches and organizing suffrage leagues in small communities. 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. On August 18, Tennessee became the 36th and deciding state to ratify the amendment, thereby giving women the right to vote throughout the country.
After the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, Milton became the first president of the League of Women Voters of Tennessee. She also worked toward the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and attended Democratic national conventions as a delegate-at-large. In 1924 she gave the seconding nomination speech for William Gibbs McAdoo as he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the late 1930s she ran as a New Deal Democrat for the Tennessee State Senate, but lost.
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.
In 1904, Abby, married George Fort Milton Sr., an editor of the Pro-Suffrage Chattanooga News, this was George's second marriage. 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. 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. When George F. Milton Sr. died in 1924, Abby and stepson George took over the Chattanooga News until it was sold in the 1930s.
Later, Abby Crawford Milton moved to Clearwater, Florida where she began to write. 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".
Milton died on 2 May 1991 in Clearwater at the age of 110.
Further reading and resources
- Carole Stanford Bucy, "The Thrill of History Making: Suffrage Memories of Abby Crawford Milton," Tennessee Historical Quarterly 50 (1996): 224-39.
- Excerpts from oral interview of Abby Crawford Milton on August 3, 1983 on the Tennessee Virtual Archive. Tennessee State Library and Archives.
- Gerontology Research Group: Photo gallery of supercentenarians born in 1881
- Tennessee Through Time, The Later Years. Gibbs Smith. 1 August 2007. pp. 172–. ISBN 978-1-58685-806-3.
- 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.
- "Services For Mrs. Dudley To Be Held Thursday". Nashville Banner. September 14, 1955.
- Anastatia Sims (1998). "Woman Suffrage Movement". In Carroll Van West. Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Tennessee Historical Society. ISBN 1-55853-599-3.
- "Women's Suffrage Monument Unveiled - Story". Newschannel5.com. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
- "Nashville's Newest Monument Celebrates State's Role In Women's Winning The Right To Vote". Nashville Public Radio. Retrieved 2016-08-27.
- "Gaston: Abby Crawford Milton, advocate for women". timesfreepress.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
- "Milton, Abby Crawford". myweb.wvnet.edu. Archived from the original on 2016-03-16. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
- Basse, Craig (13 October 2005). "Women's suffragist is dead at 110". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2020-12-04.