At the end of the Civil War, women in the United States began earnestly demanding suffrage (the right to vote). In 1869 the National Women Suffrage Association formed with state branches popping up in every state including Georgia. The Suffrage Movement was at its height in the mid-1900s when Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of the USA.
Juliette Gordon Low and the Suffrage Movement
Because the Girl Scouts was designed for young women, Juliette Gordon Low and other Girl Scout leaders were often asked about their stance on the Suffrage Movement. While Juliette Gordon Low promoted physical activity, leadership training, civic understanding, and career development for her Girl Scouts, she did not openly support the Suffrage Movement. We must carefully read the clues left behind in her writings to find Juliette Gordon Low’s place in the Suffrage Movement.
From the Source
Courtesy of Georgia Historical Society, Gordon Family papers, MS 318. (Images 1-4) Rare Pamphlet Collection. (Image 5)
Excerpt from the letter to Edith C. Macy:
“If it is thoroughly understood by everybody that the Girl Scouts are neutral we will be left out of all practical & religious controversies. _ to leave any one in doubt means in this instance, to arouse the suspicion & perhaps the enmity of 800 suffragettes in Savannah…Neither you nor I nor any representative of Girl Scouts has any option about handling a question on suffrage because we have no right to vote at all.”