Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Confederate Woman's Rights Considered

This appeared in the Clarksville Chronicle, December 20, 1861, regarding the consideration of the woman's right to vote and a fine on women for entrapping men.
In the legislature of Tennessee, upon the consideration of bill No. 94; to protect the property of femes covert:

Mr. Fleming offered the following amendment to the bill:
Be it further enacted, That in all popular elections in this State, every unmarried woman, being the owner of taxable property, shall be entitled to vote as male citizens are now authorized by law to vote; and every married woman, having separate property, whose husband may be insolvent, shall, in like manner, be entitled to vote, and the husband of such woman is hereby disfranchised.

Mr. Rankin offered the following amendment to the amendment:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That all women, of whatever age, rank, profession, or degree, whether virgin, maid, or widow, that shall, from and after the passage of this act, impose upon, seduce, or betray into marriage any male subject in the Confederate States of America, and particularly in the State of Tennessee, by the means of scents, paints, cosmetics, washes, artificial teeth, false hair, Spanish wool, iron stays, high-heeled shoes, or bolstered hips, shall be guilty of misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be fined in the sum of $100, and imprisoned at the discretion of the court trying the cause.|

On motion of Mr. Speaker Keeble, (Mr. Estes in the chair,) the amendments were laid upon the table.

The newspaper's comments on this second paragraph: 
Now wouldn't it create a flutteration among the women if that bill were to pass! But it didn't, ladies. You can go on taking the boys in.

 Farm Women take a moment from their sewing at Cedar Mountain, Georgia (from Library of Congress)           

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