Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thank You, Lena Davis.

I am thankful for the right to vote as a woman. Today I was thinking about my 101-year-old great-grandmother and her amazing story about voting. When women were finally allowed to vote, my great-grandmother was 11-years-old. Nanny remembers a woman named Lena Davis who lived in her hometown of Vasper, Tennessee. This remarkable woman stole a ballot by stuffing it in "her bosom" (Nanny's words) and took it to all the women in the town. She showed them how to mark the ballot so that they wouldn't be afraid of voting. In fact, she went to my great-great-grandmother, Carrie Elizabeth Prater Adams, whom my grandmother and sister are named for, and asked if she was going to vote. Carrie said she would if she knew how, so Lena pulled it out and showed her how to mark the ballot. Lena then took Carrie to the Mason lodge which was on the second floor of the country post office. Nanny said that when it was time for lunch, a Republican and a Democrat took the ballot box to the Adams' house, and one of the men put his foot on the ballot box during the meal so that it couldn't be tampered with. It was the talk of the whole town -- that women could finally vote.

I am thankful for women like Lena Davis, who may never be featured in a history book or have memorials in their honor. Though they may be forgotten, their effects are still present; Lena Davis' legacy has lived on. Voting has always been important in my family, and I am happy to know that my great-great-grandmother was the first woman of our family to vote.


Mom said...

Beautifully said!

Tim Rhodes said...

This is really great!