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Anne Clay Crenshaw

advocate of women's voting rights
Born: 1859
Birthplace: Richmond, Ky.

Clay Crenshaw hosted the first meeting of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia. Eighteen women met in Crenshaw's Richmond, Va., home in Nov. 1909 to form this influential group, which fought on the state level for the right of women to vote. Clay Crenshaw was appointed to the league's six-member board of directors. When women were guaranteed the right to vote in 1920, through the ratification of Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution, the group became the Virginia League of Women Voters.

Clay Crenshaw became involved in the suffragist movement at a young age. Her parents divorced when Anne was 19, and her mother was left with virtually no assets, while her father, a prominent diplomat who had served as an adviser to President Lincoln, retained the family home. Anne saw this as an injustice and was drawn into the women's rights movement with her sister Laura Clay.

She married Spottswood Dabney Crenshaw in 1886 at age 27. They settled in Richmond, Va., her husband's hometown.

Died: 1945

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