Anne Dudley


Anne Dudley was a wealthy Nashville woman who lived when women weren’t allowed to vote. She decided to do something about it, and for much of her life she was one of the leaders in the movement to give women the right to vote (such women were known as suffragettes).

Anne Dudley
PHOTO: Bryn Mawr College

Dudley organized one of the first suffragette parades in Nashville, which shocked many of her friends in Nashville society. Her efforts (and the efforts of many others) paid off in 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment to the U. S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

Anne Dudley and her children
PHOTO: TN State Library and Archives

Anne Dudley didn’t receive a lot of public recognition for her accomplishments until somewhat recently. In recent years, statues of her (and other suffrage leaders) were created and put on display in both Knoxville and Nashville. And in 1917, the small road between the Nashville Public Library and Legislative Plaza was renamed Anne Dallas Dudley Boulevard.

Ann Dudley is the figure on the right in this
statue, in Knoxville’s Market Square

ALSO: Anne Dudley wasn’t the only important suffragette leader from Tennessee. There were many others, including Sue Shelton White, who was originally from Chester County. Click here to learn more about Sue Shelton White.