Crenshaw House & Equal Suffrage League, Richmond, Slideshow

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League Growth.

The proposed name for the ESL initially was the Equal Suffrage League of Richmond. But members changed it to the ESL of Virginia to gain statewide appeal—a move that apparently succeeded: within its first month, 61 new members were enrolled; within the first year, 120. By 1919, large member lists were recorded in chapters in Accomack, Clarke, Frederick, Gloucester, Mecklenburg, and Pittsylvania counties, and in Petersburg—representing localities in the Eastern Shore and Tidewater, Southside, and the Shenandoah Valley.
   Despite sharing the same goal, the league was not monolithic in its conductchapters often adopted very different approaches. The gentler, ladylike mode favored by Lila Meade Valentine did not always hold sway outside of Richmond. The Norfolk chapter, for instance, was known to be more militant under its leader Pauline Adams (left), who endorsed picketing in the streets as part of a brazen approach.
   After 1915, Adams became a member of the more confrontational Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and the National Women’s Party, groups that often were at odds with the ESL. In 1917, Adams and 12 others were arrested for demonstrating in front of President Woodrow Wilson at a Selective Service parade and imprisoned for 60 days at the Occoquan Workhouse in Fairfax County, where this portrait of Adams in her prison garb was shot. (Photo: Library of Congress)