Women’s Suffrage and the Koreshan Unity

Beginning in the 1880s, the Koreshan Unity Settlement, with its fundamental beliefs in equity between men and women, took up the banner of woman’s suffrage with numerous newspaper articles, public speaking events and theatrical performances addressing the topic of equity for women.

In the photograph with this post, a group of Koreshans perform a play entitled Women, Women, Women Suffragettes, Yes! on the stage of the Art Hall in the Settlement.

The emancipation of women was a lively topic in the years leading up to the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, after President Woodrow Wilson changed his position to support the amendment in 1918. A hundred years ago, when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment in August 1920, it fulfilled a long term objective for the Koreshan Unity Settlement.

During the month of March, special Women’s History guided tours of the Koreshan Unity Settlement will be offered March 2, 13 and 27 at 11:00am. These 90-minutes tours will feature re-enactors presenting the stories of three Koreshan Unity women in three of the Settlement’s historic buildings.

Two special evening events will be held on March 17 and March 24 at 7:00pm in the Art Hall. On March 17, the keynote lecture is by Adam Morris, author of American Messiahs. His book features Cyrus Teed and his significant role in the formation of what was a multitude of religious-utopian communities in the late 19th century. On March 24, Dr. Thomas Cimarusti, from Florida Gulf Coast University, will present a talk and a performance of sample music from the Koreshan archives surrounding their annual Lunar Festival.

Women’s History Tour Tickets are $10 and evening event tickets are $15. For more details and to purchase tickets, click here. 


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