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Oral History Interview with Eulalie Salley, September 15, 1973. Interview G-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Reflecting on her dedication to women's issues, Eulalie Salley, a suffragist from South Carolina, opens by discussing the reasons she believes the League of Women Voters failed to remain influential after women gained the vote in 1920. She argues that though the League could have captured women's interests by supporting specific campaigns and candidates, their commitment to nonpartisanship made them seem irrelevant. Before the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, suffragists played an active part in South Carolina's political system, and Salley explains how she and other reformers structured their organizations, who their key political allies were, and which women rose to leadership positions. When the South Carolina branch became more organized and influential, the national suffrage organization sent Lola Trax to Columbia to speak before the state legislature. When Trax implemented large publicity stunts to mobilize support, the local women found themselves open to unprecedented censure as other men and women called the femininity of the suffragists into question. Though Salley supported partisanship after gaining the vote, she disagreed with the women's alliance with the temperance movement, believing it cost them supporters. In 1915, Salley launched a successful real estate business. Though she encountered some resistance, she linked her activism to her business ventures and gained sales opportunities. She discusses how she balanced her work and family and reflects on whether hiring a nanny was a good decision. Salley describes her impressions of Jeannette Rankin's political and social activism. She also talks about meeting Rankin in 1970 as the two former colleagues relived their activist days.
    Excerpts
  • Why the League of Women Voters stagnated
  • Organization of South Carolina's Suffrage League
  • Class and regional identities among female activists
  • Costs of being allied with other groups
  • Salley's devotion to women's suffrage and women's rights
  • "Raising" the money needed to attend the National American Woman Suffrage Association's annual meeting
  • Salley's growing involvement in the movement
  • The start of Salley's real estate business
  • Salley's growing notoriety as a successful businesswoman
  • Finding and making connections
  • Childcare and familial support freed Salley to pursue her various interests
  • Her mother's influence
  • Faith Baldwin and a mysterious foreigner
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Subjects
  • Women--Suffrage--South Carolina
  • League of Women Voters
  • Women real estate agents--South Carolina
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.