Lizzie Crozier French

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Candace Corrigan
707 N Spring St
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

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Radio Portraits inspired from women's diaries written 1779-1959

MapLizzie Crozier French 1851-1926
Knoxville educator, lecturer
and activist,

Speech to the Tennessee
State Bar 1912

In 1912, when Lizzie Crozier French became the first woman to address the Tennessee State Bar Association, the laws of Tennessee denied women the most basic rights. An ardent supporter of the reform movement, she was known as an energetic, popular lecturer and a tireless suffragist. She founded the Ossoli Circle, the oldest women's literary club in the South. Through Lizzie's insistence the club became devoted to community service, a legacy that Ossoli Circle has continued since 1886.

Say It Loud!

Women's rights is such a large term, gentlemen if you please
My intention is to put you perfectly at ease
While I consider tender feelings of the sterner sex
And I hope you won't repeat my words out of context
I am here at my request to address you all today
And voice my concern for the laws we must obey
All the laws concerning women I've studied down through time
And the laws of Tennessee are at the bottom of the line

Chorus
If you ask my occupation
I'm demanding liberty
For every person in the nation to be equal and free
And if you are with me, Stand up Proud
And if you're going to say it, Say it Loud

There's a law concerning women that I think you should reject
We're entitled to no power, only reverence and respect
No one respects those with no power, you know well
And by power I do not mean force but reason to compel
If you want to know what women want, women want the vote
Do
not treat us with frivolity, but with a serious note
To help us to progress from where we have been
Don't simply change the old laws
Burn the bunch and start again

Chorus...

When a woman marries man, he owns everything she's had
Husbands aren't all created perfect, some are perfectly bad
Any self-respecting man will recognize the light
And deem it only sensible, that we have equal rights

Chorus...

Be sure to see the Tennessee Woman's Suffrage Memorial page about the statue that honors Lizzie Crozier French and other suffragists.

Song Source:
Proceedings of the Bar Association of Tennessee
, July 11, 1912, Vol. 31, McClung Historical Collection, Knoxville TN

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