Letter from Gertude Weil to J.O. Carr, July 4, 1919

Letter from Gertude Weil, president of the Equal Suffrage Association of North Carolina, to J.O. Carr, July 4, 1919. J.O. Carr, a North Carolina lawyer, wrote to Weil explaining his opposition to the suffrage movement. Carr argued that women should be granted the vote only if they assumed every responsibility a man would have to assume, including jury duty and military duty. Yet he noted that he himself would be unwilling for the law to require his wife "to be locked up on a jury for a week or to serve in the trenches," and thus he did not "think that she is entitled to the same privileges in suffrage that people are entitled to who perform such duties." Weil responded to Carr's arguments one by one, explaining why women could easily serve on juries and why the fact that they did not serve in the military should not disqualify them from voting. Given Weil's many statements elsewhere about the necessity of treating all people equally and her later work for civil rights, it is unclear whether she truly believed her words in the second paragraph of the letter - about limiting universal suffrage and coping with "the negro problem" - or whether they were simply dictated by political expediency.
Courtesy of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Letter from Gertude Weil to J.O. Carr, July 4, 1919." (Viewed on August 4, 2020) <https://jwa.org/media/letter-from-weil-president-of-equal-suffrage-association-of-north-carolina-to-jo-carr>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox