Renowned Suffragette Gertrude Weil

Women's Sufferage

All this month we’re bringing you stories from North Carolina women’s history. Check back here each week day for a new tidbit on the women of our state’s past.

Gertrude Weil

Perhaps North Carolina’s best known woman suffrage leader, Gertrude Weil came from a long line of social, religious and political activists. Educated at Smith College, she returned to her native Goldsboro and involved herself in several associations, becoming a protégé of women’s rights advocate Sallie Southall Cotten. As a founder and the first president of the North Carolina Suffrage League Weil tirelessly advocated for the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. 

Over time, Weil became a mainstay of practically every private effort connected with social welfare. Following in the footsteps of her mother, she advocated child labor legislation and spearheaded fundraising for Jewish projects relief projects. 

By the 1960s Weil was well into her eighties, but that didn’t stop her from taking an active role in race issues. In an ironic twist the North Carolina legislature approved the 19th Amendment in May 1971, which she had fought for in the 1910s, the same month Wiel died.

Read more about women's suffrage on NCpedia, and see more images of Wiel in the State Archives.

Comments

My Mother and Gertrude Weil were good friends. I remember her well.

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