Local Suffragettes on Tour
Charlestonâ€™s 38th Fall Tour of Homes will feature, for the first time, morning walking tours on special interest topics of historical Charleston. This year, both tours happen to feature women of downtown Charleston who have made valuable contributions to history.
The Grimke sisters were born around the turn of the 19th century into slavery-supported Charleston society but in their youth became outspoken advocates for slaveryâ€™s end. Even in the North, they faced scorn for their activism--not because of what they believed, but because they were women. Thus, in order to proclaim their message against slavery, they also had to address the inequities faced by women. Their work has been the subject of numerous films, documentaries, and books--the latest of which, Sue Monk Kiddâ€™s Oprah Book Club Selection The Invention of Wings, is the topic of a Charleston walking tour featured in next monthâ€™s Fall Tours from the Preservation Society of Charleston.
Susan Pringle Frost was a contemporary of Eleanor Roosevelt, and became actively involved in the womenâ€™s suffrage movement here in Charleston. As the first president of the Charleston Equal Suffrage League, Frost aligned her organization with the National Woman's Party in supporting the federal suffrage amendment and, later, the Equal Rights Amendment. Similar groups across the state merged in 1915 to form the South Carolina Equal Suffrage League, which was co-led by Frost.
However, Frost's greatest passion was historic preservation and saving Charleston's old houses and architecture. As Charlestonâ€™s first female real estate agent, her offices were right here at Nine Broad Street. In 1920, Frost founded what became the Preservation Society of Charleston, one of the nation's oldest such groups, which constitutes her greatest legacy. The Historic Preservation Orientation Tour will provide a glimpse into Frostâ€™s life as a progressive woman and preservationist. To read more about our building, click here.
Yâ€™all be sure to stop by and say hello!