On Tuesday, March 31, 1914, a brief item in the News announced that Chattanooga had been selected to host the 1914 convention of the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Yet the following day the state committee in charge of site selection reversed its decision in favor of Nashville. The controversy made headlines in the News ("SUFFRAGE CONVENTION BECOMES COMPLICATED" [4/1/14:1]) and continued to produce items until April 4 when the state committee ratified the choice of Nashville as convention site.
By 1914 Tennessee had become a battleground state for the women's suffrage movement. Unfortunately, the choice of convention site caused a split in the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association into Nashville and Chattanooga factions. As A. Elizabeth Taylor notes, "Chattanooga did host another suffrage convention in 1914. The week before the NAWSA convention in Nashville, the newly organized Southern States Women Suffrage Conference, a NAWSA affiliate, held a two-day gathering of prominent southern suffragists in Chattanooga" (56). This rift among Tennessee suffragists was finally healed in 1918, preparing the way for the state to become the thirty-sixth state to ratify--and thus effect passage of--the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.