Tennessee holds a special place in passing the 19th Amendment into law, extending voting rights to women. We were the final state needed for ratification, and our legislators came through with a two-vote victory margin. We celebrated the amendment’s 100th anniversary in 2020 with this special monument to make Clarksville a stop along the state’s Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail stretching from Chattanooga to Memphis.
Sculptor Roy Butler was commissioned by the Tennessee Triumph Steering Committee, under the umbrella of the Clarksville Arts & Heritage Development Council, to create the 1.25X life-sized statue. The sculpture represents all Clarksville women who worked for suffrage and voted in that first election. For authenticity, the artist used 1920 Clarksville artifacts from the Customs House Museum in his design.
In the winter of 2018, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center in Clarksville hosted an exhibit, The Nature of Things: Alison & Frank Lyne, featuring artwork inspired by the women’s suffrage movement.
On August 15, 2020, Tennessee Triumph was unveiled and dedicated on Public Square. While we had organized a host of activities to take place to celebrate the 100-year anniversary, the global pandemic lingered and events were scaled back to a march and the unveiling ceremony. The 7-foot bronze statue sits at Public Square facing F&M Bank. She is placing her vote in a ballot box and holding a scroll that reads, “Women, use your vote.”