Biographical Sketch of Margaret Johnson Gardner

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Margaret Johnson (Mrs. H.C.) Gardner, 1839-1910

By LaShanda Porter, Ed.D., Nashville, Tennessee

Margaret Johnson was born in 1839 to Joseph Johnson and Kate Garrett. She married Henry Clay Gardner, a millwright. The 1880 U.S. Census lists Mrs. Gardner as a housewife and schoolteacher. Suffragists organized the short-lived Nashville Woman Suffrage League at a meeting at Margaret Gardner's East Nashville home on February 20, 1894 where Amelia Territt was elected president. Mrs. Gardiner died in Nashville on July 11, 1910 and was buried the next day in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. After her death, Amelia Territt memorialized Gardner and her suffrage activities in a 1911 article in the Nashville Tennessean and Nashville American, stating: "Among these liberal minded, large hearted ladies whose unselfish integrity of motive was not to be questioned, Mrs. H.C. Gardner's name must not be overlooked. It cannot be measured how much such as she contributed to the cause by their sterling Christian influence, example and avowed principles."

Sources:

Taylor, A.E. (1957), The Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee. New York, NY: Octagon Books.

Terrett, A. (1911, December 3), "Nashville suffrage movement of eighteen and ninety-four." Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American, p. 7B.

Yellin, C.L. & Sherman, J. (1998). The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage. Oak Ridge, TN: Iris Publication Group.

Harper, Ida Husted, et al., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6.

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