Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890–1920
Biography of Eleonore Raoul Greene, 1888-1983
By Joseph Cannon, student, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina
President Atlanta Chapter Georgia Woman Equal Suffrage League, 1914-1920; President of the Atlanta League of Women Voters, 1922, 1930#x200e
Eleonore Raoul was born November 13, Tuesday, 1888, at her parents' rented house, "Moss Bank," on Staten Island, N. Y. She was the tenth of eleven children of William Greene Raoul and Mary Millen Wadley Raoul. Always a feisty child, the family argot recollects a time, when Eleonore was three, while her father was rushing the family to catch a train, Eleonore in his arms, when Eleonore, “angry, screaming, determined that she will not submit to the indignity of being carried like the baby—kicking off the enveloping shawl, and stiffening herself like iron, bracing her two little arms against father's shoulders.”
Eleonore's family moved to Atlanta in 1899. Eleonore begin her schooling in Atlanta at Miss Mitchell's kindergarten, and went on from there to Atlanta's Washington Seminary. After finishing her junior year at Washington Seminary in Atlanta, Eleonore went to St. Timothy's in Catonsville, Maryland, graduating in 1905. In the summer of 1905, she accompanied her mother, two sisters and a cousin for several months on a tour of Europe. On the thirteenth of November1907, the day she was nineteen, Eleonore had her debut party. Her sister noted that “she did not welcome the event very heartily... her inclinations did not lie along the road of social frivolity.”
Eleonore's early interests lay in fields other than that of society. She liked horses and riding and competed successfully in numerous regional horseshows. Eleonore was also active in dog breeding, registering dogs in the American Kennel Club Stud Book as early as 1903.
Eleonore's mother had been active in the Daughters of the American Revolution, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and was the founder of The Every Saturday Club which promoted and developed free kindergartens in Atlanta. Following her mother's passion for social activism, Eleonore sought a much wider field than that of Atlanta society. Between 1913 and 1916 she worked in the Atlanta Associated Charities, went to the School of Civics and Philanthropy in Chicago for a summer course, and took several correspondence courses with the University of Chicago. Starting in 1915, she was an active member, along with her mother, of the Southern Sociological Congress. In 1914 the Georgia Woman Equal Suffrage League was formed. Eleonore became President of the Atlanta Chapter and during 1914, was an active worker. To gain experience, she entered the campaign in New Jersey, for about six weeks, as a paid worker.
In July of 1915 Eleonore was Organizer and Press Agent of the Fulton and Dekalb Counties Branch of The Equal Suffrage Party of Georgia. In November of 1915 Eleonore helped organize a suffrage parade in Atlanta. Eleonore marched in the famous New York parade in October of 1915 and was responsible for selling raffle tickets for the yellow automobile Eastern Victory, which was a symbol of the struggle, and led the parade. She then took charge of transporting the vehicle to Atlanta where it was featured in the November 1915 suffrage parade in Atlanta. Eleonore helped organize the parade and demonstration in Atlanta. The day of the parade, Eleonore appeared on horseback, representing the herald leading women "forward into light.” In the winter of 1916-1917 Eleonore worked in the office of the National Suffrage Association in New York. As part of her efforts, Eleonore was an organizer in charge of five counties in West Virginia during the campaign for the suffrage referendum. Two of her counties (Brooke and Handcock) were the only ones in the state which voted for suffrage in the election.
Eleonore was the first woman to be formally enrolled in Emory University. Legend has it that while Chancellor Warren, a vehement opponent of coeducation, was away from the campus in 1917, Eleonore, then twenty-nine, active in the women's suffrage movement and having studied law at the University of Chicago, convinced the Dean of the Law school to let her enroll in the Lamar School of Law at Emory. Eleonore graduated in 1920. After graduation, Eleonore practiced law for more than a year, but closed her practice upon suffering serious illness.
In 1919, Atlanta women secured from the City's Executive Board the privilege of voting in the municipal primaries. Eleonore was named Chairman of the Central Committee to organize registration activities in the city. She was able to raise $1,200 to finance the campaign, and held numerous public meetings and rallies, resulting in a substantial voter registration. In 1922, Eleonore, as President of the Atlanta League of Women Voters, gained some national attention when Cora Vincent became the first Georgia woman condemned to death in fifty years. While the prosecutor asked only for a life sentence, the jury voted for death. Contrary to other prominent Georgians, who firmly believed a woman should not be executed, Eleonore maintained women had “passed through the age of dependence into an age which regarded her as an intelligent being” and as such should be responsible for their acts.
On June 29th, 1928, Eleonore married Harry L. Greene, who had graduated with her in 1920 from Emory Law School. She continued to use her maiden name. After a few years of marriage, they adopted three children, Harry Letcher, Victoria, and Eleonore Raoul. Her marriage did not withdraw Eleonore from her community work. Along with financial assistance from her mother, Eleonore help establish the League of Women Voters in Atlanta and became its President in 1922 and 1930 and remained active with the League throughout her life. The time of her leadership with the league marked a time of politicized and active participation of women. In 1930, Eleonore, as President of the League of Women Voters of Atlanta, published an article in the National Municipal Reviewexposing corruption in the Atlanta municipal government which had led to ten indictments for fraud and corruption.
Emory University granted Eleonore an honorary LL.D. degree in 1979, and established the Eleonore Raoul Trailblazer Award. It is given to an Emory Law alumna “who has blazed a trail for others through her own professional and personal endeavors.” In 1983 Eleonore Raoul Greene died at the age of 94.
American Kennel Club.American Kennel Club Stud Book Register. 20th ed. New York: American Kennel Club, 1903.https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009946943
Eitzroth, E. Lee. “Woman Suffrage.” New Georgia Encyclopedia Emory University: History and Traditions. “Eléonore Raoul Greene.” 2017.http://emoryhistory.emory.edu
Gidlund, Leonora A. "Southern Suffrage and Beyond: Eleonore Raoul and the Atlanta League of Women Voters, 1920-1935.Atlanta History304: 30-43.
Gidlund, Leonora. "Georgia Feminists Before and After the Franchise". Proceedings and Papers of the Georgia Association of Historians; 1983: 28-35.
Harper,Ida Husted, et al., eds.History of Woman Suffrage Vol 6.New York: Fowler & Wells. 1922 [LINK]
Hauk, Gary. “What's in an Accent?” Emory Historian's Blog. August 4, 2016.https://emoryhistorian.org/
McCulloch, James E.The New Chivalry-Health. Nashville: Benson Printing, 1915.
Millis, Mary Raoul.The Raoul Family: A Memoir. Asheville, N.C.: Miller Printing, 1943.https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/005732416
National American Woman Suffrage Association,The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Forty-Ninth Annual Convention, (New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association., 1916), https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009793006
National American Woman Suffrage Association.The Hand Book of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Proceedings of the Annual Convention, Vol 50-52. New York: National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1921.https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009793006
Online Manuscript Resources in Southern Women's History. “Letter, Eleanore Raoul, to Mr. Pascal, City Editor, Atlanta Journal, July 9, 1915, with manuscript, 'Dr. Dana's Diagnosis,' by Rosine Raoul.” 2006. Accessed November 13, 2017.http://larson.library.emory.edu/
Online Manuscript Resources in Southern Women's History. “Letter, Rev. J. Wade Conkling, Unitarian Church, to Miss Raoul, November 17, 1915.” http://larson.library.emory.edu; Raoul, Eleonore.
“The Graft Situation in Atlanta.”National Municipal Review19, no. 12 (December 1930): 809-11. Siddall, Dudley, “Found Guilty of Slaying Husband, Noose is Decreed,” South Bend News-Times, June 22, 1922, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
The Saddle and Horse Show Chronicle. Asheville Horse Show Great Success. August 22, 1912. Google Books.