Biographical Sketch of Lelia Chambers Lamb

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Lelia Chambers (Mrs. George A.) Lamb, 1858-1955

By Thomas Dublin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University

Lelia V. Chambers was born in Maryland in 1858, the daughter of Marion H. Chambers. She went to school through the 7th grade, and in 1877 she married George A. Lamb, also of Maryland. The couple resided in 1880 in Edesville, MD. with their 3-year-old daughter, Susan. George was recorded as a farmer at this date.

By 1900 the Lambs had moved to Baltimore, George was a policeman, Susan had left the home, and Lelia's mother and sister resided with the family. This household remained intact in Baltimore in the 1910 census and George continued to work as a policeman. Her husband passed away in August 1910 and in 1920, Lelia, now 61, lived with her sister Ella. She owned her home on Fulton Avenue free of mortgage. In 1930 Lelia continued to live on Fulton Ave. with her sister in a house valued at $4,000 that she owned. By 1940, Lelia and Ella, now 81 and 78 had moved out of Baltimore and lived together in Kent, MD with Annie Brown, an aunt.

The 1910s provide our evidence of Lelia Lamb's engagement with the woman suffrage movement. In February 1911 she attending a suffrage meeting at the Women's Club of Roland Park where Ida Husted Harper, the lead editor of the history of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, spoke. After her presentation the group organized the Just Government League of Baltimore and elected officers, who included Mrs. Lamb as Third Vice-President. She was also chosen as a chairman for the Govanstown section. In October 1911 she attended the 43rd Annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) held in Louisville, as a delegate from the Maryland Equal Franchise League. In 1913 she was recorded making a $10 contribution to NAWSA and in late February of that year she assisted in serving a luncheon in Baltimore to a group of suffrage hikers making the trek from New York City to Washington, DC to meet up with mammoth suffrage parade held on the eve of Woodrow Wilson's inauguration in early March. In May that year, Mrs. Lamb hosted a barn dance benefit at her country home, Cedarcroft.

Mrs. Lamb was active beyond the suffrage movement in these years. In Sept. 1900 she was elected second vice-president of the Neighborhood Improvement Club of Govans. A brief report in a February 1913 newspaper noted that she was scheduled to host a "meeting of the literature section" of the club, where there would be a talk on the opera, "Lohengrin."

Lelia V. Lamb passed away in Chestertown, MD, on January 25, 1955, at the age of 96.

Sources:

Federal manuscript censuses, Edesville, MD, 1880; Baltimore, MD, 1900 and 1910.

"Legislature Their Goal," Baltimore Sun, 3 Feb. 1911, p. 11.

"Maryland Women's Clubs," Baltimore Sun, 17 Feb. 1913, p. 6.

"Hikers' Lost Tribe Join Main Army," Baltimore News, 24 Feb. 1913, p. 5.

"Society" column, Baltimore Evening Sun, 17 May 1913, p. 7.

Death notice, Baltimore Evening Sun, 27 January 1955, p. 46.

NAWSA 43rd and 45th Annual Reports.

back to top