Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Lillie Richardson, 1865- ?
By Miki Pfeffer and Thomas Dublin
Lillie Richardson was born in the mid-1860s (birthdates vary from census to census) in Illinois, the daughter of James Richardson. By 1880, father James was a widower, listed in the census as a C.H. Officer, and residing with three children, including 16-year-old Lillie, on Dumaine St. in New Orleans. In 1910 Lillie remained single, worked as a teacher in a private school, and lived at 758 Hampson St. in ward 16 of New Orleans.
We have found only two references to Richardson's activism. A 1914 newspaper account noted that Lillie worked at a lunch room sponsored by the Era Club, providing meals for the poor. Noted suffragist Kate Gordon presided. In 1915, according to one of two competing Louisiana state reports in the History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6, Lillie joined state suffrage leader Jean Gordon to campaign for woman suffrage in some forty parishes across the state. The report noted that they had an "enthusiastic reception," which gave "practical testimony to the sentiment for woman suffrage." The Caldwell [Parish] Watchman reported on 10 September 1915 that Richardson and Gordon spoke at "the opera house in Arcadia." The account went on: "The speakers argued for woman suffrage and their remarks were well received. Both are talented platform orators."
In March 1916 Richardson participated in a meeting of the Era Club and moved that a resolution be sent directly to the Superintendent of Education in Baton Rouge, One cannot readily figure out the focus on the resolution, but several other entries in the minutes of that meeting make it clear that the Era Club supported woman suffrage.
Ida Husted Harper,et al., eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 6 (1922) [LINK to LA state report].
"Lunch Rooms Busy," New Orleans Times-Democrat, 24 Feb. 1914, p. 2. Accessed via Newspapers.com.
Untitled, The Caldwell Watchman (Columbia, LA), 10 Sept. 1915, p. 1. Accessed via Newspapers.com.