Newest women’s suffrage monument unveiled with parade reenactment

Local News

The second women’s suffrage monument in Knoxville, unveiled to a dozens dressed in 1920s era attire. 

The Burn Memorial sits on the corner of Clinch Avenue and Market Street, just a few yards from the first women’s suffrage monument at the end of Market Square. 

The memorial honors Harry and Febb Burn; Harry, the Tennessee State Assemblyman who was the 36th vote in favor of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote. 

His mother, Febb, is credited as an influencing factor to his decision. Originally, Burn was expected to vote “nay” against the 19th amendment, until his mother wrote him a letter encouraging him to do the opposite 

His vote ratified the 19th amendment. 

“I hope that they learn when you stand on principle, you might have to face certain consequences that are negative but you will be vindicated, especially when you listen to the advice of your parents,” said Tyler Boyd, the great-great nephew to Burn and great-great grandson to Febb. 

Boyd says he’s proud his family’s history is so meaningful and part of U.S. history. 

“It makes me feel very privileged to have this connection to United States History and to East Tennessee history, for our small McMinn County and Niota,” said Boyd. 

Others at the event brought their children and grandchildren to the unveiling.

“We by our actions we teach our children, when they see what we do, when they march with me, when they get ready. That’s why it’s so important to me because I am teaching them history,” said Vivian Shipe, a modern suffragist. 

Shipe brought her grandchildren to march in the reenactment parade. 

Another mother, who brought her young son, says she hopes he learns a lesson. 

“What I hope he learns is that he sees equality between men and women and that we can all participate in things together. And with Febb Burn’s you should also listen to your mother,” said Natalie Sweet. 

The Suffrage Coalition is responsible for the development of the Burn Memorial, as well as the Tennessee Women Suffrage Monument. 

Coordinated by Wanda Sobieski, the coalition raised funds to build and maintain both statues. 

Donations for The Burn Memorial are still being accepted to cover maintenance costs. 

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