Jessie Harriet Daniel Ames, suffragist and anti-lynching reformer, was born in Palestine, Texas on November 2, 1883. In 1893 the family moved to Georgetown where Jessie entered the Ladies Annex of Southwestern University at the age of thirteen. In 1902, Jessie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1905, she married Roger Post Ames and had one son and two daughters. When Roger died in 1914, Jessie helped her mother run the Georgetown Telephone company to support her family. In 1916, Jessie organized and became president of the Georgetown Equal Suffrage League. At this time, she began writing a column called “Women Suffrage Notes” for the Williamson County Sun newspaper. As the protégée of Minnie Fisher Cunningham, president of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association, Ames was elected treasurer of the state association in 1918; from this position she helped to make Texas the first southern state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment. Jessie founded the Texas League of Women Voters in 1919. She is best known for founding the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching in 1930, a politically active organization designed to combat vigilante justice. She served as director of the organization until 1942. Ames died of pneumonia on February 21, 1972, in Austin, Texas.
Jessie Daniel Ames Papers