Biographical Sketch: Adolphine Fletcher Terry
In 2017, I happened across a call for volunteers to write biographical sketches for the Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920. There was a list of four to five states that did not have anyone writing about their suffragists yet … one of which was Arkansas. I found the crowd-sourcing aspect of the project intriguing and wanted to make sure Arkansas suffragists were well-represented, so I got in touch with the volunteer coordinator for our region and was assigned Adolphine Fletcher Terry. The short bio has finally been published as part of the growing database, just in time for the centennial anniversary for women’s right to vote.
I found the process of researching Terry’s life rewarding in itself. For most of my writing, interviews and the internet suffice for sources, but this small project required me to click through microfilm at the Main Library and read parts of Terry’s manuscript in the research room at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, both time-intensive research methods I’ve never had any other reason to utilize. I followed guidelines set by the project director, Tom Dublin at Binghampton University, and tried to be thorough yet succinct; there were no word counts given, but of course the idea of a sketch is to keep it short and sweet.
All in all, it was such a cool feeling to be a part of something that writers of different backgrounds from all over the country were working on at the same time—especially on a subject that it’s easy to be passionate about, like women’s suffrage. You can find my sketch of Terry’s life here.