A suffragist and leading civic activist in New Orleans.
Together with her sister Jean, Kate Gordon was an active promoter of many civic reforms, improving the lives of New Orleans residents.
Gordon contributed to the opening of the New Orleans Anti-Tuberculosis Hospital, co-established the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and campaigned for a modern sewerage system in town. In their public actions, the Gordon Sisters served as role models of influential progressive women.
Kate M. Gordon was also a controversial suffragist. She served as a president of the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference, and founder of the Equal Rights Association (ERA). Ironically, despite its name, Kate was blatantly advocating for white supremacy and opposing to the equal rights of African-Americans. Hence, she called for women’s suffrage by amending each state’s constitution, and not the US Constitution. She even went as far as actively campaigning against the passage of the 19th Amendment.
“In the community I am now known as Tuberculosis Gordon”
Another Interesting Anecdote:
- The Gordon sisters were never married and lived together.