Just steps from the Woman Suffrage Memorial, at the corner of Clinch Avenue and Market Square, sits the Burn Memorial. Erected in 2018, this memorial statue by Nashville sculptor Alan LeQuire depicts Rep. Harry Burn of Niota and his mother, Febb, and honors each of their roles in the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Harry Burn served as a freshman representative in the Tennessee legislature in 1920, and on Aug. 18, Harry cast the deciding vote to approve the 19th Amendment. Tennessee became the 36th and last state needed to sign the amendment into law.
Tennessee played a pivotal role in gaining the right to vote for women. By March of 1920, 35 states had ratified the 19th amendment, one state shy of the three-quarters required for national ratification. The State of Tennessee provided the critical vote, based on the urging of a McMinn County mother to her son, Harry T. Burn, a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. Burn’s vote is credited with positioning Tennessee as the deciding state supporting the change to the U.S. Constitution.
An anniversary celebration of the ratification will take place in Knoxville in 2020.