Clubwomen, The Pollitzer Sisters & The Vote, Part 4 | Sisterhood: SC Suffragists - Episode 4


In the early twentieth century, a trio of sisters from Charleston, SC, known as the Pollitzer sisters (Carrie, Mabel, and Anita) embraced the opportunities for social reform. The Pollitzers came from a prominent, wealthy Jewish family, who were active members of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, the birthplace of Reform Judaism in America. The Pollitzer sisters, inspired by their father, actively took part in reform movements at the local and national levels, at a time when the Jewish community was not supporting suffrage. By moving within the art and political circles in the Jewish community, the Pollitzer sisters were able to gain momentum with their suffrage movement in Charleston. Carrie Pollitzer was crucial in getting the College of Charleston to admit women. Mabel Pollitzer opened Charleston’s first public library, and taught biology at Memminger High School for over forty years. Anita, the youngest of the Pollitzers, studied art at Columbia University in New York. While there, she befriended a young Georgia O’Keeffe, who was an unknown artist at that time. Although Anita spent most of her life outside of Charleston, she became one of South Carolina’s most well-known suffragists.