Glenna Smith Tinnin

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Glenna Smith Tinnin
Glenna S. Tinnin a9679a80cf o.jpg
Glenna Smith Tinnin circa 1913
Born(1877-02-27)February 27, 1877
DiedMarch 24, 1945(1945-03-24) (aged 68)

Glenna Smith Tinnin (February 27, 1877 – March 24, 1945) was an American suffragist and the first chairman of the District of Columbia Equal Franchise League. The Equal Franchise League was founded in 1914 as The Woman Suffrage Council.[1] Early in her career Tinnin was an instructor in oratory at various institutes in the upper Midwest.[2] She was a theater director and playwright, and served as chairman of the pageant committee of the American Federation of Arts.[3] She wrote several plays for children (with Katharine S. Brown) including One Night in Bethlehem: A Play of the Nativity (1925) and Arthur Wins the Sword (1928)[4] In December 1931 Tinnin and Brown staged a production of Paul Kester's Tom Sawyer on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre, which closed after 6 performances.[5]


She was born in Illinois on February 27, 1877. In 1897 she graduated from the Columbia School of Oratory in Chicago.[6] By 1905 she was married to David Solomon Tinnin (1878–1918)[7] of North Carolina; in 1910 they were living in Washington, DC.[8] Smith Tinnin was an active member of the Washington Center of the Drama League of America. In 1913, she collaborated with Hazel MacKaye to create the pageant Allegory held on steps of the U.S. Treasury Building as part of the Woman Suffrage Procession, a large suffrage demonstration held the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. Later that year, they collaborated again, creating the pageant Uncle Sam's 137th Birthday Party to celebrate Independence Day on July 4, 1913. The success of that pageant led Smith Tinnin and other members of the Washington Drama League to open a children's theatre in Washington, D.C. The House of Play operated for two years with Glenna Smith Tinnin as its director. She died on March 24, 1945, in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.[9]


  1. ^ Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (1881). The History of Woman Suffrage. Fowler & Wells. p. 105. Mrs. Glenna Smith Tinnin was the first chairman, followed by Mrs. George A. Mosshart and Mrs. Louis Brownlow. The DC State Association held regular meetings ...
  2. ^ Who's Who in the Lyceum, A. Augustus Wright, Pearson Brothers, Philadelphia, 1907, p. 172, entry "Glenna Smith Tinnin"
  3. ^ "Artistic Treat Awaits". Washington Post. May 11, 1915. Retrieved December 13, 2008. Artistic Washington is awaiting with interest the revelation of the "rhythmic pictures" to be shown in the ballroom of the Willard tomorrow evening at 8:30 o'clock as part of the entertainment arranged in honor of the American Federation of Arts by Mrs. Glenna Smith Tinnin, chairman of the pageant committee of the federation.
  4. ^ Playbill for Tinnin/Brown plays; note that copyright records show both as registered authors of the Arthur play, not just Brown.
  5. ^ page for Tom Sawyer
  6. ^ Columbia College of Expression, Announcements 1922-3, June 1922
  7. ^ Cemetery listing for D. S. Tinnin; see photo of gravestone
  8. ^ Glenna and Davis S. Tinnin in the 1910 US Census
  9. ^ New York Times. March 25, 1945. Word was received here last night of the death yesterday of Mrs. Glenna Smith Tinnin at a sanitarium in Chestnut Hill, Mass. She formerly lived at the Hotel Wellington, this city, and in Washington, D. C. Mrs. Tinnin was an organizer of the National Junior Theatre which gave performances at the Alvin Theatre here in 1931, and earlier, in Philadelphia, Boston, and Brooklyn. She directed the woman suffrage pageant in Washington in 1913 {{cite news}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)