THIS DAY IN FEMINIST HISTORY (OCT. 1 – DEC. 31)


October 1, 1918 : The speeches by pro-suffrage Senators today were as eloquent and impassioned as they had been during yesterday's debate. President Wilson's commitment to the cause was undiminished, as he followed up yesterday's speech to the Senate with personal letters to his fellow Democrats urging them in the strongest possible terms to vote for the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment today. Unfortunately, the number of Senators pledged to oppose suffrage was also unchanged from yesterday, and the Amendment failed to pass.

Right up until the time the voting ended, Senator Andrieus Jones, Democrat of New Mexico, the Amendment's chief sponsor, had hoped for some last-minute conversions. But when the roll was called, the tally stood at 54 to 30, two short of the 56-28, two-thirds majority that would have meant success. (Only a 2/3 majority of those present and voting is needed, not an absolute majority of 64 out of 96 Senators. Had all Senators been present and voting, suffrage would still have been two votes short due to 34 being pledged to vote “no.”) At the last moment Senator Jones switched his vote to the "no" column so that he would be allowed to call it up for another vote if there was a more favorable outlook. That made the official vote count 53-31, technically three short of victory, but with the measure still alive.

The original count was 27 Democrats in favor and 20 opposed (57% support), and 27 Republicans in favor and 10 opposed (73% support). Not one anti-suffrage Democrat heeded the President's call to pass the Anthony Amendment as a "War Measure." Even Majority Leader Thomas Staples Martin of Virginia, and others who have been prominent and vigorous supporters of the President's other policies, deserted him today.

The reason for such strong opposition by Southern Democrats is well known, and was vividly illustrated by a proposal of Senator John Sharp Williams of Mississippi. He asked that the Anthony Amendment be amended so that it would authorize only white women to vote. The motion was overwhelmingly rejected by being tabled 61-22. That 22 of the original 30 votes cast against suffrage were by militant segregationists shows where much of the opposition is now coming from. Suffrage groups and their Senate supporters should be commended for retaining the race-neutral wording of the Anthony Amendment and refusing to give in to Southern Democrats’ demands that they abandon some women in order to enfranchise others.

Today's debate began with an accurate prediction by Senator Albert Baird Cummins, Republican of Iowa : "I fear that a little group of willful men are intent on bringing about the defeat of this amendment." This was followed by a discussion of whether woman suffrage was truly a "War Measure." President Wilson insisted yesterday that it was, because we are in a war for democracy, and there could be no better way for our nation to show its commitment to that cause than by enfranchising our women citizens. But other than the "War Measure" issue, the debate covered nothing new, and changed no minds. Senator Knute Nelson, Republican of Minnesota, noted that : "This is not the first time the voice of the prophet has not been heard in the wilderness," and Senator Cummins followed up with "No, and I want to know how Senators who vote against this amendment are going to escape the consequences of it."

Opponents were quick to praise the 34 Senators who were pledged to vote against the Amendment, as they celebrated today's defeat. According to Mrs. James W. Wadsworth, President of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage :

"Our faith in the wisdom and integrity of the United States Senate is justified. We have held all along that if there was no desertion of fundamental principles we could not lose. There has been no desertion. In the face of a powerful lobby, false labels, political threats and pressure, thirty-four men in the United States Senate retained their sanity, stood by their convictions, upheld the principle of local self-government 'to the last quarter of an hour.' Millions of American women who admire courage and cherish convictions thank these Senators and are proud to be represented by such manhood. The legislative branch of the Government has retained its independence. The principle of self-determination, the constitutional right of each State to settle the question for itself by popular vote, has triumphed over every consideration of political 'policy.' "

But many others think differently. William Jennings Bryan was asked if he thought the Senate had disposed of the suffrage issue. He replied :

"By no means. The President presented a powerful appeal and it will continue to bring pressure to bear upon the opponents of suffrage through the responses the people will make to the President's appeal. I expect to see the suffrage amendment submitted to the States before March 1 next .... it must be remembered that the liquor interests have been the backbone of the opposition to suffrage in the North and that this influence will disappear with the ratification of the Prohibition Amendment ... Taking these two influences together, I think there will be more than enough changes to give the necessary two-thirds."

The liquor industry has been the earliest, strongest, and richest foe of suffrage. Brewers and saloonkeepers fear that because women have been so prominent in the Temperance movement, women voters would quickly outlaw liquor. But even without nationwide woman suffrage, the present Congress (all male except for Jeannette Rankin) passed the Prohibition Amendment on December 18, 1917. It has been ratified by 14 States so far, and is expected to pick up the other 22 States needed when legislatures around the country meet for their regular sessions in January. Once the liquor industry is defunded, and the prohibition issue finally disposed of, this will certainly help clear the road for suffrage.

Alice Paul is as confident as Bryan of eventual victory : "This defeat is only temporary. The vote of the Senate, we are convinced, will be reversed before this session of Congress ends. Our efforts to secure the reversal will begin at once and will continue until our victory in the House is confirmed by the Senate."

Senator Jones says he intends to reintroduce the resolution at the "first opportunity" and will call for a vote the moment he's sure there are 2/3 in support. So, though victory in Congress proved elusive today, there is still time left for victory in this session. Even if two votes cannot be switched in the present Senate, the Midterm Elections in November could produce a two vote gain for suffrage forces, and suffragists of all factions are now going to do their best to bring about that change. So despite today's discouraging vote, it's really only a question of whether the Susan B. Anthony Amendment is approved and sent to the States for ratification by this Congress or the next one.

 

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October 2, 1918 : Undaunted by yesterday's two-vote loss in the Senate for the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment, Alice Paul and members of the National Woman's Party are meeting today and tomorrow to plan their most effective response. One thing is certain : there will be no second vote until after the November elections, according to members of the Senate Woman Suffrage Committee. It's the consensus of the committee's pro-suffrage members that until the composition of the Senate is changed, the result would be another defeat.

But the 65th Congress is near the end of its term, and not only is the entire House and 1/3 of the Senate up for election, but there have been an unusual number of Senate vacancies temporarily filled recently, so a vigorous and well-run campaign could cause a major shift in favor of suffrage in the Senate. All factions of the suffrage movement will be actively working for this change. The National American Woman Suffrage Association will be targeting four anti-suffrage Senators, and the National Woman's Party will intensify its already-announced campaign against Democrats, who have controlled both houses of Congress since 1913, but have not delivered on suffrage, and continue to lag far behind Republicans in their support.

According to a statement released by the National Woman's Party tonight, the outlook is very favorable : "Several vacancies occur in the Senate in November, when the terms of men now serving under appointment expire. Senator Benet of South Carolina, who voted against the suffrage amendment, contradicting the President's statement that it was a war measure, holds his seat only until the November election. He was defeated in the recent primaries when he ran to succeed himself, and will be followed by W. P. Pollock, who, suffragists hope, will support the President in this measure.

“The appointment of Senator Martin of Kentucky, who voted for the amendment, lasts until March. Senator Baird of New Jersey was appointed by Governor Edge with the understanding that he would support President Wilson in all his war measures. In spite of this fact, he voted 'No' on the Suffrage amendment last Tuesday. Senator Baird is contesting the November election for the short term with the Democratic candidate, Mr. Hennessy, who is a strong suffrage advocate. Governor Edge, who is running for the long term in New Jersey, and who appointed Baird, has made suffrage the first plank in the platform, showing the importance given the measure in New Jersey.

“Senator Drew of New Hampshire, who also declined to support the President on this war measure, received only one vote in the recent State convention, and goes out in November. The two men running for his seat are Mr. Moses, Republican, who is a strong suffragist, and Mr. Jamisson, Democrat, whose nomination has just been announced, and whose position on suffrage is being inquired into.

"Vacancies occurring in suffrage States are bound to be filled by suffragists, and so will not affect the situation.”

As might be expected, Republicans are taking great - and quite justifiable - pride in their party's overwhelming support of suffrage. When the measure passed the House on January 10th, Democrats gave it a bare majority of 104 in favor and 102 against (50.5% support), while Republicans voted 165 in favor and 33 against, (83.3% support). Three members of the Socialist Party, one from the Prohibition Party, and one Progressive Party member voted in favor as well, with one Progressive voting against, making the final tally 274-136, just enough for the 2/3 required.

In yesterday’s Senate vote, 27 Republicans and 27 Democrats favored the measure, with 10 Republicans and 20 Democrats opposed. At the last minute, Senator Andrieus Jones, Democrat of New Mexico and chief sponsor of the measure, changed his vote to “no” so that under the Senate rules he would have the right to bring it up again, thus making it officially 26 Democrats in favor and 21 opposed. Either way, Democratic support was well under the 2/3 needed (57% or 55%), and Republican support well over 2/3 (73%). Representative George Foss, Chairman of the Republican National Congressional Committee issued this statement tonight :

"Votes for women was placed on the list of necessary measures to win the war by Presidential decree in his address to the Senate. The vote taken soon after the pronouncement indicates the attitude of party support. For the measure 27 Republicans and 26 Democrats ; against 10 Republicans and 21 Democrats. The defeat is charged to Democrats, who have control of the Senate by a majority of eight votes."

"Votes for Women" may have suffered a legislative setback, but only a temporary one. Millions of women can already vote in Suffrage States, and will do so in November. Yesterday's defeat has only served to make suffragists in all States even more determined to flex their political muscles in the upcoming election and work to make sure that the two Senate votes which were lacking in the 65th Congress will be present in the 66th, so the Anthony Amendment can be sent to the States for ratification in 1919, and ratified in time for the 1920 election.

 

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October 3, 1950 : Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady and present U.S. Delegate to the United Nations, today praised the progress the women of the world have made in winning the vote in the five years since the United Nations was established. According to the U.N.'s latest report, women now have the same voting rights as men in 56 countries, a gain of 21 over 1945.

There is still work to do, however, because sixteen countries still deny women any political rights : Afghanistan, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Lichtenstein, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Yemen. In Bolivia, Greece, Mexico, Monaco and Peru women have partial suffrage and may vote in local elections only. In Guatemala, Portugal and Syria they have full suffrage, but only if they meet educational or literacy standards not required of men.

Roosevelt said today : "The right to the franchise is basic and fundamental. The fact that it has been abused, both by citizens and by governments, should not blind us to its potential as the fundamental safeguard for the individual. It is axiomatic that political institutions and relations among governments must change. The important point is that when changes are needed they come about peacefully through the free choice of all the people."

She credited the U.N. Charter with helping speed this trend toward equality for women, and told the General Assembly's Social Committee that countries in which women did not have equal suffrage were now seen as "out of step with the times."

Eleanor Roosevelt was first appointed as a delegate to the U.N. in 1945 by President Truman. The next year she became head of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and was instrumental in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. She said at that time :

"We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind, that is the approval by the General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recommended by the Third Committee. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man by the French people in 1789, the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the United States, and the adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other countries."

Her continuing commitment to women's rights can be seen by her actions on May 1, 1946. She was an ex-officio delegate and the most active participant in a discussion of the proposed Statement of Purpose of the U.N. Subcommittee on the Status of Women. She told the members that their task was to work "until you feel women have reached the point where they are on an equal basis with men and are considered human beings." They then adopted as their resolution :

"Whereas freedom and equality are essential to human development and whereas woman is as much a human being as man and therefore entitled to share with him ; We believe that the well-being and progress of society depend on the extent to which both men and women are able to develop their full personality and are cognizant of their responsibilities to themselves and to others, and we believe that woman has thus a definite role to play in the building of a fine, healthy, prosperous and moral society and that she can fulfill this obligation only as a free and responsible member. Therefore, be it resolved that the purpose of the subcommission is to raise the status of women to equality with men in all fields of human endeavor."

Eleanor Roosevelt has already contributed much to her country, as well as the world, and hopefully will continue to do so for many more years.

 

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October 4, 1911 : With just six days to go until (male) Californians vote on whether to add a woman suffrage amendment to the State Constitution, there's been unprecedented activity by both sides, and the campaign is only going to increase in its intensity. The biggest suffrage rally ever held in the State took place here in Los Angeles four days ago, drawing a crowd so large that even Temple Auditorium was too small to admit everyone who wanted to attend, so a second rally was begun at Choral Hall. Even this failed to provide enough room, so though 5,000 got to cheer for "Votes for Women," 500 more were turned away. An even bigger gathering is planned for tomorrow night in San Francisco.

But the Political Equality League isn't just preaching to the already converted. They're busy all over the State giving speeches in every possible location, regardless of the size or political leanings of the crowd. Of course, there is still one place that suffragists haven't yet spoken, but it's through no fault of their own. Clifford Howard was in the office of the Political Equality League earlier today after giving a speech at the National Theater in Sawtelle. He reported that suffrage speakers are still banned from the Veterans' Home by its governor, even though the "antis" are free to give out literature and even have speakers there.

The veterans in the audience for Howard's speech thought their comrades at the Home would love to hear a suffrage speaker. According to Howard : “The old soldiers are wildly enthusiastic over suffrage ; they prophesy that it will carry at the polls 3 to 1.” As evidence of that support, Howard said that one listener told him that he had taken a straw poll of 225 men in his regiment, and only 15 were opposed to women having the vote. The man also related an incident from last Sunday. The Chaplain was giving an anti-suffrage sermon when one of the veterans jumped up and said : "There isn't a word of what he says that is true. Woman suffrage is all right."

The battle continues in our numerous local newspapers. On October 2nd the Los Angeles Express said : "The women of California are as much entitled to the ballot and as well qualified to cast it with intelligence as are the men of California. Influenced, as they are, in a larger degree than men, by considerations of justice and righteousness, the addition of women to the electorate unquestionably will raise the standards of government and work enormously to the advantage of the State."

Yesterday the Los Angeles Tribune said : "In behalf of that amendment The Tribune appeals not to the chivalry, but to the sense of justice of the men of the State. It matters not how many or how few of the women of California evidence their desire for political equality. The issue is not one of numbers, but of right and wrong. The demand for the ballot is addressed to conscience and intelligence. The right to vote on the same terms as men is sought as a matter of equal justice, not as a matter of favor ..... The Tribune, from the standpoint of public policy, would regard the defeat of the amendment as a misfortune to the State and a gross injustice to its patriotic, capable and highly intelligent women. The women should have an equal voice in making the laws to which they are required to render an equal obedience. They ask equality and to refuse equality is to deny justice."

Today The Tribune said : "The boy or girl of today studies civics in school. The wife or mother of 1911 knows more of what is going on in the home city and the world at large than did the father or husband of 1811. In that year there were about 100 post offices in the United States; today there are 52,000. In 1811 there were 103 newspapers 'whose issues were enough to supply one copy a week to one out of every 50 persons, or one copy a day to one out of every 350 persons.' Now there are 23,000 newspapers, whose issues are enough to supply every family with four copies a day. So it is absurd to say the women of 1911 don't know enough to vote intelligently on public matters that have to do with the development and protection of themselves or their children."

The "antis" have few local editors on their side other than the one at the Los Angeles Daily Times, who is as strongly opposed to "Votes for Women" as his counterpart at the New York Times. But though they rarely get their views expressed free of charge editorially, anti-suffragists seem to have plenty of money to buy space for their propaganda in newspapers. Here's a sample from today's Los Angeles Daily Times :

SOME REASONS WHY WE OPPOSE VOTES FOR WOMEN

By the Women of the Anti-Suffrage Association :

Because man is man, and woman is woman. Nature has made their functions different, and no constitutional amendment can make them the same.

Because the basis of government is force - its stability rests upon its physical power to enforce its laws; therefore it is inexpedient to give the vote to women. Immunity from service in executing the law would make most women irresponsible voters.

Because the suffrage is not a question of right or of justice, but of policy and expediency; and if there is no question of right or of justice there is no case for woman suffrage.

BECAUSE IT IS THE DEMAND OF A MINORITY OF WOMEN, AND THE MAJORITY OF WOMEN PROTEST AGAINST IT.

Because it means simply doubling the vote, and especially the undesirable and corrupt vote of our large cities.

Because the great advance of women in the last century - moral, intellectual and economic - has been made without the vote; which goes to prove that it is not needed for their further advancement along the same lines.

Because women now stand outside of politics, and therefore are free to appeal to any party in matters of education, charity and reform.

Because the ballot has not proved a cure-all for existing evils with men, and we find no reason to assume that it would be more effectual with women.

Because the woman suffrage movement is a backward step in the progress of civilization, in that it seeks to efface natural differentiation of function, and to produce identity, instead of division of labor.

Because in Colorado after a test of seventeen years the results show no gain in public and political morals over male suffrage States, and the necessary increase in the cost of elections which is already a huge burden upon the taxpayer, is unjustified.

Because our present duties fill up the whole measure of our time and ability, and are such as none but ourselves can perform. Our appreciation of their importance requires us to protest against all efforts to infringe upon our rights by imposing upon us those obligations which cannot be separated from suffrage, but which, as we think, cannot be performed by us without the sacrifice of the highest interests of our families and of society.

Because it is our fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who represent us at the ballot-box. Our fathers and our brothers love us; our husbands are our choice, and one with us; our sons are what WE MAKE THEM. We are content that they represent US in the cornfield, on the battlefield, and at the ballot-box, and we THEM in the school-room, at the fireside, and at the cradle, believing our representation even at the ballot-box to be thus more full and impartial than it would be were the views of the few who wish suffrage adopted, contrary to the judgment of the many.

We do, therefore, respectfully protest against the proposed amendment to establish 'woman suffrage' in our State. We believe that political equality will deprive us of special privileges hitherto accorded to us by law."

Though the referendum probably won't pass by the 3-1 margin predicted by the residents of the Veterans' Home, it should certainly pass by a comfortable margin if these are the best arguments that its opponents can come up with.

 

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October 5, 1911 : Five days to go until the vote, and from one end of California to the other, the campaign for woman suffrage rolls on. Tonight it was San Francisco's turn to set the record for the largest suffrage rally the State has ever seen, with their 7,000 easily topping the 5,000 who turned out in Los Angeles on September 30th.

The meeting was presided over by George Knight, a member of the Republican National Committee, and included a number of well-known speakers. Helen Todd told of the abuses of child labor and how women winning the vote could help end them, with Gail McLaughlin and Catherine Waugh McCullough doing their usual outstanding job on the podium as well. The San Francisco campaign has been especially intense over the past 10 days, with an uncountable number of street meetings by day and night, and for those who can't come to the meetings, "house calls" by suffrage workers.

While that rally was going on in San Francisco, Nanno Woods was speaking at the Universalist Church in Pasadena. She said :

"Home work does not interfere with brain work. Let me tell a motto I have evolved for myself : ‘Sweep and ponder, scrub and think.’ I sweep, I scrub, but I ponder, I think. And my thinking results in opinions. Has a citizen in this glorious land of liberty a right to voice his opinion ? Surely - if he happens to have been born a man. Is a woman a citizen ? In the eyes of the law she is. Yes, a citizen, but a cipher, too. She may have opinions but she may not effectively voice them. An unthinking mother said to me the other day, 'We do not want the burden of the ballot ; we women can get all we want from the men if we only work hard enough.' Which is the greater burden, that of recording one's own vote, or that of working hard to influence the vote of others ?

"And if I were a widow, is it just or right that my children and myself should be unrepresented ? Must my fate and the fate of my little ones depend upon strangers, the Toms, Dicks, and Harrys of the country ? May the saloonkeeper vote, and I remain helpless ? May the dollar-making merchant vote, and the unprotected children remain voiceless ? There are seven millions of working women in the United States who ought to be able to say under what conditions they will live their lives, but I am not talking of them now. I am talking of women like myself, of the home-makers, the home-keepers, the wives, the mothers, the womanly women, whose place is at home. And who, according to the anti-suffragists, should not vote.

“In the name of wives whose husbands are unworthy ; in the name of wives whose husbands, thank God, are most worthy ; in the name of mothers of little children, I demand the right of giving effective and legal utterance to our personal, political opinions, and of saying under what conditions we and our children shall live."

Other major rallies in the Los Angeles area today included one at 53rd and San Pedro Streets, another at the Ice and Cold Storage Yards, and two meetings in Whittier, the main one at the corner of Philadelphia and Greenleaf.

The Central Campaign Committee, organized in the North this summer, coordinates activities of the California Equal Suffrage Association, the Woman Suffrage Party, the Wage Earners' League, the Clubwoman's Franchise League and the College Equal Suffrage League. In the South, the Political Equality League of Los Angeles, founded by John Hyde Braly, and Clara Shortridge Foltz' "Votes for Women Club" drum up support in their half of the State.

The battle rages on in the newspapers. Today, the Los Angeles Tribune gave its third pro-suffrage editorial in three days and attacked a favorite anti-suffrage argument :

"Opponents of equal suffrage rights for men and women fail to consider where their favorite argument of expediency would lead them, were it applied to all the relations of life. The logical pursuit of their line of reasoning would inevitably place them in the unpleasant predicament of the tree-trimmer who seated himself on a high limb and sawed it in two between himself and the trunk.

“If the demand for equal rights for women is to be decided upon the ground of expediency, without regard to justice and right, the simplest form of logical reasoning would suggest the immediate curtailment of numerous rights and privileges now enjoyed by men. One illustration will suffice to open up a view of a most interesting situation, which is susceptible to unlimited expansion.

“A brief reference to news dispatches will establish the fact that men are responsible for practically all the frightful number of deaths and mutilations resulting from motor car accidents. Women drivers, although very numerous, are so much more careful that cases of injury to pedestrians from cars controlled by them are extremely rare - much rarer, in fact, than are instances of men who misuse their voting privileges in the support of vicious political measures.

“Following the line of reasoning taken by the opponents of equal rights for men and women it therefore would be expedient and essential to the public welfare that the right to drive motor cars be accorded to women exclusively.

“No sane person will contend that such an exclusive right should be accorded to women, but if the doctrine of expediency is to govern in all instances as it is sought to have it control in one, there would be no logical escape from the contention."

Today's Los Angeles Express added one more good reason to favor suffrage to those it gave three days ago :

"The fact that every influence in the State which is seeking an unfair advantage, every saloon, every political corruptionist, and every representative of the old machine that has been torn from power and would seek to reinstate itself, is opposed to giving the ballot to women, is the very highest evidence that woman is qualified to make good use of it."

But opponents are still quite active as well. As speakers from the Southern California Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage were giving rousing, patriotic speeches at the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers this afternoon, the Los Angeles Daily Times continued its own diatribe against "Votes for Women," and today made this observation :

“Politics is always strenuous and always selfish. Unlike divinity, or medicine, or law, there is no kindly or humane element in it. More than any
commercial business or mechanical trade does it discard altruism from its make-up. Its lacteal glands contain no globule of the milk of human kindness. Its arteries throb with no warm and generous blood. The lawyer may espouse the cause of the unfortunate with no hope of a fee. The doctor may attend upon the sickbed with no expectation of compensation. The banker may make a small loan on inadequate security. The merchant may extend credit for food to a hungry man. The mechanic may share his job with a brother who is out of work. But the politician will give nothing that he is not obliged to yield. He is as noisy, as merciless and as persistent as a blood sucking mosquito.

"Inconsiderate men, and equally inconsiderate women, are trying to coax and drive the mothers and wives and daughters of California into the mud bath of politics. If they succeed in placing woman suffrage in the Constitution they will 'raise no mortal to the skies,' although they may 'drag some angels down ...'

"Voting is more of a privilege than a right, and more of a duty than either. It is not an easy duty. Why should it be imposed upon women who do not need it for their protection? Is there any law for the protection of the property and personal rights of women, which the suffragettes can suggest, that is not now to be found among the California statutes ?

"It is claimed that the objections to woman suffrage are sentimental objections. Even so, sentimentality often ameliorates the acerbities of life and smooths the rough places on the highway.

"The blessed part of civilized existence is not in the mart, the workshop, the club or the caucus. It is in the home. So-called social reforms which in any way may unpleasantly affect the home are social mistakes ......

"Again and yet again The Times repeats the beautiful lines of Longfellow :

'The world of the affections is her world, Not
that of man's ambition.

In that stillness that most becomes a woman,

Calm and holy, she sitteth by the fireside of
the heart

Feeding its flame.' "

With all due respect to The Daily Times, poetry in general, and Longfellow in particular, suffragists tend to prefer new, well-crafted statutes expanding women's opportunities to well-crafted flatteries praising only a single option in life for all women, and presumably will continue battling on to the very end to make California the sixth Suffrage State on Tuesday.

 

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October 6, 1911 : Will the number of women voters in the U.S. be doubled four days from now ? That delightful prospect is looking more likely each day as the October 10th vote on woman suffrage in California approaches, and signs of enthusiasm for the cause become even more apparent. The unprecedented size of suffrage rallies is certainly cause for optimism. The largest of today's mass meetings was in San Francisco's Valencia Theater (although it was outside as well, with many speakers giving a second address to those who could not be admitted after every seat was filled.)

The rally's first speaker was Elizabeth Selden Rogers, who came here from New York to help with the campaign. She enthusiastically and convincingly refuted arguments made in an anti-suffrage circular by State Senator John Bunyan Sanford. In his pamphlet, entitled “Against Woman Suffrage,” Sanford says :

“Man can attend to all the affairs of a governmental nature. But in order that our country shall endure we must look to the home side of life. The home is the place for woman. God knows she has enough to do there in bringing up the little ones in the way they should go. If she does that duty well and trains up the modest daughter with gentle influences and makes the young boy regardful of the respect that is due his sister and his playmates' sisters all will be well with this republic of ours."

He then goes on with the usual flatteries about the purity and exalted status of women and the common argument that they should be "protected" from having to wade into the "dirty pool of politics." But Rogers said :

"He tells us that it is the duty of woman to keep the home pure. How can she keep it pure when this dirty pool comes right up to the doorstep ? How can she bring up her sons and daughters to be good citizens, when the evil influences which the pool permits to exist are right there and beyond her control ? Senator Sanford says that we can trust the men to protect us and our daughters from harm. Do we set wolves to guard our sheep?

"And how can women keep their homes pure when thousands on thousands of them have, under modern industrial conditions, no homes to keep ? He speaks of the throne upon which woman has reigned in the past. Thrones are falling all over the world before the onset of real democracy. I'd give up my place on the throne for the right to cast a ballot next Tuesday. Senator Sanford tells us that modesty, gentleness and patience are the charms of woman. I say nothing against these great virtues. But there it is - there is where the cloven hoof shows itself in the argument. He thinks that women exist solely for the purpose of charming men, which is very nice and comfortable for the men. And yet further on he tells us that woman is woman and cannot unsex herself. Then what is he worrying about ?"

Jackson Stitt Wilson, Socialist Mayor of Berkeley, sees woman suffrage as inevitable :

"Every conception by which modern democracy wrenched the crowns from the heads of kings and established the rule of the people leads straight to votes for women. The word 'people' in all our documents of liberty must sooner or later mean women as well as men. The logic of Americanism, the logic of the Declaration of Independence, the logic of the whole spirit and program of our democratic institutions is equal suffrage. Sex is not a determined factor in human rights. The ballot is the weapon of defense and the avenue of social expression for human personality, not for male personality. Votes for women is the logic of civilization."

Frances Noel, president of the Wage Earners' League, returned to Los Angeles from Bakersfield earlier today, and told of great support for suffrage in the San Joaquin Valley, 110 miles north of Los Angeles. She attended a State Federation of Labor meeting, and reports only token opposition. A member of the Sailors' Union introduced an anti-suffrage resolution, but when she pressed him, he admitted that it was his idea, and not something he was proposing on behalf of his union. It got only three votes.

She also noted that the opposition of the liquor lobby hadn’t decreased since California’s last battle over women suffrage in 1896 :

"I had a fight with the liquor men, too. They protested against woman suffrage, of course, so I finally said, 'Very well, you liquor men. We women have nothing to do with liquor or prohibition - we are for suffrage and suffrage only. But if you want to sit in the track, waiting to fight the steam engine, all right. Only we invite you, while there is time, to come inside the train or we will surely run over you.' "

The Los Angeles Express delivered another pro-suffrage editorial this morning, simultaneously criticizing anti-suffragists and a rival paper. Entitled "Conscience and the Ballot Box" it said :

" 'Persian men have decided against woman suffrage on the ground that women have no souls and therefore should have no vote. Men of California who oppose woman suffrage do so because women are superior to men in qualities of soul.'

“The foregoing is quoted from a Los Angeles morning paper opposed to equal suffrage. If it means anything at all, other than insincere drivel, it means that men opponents of woman suffrage are absolutely indifferent to qualities of soul in political life. Webster defines 'soul' as 'the principle of mental and spiritual life........the part of man's life characterized by reason, conscience and the higher emotions.'

“What kind of a male citizenship is it that would rob the political life of a State of the qualities of soul most needed. If reason, conscience and the higher emotions are to be ruled from participation at the ballot box, slowly indeed will reforms be carried out. Enemies of good government would, if they could, disenfranchise men also who bring qualities of soul into elections.

“Here is the secret of the opposition to woman suffrage. It is fear of reason and of conscience in the voting booth. We here have it from the mouths of its opponents themselves. Let every friend of honest, decent government in city, State and Nation who may see the lines quoted at the beginning of this article read them over once again and give them the thought an honest, conscientious man is willing to accord a vital proposition, and then say whether the vote of a woman is not needed as a matter of expediency as well as indisputable justice."

Readers of the Express are helping the suffrage effort as well. In a Letter to the Editor, Ira A. Cain says there are many reasons to vote for suffrage :

"Because it is the right thing and the honest thing to do. A square deal demands it. Not to vote for equal suffrage is to wrong the helpless, who are not in a position to defend or help themselves in any way. Woman is asking no concessions when she asks not to be longer debarred from that which is her own. Man is simply lording over that which is not his own. Justice, manhood, dignity, common honesty, unite in demanding for woman that which has been withheld from her. Arguments to the contrary are entirely wanting. To withhold the franchise from American women is to throttle fully one-half of the intelligence of the country. Discrimination against woman by denying her equal political rights is a relic of the dark ages. It had its origin in savagery.

“The restricted ballot is in direct violation of the essence of the Constitution of the United States, which declares, 'All men are born free and equal.' In violation of this basic principle we have proceeded to fetter one-half of the intelligence and a large per cent of the morality and virtue of this republic. It is conceded on all sides that there should be no taxation without representation. Yet we deny women the franchise and at the same time assess heavy taxes upon their property. We deny women a voice in legislation, yet compel her to obey laws made by men.

"In the common schools of the United States 17,000,000 children are enrolled. As teachers in these public schools we have 400,000 women. Their work in educating the young is faithfully and conscientiously done. There is no lack of efficiency and no trusts are betrayed. They are with the millions of mothers molding the characters of our voters of tomorrow and through them shaping the destiny of the future nation. Yet out of these millions of faithful mothers and teachers not one in our State is allowed to vote. It is time that men should right the wrong men have done in denying women an equal voice in government. It can only be done by voting for the suffrage amendment."

Today marked the California suffrage campaign’s first "military victory." Suffrage speakers had not been permitted to address the residents of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and Sailors, in Sawtelle, west of Los Angeles, by order of its governor. Yesterday an anti-suffrage speaker gave a speech, and seemed to win over a number of the residents who had been previously reported as quite supportive of suffrage. But today the governor finally relented - probably due to criticism in the press - and allowed Dr. Robert J. Burdette, one of the best suffrage speakers in the State, to talk to the troops.

There was an overflow audience of 1,500 – nearly twice as many as listened to yesterday’s anti-suffrage speaker - when Burdette made his eloquent appeal to them. By the end of his speech they were won back to the cause. His best argument was the injustice of the fact that if Betsy Ross were still around, even she who made the first American flag would not be allowed to vote :

"And now some people say the woman who made it shall not vote under it. And we say, if there is any manhood, if there is any chivalry, if there is any grace of fairness, if there is any love or reverence for woman in the hearts of the men of California, we say - by every star that shines in glory on its azure field, we say she shall !"

Betsy Ross never got to vote, but if the result on Tuesday is favorable, California women will gain equal voting rights, and will outnumber all the women who have won the vote in the five Suffrage States of Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Washington combined. So, this isn't just about winning a sixth State for suffrage, but gaining a massive boost for the suffrage movement. After a 14 year drought in which not a single State was won, the victory in Washington State last year, plus California this year, could make the cause seem unstoppable, and nationwide suffrage inevitable.

 

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October 7, 1911 : With just three days to go until the big vote on woman suffrage in California, the Valencia Theater in San Francisco was filled to capacity tonight by those who wanted to hear the debate that everyone has been waiting for. It was a spirited contest between Dr. Charles F. Aked, representing the pro-suffrage side, and Colonel John P. Irish, his equally determined opponent, and the exchange left no argument on either side unspoken.

The battle opened with Irish attacking the assumption that adding women to the electorate would naturally tend to make politics better. He quoted from long-time suffrage advocate Judge Ben Lindsey's book, "The Beast," (a phrase which Lindsey uses to denote "corrupt influences" in Colorado, where women won the vote 18 years ago.) Reading from Lindsey's book, Irish said : "The women are as free from the beast as the men, and no freer. They are bound by the same bonds of bread and butter."

Aked then supplied the rest of the quote : "Do not misunderstand me - woman suffrage is right; it is expedient. In all moral issues (in Colorado) they have been loyal. The good they do is a great gain. When the women see the Beast they will be the first to attack it. The women saved us - they saved the Juvenile Court." This was the first - and biggest - ovation Aked got during the evening, though by no means the last, from the mostly pro-suffrage, and quite boisterous crowd.

This is far from the first time anti-suffragists have tried to misuse Judge Lindsey’s words. In fact, it’s become so common that earlier in the week he sent a telegram to Mr. B. J. McCormick in which he said :

“My Dear Sir : Unjointed sentences or statements from the contents of many addresses I have made in favor of woman's suffrage have been used in the manner your telegram indicates. Of course it is a very disreputable kind of business and reflects no credit on those who resort to such unfair tactics.

“Do the people of California insist that the women shall be ministering angels so absolutely ethereal and perfect that they are incapable of any of the wickedness of human nature ? Do they demand as a condition precedent to giving them the right to vote - the same right that has been given the men - that they shall furnish conditions that were never required of men - perfection ? If they do it is the height of impudence as well as the height of absurdity.

“Of course, some women, like some men, are just about as crooked as they can be in politics, and of course, some of them will be just as the men have been, but our experience is that where there is one woman who stands for injustice, iniquity and fraud there are a good many men who do the same thing. If that is one point against woman's suffrage, it is ninety times more a point against male suffrage, and the only logic of such rot in a suffrage campaign is to take the suffrage away from the men and give it all to the women.

"Why do the suffragists of California permit the antis to lead them on wild goose chases by such side issues ? Suppose a woman would stand for political iniquity, as some of them certainly will, what has that got to do with the question ? No such arguments were used in the struggle for the extension of male suffrage. It would never have been extended, and no man outside the privileged and property owning classes would have a right to vote in California today. If there is anything that ought to make any honest, fair minded man vote for suffrage, it is just such illogical arguments and unfair tactics. Very respectfully, Ben B. Lindsey.”

Having lost the first round, Irish tried another tack : "Manhood suffrage is logical. The hand that votes must be the hand that enforces the statutes created by the ballot. To divorce these two functions is to attack the very foundations of government." But the ballot has never been restricted to men in law enforcement, and Aked noted that it was taxpaying that has been man's principal claim to the right to vote. ("Taxation without representation is tyranny" dates back to pre-Revolutionary times.) Since women pay precisely the same taxes at exactly the same rates as men, they have just as valid a claim on the right to elect those who tax them. Aked even turned Irish's own argument against him : "The vote of the weak is man's answer to the aggressions of the strong. The weaker physically woman is, the more she needs the weapon of the ballot."

An overt appeal to male supremacy launched the next volley, as Irish objected to women attacking "good laws" such as those which make the man the head of the family and give him sole control of all community property : "These laws were conceived in wisdom. Man is the head of the family because he is responsible for its support and can be sent to the rock pile if he fails to support his wife and children. Would Dr. Aked like to see women made equally responsible - and also sent to the rock pile ?"

The debate got more personal and intense as the evening went on, with cheers, hisses and boos from the crowd punctuating more and more of the speakers' comments. The final portion of the debate was marked by demonstrations in the audience that made the debaters increasingly unable to be heard. But what the end lacked in decorum it made up for in enthusiasm. Judging by tonight's audience reactions, there will be a high turnout of voters on Tuesday, with most of them having far more intense feelings about this Constitutional Amendment than any of the other 22 that the Legislature has placed before the (male) electorate.

As to whether this vote will turn out better than the unsuccessful suffrage fight held here in 1896, the Los Angeles Tribune has no doubts, and quotes a revered source for its prediction of victory :

"It is recalled that when, fifteen years ago, Susan B. Anthony led the fight in California for equal suffrage she met with little opposition. But a few weeks before election representatives of the State Liquor Dealers' Association met quietly in San Francisco and passed the word along : "Vote No." In those days what the railroad and saloon said "went." They had the organization ; the people had not yet learned what it meant to run their own affairs.

"Does any one doubt that the interests whose welfare may not be advanced by equal suffrage have already had their meeting and passed along the same orders in the campaign of 1911 ?

"But there are fewer people now who take such orders. An army that once followed the dictates of the machine either from fear of punishment by its orders, or in order to stand in with the powers, or to be on the winning side, is broken up and scattered. Its skeleton remains, however - make no mistake about that. It is ready to take quick advantage of popular lethargy, to which it looks for a chance to rehabilitate itself, but it is powerless so long as the right-thinking people of California stay on the civic job.

"One great obstacle of equal suffrage, therefore, is removed this year, and only the failure of the best manhood of California to meet its full responsibility next Tuesday can again postpone the fulfillment of Miss Anthony's prophesy after her defeat : "Be of good cheer ; California will have suffrage."

The polls open in less than 72 hours, and suffragists will make the most of every minute until then to make sure the late suffrage leader's prediction is proven true.

 

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October 8, 1911 : Though confident of victory day after tomorrow, some California suffragists are making backup plans in case of defeat. Twenty-two other amendments are up for a vote, and one would establish Initiative, Referendum and Recall, permitting citizens to gather signatures and place proposed legislation on the ballot themselves instead of having to convince the State Legislature to do it. These could be new tools for suffragists to use if they pass. C. R. Burger, secretary of the Citizens' Suffrage League of Pasadena said today :

"Should the referendum carry in the election Tuesday and the amendment enfranchising women fail of passage, the referendum may be invoked in an effort to prevent the taxation of property belonging to women, on the ground that as they are not represented in government, they cannot be taxed. The men who are opposed to women's suffrage certainly could not object to paying a little additional tax to keep the privilege of the ballot exclusively for themselves."

Pasadena suffragists have certainly been doing their part in the suffrage battle, and the Citizens Suffrage League is confident that the city’s male voters will give the suffrage amendment a sizable majority. But no one is letting up, and there will be a final mass meeting tomorrow night at the church on the corner of Walnut and Marengo with Dr. Robert J. Burdette as the principal speaker.

As the time until the election grows short, suffragists are getting bolder, and going directly into opposition territory. Today the Political Equality League ran a paid advertisement in the notoriously anti-suffrage Los Angeles Daily Times so their readers could hear the other side :


"AN APPEAL TO VOTERS

"MEN OF CALIFORNIA

"On October the tenth, you will have the opportunity of granting to women the privilege of expressing through the ballot their wishes and needs as to the conditions under which they shall live.

"If you love justice, you will grant this - for it is just.

"If you trust women you will grant this - they are worthy of your confidence.

"If you want to put your power into the hands of the People, you will grant this - without it Democracy is impossible.

"Through the vote of their organizations, 100,000 women have said they want it.

"Unnumbered thousands more desire it, but are silent through lack of opportunity to speak.

"In the name of these, we beg of you, men of our State, men of our Town, give us Justice, that we may work together for the welfare of the child and the advance of Civilization.

"Mrs. Seward A. Simons, Mrs. D.C. McCann, Mrs. John R. Haynes, Mrs. Berthold Baruch, Mrs. Shelley Tolhurst, Mrs. Charles Farwell Edson, Miss Annie Bock, Mrs. Louise B. Carr."

Though it seems somewhat superfluous for anti-suffragists to advertise in the Times, since their editorial page has already put forth every imaginable anti-suffrage argument, the always-overflowing war chest of the opposition apparently needed to be drained slightly today, so they took out a full-page advertisement in their favorite paper. The first sentence sums it up : "We, the women of the Southern California Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, urge you not to thrust the womanhood of this State into the political maelstrom, at the request of the small minority of women who are asking for the ballot."

It goes on to cherry-pick the most controversial statements of suffrage leaders, hark back to a referendum held 3,000 miles away 16 years ago, take quotes from Judge Ben Lindsey's pro-suffrage book out of context, accuse suffragists of being anti-religious and unpatriotic, and even criticizes the five-star suffrage flag as a "mockery" of the Stars and Stripes. They conclude by saying : "The great majority of California women do not follow the suffrage flag, they do not want to vote ; they depend upon the manhood of California to protect them from the responsibility of the ballot. They rely on manhood suffrage and a safe and sane government."

Fortunately, opposition arguments tend to wither in the face of actual experience. A Letter to the Editor appeared in the Los Angeles Tribune today illustrating this point well. It was written by a local woman who has lived in Colorado, where women won suffrage in 1893. After attending an anti-suffrage meeting, she found their arguments so bizarre that she became an ardent suffragist - who now finds herself disenfranchised because she moved to California :

"I have voted eleven years - twice for President. No man ever tried to influence my vote, not even my husband. I have never received anything but courteous treatment from men gathered at the polling place. I have not been contaminated in my contact with common man at the poll. My children, husband and friends have lost none of their respect for me, although I have registered my political wishes on the ballot.

“Conceding to the 'antis' that I have done such a disgraceful thing as to vote, I want to make another confession to them. I have also attended church where there were men present, went shopping where I met men on the street, and have stood in line at the tax window with men. I have visited the schools where there were men, and have been to the courthouse, where one sees men - and I do not feel that I have been contaminated.

“Those against suffrage put forth the argument that a woman hasn't time to go to the poll. They talk as though every day was election day. Women will wash their breakfast dishes, comb the children's hair and wash their faces, make jam and study for higher education just the same with the ballot as the majority do without it.

“The majority of women who want the ballot do not want it because it will give them a chance to hold office, any more than the majority of men are office seekers. They want it to assume their part in making the laws of this country what they should be to protect the home, the school and the individual from unscrupulous legislation.

“It seems very queer that the anti-suffragists should have converted me against themselves, but it is true, and I have always been thankful that I attended that 'anti' meeting. It enabled me to see the contrast between a fight for a purpose and a fight [against] it - and I hope that the fight for the purpose will win as well in California as it did in Colorado.”

Day after tomorrow we will find out whether Mrs. L. W. Worth will get her right to vote back, and if other California women will be able to join her at the polls in the election following this one.

 

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October 9, 1911 : California suffragists and anti-suffragists normally sound radically different from each other, but today both sides are making identical and equally confident predictions of victory in tomorrow’s election. In North and South, from the smallest towns to the biggest cities, everyone on both sides is looking forward to not just the end of this exhausting battle, but celebrating victory tomorrow evening.

Helen Todd, a factory inspector in Illinois who has been out here working for suffrage, exemplifies the frantic pace suffragists have been setting, and the enthusiasm for the cause they have been encountering. She said that in Bakersfield :

"Our meeting was enormous, and we adjourned at 9 o'clock to the auditorium, where Francis J. Heney was speaking. 'Will you give us a truly representative government,' he was saying, and I, carried away by the enthusiasm of our meeting, cried out, 'Votes for women will !' The audience almost brought down the house and Mr. Heney then and there, much to our delight, made a splendid plea for suffrage. What a wonderful speaker and man !"

In San Francisco, Todd recently met with officers of the College Equal Suffrage League and was asked how the campaign was going in Southern California : "I gave this section of the State a reputation that must not fade, and every word I said was true. The headquarters of the league fairly hums and rages with life - such loads of pretty, charming, eager women.

"On the evening of my arrival I spoke to 1,200 people in a theater and afterward was rushed off in an automobile to a street meeting. Before I had finished my breakfast in the morning an automobile dashed up and I was rushed off to Berkeley to speak to a meeting of factory people at noon. From there I rushed back and flung a dress into my suitcase and was whisked off to catch a 3 o'clock train for Sacramento, where I arrived at 7 p.m. and was met by an enthusiastic committee and conducted to the Opera House as the principal speaker. I spoke for an hour here to a big audience, which was both responsive and enthusiastic."

In San Francisco, she spoke at two meetings in the same night, the first with an audience of 7,000 and the second 4,000 : "The whole thing was most moving, the spirit, the response the earnestness," she said.

Of course, you hear similar confidence from the opposition. According to B.N. Coffman, Secretary of the Men's League Opposed to Suffrage : "We will carry the South by a majority of more than 10,000 votes, and I am confident that the State as a whole will increase that majority from 30,000 to 40,000."

Harry E. Deane, field manager for the Men's Anti-Suffrage League said :

"We had twenty of our men in the [ Los Angeles ] business district today to be sure that there has been no sudden reversal of sentiment. They came back certain that we would carry this city. We have the signatures of more than 10,000 voters in Los Angeles County, but even with these pledges we have always been conservative and have estimated that the fight was not far from an even break. Today's campaign, however, has made us realize that we have been too conservative. We now feel sure that a great many men have made the women promises without any intention of voting for them but simply because it was the line of least resistance. The easiest way out was to promise, and oftentimes they considered it more of a joke than anything else."

The anti-suffragists have been quite busy distributing their propaganda. In just the past six weeks those in the South have put out more than a half million pieces of literature, and every name on the Great Register of Voters for Los Angeles, San Diego and Ventura Counties has received something in the mail. They have issued 150 separate campaign bulletins in just the past 30 days. In Los Angeles, a small army of young women wearing American flag pins is downtown today giving out anti-suffrage literature to every man they meet.

But the pro-suffrage side has not let up in the least, and is actively fighting the battle on all fronts. As one example, a double-barreled advance took place in the Los Angeles Express today beginning with an advertisement by the Political Equality League to the men of California :

"Tomorrow there will be fought a battle for justice and liberty as significant as any of those great conflicts which have marked the history of human progress. If you love justice and trust woman, you will give to them that priceless guarantee of all rights - the ballot.

"If you listen to the enemies of democracy, who seek the control of the many by the privileged few, and to that combination of big business with protected vice which we call the machine, you will vote against suffrage. Through the vote of their organizations 100,000 women of California have said they want it. Thousands more desire it who are silent for lack of opportunity to speak. We appeal to you as fair-minded, generous, honorable gentlemen. Give us justice, and the women of California will repay you by a passionate devotion to the welfare of the child and of the State."

It was signed, "MRS. SEWARD A. SIMONS, MRS. DAVID C. McCAN, MRS. JOHN R. HAYNES, MRS. BERTHOLD BARUCH, MRS. SHELLEY TOLHURST, MRS. CHARLES FARWELL EDSON, MISS ANNIE BOCK, MISS LOUISE B. CARR."

This was followed up with an editorial in the same paper : "A minister is quoted in a morning paper opposed to equal suffrage, as having said that 'American men never have, at the ballot box or in the halls of legislation, ceased to be dominated or controlled by their love of the home.'

"If this be true, then from every pulpit in this broad land wherein there has stood a man with courage enough to face the political, social and industrial evils of the time, there has gone out an enormous amount of baseless complaint. The saloon abuses, the police protected gambling hall, the red light districts of our great cities, the cruel condition under which women, girls, and even children under 10 years of age are forced to work in the cities, after the attention of men in high authority has been called to these conditions, contradict this misstatement flatly, and the real facts are accessible to all. Women's vote is needed for the reason of the more intimate connection of intelligent women with the needs and living conditions of by far the greater part of our population."

A long night's work lies ahead, followed by early morning deployment of suffrage workers to as near the polling places as it is legal to approach to give out one final appeal to voters. Automobiles must also be tuned to top condition to give rides to the polls to voters who need them, and the last posters, banners and yard signs must be delivered this evening to those willing to display them so they can be seen by voters on their way to the polls.

It has taken 15 years to give California's male voters a second chance to enfranchise the women of the State, and California is a very different place today than it was in 1896. If suffrage is approved here tomorrow, and the number of women voters in the U.S. doubles overnight, the movement will get a major boost, other big States should follow suit, and the country will be a much different - and better - place just a few years from now than it is today. So on to tomorrow, and victory !

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO VOTERS : Proposed Constitutional Amendment #8 (woman suffrage) will appear in fourth place on the ballot, so look for it there, not in eighth place. A favorable vote on Constitutional Amendment #22, establishing Initiative, Referendum and Recall, is also advised. In case the woman suffrage amendment is rejected, it will need to be proposed again, this time by the people, without having to wait for the Legislature to act. Amendment #22 will appear in seventh place on the ballot.

 

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October 10, 1911, 4:00 A.M. : After fifteen years of trying to get a woman suffrage amendment on the California ballot again, then months of hard campaigning up and down the State when the Legislature finally put it there, the big day is finally here ! All local suffragists are present and accounted for at Los Angeles suffrage headquarters well before dawn, ready to make good on their pledges to work all through Election Day. The current campaign for woman suffrage in California ends when the polls close at 6 P.M. in what is hoped will be the State's final "men-only" election.

Suffrage workers are now adjusting their sashes and buttons, and picking up literature to give out to voters as they stand as near the polling places as is legally permitted. Others have voter registration lists to assure that only legal votes are cast. "Votes for Women" pennants are now being attached to automobiles that will carry voters to the polls to assure a maximum turnout.

The final mass meeting was held last night in Blanchard Hall, although it really only started there, as the overflow crowd soon spilled out into the streets, and finally reached City Hall, where the cheering suffragists were made welcome by Mayor George Alexander himself. The speech-making and applause went on for three hours at both locations and was just what weary suffrage workers needed as reassurance that their hard work was appreciated, and their optimism was justified.

6:00 A.M. : The polls just opened, and all members of the Political Equality League's Executive Board are now present at headquarters, and will stay for the next 12 hours to deal with whatever situations come up between now and the closing of the polls. Their legal advisers and most experienced campaign workers are also here, ready to go to any polling place at a moment's notice. The "Votes for Women Club" will also contribute 100 workers to the 1,000 others doing similar duty. No anti-suffrage supporters will be promoting their cause near the polls today, they have announced.

9:00 A.M. : A brief drive around Los Angeles shows an almost continuous display of "suffrage yellow" along many streets. One block of Eighth Street had yellow on every house and telegraph pole, so those who have spent the past few weeks delivering banners, posters and yard signs clearly did their work, and the homeowners have had no last-minute change of heart.

NOON : Unofficial polls of those exiting the voting booths taken by reporters for the "Los Angeles Record" show overwhelming support for suffrage, with Amendment #8 getting approved right along with Initiative, Referendum and Recall, so this is shaping up as quite a year for political reform. Estimates of the size of the suffrage victory continue to climb. Some suffrage leaders are now predicting that the measure will carry Los Angeles County by 10,000 and the State by 20,000.

J.J. Petermichel, Secretary of the Men's Suffrage League has returned from San Francisco, and just said even that notoriously anti-suffrage city will deliver "a safe majority" for suffrage this time. Straw polls taken here yesterday were also quite favorable. One was at the F. O. Engstrum Company, and at all the buildings they have under construction, which showed 576 for and 193 against. Though none of its members can vote today, a poll was also taken at the Woman's City Club, resulting in 407 for and 20 against. Other admittedly unscientific surveys have given favorable results of up to six to one.

6:00 P.M. : The polls have closed, and the verdict is in, so now there's nothing left to do but wait until enough ballots have been counted to know what the voters decided. But at least we live in a modern era, so results can be phoned in from around the State or delivered by telegram, and immediately posted on chalk boards here at headquarters. A large stereopticon, projecting the latest bulletins on a screen will be used tonight by the San Francisco Chronicle to give the latest developments to large crowds gathered outside its office.

8:00 P.M. : The "landslide" predictions and high confidence of earlier today are not holding up well in the face of the first reports from the North. Alameda County has been lost, and though San Francisco was always expected to vote "no," despite a brief surge of optimism earlier today, the votes counted so far are much more heavily negative than even the most pessimistic predictions. Apparently the political bosses and saloon owners did their work well. But the early returns show suffrage carrying by a five-to-four margin in Los Angeles County, though San Diego County may erase that, leaving only the small towns, farms and ranches to offset San Francisco's votes. Fortunately, all three received a great deal of attention from suffragists during the campaign.

10:00 P.M. : The atmosphere has become increasingly gloomy as even worse numbers from the North come in, and many people - exhausted from months of work and a final frenzy of activity today - have gone home, realizing that even at best, the result will not be known for certain until morning. But some remain, and leave no doubt that whatever the outciome of this election, women in California will eventually vote. Frances Noel, president of the Wage Earners' Suffrage League said :

"If we lose, then what ? Well, we'll first take a real good rest, as any soldier would after a battle royal. After that we start anew, wiser for the defeat we suffered and happier for the better understanding that has developed among womanhood in consequence of our campaign. Defeat, to us, means greater victory for womanhood in the end." Mrs. Simons echoed her sentiments as she departed : "We need our strength for the new work, whatever it turns out to be."

11:00 P.M. : Not a good sign. Harry Dean, field manager for the "antis" just made a victory statement :

"Indications point to the defeat of the suffrage amendment in the State by 10,000 or over .... I think the great bulk of women are happy tonight. The suffrage workers should feel happy for they have waged a great political battle ; but the "anti" women have waged a better one. They waged the kind of a battle that men admire, for, after all, it is the sweet women that we all want - leave the political pool for the men to wade in. I congratulate the women of both sides, for they have both won."

Others there, such as Mrs. Caswell said : "We have worked hard to prove that it is not best for women or the State that women should have the ballot. We tried hard to show the people that a majority of women do not want it and we are satisfied with the judgment of a majority of the voters. We sent no girls or women to the polls, as that is against our principles, and we were surprised to see how few women the suffragists were able to place on the firing line. This only goes to prove our contention that a majority of women are not interested in politics."

But there are still a lot of votes to be counted, and though the outlook is far from optimistic based on what's come in so far, suffragists are not nearly as ready to give up as certain newspapers have been this evening. Even if this does turn out to be a loss, the end of the 1911 suffrage campaign will simply be the beginning of the battle for victory in 1912. The Initiative, Referendum and Recall measure appears to be passing by a large majority, so it won't be necessary to wait 15 more years to get the Legislature to put suffrage before the voters again if the people can do it themselves at any time.

According to Lillian Harris Coffin : "I shall not believe we are defeated until I see the final figures. If we are, we will start right in tomorrow with greater determination than ever, and we will have another election as soon as possible, perhaps next November. Even though the votes do not seem to be coming in as favorably as might be, still none of us are by any manner of means cast down. Quite the reverse. We are delighted with what we have accomplished and we have learned a great deal during the campaign. Everybody connected with our cause made a good fight, and we have only praise to bestow on all our plucky workers."

Mrs. H. F. Henshaw agrees : "I don't consider we are beaten because the vote does not seem to tally our way. It is really only the result of our first effort. We are not going to start over again, because we have never stopped. We are just always moving toward victory. I, for one, am delighted with the fine campaign we have made. It was a splendid piece of work, and if it has not brought victory today it is the brilliant beginning of another campaign which will surely bring victory at the next election, and that election will not be so far away."

The offices of all suffrage groups will open at the usual time tomorrow morning, and the latest returns will be evaluated carefully. Whether that analysis results in conceding defeat this year then planning the 1912 campaign, giving out a victory statement, or waiting yet another day for those last rural returns, will depend on the returns that come in overnight. But the battle for woman suffrage will go on under any circumstances, and for as long as it takes.

 

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October 11, 1911 : Suffragists in California, as elsewhere, have always mixed optimism with determination and practicality. So, while there are still glimmers of hope being expressed that what even pro-suffrage newspapers are calling yesterday's "defeat" of the woman suffrage amendment may be turned around by as yet unreported rural votes, more attention is being given to plans for a 1912 campaign than to gloom over this year's effort. Within hours of the "Initiative, Referendum and Recall" measure rolling up an insurmountable lead and being declared to have won, suffragists were on the streets of San Francisco gathering signatures to put "Votes for Women" on the ballot again next year.

According to Gail Laughlin, who came here from Colorado to help the campaign :

"The women of San Francisco have started a petition today, under the initiative and referendum, and will make our new fight in 1912. In this new battle the women will do what they did not have time to do before - thoroughly organize the precincts of San Francisco, for it was San Francisco that lost us the fight. We can never win this battle for the women of California as long as we allow San Francisco to steal our votes .... If there is anything that shows the need of women suffrage it is the way in which the election was conducted in San Francisco. In various sections of the city the election officers were intoxicated and unfit for duty. Disfigured ballots were permitted to pass and some of the workers reported that ballots for the cause had been thrown out. I think the defeat of the amendment in this city may be attributed to 'bought votes' and corruption and throughout the State the sense of injustice of California men. Still the fight is not yet lost, and although we are disappointed we will continue to strive for the cause of equal rights for all."

Mrs. E. F. Henshaw is also ready for another effort :

“I don't consider we are beaten because the vote does not seem to tally our way. It is really only the result of our first effort. We are not going to start over again, because we have never stopped. We are just always moving toward victory. I, for one, am delighted with the fine campaign we have made. It was a splendid piece of work, and if it has not brought victory today it is the brilliant beginning of another campaign, which will surely bring victory at the next election, and that election will not be so far away.”

Despite the shock of last night, when the first results began to come in from the North and grim reality quickly displaced lofty predictions of victory, suffragists at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Political Equality League today were not at all ready to give up on making California the sixth suffrage State, or even on the recent campaign. According to Mrs. A.S. Lobinger :

"The victory for direct legislation is a virtual victory for suffrage. Eventually we shall win and the day is not far distant. The movement could not die now if the women tried to make it. We shall go straight onward. We will go forward with the work of education and never stop until we win the ballot, and I am not sure that we have lost even this election."

Looking back on this year's effort, Eliza Tupper Wilkes seemed pleased with what had been accomplished : "It is worth all it cost whether we lose or win. I want the vote for the education of the people and this campaign has opened minds that will never again be closed. The women are roused and that is the vital thing. We shall keep up the organization and we shall study civil government so we will be prepared to take up the new duty of suffrage, for I regard it as a duty and not as a privilege."

The College Equal Suffrage League has issued the following statement :

"The fate of the woman suffrage amendment is still in doubt. Beaten or victorious, the woman suffrage forces are a united phalanx ready and eager to take up the fight - in defeat, for justice and self-government for the women of California ; in victory, for civic betterment throughout the State. If the final returns shall show defeat at this election, they will only mark the beginning of a new campaign which will end in victory. We have learned the weak points in our attack on the interests opposed. We know our enemies. Hereafter we will fight them in the open without fear or favor. There will be no fifteen years interval between this campaign and the next. The adoption of the initiative and referendum has provided us with an opportunity for bringing the suffrage question to the immediate issue in this State, an opportunity of which we will avail ourselves at once."

Though forced to report the unpleasant news of the suffrage amendment's fate, the papers who favored it have not lessened their support in the least. The Los Angeles Record made that clear today by saying :

"It was the gum-shoe campaign of the old machine politicians that defeated suffrage, and next time we will all know how to make a better fight against such methods. If the 'antis' have the slightest idea that we, who are in favor of equal suffrage, are in the slightest degree discouraged by Tuesday's vote, they will find themselves badly mistaken. We are merely aroused to make a harder fight next time."

But late this evening, there is renewed hope. The 9,913 vote margin against suffrage that seemed to seal its doom after about half the votes had been counted - mostly from the big cities - has now been reduced to 3,922 as the tallies from the rural districts finally begin to arrive. There are still 1,078 precincts (about a third of the State's total) left to report tonight, so only a four vote margin in each would be enough to turn defeat into victory.

It looks like another long night ahead, but now there’s the expectation of a definitive result some time tomorrow. And despite the newspapers strewn around suffrage offices tonight with headlines such as “Woman Suffrage Amendment Defeated by 5,000” and “Suffrage Defeated by Adverse Vote in San Francisco,” there’s at least the possibly of a stunning, come-from-behind win if those intrepid suffrage advocates who went to even the smallest and remotest towns, farms and ranches, succeeded in winning their listeners to the cause.

 

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October 12, 1911 : A grueling, non-stop, all-out California suffrage campaign, followed by a 35 hour roller-coaster ride for suffragists as partial returns came in after the polls closed, finally ended just before 5:00 this morning. Katherine Phillips Edson was telephoned by a reporter from the Los Angeles Tribune at that early hour, and her morning - as well as California's new era - began with the news that the suffrage amendment would pass after all ! The farmers, ranchers and small-town voters were finally getting their ballots reported, and they had rescued woman suffrage from what would otherwise have been a crushing defeat at the hands of a big city political machine, liquor interests, and a well-financed propaganda campaign by anti-suffragists.

Within a half hour, Edson had called many of her fellow suffrage workers, passing the good word as far away as San Bernardino and Pomona, so that the victorious campaigners could come to Choral Hall in Los Angeles as soon as possible for an impromptu celebration. The atmosphere in the hall today was the total opposite of what it was at the various suffrage groups' headquarters yesterday.

On Wednesday, exhausted suffragists were being pummeled with gloomy bulletins and headlines : "Suffrage Appears Lost” gloated the anti-suffrage Los Angeles Daily Times. Suffrage workers were telling reporters of their determination to wait until the last vote was counted, then forging ahead with a 1912 campaign if necessary. But today the headlines and bulletins were quite reassuring : "Safe Majority Now Is Assured For Woman Suffrage" was the gleeful news in the Los Angeles Express. Each new update provoked cheers as it was read to those present.

There were songs sung loudly, from "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to "There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight," often with improvised lyrics to match the occasion. Even the eldest of the suffragists could be seen taking a few turns on the dance floor, though one white-haired veteran of the struggle was so overcome with emotion after so many years of working for this day that she was unable to address the crowd when it was her turn to speak, and simply embraced those who had also done so much for the cause.

Plans for the 1912 campaign, so earnestly begun yesterday in case there had been no reversal of fortune last night, were unceremoniously tossed in the trash, and quickly replaced by new plans for encouraging and facilitating the registration of women voters in time for December 5th city elections in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Long Beach. At least one suffrage group has already made the switch, issuing this statement today :

"The Political Equality League will maintain its organization for the political good of the women of Los Angeles. The leaders feel they have got the women into politics and therefore they wish to do all in their power to make the women intelligent citizens. For this reason, we will keep headquarters open where the women may come for information and literature, and where we can hold open, non-partisan meetings for the discussion of issues as necessity arises. It might be called a women's forum. There will be no change in the officers of the league."

Western Union has certainly profited by the suffrage win. Large numbers of telegrams have been sent and received all day. Among the messages which came in was one from Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association : "Our hearts rejoice with you. Your victory ours. Jubilee meeting in Cooper Union Friday night."

The vote deficit suffragists needed to overcome, which at one time stood at nearly 10,000, was cut to 3,922 by late last evening. During the night it rapidly shrunk into triple digits, and because the overwhelming majority of still-unreported returns were from locations thought to be quite favorable to suffrage, it was in the hours before dawn that the papers made their revised projections for victory. They got it right this time, and suffrage was already ahead by 1,041 votes at 2:15 this afternoon, with the upward surge showing no signs of slowing down. The victory statements soon came. Mrs. Berthold Baruch said :

"I know just how happy I am, because I was so unhappy yesterday. What a difference between Wednesday and Thursday mornings. I am not only happy for myself over the turn of affairs but for my husband. He has been my staunch ally and best friend in all this fight and I never in my life realized how much I loved him until he stood by me in the suffrage struggle.

"All day Tuesday he acted as my chauffeur getting voters to the polls. When we thought we had lost I think he was a little ashamed of it as some of the antis crowed over him. They could not realize that it took a high grade of manhood to fight for what was in some high places an unpopular cause. Now it is his time to crow and mine to rejoice, to rejoice in my freedom and the freedom of my sex, to rejoice that I can talk of the real issues of life and will not be forced to go back to talking about the cat, the cook and the latest styles. Yes, I am happy ; I believe I was never so happy in all my life."

Eliza Tupper Wilkes said : "I never in my life felt so much like praying on my knees. I thought I would feel jubilant but I just feel reverently thankful. Thank God and thank God again and again that the motherhood of California is at last free or will be so before the sun sets on the greatest day that ever dawned in the Golden State, the day that saw golden liberty established as a fact."

Back East, Harriot Stanton Blatch said : "We are gloriously happy over the victory in California, because we feel that the vote for the amendment in that State will have an influence on the voters in Oregon next year. When we have won Oregon we shall have the Pacific Coast solid."

Total victory is still 40 States away - unless the Susan B. Anthony Amendment assuring woman suffrage in all 46 can be passed by Congress and ratified. But those battles are still far enough in the future that today can be spent celebrating, and reflecting on what was accomplished day before yesterday.

California's victory has changed things in many ways. For instance, in next year's Presidential election women will be a factor, as they will now have full voting rights in States that cast 37 of the 266 Electoral Votes needed for a majority. And in one of the richest ironies of the campaign, the largest city in which women can vote is now San Francisco ! It went nearly two to one against suffrage and delivered an almost unbeatable 13,500 more votes to the opposition than to proponents in an election that the latest projections say will be won by somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 votes, or about one for each of the State's 3,121 precincts.

Though many Californians were drawn into the suffrage struggle only for the purpose of winning the right to vote in their home State, others who worked for the cause will take what they've learned here and use it in other campaigns. There will be a suffrage parade in Newark, New Jersey, just 13 days from now, and plans are being made for efforts in as many as six States in 1912, with Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas and Oregon to be specially targeted.

But whichever one the seventh suffrage State may turn out to be, it can't eclipse the significance of what the sixth one did : doubled the number of women voters in the United States overnight. Today's win also means that the long drought that began after winning Idaho in 1896, and which lasted until the win in Washington in 1910, during which time there were few referenda and no victories, is now ancient history. The momentum lost for so many years is now back stronger than ever, with final victory now much closer than it ever could have been imagined just yesterday.

 

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October 13, 1911 : It's only the second time in 15 years that the National American Woman Suffrage Association has been able to celebrate winning another State for "Votes for Women," so they made the most of the California victory with a mass meeting at New York's Cooper Union tonight.

The program was quite elaborate, with special electrical effects, and salutes to individuals ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Emmeline Pankhurst. Since it was only yesterday that what looked like a crushing defeat on Tuesday night, October 10th, turned into a one-vote-per-precinct margin of victory when the final ballots were tallied, it's quite amazing that such a spectacle could be put together on such short notice.

A large blue banner hung in the background of the platform with a portrait of Abraham Lincoln surrounded by six stars representing the six States in which women now have equal suffrage, and a quote attributed to him which says : “I go for all sharing the privileges of the Government who assist in bearing its burdens, by no means excluding women.” All the numerous and prominent women on the platform wore brand new six-star "Votes for Women" buttons, items that proved quite popular when offered for sale to the audience members.

Reverend Anna Howard Shaw, president of N.A.W.S.A., took the stage to open the meeting : "Fellow citizens, there has never been an occasion in the world when women had so great occasion for rejoicing." She then introduced young Portia Willis, who said : "Ladies and gentlemen, I am glad to present to you the Sixth star." At that point an enormous star composed of electric lights lit up, the band played, the audience cheered, and then sang "The New America," a suffrage song that dates from a N.A.W.S.A. convention in 1891.

Ida Husted Harper found great enthusiasm when she presented a resolution calling on the New York Legislature to give the voters of this State the same chance to vote on a suffrage referendum as those in California just did - and give the women here the same chance to make their case for suffrage to the men of New York.

Isaac Stevens, of Colorado, who had been working in California earlier in the campaign, was brimming with confidence, and told the audience that if the New York Legislature wouldn't put a suffrage referendum on the ballot that suffrage supporters should just skip the whole "State-by-State" process and work on getting the Susan B. Anthony Amendment passed by Congress and ratified by the States so that suffrage would be won nationwide all at once. (It was a short, but effective speech, much to the relief of some in the audience after the band played "We Won't Go Home Till Morning" as he walked on stage.)

Harriot Stanton Blatch took a militantly political approach, a tactic that could prove effective now that the number of women voters is twice what it was just three days ago : "Where is President Taft ?" she asked. The President has said some things that are unpopular with suffragists, and though he appears to be rethinking his stance this week, Blatch has had some of his statements reprinted on leaflets which she thinks ought to fall like snowflakes around the country next year if he and the Republican Party do not give sufficient support to the cause. The leaflets might be especially effective in the six Western States where women have the ballot, and which have 37 Electoral Votes between them that Taft will want next year if he runs for re-election.

The biggest surprise of the evening was the attendance of British militant Emmeline Pankhurst. She arrived in New York day before yesterday, and when she unexpectedly showed up at the meeting to add her congratulations, she was given a huge ovation by the crowd as the band played "Hail, the Conquering Hero." There is a temporary lull in activities in England as Parliament is about to vote on a bill that would enfranchise married women on the same basis as their husbands. It would be a major step forward, though by no means the end of the fight for equal suffrage for all British women even if it passes. She said of the California victory : "The news is worthy of great rejoicing. English women will be particularly glad, because it will be a very great help to our campaign."

The Empire State's suffrage groups played a role in the Golden State's campaign. The Woman Suffrage Party raised $ 2,000, plus a $ 500 contribution given to them by General Herbert Carpenter. This money enabled them to send two women, Helen Hoy Greeley and Jeannette Rankin, to California in August to travel around the State's hot interior promoting the cause, even visiting isolated mining camps which had never heard a suffrage speech before. Since it was rural voters who were responsible for offsetting the strong anti-suffrage vote in San Francisco, their work proved to be especially important.

Monetary contributions were also made by the Women's Political Union, which sent Elizabeth Selden Rogers there as a campaign worker as well, the College Equal Suffrage League, and the Men's League for Equal Suffrage, with N.A.W.S.A. itself contributing about $ 3,500 through its New York office.

Meanwhile, in California today, a festive atmosphere still prevailed in local suffrage groups' offices, while statements were issued by the Secretary of State and the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney saying that a Constitutional Amendment becomes effective immediately upon passage by the voters, so women can begin registering at any time. Of course, they must still meet the registration deadline and all other standard requirements before voting in Los Angeles, according to City Attorney John W. Shenk. But that still leaves them with several weeks to register for the city election, and women in Santa Monica and Long Beach should also have sufficient time to register for those local elections, which also take place on December 5th. County Clerk Harry Lelande said that he has already begun preparations to facilitate the registration of women. The issue of whether women must serve on juries is still uncertain, according to officials.

Earlier today, Rev. Anna Howard Shaw sent a telegram to suffrage workers in Los Angeles saying : "Los Angeles men worthy their magnificent city ; Los Angeles women worthy their splendid victory. Louisville shall hail you with joy." (The next N.A.W.S.A. convention will be in Louisville, Kentucky.)

She then expressed the optimism felt by all suffragists around the country as the struggle enters a new - and hopefully its final - phase :

"We're gloriously happy. This is the beginning of the end. The victory in California gives to the cause as many voters as in the five other States where we have previously won. Kansas, Oregon and other Western States are bound to follow the lead at the next elections. The politicians are also sure to realize that the women are winning their fight and will climb on to the band wagon."

 

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October 14, 1918 : The National Woman's Party is known for its bold actions, but today's attempt to briefly occupy the Senate as a colorful protest was their most militant tactic yet. As announced day before yesterday : "Monday noon, upon the convening of the United States Senate, a group of women will form upon the plaza in front of the Capitol and, with no banner other than the American flag at their head and the tricolor of women's freedom, will march up the Senate steps through the foyer and on to the floor of the Senate.

"They will carry in their hands the speeches on democracy, which have been made by the thirty-four men who voted against democracy for women. In the flame of a torch carried just behind the flag these speeches will be burned. Drawing up their line in front of the presiding officer's desk, each woman, representing a different group of women, will voice her protest against the injustice done in the cause of liberty by the men who defied Wilson's appeal for the war measure of woman suffrage. One will be a woman voter from the West, another a working woman representing the millions of women now in industry ; others will be young girls representing the women of the future."

Alice Paul noted the double standard involved in regard to men and women seeking democracy : "To remedy the wrongs that are done men it is believed right that whole nations should perish, if need be. To remedy the insult that is done woman by the men who lay the scorn and burden of disenfranchisement upon her it is considered wrong to hold a banner of protest on the steps of our Capitol. Where else are women to go for the redress of their grievances, if not to the seats of power ? If we cannot make our protests seen by our banners, we will make them heard by our voices in the Senate ; but we will not let it be said of women that they acquiesced in the defeat of justice and of liberty."

True to their word, they started for the Capitol today, with the American flag and their purple, white and gold National Woman's Party banners flying. But they were stopped by a squad of Capitol police awaiting them. Their banners were seized, Alice Paul and 14 other marchers were immediately arrested - in an unnecessarily rough manner - and placed in the guard-room of the Capitol. None of the detainees have been allowed to communicate with anyone, not even their lawyers, or pro-suffrage Senators, and they are being held without any charges being specified.

The words that would have been burned during their occupation were those of Senators who lavishly praise bringing democracy to all other nations, while voting to withhold it from the women of their own country. Some examples, beginning with Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Republican of Massachusetts :

"The work that we are called upon to do when we enter this war is to preserve the principles of human liberty, the principles of democracy, and the light of modern civilization." Senator William Borah, Republican of Idaho : "This is a war that speaks for the majesty of people popularly governed." Senator John Sharp Williams, Democrat of Mississippi : "When you undertake to erect a structure of democracy it must be founded upon the four pillars of justice, equality, fraternity and liberty." Senator James A. Reed, Democrat of Missouri : "This is the people's country. The nearer you get to the people, the nearer you have a just and fair government."

At some point the protesters will presumably be released, and will continue their daily showing of banners near the Capitol, often inscribed with the words of those who say they favor democracy but vote against it when it comes to women. Fortunately, some members of this Senate may soon be replaced following elections in November. If two votes are gained, there will be 64 Senators for suffrage and 32 opposed, and the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment will go to the States for ratification after it is re-approved by the new House, and approved for the first time by the new Senate.

 

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October 15, 1915 : "New Jersey Next !" That's the motto of suffragists who are undertaking a bold gamble to expand "Votes for Women" out of the West and capture four big Eastern States. Though women in Illinois have almost equal suffrage, and can vote for President and local offices but not State offices, at present there is no State east of Kansas where women vote on the same basis as men. But confidence is now running so high that major campaigns are being waged in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. New Jersey will vote first, just four days from now. These four States contain one-fifth of the population of the United States, and could suddenly double the number of women voters, something not accomplished since California became a suffrage State four years ago.

New Jersey is unique, because it was the last State in which women had the right to vote prior to Wyoming's enfranchisement of women in 1869. Women here voted from 1776 until 1807, providing that they met the same property-owning qualifications as male voters. There have been 4,000 outdoor and 500 indoor meetings held around the State arranged by four paid and thirty volunteer organizers of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association. They work with three other groups in a coalition called the Cooperative Committee, the largest of the three other groups being the Women's Political Union of New Jersey, with the Equal Franchise Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey Men's League for Woman Suffrage contributing to the effort as well. Thus far three million pieces of literature and four hundred thousand buttons have been distributed, so the campaign to re-enfranchise the State’s women has been a mighty effort.

Today both sides were quite active. A group of New York suffragists took time out from their campaign to travel around the State in a horse-drawn wagon converted from delivering lunches into delivering literature to voters. The group was headed by Nora Blatch De Forest, daughter of Harriot Stanton Blatch, and granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She was accompanied by journalist Rheta Childe Dorr, Florence Kelley, of the National Consumers League, and Alice Carpenter, Progressive Party activist.

Mina Van Winkle, President of the Women's Political Union of New Jersey was back at her desk in Newark today, busy making sure there will be enough women poll-watchers to insure a reasonably honest election. She said : "If no underground influences get in their work on Tuesday we will win this election."

Anti-suffrage forces are, of course, making strong last-minute efforts as well. Today a flyer by W.T. Hickey of Colorado was being distributed locally saying that suffrage in Colorado, where women won the vote in 1893, has been a failure, and that the women legislators there have not been able to bring any benefit to women, and even opposed so-called "protective" legislation restricting women's hours of work. The New Jersey State Federation of Labor, which in all previous years has endorsed suffrage, did not do so this year. The active opposition of James Nugent, Essex County Democratic Chairman, is suspected of being behind the move, due to his close and friendly relations with the liquor lobby, which fears enactment of prohibition laws if women are enfranchised. Bartenders, Waiters, Brewers, Bottlewashers and Cigarmakers all formally came out opposed to suffrage through their unions just prior to the State Federation of Labor's convention.

The "antis" are employing their best speakers now, as the campaign winds down to its final days, with the highest-ranking officers of anti-suffrage organizations in States such as New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts coming to New Jersey to make their case. Even the widow of the late Vice President Garrett Hobart, who served during McKinley’s first Administration, has been drawn into the battle, saying : "Please remember that I am one of the thousands of women in our State who do not want the vote and that I speak for them when I beg you to vote against woman suffrage. We need your vote to prevent what we believe to be a great injustice to us as well as a grave menace to our State."

But suffragists have powerful speakers as well. William Jennings Bryan and Senator William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho, will be addressing huge meetings in Newark and Paterson tomorrow night, and these won't be the last attempts to stir up the voters for suffrage. President Wilson has also issued a statement of support, saying on October 6th :

"I intend to vote for woman suffrage in New Jersey because I believe that the time has come to extend that privilege and responsibility to the women of the State, but I shall vote, not as the leader of my party in the nation, but only upon my private conviction that as a citizen of New Jersey, called upon by the Legislature of the State to express his conviction at the polls. I think that New Jersey will be greatly benefited by the change. My position with regard to the way in which this great question should be handled is well known. I believe that it should be settled by the States and not by the National Government and that in no circumstances should it be made a party question, and my view has grown stronger at every turn of the agitation."

Though the President is obviously not ready to endorse the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment, and the four referenda would only enfranchise women in four States, a successful result here on October 19th, then on November second in the other three States, would increase the number of "equal suffrage" States to 15, and force the men in Congress from those States to give their female constituents the same consideration and attention as the male voters get now. This would clearly be a major boost for the Anthony Amendment, and bring the end of the struggle much closer. But first things first, so "New Jersey Next !"

 

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October 16, 1915 : The campaign to pass the New Jersey suffrage referendum is finishing up in grand style with William Jennings Bryan, Senator William Borah and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise giving stirring speeches tonight in Paterson and Newark. According to Bryan : "The burden of proof is on the opponents of woman suffrage. The most convincing argument in favor of it is that a mother has the right to a voice in determining the environment that should surround her children." He also noted that the character of the opposition should be sufficient to convince anyone to vote pro-suffrage.

Senator Borah, Republican of Idaho, where women won the vote in 1896, said that though he couldn't claim that women having the vote would eliminate all political evils or injustices, he did think that women would find and correct many wrongs that men have not. Rabbi Wise looked forward to a more peaceful world after equal suffrage, because : " 'Military preparedness' means war, and there will never be a beginning of an end of war until women vote." He then predicted that if suffrage was successful in New Jersey three days from now, it would also win in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts on November 2nd.

If it does win here, it will be after an uphill fight, because suffrage has very powerful opponents. But Mina Van Winkle, head of the Women's Political Union of New Jersey has no doubts : "We have made a good fight and we think an effective one. If we have an honest election and an honest count of the vote, and if underground influences that we are not in a position to meet do not get in their work on Tuesday, we should win." Mrs. E.F. Feickert, President of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association, not only predicted that suffrage would win, but that it would do so by as much as 25,000 votes :

"This forecast is based on a house-to-house canvass, which has covered the entire State and which comprises both urban and rural localities. In the cities we have found an average of seven men who are for us to one against us and three who tell us they have not decided how to vote. In the country districts we find eight men with us to one against us and three who have not made up their minds on the subject."

But Mrs. Edward Yarde Breese, President of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage, is confident of carrying 13 of the State's 21 counties. Three of the bigger ones would actually be enough to doom the measure if carried by substantial majorities, and anti-suffragists are predicting a majority of 10,000 in both Essex and Hudson Counties, and 7,500 more in Camden County. The “antis” have taken surveys as well, and according to Breese, opposition to suffrage is especially strong in rural areas. In one community they claim that 96% of those surveyed were opposed to the suffrage referendum. Both sides concede that Essex County will reject the measure due to the influence of local political boss James R. Nugent. Hudson and Camden Counties are still hotly contested, however.

The Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Committee was unable to give a forecast, but according to Samuel T. French, Chairman of the Camden County Democratic Committee :

"Woman suffrage in Camden County is gaining rapidly ; The President's declaration favoring it has given the movement new life. The Democratic Executive Committee is on record favoring it, and the vote will be a surprising one for the opponents next Tuesday. The people here are just learning that the liquor interests are fighting it harder than any other power, and had we another month it would carry in Camden County. I hardly expect it to carry in this County, but the majority will be small."

It's definitely a gamble to try to win so many States almost all at once, and to abandon the traditional strategy of making efforts to win suffrage only in States that border on a State where women already vote. But though multiple defeats would be a major setback, the payoff could be huge, and therefore worth the risk. Equal suffrage would spread East of the Mississippi for the first time, and having four suffrage States with large Congressional delegations would certainly increase support for the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, since members of Congress in those States would have to face women voters in all future elections. If the amendment is approved by 2/3 of both houses of Congress, and then by 36 of the 48 States, women would be enfranchised nationwide. So no effort will be spared between now and the 19th to set that train of events in motion.

 

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October 17, 1915 : Just two more days remain until New Jersey votes on woman suffrage, and if women could vote, it would win in a landslide, judging by the numbers enrolled in pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage organizations in the State. According to figures made public today, there are 75,000 members of the Women's Political Union of New Jersey, and 25,000 in the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association. The New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage has a membership of only 25,000.

When asked if this four-to-one ratio was an indication that suffrage enjoyed great support from the women of New Jersey, an official of the anti-suffrage group said : "It might be an indication if the suffragists followed our rule and enrolled only women of voting age. But they will accept infants in cradles as members in order to swell their numbers."

Since there are probably a little under 750,000 women of voting age in New Jersey, it means that if we presume that the vast majority of members of suffrage groups actually are adults, then approximately one in eight is not only pro-suffrage, but concerned enough about it to become an active member of a suffrage organization, versus one in thirty who are actively opposed.

Since today was Sunday, most suffrage speeches in all four States with upcoming suffrage referenda were spoken from the pulpit, rather than on street corners. Three-time Democratic Presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan spoke at Grace Methodist Church in New York City, but mentioned the New Jersey vote coming up on Tuesday, and why it's important that women should be able to vote on all major issues. He told the church members :

"You have had a recent convert to the cause of woman suffrage. I see that the President has recently announced that he will vote for woman suffrage at the New Jersey election. I have believed that women should have the vote, but if there was only one question on which they could vote I would say that should be the question of peace or war."

Bryan condemned "propagandists," "preparedness societies," and "jingoes" for trying to drag us into the war in Europe, and noted that : "If the jingoes in this country are able to scare us into preparing, although they cannot name a country which might attack us, would not the jingoes in some other country be able to scare that country by pointing us out and saying that we were preparing against it ?"

Though today was much closer to a traditional "day of rest" than most in this campaign, tomorrow will be the busiest so far. Three hundred and fifty-two suffrage speakers and campaign workers will be making their final pleas to voters. One meeting will be called to order at 6 A.M. by Mildred Taylor, and will continue for 24 hours, until just before the polls open on Tuesday. It will be conducted at the roving suffrage van and shop now stationed at Military Park, in Newark. That location gets more pedestrian traffic than any other place in the State.

Meanwhile, in another New York church, anti-suffragist Rev. Cyrus Townsend Brady was preaching that equality for women would bring about the downfall of civilization :

"What will be the ultimate result of this woman movement ? We will have no more families, no more mothers, no more society, marriage will be a failure, for if it exists at all it will be a condition in which the husband will be one man and the wife another. The field for the practice of the highest virtues, the home, will be eliminated. The social purity of mankind will be undermined, prostitution will flourish, as it always does when marriage is neglected, and the result will be ruin."

Brady feels that "the perfection of the family is woman's task" and that "her struggle has been for a monogamous marriage" and "her triumph, while not yet complete," will succeed if she will "continue her struggle on the legitimate lines marked out for her by her successes of the past." He thinks that voting, like decision-making in a marriage, is a male, not female function, and "so I say deliberately that the so-called woman movement is an attempt to escape the function of woman, a revolt against the fact that woman is not a man, an attempt to enter the field of effort in which man's powers are properly exercised. It is a rising against nature."

But it appears that Rev. Brady is the one who is fighting against nature, because the desire to be free and equal is inherent in all human beings. It is now being manifested in an unprecedented way as women enter many fields from which they were previously excluded - and one State at a time, even gain entrance to the voting booth. Hopefully there will be one more suffrage State on Tuesday, and three more after that on November 2nd. The elaborate, massive parades that have become annual events, and the fact that almost half the States in which women have full suffrage were won in just the past three years shows a powerful trend in its favor. Though more suffrage campaigns are lost then won, the gains still mount up, as no State in the post-Seneca Falls era has revoked woman suffrage after granting it. This steady progress insures that regardless of the outcome of any specific election, nationwide woman suffrage is about "when" it's to be achieved, and not "if." The only question now is over which tactics will work best, and how much time and effort will be needed to win.

 

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October 18, 1915 : The most ambitious campaign ever attempted by the suffrage movement is coming to a close in the first of the four States that will approve or reject "Votes for Women" referenda over the next 15 days. Tomorrow the male voters of New Jersey will decide whether months of suffrage work was persuasive enough, and if their State will become the first one East of the Mississippi in which women have equal suffrage, or whether they will deal a major setback to the movement just when it needs a boost to help win three other referenda coming up on November 2nd.

Today's activities started off early, with Mildred Taylor and her "Victory Van" parked at Military Square in Newark at 6 A.M. The speeches then began, accompanied by large amounts of literature being distributed on New Jersey's busiest corner, and this will continue right up until the opening of the polls tomorrow. "Dawn and daybreak will find us on the firing line. After the polls open, our case will be in the hands of the men of New Jersey, and I think they will give us a square deal," said Taylor. In addition to the usual arguments about the basic justice of equal suffrage, she added one more, which seemed to sway the men in the crowd better than most :

"I'll tell you another reason why you men in the East ought to vote for woman suffrage. With representation in the Republican National Convention based on the vote for Congressmen, the great Eastern States of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania would have twice the say they now have in the nomination of a President if they give women the ballot."

Taylor was definitely not alone in her efforts, as nearly 400 speakers addressed crowds around the State today. The final day's effort also saw about 100,000 leaflets distributed in and around factories to counteract an anti-suffrage flyer implying that woman suffrage in Colorado was a failure from labor's point of view.

Though there are campaigns throughout the State, six counties will pretty much determine the result, so most of the effort is being concentrated there. Essex County is conceded to the "antis" due to the vigorous opposition of the local political boss, James R. Nugent, but every vote will still be fought for. However, there's optimism in Passaic County : "There will be a big vote tomorrow, and both Paterson and Passaic County will give a large majority for the suffrage amendment," according to Dr. Mary Cummins, President of the Paterson branch of the Women's Political Union. Hudson County is too close to predict. In Union County, suffragists hope to squeak by if there's a low turnout, but if there isn't, it could fail by 3 to 2. In Bergen and Camden Counties, both sides are confident of victory, while political leaders say it's going to be close.

Suffrage and anti-suffrage groups are both expecting a big win, according to their latest statements. Many suffragists are of the opinion that President Wilson's recent announcement that he will vote for the suffrage referendum has begun a shift toward approval that will result in victory. Says Mrs. E. F. Feickert, President of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association :

"We will carry New Jersey by a 25,000 majority. Of this majority 15,000 will come from the populous northern counties and 10,000 from the rural counties in Southern New Jersey. These figures are based on our canvass of voters throughout the State, on the friendly spirit shown by the street crowds everywhere, and on the fact that there is practically no opposition to woman suffrage, except from James R. Nugent of Essex County and his followers and a few organized business men, the nature of whose business makes them afraid of women's votes."

Anti-suffragists were equally certain : "Woman suffrage will be defeated in New Jersey by a large majority. We base our confidence in the outcome of substantial data," said Mrs. Edward Yarde Breese of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. Their campaign manager, Clara Vezin, said : "I predict victory for the anti-suffragists when the question is put to the voters tomorrow."

Suffragists are taking no chances on a loss due to voter fraud, and will have five thousand poll-watchers ready for duty tomorrow morning. The ballots in this special election will not be numbered, so extra care will be taken to be sure that only valid ones are cast. In addition to the many women who will volunteer for duty tomorrow, and the nearly 400 regular campaign workers who will switch from literature distribution and speaking to poll-watching at that time, there will also be poll-watchers supplied by the Men's Woman Suffrage Committee of One Hundred, headed by Everett Colby. A reward of $ 100 was offered by that committee tonight to anyone who can prove voter fraud, should it occur.

It's probably a good thing that there is so much work to do today. It doesn't leave anyone free time to worry about tomorrow's outcome. It's not just about one State - important as it is - but about who's going to have momentum going into the November 2nd referenda in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. This has been an all-out campaign, so there can be no excuses made on that account. Now it's time to see how the first part of this four-act drama turns out when the polls close at 7 P.M., all the speculations end, and the (male) voters actually speak for themselves.

 

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October 19, 1915 : One hundred and eight years after women in New Jersey lost the vote, and forty-eight years after the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association resolved to win it back, there were assurances late tonight that the struggle will go on despite today's setback at the polls. Local suffragists are already planning to get a bill introduced into the State Legislature to give women here "Presidential Suffrage," so that like the women of Illinois, they can at least vote for President a little over a year from now. They also will be working hard for the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which if passed by 2/3 of Congress and ratified by 3/4 of the States, would enfranchise women nationwide on the same basis as men. National suffrage groups remain equally determined, and are spending very little time looking back on today's results, because they're too busy shifting their efforts to New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, where suffrage referenda will be voted upon two weeks from today.

Late tonight, Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, said :

"We have not lost New Jersey because it has never been ours ; we cannot lose ; we can only win. The failure to carry the election in New Jersey is not a defeat. It is simply a postponement, and instead of despairing of final success will only inspire the true lovers of freedom to more perfect cooperation and greater zeal. This delay is still a victory for suffrage, for this splendid campaign has proved woman's loyalty to a great purpose and her indomitable courage in the face of great odds and unscrupulous foes and methods. The sun will rise tomorrow on a reorganized army undaunted and hopeful, whose flag will never be furled until women are politically free. It is now for the men in New York to show themselves more worthy of their freedom and to show their gratitude to the women who have helped to make this great State by their vote on November second, and let it be victory."

Gertrude Foster Brown, President of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association went into more detail about what defeated the suffrage referendum :

"It was impossible to fight successfully against a political machine as powerful and as ruthless as that in New Jersey, with its open corruption, its methods of registration and its unnumbered ballots." But like Dr. Shaw, she didn't think the defeat here would be repeated : "I don't think the result in New Jersey will affect New York at all. We never expected New Jersey to win, because the State was bound up with machine politics. The chances in New York are splendid. I really think we are going to win. This New Jersey defeat will not do any harm. It may make the women in New York State work a little harder."

Mary Garrett Hay, head of the Woman Suffrage Party of New York said : "It merely shows that the New Jersey men have not been educated enough to be sensible and give their women the vote." She also put part of the blame on political corruption and said : "If the women had had a fair vote it would have been wonderful. This was their first big fight in the East, and, of course, they will go at it again."

In New Jersey itself, ambition and optimism have not deserted the suffragists, even if about six out of ten of the voting men in the State have done so. According to Lillian Feickert, President of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association :

"We shall start in tomorrow on a new suffrage campaign. It is not our intention to work for the next five years to take our cause again to the voters, but to get Presidential suffrage at the next session of the Legislature ... With the strong organizations which we have and the many thousands of voters who have taken their stand on our side, there is no question that such a bill will pass at the next session. Our next demand will be for full suffrage by Federal constitutional amendment."

The "antis" are understandably jubilant, even to the point of overconfidence. According to Mrs. Edward Yarde Breese of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage : "The election in every way justifies our position. We hope that the result will put an end to the activities of the suffragists." She saw woman suffrage as a phenomenon of the West that will never make headway in the East : "In the Eastern States the conditions are so different from what they are in the West that I doubt if there will ever come a time when the women will have a vote or that the majority will want it." She then went on to thank the New York Times specifically for "what it has done in our behalf" through its coverage, presumably including its numerous editorials strongly opposing woman suffrage.

Though the opposition's forecast of a big victory proved accurate in regard to today's referendum, any predictions that suffragists will give up, or that equal suffrage will forever be kept West of the Mississippi should quickly and clearly be proven false. Three more Eastern States will vote just two weeks from today, and suffrage groups, from the National American Woman Suffrage Association to Alice Paul's militant Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, are growing in numbers and political sophistication, as are women voters. Five of the 11 States in which women have full suffrage were won in 1912 and 1914, with Illinois women winning the right to vote for President and municipal (but not Statewide) offices in 1913. Though well short of the 2/3 required, the Susan B. Anthony Amendment got a 35-34 majority of Senate votes on March 19th of last year, and was voted on for the first time in the House on January 12th of this year, receiving 174 of the 378 votes cast, 57 members not voting. Next year an attempt will be made to get Republicans and Democrats to follow the lead of the Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party and formally endorse woman suffrage at their national conventions.

So, though the New Jersey vote is disappointing, it's not debilitating, and the movement will continue right on to other campaigns and victories. New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts next !

 

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October 20, 1915 : Alice Paul, head of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, spoke out today about yesterday's defeat of the suffrage referendum in her home State of New Jersey. Since her goal is adoption of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which would enfranchise women nationwide, Tuesday's debacle only strengthens her belief that the days of campaigning for State referenda are over :

"For more than sixty years women have been trying to win suffrage by the State referendum method, advocated by President Wilson. This has meant the expenditure of an enormous amount of energy, of time, and of money. Women are now beginning to feel that the State referendum campaigns in which the question of women's political freedom is left in the hands of the most ignorant men voters in the State are too wasteful and indirect to be much longer continued. They are turning to the national Government, asking enfranchisement by action of the United States Congress. We approach the next session of Congress full of hope that the leverage which the suffrage movement possesses in Congress as a result of the fact that one-fourth of the Senate, one-sixth of the House and one-fifth of the electoral vote for President now comes from suffrage States will mean the passage of the national suffrage amendment, thus doing away with costly and laborious State campaigns such as has just been unsuccessfully waged in New Jersey."

Of course, other organizations, such as the Women's Political Union and the National American Woman Suffrage Association still support State referenda. Though N.A.W.S.A. President Dr. Anna Howard Shaw agreed that there should now be more emphasis on national suffrage, those groups are pressing on with three more campaigns in which the voters of New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts will hopefully approve woman suffrage in their States on November 2nd. In fact, plans for an election night celebration at the W.P.U.'s "Suffrage Shop" on New York's Fifth Avenue were in high gear today, as workers shrugged off yesterday's setback and cheerfully looked 13 days ahead.

New York's results will be different from those of New Jersey, in the opinion of Carrie Chapman Catt, among the most experienced of the campaign workers : "We did not expect to win in New Jersey, for all the forces of wickedness were against the women. The whole campaign of the men was one of intimidation. I believe that the men of the political parties of New York have told the truth when they said they would not interfere with the vote in this State and I think we shall win."

As to the vote yesterday, one poll-watcher, Helena Hill Weed, said it was overtly corrupt. At her post in Newark from 6 A.M. until the ballot box was finally transferred to the Court House long after the polls closed, she saw numerous violations of basic election laws, and even observed money changing hands. In regard to the influence of one political boss in particular, she said that : "We have absolutely tied up the women 'antis' with Jim Nugent's party, though they have all along routinely denied it. We knew that Nugent had all through the campaign been distributing their anti-suffrage literature, but yesterday his men acted as watchers for the women." (Some of his highest-ranking cronies were wearing badges of the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage as they monitored the balloting.) Harriot Stanton Blatch, of the Women's Political Union, also saw money being passed, as well as "repeating" voters, all of which she has reported to the authorities.

State law requires that five years must pass before the equal-suffrage referendum may again be submitted to New Jersey voters. No one here wants to just sit around until 1920, so a campaign to get the State Legislature to immediately pass legislation similar to that of Illinois, enabling the State’s women to vote for President, has now begun. The State Legislature can enact “Presidential Suffrage” for women on its own, at any time, so it’s possible that New Jersey women could vote for President (though no other offices) in 1916.

Once the voting trend became clear last night, and the battle had been lost everywhere except Ocean County, suffrage forces were understandably disappointed, but never dispirited. Looking forward, rather than back, it was simply time to plan for the next fight. So a kick-off rally was scheduled for the next morning in the same Military Park location in Newark where the previous campaign had ended.

Mina Van Winkle, Helen Hoy Greeley, and Helena Hill Weed were among the speakers who drew a large and enthusiastic audience today. According to Greeley : "This is only one battle, nothing more than the preliminary battle in the open between the suffragists and the interests that are against them ....We are in the fight to stay. It is the opening of a campaign that will go on Winter, Summer, Spring, and Autumn - go on until we win, by the grace of God."

Suffrage workers in neighboring Pennsylvania are not dismayed by the New Jersey vote, so they're still busily planning a street parade and demonstration for the night of Friday, the 22nd, when the "Women's Liberty Bell" arrives in Philadelphia. There were noon meetings at various locations around that city today, and ten meetings are being held simultaneously tonight along Broad Street by the Equal Franchise Society and the Woman Suffrage Party.

In the other two States with upcoming referenda, nine organizers and five salaried speakers who have helped to found 200 local suffrage clubs are active in Massachusetts, while New York suffragists are preparing for a massive suffrage parade on Saturday, the 23rd. So, 1915 may yet be a year of victory parties, only with three instead of four, and beginning November 2nd instead of October 19th !

 

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October 21, 1915 : Children will be marching in New York City's biggest-ever suffrage parade on the 23rd after all ! Recently, the anti-suffragists accused "Votes for Women" forces of exploiting their children by having them in their parades, so it had been previously announced that they would not be participating this time. But a backlash occurred among many of the mothers, and so today the policy was reversed. A typical reaction came from Elizabeth Selden Rogers, who said :

"My Betty shall march if there is not another child in the parade. Betty is 9, and she and the children of her age have learned in school about Washington and his fight for liberty, and they are old enough to understand the women's fight for freedom. There is no more reason why children should not appear in the suffrage parade than at the Piping Rock Horse Show or at other social events. They will be much safer in the parade with police protection than on the sidewalks watching with the crowds."

The childrens' detachment will fall in line at Twenty-second Street and march to Fifty-eighth Street along the Fifth Avenue route. The girls will be wearing white dresses, white sweaters, white felt parade hats with small green ornaments, and will carry green pennants. Among those in the contingent will be Harriot Stanton De Forest, age 5, great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The parade is expected to be so large, and take so long, that the Women's Political Union is stockpiling torches for use if the last of the marchers finish their journey after dark. One float – and there will be many - will have 10 elaborately costumed figures representing “Victory,” “Liberty,” “Equality,” “Justice,” and six continents. The W.P.U. will also have a “cavalry division” of women on horses, and their famous “Victory Van,” where suffragists gave out so much literature in the New Jersey campaign, will be in the parade as well. Hopefully it will live up to its name here, even if it failed to do so in our neighboring State. The event should certainly make quite an impression on the male voters of New York, who will vote on a woman suffrage referendum on November 2nd.

Alice Stone Blackwell, President of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association was optimistic today when asked about the prospects in her State 12 days from now :

"Ohio defeated woman suffrage in 1912, but that had no effect on Kansas, Oregon and Arizona. The failure in New Jersey does not mean Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania will defeat suffrage. The question is much better understood in this State."

In Hingham, Massachusetts, the outlook appears particularly favorable. Results of a straw poll of 14 men taken yesterday by the local Equal Suffrage League were revealed today. Twelve said they would vote "yes" and only two "no." Both sides have a presence there, with 40 active and 50 associate members in the League, though the Anti-suffrage Association is actually larger, with a claimed membership of 150, plus 200 more on their mailing list.

In Pennsylvania, there was a large audience assembled in the Gettysburg Court House this evening to hear suffrage speeches by Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale and others. The listeners must have enjoyed what they were hearing, because the room was full when the evening began, and ended the same way. Hale said that the fight was "a movement of progressive persons against conservatism - not a fight of women against men." In fact, "from the inception of the movement, it has had the support of many fine, chivalrous, far-seeing men." She noted that the fight for equality has gone through three stages. First came the fight for equal education, then equality in employment, and finally equality for wives and husbands in the home, with those who opposed the first two steps now fighting the third.

With less than two weeks left until the vote on the Pennsylvania suffrage referendum, Hale reminded her audience that suffrage has always been earned by actions and never just freely given : "Men won their freedom for themselves and that is why they value it so highly. In the same way we must work for it, we must sacrifice for it, we must give for it. We must remember that George the Third did not hand out independence with each pound of tea ; neither can we sit down over our teacups and expect to get it."

Suffragists in all three States with upcoming referenda are definitely not just sitting around drinking tea and hoping for a victory. They're working very hard for it, and generating a lot of support. Though the New Jersey vote day before yesterday was a disappointment, it certainly hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of any of those working for a triple victory on November second.

 

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October 22, 1915 : The rapidly rising tide of support for woman suffrage will make tomorrow's parade down New York's Fifth Avenue far more spectacular than any before it if most of the 47,230 people who have signed pledges to march take part. That stunning number was released today by organizers, and it means that the incredible growth rate of suffrage parades continues.

Just a little over seven years ago, on February 16, 1908, it was big news when about two dozen members of the Progressive Woman Suffrage Union defied propriety - and police - by marching down Broadway in the city's first suffrage parade. Two years later, Harriot Stanton Blatch, of what was then called the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women, called for another march, despite the advice of more conservative suffragists who said such a public spectacle would "set suffrage back 50 years." This time 400 women, carrying numerous banners, were applauded by several thousand spectators.

They generated such huge amounts of favorable publicity that these marches became annual events, with even those who had been the most skeptical in the beginning now taking part. In 1911, four thousand marched, and the number increased to somewhere between fifteen and twenty thousand in 1912. The Washington, D.C. march in 1913 was a landmark (even if repeatedly disrupted by rowdy crowds) and in New York, thirty thousand marched down Fifth Avenue that year. By 1914 there were coordinated marches all across the country, with the total number of participants as uncountable as the newspaper and magazine articles generated.

But while big parades have now become a tradition, there has never been anything quite like this, and there will be non-stop activity at all the suffrage groups' headquarters until sometime tomorrow night when the last of the marchers finish the route. It's not just about getting people to march down the street, it's getting them to march in an occupational, organizational or geographic group, and in many cases, in a costume symbolizing it (teachers, nurses, etc.) There are also large banners still being made, floats being decorated, bands rehearsing, and automobiles being tuned.

Of course, one dignitary who won't be riding in an auto will be Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She insists on walking the entire length of the route, with N.A.W.S.A. providing a band to precede her. New Jersey suffragists will be there too, and their delegation will bear a banner commenting on their suffrage referendum's loss on Tuesday : "New Jersey - Delayed But Not Defeated." According to a statement issued today by Lillian Feickert : "We are proud of our success. We received 140,000 votes in a fight against a corrupt political machine. To have lost by only 25,000 votes is not a bad defeat for women with a small organization and little money to carry on their campaign."

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the "Women's Liberty Bell" (also known as the "Justice Bell") arrived this evening. It was welcomed to Broad Street by eight thousand torch-bearing suffragists and about a hundred thousand spectators after its 4,000 mile tour of the State in its own specially reinforced truck. There was a mass meeting in the Academy of Music after the procession, and when every seat in the hall was filled, five thousand who couldn't be admitted became the audience for an overflow meeting.

As much enthusiasm as there is regarding the three suffrage campaigns in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, there is other work going on as well. In Washington, D.C., the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage announced tonight that the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment would be re-introduced on December 6th, when Congress convenes. Representative Frank Mondell, Republican of Wyoming and Senator George Sutherland, Republican of Utah, will do the honors. Senator Sutherland seemed especially supportive :

"I shall urge the Senate Committee on Suffrage, of which I am a member, to give a speedy hearing on the resolution which I will introduce. I shall press for action on a vote in the Senate. The matter should be disposed of as early as possible. The suffrage resolution received a majority vote in the last Congress. It will receive more the next time. It is just as absurd to debar the women from the ballot box as it would be to disenfranchise all the red-headed or all the people beyond a certain line. It is urged that giving the ballot to woman will destroy her charm and femininity ; that she will develop unattractive masculine traits. These are new words set to a very old tune. The same thing was urged against the new woman a hundred years ago when she demanded an equal opportunity for education."

Though New York City's big event is tomorrow, the mass meeting in Carnegie Hall tonight was quite impressive in and of itself. Presided over by Carrie Chapman Catt, it included such notables as the city’s youthful mayor, 35-year-old John Mitchel, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, and Senator William Borah, Republican of Idaho. Mayor Mitchel was optimistic about the prospects on November 2nd, opening with : "I believe I can congratulate the women of this State tonight on their prospects for success." He concluded by saying: "I shall cast my vote for the suffrage amendment. I sincerely urge upon my fellow citizens that they vote for this amendment."

Senator Borah said : "Those who say the women won't vote cannot have lived in a State where they do vote. I have known women to travel miles to a political meeting. Politicians know they will vote and vote intelligently." Dr. Shaw drew many a laugh by reading some of the more extravagant claims in anti-suffrage literature. Then, on a more serious note, she said that though she expected victory :

"If we lose in this State we will still be the victors. We have discovered our power ; we know now our force and know ourselves as never before. This campaign has done more to fit us for the vote than twenty years of voting."

Now it's on to a crucial event in the New York campaign, one which could assure a victory at the polls 11 days from now if all goes well tomorrow !

 

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October 23, 1915 : Making confident predictions of a record-breaking turnout for a suffrage parade is always a very risky move. A moderate-sized procession could be described in the newspapers as a "disappointing turnout," and in this case, coming just ten days before a vote, tend to doom any chance for passage of the upcoming New York State suffrage referendum.

But much to the relief and delight of organizers, their optimistic forecasts were at the very least fulfilled today, and in the opinion of some, exceeded. New York City saw a spectacle that will long be remembered by both participants and spectators, and which clearly must have made a highly favorable impression on undecided voters, and even on some of the movement's skeptics.

Yesterday, organizers had announced that 47,230 people had pledged to march. But according to Police Inspector Myers, in charge of the traffic squads, there were 50,000 in the streets today, though the New York Times and other anti-suffragists naturally had lower estimates. Chief Inspector Max Schmittberger estimated at least 35,000 marchers, and said the crowd numbered 250,000. Other estimates went as high as 60,000 marchers. But there won't be much time wasted quibbling over numbers, because absolutely no one doubts that it was by far the largest suffrage parade in the nation's history, and that it was a truly stunning procession.

Both the marchers and spectators began gathering at Washington Square in early afternoon, with each of the mostly white-clad participants searching out the group they'd pledged to march with, while bystanders began buying huge amounts of suffrage pennants, balloons, buttons, and anything in suffrage yellow, or which had the name of a suffrage organization on it. By the time the parade was to start, the 1,500 police officers assigned to crowd control were fully occupied keeping the spectators on the sidewalks, and the street clear.

The parade kicked off at Washington Square right on time at 3:00, with the first group of marchers passing the Fifth Avenue and 41st Street reviewing stand in front of the Public Library at 3:40. The last of the marchers did not finish passing by the dignitaries until 7:10 tonight, their numbers leaving no doubt that the loss in New Jersey four days ago has only spurred suffragists on to greater efforts, rather than discouraged anyone from making an all-out push to win in New York on November 2nd.

The procession was headed by mounted police, followed by the Seventh Regiment band, and then Grand Marshal Ethel Stebbins. Not far behind was the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, displaying slogans noting that women in several other nations, such as Iceland, have won equal suffrage : "Reykjavic votes ; why not New York ?"

Though many of the most memorable sights were of huge, complex, horse or automobile-drawn floats, it was the well-known and highly respected Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, marching behind the National American Woman Suffrage Association banner in her cap and gown that brought the first big round of applause. The plucky New Jersey delegation, holding a banner that said "New Jersey : Delayed But Not Defeated" got even more applause, something they must have appreciated after having just suffered a major "delay" in attaining suffrage, since they cannot submit their failed suffrage referendum again until five years have passed. The suffragists of Rutherford had their own banner, taking pride in the fact that the men of their city had voted nearly two to one in favor of suffrage for women.

One of the largest groups was composed of teachers, with some delegations wearing dark suits and yellow suffrage sashes, while others wore the traditional cap and gown. They held banners such as : “You trust us with the children ; trust us with the vote.”

As might be expected, the Manhattan delegation was huge and well-received by the crowd. It featured a blindfolded woman representing “Justice” bound by a rope held by three masked men dressed in black labeled “Vice,” “Ignorance,” and “Prejudice.” But it was an elderly woman in the delegation, carrying a placard that said : "Getting there after trying forty years" who may have gotten the biggest cheers of the day.

Young Brooklyn suffragists carried parasols, inscribed “The Sun Will Shine For Us November 2nd,” while some Bay Ridge activists broke the conformity of colors by wearing white and blue costumes as they walked alongside a wagon containing two small children. The motto on the side was : “We Want Our Mothers To Vote.” But it was the Woman Suffrage Party that gets the prize for putting more children on a float than anyone else, plus having Rose O’Neill herself decorate it with her famous “Kewpie” cartoons. (Even a large “Kewpie” doll was swinging back and forth on the front as the float drove down the street !)

There were floats illustrating everything from woman suffrage around the world to those showing women representing "Victory," "Liberty," "Equality" and "Justice." Some marchers were over 70 years old, while others as young as 7 months were pushed in carriages or carried on a marcher's back. At least two thousand five hundred men marched with the women, highly skilled equestrians impressed the crowd, and so many bands were playing that at no time or place along the route was there ever a lack of music in the chilly Autumn air. Every imaginable occupational group was represented, generally with members in some costume denoting their profession, as well as a banner in front stating what their work was, in case there was any doubt. Each suffrage group, from the largest to the smallest, had its own delegation and unique colors, though white and "suffrage yellow" were the most common colors seen today.

This was truly a great day to be a suffragist - or in many cases, to become one. And if the victory sought today is achieved on November 2nd, it means this perfect parade will never have to be equaled or topped at any time in the future, and will be the way the final days of the suffrage campaign in New York will be fondly remembered.

 

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October 24, 1915 : With just nine days left until three States vote on suffrage referenda, the battle for women's equality at the polls goes on in big cities as well as small towns, and is being waged by both women and men. From Boston, Massachusetts to Biglerville, Pennsylvania, there has been a great deal of activity, as suffragists in all States enjoy increased respect and feel more confident after yesterday's stunning pageant that took place on Fifth Avenue in New York.

In Boston tonight, there was a suffrage rally in Tremont Temple in which California's most noted anti-suffragist, Col. Irish, was the target of much humor. According to Samuel J. Elder : "A California colonel who has been making anti-suffrage speeches hereabouts says, if quoted correctly, that politics degrades women and makes them vulgar ; if he means that the women of California have been degraded and vulgarized, I pity him when he goes home." (California women won the vote four years ago.)

Elder himself was an anti-suffragist just a year ago, but has since been converted to the cause, and thinks that thousands of other Massachusetts men have also changed their minds : "The idea that a man should not know more today than he did a year ago is intolerable. That is what makes the suffrage cause a hopeful one." He said that those who think the woman's place is in the home should consider the fact that "about nine-tenths of the legislation relates to the home. Why should not women, who 'belong in the home' and have to stay in the home have an equal share in deciding the nature of that legislation ? Have women got to wait until all the old duffers are dead and a new generation of men has grown up to liberate their mothers, sisters and wives ?"

Rabbi Harry Levy of Temple Israel got a good response to a speech in which he said that much of the opposition to woman suffrage is based on ignorance. He said that he was a suffragist because Judaism was democratic and democracy must include woman suffrage : "This is a government of, by and for the people, and not a Government in which one-half the people are taken care of by the other half." He then noted some of the benefits woman suffrage has brought to the Western States, such as mothers' pensions, an eight-hour day with decent wages, and an increase in the age of consent.

Anne Martin, of Nevada, also addressed some of the objections to woman suffrage, then said that if the men of the East don't approve suffrage referenda, the 4.5 million voting women of the West would use their influence to get suffrage for Eastern women through a Constitutional Amendment. Meanwhile, in Springfield, Senator William E. Borah, Republican of Idaho, praised the work the voting women of his State had done in the 19 years since they won the franchise, when he addressed a meeting of the Springfield Equal Suffrage League attended by 1,200 people.

Various local polls show women far more supportive of suffrage than men. In Holyoke, a street car poll showed 7 men for and 6 against, while 5 women favored it and only one was opposed. In a lunchroom 17 men were polled, with 10 against, 4 in favor and 3 undecided. In a barbershop it was 3 against, one for, and one undecided. In Fitchburg, a much larger poll was taken, which found that of 325 women, 222 favored suffrage and 103 opposed it. But of 416 men, 198 said they'd vote "yes" and 218 will vote "no." Of course, only the men will be voting on November 2nd, but the local Equal Suffrage League has a membership of almost 400, and they're still hoping to change a few minds by then.

The Boston Globe has been asking Governors of suffrage States about their views on the issue, and today they received a telegram from the Governor of Oregon, where women won the vote on November 5, 1912, by a margin of 4,161 votes out of 118,369 cast :

"Replying to your inquiry as to my personal opinion regarding the working of woman suffrage in Oregon, it gives me sincere pleasure to indorse its operation here emphatically. I hope the voters of Massachusetts will have the good sense to take the forward step. The women of Oregon have taken and continue to take an active interest in public affairs and use their ballots thoughtfully and well. Education, child protection, civic morality and other of the large issues of community life inevitably are closer to the women than to the men, and where women vote these big questions, upon which rest our best development, they receive an oversight and direction which do not permit of their neglect or abuse. I favored woman suffrage many years before Oregon obtained it, and after two years of votes for women here I indorse it more enthusiastically than ever." James Withycombe, Governor of Oregon.

In other Massachusetts actions, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, who recently campaigned in New Jersey for that State's referendum on October 19th, took time out from suffrage work in his home State of New York to speak tonight in favor of suffrage to the Zion Association of Greater Boston at Convention Hall. The Boston Typographical Union #13 met at Faneuil Hall and gave their endorsement to suffrage. Upcoming events include a speech by Rev. Ann Howard Shaw at Associate Hall in Lowell, and a meeting at City Hall by the Lowell Suffrage League.

In Pennsylvania, there was an open-air meeting last evening in Biglerville, at which John D. Keith, Esq. and Rev. J. B. Baker spoke to a large and attentive audience. Keith recounted the history of the country's expansion of liberty, and said it was past time for women to be included. Baker emphasized that voting was consistent with women's duties and privileges in regard to home, school, civic and reform movements. The "Women's Liberty Bell," which was featured in a big rally in Philadelphia on the 22nd, will arrive in Prospect Park tomorrow, where it will be the centerpiece for a meeting outside the Post Office. It will then go on to Chester, accompanied by Helen Todd.

Interestingly enough, Florence Piersol, head of the Philadelphia branch of the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association, said yesterday that she found husbands more supportive than their wives. "Again and again, when we ask women how they stand on this vital question, we get a reply something like this : 'I am on the fence, but my husband believes in it and is going to vote for it.' "

The importance of individual actions is critical to victory in Pennsylvania. Both Republicans and Democrats have taken a "hands-off" position in regard to the suffrage referendum, and while the decision of Republican Senator Boise Penrose not to actively oppose the measure was clearly useful in getting it on the ballot in the first place, the fact that neither party is actively working for it makes it hard to reach the State's many voters. Fortunately, President Wilson, the nation’s highest-ranking Democrat, has given his support to suffrage - at least on a State-by-State basis - but he won't be campaigning for it in any of the three States where it will be voted upon next month. Republican Governor Martin Brumbaugh has given some personal support in the past, but has remained silent on the issue lately. However, there was an exception made when he talked to the students at Swarthmore on Founders' Day and said he saw no reason why "girls should not play a part in government as well as in the classroom."

There's still hope in Philadelphia, even though the city's Mayor, Democrat Rudolph Blankenburg, has thus far been keeping out of the campaign. He's an avid reformer, known to be a supporter of woman suffrage, and married to an active suffragist, so he may take part in the battle if it looks like it's going to be close, and the voters of his city might make the difference between victory and defeat. But with or without the help of big-name politicians or party machinery, suffragists are confident that these three remaining, hard-fought suffrage battles of 1915 can be won, and no one will be letting up until the last vote is cast on November 2nd.

 

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October 25, 1915 : Eight days to go until New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts vote on woman suffrage, so the campaign in New York, like everywhere else, is reaching its peak. Six thousand five hundred volunteer workers have been here for weeks, and 500 more are about to be added in Manhattan by the Woman Suffrage Party. The party’s fife and drum corps will open a 12-hour outdoor meeting tomorrow morning at 40th Street and Broadway, and they will have a huge rally in Carnegie Hall Friday night, the 29th. The “antis” will hold their final mass meeting in that same location on Saturday night, and are keeping their headquarters at 37 West 39th Street open until 10 p.m. each night.

The Women's Political Union has a room in the Tribune Building from which Margaret Stanton Lawrence supervises the many volunteers who work here during the day. Nora Blatch De Forest comes in at the end of the day to coordinate the work of those who can’t help out until after they've finished their day jobs and who then work there until late at night. The two shifts have now sent out mailings to 50,000 voters. Each envelope contains a letter from Harriot Stanton Blatch explaining why voters should approve woman suffrage, and a sample ballot showing them how to do it. The mailings will continue until right before Election Day. The Union will have a 24-hour rally with “relays” of speakers beginning Friday, and twenty speakers will be out doing open-air street meetings around the city on Saturday night, the 30th.

There will be a “theater evening” two nights from now, with suffrage speeches and box parties at the city’s most prominent theaters, such as the Globe, Harris, Century, Candler, Gaiety, Lyceum, Hippodrome, Bandbox, Republic, and George M. Cohan's Theatere. David Belasco not only offered his theater, but his best wishes as well, saying : “I am with you heart and soul.”

The Publicity Committee of the Empire State Campaign Committee is meeting every afternoon to make sure that each accusation, personal attack and misrepresentation of facts made by the anti-suffragists is immediately countered. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of such propaganda around, so the committee has quite a job on its hands. During the New Jersey campaign, it has been reported that one anti-suffrage speaker told a crowd that in suffrage States : “The vote has been taken from the men, and the women have all the offices.” Opponents in New York are proving equally unscrupulous.

One recent example of opposition tactics here is a leaflet circulated by a men's anti-suffrage group, and entitled "Woman Suffrage : Some Underlying Principles and Comments." It said, among other things, that : "Woman suffrage should be repudiated, because of the type and attitude of the leaders it has drawn to the cause," then named Carrie Chapman Catt and several others as "accepted leaders." It then claimed that all these suffrage leaders "are opposed to the doctrine that the family is the unit of society and the State."

Catt replied that : "The inference from that statement, when taken in conjunction with the context of the rest of the leaflet, is that I hold immoral views and am an enemy to the home and family. I am not. The action of your association in delaying reply and in persistently circulating this libelous leaflet, cunningly designed to mislead, with its implication therein that millions of women who have or desire the vote wish to lead 'loose' lives, is rankly dishonorable, and the exact opposite of that chivalry of men to women on which you anti-suffragists claim women can rely for justice." After first being re-edited yesterday to omit Catt's name, the leaflet now appears to have been withdrawn, though in an unsigned letter about the controversy, the sponsors of the leaflet still claimed that : "We think the principles advocated by the suffragists injurious to the welfare of the State, and of the family, which latter we consider the unit of civilization."

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, the campaign seems to be centering in the Pittsburgh area. Both sides are quite active in that part of the State, though suffragists seem to have the advantage, due to the use of open-air meetings, something the "antis" don't do. Mrs. J. O. Miller, head of the Equal Franchise Federation, says : "Our sincere belief is that the Woman Suffrage Amendment will carry in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County ; that rural districts throughout the State will return large majorities, and that Philadelphia will give at least a small majority that will be favorable." But Julia Morgan Harding, President of the Pittsburgh Branch of the Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage was equally certain of victory for her side, and thinks the result here will be the same as it was in Pennsylvania's neighbor, New Jersey, six days ago.

Though many of the young Democrats in Allegheny County support suffrage, the party as a whole is keeping the same "hands-off" policy toward the suffrage amendment in their part of the State as other Democrats - and Republicans - are doing elsewhere. However, one powerful local Democratic politician, Joseph H. Guffey has said : "I strongly favor woman suffrage. I shall vote to give the women of Pennsylvania the ballot and I shall give them all the personal support in my power." Most of the newspapers have no reservations about getting involved. Six of Pittsburgh's eight papers have come out strongly in favor of suffrage, and neither of the other two have come out against it as yet, so if the voters read the editorial pages, things will go well in the Keystone State a week from tomorrow.

 

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October 26, 1915 : Good news today, as the organized Democrats of New York County announced that "Tammany Hall" would remain neutral on the suffrage issue in the election a week from now. This means that there will be no repeat of what happened in New Jersey a week ago when the most powerful political machine in that State campaigned vigorously against the suffrage amendment, and used every trick in the book on election day to assure its defeat. According to William Harmon Black, who personally favors suffrage :

"I can't make it too emphatic as far as the County Committee, the Democratic organization in the county, is concerned. It is a case of 'hands off.' Every voter is to vote as he likes on the proposition, and there will be neither opposition to the movement nor action in favor of it, as far as the organization is concerned. That is absolutely a fact. There has been no work going on, no organized effort. The County Committee, of which I am Chairman, has taken no stand and won't take any stand. Suffrage must rise or fall on its merits alone, so far as the organization is concerned."

Though an endorsement would obviously have been preferred, no one considered that a realistic possibility, and rumors that the organization would actively oppose the suffrage referendum were becoming widespread. This neutral stand is consistent with the political organizations of Pennsylvania, so there might actually be a realistic expression of voter sentiment on November 2nd in these States.

Of course, there is still organized opposition to suffrage in New York, because the "antis" are quite actively working to defeat Amendment #1. This evening at a debate in the Broadway Tabernacle, Everett P. Wheeler, head of a men's anti-suffrage group, generated laughs from some in the audience when he claimed that the fall of Rome was due to women entering public life. He then went on to say that women wanted the vote for "other things," that the higher divorce rates in equal suffrage States should give supporters cause for thought, and "division in the home" would follow if suffrage were granted to women. Also today, Alice Hill Chittenden, President of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage sent a letter to Mayor Mitchel, challenging his statement of four days ago in which he told an audience at a Carnegie Hall suffrage rally that most women wanted the right to vote. She claims that the figure is really only about 10 per cent, supplied some data to back up her statement, and asked for Mayor Mitchel to prove his statements.

In Pennsylvania, suffragists continue to express confidence about the upcoming vote, and one suffrage worker didn't see any reason why her State would follow New Jersey's example :

"We never expected that New Jersey would return a majority in favor of suffrage. In New Jersey there was a Jim Nugent on the firing line against us. There is no Jim Nugent here, nor is there any organized opposition of any kind that we know of. We sincerely believe that we will carry Pennsylvania."

Officials of the State’s political parties are skeptical, and though they have no actual polling data to back up their doubts, it is said that party leaders expect 16 counties, mostly rural, and comprising just 10 per cent of the vote, to favor suffrage, 28 to vote against, while 23 were too close to call. Other estimates, based on recent votes for Progressive candidates and issues produce equally negative results. But it's all still guesswork, and suffrage organizations have no intention of easing up in their efforts during the final week of the campaign.

The campaign in Philadelphia took a nasty turn earlier this evening when a group of men attacked an open-air suffrage meeting at Sixtieth and Spruce Streets. The leader of a group of Republicans marching to a meeting rode his horse into the crowd shouting "Down with woman suffrage !" as the men and boys behind him fired off Roman Candles into the crowd, with some of the burning embers falling on clothing. Their ammunition exhausted, they then threw buckets of water on the speakers - fellow Republicans as it turns out - until the police arrived and the meeting resumed.

In Massachusetts, the men were somewhat more supportive, as the Men's Campaign for Equal Suffrage held two rallies in South Boston tonight. The Somerville Equal Suffrage League is conducting a house-to-house campaign, and as of today has gotten between 4,000 and 5,000 voters to sign a pro-suffrage statement. According to Maude Carvill, President of the League :

"The canvass will not be completed until next Monday evening and it is believed that in the interval the total will be greatly increased. Our canvassers have found only about one in each 30 voters who is an 'anti.' The great majority of those who would not sign have given us encouragement by stating that they have not yet made up their minds on the question and are open to conversions." However, in Brookline, the "antis" are claiming that a similar campaign has shown only one in twenty-five voters favor suffrage.

But there must be plenty of suffrage supporters in Brockton, because 1,200 turned out to see a parade followed by a rally this evening. The parade featured a band, plus 20 automobiles to accompany the marchers. Mayor John Burbank presided over the rally. The keynote speaker was Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, who spoke for well over an hour, mostly about the progress that has occurred in suffrage States. Meanwhile, back in Boston, there was a lively debate in Faneuil Hall, with the unusual feature of having not just two debaters, but two other distinguished individuals on the stage to verify or dispute any factual claims made by either side. As might be expected, they were kept quite busy checking facts all evening.

The Boston Globe received another telegram from a suffrage State Governor today in response to its queries about how suffrage has worked in the States where it has been tried. Nevada’s Democratic Governor Emmett D. Boyle said :

"Since November, 1914, when women were enfranchised in Nevada, numerous incorporated municipalities have held elections, but no State-wide elections have been held. A very large percentage of the women entitled to vote registered for the municipal elections, and the great majority of those who registered appeared at the polls and voted. The women of the State have taken an active and intelligent interest in public questions.

"Men are more numerous than women here, and there is no place in the world where women are held in higher respect than in the West. We have given Western women suffrage as a matter of simple justice, and the women themselves have embraced the right to a voice in public affairs in such a manner as to effectively disprove the silly arguments that they could not use this voice without a sacrifice of their womanly qualities. I have been an observer of equal suffrage in adjoining Western states, where, after a trial of the system covering years, no one seriously considers a return to the old order of things."

Rose Winslow addressed a large audience tonight in Fitchburg's Depot Square, and made the case from the worker's point of view :

"The history of the world shows that when men have been disenfranchised they have been helpless and that others take advantage of them a great deal more than when they have a part in the government. No class is big enough or sympathetic enough to legislate for another and that is why we have such big strikes all over the world as the one in Belgium just before the outbreak of the European war. In England also men have considered it of such importance to have a part in the government that they have shed their blood in order that they might obtain it.

"Every working man of sense knows that if he had to depend upon the employers for laws to protect him he would be in a bad way ; not because they are bad men, but because they are very apt to look at things from only one standpoint, and that one their own." Winslow quoted the Federal Commissioner of Labor who said : "Without the franchise the world would sink into slavery again in 15 years." She then gave some specific examples of Massachusetts labor laws that might be improved if women had the vote.

Since none of the States voting on suffrage next week border on States where it has already been won, this is an uphill battle, and a major departure from standard tactics. But the success of the spectacular suffrage parade down Fifth Avenue three days ago, and the unprecedented levels of activity by suffrage groups could bring about equally spectacular and unprecedented results, so it's well worth the risk.

 

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October 27, 1915 : One day after Tammany Hall leaders made an unequivocal pledge of neutrality, and assured suffragists that no New York County Democrat would work against the upcoming woman suffrage referendum, a clever and very effective campaign was launched today by the Women's Political Union to embarrass those who may consider violating that promise.

John F. Curry was unable to refrain from making anti-suffrage remarks for even the duration of the day the pledge was made, so today the Union produced a photograph of his signature, as well as those of other Tammany politicians, affixed to a document signed just last year as the State's Democrats gathered in convention at Saratoga, where a pro-woman-suffrage plank was eventually adopted. They said :

"We the undersigned members of the Democratic Party in the State of New York, urge upon our Representatives in State Convention assembled, that the platform of 1914 not only renew the party's promise of 1912 to refer woman suffrage to the voters, but pledge the party to stand in the Constitutional Convention for submitting a Constitution embodying woman suffrage, and we further urge that the platform of 1914 call upon all Democratic voters, when woman suffrage is submitted to them, to help fulfill the ideals of the greatest leader of our party and establish in this State government based upon the consent of the people."

The Union then invited any of the men who signed that statement and are now thinking about expressing opposing views to drop over at any time to refresh their memories about what they believe in regard to woman suffrage.

The theater campaign went well tonight, as many of the boxes in New York's finest theaters bore suffrage yellow bunting and posters that read : "Vote Yes on Woman Suffrage Nov. 2." In some locations, orators were even permitted to make suffrage speeches during intermissions or after the performance. Books of matches with a pro-suffrage message on the covers were also distributed to patrons, as well as many leaflets giving pro-suffrage statements from prestigious individuals up to and including President Wilson.

Senator William Borah, Republican of Idaho, has journeyed all the way across the country to help the cause, and tonight gave a speech for the Bronx Woman Suffrage Party at Hunt's Point Hall. He said, in part : "Do not mind what the antis say about suffrage, for I am willing to predict that they will be the first to rush to the polls when women get the vote .... According to the voting records there were 108,000 citizens who did not vote at the last election. Why not permit the 200,000 women of this greater city to vote and make up this deficiency on the part of the men who fail to perform their political duty ?"

Borah had an audience of more than 3,000, of which at least 1,800 were men, and there would have been more listeners, but when the hall reached its capacity at 8:30, Police Captain Palmer closed the doors. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise has returned from speaking for suffrage in Massachusetts, and spoke there tonight as well.

On another front, Vira Boarman Whitehouse is going to the Public Service Commission to complain about Ward & Gow, a local firm which has refused to take suffrage advertisements for subways, and has even refused to let suffragists place their placards in space donated to them by a supporter who normally uses the space for his company advertising. Ward & Gow has accepted and posted ads from anti-suffragists. If the Commission doesn't act by Saturday, many of the women of the Empire State Campaign Committee will carry their placards in their laps and ride around so that all subway riders will know that 1,000,000 women in New York State want the vote.

Suffragists have been making a major effort in Buffalo for two years now, and the public is finally starting to warm up to it, according to Marjorie Shuler. She expresses optimism and says : "If this remarkable change means anything, it indicates that we have made headway, and that we can look hopefully for a good vote on Election Day." The Empire State Campaign Committee oversees all the activities there and in adjacent counties, and currently averages 18 open-air meetings daily.

In Massachusetts, the battle continues in written form as well as in speeches. An advertisement for the big meeting in Associate Hall in Lowell tomorrow night contains a number of reasons why Massachusetts working men should vote for suffrage. Entitled "Plain Facts for the Working Man" it says that :

"You know that your vote helps you to get better working conditions. Why ? Because it helps elect to office the men who can get you what you want. If you were to die tomorrow and your wife or daughters had to work, they would need the vote for the same reasons. You love your family, but you are away all day and your wife looks after the children and the home. Think what happens when the food supply has not been properly inspected, when there is cheating in weights and measures and in the quality of goods. Your earnings are wasted. Think what happens when there are not enough schools or playgrounds. Your children go without education and play in crowded streets.

"Think what happens when housing laws are bad, and streets are filthy and milk isn't pure. Your babies sicken and die. Think what happens when dance halls and theaters are not decent, and when unlawful sale of 'dope' is carried on. Your boys and girls are in danger of going wrong. Remember you haven't time to look after all these things, and your wife's complaints to the City departments that control them do no good because she hasn't the vote. And don't forget there are more working people in this State than any other kind. When you let the women vote, you will double your power for getting what you need. Think it over. And vote for the Woman Suffrage Amendment, November 2."

The Fitchburg branch of the Massachusetts Anti-Suffrage Association is summarizing their case to the public as well :

"Mr. Voter : The suffrage fight is not a fight between men and women, but a fight between women. A small minority of women is demanding the ballot, and thus is trying to trample on the real rights of the majority of women who wish to remain free from political responsibilities. The sexes were created different, and designed to cooperate not to compete. Each is superior in its own sphere. Both are essential to life. The duty of men is to protect women from the wasteful and unnatural burden of political life. Vote no on Nov. 2."

In Pennsylvania, the suffrage amendment picked up the unanimous endorsement of New Castle's Teachers' Federation this evening thanks to the eloquence of Eudora Ramsey, visiting the city from North Carolina to take part in the campaign. Suffragists in the Keystone State are still expressing confidence, because unlike New Jersey, this will be a regular election, not a special election, so the turnout will be much higher and a much more representative sample of the population. They also have encountered no meaningful opposition from any of the powerful political machines in the State, quite the opposite from what happened in its neighboring State when suffrage was defeated on October 19th.

Six days left to win three States. No easy task, but everyone seems eager to meet the challenge !

 

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October 28, 1915 : Standing in the large, cheering crowd at 59th Street and 8th Avenue tonight watching the torchlight suffrage parade, it's hard to imagine that the New York campaign could possibly get any more intense than it is now. But that's exactly what's about to happen in the five days remaining until Election Day on November 2nd. Tomorrow is when the unprecedented push actually begins, and today all the major suffrage groups were busy at their headquarters making sure that everything goes just as planned when the final offensive is launched.

There’s quite an impressive collection of organizations arrayed on the pro-suffrage side in New York : The National American Woman Suffrage Association, Empire State Campaign Committee, Woman Suffrage Party, Women's Political Union, Equal Franchise Society, and the Political Equality Association. All of them have been working hard for months, but far more ambitious plans are now being finalized for everything from huge rallies in the city's largest halls to subway invasions.

Improvisation brought about the latter plan. Originally, suffrage groups wanted to simply post conventional subway ads by buying space and using some other space donated to them by a business that has a long-standing contract to post their own ads. But Ward & Gow, the advertising firm which places ads in subways, refused to sell them space, or allow them to use the space donated by one of their regular clients, and the Public Utilities Commission has just ruled that it has no power to compel Ward & Gow to allow the ads. So instead, women will ride around all day tomorrow holding big placards for their fellow passengers to see, in order to counteract the numerous anti-suffrage ads that the company has allowed to be displayed in the cars. They won’t be the only women carrying signs. Tomorrow, from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., women wearing “sandwich boards” front and back, advertising that night’s huge suffrage rally in Carnegie Hall, will be walking around town. And just to be certain they’ll be noticed by as many people as possible, they’ll be preceded by a bugler.

Though small in comparison to events to come, tonight's parade was still quite impressive, with large, colorful banners, band music, decorated automobiles, and at the end of the parade route even a cartoonist, Lou Rogers, turning out drawings lampooning the opposition. A "Victory" banner led the procession, with four U.S. flags following. The best float showed "Miss New York" bound to "Ignorance," "Prejudice," and "Vice" due to women not having the vote. At various points along the route, individual automobiles would drop out, park, and speakers would stand up in them and hold street corner rallies for the spectators.

While still confident in regard to the State in general, a few places are now being conceded to the "antis." One of them is Monroe County, whose county seat is Rochester, which, ironically enough, was the home of the late Susan B. Anthony. The Rochester Herald is vehemently opposed to suffrage. "The odds are heavily against us here, although we have worked hard and had good audiences. I fear Monroe is gone and our only hope is that the majority against us will not be too heavy," said Alice Cramer Clement. But in other nearby rural counties, the outlook is far more optimistic. She thinks suffrage will carry in most of them. In Ontario and Wayne Counties, she said that 90 per cent of those surveyed favored woman suffrage.

But while prospects in Monroe County may look gloomy, there was plenty of optimism at a suffrage rally in Oyster Bay, where a letter from former President Roosevelt was read to the crowd. He wrote :

"The opponents of woman suffrage say that it will take women away from the home. If this were so I should certainly not favor it, just as if giving man the suffrage took him away from his business I should not favor it, for making and keeping the home must always be the chief work for both man and woman. There is, however, in my opinion, nothing whatever in this objection. Undoubtedly some foolish women may believe that getting the vote will excuse them from the performance of home duties just as in every democratic extension of the suffrage some foolish men have believed that getting the vote somehow entitles them to live without working. But it is no more possible to base action on an argument of this kind in one case than in the other."

In Pennsylvania, Eudora Ramsey gave a fine speech at an open-air meeting tonight in front of the Rhodes Drug Store in Wampum, south of New Castle. She made some excellent observations about the unfairness of restricting the vote to men, beginning with the fact that every year in almost every town she visited, more girls graduated from school than boys. Why should a woman not vote if she has more education than a man ? And "why should a woman who owns property and pays taxes not be able to vote when a man votes whether he owns property or not ?"

She then addressed some of the anti-suffrage arguments, starting with the one that voting would interfere with a woman's duties at home and cause it great harm. She noted that no one thinks businesses collapse or that men can't be excellent employees if they take a little time out once a year to vote. As to the "ballots = bullets" argument : "Some men are physically unable to go to war but yet they vote. A preacher is not supposed to fight, yet he votes ... Many under 21 fight but do not vote, therefore voting and fighting do not go together." She concluded by telling the audience : "Would a woman vote for war ? No, and this is why they need women's votes. Remember the women on Tuesday. On Amendment Number One we find yes and no. Put a cross by the sign of yes, and you'll pay tribute to the womanhood of the State, and by doing this you will line up with God's progressive people."

In Massachusetts, there are always at least 50 women typing away every day at the Boston headquarters of the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, with volunteers coming in and out all day and well into the evening. One of their goals is to send out 630,000 circulars, so they've been busy on that for a while and will keep working until every last one is mailed. Among the things mentioned in the flyer is that all the candidates for Governor favor suffrage. The Gubernatorial nominees of the Progressive and Socialist Parties have gone a step further than endorsement, and given suffrage speeches. And though the two major party candidates have only given their endorsement, the prestige of having Governor Walsh and his principal rival on record as favoring suffrage should be of great help on Election Day. President Wilson's support for woman suffrage, at least on a State-by-State basis, is also prominently mentioned.

Boston suffragists are often cheered by the positive, free publicity given the movement by the local newspapers, who are "rooting for the cause" according to Mr. W. H. McMasters, a leading suffragist who can usually be found at the Boylston Street headquarters. In addition to press support, there's also organized labor on board. The State branch of the American Federation of Labor has endorsed suffrage, and many of its well-known leaders have given speeches calling woman suffrage a labor issue. Of course, as everywhere else, saloon interests in Massachusetts are freely opening their wallets and quietly bankrolling anti-suffrage organizations, one of which, the Massachusetts Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage has its headquarters just a block away from the pro-suffrage group. Their campaign is much smaller, and more low-key than the sophisticated, aggressive, and overtly political campaign being waged by suffragists because they don't believe in "the woman politician."

Tonight, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw addressed a mass meeting in Lowell at Associate Hall. The program opened with the band playing "America" while the audience waved little American flags provided to them. She eloquently pleaded not just for suffrage, but for every progressive reform that woman suffrage could help bring about. She also noted that the present European war might have been averted if women had been part of the political establishment : "What a different world it would be today if those few men in Europe had just consented to come together and talk the matter over. Women would have talked the matter over until it was settled. It might be wearisome, but it wouldn't have been death."

Shaw challenged the male voters of Massachusetts to live up to the principles of democracy :

"All we are asking is that men should look the truth in the face, to believe the thing they believe. Do we believe that republican form of government is desirable ? If we do, then let us live it. If we do not, then let us say so, honestly, like men, and say that we believe in an aristocracy." She went on to define a republic as a government in which laws are made by representatives elected by the people. "When did the people of Massachusetts ever elect representatives ?" she asked. "Never in the world ! The men of Massachusetts have elected representatives, and men are people, admirable people, so far as they go ; but then, you see, they only go half way. There is still another half of the people who have never elected their representatives. When one-half the people elect representatives to represent the whole of the people, it is not a republic but an aristocracy."

As in New York and Pennsylvania, Republicans and Democrats are observing an official "hands off" policy, though it's thought that in Massachusetts the Democratic politicians are more favorable to the amendment than the Republicans. But with the political machines standing on the sidelines in all three States with suffrage referenda coming up, the measures should have a good chance of victory five days from now if, as suffragists believe, that's what the average male voter in each State wants.

 

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October 29, 1915 : The final few days and most strenuous phase of the New York State suffrage campaign was kicked off at midnight this morning when the Women's Political Union began 24 hours of continuous speeches at 47th and Broadway. But that was only the first of 250 open-air suffrage meetings held today in various parts of New York City by all suffrage groups as the November 2nd election approaches and last-minute arguments are being made to every potential voter.

The Woman Suffrage Party has just begun their own speechmaking marathon at Columbus Circle late this evening, and among those expected to speak overnight will be "General" Rosalie Jones, who led her band of suffrage hikers to Washington, D.C., in February, 1913, and on two hikes to Albany. The rally at Tompkins Square began a few hours ago and features a band, with Dora de Vera of the Boston Opera Company doing the singing. Another of the big rallies being held tonight is at Madison Square with music provided by the 100-piece Beethoven Symphony Orchestra.

But tonight's rally in Carnegie Hall was certainly the biggest, and the best advertised. Not content to just distribute massive numbers of flyers around town, its sponsors had young women, led by a bugler, and wearing front and back "sandwich boards" promoting the rally walking around town from 2 p.m. until just before the meeting began. This goes to show the kind of enthusiasm that permeates the entire campaign, because there was really no chance that the event would be less than a sellout thanks to Carrie Chapman Catt presiding, and a number of noted orators making the case for suffrage.

Representative Edward Keating, Democrat of Colorado, got a laugh when he addressed some of the statements made by anti-suffragists that "Votes for Women" had been a failure in the Western States : "I ride in the subways here in New York and I read the anti-suffrage signs and learn many new things about the West that I never knew before." Rabbi Wise's speech was so well received that he was later compelled to give another, and in the encore he said that he wished he could do something similar on Tuesday and vote twice for suffrage. He also talked of the European war, and said that women should have had a say about whether their nations should have become involved : "There will never be a beginning of the end of war until women have such a voice."

Mothers who favor suffrage have been driving around town all day in the "Baby Truck" decorated with drawings of "Kewpies" by suffragist Rose O'Neill. It contains suffrage balloons and toys to be given to children while their mothers go to meetings or listen to speeches given by, and addressed specifically to, mothers. Even though women can't vote, they can certainly influence the men who do.

This campaign is being run with professional political precision. Seven years ago names on suffrage petitions were gathered, then index cards made for each name. In addition to this, polling lists are used to gather more names for the index cards, then canvassers go out and knock on doors and mark "S" on the cards of those who indicate that they're pro-suffrage, "I" if they're indifferent, and "U" for unconverted, rather than a more pessimistic "O" for opposed. This tactic is proving to be as effective as anything used by any political machine in the city's history.

Though no one at the Empire State Campaign Committee would give exact figures today, and the outlook in Rochester and Syracuse is not favorable, there was a universal expectation of victory. Registration is up Statewide, and most of these new voters are thought to be pro-suffrage. Speeches have been well received, and the turnout for the parades and other events has been phenomenal. Alva Belmont, of the Political Equality Association said today that :

"Not long ago it was almost impossible to get a man to consider the subject, and now I find that they come into our headquarters and buy literature because they want to understand the question. Miss Florence Harmon, who does most of the speaking for the Association is often kept out, with her mother, until 1 o'clock in the morning answering questions. The men are so interested they buy literature off her on the street and give generously to the contributions for the work. As suffrage is only a question of reason and justice, as soon as people begin to consider it they will favor it."

Of course, no amount of confidence will lead to any slackening of efforts between now and November 2nd. In fact, the campaign will continue even on Election Day, with 2,500 women officially certified in Manhattan alone as poll-watchers. They will be on duty inside the polling places to guard against fraud. There will also be volunteers stationed as closely as the law allows outside every polling place to give instructions, answer questions, and give out sample ballots showing how to vote for suffrage. The suffrage organizations are doing everything right - and in just four days we'll know if the voters do their job right as well.

 

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October 30, 1915 : The last Saturday before Election Day is traditionally a time of frenzied activity, and today was no exception as New York suffragists expressed confidence about victory on Tuesday while working around the clock to attain it. From elevated stages to down in the subways, "Votes for Women" advocates seemed to be everywhere, as did the color of "suffrage yellow."

The twenty-four and twenty-six hour street corner speechmaking marathons in Times Square and Columbus Circle have successfully concluded, and the enthusiasm and eloquence of the speakers were the same regardless of whether the audience was someone pausing briefly while on their milk delivery rounds at dawn, or a large throng when the streets were crowded with those on their way to or from a restaurant or the theater. The orators usually came in threes, in two hour shifts. One is an experienced veteran acting as a kind of chaperone as well as a senior speaker, accompanied by two younger suffrage speakers. It was estimated that at the 24-hour rally 19,800 stayed long enough to listen to the principal arguments being made. Attendance and enthusiasm was also high at the "Yellow Rally," a concert in Madison Square this evening accompanied by speeches giving many persuasive reasons to vote "yes" on Tuesday, made between the musical selections.

New volunteers are still coming in to the Woman Suffrage Party's headquarters asking for work to do on Tuesday, but since there are already enough poll-watchers to staff every polling place in the city, the new recruits will be assigned to stand 100 feet from the polls to answer any questions and give out sample ballots to voters. The official poll-watchers will be well qualified, because the Party has been giving formal, mandatory training sessions for them since April.

One thousand women were in the Hotel Astor today pledging themselves to victory at the Elizabeth Cady Stanton centennial luncheon, then as the event ended, they quickly rushed back to the various campaign offices to work to fulfill that pledge. Stanton was born on November 12, 1815, and it is hoped that women in her home State of New York may have the ballot by the time it would have been her 100th birthday. Harriot Stanton Blatch, head of the Women's Political Union, and daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, said :

"Our race is nearly run. Now, as we are approaching Nov. 2 and victory, we may well look back for one hundred years and realize how, step by step, we have built up the organization of today. We have done this, too, of ourselves, for, unlike every other disenfranchised class, we have not had one great group of men to fight our battles for us. With the exception of the aid of a few brilliant men, we have all these years been fighting our battle unaided."

There was a lively debate this morning at Carnegie Hall, with Katharine Houghton Hepburn, President of the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association and Alice Hill Chittenden, of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage doing most of the speaking. Among the best comebacks was one made by Hepburn, who said that if the "antis" really believed that there was great dissatisfaction with woman suffrage in the West among both men and women, they should be busy out there trying to get the women of those States to vote to disenfranchise themselves.

Carnegie Hall was filled again this evening, but by anti-suffragists as they held their final big rally. James M. Beck, former Assistant Attorney General of the U.S., called woman suffrage "the most disastrous and absolutely irreparable experiment in the history of our Government" and said that if New York were to approve it on Tuesday, it would make State government such a farce that "Abandon hope all ye who enter here" should be written on the portals of the State Capitol. A number of suffragists were in the audience, not to disrupt, but to see if there were any new arguments being made that needed to be refuted in the closing days of the campaign.

But the speakers kept to the traditional arguments about how most women don’t want to have the vote "forced on them," and that woman suffrage would destroy the family and society. In one rather fanciful example, Colonel John P. Irish said that even though “only 20%” of women in California had registered to vote since winning suffrage in 1911, there had been a “300% increase” in juvenile delinquency. He claimed that this was because mothers were neglecting their family duties to become involved in politics and therefore “the human chicks are left to the hawk while the hen is up on the fence trying to crow like a rooster.” He failed to give any evidence for either of the percentages he used in his premise, and both are disputed by suffragists.

Former President Roosevelt has reaffirmed his support in writing for the suffrage amendment, and in doing so noted four Queens who were excellent rulers : Isabella of Spain, Elizabeth of England, Catherine of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria. "If a woman is deemed fit to be the head of a mighty monarchy, surely no adequate reason can be advanced against allowing her to exercise the rights of sovereignty in a democracy."

Making sure that everyone on the streets would get the "Votes for Women" message was not enough today. Over 100 "Lap Board" women, about 50 of them teachers, boarded the subway at the Seventy-second Street Station, and took the message underground. The placards, printed in black ink on a yellow background, and about half a square yard in size, were quite favorably received by the riders, and a good antidote to the anti-suffrage ads that appear in the subway stations. The "Lap Board" women will be riding again on Monday.

Though the vast majority of those speaking for the established political parties in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are of the opinion that the suffrage referenda in each of their States will be defeated, suffragists are undaunted and enthusiastically looking forward to Tuesday night's results. Election predictions are always uncertain, but there is no doubt being expressed by anyone at any suffrage headquarters tonight that the pro-suffrage side is running an all-out, honorable, and highly effective campaign, and that many more people support suffrage today than did just a few months ago. So, victory is approaching, the only question is whether it's going to be this time around or the next.

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October 31, 1915 : Despite being Sunday, this was no day of rest for New York's suffragists with Election Day coming up on Tuesday. The offices of the Woman Suffrage Party, Empire State Campaign Committee and Women's Political Union were open early, and crowded at all times. Even the W.P.U.'s little “Suffrage Shop” somehow managed to host a total of about 1,000 people at various times during the day, while the final poll-watching class was going on back at their headquarters. (Interestingly, the "antis" will not have poll-watchers, as they do not believe women are "fitted or qualified" for the work.)

At the office of the Woman Suffrage Party there was a good deal of activity going on, though exactly what's being planned is a secret, with no one willing to discuss this latest project. "Be silent - the enemy listens" was the word there today, and many regular volunteers were nowhere to be seen, but are said to be busily working unobserved at some other undisclosed location.

The battle of statistics continues, with Carrie Chapman Catt, head of the Empire State Campaign Committee defending her claim that 1,000,000 of New York State's women want suffrage, while Alice Hill Chittenden and Josephine Dodge of the New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage say that only 10% of the State's women want the vote. According to Catt : "We have made no 'wild guess,' we have 'framed up' no false statement. We canvassed. We found our million women." Catt's organization has gone to a great deal of trouble to gather these statistics. Many communities have been canvassed house to house, and they have maintained booths at 98 county fairs, the State Fair and numerous expositions.

Catt also noted that the 'antis' have not changed their 10% estimate in ten years despite the phenomenal growth of suffrage sentiment in that time, as shown by the addition of seven States to the full-suffrage column in just the past five years. Suffrage parades didn't even exist a decade ago, but the one on October 23rd was conceded by even the most vehemently anti-suffrage newspaper in the city to have been a stunning and massive spectacle. Even that turnout was not a complete reflection of suffrage sentiment because according to Catt, "thousands of women did not possess the physical strength to stand waiting for hours and then walk two and a half miles. Many were obliged to work Saturday afternoon, and thousands more to remain home with their children."

Carnegie Hall continues to be a focal point of the campaign, as the anti-suffrage rhetoric of last night was replaced by equally strong, but more eloquent, oratory in favor of suffrage this evening. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise said :

"The cause of equal suffrage is one additional symbol of the history of a great movement of the awakening, the revolt, the uprising of women against centuries of wrong and injustice, for repression and suppression are wrong and injustice."

He also spoke to the issue of the current European war, and said that : "I do not say that wars will end when women have the vote, but I will essay the role of the prophet in this one instance and say that there is not going to be an end to war before women have the vote."

He then went on to take his most radical stand yet, supporting a kind of "birth strike" if men continue to deny the ballot to women :

"I can conceive that the time will come when women will say 'Either give us a share in the Government or else we will no longer be mothers. We will not give life to a child and a child to life ; we will not bear sons unless we can assure ourselves that they will be permitted to live." He then addressed another anti-suffragist argument by saying : "In the face of this great calamity of war, how can men say that government could be made worse by the participation of women ?"

Enthusiasm for the cause has gotten so great that the police had to order a suffrage rally to quiet down because their singing of "America" was disturbing a church service being held by anti-suffragist Dr. Charles Parkhurst in the Madison Square Presbyterian Church. Once the service was over, the singing resumed, with a musical program that ran from "My Old Kentucky Home" to the "Star Spangled Banner."

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, Margaret Foley addressed an audience of 2,000 in Worcester's Mechanics Hall tonight. She admitted that this was an uphill struggle, with political bosses in her own city of Boston "busy today getting men out of jail so they will have their vote," and U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and other powerful "Old Guard" politicians working openly with the “antis.” She closed by saying : "We are not asking for any privileges. We are simply asking for justice. No more, no less." She said that though all wrongs would not be righted if women won the vote, "the men must trust us ; with their assistance we will win by the largest majority given woman suffrage by any State in the Union." In Springfield, Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale addressed an audience of 1,000 on the subject of "Women and Democracy."

Registration figures in all three States where suffrage referenda are on the ballot are unusually high, so interest in the election is great. That's as it should be for such a momentous event, because nearly six million new voters could be added to the rolls if all the referenda pass. The number of women over the age of 21 in New York is 2,757,521 ; in Pennsylvania 2,114,008, and in Massachusetts 1,074,485 for a total of 5,946,014.

Though suffragists are expressing optimism, political leaders in each State are predicting defeat, so there are contingency plans. In Massachusetts the 1915 campaign will immediately shift into a 1916 campaign if necessary. In may take longer to get back on the ballot in New York and Pennsylvania, due to Constitutional requirements, but at the moment all efforts are concentrated on this year and the hope that no further campaigns will be needed in these three States.

 

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November 1, 1915 : Election Day is tomorrow, so this final day of the New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts suffrage campaigns has been a busy one. In fact, for two volunteers at the Manhattan headquarters of the Women's Political Union it's unending, because Elizabeth Collins and Marian Tompkins are still there even at this late hour. They will be sleeping on cots until 3:45 in the morning, when they'll begin to call poll-watchers, as well as other volunteers who will be stationed 100 feet from polling booths with literature, and answers to any questions undecided voters may ask.

Though some suffragists went to bed at a reasonable hour tonight for the first time in weeks, in order to prepare for tomorrow's work, others are still up and giving speeches. Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, whose dedication to the cause seems inexhaustible, was last seen at a Madison Square rally at 6:00 this evening exhorting a crowd of men to vote for suffrage. Another meeting arranged by Rose Sanderman didn't even begin until 8:00 and is still going strong with no signs of breaking up anytime soon.

Members of the Men's League for Woman Suffrage were active in both the East and West Sides late into the evening. The day's major speechmaking effort began this morning when 200 automobiles carrying speakers, banners and literature met at the Battery, then went out to hold 500 separate suffrage rallies, visiting every district in Manhattan and the Bronx. Another smaller group, which consisted of a wagon and goat cart carrying literature, accompanied another group of automobiles. They started from the Bronx at about the same time, and all met together at 4:30 this afternoon.

Instructions to official poll-watchers who will be stationed inside the polling places have now been printed by the Women's Political Union. Among their list of "Dont's" are : "Don't bubble with exuberance at the polling places ; be merely pleasant. Don't wear fluffy ruffles. Make yourself small ; most polling places are limited in space. Don't get in the way of legitimate business, but tactfully obstruct illegitimate business."

The Woman Suffrage Party has told its volunteers, who will stay 100 feet from the polls and therefore be able continue to lobby for suffrage : "Do not enter into conversation with voters except to show them sample ballots ... and to make a pleasant request to vote for the Woman Suffrage Amendment. Do not give to any one any information whatever as to how the election is going - do not discuss your hopes or fears with any one, even your fellow-worker. Be dignified. Be serious. Do not enter into argument with any one, man or woman."

Predictions about tomorrow's outcome vary, though Carrie Chapman Catt's optimism is always a constant :

"I do believe we are going to win. There never was such a suffrage campaign in which things were apparently so favorable as they are here in New York, but at the same time I have never taken part in a campaign in which there has been such great hostility as here in New York. And, also, I have never been in a campaign where there was organized against women a band of influential men and men stooping to use such unscrupulous means of fighting." She said the New York campaign has cost somewhere between $ 175,000 and $ 200,000, but that she expected to win by 50,000 votes.

Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association says :

"The politicians, they tell me, have refused to predict. Well, I am not afraid to predict victory. It has been a most remarkable campaign - easily the most remarkable campaign I have ever been through, and I have been campaigning for forty years."

Harriot Stanton Blatch, a daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton - who would have been 100 this month - not only predicted victory, but like Catt, gave the margin : "I believe woman suffrage will win by a majority of 10,000. I do not believe that New York City will go for the women, but I think suffrage will lose only by a small majority, and that will be made up by the returns from up-State. (If so, the pattern would be reminiscent of the California suffrage referendum of four years ago when the farmers, ranchers and small town voters overcame the vote deficit run up in San Francisco and the Bay Area.)

Among the city's gamblers, however, odds of four to one against passage were being offered, with even odds in regard to the New York County vote. But there were few takers, even among the curb brokers on Wall Street who are noted for their election wagers. Tammany Hall politicians reiterated their neutrality, offering as proof the fact that when they sent out sample ballots they made no recommendation on the suffrage amendment. Most of the Tammany leaders are thought to be opposed to suffrage, and several of the city's prominent politicians have said that they think it will be beaten in New York City by two to one, and go down by 75,000 votes in the County.

But while some of the old, established politicians may not be sympathetic to the cause, suffrage certainly seems to have the support of youth. A straw poll was taken at Columbia University today and the vote was 431 for and 129 against. Ninety-seven of those student votes came from women, and all were in favor. Suffrage should get good press coverage in the future, as Journalism students voted for it by 30 to 4.

Pennsylvania suffragists have been working hard as well, and tonight the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association made its final appeal :

“Men of Pennsylvania, your wives, mothers, sisters and daughters ask you to help make Pennsylvania the next State in the nation to give justice to its women. We ask it confidently – we have faith in Pennsylvania manhood.

“There are interests opposing us that will not bear the light of day, but we do not fear them. We have faith in you. We believe that when you go to the polls tomorrow you will remember that the sole impulse behind our request for the ballot is the desire to help produce a better civilization of the kind we have today – a civilization in which men and women may work together for the common goal of family, State and nation.

“Bearing that fact in mind we believe you will vote “Yes” on amendment No. 1 so that Pennsylvania may have, in addition to the strength of her manhood, the full service of her womanhood. We believe this because we have absolute faith in your sense of fair play, and in this spirit of faith and comradeship, we rest our case in your hands.”

In Massachusetts tonight, eight thousand women are preparing to stand their shifts 100 feet from the polls tomorrow. They will be holding up signs saying : “Show Your Faith in the Women of Massachusetts. Vote ‘Yes’ on the Amendment Enabling Women to Vote.” The Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association has summarized its appeal by saying :

“We believe the voters will heed this last personal voluntary appeal of the women rather than any appeal of a more political nature. The long campaign of the women of Massachusetts to win citizenship, as the women of 12 great Western States have done, is ended. We have appealed to the intelligence and sense of fair play of the voters. We have paid our campaign bills. We have tried to live up to the highest standards of our Commonwealth, and we await the verdict of the voters of Massachusetts at tomorrow’s election, with the utmost confidence in the result.” (The "12 great Western States" she refers to are presumably the 11 equal-suffrage States, plus Illinois, where women can vote for President and local offices, though not as yet for Statewide offices.)

Naturally, the “antis” are making their last-minute appeals as well, as in this one from the Fitchburg Branch of the Massachusetts Anti-Suffrage Association to the men of their city :

“To the Men of Fitchburg. We appeal to you to vote “NO” on the women’s suffrage amendment. We who are your partners in your home affairs and in widespread charitable work appeal to you not to throw this additional burden upon our shoulders. We do not believe that on the whole we could manage the business of government better than you do and we are sure that what falls to us under the partnership as it exists today could not be as well done. We appeal to you not to burden the majority of women whose lives are now filled in order to satisfy the desires and ambitions of the minority. We ask you to do this work yourselves as well as you can and we have confidence that in the future as in the past the men of Massachusetts will so act as to safeguard and promote the interests of all members of the community, women and children as well as men.”

The suffrage struggle has become a test of endurance and resilience. There were defeats in 1912 in Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan, in 1913 in Michigan again, in 1914 in South Dakota, Ohio, North Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri, and two weeks ago in New Jersey. But no one gave up, so there have been victories as well : Washington in 1910, California in 1911, Arizona, Oregon and Kansas in 1912, Nevada and Montana in 1914. It's still debatable whether tomorrow's result will be a repeat of 1912's three losses or its three victories, but one thing is for certain. The cause marches on, and is three years closer to final victory than it was in 1912 regardless of what happens tomorrow.

 

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November 2, 1915 : Never before has the cause of woman suffrage been better presented to the public, nor has it ever gotten more favorable votes from the male electorate than today. And while the most obvious sign of progress may be missing, in that the number of States in which women have full suffrage is the same tonight as it was before this massive Eastern Campaign began, there is no doubt among those who made this magnificent effort that public support has increased greatly over the past few months, making eventual victory even more certain, and bringing the day of that victory nearer.


Rev. Anna Howard Shaw has been here at the National American Woman Suffrage Association headquarters on New York's Fifth Avenue all evening as the latest reports continue to come in. She was just asked how long today's triple defeat in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania would delay a new attempt to win another State. "Until we can get a little sleep. The fight will be on tomorrow morning - on forever, until we get the vote," she replied, in an answer that would have been the same if given by anyone in any suffrage group's headquarters tonight.

She continued : "If, when the final count is in, we have not won the State, we have at least won the greatest victory in the history of our cause, because we have won the biggest number of votes ever cast for that cause. Although we may not have won the ballot this time, we have won hundreds of thousands of supporters by this fight. We have lost nothing. It is our opponents who have lost. They had the whole State before ; they haven't now. We are the only victors in the fight." She is already looking forward to the next State Constitutional Convention, and having a suffrage amendment included among those submitted to New York voters. And when it is, "we will sweep the State," she says confidently.

Rev. Shaw said that her eight years of preaching in Cape Cod made her aware of just how conservative the Bay State was, and so defeat there was not unexpected. "All the young people I married moved away. The Progressive blood has left Massachusetts." As for Pennsylvania, she certainly hasn't given up hope there, as "we start anew there tomorrow night at a mass meeting in the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, at which I shall preside."

Though pride and victory usually go together, today was an occasion when they could justifiably be separated. Everything that suffragists could control worked flawlessly. Many volunteers and staffers even went beyond the call of duty, and all made their leaders proud. In New York City, thousands of women poll-watchers were at their posts when the first voters arrived, and did their work diligently until closing time, assuring that only legal votes were cast, and by those sober enough to do so.

This was the first time that women have been officially designated as poll-watchers here and they met with great acceptance by courteous male voters, contrary to anti-suffrage propaganda about what might happen if women were allowed into polling places. In fact, there was not a single report of a fist-fight at any polling place in the city, so while the ballots cast may not have resulted in women gaining the right to enter the voting booth to cast a vote, the practice of putting women in the polling places as official observers seems to have brought about an unprecedented improvement in the demeanor of voters, and is a practice likely to continue.

Other suffragists, still campaigning until the last moment, stood the required 100 feet from the polls with sample ballots and answers to any question an undecided voter might have about suffrage. Cars decorated with suffrage pennants and suffrage colors were seen driving on every major street all day, often greeted with applause from those on the sidewalks when the pedestrians weren't busy reading suffrage flyers or posters put up at every possible location.

Though early in the evening it had been hoped that there might be a repeat of the California victory of 1911, in which the first returns were from big cities and quite gloomy, but later the farmers, ranchers and small town voters brought victory, the pattern wasn’t repeated here. As expected, the big cities rolled up huge margins for the "antis," but this time, the vast majority of rural counties went "anti" as well, with only a few localities giving tiny margins of victory to suffrage. According to the latest projections, about 57% of voters appear to have voted "no," with an adverse majority of at least 80,000 in New York City. Suffrage will lose by 47% to 53% in Pennsylvania, with Philadelphia providing almost the entire margin of defeat. In Massachusetts there appear to be almost two "no" votes being cast for every "yes."

When added to New Jersey's 58% rejection vote two weeks ago, tonight's results paint a rather pessimistic picture of suffrage 67 years after it was adopted as a goal at the Seneca Falls convention of 1848. But there is another side to the figures. Despite this being the first time a major campaign has been waged in any Eastern State, and none of the States with suffrage referenda bordered on a State where women already vote, one and a quarter million men have voted in favor of equal suffrage, and that's more votes than the Republican nominee got in those four States in the most recent Presidential election, so suffrage is now in the "big leagues" of politics.

No one disputes that there are many difficulties ahead. The Pennsylvania and New Jersey Constitutions prohibit another referendum on the same issue from being submitted to the voters until a specific number of years have passed, so these will be long-term campaigns at best. In Massachusetts, the rejection is by such a large margin that many supporters say they will be turning their attention to the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which would enfranchise women nationwide if made a part of the U.S. Constitution. Harriot Stanton Blatch, of the Women's Political Union announced tonight that she's done with State referenda, and having to appeal to huge numbers of individual male voters, and will instead be concentrating on lobbying just the 531 men in Congress for passage of the Anthony Amendment, something Alice Paul's Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage has been advocating for some time.

But Dr. Shaw is convinced that by continuing to use the political machinery and expertise that has been built up during this campaign, the 43% support for suffrage that already exists among the male voters of New York can be increased to 50% plus one. If that could be done, it would be the kind of victory in a big Eastern State that would not just regain the suffrage movement's credibility and momentum, but force New York's biggest-in-the-nation Congressional delegation to worry about women's votes, and therefore push for the Anthony Amendment.

So, though the "antis" may be celebrating their biggest victory tonight, they had better not sleep late tomorrow morning thinking that suffragists are so dejected that they’re giving up the fight or even taking a long break. The new campaign begins in just a few hours, and on multiple fronts. No one here sees the 42% - 47% support for "Votes for Women" in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey as a ceiling that will always keep women close to - but never quite able to reach - the ballot box. Instead, it's a solid floor upon which to build the last step to victory in these States.

 

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November 3, 1917 : It's hard to believe it was just two years ago yesterday the suffrage movement endured its worst setback, because its biggest victory may be only three days away ! Twenty-four months of constant campaigning, political organizing - and U.S. entry into the war - have changed everything. But the biggest difference is that this year all efforts are focused on New York, as opposed to 1915 when suffrage forces had to simultaneously run four major campaigns in four big Eastern States.

In 1915 there was a major controversy over the claim that "A million New York women want the vote." This year there could be no doubt, because petitions containing 1,035,000 names of voting-age women who live in this State were prominently displayed in the suffrage parade on October 27th. Last time, Though there was a pretty fair degree of political organizing last time, this year, under the leadership of Mary Garrett Hay, the New York City branch of the Woman Suffrage Party has put together a political machine that rivals Tammany Hall, with over 2,000 women precinct captains in New York City. Eighteen million leaflets have been distributed Statewide : house to house, dropped from the air, given out at fair booths, and on the streets at open-air meetings. Speeches have been made in the largest as well as smallest forums, and posters urging a "yes" vote are tacked up on every available space.

No town in the State could hold a parade this year without there being at least one suffrage float promoting the cause, and a week ago in New York City, at least twenty thousand marched for suffrage down Fifth Avenue. They were accompanied by 40 bands, in a parade that took three hours to pass. Outside of the city, eighty full-time organizers have been spread out around the State, and have held about eleven thousand meetings from Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo to the smallest hamlets, with no military camp or church in the State overlooked as a potential speaking engagement.

Just the fact that the suffrage amendment is back on the ballot so soon is a tribute to the persistence and political power of the suffrage movement. This required the approval of two successive State Legislatures, so Vira Boarman Whitehouse, head of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, deserves special praise for her skillful and tireless work in helping achieve this feat.

The great strength the suffrage movement is presently showing is even more remarkable considering how many suffragists are also engaged in war work. Once the "European War" turned into a "world war" after we entered it in April, members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, under the leadership of Carrie Chapman Catt, and the Women's Advisory Committee of the Council of National Defense, under Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, N.A.W.S.A.'s previous president, began encouraging and coordinating women's defense work. Though this obviously has taken time away from the suffrage struggle, it may actually help it, as more and more voting men are becoming aware of the contributions women are making to winning the war. They see that withholding the franchise from women is not just unfair, but an embarrassment to our democratic ideals and gives the impression that the nation is unappreciative of women's efforts to preserve democracy.

This evening more than 2,000 people packed a meeting at Durland's Riding Academy on 66th Street, to hear Rev. Shaw and other speakers talk of both patriotism and suffrage. After receiving a standing ovation when she came on stage, Shaw attacked an anti-suffrage leaflet entitled "Hugging a Delusion" by noting that it was to preserve and expand democracy that the war was being fought. She said :

"Are the men who are fighting in the trenches hugging a delusion ? Are the mothers who send their sons to the front hugging a delusion ? Oh, the shame of it ! Enfranchisement ! The symbol of freemen !" She later declared that she was so confident of victory that she invited everyone to come to a celebration on election night at Cooper Union.

James W. Gerard, Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, began by praising women's war work and asking "When have women ever failed to show the bravest spirit in the war ?" He then went on to talk about the need for women to have the vote in order to win economic equality. "Women in industry do not receive the same wages as men. A girl in a box factory receives $4 a week, and if she wishes a pair of shoes she must go without meat and have only two meals a day." The meeting was preceded by an all-afternoon rally at Columbus Circle, which followed a parade led by two women carrying large American flags.

Though elections are always unpredictable, it seems quite unlikely that New York will follow the example of Maine. Local suffragists rejected Carrie Chapman Catt's advice and got a suffrage referendum on the ballot on September 10th. It was defeated by the voters after a hurried, but intense campaign. New York's campaign has been massive, well-organized, and under way for two years, and will give the men of the nation's most populous State a chance to show that they think their partners in the war effort deserve what the country says it's fighting for : Democracy.

 

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November 4, 1917 : The New York State suffrage campaign is coming to an enthusiastic and optimistic finish with just two more days remaining until the vote. In a statement issued today, Carrie Chapman Catt said :

"In the name of the 2,000,000 women who comprise the National American Woman Suffrage Association, and who are straining their eyes toward the great promise of victory in New York State on Tuesday, I ask you to vote for woman suffrage." Referring to a giant petition containing 1,035,000 names, she went on to say :

"Remember that more than 1,000,000 of your mothers, wives, sisters, and sweethearts want you to vote for it, and have said so over their signatures. Remember that our country is fighting for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government. Vote for woman suffrage, because it is part of the great struggle toward democracy. Vote for it as an earnest of our country's sincerity, when it says that it fights for democracy."

A seasoned veteran of suffrage campaigns in New York and three other States in 1915, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise is still as dedicated as he is eloquent. Speaking in Carnegie Hall to the Free Synagogue today, he addressed and demolished every anti-suffrage argument one by one, and said that now is the time "to right a great moral wrong." He expressed no sympathy for male anti-suffragists :

"If we continue to disenfranchise the women, it will be because of the meanness and want of elementary generosity of the men. The men who vote against suffrage are cowards. They are guilty of cowardice, because they know that, whether the women get the vote or not, these women will continue to do their duty by their families and by their country. So far as the men are concerned, they lose nothing by depriving the women of the vote. But democracy loses, and will continue to lose, as long as men continue to perpetuate this injustice."

Rabbi Wise also noted :

"The argument that equal suffrage will weaken the strength of our Government is an argument against democracy, and an argument for just that kind of Prussianism which we are now fighting against. Before we can make the world safe for democracy we must de-Prussianize our own country by admitting the women to the franchise to which they are entitled."

To the argument that women in suffrage States have not yet succeeded in curing all political ills, he reminded those present that "not more than 30 per cent of the women are voting today, and yet they are expected to improve government. If woman suffrage has not purified politics already, it is because men have made politics so unclean, so filthy, that it will take 100 years of a deodorizing cleanser in the hands of the women of America to make politics clean."

Meanwhile, the Woman Suffrage Party gave out a letter today that shows great support for woman suffrage among our soldiers, contrary to the claims of Everett Wheeler and other anti-suffragists. It began :

"Company K of the Seventy-first New York Infantry wishes to go on record to say that its every member is in favor of woman suffrage. And allow us to tell you swivel chair polishers of the Man Suffrage Association that the real red blood of this country, the men who are today in khaki, are better able to judge whether or not the women of this country shall share the privilege of the franchise. We, who have sacrificed our positions, in order to better serve our country and have offered our lives that the same country might be safe and that democracy shall be made safe for the world, have seen, realize, and appreciate what the women of this country have been willing to do for us.

"Through their powerful influence, laws for our betterment have been enacted. And, by the same token, we, the men of the United States Army, look forward to that same potent influence to cause proper protection for the wives and children that we are about to leave behind. We look forward to these future female legislators to properly enact laws so that our progeny may be educated and raised in a manner that shall be a monument to the sacrifice that we are today making."

Vira Boarman Whitehouse, head of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, is expressing confidence as well : "We have made a careful canvass of the State and we find that the sentiment is strongly in favor of the proposed suffrage amendment." Recalling the election of 1915, and equally optimistic predictions by suffrage leaders before a similar measure was rejected in four States, among them New York, she said :

"We realize, of course, that many of the voters may express themselves on one side of the question and vote on the other, but in several cities men of affairs have altered their opinion since the last election. Mayor Stevens of Albany is one of these, and the Mayors of six other cities up-State have similarly expressed themselves."

Though the outcome won't be known for 48 hours, the kind of unprecedented organizing that's gone on, and the high degree of support for suffrage that's being expressed by prominent individuals, as well as by average voters in straw polls, has made for a good deal of justifiable optimism. But no one in any suffrage headquarters seems overconfident enough to ease up in their efforts until after the last vote is cast day after tomorrow.

 

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November 5, 1917 : It's nearly all over but the voting ! Tonight, the final suffrage meetings and rallies are still going on, and leaders are making sure that their armies of volunteers who have been working almost non-stop through two successive campaigns are ready to shift gears overnight and work just as hard to assure a fair election, and that every man who wants to vote for woman suffrage in New York State gets to the polls tomorrow.

The battle in the newspapers continues unabated, with paid advertisements by both sides, and free editorials. The New York State Woman Suffrage Party has an ad in many papers today entitled "To Win The War !" It notes that the Empire State is :

"… the largest, richest State, nearest, most vulnerable and desirable as a prize for an invading enemy. Yet half the force of the State has been fighting with hands bound. The men and women who ask you to vote for Woman Suffrage are not suggesting it as a pretty compliment to womanhood. They ask it as a vital, sound, tremendous step in putting every ounce of power that can be marshaled behind our country in its time of need." President Wilson's words of last week, that "This is the time to vote for Woman Suffrage" were also featured. It concluded by saying : "Your country needs not half but all her power ! Without the vote, the women of New York cannot give their whole great fund of strength. Release the added power that has been held in check ! To win the war, vote 'Yes' Tuesday !"

Carrie Chapman Catt, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, has taken a similar stance. She recently attacked the anti-suffragists for their failure to support our wartime President in his call for equal suffrage : "Is this the loyalty of which the 'antis' prate so much ? Is this to hold up the hands of the President in the hour of his greatest need of a country united under his leadership ?" She reminds voters that : "To vote 'yes' is to vote to uphold the hands of the nation's leader, who puts woman suffrage in the front rank as part of that democracy the world is fighting for."

The Middletown Daily Press was just one of many New York State papers that had praise for the suffrage effort, as it declared today :

"The suffragists have made a splendid campaign. They have lined up on their side all the leaders of thought and all the better element in politics in the State. If these forces are not sufficient to carry the day then one is moved to pity for the greatest State in the union that, in this enlightened age, with such a furor about democracy and the entire world at war for it, it can still register its stand-pat-ism and Tory-ism by turning down a proposition that will do more toward advancing real democracy than anything that has happened in years."

But suffrage leaders from Syracuse to Manhattan are expressing no fears about defeat tonight, and expect just the reverse of two years ago, when New York City gave an 82,755 vote advantage to the "antis." This year there was an unprecedented house-to-house campaign, and major unions worked zealously for suffrage. A number of women closely connected to Tammany Hall's most powerful politicians were recruited into the New York City branch of the Woman Suffrage Party by Mary Garrett Hay, so the State's biggest city is expected to provide a huge boost for suffrage tomorrow, instead of an insurmountable rejection.

But even at this late hour tonight, the rallies still go on in large cities and small, with the same intensity as if suffrage was trailing badly, because no one can say for certain that it isn't. Vira Boarman Whitehouse will be at her desk at the New York State Woman Suffrage Party headquarters tomorrow morning at 5:00, with leaders of all other suffrage organizations at their posts soon afterward, supervising the over 6,300 women who will either be poll-watchers inside the voting places, campaigning 100 feet outside them, or transporting voters there because turnout is critical. As the polls begin to close, there will be huge gatherings at each organization's headquarters as the results come in, followed by a two-years-overdue celebration of victory - or the launching of the third New York State suffrage campaign.

 

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November 6, 1917 : Victory ! The biggest prize of all, New York, is now a suffrage State, and tonight the campaign's leaders are already enthusiastically planning how to use their new power to push for winning suffrage nationwide through the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.

Things began to go well from the start, when as expected, suffrage workers took up their assigned posts as poll-watchers, covering every voting location in the city, while others stood 100 feet from the polls, giving out sample ballots and answering questions. Still more volunteers knocked on doors to be sure that all those who had said they were pro-suffrage would vote today, with rides available if needed. As the day progressed, reports came in that a number of local politicians who had been strong opponents of suffrage either said that they voted for suffrage this time or had at least dropped their opposition, so optimism grew.

The offices of the suffrage organizations were busy all day, as leaders took in every tidbit of information - and rumor - trying to get some idea of how things were going, and making sure that any problems that came up at the polling places were quickly fixed. But finally the last vote was cast, and for the first time since a similar election night two years and four days ago, there was nothing for anyone to do but wait.

Fortunately, the suspense didn't last long. Though in the old days it was necessary to wait for an election "extra" to hit the streets, citizens in these modern times get the results much faster. For instance, in many of the vaudeville houses, theaters and restaurants, stereopticons projected slides with the latest results written on them onto the walls, so patrons could read them. But ironically, it was a vehemently anti-suffrage newspaper which broke the news that delighted suffrage forces. The New York Times uses a searchlight, plus smaller lights of different colors, with each color symbolizing a particular contest, to give updates to the huge crowds that gather on election nights. When the big white searchlight was pointed west then moved up and down it meant they had projected that suffrage would win. Immediately, a woman began making her way through the crowd, and when she got to the suffrage headquarters exclaimed : "The New York Times signals that suffrage has won !"

After what were probably the first three cheers for the "Times" ever given at any suffrage headquarters, Carrie Chapman Catt, Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, Mary Garrett Hay, and other suffrage leaders got similar ovations and the party began in earnest. Things got even cheerier when word came that Associated Press had projected victory by at least 40,000 votes. At this point Dr. Shaw took out a brooch with a gold suffrage flag and some tiny diamonds, and pinned it on. It was originally given to Susan B. Anthony on her 80th birthday, and then had only 4 diamonds in it representing the four States where women could vote in 1900. Now it has seven more, and one for New York will be added soon. Dr. Shaw then said :

"Since December I have not slept nine nights in my own home, but I have said to myself, 'If New York will only vote for suffrage I will be willing never to sleep there as long as I live.' New York has gone over the top today for the whole world by this great suffrage victory. The New York election will have a decided influence upon the British Parliament in granting the extension of suffrage to the women of Great Britain. It will also have an influence with the French Parliament."

Mary Garrett Hay, head of the New York City branch of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, which hosted the gathering, was asked if this office would be closed now that suffrage was won in New York. "No, indeed," she said emphatically. "We have leased our headquarters for another year and we shall go right on with our work. Now we have to educate women for the full rights of citizenship. We are going to start tomorrow night with a meeting at Cooper Union to work for the Federal amendment. Our work has only begun." She later went into more detail about the new campaign :

"Another battle has been won in the great war for political equality. The men of New York City and State have proved themselves to be as broad-minded, and as just, as loyal to the principles of democracy as I have always thought they were. Although we have won the battle we must keep marching along the suffrage road, keeping our organization in good working order, so that we can fight for the Federal amendment. We have always championed it, but because of our too-strenuous campaign we have not been very active in its support. Now all our forces will be allied with the National American Woman Suffrage Association to win the Federal amendment, and then to see that our New York Legislature ratifies it, and we shall use our great organization also to further civic work in the City of New York."

The winning of New York - the first State east of the Mississippi where women have full suffrage - is not just of symbolic importance. It has the largest Congressional delegation of any State, and having all its members dependent upon women's votes for their re-election should help with getting the Anthony Amendment through Congress and sent to the States for ratification. New York's 43 Electoral Votes can now be added to the 172 in States where women already have full suffrage - or partial suffrage and the right to vote for President - so women's votes will now always be crucial to anyone running for the White House. And no State without woman suffrage has as many voters to convince as there were in New York, so if it can be won here, it can be won anywhere.

The war for democracy is being fiercely fought worldwide, but tonight a major advance for that cause was achieved using only peaceful methods, and the suffrage army's advance now seems unstoppable.

 

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November 7, 1917 : The festive atmosphere that prevailed at suffrage offices last evening continued this morning amid a run on "I Am A Voter" buttons by the newly enfranchised women of New York State at the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The joy remained undiminished late tonight at the largest - and possibly loudest - meeting ever held in Cooper Union.

But even with all of today’s celebrations, there was still time to sift through the returns from yesterday’s suffrage referendum, as well as make serious plans for the next step in the battle. The unprecedented organizing efforts in New York City paid off well. Two years ago, the city voted against suffrage by an 82,755 vote margin, which would have sunk the 1915 suffrage campaign even if up-State voters hadn't rejected the referendum by an even greater margin of 112,229 votes. But this year, the suffrage referendum appears to have broken about even in the rest of the State, while getting what looks like a 100,000 vote boost from New York City. This landslide endorsement of "Votes for Women" leaves no doubt about the outcome, even though a few rural results are not in yet.

The Empire State’s victorious suffragists lost no time in gearing up for the next step, which is winning the vote nationwide. Both Mary Garrett Hay, head of the New York City branch of the Woman Suffrage Party, and the Executive Board of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, sent telegrams to President Wilson this morning thanking him for his support. Carrie Chapman Catt, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, her immediate predecessor, have been invited by the President to bring a delegation of suffragists to the White House later this week for a meeting. Catt and Shaw are expected to use their audience with the President to try to convince him to support nationwide suffrage through the Susan B. Anthony Amendment in addition to his already expressed support for winning suffrage on a State-by-State basis.

Former President Theodore Roosevelt expressed his happiness today at the result of yesterday’s election. According to Col. Roosevelt : “The women deserved it, they were entitled to it, and I am glad the voters saw it as they should. The vote for suffrage has grown wonderfully, and the vote of yesterday is an honor to every man who marked his ballot for women.” Apparently he did some local lobbying, because the measure passed by 242 to 70 at his local polling place in Oyster Bay.

Every major suffrage leader was at the Cooper Union victory jubilee tonight, but since the applause and cheering was virtually constant and unrestrained, it was often hard to hear the declarations of victory that everyone has waited for since the end of the first campaign in 1915. Carrie Chapman Catt got the first deafening ovation when she opened the meeting by addressing the predominantly female crowd as "My fellow citizens...." She then noted the historic significance of yesterday's triumph when compared with other issues and candidates on the ballot, and why November 6th will long be remembered as a red-letter day for women :

"Mayors may come and Mayors may go. A hundred years from now the deeds of the present-day Mayors will have been forgotten. But the children of the centuries to come will learn that on November 6, 1917, a great step in human freedom was accomplished in the State of New York. I want to give our heartfelt thanks to the men who voted for suffrage ; and to those who voted 'No' I want to say that we won fairly and squarely. Be good sports now and accept us into the fraternity of democracy." Between Catt's greeting and the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" which closed the program, there were other words of victory, but always mixed with re-dedication to the hard work that still remains.

Vira Boarman Whitehouse, head of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party was one of the many who said she had no intention of taking any time off : "People say to me, 'Well now, I suppose you're going to take a rest.' But we shall never rest till every woman in the whole United States is enfranchised." Reflecting on four unsuccessful State campaigns in the Fall of 1915, and alluding to the suffragists now turning their attention to a Federal amendment, she said : "We're going to save Pennsylvania the trouble of another State campaign, and we're going to save Massachusetts .... and New Jersey ...." (At which point a member of the audience from the Buckeye State shouted, "Save Ohio, too, while you're at it," to great laughter and applause.)

A resolution was adopted by those at the assembly to "renew our appeal to Congress to submit the Federal woman suffrage amendment to the Legislatures of the several States in order that the suffrage campaign, stretching over a period of more than half a century, may be brought to a speedy close, thereby releasing the energies of the women of the nation from the struggle for political justice, so that with singleness of purpose we may work for worldwide democracy."

Another resolution called for Rev. Shaw and Carrie Chapman Catt "to carry to the President of the United States expressions of our gratitude for his assistance in the New York State woman suffrage campaign, and to urge him to extend further aid to our cause by recommending in his annual message that the Federal amendment be submitted to the States." A final resolution expressed thanks to the press for its "valuable service" and hoped that it would also give equally positive coverage to the campaign for national suffrage.

The final speaker was Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, who expressed the kind of unbounded optimism that is now becoming widespread in the aftermath of this victory. She noted that back in 1906, when suffrage hadn't won a State in a decade, and only four States permitted women to vote, Susan B. Anthony, in her final days, predicted that the battle would be fully won by 1920. "That year will be the hundredth anniversary of Susan B. Anthony's birth, and I hope we shall celebrate it by completing the triumph of democracy," said Dr. Shaw. With the kind of enthusiasm shown tonight, and the sort of political expertise demonstrated in the recent campaign, that goal no longer seems an unrealistic one.

 

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November 8, 1917 : Alice Paul, serving two sentences totaling seven months for peacefully picketing for suffrage outside the White House fence, began undergoing force-feeding today, seventy-eight hours after beginning a hunger strike. She has been serving her time at the District of Columbia Jail since October 22nd, and is presently in the prison hospital.

This is not her first experience with such an ordeal, so she knows exactly what she's facing. On November 9, 1909, she was arrested in London, England, for taking part in a suffrage protest at a banquet at the Guild Hall, and sentenced to 30 days of hard labor in Holloway Jail. (She and another protester sneaked in early, disguised as scrub women, and when Prime Minister Asquith paused during his speech, she shouted : "How about votes for women ?") Upon imprisonment, she refused to wear jail clothes or perform any labor, and immediately began a hunger strike. Soon the twice-daily, brutal ordeals of force-feedings began.

"Silent Sentinels" of the National Woman's Party have been picketing President Wilson outside the White House since January 10th. They are highlighting the hypocrisy of his vigorously promoting democracy around the world, while refusing to help bring democracy to the female half of his own country by failing to endorse, or work for, passage of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment.

The pickets - whose banners often display Wilson's own words praising the right of citizens to choose their own leaders - have over the past 10 months encountered bitter cold, snow, pouring rain, summer heat and humidity, arrests and imprisonment. Ever since the U.S. entered The World War in April, hostile crowds have attacked the pickets for criticizing the President, and have stolen or torn their banners.

Rose Winslow, another of the seven imprisoned suffrage pickets, has taken up a hunger strike as well, and is also in the hospital ward. Both women are protesting denial of political prisoner status, the extra restrictions put on suffrage prisoners only, as well as the prison diet, which consists mostly of salt pork and cabbage. Other prisoners - even murderers - have the opportunity to supplement their diets with food from the outside, have access to newspapers, exercise, and fresh air, all of which have been denied the "Silent Sentinel" White House pickets.

When Paul became ill due to bad food, the cold, bad air and no exercise, and first entered the hospital, she was offered the opportunity to have milk and eggs, but refused to accept them unless all the suffrage prisoners could have the same improvements in their menus. Now Paul is getting milk and eggs via a feeding tube forcibly inserted by the hospital staff.

Day before yesterday, Cora Smith King, Alice Paul's personal physician, was allowed to visit her, and said that Paul was even thinner than when she entered the prison. Paul told King at that time : "If we are to be starved, I prefer to be starved all at once. There is no use giving us special food today and not tomorrow simply to keep us alive as long as possible."

Though no one is being allowed to see or communicate with the prisoners at this time, contributions, and words of support can be sent to the headquarters of the National Woman's Party at Cameron House, on Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. Coming just two days after the exuberance of winning woman suffrage in New York, today was a sobering reminder of how much sacrifice and work remains if final victory is to be achieved.

 

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November 9, 1917 : Today Alice Paul was able to get her side of the story out about her ordeal in the D.C. District Jail. She's in her 19th day of serving seven months for peacefully picketing in favor of woman suffrage - and against President Wilson - outside the White House fence. It was learned that she been force-fed through a rubber tube three times in just over 12 hours since authorities ended her hunger strike yesterday, and that she is currently "under observation" and threatened with being declared insane and confined indefinitely in an asylum if she doesn't renounce the "militant" tactic of picketing for the right to vote.

She said she was examined by five physicians yesterday, then taken to the prison's psychopathic ward for a mental examination by a Dr. Wright, of St. Elizabeth's, a local institution where those declared insane are committed. She was told that as "ringleader" of this "disturbance" (the National Woman's Party's picketing of President Wilson) she'd be sent to St. Elizabeth's if it wasn't stopped.

Prison officials have been doing everything they can to make her as uncomfortable as possible. When she requested privacy, her door was removed. When she asked to have one of her windows opened, it was nailed shut. Her warm coat was confiscated, and she had a sleepless night due to the constant shrieks of the patients in the ward.

The prison physician and the warden have portrayed force-feeding as a relatively benign procedure in which Alice Paul and Rose Winslow voluntarily comply, making it as painless as possible. Dr. Gannon said : "There was no forced feeding. These women took the food without resistance and merely want to advertise themselves by saying they have been fed forcibly. Miss Paul's condition is not critical ; it is not even serious. She is doing well." Superintendent Zinkham admitted that the feedings were forced, but claimed "they took it like little lambs."

The truth came out today. "It's a lie. I have resisted to the limit of my strength," said Paul. Helen Paul, who along with Agnes Morey later managed to somehow get within shouting distance of the building where the psychiatric patients are kept, gave out the following statement in her sister's behalf :

"Not for anything less than the full rights of political prisoners would I go through this. In making this demand we are fighting to secure honorable conditions for suffragists in jail, making it possible for them to live through their imprisonment, and we are protecting the rights of political offenders everywhere in the nation." It was also learned from others in the prison today that the groans and struggles of Rose Winslow were heard outside the room where the force-feedings are done, and that food has been seen spattered on the clothing of those who carry out this form of legalized torture.

Alva Belmont, leader of the National Woman's Party's New York branch, sent a telegram to President Wilson today protesting "the barbarous and inhuman treatment of Alice Paul and Rose Winslow and their comrades, now unjustly and illegally detained in the Washington jail." She held the Wilson Administration responsible for what was happening to the suffrage prisoners, and said that "persecution by the Administration is causing dangerous popular revolt against the abandonment of democratic ideals to which you have pledged our nation."

The struggle will go on, both in and out of prison. The National Woman's Party will continue to picket the President until he lives up to his own often-professed ideals of democracy by endorsing and lobbying Congress for passage of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which, when ratified by ¾ of the States, would bring democracy in the form of nationwide woman suffrage to the women of his own country.

 

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November 10, 1917 : Today, forty-one brave suffragists answered the question of whether recent mass arrests followed by increasingly lengthy prison sentences would be enough to deter American citizens from asserting their right to peacefully voice their demand for equality while standing on the sidewalk next to the White House gates. Their answer was a defiant "No !"

Protesters came from as far away as Oregon, and ranged in age from very young women up to 73. The demonstrators, each carrying a colorful five-foot banner, made such an impressive sight on their way to the confrontation that they did not encounter the now-customary jeers or attacks by the large crowd.

After leaving the National Woman's Party's headquarters at Cameron House together, the suffragists divided themselves into five divisions, with the New York contingent making the first advance toward the sidewalk next to the East Gate of the White House. Captain Flather, of the D.C. Police, had been busy pushing back the waiting crowds who had gathered for the spectacle, so that streetcars could pass down Pennsylvania Avenue. But when the marchers approached the gate, he abandoned that work, blocked the marchers' path, and though they were in no way interfering with pedestrian traffic, he told the women to "move on." Eunice Dana Brannan said they would do no such thing. There were a few moments of stares and silence, while both sides waited to see if the other would back down. No one did, and so Captain Flather ordered the women arrested and taken to a "Black Maria" police van for transport to the nearest station house.

As the first group of protesters was being driven off, a second group, headed by Agnes Morey of Massachusetts, and which included women from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, moved on the West Gate. They were met by police as well, arrested, and driven off in a second van. With military precision, the third group, Californian Elizabeth Kent in the lead, and composed of troops from Oregon, Utah and Colorado, immediately moved on the East Gate. The crowd had now picked up on the pattern, and knew to swivel their heads regularly to watch the action as if it were a tennis match. After the East Gate was cleared, the ritual was repeated again, with the West Gate coming under siege by picketers from Oklahoma, Minnesota and Iowa led by Mrs. Barnes of Indiana. Anna Kelton Wiley of D.C., and reinforcements from Louisiana, Maryland and Florida made the day's final assault back at the East Gate.

Among those in this last group were Lucy Burns, just released after a 60-day sentence in the infamous Occoquan Workhouse, and Mary Nolan, age 73, the eldest of the "Silent Sentinels." As she was being led away, Nolan said : "I go to jail willingly in this cause only. I have come here to picket, feeling it my conscientious duty. I am in the work for good to the end of my life. I have always done everything possible for women. The only way we can gain our freedom is by the women uniting and enduring any ill-treatment the Administration gives us, proving the steadfast purpose and the nobility of the cause."

President Wilson saw the huge crowds and final group of demonstrators being arrested as he and his wife returned from a drive around town. So today's action clearly succeeded in reminding him of the fact that not everyone is happy with his position that he supports woman suffrage, but thinks it ought to be won on a State-by-State basis, rather than through the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment.

After being transported to the police station, all the demonstrators were booked and released on $25 bail each (the full $ 1,025 paid by Mary Ingham) and ordered to appear in Police Court for trial day after tomorrow.

It's going to be impossible for the Administration to shrug off these protests as being made by radicals or political enemies. Elsie Hill, daughter of the late Representative Hill of Connecticut noted :

"Once more the Administration finds itself in an embarrassing position of arresting on technical charges the women relatives of strong Administration supporters. Mrs. William Kent of California is the wife of the National Chairman of the Wilson Independent League, ex-Representative Kent, who has recently been appointed a member of the Tariff Board. Miss Mary Bartlett Dixon is a cousin of Mitchell Palmer of Pennsylvania, Democratic floor leader in Mr. Wilson's first Administration, and recently appointed receiver of enemy property. Others arrested were Mrs. Harvey Wiley, daughter of the late General Kelton, U.S. Army, and wife of the pure food expert. Dr. Wiley stumped the country for the election of Mr. Wilson in his first Presidential campaign. One of the most interesting prisoners the jail authorities will have under their control is Miss Paula Jacobi of this city, who was for four months matron of a prison in Massachusetts and has studied prison reforms ever since."

Alva Belmont, a member of the Executive Committee of the National Woman's Party, asked : "What have we come to in America when splendid women, loving liberty, are arrested for asking : 'Mr. President, in your message to Congress, urge the passage of the federal suffrage amendment enfranchising women' ?"

Alice Paul and Rose Winslow remain in the District Jail, being force-fed multiple times each day, with Paul kept in the psychiatric ward. She is threatened with being declared insane and committed to St. Elizabeth's Asylum indefinitely if she doesn't call off the picketing of President Wilson by her National Woman's Party. Neither Alice Paul, Rose Winslow, or any of the other suffrage prisoners in the D.C. Jail have any intention of giving in, and every one of the demonstrators arrested today intends to be just as defiant in court, as well as in prison should they be found guilty of the standard false charges of "blocking traffic" on the sidewalk.

 

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November 11, 1917 : Where did the 41 suffragists arrested yesterday while trying to picket along the White House fence spend part of what may be their last day of freedom before their trials tomorrow ? In the District of Columbia Jail. Why ? So they could express their support for the suffrage prisoners already there, and especially Alice Paul, being held in the jail's psychopathic ward, and force-fed three times a day for being the "ringleader" of the "Silent Sentinel" White House pickets.

The assembly was not, of course, approved by the warden, but it went forward anyway. Anna Kelton Wiley, Elizabeth Kent and Lucy Burns led their fellow visitors double-file to the warden's office where they demanded to talk to him. The warden's wife came to the door and said they couldn't see him because "the poor man is prostrated," presumably due to the barrage of phone calls from the public objecting to the extreme punishments being given to the "Silent Sentinel" suffrage pickets.

The delegation decided they weren't going to leave without accomplishing their mission, so they fanned out and began looking for Alice Paul, Rose Winslow, and the other suffrage prisoners. Soon, someone called out : "There's Miss Paul ! There she is !" A few surprised guards were no match for the women's determination, so some of Paul's most ardent supporters rushed by them and clustered below her window to salute her. "West Virginia greets you !" "Oklahoma is with you !" "New York salutes you !" were among the first words that rang out.

Despite force-feedings, and sleepless nights listening to the shrieks of patients in the psychopathic ward, Alice Paul seemed as spirited as ever, and told her supporters :

"Many of you will probably be here tomorrow. I want to say to you now that you will find the conditions intolerable. You must make it clear from the first that you are political offenders and demand that you be treated as such. Your number will make it impossible for them to do anything but grant your demands."

When asked how she was doing, Paul replied :

"Oh, I'm all right. I am being forcibly fed three times a day. It is worse than in England. There they feed you only twice. I am able to prevent them from giving me half of what they bring, but I have not the strength to prevent them from forcing me to take some." She was told to "hold on," and she assured those below : "Oh, I will." Then she reiterated : "I want you all to demand that you be treated as political prisoners. That's what you must do." They assured her they would.

The guards regrouped, and began pushing the women away from the window and toward the prison gate. But as they passed Rose Winslow's window they called out to her as well. Winslow told them : "I am resisting their feeding all I can, but I am too weak to put up much resistance. My stomach is resisting, though." Officials at National Woman's Party headquarters are telling of notes that Winslow has smuggled out of jail, calling prison conditions "frightful" and speaking of the torture of force feeding, in which she and Alice Paul are held down while a rubber tube is forced into their throat and liquid poured in through a funnel. According to Winslow's note :

"Alice Paul dreaded forcible feeding. I hate to think how she must be feeling. I had a nervous time of it, gasping a long time afterward and stomach rejecting during the process. Spent a bad, restless night, but otherwise all right .... We are denied food from outside, visitors, clothes, books, many things, so please make that clear. All of the prisoners have made most of the demands we are making, as you know." In a note to Lucy Burns, Winslow says :

"The feeding gives me a severe headache. My throat aches afterward, and I always weep and sob, to my great disgust, because I try to be less feeble. It is horrible. I'm very much interested in seeing how long our so-called splendid American men will stand for this form of discipline."

The injustice of Alice Paul's being held in the psychopathic ward became even more outrageous yesterday when it was reported by Lavinia Dock that even Warden Zinkham doesn't think she belongs there. He reportedly told Dock that "I have never met a more brilliant mind" and that he would be "a subject for the psychopathic ward" himself "if there is not a let-up in the flood of protests I am receiving."

If protests are having such a powerful effect, they need to be kept up, and even increased. The National Woman's Party is doing everything it can to make sure no one forgets the ordeals being undergone by the prisoners. Protest meetings against the ridiculously long sentences given peaceful picketers for trivial – and false - offenses, such as "blocking traffic" on the wide Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk, are being held all over the country by those who believe that public pressure can put an end to these outrages. A flyer for a meeting in New York City tonight - a State where women won the vote five days ago, and shows what can be accomplished with enough determination and work - is shown here. Attend if you can, and then go to Washington to demand the release of the suffrage prisoners, and fair treatment for all those who want to exercise their Constitutional right to peacefully protest for equal suffrage.

 

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November 12, 1917 : It's not easy to shock the suffragists who have been picketing President Wilson, but today they were truly caught by surprise. They've been standing along the White House fence each day displaying large, colorful banners since January 10th. In addition to extremes of weather, they've experienced everything from friendly crowds and Wilson tipping his hat to them when they first began, to jeers and their banners being torn by attacking mobs after the U.S. entered the War in April, followed by arrests beginning on June 22nd and increasingly long jail terms since June 27th. (Alice Paul is currently serving sentences totaling seven months, and is being force-fed three times a day while being held in the psychopathic ward of the District Jail for being the “ringleader” of the “Silent Sentinel” pickets.)

But today, Judge Mullowney of the D.C. Police Court did something absolutely no one expected. After all 41 of those arrested day before yesterday made their statements in his courtroom, they were given suspended sentences and permitted to go free. Whether this is a sign that the authorities have decided to give up trying to persecute women for exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully protest, or is simply a way of making it look as if they're being given leniency before extreme sentences are imposed if they protest again is being debated tonight. But the uncertainly won't last long, because 31 of the banner-bearing protesters went right back to the White House fence, were once again arrested, and will be back in court soon.

At their trials today, the defendants told the judge - and the many reporters present - why they protest, and that they do so in what they believe is a totally legal manner. According to Anna Kelton Wiley :

"I want to state that we took this action with great consecration of spirit. We took this action with willingness to sacrifice our personal liberty, in order to focus the attention of the nation on the injustice of our disenfranchisement, that we might thereby win political liberty for all the women of this country. The Constitution says Congress shall not in any way abridge the right of citizens peacefully to assemble and petition. That is exactly what we did. We peacefully assembled, and then proceeded with our petition to the President for the redress of our grievance of disenfranchisement. The Constitution does not specify the form of petition. Ours was in the form of a banner. To say that we 'broke the traffic regulations' when we exercised our constitutional right of petition is therefore unconstitutional."

Elizabeth Kent said : "My conscience is clear. I walked on Saturday afternoon from Cameron House to the further gate of the White House. I obstructed no traffic. I was moving. At the further gate there was no crowd. I held a banner which all might read. The Administration should commend, instead of allowing a prison sentence to be imposed upon, women who hold aloft words which show the utmost devotion to the ideals of political liberty on which the Government is founded."

Eunice Dana Brannan emphasized the need for a Federal suffrage amendment and reaffirmed the reason why the National Woman's Party is picketing President Wilson at the White House :

"As a newly enfranchised New York woman, I realize more acutely than ever the limitations of the State referendum method, the fact that we are prisoners in our own State so far as our franchise is concerned. So long as the President refuses to indorse the Federal amendment he proves to his own country and to the whole world that he is an advocate of the unjust discrimination against American women - that he preaches democracy in words but not in democratic deeds."

The tactics of the pickets are controversial, provoking both strong support and vehement opposition even among their fellow suffragists. A delegation of 40 women voters from New York - enfranchised just six days ago by a State referendum - went to the White House today. Two were admitted and allowed to leave a petition asking for the release of the suffrage prisoners, and for President Wilson to recommend to Congress that it approve the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment so it can be sent to the States for ratification.

But Carrie Chapman Catt, President of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, spoke for more conservative suffragists and said today :

"The pickets make the psychological mistake of injecting into this stage of the suffrage campaign tactics which are out of accord with it. Every reform, every change of idea in the world passes through three stages - agitation, argument and surrender. We have passed through the first two stages and entered into the third. The mistake of the pickets is that they have no comprehensive idea of the movement and are trying to work this first stage in the third. We stand on the threshold of final victory, and the only contribution these women make to it is to confuse the public mind."

However, according to Dora Hazard, who heads the Syracuse, N.Y., branch of the National Woman's Party, many members of the public in her area who disapprove of picketing the President are far more offended by the lengthy sentences and harsh prison treatments imposed on the protesters. So, the National Woman’s Party's campaign seems to be succeeding in keeping the issue of suffrage before the public and generating sympathy for those who take part in the protests, and therefore for the cause itself. The "Silent Sentinels" will continue their protests.

 

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November 13, 1917 : Today the "Silent Sentinels," who are picketing President Wilson over his failure to support nationwide woman suffrage, battled a hostile mob, then were arrested by police - who failed to arrest any of their attackers - and tonight all 31 suffrage demonstrators are being held in the D.C. House of Detention after refusing to post bail. The police arrived late at the scene of the near-riot because they hadn't expected the suffragists to demonstrate today. The protesters had been given "suspended sentences" yesterday for Saturday’s picketing, and knew that Judge Mullowney could recall them to court and jail them at any time if they engaged in any further "illegal" activities.

But the pickets would not be deterred from taking up their posts along the fence near the White House gates. They marched there from Cameron House, the National Woman's Party's headquarters, with their colorful suffrage banners held high. Things went calmly for a while, but once the government employees began leaving work, the small audience of passers-by turned into a large hostile crowd. A few boys then began stealing and tearing their banners, at which point the situation deteriorated rapidly. Police were called and eventually restored order, but only after taking the peaceful protesters into custody and off to jail in patrol wagons. They will face Judge Mullowney again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the ordeals of Alice Paul and Rose Winslow continue in the District Jail. Paul has been there since October 22nd, serving seven months for her part in the picketing, which has been going on since January 10th. She began a hunger strike on November 5th, and has been force-fed three times a day since November 8th. Today she finally got a visit from the lawyer for all the pickets, Dudley Field Malone. It was necessary for him to go to the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia to compel the warden to produce Alice Paul so that he could confer with her. Malone said afterward :

"Miss Paul and Miss Winslow both are very weak and are being forcibly fed. They are resisting food as a protest against the failure of the Government to treat as political offenders women who are arrested for demanding the passage of the Federal suffrage amendment.

"I was shocked to find that Miss Paul, because she is the leader of the National Woman's Party, had been singled out from among the other suffragists and transferred to the psychopathic ward, in spite of her demand first to see her personal physician and her attorney.

"Miss Paul is imprisoned in a room in the midst of insane patients, whose shrieks she can hear day and night. For fear she may not hear them the door of her room has been taken off. One of the windows has been boarded up with heavy wooden shutters, and the other one cannot be opened to let in air, so that most of the air must come from the inside halls of the building. Against her protests, alienists have repeatedly been sent to interview Miss Paul and have even brought with them a stenographer to take down what she says.

"I talked with Miss Paul for an hour and a half, and she is more sane than any of the administration officials who have been responsible for this outrage. I demanded of the Warden that this malicious attempt to discredit Miss Paul's leadership and to reflect on her sanity in placing her in the psychopathic ward, surrounded by maniacs, cease at once, and that she be removed forthwith. If this is not done, I shall appeal to the court for relief from this unspeakable situation.

"It is time that the sportsmanship and gallantry of American men and that the humanity and political power of the women voters of the State of New York and of the Western States spoke out against this conduct of the Government."

Though only Alice Paul and Rose Winslow are being force-fed, they are not the only suffrage pickets in the D.C. Jail, and the number of imprisoned suffragists may increase dramatically tomorrow. So while today is the one-week anniversary of a major triumph - women winning the vote in New York State - the battle nationwide is far from over, and things may get a lot tougher for the "Silent Sentinels" very soon.

 

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November 14, 1917 : A travesty of justice in court today, as Judge Alexander Mullowney gave 31 "Silent Sentinels" outrageous sentences for trying to peacefully picket outside the White House fence on November 10th and 12th in support of woman suffrage. The "offense" for which they'll be serving time in jail is "blocking traffic" on the sidewalk, though they have always been quite careful never to cause any problems for pedestrians. There may be more jail time to come, because they still face trial in the same judge's courtroom for yesterday's picketing.

Lucy Burns, considered by Mullowney to be the current "ringleader" of the militants while Alice Paul is serving seven months in the D.C. District Jail, got the longest sentence : six months. (Three months for each offense, the terms to be served consecutively.) Dora Lewis and Eunice Dana Brannan received 60-day sentences, 30 for each offense. The others got sentences of 30 days, except for three who got 15 days and Mary Nolan, age 73, who must serve six days. Judge Mullowney seemed quite concerned about how Nolan might fare in prison, and urged her to pay her fine. But she told him :

"Your Honor, I have a nephew fighting for democracy in France. He is offering his life for his country. I should be ashamed if I did not join these brave women in their fight for democracy in America. I should be proud of the honor to die in prison for the liberty of American women."

Thirty of the thirty-one have been sent to the infamous Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia, while one, Hilda Blumberg, went to the District Jail.

LATE UPDATE : Occoquan Workhouse is living up to its barbaric reputation tonight as the suffrage prisoners endure a night of terror which began after their arrival at 7:30. After refusing a request to meet with the new inmates to discuss their request for "political prisoner" status, Superintendent Whittaker and a number of guards suddenly burst into the room where the women were being processed. Dora Lewis immediately stood up and began to politely state her case for granting “political prisoner” status to those imprisoned for no other reason than peacefully picketing in favor of political equality. Whittaker angrily replied : “You shut up. I have men here to handle you.” He told the guards to seize Lewis. Several guards dragged her off, then others did the same for the rest of the women in the room. All were subject to rough treatment while on their way down the poorly-lit corridors of the prison and thrown into filthy, unheated “punishment cells.”

A number of women have already been injured. Just a few examples : Dorothy Day's arm was twisted as she was slammed into the back of an iron bench twice. Mary Nolan was dragged off by two guards, despite saying she would go to her cell willingly in order to avoid having any injury inflicted on a foot she already has to treat carefully. She lost her balance when thrown into her cell, and struck the iron bed. Alice Cosu, who was rudely shoved into the same cell, struck the wall. Dora Lewis was knocked unconscious after her head hit the iron bed frame when she was thrown in with Cosu and Nolan. Her injury was so severe that for a moment both women thought Lewis was dead. Cosu appears to be having heart problems caused by the brutality and stress, but the guards have so far refused to summon a doctor to examine her, so no one knows her condition for certain at this time. Lucy Burns is presently manacled to the bars of her cell with her hands over her head, and along with other prisoners, has been threatened with being placed in a strait-jacket and gagged if she keeps trying to talk with her comrades.

Superintendent Whittaker has made no secret of his hostility toward militant suffragists, and told Margaret Kessler during her recent 30 days in Occoquan, that :

"We are going to stop this picketing if it costs the lives of some of your women and it will cost the lives of some of these women, but we are going to stop it." The picketing will definitely NOT stop, nor will the resistance of the women temporarily under his authority, so this confrontation has just begun.

 

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November 15, 1917 : Hunger strike ! The policy of total resistance to authorities at the Occoquan Workhouse by "Silent Sentinel" suffragists until they are granted "political prisoner" status has now expanded to rejecting all food, according to a bulletin from the National Woman's Party today.

Other news about the suffrage prisoners was learned from Catherine Morey. She went to the Workhouse earlier today in an attempt to see her mother, Agnes. Though all the suffrage prisoners are being denied contact with anyone on the outside, Morey did get some information about them from Assistant Warden Hall. He told her that the women are still refusing to give their names or any other personal information, and won't change into prison clothes. Hall also confirmed that the suffrage pickets in Occoquan are now following the example of Alice Paul and Rose Winslow, being held in the District Jail, and will not take food voluntarily, though he would not provide any more details. According to the same source, the prisoners are still in the same unheated “punishment cells” they were brutally thrown into last night, are using flat mats for beds, and have no bedding.

The power of a hunger strike was demonstrated this morning when “Silent Sentinels” Gertrude Crocker and Gladys Greiner were freed from the District Jail seventy-seven hours after refusing all nourishment. They had been sentenced to 30 days on October 22nd. Alice Paul and Rose Winslow, the most prominent suffrage prisoners there, continue to refuse food, and are being force-fed three times a day. They show absolutely no signs of being ready to give up their hunger strike, and prison officials appear equally unwilling to compromise on any of their demands for fair treatment and better conditions, so this may be a very long standoff.

Alice Paul was arrested on October 20th, and on October 22nd began serving sentences totaling seven months (6 months on one false charge of “blocking traffic” on the sidewalk while picketing along the White House fence, and 30 days for another such offense.) She stopped eating on November 5th, and the force-feedings began seventy-eight hours later on the 8th.

Rose Winslow was arrested on October 15th, and the next day was sentenced to six months by Judge Mullowney. On October 22nd, she and three other prisoners were given an additional 30 days by Mullowney for a previous offense. At the time of their trial on that charge he had suspended sentencing, hoping that the threat of jail might keep them from picketing again. It didn't, so on the 22nd he decided to impose the 30 days for that earlier conviction. Winslow has been in prison since October 16th, and began her hunger strike at the same time as Alice Paul.

Some of the suffragists being held in Occoquan are shown in this photo taken three days ago. On November 12th, the same day they tried to stage another round of picketing along the White House fence, the National Woman's Party held a press conference. Those who had been in jail previously, and were willing to face imprisonment again, put on replicas of their prison uniforms and explained to reporters why they must take the actions they do.

Front row, from left : Julia Hurlbut, N.W.P.'s second-in-command in New Jersey ; Nina Samarodin, union organizer ; Elizabeth Stuyvesant, birth-control advocate. Middle row, from left : Eunice Dana Brannan, head of N.W.P's New York branch, daughter of the late Charles Anderson Dana, who was editor and part-owner of the "New York Sun," and wife of J.W. Brannan, head of Bellevue Hospital ; Elizabeth Selden Rogers, a descendant of Roger Sherman, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and one of N.W.P.'s best speakers ; Dora Lewis, from an influential Philadelphia family, and among the early activists who created what became the National Woman's Party ; Alison Turnbull Hopkins, head of the N.W.P.'s New Jersey branch, and married to J.A.H. Hopkins, a leader of the Progressive Party. In the back row is Virginia Bovee, who was fired from the Workhouse in September after verifying the abuse and unsanitary conditions in the jail that the ex-prisoners had exposed to the public. Brannan, Rogers and Lewis are currently in Occoquan.

 

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November 16, 1917 : The isolation of the suffrage prisoners at Occoquan Workhouse was finally broken today, and details about their ordeals are about to become known to the public. A court order forced Superintendent Whittaker to admit a lawyer for several of the prisoners into the jail, and a note from Lucy Burns briefly describing some of her experiences there, from the time she was admitted to the prison through earlier today, has been smuggled out and given to the press.

Matthew O'Brien talked with Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis and Eunice Dana Brannan, and said tonight at National Woman's Party headquarters :

"My clients reported to me that from the time of their arrival every effort was made to terrorize them ; that they were not allowed to state to the Superintendent their desires ; that when an attempt was made by Mrs. Lewis, speaking for all of them, to tell Superintendent Whittaker that they expected to be subjected to no indignities, thirty women were seized by eighty guards, flung off their feet and dragged from the room.

"My clients informed me that because they refused to give their names the Superintendent ordered his guards to seize them and they were taken to punishment cells in the men's quarters. On their arrival there Mrs. Lewis and Miss Burns were threatened with being placed in straitjackets, and gagged if they persisted in talking. Both the ladies refused to cease talking to each other and Miss Burns was then manacled to the bars of the cell used to confine prisoners suffering from delirium tremens.

"Other indignities were offered the ladies, and when they asked for counsel they were told they would not be permitted to see counsel during their entire incarceration. The only reason given by Superintendent Whittaker for transferring the prisoners to the cells in the men's quarters was that they refused to give their name and to don the prison garments.

"In refusing to talk, the women were exercising their constitutional right of free speech. The guarantee of free speech carries with it the right to withhold your speech if you so desire.

"The indignity of compelling these prisoners to wear the stripes of a convict was an added punishment which was not pronounced by the court. The treatment of my clients as reported to me constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, which is prohibited by the Constitution."

Additional evidence of abuse was contained in a note written by Lucy Burns, and smuggled out by the daughter of imprisoned suffragist Agnes Morey, who briefly accompanied O'Brien into the prison before being ejected. In the note Burns writes :

"Wednesday, 14th. Demanded to see Whittaker when we arrived. Request refused. Miss Herndon said we would wait all night. Privilege of leaving room refused us. Man guard said he would put us in sardine box and put mustard on us. Whittaker came at 9 P.M. Refused to hear demand for political rights. Seized by guards from behind, flung off feet, shot out of room. All seized by guards and dragged to cells in man's part. Dorothy Day roughly seized. Back twisted. Mrs. Mary Nolan flung in cell. Mrs. Lawrence Lewis shot past my door. I slept all night with Dorothy Day on single bed. I was handcuffed for asking others how they were. Fastened for short time to bars of cell. Threatened with strait-jacket and button gag.

"Thursday. - Brought to hospital. Food brought at noon for first time. All refused it.

"Friday. - Expected to go to court. Said to matron over telephone, 'No orders.' Whittaker came. Seized Julia Emory by back of neck and threw her in room very brutally. I asked for counsel to learn status of case. He told me to shut up. Threatened strait-jacket and button gag again.

"Later I was taken to put on prison clothes. Resisted strenuously. Put in room where men with delirium tremens were put. Six guards tried to remove clothes."

Thirty of these "Silent Sentinels", who peacefully picket outside the White House fence, were due to come up for sentencing today. Elizabeth Kent was given the standard choice of a $25 fine for allegedly "blocking traffic" on the sidewalk or serving time in the Workhouse. She wanted to take the 15 days, but discovered that her husband had paid the fine for her. She protested and demanded to go to Occoquan. The Judge wasn't sure what to do, so he has postponed his decision for four days.

Anna Kelton Wiley also insisted on a Workhouse term, but an attorney hired for her by her husband wanted to appeal her conviction, so a somewhat exasperated Judge told the lawyer and the Wileys to get together and make up their minds about what they want to do so he can issue a ruling. Wiley has now refused to permit the filing of the bond required for her appeal, and is expected to be taken to the Workhouse soon.

But 28 more suffragists, already serving time, were not present as expected. A high-ranking official had prohibited them from leaving the Workhouse, with no explanation given as to who gave the order or why.

Marines from Quantico, Virginia, have now been brought in to guard the grounds around the Workhouse, in order to keep friends and supporters of the imprisoned suffragists from sneaking into the courtyard to call to prisoners in their cells to find out what kind of abuses are going on there. But lawyer O'Brien will continue to take any legal actions necessary to have access to his clients in the Workhouse. He also intends to seek a Congressional inquiry about why the treatment of these women - whose only "offense" is to display banners contrasting President Wilson's vigorous support for democracy around the world with his apathy toward bringing it to the women of his own nation - are given sentences more appropriate to violent crimes, and why those who are imprisoned for exercising their Constitutional right of protest are being treated worse than hardened criminals.

 

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November 17, 1917 : Public support for the imprisoned "Silent Sentinel" suffragists is increasing now that newspapers have begun to print excerpts from a note written by Lucy Burns and smuggled out of Occoquan Workhouse, and the lawyer for several of the women in Occoquan who was able to visit them yesterday is still talking to the press about what he observed there. Helen Todd, representing the “Committee of 1,000 Women,” formed to aid the suffrage prisoners, left New York City tonight for Washington, D.C., to ask President Wilson to appoint an unbiased investigator who will look into the conditions under which those who have been arrested while picketing for woman suffrage are being held.

On November 13th, Todd and a few other suffragists had the opportunity to take a tour of the District Jail with the Commissioner in charge of District of Columbia prisons. Thought she was not allowed to talk to any of the inmates, or go to Occoquan, in Virginia, she was still shocked at conditions. Commissioner Gardner appeared to be sincere about accepting her suggestions for improving the institution, and to bringing standards up to at least the minimum level of other prisons.

She is particularly concerned about the hunger strikers :

"After we had seen some of the prisoners who have been on a hunger strike we actually wept. They were our personal friends, and they were emaciated and in a deplorable condition. Some of the most senseless hardships had been inflicted upon them. One had not been allowed air for fear that, if the window were opened, she would talk to people on the outside. Another was not allowed to wear her own nightdress. She would not wear the prison garment, which did not reach to her knees, and was wrapped in a sheet when we found her. When we talked of this to Commissioner Gardner, he was actually on the verge of tears himself, and promised to do everything in his power to lighten the lot of the prisoners."

But Gardner has done nothing yet - not even answered her letters - so she has now decided to go straight to the top and try to get President Wilson to act.

Alice Paul began serving 7 months in the District Jail on October 22nd, went on a hunger strike with Rose Winslow on November 5th, and both have been force-fed three times a day since November 8th, with Paul confined in the psychiatric ward, presumably as additional punishment for being the leader of the White House pickets. On November 14th, thirty of the picketers were sent to Occoquan Workhouse, terrorized and brutalized upon arrival, and are now on a hunger strike, with Lucy Burns leading that contingent.

The protesters have been picketing along the White House fence, near the East and West Gates, since January 10th, and since June 22nd have been subject to arrest on false charges of "blocking traffic" on the sidewalk. They are demanding that President Wilson endorse, then lobby Congress for passage of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment. These “Silent Sentinels” carry large banners with inscriptions that highlight the contrast between Wilson’s vigorous support for democracy worldwide and his apathy toward bringing democracy to the female half of his own country.

 

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November 18, 1917 : Alice Paul has finally been transferred out of the psychopathic ward of the D.C. District Jail, and today succeeded in smuggling a note out of the hospital ward where she is now being kept during her hunger strike and force-feedings.

Her confinement to the psychopathic ward was never really about her sanity. She was singled out for extra punishment as the leader of the suffragists who have been picketing President Wilson by standing along the White House fence with large banners each day since January 10th.

These “Silent Sentinels” are highlighting the contrast between the President’s untiring advocacy of democracy around the world and his lack of any meaningful effort to help win it here for the female half of his own country. He has yet to even endorse the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment, or use his considerable influence to help get it passed by Congress and then sent to the States for ratification.

Over the past few days, a number of prison officials have admitted that they have no doubts about Alice Paul's sanity, and at that point, the policy of subjecting her to the conditions of the psychopathic ward became so obviously punitive, unjustified and illegal that it was finally ended. In her note to Doris Stevens, temporarily heading the National Woman's Party in Paul's absence, she wrote :

"Miss Winslow and I are at opposite ends of the building, each locked in her room, with an iron barred door. I saw her as they brought me on a stretcher from the psychopathic ward, but have not seen her since. We are each in a ward with three windows. Today they nailed two of my windows shut so that they cannot be opened. The third window has been nailed shut at the bottom, so that the only air I have now is from the top of one window.

"This was done by the order of Dr. Gannon. He seems determined to deprive me of air because air was one of the things we demanded in our letter asking for recognition as political offenders. We have, of course, been deprived of everything else that was included in our original demand - letters, books, visitors, decent food, except as they force it upon us through tubes. Two weeks ago they did give us letters like this one, on the back of which I am writing."

Despite a large number of letters of support written to her from around the country, the only ones given her by her jailers have been those from her harshest critics. The letter on which she wrote her note said : "Why not let this miserable creature starve. The country would be much better off without her and the balance of her gang of pickets. They are a rotten lot, and are crazy, and should be locked up for life. If they would starve it would save the expense of keeping them. Let them starve."

Her note continues :

"I was in the psychopathic ward just a week, and was only released, I think, because of Mr. Malone's efforts. It was apparently an attempt at intimidation. Dr. Gannon said that if I persisted in hunger-striking he would 'write a prescription' to have me taken to the psychopathic ward and fed forcibly. I was thereupon placed upon a stretcher and taken there. Dr. Gannon, another doctor and several nurses then proceeded to feed me forcibly.

"As he was leaving the room Dr. Gannon turned to the nurse and instructed her to 'observe' me. The nurse 'observed' me once an hour through each night, coming to the door and turning on an electric light, which was flashed into my face. At first I wakened each time. After a while I grew accustomed to it.

"In addition to this little device of observing, they used other means to make one know one's sanity was doubted. A Dr. La Conte came and examined. Dr. La Conte then told me I was not in a mental condition, as I must, of course, know, to judge of things for myself. He and two other doctors and three nurses fell upon me and took samples of my blood by force.

"I was locked in my room, so I did not see the other inmates except once or twice, when they came down the corridor and looked through my bars. One could hear them, however. The last morning I was there cries began at 5:30. I turned on the light to look at the time. The cries had probably awakened me.

"The morning before, they began when it was still dark. I did not ascertain the time. When one person starts shrieking the others usually join in and continue for an hour or two. Then all would be silent for several hours, when the cries would be resumed.

"One day when I had a new nurse, she introduced herself thus : 'I know you are not insane.' She was endeavoring to be kind, but it was staggering to have people express their friendliness to you by assuring you that they did not consider you insane."

Alice Paul has been serving sentences totaling seven months in the D.C. Jail since October 22nd, has refused food since November 5th, and been force-fed three times a day since November 8th. Rose Winslow, another suffrage picket in the D.C. Jail, began her hunger strike at the same time, and is also undergoing the ordeal of force-feeding. Neither they, nor other suffragists imprisoned at Occoquan Workhouse have any intention of abandoning either their principles or militant tactics until the battle for the vote is won.

 

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November 19, 1917 : Sixteen of the suffragists imprisoned in Occoquan Workhouse are continuing the hunger strike they began after arrival on the evening of the 14th. But their condition has now become so serious that according to Mary Short, just released today, Superintendent Whittaker has asked for permission to grant their demand to be treated as "political prisoners." If true, this would be quite a change from Whittaker's original view that they could "commit suicide" if they wanted to, and that he would not force-feed them to keep them alive or give them "political prisoner" status.

According to Short, the strikers are all in a quite weakened condition but still able to get around, except for Dora Lewis, who can no longer move unassisted. Lewis was knocked unconscious on the night she arrived after striking her head on an iron bed frame when thrown into her unheated punishment cell by guards. Another suffrage prisoner, Anna Kelton Wiley, who was being held in the D.C. District Jail, was released on bond today pending appeal of her conviction. Alice Paul and Rose Winslow are in the hospital ward of that facility, and being force-fed three times a day, an ordeal that began three days after they began a hunger strike on November 5th.

Meanwhile, the "antis" are questioning the patriotism of suffragists, and linking the suffrage movement with pacifism and socialism. Yesterday, Alice Hay Wadsworth, wife of New York's senior Senator, and president of the National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage said in an appeal sent out nationwide :

"The New York suffrage victory may prove a means of arousing the people of America to the peril of woman suffrage. An analysis of the New York vote shows that suffrage was carried there by pro-Germans and pacifists. The inclosed statement proves this clearly. Therefore, suffrage in New York has raised a greater issue than ever before.

"It has helped suffragists in their efforts to force the Federal amendment. The next step after the Federal amendment would be the demand for a referendum - to men and women voters - on this war ! Nothing could so divide our country or help the Kaiser. With Russia and Italy defeated by internal discord and socialism, every patriotic American must be brought to realize that doubling the electorate at this time might lead to defeat in this war. We must arouse every real American man and woman to this menace of the triple alliance - socialism, suffragism, pacifism. Will you add the weight of your influence to carry these facts to the people of your State ? ALICE HAY WADSWORTH.”

Today, suffragists expressed indignation at Wadsworth's charge. Gertrude Foster Brown asked :

"Does she think President Wilson is pro-German ? Does she think Theodore Roosevelt and Secretary McAdoo are pro-German ? Does she not realize that President Wilson asked the men of New York to vote for suffrage as part of the battle for democracy and that it was in that spirit they responded ?"

She went on to say : "It is an insult to loyal women who have done massive war work even to intimate that the suffragists constitute a pro-German body or that we suffrage adherents do." Brown then turned the tables and wondered how Wadsworth's statement might be viewed in the foreign press : "Does she think the reckless imputation of divided loyalty in New York State is helpful to this country in time of war ? Is her patriotism so poor she is willing to befoul her own nest in this reckless and irresponsible manner ?"

The battle for suffrage continues on many fronts, and tomorrow the New York State Woman Suffrage Party opens its convention. Coming just two weeks after New York women won the vote on November 6th, optimism is high about winning suffrage nationwide, so the goal of delegates gathering for the convention at New York City's Ritz-Carlton is "Votes for All in Two Years."

 

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November 20, 1917 : No word from - or about - the suffragists being held in Virginia’s Occoquan Workhouse and D.C.’s District Jail today, but plenty of action on the suffrage front, some on their behalf.

Thirty members of the National Woman's Party paid a call on one of New York’s Members of Congress, Democrat John F. Carew. They lobbied him in support of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment, and also asked him to use his influence to improve prison conditions for their comrades, who have been repeatedly arrested and jailed for displaying pro-suffrage banners along the White House fence. Carew represents the Congressional District in which Eunice Dana Brannan, now serving 60 days in Occoquan, lives. The delegation was headed by former suffrage prisoner Elizabeth Selden Rogers, and included others who had gone to jail for the cause, such as Helena Hill Weed, and Maude Malone.

Rogers opened the conversation by asking Carew to pressure the President into putting a call for passage of the Anthony Amendment into his next message to Congress, and to try to better the conditions in the Workhouse where his constituent is serving her sentence. But Carew was unswayed : "I have never voted for that amendment and I am not going to change my position now," he replied. Persistent as always, Rogers asked : "Do you want us to come and visit you every day ?" Apparently he did not, and then said :

"If you want me to give you a decided answer now, I will tell you I will not vote for it. I have a great deal of respect for you ladies. I have a wife and three daughters and two sons, and I love my wife and daughters best. If I thought proper I would do as you wish. I have voted against the amendment every time I have had the opportunity. The only reason that might make me change my mind is the stand New York State has taken."

Though the delegation was unable to get a commitment of support for anything they came for, the fact that Carew seems to recognize the significance of New York State's (male) voters recently enfranchising the women of the nation’s most populous State by approving a woman suffrage referendum was reassuring. It is an indication that the victory on November 6th was just as significant as suffragists have said that it is, and opposition to the Anthony Amendment may be crumbling, especially among those who must now, for the first time, face women voters at every future election.

That win at the polls two weeks ago was celebrated tonight at the Metropolitan Opera House, where "Victory Night" ended the first day's session of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party's convention at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City. The list of those who officiated at the celebration offered clear proof of how much support suffrage now enjoys, with Charles Whitman, the present Governor of New York and former President Theodore Roosevelt sharing the hosting duties with Vira Boarman Whitehouse. Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, head of the National American Woman Suffrage Association from 1904 to 1915, got numerous ovations as she recounted her 40 years of work toward winning enfranchisement, and called for a pilgrimage to Congress to finish the job.

Col. Roosevelt was also vigorously applauded when he said :

"Tonight I wish in greeting you first to exchange congratulations with you, and above all with Dr. Shaw, upon the stand that New York State has now taken. Next I wish to say that we now have a right to expect that the United States as a whole will follow New York's example, and therefore pass the Constitutional Amendment at Washington. Third, and what is most important, I wish to speak through you to the women of New York about the heavy responsibilities that are now theirs. Hitherto my appeal has been that you should be given a right to which, in my judgment, you were entitled. Now you have been given this right. Now my appeal is not for you. Now I must earnestly and solemnly ask that you will well and faithfully perform the duty which the giving of the right entails."

He concluded by saying : "The women and the men in this country more than in any other great country of the world now stand on a near equality of right and justice, shoulder to shoulder, side by side, mother and son, husband and wife, brother and sister, lover and sweetheart. Thus standing, you and I, friends, we must face every risk and endure every hardship, until we have won the great fight for justice, wherein we have taken our place alongside all the justly acting and liberty loving nations of mankind."

The issue of the “Silent Sentinel” White House pickets was brought up at the New York State Woman Suffrage Party’s convention today, but unfortunately it was in the form of a proposed resolution condemning the National Woman’s Party’s picketing of President Wilson. But another resolution introduced suggests the delegates are considering their own form of militance. They may pledge to stay out of the established political parties and reorganize the Party along Congressional District lines so that they can most effectively organize women voters to defeat every member of Congress or State legislator who has opposed suffrage.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the use of seven Marines to guard the grounds around Occoquan in order to keep supporters too far away to communicate with the suffrage prisoners by mutual shouting, or allow anyone to sneak in and have notes from the prisoners thrown to them, is being protested. A delegation of suffragists called on Navy Secretary Daniels today, and he said that if the report was true, the guards would be withdrawn. The Commandant of the Marines said he had no knowledge of any of his men being detailed to such duty, but Katherine Morey reported that they were there when she tried to visit her mother recently at the Workhouse.

Legal actions on behalf of the suffrage prisoners continue, and a hearing is scheduled for later in the week before Federal Judge Edmund Waddill in Alexandria, Virginia. The White House pickets will be brought out of the Occoquan Workhouse and be able to freely testify in open court about their experiences there. Authorities will first be asked why the women whose “offense” of allegedly "blocking traffic" on the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk are being confined in Virginia, instead of at the D.C. District Jail. Then, those in charge of the Workhouse will be compelled to explain why there was so much brutality inflicted upon the prisoners the evening they arrived, and justify the unusually harsh restrictions given these suffragists in the days since that "Night of Terror."

 

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November 21, 1917 : The number of suffragists being subjected to the ordeal of force-feeding has suddenly increased from two to five. Lucy Burns and Dora Lewis, leaders of the hunger strikers at Occoquan Workhouse were transferred out yesterday, and sent to join Alice Paul and Rose Winslow in the hospital ward of the D. C. District Jail, where the two are in their fourteenth day of force-feedings. Kate Heffelfinger has also joined the ranks of those singled out for this form of legalized torture. According to a statement given out by the National Woman's Party tonight :

"Fearing their death in Occoquan, Superintendent Whittaker last night moved Mrs. Lawrence Lewis of Philadelphia and Miss Lucy Burns of Brooklyn to the government jail in Washington. Miss Burns was force-fed at Occoquan before leaving. Her struggles were heard by the prisoners in the next cells, who described them as terrifying. It required five guards to hold her during the feeding. Mrs. Lewis was fed after her arrival at the jail."

Kate Heffelfinger, who has been on a hunger strike in the District Jail for over a week, was taken to the hospital ward last night and is now undergoing the ordeal as well. A note she wrote today has been smuggled out and says :

“Three times a day for fourteen days Alice Paul and Rose Winslow have been going through the torture of forcible feeding. I now know what the torture is - the horrible gripping and gagging of swallowing six inches of stiff rubber tubing. Such a strain on the nervous system is not to be imagined. That over, there is the ordeal of waiting while the liquids are poured through, then the withdrawal of the tube."

In other suffrage news, the New York State Woman Suffrage Party met for the second day of its convention. The first order of business was to clear up a misunderstanding in regard to one proposal that caused a good deal of controversy and generated much publicity yesterday. The "reprisal plank," as presented to the convention - and the press - appeared to be aimed at taking revenge upon any legislator who had previously opposed suffrage, and was, as Mary Garrett Hay described it, "narrow, vindictive and vengeful." The resolution as read, said : "At the next primaries and election we should campaign against certain candidates to State and Federal offices who have consistently opposed woman suffrage and whose records show them to have been opposed to the interests of women and children and to humanitarian legislation in general."

At the board meeting where the resolution was discussed, the words "who have consistently opposed woman suffrage" were struck out before passage, but the W.S.P.'s Secretary had inadvertently left them in when she read the proposal to the delegates. Vira Whitehouse, the organization's president, said : "The resolution, as passed, did not contain any such clause, although as presented it did. The error was with our press department and the party does not wish to go on record before the public as determined to carry on any such campaign."

As to how the W.S.P. intends to accomplish its goal of helping bring about nationwide women suffrage, a number of the officers said that they will try, in a friendly, reasonable way, to convert those who are opposed or uncommitted to the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment. But a companion resolution, which would make support for the amendment the only consideration upon which women voters should judge a candidate, may prove almost as controversial as the “reprisal plank.” Some delegates have noted that a candidate could favor the Anthony Amendment but be regressive on other issues regarding women, or less than totally supportive of our nation's war effort. So, this resolution will be discussed at length as well, and possibly amended.

A much less controversial resolution, expected to pass easily, would redefine the purpose of the organization now that winning the vote in New York has been accomplished : "The objects of this organization shall be to secure equal franchise rights to the women of the United States ; to collect and disseminate information upon political and social problems, and to undertake such activities as will further humanitarian legislation, benefit moral conditions, and especially protect the interests of women and children."

Though not nearly as militant as the National Woman's Party, organizations such as the W.S.P. and the National American Woman Suffrage Association still have huge numbers of members, do massive amounts of work promoting the cause, and have great influence and prestige. The recent winning of the vote in New York, the nation's most populous State, provides ample proof that such groups can achieve meaningful accomplishments.

But winning nationwide victory will clearly require the aggressive tactics and personal sacrifices of National Woman's Party militants as well. Though our greatest concern and praise should be for the imprisoned “Silent Sentinel” suffrage pickets, we should also express our support for those who use more traditional methods of promoting the suffrage cause. Every pro-suffrage organization helps in its own way to bring the day nearer when "Votes for Women" will be transformed from a slogan on buttons, pennants and banners into a guarantee written in our Constitution.

 

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November 22, 1917 : Two major developments today regarding the suffragists imprisoned in Occoquan Workhouse. The most encouraging action was a statement from the Department of Justice that there will be an official investigation into the atrocious conditions and acts of brutality inflicted on the "Silent Sentinels" serving time in Occoquan for their picketing of President Wilson along the White House fence.

In another positive development, Rep. George B. Francis, Republican of New York, made an official demand to District of Columbia Commissioner William Gwynn Gardiner that Superintendent Whittaker be removed from his position at the Workhouse due to his mistreatment of the prisoners in his charge. Rep. Francis made an inspection of the prison, and says that authorities were far from cooperative in helping him determine conditions there, but that : "What guarded information I could obtain from the pickets leads me to believe that they received inexcusable rough treatment."

Despite the fact that Lucy Burns and Dora Lewis, leaders of the week-old hunger strike at Occoquan, have been transferred to D.C.'s District Jail, the remaining strikers remain as committed as ever. With a hearing about the legality of confining the “Silent Sentinel” pickets there in the first place, as well as about the well-founded allegations of brutality toward them scheduled for tomorrow in U.S. District Court, Superintendent Whittaker has suddenly switched tactics. Instead of threatening the suffrage prisoners with force-feeding to get them to break their fasts, today he offered them fried chicken and other tempting treats. All food was refused, and the hunger strike begun after the “Night of Terror” at Occoquan continues.

Though Occoquan authorities are temporarily on their best behavior a day before being grilled in court about the prison's shortcomings and the abuses inflicted on the women in their custody, nothing has improved at D.C.’s District Jail. Alice Paul and Rose Winslow are enduring their 15th day of three-times-daily force-feeding there. Kate Heffelfinger has been getting the same treatment since she was moved to the hospital ward day before yesterday. Lucy Burns and Dora Lewis arrived from Occoquan two days ago, and all five continue to be force-fed in Warden Zinkham's District Jail. Lucy Burns has been resisting more than any of the others, and therefore is suffering the most. Instead of her feeding tube being inserted through the mouth and then down the throat, hers is inserted through the nose, and there are reports circulating at National Woman's Party headquarters tonight that the sounds of great struggles are heard by other prisoners every time she undergoes this ordeal.

Elsewhere, the New York State Woman Suffrage Party wound up its convention in New York City today, and managed to get through their final controversies with good feelings and enthusiasm for the cause intact. The first resolution debated today was one which said : "In view of the likelihood of the immediate submission of the Federal amendment to the State Legislatures for ratification, we should campaign against the nomination or election of any candidates for the New York State Legislature, and campaign against candidates for Congress, who will not agree to indorse the Federal amendment, providing the Federal amendment has not passed before the next Congressional election which takes place in 1918."

But Mary Garrett Hay noticed that something was missing from the resolution, and to great applause, she said : "I move we amend that by adding : 'but we wish it understood that we do not put loyalty to the Federal amendment before loyalty to our country.' " Though some felt this was dignifying the charges by opponents that suffragists are less patriotic than anti-suffragists by answering the accusations, the motion passed overwhelmingly, and candidates will be judged on both their stand on suffrage and their support of our war effort.

A resolution introduced by Harriet May Mills sought to change the name of the group to the "New York State League of Women Citizens" now that the fight for suffrage has been won in the State. After a lengthy debate, the proposal was rejected. One final controversy was averted. There is a vote coming up this Spring in Rochester on a local prohibition measure, and a delegate who had been approached by a leader of the local anti-saloon league asked the convention to endorse the proposal. No one really wanted to deal with the issue, especially since suffragists are by no means united in their feelings about Prohibition, and the "antis" are constantly trying hurt the cause by linking suffrage with prohibition. But Hay came to the rescue and suggested that the matter be referred to the Executive Board for a decision at some time in the future.

The convention adopted the following as a declaration of principles, as offered by Alice Duer Miller :

"That with the increase in power that comes to us with the ballot, we render our pledges of loyalty and service to our country.

"The decision of the voters on Nov. 6, having settled the question of woman suffrage in New York State, and all women are now enfranchised citizens and must meet those new duties and obligations, and though the suffrage party is throwing the force of its organization behind the Federal amendment, its purpose otherwise is to develop a plan of education in order to assist in fitting all women to citizenship.

"That to all those women who desire to serve their Government effectively, who wish to know and then act, so that the injustices and difficulties under which many of the citizens of the State live and labor may be abolished, we, the Woman Suffrage Party, extend a hearty welcome.

"That we express our gratitude to the voters of New York State for having recorded their belief in complete democracy.

"That we express our especial gratitude to the President of the United States for his generous and effective assistance ; to the Governor of the State for his long continued support, and to all organizations and individuals who have helped up to win the privileges of full citizenship."

Tomorrow a hearing for the suffragists imprisoned in Occoquan begins in Judge Edmund Waddill's court, and since he has ordered that they be brought to the courtroom, it means that for the first time in over a week, we will be able to see them for ourselves, objectively judge their condition, and hear their personal testimony, rather than rely on smuggled notes and hearsay. Some very compelling stories may be about to come out, and anyone who doubts the devotion to the cause of those who believe in "Votes for Women," will be unlikely to retain those doubts for much longer.

 

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November 23, 1917 : Everyone in the packed courtroom this morning was shocked at the weak and emaciated condition of the hunger-strikers among the suffrage prisoners brought out of the Occoquan Workhouse for a hearing they had requested in Judge Edmund Waddill's U.S. District Court. Even some of the healthiest among them had trouble walking to their seats, and a few seemed not totally aware of what was going on around them.

About half of the prisoners were hunger strikers, and because some of them lacked even the strength to sit up, they were stretched out on benches with a coat put under their head as a pillow. Marks from brutalities inflicted on the "Night of Terror" when they arrived at the Workhouse could still be seen on some, much to the embarrassment of the neatly dressed prison officials who were responsible for those injuries. Eunice Dana Brannan was in the worst condition. She collapsed soon after entering court, and needed to be carried to a couch in another room.

The two original "ringleaders" of the suffragists imprisoned in Occoquan were not present. Lucy Burns and Dora Lewis were transferred to the District Jail three days ago, in an attempt by authorities to break the spirit of rebellion at Occoquan by removing the leaders. They are currently undergoing the ordeal of force-feeding in the District Jail's hospital ward. Hattie Kruger was also absent from the court. The judge immediately wanted to know why the three had not been produced as ordered. "They are too ill to be brought to court," said Occoquan Superintendent Whittaker, and the Government attorneys agreed. But Dudley Field Malone and Matthew O'Brien, counsel for the prisoners, objected and said they would assume the responsibility for any risks involved in their clients' being brought to court so they could testify.

Though still quite weakened by her ordeal, Dora Lewis did manage to get a written statement out to United Press today from the District Jail. She defended the National Woman’s Party’s picketing of President Wilson for his lack of action on woman suffrage, and noted that fighting for democracy was not unpatriotic, nor a handicap to the war effort, and that there must be a constant campaign for suffrage until total victory :

“We are picketing because we want to make America a full and complete democracy as the first and surest step to our speedy victory. The devotion of American women has been amply attested in every war this country has fought. If service is to win us the vote, is there need for us to wait ? My son is in the Navy. There is no one more eager to help in the triumph of the cause of world democracy than I.

“When the war broke out, we were urged to give up our picketing and do war work. We would then be given suffrage at the war’s end, we were told. Susan B. Anthony, at the time of the Civil War, was told the same thing. She tried it. She gave up work for suffrage and waited. All her work before the war for suffrage was lost. The campaign had to be started all over again.”

Judge Waddill, a soft-spoken, older Southern gentleman, expressed great concern at the unchivalrous treatment of the women that is outlined in the court documents : "Here is a case concerning twenty-five or thirty ladies. The statement as to their treatment was bloodcurdling ; it was shocking to man's ideas of humanity if it is true." He was also quite offended by the attempt of officials to keep three of the women from testifying in person, and ordered that all the prisoners be brought to court when it re-convenes the next day.

The issue of brutality will be dealt with tomorrow, but the issue to be litigated today was whether it was even legal for the prisoners to have been sent to Occoquan to begin with. The "crime" (a totally false charge of "blocking traffic" on the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk near the White House gates while they held a pro-suffrage / anti-Wilson protest) was committed in the District of Columbia, and yet they were sent to a prison in Virginia. As Judge Waddill noted :

"These are not State prisoners ; they are prisoners of the District of Columbia. They are held by an order of the court claiming to have jurisdiction in the District of Columbia. But they are imprisoned in the Eastern District of Virginia, in Occoquan Workhouse, which, very much to our regret, is down here, and is an institution that we alone have jurisdiction over. No court would fail to act when such a state of affairs as is set forth in this petition is brought to its attention."

The original sentencing papers specified that the prisoners were to be sent to the Washington Asylum & Jail, commonly called the "District Jail." Like any prison, it's a tough, abysmal place, but its reputation is still far better than the infamous Occoquan Workhouse. Warden Zinkham said that he had the authority to make such transfers based on a verbal order given him "five or six years ago." Judge Waddill was stunned : "Do you really mean that the only authority you have on the part of the Commissioners of the District of Columbia to transfer parties down to Occoquan is a verbal order made five or six years ago ?"

The warden then began having memory problems. He recalled the original authorization in 1911 quite clearly, but was unsure as to who gave him permission to transfer the suffrage prisoners less than two weeks ago. He also had great difficulty explaining how he chose who would go to Occoquan and who would stay at the District Jail. He claimed that "humanitarian motives" usually guided him in his selections, and that he sent to the Workhouse those who were the most fit to do work. Mr. Malone then asked : "Were you actuated by humanitarian motives when you sent Mrs. Nolan, a woman of 73 years, to the Workhouse ?" The warden had no response, so the question was asked, and unanswered, a second time. Finally, Malone asked Mary Nolan to stand up, and by the time the frail, white-haired woman finally got to her feet, the answer was so obvious that there was no need for the warden to respond.

Testimony will continue tomorrow, and since it will center on the treatment the suffragists have endured at Occoquan, it is expected to be quite graphic.

 

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November 24, 1917 : Another day in court for the "Silent Sentinel" White House suffrage pickets. But unlike many previous occasions, they were not here to face more charges, but to make their own accusations against Occoquan Workhouse authorities for their abuses. Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis, and Hattie Kruger were present today. The three were not in court for the first day of the hearing because prison officials claimed they were "too ill" to attend. But attorneys for the suffrage prisoners argued that this was a trick to keep the three - as well as their stories and visible injuries - hidden. U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Waddill agreed, and he ordered them produced in court today to join the other suffragists.

Evidence that the transfer of the White House pickets to Occoquan from the Washington Asylum and Jail (commonly called the "District Jail") had been illegal was presented yesterday, so today the testimony concerned the brutality of the “Night of Terror” which began on the evening of November 14th, and their unusually harsh treatment at the Workhouse since that time.

Attorney Matthew O'Brien was in charge of listing and detailing the illegal procedures and brutalities inflicted on the prisoners in Superintendent Whittaker's care, but Dr. John Winters Brannan, President of the Board of Trustees of Bellevue Hospital in New York, gave testimony that seemed to have the greatest impact. His wife, Eunice Dana Brannan, is one of the imprisoned suffrage pickets, and he finally had the opportunity to speak with her at length earlier today. He said :

"I find Mrs. Brannan in a state of almost complete collapse from the shocking treatment to which she has been subjected in Occoquan Workhouse ... Today is the first opportunity I have had to hear my wife's full story, though I have been in Washington three times this week, attempting to find out the actual conditions of her imprisonment. She was not allowed to communicate with me from the workhouse, and when I saw her last Sunday, Supt. Whittaker insisted upon being present at the interview, and would not allow me to ask her any questions concerning the institution. I find that she herself was twice warned by the Superintendent with threats that she must not tell me anything of the conditions in the workhouse.

"When I went through the workhouse last Sunday the wards and lavatories seemed to me to be clean. I find now that the white paint which impressed me has been put on in response to the protests of earlier suffrage prisoners, and that it is only a blind to deeper sinister conditions. One thing I did notice was the look of terror which came into the faces of all the women prisoners when Mr. Whittaker stepped near them.

"From my wife's account it was evident that the suffrage prisoners were deliberately terrorized when they entered Occoquan and were treated with great brutality by the men guards, who handled them and knocked them about with the fury of thugs, under the immediate direction of Mr. Whittaker himself, who called out that the men 'would be glad to get their hands on them and handle them rough.'

"There was no excuse for this treatment whatever, since the ladies did not, as reported, refuse to give their names to the Superintendent, but merely refused to give them to the matron, in order to force Mr. Whittaker to appear before them and listen to their demands to be treated as political offenders. When he arrived he gave them no opportunity to give their names, but burst into the room and called his guards in after him with orders to 'seize' Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, who was acting as spokesman. She was dragged from the room with curses and with Mr. Whittaker shaking his fist in her face and threatening her with a gag and a strait-jacket.

"The others, my wife tells me, were all brutally and outrageously handled, and are still carrying the bruises. They were thrown into a panic of terror and finally separated from each other and literally hurled into their cells, where they were kept in darkness all night. Mrs. Brannan called from her cell across the corridor to a young girl and asked if she was all right. Mr. Whittaker at once appeared and said he would bring the gag and straitjacket if she spoke again.

"In some cells there were three women with nothing to lie on but one narrow bed and two straw mats. They were offered no food until the following noon, and Miss Cora Week of New York was denied the so-called 'privilege' of a glass of water. Mrs. Henry Butterworth of New York was carried off alone into the men's section of the jail, and deliberately told there would be no other women with her, and there she was left all night without any other woman prisoner or matron near her and the sound of men's voices on all sides.

"As for the hunger strike, that has not been started because the women desire to make martyrs of themselves, but in an attempt to secure food which they could eat, and decent living conditions.

"These facts represent an intolerable condition that cannot be permitted to go on. Whether we agree with these ladies or not in the methods they employ to win a share in our Government, we are compelled to recognize their sincerity and sacrifice, and the fact that they feel that they have broken no law, since the Constitution guarantees their right to petition and the Clayton Act makes picketing in the District legal. If they are guilty of an offense it is trivial in comparison with the outrageous insults and the brutal treatment to which they have been subjected."

After all testimony was completed, the judge called a recess so he could consider his decision. When he called the court back into session he gave his ruling :

"The locking up of thirty human beings is an unusual sort of thing and judicial officers ought to be required to stop long enough to see whether some prisoners ought to go and some not ; whether some might not be killed by going ; or whether they should go dead or alive. This class of prisoners and this number of prisoners should have been given special consideration. There cannot be any controversy about this question .... You ought to lawfully lock them up instead of unlawfully locking them up - if they are to be locked up. . . . The petitioners are, therefore, one and all, in the Workhouse without semblance of authority or legal process of any kind. . . . and they will accordingly be remanded to the custody of the Superintendent of the Washington Asylum and Jail."

Though expressing strong disapproval of the picketing of President Wilson at the White House, Judge Waddill ruled that pending appeal, the prisoners could be paroled into the custody of their attorneys. Eunice Dana Brannan, Mrs. Henry Butterworth, and Cora Week accepted, because their condition was so poor that they might not survive further confinement in any prison. All others declined the offer, and are tonight in the District Jail serving as "reinforcements" for Alice Paul and Rose Winslow. They are serving seven month sentences, and have been on a hunger strike since November 5th, and force-fed three times a day since November 8th in the Jail’s hospital ward.

The authorities at the District Jail must now deal with dozens of suffrage prisoners, some serving months-long sentences, and twenty who will be refusing to eat. They are presently force-feeding five there : Alice Paul, Rose Winslow, Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis and Kate Heffelfinger. Warden Zinkham – and the Wilson Administration - are now faced with the dilemma of either allowing the suffrage prisoners to starve to death, or engaging in mass force-feedings under the spotlight of widespread sympathy for these peaceful protesters, or doing something that will end the standoff. All we can do for now is express support for the imprisoned suffrage pickets and await further developments to see who wins this test of wills.

 

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November 25, 1917 : The struggle of the imprisoned suffragists continues today in D.C.’s Washington Asylum and Jail, commonly referred to as the “District Jail.” But now, instead of just a relatively small number of suffrage protesters in their custody, officials must now deal with several dozen suffrage prisoners, nineteen of whom are hunger strikers. This is because a judge ruled yesterday that all of those sent to serve their sentences in the infamous Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia had been transferred there illegally.

Three of those in Occoquan, who were in such poor condition that they would not likely survive further confinement in any institution, were released on parole while their cases were appealed. The rest were then sent to the District Jail, where half of them continue to refuse all food. Five of those already there have been subject force-feedings, with Alice Paul and Rose Winslow having undergone this procedure three times a day since November 8th. Though there is no direct communication allowed between the outside and any of the suffrage prisoners, details of their ordeals are now becoming known to the public thanks to notes they smuggled out of Occoquan and the District Jail, or passed while they were brought to court for a hearing yesterday and the day before.

The reasons for the transfer of Lucy Burns and Dora Lewis from Occoquan to the District Jail several days ago have always been clear. They were "ringleaders" of the rebellion and hunger strike at the Workhouse, and in danger of death from starvation, so Superintendent Whittaker had two good reasons for wanting them transferred out. What wasn't known publicly until now were the graphic details of the force-feedings. According to notes written on tiny scraps of paper by Lucy Burns, and made public by the National Woman's Party :

"WEDNESDAY, 12 m. Yesterday afternoon at about four or five, Mrs. Lewis and I were asked to go to the operating room. Went there and found our clothes. Told we were to go to Washington. No reason as usual. When we were dressed, Dr. Gannon appeared, and said he wished to examine us. Both refused. Were dragged through halls by force, our clothing partly removed by force, and we were examined, heart tested, blood pressure and pulse taken. Of course such data was of no value after such a struggle. Dr. Gannon told me then I must be fed. Was stretched on bed, two doctors, matron, four prisoners present, Whittaker in hall. I was held down by five people at legs, arms, and head. I refused to open mouth. Gannon pushed tube up left nostril. I turned and twisted my head all I could, but he managed to push it up. It hurts nose and throat very much and makes nose bleed freely. Tube drawn out covered with blood. Operation leaves one very sick. Food dumped directly into stomach feels like a ball of lead. Left nostril, throat and muscles of neck very sore all night. After this I was brought into the hospital in an ambulance. Mrs. Lewis and I placed in same room. Slept hardly at all."

A secret diary of Elizabeth McShane has also come into the hands of the Woman's Party, and says in part : "Now eight days on a hunger strike. Very weak and ill. Fainted yesterday afternoon in cell. Forcibly fed some hours later. Food poured into a vomiting stomach. Left in cell all night unattended. Fainted and was found at five o'clock on the stone floor."

Members of the National Woman's Party are engaging in "militant" tactics such as holding up large banners near the White House gates to highlight the hypocrisy of President Wilson's vigorous promotion of democracy around the world while refusing to endorse or work for the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide women suffrage) Amendment, which would bring democracy to the women of his own country. They are being arrested on false charges of “blocking traffic” on the Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk, and being given lengthy sentences more appropriate to violent crimes.

The campaign for political equality continues by conventional means as well. Carrie Chapman Catt and other high-ranking officers of the National American Woman Suffrage Association are now arriving in Washington, D.C., preparing to launch a new campaign to get Congress to pass the Anthony Amendment.

Having gone through what they already have, the iron will of the imprisoned suffragists has been proven beyond any doubt, so now the only question is how long the prison authorities - and the Wilson Administration - will allow this battle to go on, and how much suffering they are determined to inflict on those who peacefully picket for something so basic to democracy as the right to vote.

 

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November 26, 1917 : There were no official announcements or outward signs of activity at Washington, D.C.'s District Jail today, but there seems to be some serious negotiating going on behind the scenes. In fact, though Alice Paul has refused food since November 5th, and has been force-fed three times a day since November 8th, it's the Wilson Administration that appears to be in a rapidly weakening condition, and anxiously seeking a compromise. It may even be ready to give in to Paul's demand that President Wilson endorse and work for passage of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment.

There are reports circulating late tonight that David Lawrence, a well-known journalist with close and friendly ties to the Administration, was granted a private, nighttime jailhouse visit with the usually isolated Alice Paul. He is said to have addressed the issue of "political prisoner" status first, since that was the original reason for the hunger strike that currently involves at least 19 suffragists :

"The Administration could very easily hire a comfortable house in Washington and detain you all there, but don't you see that your demand to be treated as 'political prisoners' is infinitely more difficult to grant than to give you the Federal suffrage amendment ? If we give you these privileges we shall have to extend them to conscientious objectors and to all prisoners now confined for political opinions. This the Administration cannot do."

Though the conversation started out like just another futile attempt to get Alice Paul to give in, the tone soon changed, thanks to public sympathy having recently begun to turn in favor of the "Silent Sentinel" White House pickets now that their ordeals in Occoquan Workhouse and the District Jail have become widely known. Faced with the prospect of being blamed for so many women either starving themselves to death or undergoing the torture of force-feeding, the Administration seems to have offered a compromise that came close to a surrender on their part. Lawrence asked Paul :

"Suppose the Administration should pass the amendment through one house of Congress next session and go to the country in the 1918 elections on that record, and if sustained in it, pass it through the other house a year from now. Would you then agree to abandon picketing ?"

Never willing to compromise, and not about to throw away her trump card by promising that the National Woman's Party would not picket, Alice Paul is said to have answered : "Nothing short of the passage of the amendment through Congress will end our agitation." The rest of the hunger strikers appear equally resolute, and willing to face the consequences of continued starvation - or force-feeding. That three-times-a-day ordeal is already being imposed on Rose Winslow, Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis and Kate Heffelfinger in addition to Alice Paul.

So, we may soon see if the Wilson Administration will give up trying to stop the protests by imprisoning peaceful picketers and inflicting force-feeding on those who refuse food. Should he switch to performing acts of good faith that will prove he is as sincere about bringing democracy to the women of his own country as he is about bringing it to the rest of the world, then - and only then – will he no longer see pickets of the National Woman's Party standing along the White House fence bearing banners with quotes from his own speeches praising the fundamental right of people to elect their own leaders, or asking “Mr. President, How Long Must Women Wait For Liberty ?” and “Mr. President, What Will You Do For Woman Suffrage ?”

 

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November 27, 1917 : Alice Paul is free ! She and all her fellow hunger strikers have just been unconditionally and unexpectedly released from the D.C. District Jail by Judge Mullowney, who had originally sentenced them. They have been serving sentences of up to 7 months for silently and peacefully picketing along the White House fence as a way of prodding President Wilson into using his influence to help get the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment through Congress.

Alice Paul, who was imprisoned on October 22nd, began a hunger strike 22 days ago, and has endured force-feedings 3 times a day since November 8th, was the first to emerge. Looking very pale and thin, she still summoned the strength to make this statement upon arrival at Cameron House, headquarters of the National Woman's Party :

"We are put out of jail as we were put into jail, at the whim of the Government. They tried to terrorize and suppress us. They could not, and so freed us. The Administration has found that it dare not imprison American women for asking a share in the democracy for which we are fighting abroad. Our prisoners in Occoquan were released from that institution last Saturday on the court ruling that they were illegally and lawlessly confined. The action of the Judge in commuting our sentence today acknowledges it was unjust, arbitrary, and a gross discrimination made in an attempt to suppress legitimate propaganda, an attempt which failed. Twenty-two of us are out, but nine are unjustly imprisoned. Those of us who hunger-struck were freed. The others were not. These, too, must be released before the Government's conscience is clear."

Since their release was unconditional, none have pledged to stop the picketing, which highlights the contrast between President Wilson's crusade to bring democracy to the world and his refusal to endorse or lobby for the Anthony Amendment, which would bring democracy to the female half of his own country. When asked if she and other members of the National Woman's Party would become "Silent Sentinel" pickets again, Paul said it would depend upon circumstances :

"We hope that no more demonstrations will be necessary, that the amendment will run steadily on to passage and ratification, without further suffering. But what we do depends on what the Administration does. We have one aim : The immediate passage of the Federal amendment. As for picketing, we are well pleased at what it has accomplished."

The picketing of the White House began on January 10th, the day after a delegation of suffragists met with President Wilson. At that meeting he made the extraordinary claim that though he personally favored suffrage in principle, he could not, as a leader of the Democratic Party, endorse or lobby for the Anthony Amendment until instructed to do so by his Party. (Both Democrats and Republicans endorsed winning woman suffrage on a State-by-State basis at their 1916 conventions, but neither party has yet endorsed achieving nationwide woman suffrage through a Constitutional Amendment.)

Those who have engaged in these protests have endured extreme cold, snow, heavy rain, hail, summer heat and humidity, criticism from more conservative suffragists, attacks by unruly mobs, arrests, and imprisonment in both the D.C. District Jail and infamous Occoquan Workhouse, where numerous abuses occurred. Many have gone on hunger strikes, and at least six (Alice Paul, Rose Winslow, Lucy Burns, Dora Lewis, Kate Heffelfinger and Elizabeth McShane) have been subject to force-feeding. As the leader of the pickets, Alice Paul was subjected to the extra punishment of being put into the psychopathic ward during part of her sentence.

The battle for the ballot is far from finished, but the struggle to decide whether the Wilson Administration or the National Woman's Party has the greater determination is over, and the suffrage forces have clearly won. What combination of the National Woman's Party's iron-willed militance and the National American Woman Suffrage Association's conventional political tactics will be needed to put the Anthony Amendment into the Constitution is still to be determined. But we know today that there will be no shortage of the kind of courage and endurance needed to pursue the militant portion of the campaign.

 

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November 28, 1917 : Another huge victory for the "Silent Sentinels" who have been picketing outside the White House fence in favor of woman suffrage ! The last of the imprisoned suffragists had their sentences commuted today by the same judge who had originally imposed these outrageous prison terms on them. Yesterday, Alice Paul and the other hunger strikers were similarly freed without explanation, long before their terms expired, and today the remaining suffrage prisoners, who were not on hunger strikes, were released.

The attempt to stifle legitimate protest by jailing women whose banners asked questions such as "Mr. President, What Will You Do For Woman Suffrage ?" or highlighted quotes from his speeches about "the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their government" backfired badly on the Administration. In January, when the picketing began, it was treated as a novelty by the press and passersby. Even President Wilson himself seemed friendly and unthreatened by the daily presence of the pickets along the White House fence, who soon became a routine part of the Washington scene. But when America went to war in April, unruly crowds began gathering, and expressing hostility toward anyone who would criticize a wartime President. However, the protesters' message had actually become more relevant than ever : If President Wilson believes democracy is something of such value that we should fight to bring it to the rest of the world, why isn't he doing anything to bring it to the female half of his own country ?

On June 22nd the arrests began, using the false and normally minor charge of "obstructing traffic" on the sidewalk to mask the real charge of "embarrassing the President" by showing his hypocrisy. Jail sentences began being handed down on June 27th. Over the summer, both the number of arrests and the length of the sentences increased, the latter a failed attempt to decrease the former. Finally, sentences totaling as long as seven months were given out. Some prisoners were sent to the Washington Asylum and Jail (commonly called the “District Jail”) and others to Occoquan Workhouse, whose reputation as the worst and most abusive institution in the area is well-deserved and has now been reinforced. Far from breaking their will, these measures only increased the pickets' resolve.

Thanks to smuggled-out notes, the public has learned of the ordeals of the suffrage prisoners, from the "Night of Terror" when they were brutalized upon arrival at Occoquan, to the force-feedings of those in the District Jail who refused to eat. The hunger strikes were especially effective, because the authorities were put in an impossible position. They could not be seen as allowing women to become martyrs to the cause by starving themselves to death, nor could they engage in mass force-feedings for extended periods of time in view of nationwide public revulsion over the procedure, and increasing sympathy for those, such as Alice Paul, forced to undergo it. So, freedom arrived for the hunger strikers yesterday, apparently following an exchange of letters between Warden Zinkham of the District Jail, and Judge Mullowney, who had originally sentenced the picketers. Then today came proof that the jailing of suffragists who were not hunger strikers has also become counterproductive, and a liability to everyone from the Wilson Administration on down, because all these peaceful protesters have now been unconditionally freed as well.

Tonight there is an air of victory at National Woman's Party headquarters, though tempered by the absence of Dora Lewis and Rose Winslow, now in Sibley Hospital still recuperating from the effects of their hunger strikes. Whether the Wilson Administration and its supporters among the police, judiciary and jail authorities have permanently given up using repressive measures is unknown until the next time suffrage picketers take up their posts along the White House fence. But Alice Paul said today that she and her National Woman's Party members are prepared to picket again whenever it seems advisable. So, the Administration knows it needs to do some meaningful work for the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment if it wants to avoid continued criticism by the "Silent Sentinels," and the possibility of finding itself in the same embarrassing, unwinnable position that caused its surrender yesterday and today.

 

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November 29, 1913 : As delegates arrive for the 45th annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, there is great optimism and enthusiasm. Their optimism is justified by the rapid progress woman suffrage has been making recently, and their enthusiasm is generated by the presence of many well-known and articulate advocates for the cause.

 

Major suffrage marches in both Washington, D.C., and New York City earlier this year have shown the suffrage movement a force to be reckoned with, and growing rapidly. The partial victory in Illinois in June, which now allows women to vote in Presidential elections and for local officials (though not yet for State offices) only adds to their growing influence. According to Lucy Burns, one-fifth of the Senate, one-seventh of the House and one-sixth of Presidential electors now come from the 9 States where women have full suffrage and Illinois, with Presidential suffrage. This is a sweeping change from just over 3 years ago when there were only 4 full-suffrage States prior to the victory in Washington State in 1910.

 

Ambitious plans are underway at the convention, with ideas for NAWSA to create a National Suffrage Publishing Company to print its own literature, and the possibility of moving NAWSA headquarters from New York to Washington, D.C., to help passage of a suffrage amendment through Congress. Already accomplished is the creation of a "Men's League for Woman Suffrage," headed by Dr. Harvey W. Wiley, "father" of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Though several preliminary meetings and events took place today, the convention will be officially kicked off in a big way tomorrow with a mass meeting at the Columbia Theater, featuring speeches by Jane Addams and Rev. Anna Howard Shaw.

 

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November 29, 1935 : A reinvigorated drive for the Equal Rights Amendment is at the top of the agenda among delegates arriving today for the National Woman's Party's biennial convention, which begins tomorrow, here in Columbus, Ohio. The organization, which played a key role in the suffrage struggle, is determined to fight the assaults on women's rights that have been occurring both nationally and worldwide, and to win the battle for equality here in the U.S. by ratifying the E.R.A.

The amendment was written by Alice Paul, and the National Woman's Party's campaign for it was formally launched in July, 1923, on the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Seneca Falls convention. Also known as the “Lucretia Mott Amendment,” it was introduced into Congress on December 10, 1923, by Senator Charles Curtis and Rep. Daniel Anthony (nephew of Susan B.), both Republicans of Kansas, and reads : "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction."

Helen Robbins Bitterman, who chairs the convention, said tonight :

"Here in Ohio, as elsewhere, many of us thought that when suffrage was won our fight was over. That was our error. We realize it now, and we are out to finish the job begun by women who called the first equal rights convention in 1848. With the women who met at Seneca Falls, N.Y., at the call of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, suffrage was but one of the rights demanded in a declaration of independence which demanded recognition and establishment of their complete equality with men in all relations of life.

"They wanted the vote, but they also wanted, and said so in no uncertain terms, that 'equality of human rights' which, they asserted, results necessarily from the fact of the identity of the race in capabilities and responsibilities. They demanded equal participation with men in the various trades, professions and commerce, and they denounced as 'unnatural' and, therefore, of no force and authority, all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place her in a position inferior to that of a man."

Bitterman then referred to legislation and corporate policies that attempt to alleviate the unemployment crisis in the U.S. by pushing employed wives out of the workforce, and major setbacks to women's rights that have occurred under Fascism in countries such as Germany and Italy :

"It has taken the events of the last few years to demonstrate to some of us how far short are women even in this country of the goal fixed by the pioneers three-quarters of a century ago. Our part in this world movement is to put through without further delay the Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in Congress in 1923 ; to assist in the work of the Inter-American Commission of Women for ratification of the equality treaties signed at Montevideo in December, 1933 ; and to cooperate with the equal rights campaign of the Women's Consultative Committee created by the League of Nations in supporting at Geneva the Equal Rights Treaty to which the women of Europe now are looking as almost their only hope."

The Montevideo Convention on the Nationality of Women treaties assure that women in the nations that sign have equal rights of nationality and cannot lose their citizenship regardless of their marital status ("There shall be no distinction based on sex as regards nationality, in their legislation or in their practice," and "Neither matrimony nor its dissolution affects the nationality of the husband or wife or of their children.") The proposed Equal Rights Treaty assures women in the nations that sign it equal voting rights, as well as equality in all other areas.

According to the National Woman's Party, the E.R.A. is needed because there are approximately 1,000 statutes still on the books in the United States that discriminate against women. Only a Constitutional Amendment can render all of them invalid, and at the same time permanently protect the gains that women have made in the U.S. over the past 87 years.

Originally the only supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, the National Woman's Party has now been joined by the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Association of Women Osteopaths, the National Association of Women Dentists, The Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, and others. Amelia Earhart is also a strong supporter of the measure, and has lobbied for it alongside other members of the National Woman’s Party. The Party has active chapters in 36 of the 48 states, with those in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia the most active. The convention officially opens tomorrow and will run two days.

 

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November 30, 1913 : The National American Woman Suffrage Association's convention got off to a rousing start today with the unfurling of a giant banner reading "WE DEMAND AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION ENFRANCHISING WOMEN" followed immediately by thunderous applause, stirring speeches, and a reminder that winning the vote will not be the end of the fight for full equality and justice.

 

Margaret Hinchey, a laundry worker turned labor activist from New York told why she became a suffragist : "People have often told me that the home is the place for women, but when that home is standing for 18 hours a day over a steam machine in a laundry, working one's very soul out, and going home so tired that sleep was almost impossible, and getting every Saturday night the large salary of $ 3 a week it's different. That's what we had to do in New York before the laundry workers struck. It was then that I started to work for woman suffrage, and I shall never stop until I die." She then detailed the exploitation of children, some as young as 4, paid 5 cents a gross to produce paper flowers, an operation that requires handling 2,000 articles to produce each 144 flowers.

 

Rose Winslow, former stocking-weaver, also emphasized the connection between suffrage and better working conditions : " ...with the women given a chance in the making of laws, the laws will be made to give the girl workers the same chances that the men got." The first female State Senator in the U.S., Helen Ring Robinson of Colorado, looked past NAWSA's immediate goal and said : "We want more than the ballot. If women were satisfied with just the ballot they would be unworthy of the ballot." Jane Addams explained why suffrage was so far a phenomenon of our Western States : "The men realized just what part woman had played in those terrible pioneer days, and realized that woman was just as important a part in the world as man. Then they gave her the ballot."

 

The gathering - the largest convention in the history of the suffrage movement - has attracted 600 credentialed delegates, and about 400 more suffragists from around the nation. Today's mass meeting also attracted a large number of police officers stationed in front of the Columbia Theater, several of whom came inside after the program began, and listened attentively.

 

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November 30, 1935 : The Equal Rights Amendment was the focus of today's opening session of the National Woman's Party's biennial convention. Of course, that's by no means a new goal for the group, so today was more of an enthusiastic renewal of their commitment to "absolute equality" made just six months after the vote was won, combined with a celebration of E.R.A.'s increasing support, as well as a recognition that women's rights are under attack worldwide, and guarantees of equality are needed more than ever.

Lena Madesin Phillips, president of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, praised the National Woman's Party for its single-minded devotion to the cause of women's equality. She noted that some other women's organizations have lost their focus on achieving equality with men, and "do a little of this and a little of that, completing nothing because unwilling to forego anything." When not having banquets and other social events, they may do some work for worthy causes, such as peace, minimum wage, abolishing child labor, supporting the World Court, and ending discrimination, but : "It is this diversity of interest, this complacency with the symbol rather than with its actuality, this conditioning to failure, which must be so heartily deplored today." The National Woman's Party has never wavered from its single goal of women's equality, always using the most effective and practical methods available to achieve it, and therefore : "In the matter of equal rights for women, the National Woman's Party represents the moving force."

Anna Kelton Wiley, who has been active in the N.W.P. since the days when she and other party members went to jail for holding up suffrage banners along the White House fence, gave a reminder about how quickly and totally women can lose their rights unless they are guaranteed in writing in a nation's Constitution :

"It took only a few years for the women of Germany to sink from a point of tremendous advancement, more than by any other women of the world, to a state of almost complete helplessness. And here in this country we are having repeated demonstrations of the fact that no women are safe until we have a Constitutional amendment behind us as it stands now behind the men. But the dam seems to be breaking. Enlightened self-interest is year by year, month by month, day by day, bringing great groups of women over to our way of thinking."

One clear example of the many attempts to push women out of America's workforce to make room for men during the current economic crisis was discussed by Edwina Austin Avery. She said that Section 213 of the Economy Act would one day be remembered in much the same way as the infamous Stamp Act of Revolutionary times. It says that when there is a need to reduce personnel in Federal civil service jobs, those whose spouses are also employed by the Federal government should be dismissed first.

Though it doesn't overtly say "fire the wives," that's been the practical consequence. Due to discrimination, it's extremely rare for a wife to get the same promotions and earn the same salary as her husband. So, if they're going to have to get along on one income, it's almost always better for it to be his, and many wives have resigned to prevent their husbands from being fired. More about the attacks on women's employment rights both here in Ohio and nationwide will be discussed by several speakers at the luncheon tomorrow.

On the brighter side, there has been a gain for women in politics in Florida. Helen Hunt West reported that a "Fifty-Fifty Bill" supported by the N.W.P. had just been passed in that State which requires an equal number of men and women on political party committees. So even in times of backlash, progress can be made, as long as there is enough determination and political expertise involved, assets the National Woman's Party has always had in abundance.

 

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December 1, 1913 : Victory is at hand in the struggle for woman suffrage - at least according to Alice Paul. The 28-year-old leader of the Congressional Union and NAWSA's Congressional Committee told the convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association today that not many more conventions such as this would have to be held. In fact, she hopes to get a Constitutional Amendment through Congress during this session, and urged the delegates to give their Congressmen no peace until the Susan B. Anthony Amendment has gone through.

 

Rev. Anna Howard Shaw presided at the afternoon session, and proclaimed that patience was no longer a virtue. Women were no longer humbly begging for the ballot ; they were demanding it. "Some of us believe that the Constitution originally gave women the right to vote, but by some twist of interpretation it has been denied us. The twist, however, is not in the Constitution, but in the minds of the twisters ..."

 

Delegate Pattie Ruffner Jacobs of Alabama, reformer and anti-child-labor activist, became involved in the suffrage movement 3 years ago after a speech by Jane Addams convinced her that only with the ballot could women win their battles. She assured her fellow delegates that contrary to rumor, the suffrage movement was quite lively in the South, and that Southern women resented the assumption that they were anti-suffrage. "There are thousands of us. The women of Virginia, Louisiana, of Tennessee and Kentucky, of the Carolinas, in fact all of the Southern States, are stirring, realizing that the vote is the only dignified and sure means of obtaining recognition of their aspirations and of their needs."

 

The evening session was a celebration hosted by delegates from States where women had recently won suffrage victories : Washington (1910) ; California (1911) ; Oregon, Arizona, and Kansas (1912) ; Illinois and Alaska Territory (1913).

 

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December 1, 1935 : An enthusiastic and ambitious end to the National Woman's Party's biennial convention in Columbus, Ohio, today. First and foremost, the party reaffirmed the Equal Rights Amendment as its top priority, and asked women voters to make a Congressional candidate's stand on it their primary consideration at every election until the measure is passed by 2/3 of the House and Senate, then sent to the 48 States for ratification by the required 3/4.

The E.R.A. was introduced into the present Congress by Senator John Townsend, Republican of Delaware, on January 4th, and Representative Louis Ludlow, Democrat of Indiana, the next day. Among the approximately 1,000 laws that it would invalidate are those of South Carolina and Michigan, where even a wife's clothes are considered the property of the husband, and one in Georgia, which gives a husband the legal right to his wife's earnings. Mary Murray, a railroad employee for 28 years, called the measure "the only salvation for working women" when she addressed the convention in support of the resolution.

A resolution asking President Roosevelt to support the E.R.A., and to oppose any legislation that discriminates against women was also passed by the delegates. He is presumably familiar with what happened when President Wilson initially failed to support the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment when asked to do so by the National Woman's Party. Though no picketing of the White House is under consideration, there's no guarantee that history will not repeat itself, so he will hopefully take the request seriously, despite Eleanor Roosevelt's opposition to the E.R.A. due to her support of so-called "protective" legislation for women workers until they are fully unionized.

In regard to other pending legislation, all laws that make women a special, separate class of workers - even those establishing a minimum wage for women only - are to be fought in the name of total equality for both men and women. The N.W.P. recently defeated such a minimum wage bill in Florida, because it applied only to women, and did not apply to men as well.

Though the N.W.P. has plenty of work to do in the United States, women's rights worldwide will also have a high priority. Alice Paul, the party's founder, and Doris Stevens, its vice-chair, have been doing a lot of work on the international front recently, and their work was officially saluted and endorsed by the delegates today.

International treaties that guarantee women's equality are to be vigorously supported, and the National Woman's Party will actively cooperate with the Inter-American Commission of Women and the Woman's Consultative Committee of the League of Nations, headquartered in Geneva. Both Alice Paul and Doris Stevens are members of the Woman's Consultative Committee, and Stevens chairs the Inter-American Commission of Women. All international agreements that make distinctions in regard to sex will be opposed, and a letter to that effect has been sent to Senator Key Pittman, Democrat of Nevada, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Two international measures that will be specifically supported are the Equal Nationality Treaty and the Equal Rights Treaty. The Equal Nationality Treaty assures that a woman's citizenship in any nation that ratifies it is unaffected by her marital status. An American woman who married a citizen of another country automatically lost her citizenship after passage of the Expatriation Act of 1907. But thanks to N.W.P.'s lobbying, the Cable Act of 1922 repealed most of its provisions, and after another 12 years of lobbying, its remaining sections were repealed on May 24, 1934, the same day the U.S. became the first nation to ratify the Equal Nationality Treaty. Chile, Mexico and Honduras have also ratified the Equal Nationality Treaty.

The Equal Rights Treaty is a kind of international version of the E.R.A., and guarantees women in the nations that ratify it both the right to vote and equal treatment with men in all areas. It has been signed by representatives of Uruguay, Paraguay, Cuba and Ecuador, but has not yet been ratified by the national legislature of any nation.

The N.W.P.'s campaign for total equality gained two more activists today as Lena Madesin Phillips, president of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women said : "You will have from now on not only my blessing, but my work," and Agnes Bryant Dickinson, a local attorney and former Assistant Attorney General of Ohio, who said :

"I have not hitherto been a member of the Woman's Party. I had thought that a woman lawyer had enough to do to carry her own professional work. But henceforth the business of the Woman's Party will be my business. This campaign needs women lawyers, and they need the Equal Rights Amendment. Certainly we will not be worth very much if we cannot put it over and we are sunk without it. For my part, you can take the word back to headquarters in Washington that we are behind you in this fight and will go through with it to the last ditch."

Anna Kelton Wiley, just as dedicated to equality today as when she was sent to Washington D.C.'s District Jail in 1917 for picketing along the White House fence in favor of suffrage, summed up the optimistic and energetic attitude of the delegates assembled here. At the close of the convention's business she said :

"This campaign will be conducted simultaneously on three fronts, at home, in South America, and internationally, from Geneva, with the single objective of achievement, once and for all, of the equality for women with men which has been the goal from the beginning of the movement started in 1848 at the first women's rights convention in the world, which met in Seneca Falls, N.Y., at the call of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. And there will be no retreat in this war."

 

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December 2, 1913 : The treatment of women by the criminal justice system was denounced today by Louise De Koven Bowen at the National American Woman Suffrage Association's annual convention. A close friend of Jane Addams, and Treasurer of Hull House, she pointed out a lack of women police and women jurors and called for reform of the courts and prisons to help women and children :

 

"From the time of the arrest of a woman to the final disposition of her case she is handicapped by being in the charge of and surrounded by men, who naturally cannot be expected to be as sympathetic and understanding as one of her own sex."

 

(Women cannot serve on juries in Illinois, and although Chicago has had a policewoman - Marie Owens - since 1891, and 10 more were sworn in earlier this year, this is hardly a sufficient presence in a force of 4,000 officers. The rest of the criminal "justice" system is similarly male-dominated.)

 

Hopes for friendly relations between the National American Woman Suffrage Association and President Wilson suffered a major setback as NAWSA President Rev. Anna Howard Shaw expressed the indignation felt by all convention delegates when she denounced the President for ignoring woman suffrage in his message to Congress today :

 

"President Wilson referred in his message to the fact that the time had come for an extension of greater social justice, and we women eagerly listened to this. We had hoped that social justice would include some measure of political justice to the women of the country ..... the time had come for the President to say a word in our behalf."

 

After enthusiastic applause, the convention adopted by acclimation a resolution that "It is the sense of this meeting that President Wilson failed to rise to the sublimest heights of democracy when he failed in his message to Congress today to recommend the freedom of half the citizens of the civilized world.

 

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December 2, 1943 : The patriotic, hard-working women who are making such a vital contribution to our war effort shouldn't have to worry about being pushed out of the workforce when victory comes. That was the view expressed today by the Women's Advisory Committee of the War Manpower Commission. The committee members recognized that those who are presently in uniform are clearly entitled to get their old jobs back if they want them, but the rights of the women workers who also contributed to the victory should be protected too, and now is the time to start planning for their postwar employment. As the committee put it :

"If the rights of women workers are to be protected, programs will have to be evolved. The committee is of the opinion that national planning should provide employment outlets for everyone who wants to work - both men and women - after the war.

"Any easy assumption that a great number of women will return to their homes is to be seriously questioned. The number of women who want and need work has increased enormously during the war. There will be an even higher proportion of unmarried women in our population. There will be hundreds of thousands of women who must accept the permanent function of breadwinners because of the loss of husbands in the war, and there are women who have adjusted their family life and found a new, often hard-won economic status which they do not wish to lose.

"No society can boast of democratic ideals if it utilizes its woman power in a crisis and neglects it in peace. The American people, therefore, must demand the consideration of the status of women in all post-war plans."

History indicates that women workers may have to fight against a strong drive to get them out of the post-war workforce. To use just one example, six weeks after the First World War ended, the Central Federated Union of New York openly expressed a prejudice felt by many when it said that the "same patriotic principle which induced women to enter industry during the war should induce them to vacate their positions after the war." In some plants the men refused to work with women once the crisis of war was past, and trade unions shunned them.

The number of women in the U.S. workforce today is far greater than at any time during the previous war, and women have proven themselves as being capable of doing even more kinds of so-called "men's jobs" than their mothers did a generation ago. Like her family members in uniform, "Rosie the Riveter" is making a vital contribution to winning the war, and will deserve both respect and consideration when the victory she's working so hard to achieve is finally realized.

 

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December 3, 1909 : Carrying banners proclaiming "Peaceful picketing is the right of every woman" and "The police are for our protection, not for our abuse," thousands of striking shirtwaist workers and a large number of supporters, suffragists among them, marched to New York City Hall today to present a petition to Mayor George B. McClellan. The petition read :

"We, the members of the Ladies' Waistmakers' Union, a body of 30,000 workers, appeal to you to put an immediate stop to the insults, intimidations, and to the abuses to which the police have subjected us while we have been peacefully picketing, which is our lawful right. We protest to you against the flagrant discrimination of the Police Department in favor of the employers, who are using every method to incite to violence. We appeal to you directly in this instance instead of to your Police Commissioner. We do this because our requests during the past six months have had no effect in decreasing the outrages perpetrated upon our members, nor have our requests been granted a fair hearing. Yours respectfully, S. Shindler, Secretary.”

The current battle began with a strike call in September against the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, arguably the worst employer in an industry infamous for its abuses. It is common in many garment shops for employees to be required to furnish their own needles, thread, knives, irons and other necessities, and also be charged for use of company equipment, from clothing lockers to chairs, and be fined for even the briefest tardiness or the slightest flaws in their work. But among the additional daily degradations inflicted on employes at Triangle is a lack of indoor bathrooms, and the necessity to ask a foreman to unlock a steel door to leave the building for this “interruption of work.”

All the nearly 1,000 employees answered the call and struck. The strike then went citywide on the night of November 22nd thanks to Clara Lemlich. After listening to two hours of standard speeches by noted, but somewhat cautious male labor leaders at a mass meeting called by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the young woman demanded the opportunity to speak. Her impassioned recounting, in Yiddish, of the daily exploitations and frustrations encountered by she and her fellow workers stirred the audience at Cooper Union to enthusiastically support her unprecedented call for a general strike against all shirtwaist manufacturers. Over 20,000 of the city’s 32,000 shirtwaist workers walked off their jobs the next day, with many more joining them since.

At strike headquarters in Clinton Hall, it is said that over 160 manufacturers have signed union agreements, and 15,000 union members have been re-hired under the better terms guaranteed by the contracts. But as many as 17,000 strikers are still out. Those who are still picketing have had to contend with violence from strikebreaking thugs hired by the companies as well as arrests by police.

According to Bertha Weyl, of the Women's Trade Union League :

"The laws of this State provide that pickets may walk up and down in front of a factory and try to persuade workers from going into a non-union shop. They may argue about the good points of a union. But they cannot lay hands on a worker to prevent her from going to work. And it is here that we have to complain about the police. We know absolutely that there are bureaus which furnish rough men for use by employers in breaking up a union. These men interfere with pickets, make a disturbance, and then the police, who are, of course, on guard where there is a strike, arrest the strikers, but somehow permit the roughs and toughs to go away.

"This statement is not made inadvisedly. We have had private detectives trace these toughs to their bureaus. We have watched their tactics dozens and dozens of times. Already in this strike some of the employers, fearing that their employes were about to go out, have threatened the use of toughs. The theory underlying the employment of this element against the pickets is that the strikers, particularly when they are girls and women, will not stick long to a union after they have been arrested several times, hauled to a station house, and then to court, gone to the trouble and expense of getting bail and have then probably been fined. The fine is not depended upon to a great extent ; the employers believe that the inconvenience, humiliation and cost of being arrested and discharged several times are enough to break up a union if it is carried on long enough. We hold that the girls have the right under the law to do picket duty, and that the police, so far from acting against them while doing that duty, should protect them in that right. Some of the Magistrates, too, seem to favor employers against workers when a case comes before them."

The primary demand of the strikers is that the employers recognize their union, and that the shops hire only union members. A shorter, 52-hour workweek (8 to 6 on weekdays, 8 to 4 on Saturdays, with an hour for meals each day) plus five paid holidays a year is demanded, along with other reforms.

The strike has been long, is still far from over, and is very hard on those who are out of work. But there are many mass meetings, featuring fine speakers to cheer the strikers on. Suffragists are among those lending their support in the struggle, and Alva Belmont, President of the Political Equality Association, will be addressing two strike meetings in the next two days. Suffrage groups and women's unions seem like natural allies, so their cooperation during this struggle could help both causes in the long run.

 

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December 3, 1913 : An active, 12-hour workday for those attending the National American Woman Suffrage Association's convention in Washington, D.C. Today's first business was conducted outside the convention halls, as many prominent and articulate suffragists went to Capitol Hill at 10:30 to testify before the House Rules Committee in favor of establishing a Standing Committee on Woman Suffrage in the House. Among the speakers were Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, Carrie Chapman Catt, Jane Addams and Ida Husted Harper, with Alva Belmont, Inez Milholland, Mary Ware Dennett and Alice Paul in the audience. Each gave an excellent presentation showing why woman suffrage was now a movement of such national importance that it deserved its own permanent committee.

 

"For many years we have been sent before the Judiciary Committee once a year, if we so desired, to present our arguments for Woman Suffrage. We appear before it, year after year, one day for two hours, and that is the end of it. That committee is a very busy one. The President has notified it that it is to be still busier this session ..... But the Woman Suffrage question is pressing for immediate action," said Helen H. Gardener.

 

Jane Addams, peppered with questions from a House member from Georgia who believed that "altering the electorate" was not a proper subject for discussion in Congress, proceeded to give him 10 instances where Congress had done exactly that. A suggestion that "Woman Suffrage" be tacked on to the Committee on the Election of the President, Vice President and Representatives was rejected by Rev. Shaw and NAWSA's National Board. It's believed that the proposal for the new committee now has majority support, and speculation that it might be established, then stacked with anti-suffragists was discounted.

 

Still angry with President Wilson over his failure to mention woman suffrage in his message to Congress yesterday, Ruth Hanna McCormick made a motion that the convention demand an audience with the President to impress upon him the importance of equal suffrage. The motion was enthusiastically carried, and she and Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, great-granddaughter of Henry Clay, were appointed to arrange with the President to receive a delegation from the convention.

 

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December 4, 1908 : Suffragists went on the offensive today, infiltrating an opposition meeting, then causing a brief disruption when the rhetoric got to be just too much. The National League for the Civic Federation of Women, whose primary purpose is to fight woman suffrage, was targeted by Sophia Loebinger and Olive Pierce, local New York suffragists, and British militant Bettina Boorman Wells, who arrived in town just three days ago.

Just after the meeting began, Richard Watson Gilder introduced Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, who read a letter Secretary of State Elihu Root recently sent to Mrs. Gilbert Jones. In it the Secretary praised the organization's work and expressed his view that woman suffrage "would rather reduce than increase, the electoral efficiency of our people," though conceding that "if the women of the United States, or any large majority of them, should really come to want the right of suffrage for themselves, they would ultimately get it."

Mr. Gilder then began to make one of the standard anti-suffragist arguments by referring to the recent "shocking and appalling official figures of divorce in the United States." (Last year, the most recent one for which statistics are available, there were 77,000 divorces in the U.S. vs. 937,000 marriages. Twenty years earlier the figures were 28,000 divorces and 513,000 marriages. So while marriages outnumbered divorces by 18 to 1 in 1887, they now outnumber them only 12 to 1.) He placed the blame for this increase in the divorce rate on those who favor a change in women's roles and status while praising those who support traditional roles :

"In the face of this lamentable showing as to an increasing weakness of the sentiment of home and family in America, it is reassuring to find so many women willing to stand forth and insist upon the fact that the home and the family are the foundations of the best things that humanity has yet achieved ; and to lift up their voices against what, in their solemn belief, is a new, insidious, and possibly disastrous attack upon the fundamentals of civilization."

Though surely offended by the implication that gains in women’s rights were weakening or destroying the family, the suffragists had not yet reached the end of their patience, so the program continued uninterrupted.

Next came the reading of a letter sent from President Theodore Roosevelt to Dr. Lyman Abbott, the principal speaker. This must at first have seemed a strange choice to the suffragists, since Col. Roosevelt favors the cause, but his indifference toward the issue, and his praise for women who stay in the home made it quite appealing to the anti-feminist audience :

The White House, Nov. 10, 1908

"My Dear Mr. Abbott :

"Personally I believe in woman's suffrage, but I am not an enthusiastic advocate of it because I do not regard it as a very important matter. I am unable to see that there has been any special improvement in the position of women in those States in the West that have adopted woman's suffrage, as compared with those States adjoining them that have not adopted it. I do not think that giving the women suffrage will produce any marked improvement in the condition of women. I do not believe that it will produce any of the evils feared, and I am very certain that when women as a whole take any special interest in the matter they will have suffrage if they desire it.

"But at present I think most of them are lukewarm ; I find some actively for it, and some actively against it. I am, for the reasons above given, rather what you would regard as lukewarm or tepid in my support of it because, while I believe in it, I do not regard it of very much importance. I believe that man and woman should stand on an equality of right, but I do not believe equality of right means identify of functions ; and I am more and more convinced that the great field, the indispensable field, for the usefulness of woman is as the mother of the family.

"It is her work in the household, in the home, her work in bearing and rearing the children, which is more important than any man's work, and it is the work which should be normally the woman's special work, just as normally the man's work should be that of the breadwinner, the supporter of the home, and, if necessary, the soldier who will fight for the home. There are exceptions as regards both man and woman ; but the full and perfect life, the life of highest happiness and of highest usefulness to the State, is the life of the man and woman who are husband and wife, who live in the partnership of love and duty, the one earning enough to keep the home, the other managing the home and the children."

Out of respect for the President - a fellow suffragist, even if not an active one - the infiltrators kept silent. But then Dr. Abbott returned the discussion to the issue of divorce, and made a direct connection between the rise of suffrage and the fall of marriage. Sophia Loebinger could not let such nonsense go unchallenged. "It isn't true !" she shouted. "It isn't that way in the suffrage States !" An usher opened a door, and in came the police, who quickly took up their posts just a few feet from Loebinger, hoping that their presence would discourage any more heckling. But then Boorman Wells made a reply to one of Abbott's observations, and the police made their move on all three. Loebinger said : "Don't you dare put your hand on me !" and the police drew back, sensing that she would be quite willing to put up a fight.

Abbott continued, clearly not in an attempt to smooth things over :

"A few shrieking suffragettes are eager for the ballot because they have entered the fray and want a victory. Some ambitious women are eager for it, as an evidence that with the ballot they could accomplish moral and industrial reforms which now they can urge but cannot command. Some wage-earning women wish for the ballot as a symbol which they believe would obtain for them in their vocation greater respect. These reformers have made their voices heard in the halls of legislation. The great body of silent women have until recently been without representation. The majority of these silent women pay as little attention to the advocates of woman suffrage as they would to the frantic appeals of a recruiting Sergeant in time of war, seeking to form a regiment of Amazons. They are so averse to public life that they will not even publicly protest against an endeavor to force them into public life."

At that point the three suffragists had heard enough, and showed their contempt for the sentiments expressed by getting up and leaving in a group. They then initiated the second part of the plan. A suffrage meeting, complete with a portable platform and "Votes for Women" banner brought earlier and kept ready just down the block by another suffrage supporter, was set up just outside, so that as the audience left, they could hear the other side of the issue.

 

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December 4, 1913 : Strong words at the National American Woman Suffrage Association's convention today. In a speech to the delegates, Carrie Chapman Catt declared that women demanded the vote without delay, and that "If the Constitution stands in our way, let's tear it up and make a new one."

 

Irritation with President Wilson for neglecting to even mention woman suffrage in his message to Congress yesterday has increased, as today he failed to meet with convention representatives Ruth Hanna McCormick and Madeline McDowell Breckinridge, supposedly due to his being "ill." As Connecticut suffragist Katharine Houghton Hepburn noted, if he "had been brought up by an enfranchised mother, he would know more of the needs of Democracy." Hepburn later vigorously attacked commercialized vice :

 

"Here in Washington at this very moment, girls are being bought and sold. The President knows it. The District Commissioners know it. The police know it. It is only the secret caucus of the House of Representatives which has prevented the Kenyon "Red Light" Bill from becoming law. I hope that the convention will adopt a resolution which will result in bringing this bill upon the floor of the House, having it debated, and passed. It will in great measure prevent the traffic in vice which is being carried on openly and with official sanction in the National Capital." Such a resolution was immediately passed.

 

Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, NAWSA President since 1904, was re-elected, with Jane Addams as First Vice President, an office she has held since 1911. They have a tough job ahead of them, as tensions between the "militant" and "conservative" factions are growing. As one example of the conflict, Alva Belmont tried to introduce a resolution today to move the national headquarters from New York to Washington, D.C., where "militant" Alice Paul's NAWSA Congressional Committee as well as her Congressional Union are trying to get a Constitutional Amendment enfranchising women passed. But the motion was tabled, as the more conservative, "state-by-state campaign" forces still prevailed.

 

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December 5, 1909 : "Our cause is your cause, and your cause is our cause," said Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She was addressing a packed house at the Hippodrome, gathered this afternoon to support the women on strike against New York City's shirtwaist companies. Eight thousand were on hand, and had there been room, hundreds more would have attended.

The meeting was called by Alva Belmont, president of the Political Equality League, so there were many suffrage banners prominently displayed, all large enough to be easily read from even the back row. But there were other banners that were specific to the cause of labor. Before the speaking even began, one could learn that there were six million women working outside the home in the United States, 860,000 in New York State and 500,000 in New York City. However, even many adult women are earning only 6 cents an hour in white goods work, and 7 cents for laundry work. The differential in pay for male and female school teachers - something the late Susan B. Anthony encountered six decades ago when she was in that profession - is still an injustice to be fought.

Support for suffrage from unions was in evidence, as banners proclaimed that the "Votes for Women" movement is endorsed by the Bricklayers' and Masons' Union, the American Federation of Labor, United Mine Workers, and many others. But this was a day for suffragists to show their support for labor, not vice versa, and Dr. Shaw lost no time in doing so :

"Personally I believe in trade unions. You can't strike a blow with one finger or two fingers, but when you want to strike you put all your fingers together, clinch them hard, and then let drive. That's what the workers must do with themselves if they would be effective.

"Men keep telling us we should go back to the home and do the work our grandmothers did. We can't ; the men have taken that work out of the home, have put in factories, and we must go out of the home to do it. The sun never shone upon a generation whose women loved the home more than the women of this generation. We don't go out to work because we like it. We don't accept half pay in competition with men because we don't care for money. We do these things because we have to.

"The truth is, children are driving us both out of work. Give the women the power of the ballot and we will put those children in school, we will equalize the pay so that there will be less inducement for men to hire women to do their work, and we will improve conditions so that there will be less need for women to go out to work.

"The men in labor unions say it is hard to hold together women in a union ; that such unions are a load to carry. Give the women the vote, so that we may become as powerful in politics as our number justifies, as powerful as the men are because of their votes, and we shall cease to be a burden ; we'll fight our own battles."

Rev. Shaw wound up her well-received speech by talking about of the cause of equality in general : "Women don't want to dictate to men, but we don't want men to dictate to us. We want to be free." She even went so far as to call for women police officers, and women public officials, so that the female half of the country could have the option of dealing with women in positions of power. Then she noted the reason we need both sexes in public life : "The interests of men are not safe in the hands of women, and the interests of women are not safe in the hands of men."

Rev. Alexander Irvine began his speech in a strong manner and finished with the most militant statement of the day. He stated :

"This fight is simply a fight between right and wrong. This is not a local fight. It is going on all over the world." Noting that the shirtwaist manufacturers seem ready to concede to all the demands of the strikers except recognition of their union, and a pledge to hire only union members, he exhorted the crowd : "The only thing the manufacturers want to keep you from doing is the only thing worth doing. Get your union ; fight for it to the last." Decrying the actions of the police against strikers doing picket duty, and their bias in favor of the shop owners, he warned : "We will fight under the law as long as we can, and then when we are pushed too far we'll turn and fight like beasts."

Negotiations continue, and the courageous strikers are determined to hold out as long as necessary. The current battle began in September, and was originally directed at only the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. That firm has certainly earned its reputation as being among the city’s worst “sweat shops” by perfecting the garment industry's widespread practice of “sweating” every last cent of profit out of employes by charging them for such things as the electricity it takes to run the lights and the machines they use, and making workers furnish their own tools and supplies if they work by hand. A sign there reads : “If you don’t come in Sunday, don’t come in Monday.” Arriving five minutes late can cost a worker up to a half day’s pay, and even the most minor imperfection in a garment can result in a fine. There are no indoor bathrooms in their building, so when a woman needs to “interrupt her work,” she must undergo the indignity of asking for permission to leave, and having a heavy steel door unlocked by a male supervisor.

The strike went citywide on November 22nd, thanks to a stirring speech by young Clara Lemlich at a mass meeting called by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The strike has gotten support from the vast majority of the city's 32,000 shirtwaist workers, and those whose employers have not yet signed union contracts will continue to stay out until their demands are met. Union recognition and an agreement by employers to hire only union members is at the top of the agenda. A shorter, 52-hour workweek, plus better and safer working conditions are also among the principal demands.

 

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December 5, 1913 : "We are going to see President Wilson if it takes all winter." That was the statement given out today by the National American Woman Suffrage Association on the final day of its convention in Washington, D.C. After Ruth Hanna McCormick and Madeline McDowell Breckinridge were unable to arrange a meeting with the President yesterday, due to his "illness," fifty-five suffragists have now agreed to stay behind after the convention ends tonight for the purpose of meeting with him and getting him to help push a Suffrage Amendment through Congress.

 

Meanwhile, a split in the organization seems to have been avoided, or at least postponed. After a sometimes heated meeting, NAWSA President Rev. Anna Howard Shaw announced that Alice Paul and Lucy Burns would remain members of the Congressional Committee. There has been discomfort among some of the more conservative NAWSA officers over Alice Paul's leadership of both the NAWSA Congressional Committee and her own Congressional Union. "While no committee has been appointed, it is certain that Miss Alice Paul and Miss Lucy Burns will remain on the Congressional Committee." Skepticism about whether this will actually happen runs high, however, due to irreconcilable differences between the conservative and the more militant factions over authority, strategy and funds.

 

Though President Wilson is avoiding the suffragists, three of his Cabinet members were seen at a reception given today by Belle Case LaFollette, in honor of the officers of NAWSA. Three hundred of the convention's delegates also attended. Back in the convention hall, Rev. Shaw made the organization's opposition to "militancy" in any form clear. She especially wanted to address an out-of-context quote from her annual address that has been widely reported, and caused much controversy in the press.

 

In that address, she quoted a statement made by Susan B. Anthony that "There are two methods of warfare, the civilized and the barbarian. The hatchet is the weapon of barbarism, the ballot the weapon of civilization. If they continue to deny to women the weapon of civilization, they need not wonder if she resorts to that of barbarism." Shaw then reminded everyone that she had followed that quote with : "This organization, however, is going to win with the weapon of civilization" and therefore would continue its conservative approach and not be switching to Carrie Nation's hatchet-wielding tactics in the battle for the vote - or even Alice Paul's more aggressive style.

 

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December 6, 1913 : Persistence pays ! After fifty-five National American Woman Suffrage Association convention delegates vowed to stay in D.C. all winter, if necessary, to meet with President Wilson, he has finally agreed to receive a NAWSA deputation at 1 p.m. on the day after tomorrow, at the White House. It will consist of the entire National Board and one representative from each of the 48 States. They will try to get a specific public statement from the President regarding his views on woman suffrage, and hopefully some help in lobbying the Susan B. Anthony Amendment through Congress. It would assure women equal voting rights with men nationwide if then ratified by 36 States. Among the suffragists representing their States at the meeting will be Jeannette Rankin of Montana, and Katharine Houghton Hepburn of Connecticut.

 

In other suffrage news, Helen Todd attended a speech by Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan this evening, and after hearing him go on for a while about the virtues of popular government, rose and called out : "And how about popular government for women, Mr. Secretary ?" Bryan then replied, "Madam, in your work you doubtless have followed your judgment and conscience. In my work I have followed mine." He then immediately left the hall.

 

For those who may be interested in doing suffrage work of a less militant nature, it was announced today that a two-week suffrage school will be opened day after tomorrow in the Friends' Meeting House, 1811 "I" Street, NW., Washington, D.C. Among those who will be giving expert instruction on how to conduct suffrage work will be Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, newly re-elected President of NAWSA.

 

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December 6, 1915 : Persistence is the key to victory, and despite the (male) voters in four big Eastern States rejecting suffrage referenda on October 19th and November 2nd, "Votes for Women" advocates are proving that they're just as resilient - and dedicated to the cause - as ever. There were two major events today, and anti-suffragists who may have thought that the setbacks for suffrage in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania would cause a lull in activity for a while must be as disappointed as suffragists are reassured to see that the battle goes right on.

Both of today's major events were arranged by Alice Paul's "Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage." This year, while most of the country was focused on the suffrage referenda in the East, Alice Paul's supporters were out West, gathering signatures from women voters on a petition demanding passage of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment. All the States in which women have the same voting rights as men are in the West.

The Congressional Union organized a Convention of Women Voters in San Francisco, which coincided with the Panama-Pacific Exposition, and by setting up shop in an Exposition booth, 500,000 signatures were affixed to an 18,000 foot petition. On September 16th, Sara Bard Field and Frances Joliffe, suffrage speakers, and their drivers, Maria Kindberg and Ingeborg Kindstedt, were given an enthusiastic sendoff, and began the grueling 5,000 mile, almost three-month cross-country automobile trip to deliver the petition, and to establish Congressional Union chapters in as many cities as possible along the way. Mabel Vernon kept ahead of them by train (not hard to do, since many of the country’s “roads” are still just muddy wagon trails) arranging speaking engagements and newspaper interviews along the way.

Today their weather-beaten car arrived, and the intrepid party got a heroes' welcome to D.C. as they drove into town, and a parade in their honor as they made their way to the Capitol.

They were met on the Capitol steps by Representative Frank Mondell, Republican of Wyoming. After he and a Congressional delegation received the petition, partly unrolled and carried by 20 women, Rep. Mondell then went inside, and introduced the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to this session of Congress. Not to be outdone, Rep. John Raker, Democrat of California, introduced an identical measure, then Meyer London, Socialist of New York, introduced a third one.

All this multi-partisan action and attention pleased the members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in the galleries. Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, president of N.A.W.S.A., said : "We have introduced this self-same resolution in every Congress for the last forty-seven years, and while we have never had any difficulty in getting it introduced, we rarely have enjoyed such a degree of co-operation from all the political parties."

Then it was off to the White House for the C.U.'s other major event of the day. Two thousand suffragists, banners flying, marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, accompanied by brass bands and a fife and drum corps, as an escort for the three hundred invited to a meeting with President Wilson in the East Room of the White House. Anne Martin, of Nevada, and Frances Joliffe spoke for the group. Though the President could not be moved from his position that woman suffrage should be won on a State-by-State basis, and that as President and leader of his party he was not free to arbitrarily endorse the Anthony Amendment on his own, the meeting was still an important sign of the movement's continuing power and prestige - and a reminder to President Wilson that suffragists will continue to seek his assistance until they get it.

 

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December 7, 1911 : Suffragists returned to Wall Street today, this time after having made some converts in the New York Police Department. Today's rally, like the one on November 27th, was in front of the Sub-Treasury Building, but the resemblance ends there. Ten days ago the rally was constantly disrupted by the heckling of young boys who seem to have had the approval of the lone, and quite indifferent police officer at the scene. It ended with attempts by the young hooligans to steal suffrage banners from the automobiles, followed by a trip to the police station by the suffragists to lodge a formal complaint. But today the party was accompanied by a Police Inspector and ten officers, while between two and three dozen more in plain clothes mingled with the crowd to be sure that they would be close enough to any disruption to instantly squelch it.

Today's audience had no trouble at all hearing the speakers make the case for suffrage. Rev. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, noted that women are now doing the same work as men outside the home, but don't have the same protections. In New York City alone, there are 20,000 voteless women who have to support their families as well as themselves on their meager salaries. She said : "I want you to help amend the State Constitution so that women can protect themselves and their labor, and the mothers protect the children. That is all we are asking of you."

Harriot Stanton Blatch spoke directly to the boys in the crowd, who as future voters, would determine the character of the country. She told them that women needed to be a part of the law-making process, because most everything done outside the home had some effect inside the home.

The only outburst of the day by the boys was when Blatch got to the close of her remarks and said : "I want to say a word to the police." The boys shouted : "Hooray for the cops !" She didn't really mind, because she was about to say pretty much the same thing herself : "I want to thank you for keeping order, and to tell you that the Inspector has been to see me several times recently and that he has made a suffrage speech to the police. He says that women are not asking anything that is not constitutional and that they must receive the same courtesy that is extended to any one else."

Several other speeches were made, and well-received, as the Women's Political Union distributed literature to those in the mostly-friendly crowd. Though time will tell if the police have truly been won over, and are willing to protect the small, everyday rallies, and not just the big parades that get newspaper attention, this could mark a major advance for the suffrage campaign in New York.

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December 7, 1913 : No Sunday rest for many suffragists who are spending today busily planning what to say to President Wilson tomorrow at the White House. The meeting has become more important than ever amid a growing consensus that three days of testimony before the House Rules Committee, beginning last Wednesday, had probably failed to persuade enough House members to establish a permanent, separate Committee on Woman Suffrage.

 

Having such a committee would greatly aid in passing the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment. But even though the Rules Committee took no action on the resolution to establish this new committee, and it's unlikely that there will be a House vote on it this year, suffragists took pride in both the quality of the testimony and the number of fine speakers they produced. "By all odds the best hearing suffragists ever had before Congress" was the judgment of Jane Addams. She believes the cause has been advanced by those who presented such a strong and articulate case.

 

Some of the testimony was quoted in prestigious newspapers with wide distribution, so their words went far beyond a few members of Congress. Among the many points made by Alice Stone Blackwell were that the "antis" have never been able to prove that more than 1% of the nation's women are opposed to suffrage, that suffragists had organized in 47 States, the "antis" only 17, and that such progress would never have come "if cradles had not been rocked or had homes been abandoned." To the repeated charge that woman suffrage would weaken and possibly even destroy marriage, she submitted statistics to show that the marriage rate had actually increased in recent years in equal suffrage States.

 

When given their turn, the "antis" denounced woman suffrage as unnecessary, opposed by women themselves, and of no use in attaining equal wages. They saw any Federal action as a violation of States' Rights, linked suffrage with Prohibition, called it a "burden" on homemakers which would interfere with their spousal and maternal duties, and two speakers from the Guidon Club went so far as to portray any support for the suffrage movement as playing into the hands of radical forces that desire the Republic's overthrow. It is hoped that tomorrow President Wilson will be more sympathetic to the calm, rational arguments in favor of equality and justice made by suffragists than was the House Rules Committee.

 

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December 8, 1913 : A large, banner-bearing delegation from the National American Woman Suffrage Association marched to the White House today and was cordially received by President Wilson. That he met with so many suffragists at all was a boost for "the cause," and there was also a degree of encouragement regarding NAWSA's immediate goal of getting a permanent and separate Committee on Woman Suffrage in the House. That's a somewhat remote possibility without vigorous advocacy by someone with political power.

 

Those present were visibly pleased when President Wilson said that when asked by a member of the House Rules Committee for his views on establishing a suffrage committee, he gave a favorable reply. But while he could share his personal views with individual colleagues who ask, he could not become a public advocate for suffrage, or even take it upon himself to lobby for a Suffrage Committee because the Democratic Party had not taken a stand on either issue, and "I am not at liberty, until I speak for somebody besides myself, to urge legislation upon the Congress."

 

Rev. Anna Howard Shaw then noted that since the vast majority of American women were not yet permitted to vote, and therefore had no party which could compel its members to advocate their legislation, if he could not present their case to Congress, who could ? He seemed quite uncomfortable at the question, and tried to make a joke by saying that he found the delegation well able to speak for themselves. But when pressed by Rev. Shaw to say if he could think of anyone other than himself who could speak authoritatively to Congress for voteless, partyless women, he hesitated for a while, and then said, "No."

 

The job of prodding President Wilson into becoming personally involved in advocating woman suffrage may be a long one, but at least the process is now well underway, and those who met with him today must each decide for themselves what strategy might be the best means of achieving that goal.

 

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December 8, 1969 : The three-year-old National Organization for Women announced an ambitious agenda for 1970 today, following a Board of Directors meeting in New Orleans. The goals discussed at a press conference ranged from putting women on both the Supreme Court and the Moon to ending the practices of sex-segregated want-ads and the naming of all hurricanes after women.

But it was the Nixon Administration which came in for the most criticism, and it wasn't limited to only the President and his all-male Cabinet. First Lady Pat Nixon's controversial comments made on May 7th, as NOW was picketing outside the White House, are still echoing seven months later. While Ivy Bottini was leading placard-carrying pickets in chants expressing the need for equality, the First Lady was meeting inside with 80 representatives of state and city commissions on the status of women. Incredibly, she told reporters - and her guests, all of whom were appointed for the purpose of exposing and suggesting remedies for the many discriminations against women which still exist - that :

"I really feel women have equal rights if they want to exercise it. All the women who are really interested should just go out and pitch. It's the funniest thing, I just don't feel there's any discrimination. I know my husband feels that way. He feels there are well-qualified women and he wants them to serve in government."

Needless to say, her view that the commissioners apparently have nothing to investigate or eliminate was not well-received at the time, and ever since has been considered symbolic of the Nixon Administration's failure to take sex discrimination seriously or appoint women to top posts. Even now the highest-ranking woman in the almost 11-month-old Administration is Patricia Hitt, Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Today, Betty Friedan, NOW's founder and president, said :

"Mrs. Nixon's widely publicized statement that there is little discrimination against women in America indicates a need for intensive briefing. We are sending Mrs. Nixon NOW's offer to present a seminar just for her, in which experts will explain the facts and implications of discrimination against women in employment, government, education, public accommodations and all other phases of American society. Public statements by Administration officials, and by their wives indicate a woeful ignorance of the seriousness and harmfulness of sex discrimination. They clearly reflect the policies of the President himself, who has appointed only 10 women out of more than 300 high-level White House officials."

Friedan said that the seminar could be held at any time or place convenient to the First Lady, and suggested that the wives of the Cabinet members and Pat Nixon's own daughters should attend as well.

Since no woman has ever been nominated to the Supreme Court, the NOW Board voted to press the President to nominate one of many qualified women, with Judges Sarah T. Hughes, Constance Baker Motley, Shirley Hufstedler, and Rep. Martha Griffiths specifically suggested to replace Justice Abe Fortas, who resigned on May 14th. The President's first nominee, Clement Haynsworth, was rejected by the Senate 45 to 55 on November 21st, and he has not yet announced a second choice.

NOW cited recent court victories involving their own attorneys as an incentive for women to demand equal opportunity in the workplace. In suits against Colgate-Palmolive and Southern Bell, U.S. Appeals Courts have ruled that employers cannot discriminate against women by invoking so-called "protective" laws that are actually just restrictions on women's employment opportunities. Friedan noted that all laws regulating the hours, jobs, or weights lifted which apply only to women are now superseded by Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. NOW wants the Civil Rights Act amended to be even stronger, and give enforcement power to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as to bar sex bias in education, housing, and public accommodations.

Now that men have landed on the Moon, it's time for gender equality in space, so NOW is urging President Nixon to "bring women into the Apollo moon program immediately, in compliance with his own Executive Order No. 11478 prohibiting the Federal Government or government contractors to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion or national origin." NOW will be filing a complaint that charges sex discrimination in NASA's astronaut training program, and that bias exists in regard to filling the top jobs in the space agency.

The widespread devastation caused by Hurricane "Camille" in August was another reminder of just how pervasive sexism is in our language and culture, and the NOW Board today urged the Hurricane Center in Miami to "choose names other than women's names in designating unwelcome, destructive hurricanes."

The battle against sex-segregated want-ads took a major step forward this year, and NOW vowed today to continue the fight in 1970. The E.E.O.C. ruled against "Help Wanted - Male" and "Help Wanted - Female" ads, and a number of major newspapers have already complied, though in some cases, such as the New York Times, only after their offices were picketed by NOW. But other newspapers have gotten an injunction delaying enforcement, so the issue isn't settled just yet.

The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced into Congress in 1923, will be NOW's highest legislative priority in the coming year. Betty Friedan noted it was "long overdue" and warned : "The failure of Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment until now makes us question whether women should continue paying taxes to a government that does not grant them full Constitutional equality."

The Equal Rights Amendment reads : Section 1 : "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Section 2 : "The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." Section 3 : "This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification."

Now that Senator Carl Hayden (D-AZ) has retired, hopes are high this year that the E.R.A. will finally get to a floor vote without the "Hayden Rider" attached. This extra section, in one form or another, has been tacked on every year since 1950, when it read : "No provisions of this article shall be construed to impair any rights, benefits, or exemptions now or hereafter conferred by law upon persons of the female sex." Not only would this addition make the E.R.A. an "unequal" rights amendment, but the definition of what is a "benefit" is debatable. Some judges might consider laws restricting the times women can work, or the jobs they can do, to be "protective" rather than "restrictive" and therefore legal.

This has been quite a year for NOW, beginning with a number of well-publicized events such as sit-ins at bars, grills, and restaurants that either prohibit women entirely, require them to have male escorts, or restrict them to certain times or areas. There were also successful lawsuits against biased employers, increased political influence, and a rapidly expanding membership, 10% of which is male. So, on to 1970 and new victories !

 

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December 9, 1909 : American suffragist Alice Paul was freed today from London's Holloway Jail after serving a thirty-day sentence. Denied "political prisoner" status, she began a hunger strike immediately after her arrival at the prison, and was force-fed twice a day beginning November 11th. Though quite weak from her ordeal, she said today that she had no regrets, and would do it again if necessary.

On November 9th, she was arrested for taking part in a suffrage protest at the Lord Mayor's banquet in the Guild Hall. She and another protester, Amelia Brown, disguised themselves as scrubwomen, sneaking in hours before the event began. They spent the morning hiding, one time coming so close to being caught that a police officer's cloak brushed up against Paul in a darkened area where she was crouching to avoid detection. When she ran into someone, she would ask directions to the kitchen. Eventually she made her way to the gallery, and when Prime Minister Asquith paused briefly during his speech, she and Brown shouted : "How about votes for women ?"

Both were immediately caught, quickly tried, sentenced to 30 days of hard labor, and went on hunger strikes. Alice Paul did no work, and resisted everything the authorities tried to do, refusing even to wear prison clothes. Though not yet recovered enough for a long interview, she did send out this statement today through a friend :

"I practiced a hunger strike until Nov. 11. After that date they fed me twice a day by force, except on one day when I was too ill to be touched. I have no complaints against the Holloway officials. I spent the whole time in bed, because I refused to wear prison clothes. Each day I was wrapped in blankets and taken to another cell to be fed, the food being injected through my nostrils.

"During this operation the largest wardress in Holloway sat astride my knees, holding my shoulders down to keep me from bending forward. Two other wardresses sat on either side and held my arms. Then a towel was placed around my throat and one doctor from behind forced my head back, while another doctor put a tube in my nostril. When it reached my throat my head was pushed forward.

"Twice the tube came through my mouth and I got it between my teeth. My mouth was then pried open with an instrument. Sometimes they tied me to a chair with sheets. Once I managed to get my hands loose and snatched the tube, tearing it with my teeth. I also broke a jug, but I didn't give in."

Alice Paul originally came to England to do further study, and to gain more experience in social work, but she became attracted to the militance of suffrage movement here through her acquaintance with Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. She joined their Women's Social and Political Union, and is clearly willing to share the risks and penalties of their militant activities. When she will return to the United States is unknown, but when she does, she could have quite an impact on the suffrage movement there, presently dominated by the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which employs traditional, non-militant methods for achieving "Votes for Women."

 

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December 9, 1912 : Suffrage hikers needed ! Placards announcing a "pilgrimage" from New York City to the State Capital of Albany went up at the local suffrage headquarters today, and enthusiasm for this novel idea is running extremely high. The plan originated with Rosalie Gardiner Jones, already well known to residents of Long Island, where she spent the summer giving out suffrage literature and making impromptu speeches while traveling around in her suffrage-yellow, pony-drawn cart.

 

Ably helping coordinate arrangements for the hike will be Ida Craft, and nurse Lavinia "Little Doc" Dock will be along every step of the way to attend to any medical needs that might arise. The purpose of the march will be to bring the campaign to rural residents, then upon arrival in Albany to lobby for a suffrage referendum to be put on the State ballot.

 

Though there is no official "uniform" as yet, all hikers will carry their circulars and buttons in something similar to a Boy Scout knapsack - in this case yellow - and will wear "Votes for Women" sashes. Jones and Craft will wear their suffrage parade hats, Jones' all white, Craft's white and yellow. The Yonkers Suffrage Club has already volunteered to host a reception for the hikers, and others are planned along the way. The NY State Suffrage Association has indicated that a delegation of women from Albany will come out to meet the marchers as they approach the city. All those interested in going along on this great adventure - or just giving the pilgrims a warm sendoff - should assemble at 9:15 a.m., near the subway station at Broadway and 242nd Street, on December 16th, a week from today.

 

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December 10, 1869 : Woman suffrage has returned to America ! For the first time since 1807, when the New Jersey Legislature revoked the right of women to vote, there is a part of the United States where women can legally cast ballots on the same basis as men : The Territory of Wyoming ! Established by Congress on July 25th of last year from land that was formerly part of Dakota, Utah and Idaho Territories, Wyoming has now become the first of what is expected to be many more victories in the battle for woman suffrage.

The suffrage bill was introduced into the Territorial Legislature by William H. Bright, a South Pass saloon owner, whose wife, Julia, is an enthusiastic suffragist. The measure was approved in the Council (equivalent to the Senate) 6-2. The House passed it 7-4 with one abstention. Following passage by the all-Democratic legislature, Republican Governor John A. Campbell – who had been quite impressed by a women’s rights convention when growing up in Ohio - signed the bill today, while women kept vigil outside his office until he did so. This landmark legislation reads :

“A BILL TO GRANT THE WOMEN OF WYOMING TERRITORY THE RIGHT OF SUFFRAGE, AND TO HOLD OFFICE.

Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wyoming :

SECTION 1. That every woman of the age of twenty-one years, residing in this territory, may, at every election to be holden under the laws thereof, cast her vote. And her rights to the elective franchise and to hold office shall be the same under the election laws of this territory, as those of electors.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved, December 10th, 1869.”

This is truly an exciting time for the suffrage movement, which on July 19th of this year reached full, vigorous maturity at the age of 21. It has now been fully revived following its temporary suspension during the War. National women’s rights conventions have resumed and been held annually since May 10, 1866. “The Revolution,” launched on January 8, 1868, by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Parker Pillsbury, provides a lively nationwide forum for women’s rights supporters. On May 15th of this year, the National Woman Suffrage Association was formed in New York, and on November 24th and 25th, men and women gathered in Cleveland, Ohio, to form the American Woman Suffrage Association.

Though the first attempt to get a full-fledged State to approve woman suffrage was defeated when the men of Kansas voted against it by a two-to-one margin in a referendum two years ago, today appears to be a turning point in the battle for equal suffrage. The women of Wyoming will soon begin going to the polls to cast votes, and it will be seen that woman suffrage is no “threat to the family” as opponents claim, but rather a clear gain for society, as well as simple justice for those who have endured the tyranny of “taxation without representation” and obeyed laws enacted by politicians who have had nothing to fear from voteless women.

Once the novelty of women standing in line at polling places in Wyoming wears off and the sight becomes commonplace, and the Territory’s 9,000 residents reap the benefits that women will bring to politics, “equal suffrage” should spread rapidly to the rest of the Western Territories, then to all 37 States.

 

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December 10, 1910 : Jubilation and dedication were both present in abundance tonight at the opening of the new headquarters of the Women's Political Union, 46 East 29th Street, in New York City. And though there is much left to do in the battle for suffrage, 1910 has certainly been a good year for the Union.

 

The group began three years ago as the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women, but last month changed its name to more fit its new focus on politics, and to reflect its admiration for Emmeline Pankhurst's Women's Social and Political Union in Britain. The Union's colors of purple, white and green are identical to those of Pankhurst's W.S.P.U., and could be seen everywhere around the headquarters tonight.

 

One of the year's major accomplishments being celebrated was the successful suffrage parade on May 21st. Despite strong opposition from more traditional suffragists who thought such a public display would be "undignified" and that it might "set suffrage back fifty years," the unprecedented event turned out over 400 women who marched past several thousand onlookers to a rally at Union Square, and they got quite good press coverage. This one-time experiment may become an annual event with much wider support next year from groups that did not participate this year.

 

Though their first venture into politics failed to unseat anti-suffrage Assemblyman Artemas Ward, the Union did succeed in making it a surprisingly close race. There were numerous press reports about the effectiveness of the women, such as this one in the New York World : "The ladies are campaigning. Early and late, afoot and in the horseless, from the curbstone and the top of tables, on street corners and door steps ... they are demanding the vote and the scalps of the enemy."

 

At the opening tonight, Elizabeth Cook asked the women to take the "Pledge of Will and Won't," in which they vow to make all their donations solely to suffrage organizations until the vote is won. Eunice Dana Brannan has already taken the pledge, and will also raise money for the cause by opening a suffrage shop on the 15th, with items as low as ten cents. Harriot Stanton Blatch, the group's leader, had yet another fund raising suggestion. Members could buy one-dollar tickets from the Union for Sylvia Pankhurst's upcoming lecture at the Carnegie Lyceum on January 6th and give them as Christmas presents to their friends. "You will help the cause, educate the people who are not interested in suffrage, and save yourself a great deal of trouble." (Her sister, in the audience, seemed less enthused about this idea than Harriot, however.) A contribution plate was passed around, and was soon appropriately green, boding well for the future of the group - and woman suffrage.

 

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December 10, 1917 : A more militant National American Woman Suffrage Association may be about to emerge. The country's largest suffrage organization, with 2 million members, has up until now been educational in nature, and concentrated on convincing the general public, male voters, State Legislatures, and members of Congress about the justice and benefits of woman suffrage. But sixty-nine years after the goal of equal suffrage was first set forth at Seneca Falls, and just under thirty-nine years after the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment was introduced into Congress, things may be about to change.

According to reports that are being widely discussed tonight, N.A.W.S.A's leaders, who met today in preparation for the opening of their national convention, intend to submit a proposal to the delegates that the organization use all of its power and influence to fight the election of any candidate who opposes woman suffrage, and in support of candidates who favor it, providing that the candidate is also supportive of the nation's war effort. The idea has the enthusiastic endorsement of Carrie Chapman Catt, the group's president, and no apparent opposition.

While their new tactic won't make them as militant as the National Woman's Party, whose members have picketed the White House, been arrested, served time in jail, undertaken hunger strikes and been force-fed, N.A.W.S.A.'s huge membership insures that their new program will have a major impact. This proposed change in policy also comes at an opportune time. The recent victory in New York, where women won the vote in the nation's most populous State, means that intense, direct pressure can be put on every member of the New York delegation - the largest in the House - in the 1918 primaries, as well as on candidates in other States where women have the vote. In non-suffrage States, anti-suffrage candidates can still be targeted by N.A.W.S.A., their records publicized, and women can volunteer to help their opponents' campaigns, even if they can't vote. In what could be an additional boost for suffrage, Congress seems ready to pass the Prohibition Amendment, and if the liquor industry were to become outlawed, a major source of funding for anti-suffrage organizations would become as dry as the country itself.

Action on the Anthony Amendment in the House could come soon, though hopefully not too soon. There is concern that there aren't quite enough votes for passage at the moment, but it is thought that there will be just enough by January, and suffragists would prefer to wait until passage is assured. Should the amendment fail, that would still leave plenty of time to put all members of the House on record before they have to run in the primaries, and allow N.A.W.S.A. to make its endorsements, and allocate its resources accordingly. But if, as is hoped, it passes the House by the 2/3 majority required, priority could then be given to the Senate races, and assuring a 2/3 majority there.

 

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December 11, 1921 : The campaign for a 20th Amendment, to assure equal rights for women, is quickly taking shape ! Though ratification of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment 16 months ago marked a major advance for women's rights, winning the vote can be only a stepping stone on the path to total equality. Today the National Woman's Party announced the first draft of a measure to transform the ideal of equal rights for men and women into a Constitutional Amendment permanently mandating it nationwide.

At the N.W.P.'s national convention in February - the first since ratification of the 19th Amendment was officially certified by the Secretary of State on August 26, 1920 - the delegates demanded "absolute equality" as the party's new goal. A committee of legal experts was appointed to draw up a preliminary proposal for the wording of a Constitutional Amendment to be approved by the organization, then submitted to Congress and the States for ratification. The tentative text, announced today, says : "No political, civil or legal disabilities or inequalities on account of sex, or on account of marriage unless applying alike to both sexes, shall exist in the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

Among the many prestigious members of the committee who came up with the suggested wording are Gail Laughlin, who was a full-time activist with the National American Woman Suffrage Association for many years, and the first President of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women ; Shippen Lewis, Secretary of the Legal Education Committee of the American Bar Association ; Matthew Hale, former National Chairman of the Progressive Party ; and George Gordon Battle, former Assistant District Attorney for New York.

According to Laughlin : "The amendment to the United States Constitution proposed by the National Woman's Party asks nothing more for women than equal political, civil and legal rights with men, and certainly women should be satisfied with nothing less."

George Gordon Battle thinks the time is right for this next, and final, step on the road to equality : "Undoubtedly such an amendment is required by the preponderant force of moral sentiment and by the progressive tendency of the times."

Though the National Women's Trade Union League expressed concern that a "blanket equal rights amendment" might endanger so-called "protective" legislation for women, Frank Walsh, former joint Chairman of the War Labor Board and counsel for many labor organizations believes : "The political, civil and legal disabilities and inequalities leveled against woman, on the sole ground of sex, are so great in number, and so deeply engrafted in our legal structure by national and State statutes, as well as by court decisions, that I can see no way of approximating justice as affecting the sexes, except by passage of such an amendment as your organization has proposed. Indeed, without such an amendment, in my opinion, the late amendment guaranteeing women the right of suffrage would become a mere abstraction."

J.D. Wilkinson summed up the reason why this new amendment is the logical companion to the 19th : "The Fifteenth Amendment followed the Fourteenth Amendment, and it was generally conceded that one was the complement of the other. An amendment to the Constitution should follow the Nineteenth Amendment, giving to woman her civil rights as the Nineteenth Amendment gives to her political rights. Indeed the latter appears the more important of the two."

The struggle for nationwide woman suffrage, culminating with passage of the 19th Amendment, took 72 years, so the campaign for the 20th is expected to be a long one as well. The Party's founder, Alice Paul, may also wish to rewrite the amendment’s somewhat cumbersome language before having it formally introduced in Congress. But the last phase of the battle for equality between men and women has finally begun, and if those who support this equal rights amendment have the same dedication and persistence as those who fought for the 19th, they will eventually be equally successful.

 

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Dec. 12, 1912 : The "Suffrage Army" that will begin its march from New York City to the State Capital at Albany four days from now to lobby for a Statewide suffrage referendum is growing rapidly. In just the three days since the pilgrimage was announced, seven suffrage organizations have enlisted in the corps. Among the major groups preparing to march are the NY State Suffrage Association, the Women's Political Union, and the Equal Franchise Society. The Men's League for Equal Suffrage will be there for the sendoff and again upon the marchers' arrival in Albany, though unable to take part in the entire march due to the business obligations of its members.

 

Those of going along as “War Correspondents” will be sending their dispatches to the headquarters of the Woman Suffrage Party where they are to be read daily. "Colonel" Ida Craft, second in command, is in charge of the sendoff, as well as commissary arrangements along the way. She will have six assistants to make sure that those of all ranks are well fed. "I am not going to have any of my army fall by the wayside through eating canned food," she says, promising plenty of sandwiches, chocolate, and shelled peanuts, which she will shell personally.

 

"General" Rosalie Jones is presently up-State finalizing the route and scouting out bivouac areas in boarding houses and hotels where her troops can encamp along the line of march. The army will have temporary reinforcements along the way, with a group of women led by Florence Maule Cooley escorting them through nearby Putnam County. Elizabeth Freeman of Syracuse, and Anna Congdon Etz of Hornell, though both cities are far from the route, will each bring a detachment that will join up at some point between New York and Albany.

 

Each borough of New York will have its own company, which will march the entire distance. Supply stations will be available to replenish suffrage leaflets and buttons, which will be distributed in large quantities, and will also stock extra coats, sweaters, hoods and overshoes, plus skis and snowshoes as well, to assure that not even the worst of weather will stop the General and her troops from reaching their objective.

 

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December 12, 1932 : If it seems like women are losing jobs even faster than men since the current Depression began, or that women who are still working are being exploited far more than before, it's not your imagination. Mary Anderson, head of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, today brought out figures from several surveys around the country confirming these suspicions.

In New York and Illinois, employment records show that the number of women who lost jobs was greater than that of men in a large number of industries which employ both men and women, and was also the case in virtually all occupations which have a majority of female workers. Women in executive or supervisory positions are being hit the hardest.

A survey last year showed that about 20% of women in the country's 19 largest cities were out of work, and in eight of these cities the percentage was even greater. An unemployment census taken in April, 1930, just 6 months after the economic downturn began, already showed 668,661 women out of work, 10% of whom were heads of families.

Wage cuts have been a widespread phenomenon during the past three years, and though a New York State survey showed the salary declines for women have actually been slightly less than those for men (21.5 % vs. 22.5 %), the impact has been much greater, because women were earning substantially less than men to begin with. Interestingly, figures published by the Minimum Wage Board of Ontario show women's wages in that Canadian Province have declined only 1.7 %.

Just how low some women's salaries have slipped in the U.S. is shown by a recent survey of 7,800 women in the garment-making industry, made at the request of Connecticut's Democratic Governor, Wilbur Cross. Many were paid from $ 4 to $ 6 for a 48 to 50 hour week. The wages paid to those who do piecework couldn't be determined precisely, because no records were kept.

The practice of discriminating against women in general - and married women in particular - in the workforce clearly predates this Depression, but has become more widespread and overt since the current crisis began. The National Woman's Party has been fighting for the rights of women in the workforce for many years, and is presently trying to repeal Section 213 of the Economy Act of 1932. It states that when reductions in personnel are needed in Federal Government departments, those who have spouses working for the Government should be terminated first.

Though apparently sex-neutral, Section 213 is really a "force-the-wives-to-resign" law, since men are much more likely to get promoted, and to earn higher salaries, so if only one Government job is allowed per couple, it's the wife who will quit. (The alleged justification for this policy is to "spread the jobs around" among families, but if that was really the act's purpose, the one-job-per-family rule would also apply to fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, and any family members living in the same home, not just to spouses.)

In addition to working on specific legislation, the N.W.P. has urged President-elect Roosevelt to be the first to appoint a woman to his Cabinet : "The women of America earnestly urge that you include women among those whom you appoint, and urge that these women be truly representative of women - women who believe in equality for men and women, women who are aware that equal and effective cooperation between men and women is a vitally essential principle of representative government."

Whether Roosevelt breaks the precedent of naming only men to Cabinet posts or not, women workers are about to get a strong voice in the White House. Just two weeks ago, soon-to-be First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made an appeal for assistance to women hurt by the Depression at a benefit in Carnegie Hall sponsored by the Educational Department of the Women's Trade Union League. Then, after attacking the "blindness of a few people who perhaps do not understand that, after all, the prosperity of the few is on a firmer foundation when it spreads to the many," she noted that : "I feel in the last few weeks a lifting of the spirit of the country, a new sense of hope," and that "we are going through a time when I believe that we may have, if we will, a new social and economic order." Hopefully, women will be an integral part of the "new social and economic order," and the Roosevelt Administration will succeed in ending both the Depression and discrimination against women.

 

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December 13, 1917 : Carrie Chapman Catt's patience with the major political parties seems to have finally become exhausted. Though usually quite diplomatic, the president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association voiced a view tonight at a public meeting that was far from flattering to politicians of either major party. Many in the cheering audience clearly endorsed Catt's observation :

"We know, and you know that we know, that it has been the aim of both parties to postpone woman suffrage as long as possible. A few men in each party have always fought with us fearlessly, but the party machines have evaded, voided, tricked, and buffeted this question from Congress to Legislatures, from Legislatures to political conventions. I confess to you that many of us have a deep and abiding distrust of all existing political parties - they have tricked us so often and in such unscrupulous fashion that our doubts are natural."

In accordance with this more aggressive stance, N.A.W.S.A.'s Executive Committee has approved an official recommendation to its convention, to be acted on tomorrow, stating : "That if the Sixty-fifth Congress fails to submit the [Susan B. Anthony] amendment before the Congressional election of 1918, a number of Senatorial and Congressional Districts be selected equal to the number of votes necessary to change the result in each house, and that a campaign against candidates opposing the Federal amendment be made in these 1918 elections. In our opposition to individual candidates loyalty to the Federal amendment shall not take precedence over loyalty to the country."

This would be an unprecedented stand for N.A.W.S.A., which has never endorsed or opposed any candidate in a Congressional election, and has always relied on persuading those already in Congress to support the amendment, which would prohibit denying the vote to anyone on account of their sex.

However, there are still limits to what kinds of actions N.A.W.S.A. will approve. The convention delegates today gave N.A.W.S.A.'s Executive Council the power to expel any chapter or committee that does not conform to the organization's platform and principles. This is meant to keep the organization from becoming as militant as the National Woman's Party, which pickets the President, an action N.A.W.S.A. officers strongly disapprove.

Though N.A.W.S.A. and the Woman's Party use quite different tactics in their work toward the same goal, the combination of their styles seems to be bringing the day of nationwide woman suffrage closer, and when victory is achieved, both groups will be able to share in the credit.

 

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Dec. 13, 1919 : According to Carrie Chapman Catt, women who live in States where they can vote should join with male voters "equally disgusted with the present political system" and stay independent as a way of lifting the nation to a realization of the principles for which it stands. Her speech was received with enthusiasm today by a thousand members of the non-partisan New York City League of Women Voters. (Women have voted in New York since the passage of a suffrage referendum two years ago.)

 

Only by staying autonomous can women achieve the ideals of government which they stand for, said Catt. "The independent take an oath with me to endorse platforms by intellect and ratify by conscience," as she put it. She noted that political ambitions make cowards of public servants and interfere with their formulation and interpretation of laws. She urged women to oppose "slates" made behind closed doors, and decried the prevalence of "inheriting" political beliefs and party affiliations from one's parents. She also strongly denied recent reports that women voters in ten Western "Equal Suffrage" States have split along partisan lines.

 

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December 14, 1961 : In a major advance for the cause of Women's Rights, President Kennedy today established The President's Commission on the Status of Women. He said that it will point out "all barriers to the full partnership of women in our democracy," and deliver a report by October 1, 1963, on what remains to be done to "demolish prejudices and outmoded customs" that still impede women's progress.

The goal of bringing women into equal partnership in government is reflected in the naming of the Commissioners. Of its 26 members, 15 are women. The prestige of the Commission is shown in its membership as well. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt will be heading it, and serving with her will be Attorney General Robert Kennedy and four Cabinet Secretaries (Labor ; Health, Education & Welfare ; Commerce, and Agriculture.) Two Senators and two House members will serve, as well as representatives from women's groups, such as Viola Hymes of the National Council of Jewish Women, Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women, and Marguerite Rawalt, the first woman elected president of the Federal Bar Association and a former president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women.

The need for such a commission is made clear by the fact that not only are there many laws already on the books that need to be examined in regard to bias, but there are over 400 pieces of legislation affecting women currently being considered by Congress that need to be evaluated in terms of which will best address the inequities women still face. The most important and far-reaching of these proposed laws is the Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in Congress in 1923.

This is the full text of Executive Order 10980 :

ESTABLISHING THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

WHEREAS prejudices and outmoded customs act as barriers to the full realization of women's basic rights which should be respected and fostered as part of our Nation's commitment to human dignity, freedom, and democracy; and

WHEREAS measures that contribute to family security and strengthen home life will advance the general welfare; and

WHEREAS it is in the national interest to promote the economy, security, and national defense through the most efficient and effective utilization of the skills of all persons, and

WHEREAS in every period of national emergency women have served with distinction in widely varied capacities but thereafter have been subject to treatment as a marginal group whose skills have been inadequately utilized; and

WHEREAS women should be assured the opportunity to develop their capacities and fulfill their aspirations on a continuing basis irrespective of national exigencies, and

WHEREAS a Governmental Commission should be charged with the responsibility for developing recommendations for overcoming discriminations in government and private employment on the basis of sex and for developing recommendations for services which will enable women to continue their role as wives and mothers while making a maximum contribution to the world around them:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

PART I—
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

SEC. 101. There is hereby established the President's Commission on the Status of Women, referred to herein as the "Commission". The Commission shall terminate not later than October 1, 1963.

SEC. 102. The Commission shall be composed of twenty members appointed by the President from among persons with a competency in the area of public affairs and women's activities. In addition, the Secretary of Labor, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health, Education and-Welfare, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission shall also serve as members of the Commission. The President shall designate from among the membership a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and an Executive Vice-Chairman.

SEC. 103. In conformity with the Act of May 3, 1945 (59 Stat. 134, 31 U.S.C. 691), necessary facilitating assistance, including the provision of suitable office space by the Department of Labor, shall be furnished the Commission by the Federal agencies whose chief officials are members thereof. An Executive Secretary shall be detailed by the Secretary of Labor to serve the Commission.

SEC. 104. The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairman.

SEC. 105. The Commission is authorized to use the services of consultants and experts as may be found necessary and as may be otherwise authorized by law.

PART II—
DUTIES OF THE PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN

SEC. 201. The Commission shall review progress and make recommendations as needed for constructive action in the following areas:

(a) Employment policies and practices, including those on wages, under Federal contracts.

(b) Federal social insurance and tax laws as they affect the net earnings and other income of women.

(c) Federal and State labor laws dealing with such matters as hours, night work, and wages, to determine whether they are accomplishing the purposes for which they were established and whether they should be adapted to changing technological, economic, and social conditions.

(d) Differences in legal treatment of men and women in regard to political and civil rights, property rights, and family relations.

(e) New and expanded services that may be required for women as wives, mothers, and workers, including education, counseling, training, home services, and arrangements for care of children during the working day.

(f) The employment policies and practices of the Government of the United States, with reference to additional affirmative steps which should be taken through legislation, executive or administrative action to assure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex and to enhance constructive employment opportunities for women.

SEC. 202. The Commission shall submit a final report of its recommendations to the President by October 1, 1963.

SEC. 203. All executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government are directed to cooperate with the Commission in the performance of its duties.

PART III—
REMUNERATION AND EXPENSES

SEC. 301. Members of the Commission, except those receiving other compensation from the United States, shall receive such compensation as the President shall hereafter fix in a manner to be hereafter determined.

JOHN F. KENNEDY
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 14, 1961

 

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December 15, 1912 : Great excitement today at the State Woman Suffrage Headquarters as last-minute preparations are being made for tomorrow's start of the first-ever suffrage hike. The pilgrimage from New York City to Albany will be preceded by Olive Schultz, whose scout car will drive along ahead of the marchers to announce their arrival to towns - and local reporters - along the way. Another supply car will carry a banner inscribed "Men, Vote for Women in 1915," a reference to their goal of lobbying the State Legislature into putting a woman suffrage referendum on the ballot within three years.

 

Among the newly-added items now coming along is a large drum, which should prove useful for both musically inspiring the marchers and to keep the hikers on track in case of heavy snow. The officers of the suffrage army showed off their bark-covered marching staffs of various lengths today, which they recently cut for themselves. The Army's Surgeon-General, nurse Lavinia Dock, was also on hand for today's "Preparation Tea," with her medical bag bearing the appropriate inscription of "First Aid Is All Right For Bruises, But Nothing Will Save Us But Votes For All." In addition to the human members of General Rosalie Jones' army, there will also be an African terrier from British East Africa named "Elizabeth," whose collar will be adorned by the purple, green and white ribbons of Britain's Women's Social and Political Union.

 

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December 15, 1914 : The Maxwell Motor Company salesroom on "Automobile Row" at Broadway and Fifty-ninth Street in New York took on a distinctly feminist air today. The company inaugurated its new policy of employing women to demonstrate and sell automobiles - and will even be paying them on the same basis as men. On hand to take part in the festivities were a number of noted suffragists, including Mary Garrett Hay, president of the New York City Woman Suffrage Party and Crystal Eastman, a founding member of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage.

Inez Milholland Boissevain introduced the speakers, all of whom were quite enthusiastic about the opportunities for women in the automotive field. They expressed confidence that this experiment would prove successful and bolster their contention that women are quite capable of doing well in any field if only given the opportunity to prove themselves, and be judged solely on the basis of ability. Feminists were also quite impressed by the hours and working conditions here, and it is hoped that this enlightened attitude will spread to other companies and industries.

As a practical example of women's mechanical abilities, Jean E. Moehle, who recently graduated from Barnard College, spent the afternoon in a leather apron assembling and disassembling a motor, to the fascination of the crowd. Mabel Wiley demonstrated her abilities as well, by selling her first car before the reception was even over.

Selling any of the new 1915 Maxwell "25" models should be an easy job, because by producing in volume (60,000 cars sold since the company was founded) Maxwells can be purchased at the lowest of prices. A 4 cylinder, 186 cubic inch, 21 horsepower Roadster can be bought for only $670, a 5-passenger Touring Car for $695, a Cabriolet for $840, and even the Town Car runs only $920. For just $55 more, any of these models can have electric, rather than gas headlights, and an electric self-starter as well.

So, if you want to buy a new car, and would like to get a good bargain, as well as help women break into a relatively new and growing field, there's now a place where you can do all three simultaneously !

 

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December 16, 1912 : "Votes for Women ! Votes For Women ! Sulzer ! Sulzer !" was the official cheer of the suffragist army that enthusiastically kicked off its march from New York City to Albany this morning. The Pilgrims' purpose is to drum up support for woman suffrage along the route, then meet with Governor-elect Sulzer to enlist his help in getting the State Legislature to put a woman suffrage referendum on the ballot.

 

Representatives of seven suffrage organizations either fell into the line of march, cheered from the sidewalks, or followed in cars as 26 hikers formed a column, then headed north when "General" Rosalie Jones shouted "Forward !" through her megaphone. At the head of the column were second-in-command Colonel Ida Craft, loaded down with literature to hand out, Surgeon-General Lavinia Dock, Private Kate Abbott and her drum, and Captain Jessie Belle Hardy Stubbs, official War Correspondent for the groups endorsing the march. Cameras and even motion picture machines were numerous at the start of the hike at 9:40, just a few minutes behind schedule.

 

It was an auspicious start, peppered with incidents along the route such as an elderly woman rushing out onto her porch and waving a suffrage banner over her head until the banner caught in a tree, while she shouted "Good Luck ! I am with you !" The NYPD provided a mounted escort to the city limits, and after a cordial farewell, they were soon replaced by equally friendly officers from Yonkers, who marched along to Getty Square, where the local suffrage group had arranged the first rally. The Chief of Police, sporting a suffrage button, introduced the Mayor, who gave the cheering crowd a speech that was as supportive of "Votes for Women" as any given by the marchers.

 

ut as pleasant as their rally and luncheon in Yonkers were, this was also where Inez Craven decided that "Honorable Elizabeth," the army's only canine member, wasn't quite up to the rest of the hike, and so she was given an Honorable Discharge. The drum also gave out, and with it the drummer departed. The ranks, as expected, have become somewhat depleted after this initial stop, but the scenery along the winding road on this beautiful day kept up the spirits of the "real" Pilgrims. Darkness was falling by the time the troopers reached Irvington, where they bivouacked for the night at local hotels after a long, but worthwhile and encouraging day.

 

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December 16, 1918 : A spectacular procession, followed by a stunning protest in favor of woman suffrage, took place late this afternoon at the Lafayette Monument in Washington, D.C. The reason for the demonstration – held on the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party – was to call attention to the fact that President Wilson arrived in France today to help promote democracy overseas, while the job of winning it for the women of his own nation remains undone. It’s his Democratic Party that is failing to provide its share of the votes needed in the Senate to pass the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment. It passed the House on January 10th by 274-136, and needs only the same 2/3 majority in the Senate to be sent to the States for ratification.

Today’s pageant began when three hundred members of the National Woman’s Party, some carrying purple, white and gold party banners, and others carrying torches, formed up in front of National Woman’s Party headquarters. Led by Anna Kelton Wiley, carrying an American flag, suffragists representing 31 States marched past the White House and on to the Lafayette Monument.

Once there, the ceremonies opened with Vida Milholland singing “The Women’s Marseillaise.” Then, one by one, thirty speakers explained the rally’s purpose to the large crowd that had gathered. With the War now over, the spectators were more receptive to a protest than before, and a few even cheered. As Elizabeth Selden Rogers, who presided over the event, explained to the spectators and press :

"We hold this meeting to protest against the denial of liberty to American women. All over the world today we see surging and sweeping irresistibly on, the great tide of democracy, and women would be derelict to their duty if they did not see to it that it brings freedom to the women of this land.

"England has enfranchised her women, Canada has enfranchised her women. Russia has enfranchised her women, the liberated nations of Central Europe are enfranchising their women. America must live up to her pretensions of democracy !

"Our ceremony today is planned to call attention to the fact that President Wilson has gone abroad to establish democracy in foreign lands when he has failed to establish democracy at home. We burn his words on liberty today, not in malice or in anger, but in a spirit of reverence for truth.

"This meeting is a message to President Wilson. We expect an answer. If it is more words, we will burn them again. The only answer the National Woman's Party will accept is the instant passage of the amendment in the Senate."

After giving their brief speeches, each speaker deposited a copy of some of President Wilson’s words into an urn, consigning them to the flames. Josephine Bennett said :

"It is because we are moved by a passion for democracy that we are here to protest against the President's forsaking the cause of freedom in America and appearing as a champion of freedom in the old world. We burn with shame and indignation that President Wilson should appear before the representatives of nations who have enfranchised their women, as chief spokesman for the right of self-government while American women are denied that right. We are held up to ridicule to the whole world.

"We consign to the flames the words of the President which have inspired women of other nations to strive for their freedom while their author refuses to do what lies in his power to do to liberate the women of his own country. Meekly to submit to this dishonor to the nation would be treason to mankind.

"Mr. President, the paper currency of liberty which you hand to women is worthless fuel until it is backed by the gold of action."

The speakers continued to explain why today’s protest was necessary and appropriate, and why a particular speech was set alight. Among the empty phrases spoken by President Wilson and chosen for burning were :

"This is a war for self-government among all the peoples of the world as against arbitrary choices of self-constituted masters.”

"Liberty is a fierce and intractable thing to which no bounds can be set and no bounds ought to be set."

"I believe that democracy is the only thing that vitalizes the whole people."

President Wilson has come a long way from the days when he said that woman suffrage was a matter for each State to decide, and that as a leader of his party he could not endorse the Susan B. Anthony Amendment until the Democratic Party officially did so. After a year of picketing by the National Woman’s Party, he endorsed nationwide woman suffrage, has spoken in favor of the Anthony Amendment, and deserves credit for that. But as he himself has noted in one of the speeches burned today : "Liberty does not consist in mere general declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of these declarations into action."

Presidential speeches and statements do not by themselves enfranchise any women. Using the full power of the Presidency to lobby reluctant Senators of one’s own party to get the two more votes needed to pass the Anthony Amendment and send it to the States would be a concrete and major step toward enfranchising millions of women.

While the National American Woman Suffrage Association continues to work and lobby in traditional ways, the National Woman’s Party will continue to engage in these militant actions until Wilson’s words are turned into deeds. If both organizations keep up maximum pressure, their mutual goal of nationwide woman suffrage can be achieved. The only question is whether the Anthony Amendment will be passed by this Congress or the next, and whether 36 of the 48 States can ratify before nationwide elections on November 2, 1920.

 

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December 16, 1939 : "We are not alone," said Emma Guffey Miller, bringing even more cheer to an already optimistic audience of Equal Rights Amendment supporters at the biennial convention of the National Woman's Party. In July of 1923, when the party first kicked off its campaign for the E. R. A. as part of the 75th anniversary of the Seneca Falls conference, it was very much alone in its support for the measure. But over the past 16 years, seventeen national organizations and numerous State and local groups have endorsed it. Two years ago it gained a very prestigious endorsement from the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, and the latest recruits to the ranks, according to Miller, are a quarter-million Democratic Women of Pennsylvania.

But that's just a preview of much bigger things to come. According to Anna Kelton Wiley, head of the Woman's Party, as well as a veteran of the suffrage struggle - and the D.C. District Jail, where she served time for picketing President Wilson in 1917 - there has been a surge in support for the E.R.A. She finds this reminiscent of what happened during the final year of the battle for the vote : "We are on the eve of a Presidential election year. Not only is there everywhere increasing interest and support of the Equal Rights Amendment, but sentiment for it is crystallizing with the same rapidity so apparent twenty years ago when women won the fight for national enfranchisement. The Equal Rights Amendment soon will be a part of the Constitution of the United States."

One aid in ratifying the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment in 1920 was its endorsement by both major political parties. On June 8, 1920, the Republican Platform proclaimed : "We welcome women into full participation in the affairs of government and the activities of the Republican Party. We earnestly hope that Republican legislatures in States which have not yet acted on the Suffrage Amendment will ratify the amendment, to the end that all of the women of the nation of voting age may participate in the election of 1920 which is so important to the welfare of our country."

On June 28, 1920, the Democratic Party followed suit, and put the following language in its platform : "We endorse the proposed 19th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States granting equal suffrage to women. We congratulate the legislatures of thirty-five States which have already ratified said amendment and we urge the Democratic Governors and Legislatures of Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida and such States as have not yet ratified the Federal Suffrage Amendment to unite in an effort to complete the process of ratification and secure the thirty-sixth State in time for all the women of the United States to participate in the fall election. We commend the effective advocacy of the measure by President Wilson."

What's needed now is to get similar endorsements from both Republicans and Democrats for the Equal Rights Amendment at their 1940 conventions. According to Wiley, both parties have "a wonderful opportunity at this time," and the question is : "Which will be the first to take advantage of it ?" She noted that "the party which sponsors the measure to give women the same Constitutional rights as men will reap the benefit," and that in a country in which half the votes are cast by women, this could be a considerable advantage.

Though vigorous efforts will be made to lobby both parties, the Republicans are more likely to endorse than Democrats at this time. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had expressed her opposition to the E.R.A., and thinks that until women are fully unionized, they need "special protections" under the law. In an interview on February 7, 1938, she said : "I still favor protective legislation and shall continue to do so until some additional proof is produced that women in industry can get along better without it." But the National Woman's Party feels that these "protective" laws are more restrictive than protective, and put women at a disadvantage in regard to employment opportunities. They believe that if a law is truly beneficial, it should apply to all workers, male and female alike.

In a resolution adopted by the delegates today, the reason why an E.R.A. is needed more than ever was explained. There is a "growing tendency to enact laws eliminating women from gainful employment in violation of the principles of equal opportunity on which this government was founded and contractual rights which all men enjoy under the Constitution." Though the National Woman's Party is fighting both old and new laws that discriminate against women on a case-by-case basis, "A constitutional amendment offers the only permanent remedy for these abuses." The Equal Rights Amendment reads : "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction."

 

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Dec. 17, 1912 : "Suffrage Army" troops are pushing on toward Albany on Day Two of their march. Though their numbers are down from those at their Manhattan sendoff yesterday, the enthusiasm of the Officer Corps remains high, thanks to many friendly receptions along the way, and a loyal group of War Correspondents giving the woman suffrage cause a boost in their papers by reporting this first-of-its-kind campaign to their many readers.

 

This morning the troops broke camp at the Skeet home, just outside Irvington, grabbed their walking staffs, buckled on their suffrage-yellow knapsacks and headed off for the day's objective of Ossining. There was a brief debate over strategy among the high command when it was suggested that while cutting across the estate of Helen Gould an attempt be made to convert her to the cause. But General Rosalie Jones vetoed the idea, and resolutely ordered her troops to keep marching toward Tarrytown, where, presumably, there would be many more (though admittedly not so wealthy) citizens to convert.

 

Like Yonkers before it, Tarrytown was bubbling over with enthusiasm for the hikers, and before they even arrived, a delegation of residents came out to greet them. When passing by the Knox School for Young Ladies, a group of students ran out cheering, and waving the school's banner, in return for which Gen. Jones promised "You are all going to have a vote." Naturally, this made them cheer even more. Later, at a suffrage meeting in a church where the rector's wife is a suffragist, equality prevailed as the school girls were joined by students from the Irving School for Boys. Hiker Jessie Hardy Stubbs spoke to the town's residents, and when the youngsters began a round of applause after the speech, the adults followed suit.

 

Once outside the church, the Knox girls surrounded the Pilgrims, and sang out with : "Rah, rah, rah, do not fret. You will get to Albany yet. Ray, ray, ray, ret, ret, ret. Cheer, cheer, cheer for the suffragette !" The Irving boys were not about to be eclipsed, and gave a similar expression of approval for "the marching suffragettes." Well before arrival in Ossining, a delegation drove out and escorted the hikers to the Sleepy Hollow Club for lunch, where, much to the disappointment of the press corps, there were rations prepared for hikers only. Following a futile chase after a stray chicken, the War Correspondents then found nourishment at a local diner up the road.

 

When the army reached the day's objective of Ossining's public square, a crowd of about 200 had gathered despite threatening skies, and every window overlooking the proceedings was filled with faces as well. Following the rally, which closed with another enthusiastic yell by the Irving boys, the army bivouacked at the Arnold home, said to house Ossining's senior suffragist.

 

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December 17, 1970 : A long overdue, but powerful statement by a rare assemblage of the nation's feminist leaders was made today at the Washington Square Methodist Church in New York City :

"We take this occasion to express our solidarity with the struggle of homosexuals to attain their liberation in a sexist society .... Women's liberation and homosexual liberation are both struggling towards a common goal : A society free from defining and categorizing people by virtue of gender and/or sexual preference. 'Lesbian' is a label used as a psychic weapon to keep women locked into their male-defined 'feminine role.' The essence of that role is that a woman is defined in terms of her relationship to men. A woman is called a Lesbian when she functions autonomously. Women's autonomy is what women's liberation is about."

The relationship between feminism and lesbianism has been commonly speculated upon in the press ever since this second wave of the struggle for women's equality began, and the discussion has intensified this year as both the gay and women's liberation movements have taken on increasingly higher profiles. But it was a statement in the December 14th edition of "Time" magazine that proved to be the final catalyst for today's press conference, and the decision by feminist leaders to finally confront the issue of using prejudice against lesbians as a weapon to fight women's liberation.

In the “Time” article entitled "Women's Lib : A Second Look," it was said that : " .... Kate Millett herself contributed to the growing skepticism about the movement by acknowledging at a recent meeting that she is bisexual. The disclosure is bound to discredit her as a spokeswoman for her cause, cast further doubt on her theories, and reinforce the views of those skeptics who routinely dismiss all liberationists as lesbians."

Today Kate Millett was chosen to read the statement of feminist solidarity with lesbians, and was repeatedly applauded by the approximately 50 women who surrounded her. Many then chose to make their own personal statements as well. Gloria Steinem was there, as were Ruth Simpson, president of the New York chapter of Daughters of Bilitis, lawyer Florynce Kennedy, Sally Kempton and Susan Brownmiller, of New York Radical Feminists, as well as Ivy Bottini, Dolores Alexander and Ti-Grace Atkinson of the National Organization for Women.

Barbara Love, of the Gay Liberation Front, epitomized the fighting spirit of the gathering : "People must speak up as Lesbians. I am a Lesbian. We've got to come out and fight, because we're not going to get anywhere if we don't." Dolores Alexander noted that even today : "It's such an explosive issue. It can intimidate women. Many women would be reduced to tears if you called them Lesbians." She then added that the feminist movement was quite diverse and made up of those who are "heterosexuals, homosexuals, tall, short, fat, skinny, black, yellow and white." Florynce Kennedy called for a "girlcott" of all products and major advertisers in "Time" magazine. Kate Millett called the article "a malicious attack on the movement" and said : "The time when you could call a woman a Lesbian and expect her to drop dead is over."

Many of those who couldn't make the press conference sent statements of support, such as Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), who represents the 19th Congressional District, and Caroline Bird, author of "Born Female." Aileen Hernandez, president of the National Organization for Women sent this statement :

"The National Organization for Women, Inc. has no formal statement on lesbianism. We do not prescribe a sexual preference test for applicants. We ask only that those who join NOW commit themselves to work for full equality for women and that they do so in the context that the struggle in which we are engaged is part of the total struggle to free all persons to develop their full humanity.

The effort by frightened, unethical individuals in the media to discredit the movement for the liberation of women by linking all its leaders to lesbianism (and all that word connotes in the minds of the public) is despicable and diversionary. It attempts to turn us away from the real business of the movement and towards endless and fruitless discussions on matters which are not at issue.

Let us - involved in a movement which has the greatest potential for humanizing our total society - spend no more time with this sexual McCarthyism. We need to free all our sisters from the shackles of a society which insists on viewing us in terms of sex."

Today was a proud day for the revitalized feminist movement. Many of those at the forefront of the battle for women's liberation personally and publicly confronted a controversial issue, and did so in a way that was consistent with their philosophy and goal of liberation for all. But despite the solidarity expressed today, decades of hard work are certain to be ahead in the battle to eliminate prejudices and stereotypes based on sex and sexual orientation. However, the recognition that the two struggles are related, and that those who oppose one of these forms of bigotry should unite with those who oppose the other, will make the day of total liberation arrive much sooner.

 

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December 18, 1912 : "The weather shall not daunt us. We are going to Albany, and the road lies on ahead." Thus did General Rosalie Jones rally her troops during Day Three of the "suffrage army's" march. The morning began in drizzle, then deteriorated into thick fog. But as in the battle for woman suffrage itself, slow but steady progress continues to be made toward their objective, which today was the portion of the hike from Ossining to Peekskill. "Votes for Women !" was the shout of Surgeon-General Dock, then with a wave to some spectators, off the hikers went, despite some foot sensitivities brought on by the first two days of marching.

 

Emma Barton waved greetings as the hike passed her house in Crotona, and after quickly being given a membership application by Col. Craft, she signed up to join of one of the sponsoring groups. Farther on, Paul Stier and daughter encountered the marchers, and when Mr. Stier expressed his support for suffrage, he got a pat on the back from his daughter, who remarked "He's just grand," a sentiment endorsed by all. Of course, not all fellow-travelers on the road to Peekskill were so enthusiastic.

 

One man in a wagon drawn by a team of horses said he supported woman suffrage "sometimes" when stopped and questioned by General Jones. But the next encounter was more positive, when a man offered to give a marcher a ride in a wheelbarrow, as "you must be tired of walking." The offer was declined, though perhaps the idea of a wheelbarrow race might be considered in the future, as it could generate even more publicity for the cause.

 

The marchers attracted attention everywhere they went, and everyone who looked even mildly supportive was given literature and membership applications by Col. Craft. Finally, Peekskill approached, and a delegation from the local suffrage group came out to greet the marchers and escort them the last two and a half miles to the Raleigh Hotel. A crowd awaited them there, which included many of the town's most prominent citizens, and even the police officer in charge of crowd control assured the women that he was prosuffrage. Though quite ready for some well-deserved rest and sleep, now 42 miles and three days out of New York City, the troopers nevertheless reported for duty later in the evening when it was time for a suffrage rally at the Colonial Theater.

 

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December 18, 1915 : Though New York State's suffrage referendum went down to defeat on November 2nd, Harriot Stanton Blatch announced today that she and a number of other suffragists are still determined to cast their votes in the 1916 Presidential election, and have figured out a way to legally do it. How ? Well, since a ballot box that accepts women's votes won't be available at their local precinct, they'll go to the nearest one which - under the right circumstances – will accept their ballots. It's in Kansas.

According to Blatch's lawyer, residence is determined by where one pays their personal taxes, so all she and other suffragists need to do to be eligible to vote is to become citizens of any of the eleven equal suffrage States, and in four of them - Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Kansas – it takes only six months of residency to be eligible to vote. Since Kansas is the closest to New York, that's the logical choice. Of course, as she explained, "you do not have to live all the time in a place where you make your residence, though if that was necessary you would find me sitting six months on the prairies of Kansas getting ready for my chance to vote."

There will be a meeting in January to make definite plans, with Blatch leaving in March, and the others in April, which will make them all Kansas citizens in time to register for the election. Already there are a number of well-known suffrage pilgrims pledged to make the journey. Dora Lewis, active in Alice Paul's Congressional Union, Mina Van Winkle, head of the Women's Political Union of New Jersey, and Blatch's sister Margaret have signed on. With the bleak outlook for State suffrage referenda after the defeat of four major drives in the past two months, the idea is appealing because enfranchisement could be gained quickly, and with certainty, at least for some. As to what they'll do there other than vote, Blatch is open to almost anything :

"There is no knowing how this will develop and there are all sorts of possibilities. A few of us might build a house. If many women should wish to take up the idea we might build a town and then we would vote in the municipal elections. We will pay our personal taxes wherever we locate, and that will take some money from New York. If many women should go - who could tell ? - we might give Kansas another Presidential Elector and a greater representation in Congress."

Though this might seem like going to a great deal of trouble to do something that takes only a few minutes, and many men don't even bother with at all, she explains :

"Men who were born with the silver spoon of liberty in their mouths do not appreciate it. I have patriotic blood in my veins, and I have always burned with indignation at being denied the rights of citizenship. My great-grandfathers on both sides were in the War of the Revolution. One of them, Colonel Livingston, was on Washington's staff. I always urged my mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony to take steps of this kind."

Whether this is the start of a women's migration to the West, or whether the recently-disappointed suffragists will decide to stay after all, and have another try at making New York the first Eastern suffrage State, it's proof that even after the quadruple defeat in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, those who believe in political equality for women are just as determined as ever, and will eventually vote, one way or another.

 

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December 19, 1912 : Though fatigue, rain, wind, cold and a muddy, up-hill, down-hill road proved worthy adversaries, the suffragist army still advanced twenty-two miles today from Peekskill to Fishkill-On-Hudson. ("Kill" derives from Dutch, and means a body of water, such as a riverbed or creek.)

 

But while the weather was unfriendly on Day Four of the hike, the people along the route to Albany were just the opposite, and views of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain were spectacular as well, yesterday's thick fog being absent. The hike began after a dispatch was sent from General Rosalie Jones to the national woman suffrage meeting in Chicago, reporting the pilgrims' progress, followed by a rousing cheer at the start, echoed by a small contingent of Peekskill's residents.

 

Early on, the marchers were rewarded by an encounter with a mother and her three-year-old-boy, who was dressed in red, white and blue. Both were strongly pro-suffrage. When asked "You will vote with us when you grow up ?" the boy said "Yes, ma'am" and was then given three cheers by the hikers. They then dropped in - unannounced - on a little red schoolhouse, and though the teacher was firmly anti-suffrage, the students were having such a good time talking to the hikers that she chose not to interfere, and even promised to read some of the literature dropped off by the marchers.

 

Florence M. Cooley appeared as promised when the troops crossed the Putnam County Line, and became just the first of their many cross-county escorts. The improving weather she brought with her was also welcome, as the muddy road began to dry out a bit. The hikers took a nice break about noon to admire the view of West Point. Two more Putnam County suffragists who then joined them invited them to a luncheon.

 

At the entrance to an aqueduct tunnel, some workers shouted their encouragement, with "Votes for Women !" the speedy reply. That in turn was followed immediately by a salute from the whistles of the plant. Then a boat carrying other workers across the Hudson tooted its horn for the marchers, and fatigue among the hikers seemed to temporarily subside. Darkness fell rapidly, but the locals knew the way to the Holland Hotel even without daylight, so the day's objective was taken - though General Jones was tottering a bit at the end, a slight limp having begun near Cold Spring, so she went straight to bed.

 

Later, the welcoming ceremonies went on, with Fishkill's President happily surrendering the keys of the town to the marchers. As usual, the indefatigable Captain Jessie Hardy Stubbs managed to find an evening audience to speak to and then gave "Votes for Women" buttons to the men attending the anniversary dinner of the Tomkins Hose Association. Tomorrow it's on to Wappingers Falls, and the question of the day will be whether the suffrage pilgrims, having already marched 64 miles in four days, will be waltzing at the local dance there tomorrow night.

 

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December 19, 1930 : Amelia Earhart added another "first" to her illustrious career today by becoming the first woman to fly an autogyro carrying a passenger. It was only five days ago that she needed just 15 minutes of instruction to learn to pilot this strange-looking "flying windmill" and become the first woman to take one up for a solo flight.

She took an immediate liking to this amazing machine. A conventional engine and propeller on the front provide the thrust to move it forward, then Its lift is provided by four angled blades on an unpowered overhead rotor which spin as the craft moves through the air. This unique combination gives it the ability to do things no other aircraft can do, such as take off and land in very short spaces, as well as slowly and safely descend to the ground in case of engine failure. After five successful flights, accompanied on each by a member of the press, she stopped only because it was getting dark. She then told the aircraft's designer, Harold F. Pitcairn : "The amazing features of stability and safety will be the most important factors in bringing women into active aviation because of the added ease of control and security." The craft's two regular test pilots watched from below, then pronounced her handling of the machine "perfect."

Amelia Earhart is best-known for being the first woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane, which she did as a passenger on a 20 hour, 40 minute flight from Newfoundland to Wales beginning on June 17, 1928. She and the crew got a ticker-tape parade, and a visit with President Coolidge upon their arrival back in the U.S. But she is determined to fly the Atlantic by herself one day, though presumably in a more traditional aircraft than the one she used today.

Her career in aviation began almost exactly 10 years ago, when she took her first flying lesson from Neta Snook on January 3, 1921. That summer she bought a second-hand, two-seat yellow biplane which, of course, she called the "Canary." On October 22, 1922 she used it to set an altitude record for women of 14,000 feet. Just months after her transatlantic flight in 1928, she became the first woman to fly solo across the U.S. In 1929 she placed third in the first Women's Air Derby, flying from Santa Monica, California to Cleveland, Ohio. She and several other female pilots boycotted this year's race because of restrictions on the size of engines that women pilots would be allowed to use, and other double standards. She has upgraded to a Lockheed-Vega monoplane with a 425-horsepower Wasp engine.

This has been an active year for her, as she set the women's speed record for a 100 kilometer course on June 25th, and another one of 181.19 miles per hour over a 3 kilometer course just 10 days later. In October she received her commercial Air Transport License, and was also instrumental in organizing the "Ninety-nines" a new organization for women pilots, on November 2nd of last year.

When she's not flying, she's writing about it as a regular contributor to William Randolph Hearst's "Cosmopolitan" magazine. In July, 1929, she wrote an article entitled "Why Are Women Afraid To Fly ?" and noted that girls as well as boys are fascinated by airplanes. But the girls are discouraged from taking classes that involve electrical or mechanical skills, and shunted into cooking and sewing classes, while boys are encouraged to learn the kinds of things that will prepare them for a career in aviation if they have an interest in it. Among her most recent articles was one in which she interviewed Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a skilled pilot in her own right, and wife of the legendary Charles Lindbergh, the first to solo across the Atlantic in 1927.

In the twenty-seven years since the Wright Brothers made their first flight, heavier-than-air craft have proven themselves, and aviation has become an exciting field open to both men and women. Amelia Earhart's adventures are eagerly followed by the public, and are having the desired effect of showing that women can be pilots and mechanics as well as passengers.

 

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December 20, 1912 : This fifth day of General Rosalie Jones and her "suffrage army's" hike from New York City to Albany saw sore feet causing a late start, but better weather, as well as renewed commitments by the marchers. The sendoff in Fishkill was enthusiastic, and included the Village President, the Chief of Police, and a number of local suffragists as well.

An experiment in recruitment early along the route was somewhat less encouraging, however. Col. Ida Craft, always eager to promote the cause to all, decided it might be a good idea to make up a pro-suffrage flyer to give to some of the hobos they encountered in their travels. Upon seeing someone who clearly looked the part resting at the side of the road, she gave him a flyer, only to discover that he was one of the county's wealthiest landowners, and not at all flattered by the case of mistaken identity.

The next encounter went better. In another of their series of unscheduled visits to roadside schoolhouses, 25 children listened attentively to General Jones and the army's Surgeon-General, Lavinia Dock. One boy seemed quite supportive of women having the vote, but when Dock predicted that some day Jones might be President, this caused a worried look on the face of the boy. But at least he supports the most important step toward putting a woman in the White House, even if not quite ready for a Jones Administration just yet. The teacher was undecided on the issue, but now that she has lots of literature to look over during the long winter, that should change.

Moving further down the road, Col. Craft was doing her usual duty of stuffing suffrage literature into mailboxes when a farmer vigorously objected. But her enthusiasm for the cause, and logical arguments in favor of woman suffrage were sufficient to get him to at least think about supporting the right of women to vote.

Near the day's objective of Wappingers Falls, it was the army's medical officer who needed attention, but after a few minutes of rest and some shoe-shaking, Dock's malady was cured.

But there was still one more formidable obstacle to overcome. General Jones' mother, having read of the exhausting pace of the hike, sent a nurse out to intercept the hikers, check on the General's health, and implore the Commander to give her “Farewell Address to the Troops” and come home. But the General had no intention of deserting her army, declaring : "I am carrying a message to Garcia - beg pardon - [Governor-Elect] Sulzer. I am going to walk to Albany. You may go right home and tell mother so."

This statement caused the other hikers to also make renewed pledges to reach Albany. The pilgrims attended a dance held this evening at the Wappingers Falls Academy of Music, though the army's baggage car driver (and chief orator), Captain Jessie Hardy Stubbs did all the actual dancing for the group. Apparently the fame of the hikers is now sufficient that at tomorrow's luncheon in Poughkeepsie, an admission fee will be charged to the sold-out event, with the proceeds, of course, going to help "The Cause."

This first-ever “suffrage hike,” is meant to generate attention and support for the suffrage movement in general, and specifically for putting a suffrage referendum on the New York State ballot. It is hoped that the hikers will reach Albany before the end of the year, and meet with Governor-elect Sulzer to obtain his support for their “Votes for Women” referendum drive.

On “Day One,” the hikers kicked off their trek amid the sounds of cheers from a large crowd in Manhattan, and were then given a mounted police escort out of town. They enjoyed splendid weather, and on their way to Irvington were greeted by supportive public officials in Yonkers who spoke at a rally in their honor.

“Day Two” found Tarrytown residents as enthusiastic as those in Yonkers, with the students of the Knox School for Young Ladies running out to greet the hikers as they passed by. Later, at a suffrage meeting in a church, the Knox girls were joined by the students of the Irving School for Boys, so equality of the sexes prevailed among the younger members of the audience. After the meeting, both groups of students shouted special cheers they’d composed for the suffragists as the hikers marched off toward the day’s final stop in Ossining.

“Day Three” began in drizzle that turned into heavy fog, but according to General Jones : "The weather shall not daunt us. We are going to Albany, and the road lies on ahead.” More friendly encounters occurred on the way to Peekskill, and though feet were growing sore after three days and the 42 miles of hiking, an offer by a local farmer to give a lift in his wheelbarrow to any marcher who needed one was politely declined. Despite their fatigue, the hikers were able to give enthusiastic speeches at two rallies in Peekskill.

Though rain, wind and cold early in the day, plus a muddy, up-hill, down-hill road proved worthy adversaries on “Day Four,” the “suffrage army” still advanced the twenty-two miles to Fishkill-On-Hudson. (According to the locals, "kill" is derived from Dutch, and means a body of water, such as a riverbed or creek.) Fortunately, the people encountered along the road had a much better temperament than the weather, though even that improved as the day wore on. The views of the Hudson River and Storm King Mountain were also quite spectacular and inspiring.

General Jones was seen limping a bit last night, not surprising after marching 64 miles in just four days. But no one doubts that she and the other hikers will make it to Albany, or that this will have been one of the most successful suffrage events in history, with a tiny group of hikers generating huge amounts of publicity each day thanks to the reporters (“war correspondents”) who are following along every step of the way.

 

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December 20, 1948 : Yet another reason why the Equal Rights Amendment is needed was shown today when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Michigan law which clearly discriminates on the basis of sex. Even worse, the opinion assured State legislatures that the Court will uphold the practice of barring all women from entire occupations, and overturn only laws which make what the Court feels are "irrational" classifications that would allow some women, and not others, to work in a certain profession.

The case, Goesaert v. Cleary (335 U.S. 464) involved four women (Valentine and Margaret Goesaert, Gertrude Nadroski and Caroline McMahon) who wanted to tend bar in Michigan. In that State, all bartenders in cities of over 50,000 are required to be licensed, but no woman may be given a license unless she is "the wife or daughter of the male owner." The law was challenged on the ground that under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, "Michigan cannot forbid females generally from being barmaids and at the same time make an exception in favor of the wives and daughters of the owners of liquor establishments." But according to six of the nine Justices, with Justice Felix Frankfurter writing the opinion for the majority, the State is free to do exactly that :

"Beguiling as the subject is, it need not detain us long. To ask whether or not the Equal Protection of the Laws Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment barred Michigan from making the classification the State has made between wives and daughters of owners of liquor places and wives and daughters of non-owners, is one of those rare instances where to state the question is in effect to answer it.

"We are, to be sure, dealing with a historic calling. We meet the alewife, sprightly and ribald, in Shakespeare, but centuries before him she played a role in the social life of England. The Fourteenth Amendment did not tear history up by the roots, and the regulation of the liquor traffic is one of the oldest and most untrammeled of legislative powers. Michigan could, beyond question, forbid all women from working behind a bar. This is so despite the vast changes in the social and legal position of women. The fact that women may now have achieved the virtues that men have long claimed as their prerogatives and now indulge in vices that men have long practiced, does not preclude the States from drawing a sharp line between the sexes, certainly, in such matters as the regulation of the liquor traffic. The Constitution does not require legislatures to reflect sociological insight, or shifting social standards, any more than it requires them to keep abreast of the latest scientific standards.

"While Michigan may deny to all women opportunities for bartending, Michigan cannot play favorites among women without rhyme or reasons. The Constitution in enjoining the equal protection of the laws upon States precludes irrational discrimination as between persons or groups of persons in the incidence of a law. But the Constitution does not require situations 'which are different in fact or opinion to be treated in law as though they were the same.' Since bartending by women may, in the allowable legislative judgment, give rise to moral and social problems against which it may devise preventive measures, the legislature need not go to the full length of prohibition if it believes that as to a defined group of females other factors are operating which either eliminate or reduce the moral and social problems otherwise calling for prohibition. Michigan evidently believes that the oversight assured through ownership of a bar by a barmaid's husband or father minimizes hazards that may confront a barmaid without such protecting oversight. This Court is certainly not in a position to gainsay such belief by the Michigan legislature. If it is entertainable, as we think it is, Michigan has not violated its duty to afford equal protection of its laws. We cannot cross-examine either actually or argumentatively the mind of Michigan legislators nor question their motives. Since the line they have drawn is not without a basis in reason, we cannot give ear to the suggestion that the real impulse behind this legislation was an unchivalrous desire of male bartenders to try to monopolize the calling.

“It would be an idle parade of familiar learning to review the multitudinous cases in which the constitutional assurance of the equal protection of the laws has been applied. The generalities on this subject are not in dispute ; their application turns peculiarly on the particular circumstances of a case. Thus, it would be a sterile inquiry to consider whether this case is nearer to the nepotic pilotage law of Louisiana, sustained in Kotch v. River Port Pilot Commissioners, 330 U.S 552, than it is to the Oklahoma sterilization law, which fell in Skinner v. State of Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535. Suffice it to say that 'A statute is not invalid under the Constitution because it might have gone farther than it did, or because it may not succeed in bringing about the result that it tends to produce.' Roschen v. Ward, 279 U.S. 337, 339.

“Nor is it unconstitutional for Michigan to withdraw from women the occupation of bartending because it allows women to serve as waitresses where liquor is dispensed. The District Court has sufficiently indicated the reasons that may have influenced the legislature in allowing women to be waitresses in a liquor establishment over which a man's ownership provides control. Nothing need be added to what was said below as to the other grounds on which the Michigan law was assailed. Judgment affirmed."

But three justices disagreed, with Justice Wiley Blount Rutledge writing the dissent, and Justices William O. Douglas and Frank Murphy joining :

"While the equal protection clause does not require a legislature to achieve 'abstract symmetry' or to classify with 'mathematical nicety,' that clause does require lawmakers to refrain from invidious distinctions of the sort drawn by the statute challenged in this case.

“The statute arbitrarily discriminates between male and female owners of liquor establishments. A male owner, although he himself is always absent from his bar, may employ his wife and daughter as barmaids. A female owner may neither work as a barmaid herself nor employ her daughter in that position, even if a man is always present in the establishment to keep order. This inevitable result of the classification belies the assumption that the statute was motivated by a legislative solicitude for the moral and physical well-being of women who, but for the law, would be employed as barmaids. Since there could be no other conceivable justification for such discrimination against women owners of liquor establishments, the statute should be held invalid as a denial of equal protection."

It has been 75 years since the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Bradwell v. State of Illinois (83 U.S. 130) that Illinois had the right to bar women from the practice of law. In his concurring opinion, Justice Joseph P. Bradley noted : " .... the civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman. Man is, or should be, woman's protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life. The constitution of the family organization, which is founded in the divine ordinance, as well as in the nature of things, indicates the domestic sphere as that which properly belongs to the domain and functions of womanhood." He went on to say : "The paramount destiny and mission of woman are to fulfill the noble and benign offices of wife and mother. This is the law of the Creator. And the rules of civil society must be adapted to the general constitution of things, and cannot be based upon exceptional cases."

Apparently not much has changed in three quarters of a century. Six of nine current Justices still think that stereotypes about "delicate" women who need the "protection" of fathers or husbands to work in back of a bar, but not in front of one, are rational and acceptable justifications for bias, and that absolute bans on all women in various professions are on totally solid legal ground. If we are not to still be arguing against such nonsense 75 years from now, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment is needed. It was introduced to Congress 25 years ago, reworded in 1943, and now reads : "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Passage by 2/3 of Congress and ratification by 3/4 of the States would give the Justices the kind of guidance they clearly could not find in the 14th Amendment, and fulfill the pledge of equality made exactly a century ago this year by the feminist pioneers at Seneca Falls.

 

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December 21, 1912 : Day Six, and already half way to Albany ! Since neither General Rosalie Jones or any in her band of suffrage hikers do things half way, it's now clearly a matter of "when" not "if" they finish their march from New York City and deliver their pro-woman-suffrage message to Governor-elect Sulzer.

Although just putting the first half of the journey behind them would be enough to raise their spirits, the day was wonderfully exciting and warmly supportive as well from beginning to end. (Just what General Jones needed, too, being so severely conflicted between wanting to please her mother, who wants her to come home, vs. her dedication to “The Cause” and finishing the journey.)

Today’s events began at 6 a.m., when Captain (and Chief Orator) Jessie Hardy Stubbs went to an overall factory to talk to the women workers. She hardly had time to climb up on a workbench to begin speaking when the Superintendent came over. "This will never do at all," he proclaimed ominously. But just as she was about to go into verbal combat mode, he said : "They can't hear you." He then had every piece of machinery silenced, and said : "Now go ahead." She did, and fifteen minutes later, thirty-two of the workers had been inspired to accompany the hikers to Poughkeepsie.

Passing near the Gallaudet Home, the marchers received a salute of support in Sign Language from some residents who had walked several miles to see them. At the home of the Kirks they were invited to enjoy hot doughnuts and cool milk. But it was the reception in Poughkeepsie that really made the day. The sidewalks were crowded with spectators as a line of local suffragists, wearing yellow suffrage ribbons, led a parade through town. Behind the pilgrims was Mary Lynch, a local resident, carrying a large American flag, followed by the factory workers, with the baggage car, as usual, to the rear, and several hundred locals trailing after.

At their hotel the pilgrims were met by more local suffragists, and the Mayor. He confessed to being an "anti" six years ago, but has since been converted. It was his view that a wise political party would be on the side of woman suffrage. He also endorsed the suffrage army's method of travel. "You never would have aroused such enthusiasm or had the chance to speak in the places you have if you had adopted the more conventional method of carrying the message," he correctly noted.

It's snowing tonight, and an 18-mile journey lies ahead tomorrow. But rather than shrinking at the prospect, the suffrage army added a new recruit today. Gladys Coursen, 18, will be Poughkeepsie's contribution to the corps.

 

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December 21, 1917 : The long battle to get Congress to approve the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment is nearly over, according to Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She returned to New York today following the recent NAWSA convention, and told those who greeted her that a 2/3 vote was assured in the House on January 10th, and that if the Senate quickly follows suit, NAWSA can shut down its operations in D.C. by February. Suffragists can then concentrate on getting the 36 State ratifications needed in time for the 1920 Presidential election.

Catt said : "During the convention which has just closed, the delegations of suffragists from thirty States held conferences with the representatives of the States in Congress and, as a result, thirty-five votes are known to have been brought over to our side. The two-thirds vote in the House is assured, we think, and immediately afterward we hope to get a vote in the Senate. We hope we can move out of Washington before February first." She feels the recent victory in New York has certainly helped the effort : "We expect a solid vote of the New York representatives, and a solid vote from all of the other suffrage States. We also expect to get the bulk of the votes from all of the other suffrage States in the North and West, and we are going to have a few even from the solid South."

Getting any Southern Democrats, especially those in the Senate, to vote for the racially neutral Anthony Amendment is a daunting task, and great pressure is being put on them from their fellow segregationists to continue to prevent its passage. A new circular from George R. Lockwood of St. Louis is making the rounds, with the intention of frightening Southern lawmakers about the possible consequences the Anthony Amendment might have on the rigid system of racial segregation there. But since its first introduction in 1878, suffragists have consistently supported the Anthony Amendment's language which grants the vote to women without regard to race. It reads : "Section 1: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Section 2: Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." It is modeled on the 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, which states : "Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." Hopefully, Congress will one day do its duty and use the power given it by Section Two of both Amendments to assure political equality for all Americans regardless of sex or race.

Though NAWSA and the National Woman's Party share a common goal of enfranchising women, Catt made it clear that she did not endorse the militant tactics of Alice Paul, such as picketing the President, and that there is no cooperation between the two groups. Some N.W.P. members who were recently released from jail for picketing the White House will be parading along Fifth Avenue in New York tomorrow morning, advertising a mass meeting to be held in Carnegie Hall on January 4th. They will at that time attempt to explain to the public why such militant tactics are necessary, and will be carrying banners tomorrow saying : "Jailed ! Why ? Released ! Why ? White House Pickets' Own Story. Free Mass Meeting. Carnegie Hall, Jan. 4."

 

Among the speakers will be Rose Winslow, who undertook a hunger strike with Alice Paul at the D.C. District Jail earlier this year, and was force-fed along with her. Lucy Burns, "ringleader" of the hunger strikers at Occoquan Workhouse, who suffered the same fate, will also speak. It should be quite a meeting, so attend if you can. And in the meantime, keep lobbying your Representative and Senators to pass the Anthony Amendment early in the new year, so it can go to the State Legislatures for ratification during their regularly scheduled sessions, then be approved, and in force before any State's 1920 election registration deadline.

 

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December 22, 1912 : Unexpected - but mostly favorable - events on Day Seven of the Suffrage Army's march from New York City to Albany. It began with the snow that was falling in Poughkeepsie last night, and which might have continued all day, suddenly giving way to good weather. But that potential impediment to travel was soon replaced by another : an anti-suffrage cow who failed to yield the right-of-way to the hikers, and made her hostility known in such a way that a detour around the opposing and imposing force was ordered.

The maneuver was successful, so the pilgrims pushed on to another encounter : high society in the form of Vincent Astor, Louise Vanderbilt and Madeline Huntington, who had motored out to see the marchers pass by. Louise Vanderbilt happily accepted some literature from the hikers, and said : "I am interested in the movement, but I don't know much about it." Now she does.

In Hyde Park, the Mayor and Fire Chief greeted the suffragists, and General Rosalie Jones gave a fine speech. A doubly welcome bucket of water was offered at another point on the march, where the travelers drank some, then poured most of it on their feet.

Still more pleasant encounters along the road to Rhinebeck, among them the Shears sisters, ages 6 and 9, who gave the marchers holly, and said "Mamma sent us."

At Staatsburg, there was a crowd of people waiting in the little hamlet, which was decorated in a festive manner in anticipation of the hikers' arrival. Though General Jones had been noticeably limping during the day, she still delivered a rousing speech to the villagers.

Private Gladys Coursen, recruited yesterday, is still marching with the troops, even though a day out of her native Poughkeepsie, a Mr. Cannon implored her on behalf of her family to come back and fulfill her various social engagements. But she weathered Cannon's verbal volley well, and after following the line of march for about two miles he realized she had greater obligations to "The Cause," and went home. This showdown, of course, was merely a preview of the main event, when General Jones' mother arrives and will try to get her daughter to return home as well.

Finally the troops arrived in Rhinebeck, Col. Craft tottering a bit, Surgeon-General Dock bent forward as she walked, and General Jones still limping. But a warm reception by the residents reanimated them, and afterward they went for a night's rest in the historic Rhinebeck House, a hotel that dates from 1709. Tomorrow it's on to Red Hook !

 

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December 22, 1913 : A "Revolutionary" form of protest by Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association today. She told the tax collector that she would neither list, nor voluntarily pay, taxes on her property, and advised all other voteless women to do the same. Two weeks ago, she was sent the standard annual form demanding that she list her property in Moylan, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, for taxation, and today she sent the form back with this reply :

"More than 100 years ago there was a seven-year bitter war fought by men and women in this country because the Colonists were taxed by the British Parliament without being permitted to have any representation in the Government.

"The shibboleth under which they fought was 'Taxation without representation is tyranny.' The Daughters of 1913 are as loyal to this principle as were their sires of 1776. I, and other women, who believe with me, will refuse to aid the Government to assess taxes upon us, as long as the Government of Pennsylvania refuses us representation in the body which imposes the taxes.

"I therefore decline to fill out the bill of assessment."

She knows that she can't avoid making some sort of "contribution" to the Government, but refuses to give any help or implied consent in the process. After receiving her letter, the assessor will presumably make his own estimate of the value of her property, then add a 50% penalty, at which point she can either pay the tax or watch officials auction off her property and keep the proceeds.

Shaw said today that she is determined not to be an accomplice in thievery, even if it's officially sanctioned : "Of course, I will have to pay whatever tax he demands or lose my property, and, consequently, pay a considerable portion of the salaries of the auctioneer, the constable, and half a dozen other officials whom I did not help elect to office. This is really the baldest highway robbery. We usually give the highway robber our watch instead of our life ; but robbery as a function of government might be expected in Russia or Turkey, but not in this country.

"We shall make such robbery as inconvenient as possible, however, for I shall immediately write to suffragists all over the country, and ask them to follow my example in refusing to give an account of their personal property and shall publish the same advice in the suffrage periodicals throughout the country."

How many other women in non-suffrage States will follow her example is unknown, but there's no doubt that her act of rebellion will generate publicity for the cause, and raise a totally valid issue, so she's to be applauded for this principled stand.

 

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December 23, 1912 : Another replenishing of the ranks on Day Eight of the Suffrage Army's march from New York City to Albany ! The High Command (General Rosalie Jones, Col. Ida Craft, and Surgeon-General Lavinia Dock) now has in the enlisted ranks Private Alice Clark (who had taken emergency leave, but has now rejoined her comrades), Gladys Coursen, who enlisted in Poughkepsie day before yesterday, and a woman named Stiles, whose original motivation for marching was to improve her physical fitness, but who has now become so enthused for "The Cause" after prolonged exposure to the pilgrim band's regulars that she has now begun joining Chief Orator and Baggage Car Driver Jessie Hardy Stubbs on her many speaking engagements along the route. (It should also be noted that Commissary Wagon Driver Alphonse Major has also been along since the start.)

Today began with a literal "stump speech" by General Jones in front of Rhinebeck's - and the nation's - oldest hotel. Then off they went, though showing signs of fatigue from yesterday's long march. After a mile or so, the Commander-in-Chief was leaning on the arm of Private Clark, and a half mile further along, "Doc" Dock called a temporary halt to "feed the horses" as she calls rubbing her feet with cold cream. But they soon began encountering friendly partisans, and the support given the hikers by these local residents put the spring back in their steps.

They were first presented with violets by the owner of Sheak's Hothouse, then when they passed the Baker Chocolate Works, the whistles were tooted for them until they were out of hearing range.

The only near-mishap of the day occurred when General Jones began jogging toward a black and white "cat" near the foot of a tree. Fortunately, Private Clark had rejoined the march at an opportune time, and as an experienced rural hiker, was able to warn Jones that it wasn't a cat, so the army avoided a potential chemical warfare attack by making a wide detour around the skunk.

Arrival in Red Hook found the home of Village President Massoneau decorated in suffrage-yellow bunting, put up by his niece for the occasion, and two local women in a pony carriage ready to escort the marchers into town. The employees of the Hoffman Tobacco Factory were out on the balconies cheering, even though none of these soldiers smoke or chew tobacco, so there was no chance of a commercial endorsement in return. The official welcome to Red Hook was made by the State Treasurer of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, who introduced the travelers to the 200 people who had gathered to welcome them.

Finally, they arrived in Upper Red Hook, ready for a night's rest, only to find that the hotel was filled. General Jones got out her blanket and was preparing to bivouac on the road, but the Hamm family offered their home as a barracks, as well as a place to celebrate Col. Craft's birthday, and both invitations were happily accepted. The army has now advanced 111 miles from New York, nine of them today.

 

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December 23, 1930 : A vigorous and much-needed defense of women who work outside the home today from Frances Perkins, who has been New York State's Industrial Commissioner since Governor Roosevelt appointed her to that office immediately after he became Governor last year. One by one, Perkins examined and demolished the many myths and stereotypes that make it even harder for women to find work today than men.

The popular idea that we can solve the unemployment problem by pushing married women, who allegedly work only for "extra" money, out of their jobs and then replace them with men who presumably need the work to support families was Perkins' primary target :

"While the families of thousands of unemployed men are being supported today by wage-earning wives, it is disconcerting to hear of campaigns for discharging married women workers. One wonders if the advocates of these drives are acquainted with the circumstances of families from which the great majority of married women workers come ; if they have considered what would happen to many of these families should one more bread-winner lose her job now.

"Studies made in New York State by the Bureau of Women in Industry of the Department of Labor, like those made by similar organizations elsewhere, show that married women have for some time occupied an important place in our industrial life and that their earnings have an important place in the family budget.

"The bureau made a study of women wage-earners in Newburg, N.Y., in 1929 and found that 29 per cent of all employed women were married women living with their families. A similar study in Binghamton in 1926 revealed that almost half (48 per cent) of the women workers were married and living at home.

"The economic needs which drive many wives and mothers to seek gainful employment were revealed by a study of 670 industrial homeworkers in New York State, made by the bureau in 1928. Three-quarters of these women were married and living with their families. The majority felt they could not leave their homes because of family responsibilities or physical disability, yet 83 per cent found it necessary to work in order to supplement inadequate family income, and 4 per cent depended upon homework for their entire support. Only 13 per cent of these women worked for 'extras' and such 'extras' included not 'feminine finery,' but such things as high school education for their children.

"The earnings of these women's husbands showed also why the women were working. Although their families were, on the whole, larger than the average American family, the median weekly earnings of the husbands are $ 28.26 ; that is, half the husbands earned less than this and half earned more.

"It is true that there are many married women working who do not need their earnings in order to live, just as there are married men with larger incomes than they 'need.' But whether all these married women's jobs, many of which require special training and experience, could be satisfactorily filled by unemployed men is another question. And what would happen to other men's jobs - the baker and the laundryman, the merchant and manufacturer of factory-made food and clothing - if thousands of married women suddenly had more time at home to bake and cook and sew and less money to pay others, many of them married men with families, to do it for them ?"

Perkins graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in chemistry and physics in 1902, and earned an M.A. in economics and sociology from Columbia University in 1910. She then became Secretary of the New York Consumers League, and worked to gain better hours and conditions for those in the workforce. Along with Florence Kelley, she succeeded in getting the State Legislature to limit the workweek of women and children to 54 hours. She personally witnessed the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in 1911, and this shocking event made her an even more zealous advocate of workers' rights. She has said that the fire was "seared on my mind as well as my heart - a never-to-be-forgotten reminder of why I had to spend my life fighting conditions that could permit such a tragedy." She married Paul Caldwell Wilson in 1913, but still uses her birth name - even going to court to win the right to do so. She was appointed to the New York State Industrial Commission in 1918, and became its head in 1926, before attaining her present job as State Industrial Commissioner, the highest post in the State Labor Department, last year.

The Roosevelt / Perkins team has been at the forefront of progressive industrial reform and aggressively trying to alleviate the effects of the current Depression in New York State. Their work should serve as a model for President Hoover, Labor Secretary Doak, Congress, and the nation.

 

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December 24, 1912 : A twenty-two mile advance in driving snow today for General Rosalie Jones and her unstoppable Suffrage Army's march from New York City ! Tonight they're just 32 miles from their final objective of Albany.

"Day Nine" began late, due to the troops needing to come up with tougher footwear. General Jones finally chose rubber boots filled with cotton to battle the storm. But despite ice in their hair and snow beating on their faces, the army once again kept all its "regulars" and added a few temporary reinforcements along the way.

Lillian & Julia Rockefeller and their cousin Alethe Holsapple escorted the pilgrims out of Upper Red Hook. Lillian had wanted to do the entire march, but had parental permission to do only the 10 miles from Red Hook to Blue Store, though due to the weather, even that short segment turned out to be quite an adventure.

Once underway, the pace was surprisingly brisk. Blue Store was reached about 12:45, where a luncheon was held for the hikers. At this point the question became whether to stay where they were, or go on 12 more miles to Hudson. After a meeting of the High Command, it was decided to push on, snow or no snow, and rest on Christmas.

Despite the atrocious weather, a small crowd awaited the troops at Clermont, and asked the General for a speech. Worried that the weather might get even worse, Jones was inclined to keep marching, but Col. Craft, totally incapable of passing up any opportunity to promote "The Cause," stood next to a horse trough and delivered a rousing speech to the hardy spectators.

As might be expected, every Mile Post was cheered, and several times the sound of singing could be heard, usually begun by Private Alice Clark : "I'm a pilgrim, I'm a stranger, I can tarry but a night ..."

It was late, about 6:30, when the hikers finally reached Hudson, so there were no crowds to meet them as they marched down Warren Street. But there were warm and dry hotel rooms, hot blankets, and even a poem written for the General by Elizabeth Aldrich. Appropriate to the night before Christmas, some of its verses included :

"For there to my wondering eyes did appear,
That miniature army of four tired dears.

With an odd draggled General, weary of bones,
I knew in a moment 'twas Rosalie Jones.

More slow than a snail,
she was dragging her feet.

And urging her blisters
and cobbles to meet.

'On Percy, on Merry, come left and right,'
Ne'er footsore crusaders in sorrier plight."

Yes, General Jones has names for her feet, and quietly urges them on by name when the going gets tough. It's rumored to be an old soldiers' trick, which apparently works !

But all the marching has been paying off with favorable publicity. For instance, though the New York Times strongly opposes woman suffrage, and frequently says so on its editorial page, it has had one of its journalists hiking along with the troops, sending back daily and quite positive reports. Today the Pilgrim Army sent a telegram to the Times, which has promised to print it tomorrow. It says :

"The Suffragette pilgrims in the march to Albany, through THE TIMES, wish those who are fighting for the cause, a very Merry Christmas. Albany is now in sight. We know that some good has been accomplished by our rather spectacular march, more good results than could have been accomplished by a more sedate "calling" upon the Governor-elect.

"The amendment which will be submitted in 1915 has a better chance of favorable consideration than it had three months ago. The people of this State have seen us, they have asked us questions, we have had a chance to explain to them face to face just what this great cause represents. And tired as we are after our long march, we are happy this Christmas Day and we wish the gladdest of the season's greetings to all suffragists all over the country."

The hikers' present goal is just 32 miles away, and at least partially thanks to the dedication of this Suffrage Army, the goal of "Votes for Women" in New York State may be just three years away from being achieved !

 

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December 24, 1944 : Fourteen women Marines at the Cherry Point, North Carolina, Marine Corps Air Station have now become the first to qualify for flight pay. They do the same jobs as the male flight crew mechanics, by servicing and checking the planes, and warming up the engines, and will now spend at least four hours a month in flight to earn their extra pay. They got their training as mechanics at the Aviation Machinists Mate School in Norman, Oklahoma, and additional training at Memphis, Tennessee.

The history of women in the Marine Corps goes back to August 13, 1918, when Private Opha Mae Johnson became the first of 305 to enlist for duty during World War One after the Secretary of the Navy approved the enlistment of women for clerical work. All were separated from the service by June 30, 1919, seven months after the war's end. But the need for women in uniform in the present war caused the Marine Corps Women's Reserve to be established on February 13, 1943, with Ruth Cheney Streeter, appointed a Major, but recently promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, in charge.

Though women Marines in the last war were often referred to as "Marinettes," that's not the case this time. As Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb said last year : "They're real Marines. They don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines."

Though limited to standard office work a quarter-century ago, women Marines are presently doing more than 200 military jobs. They are now parachute riggers, mechanics, radio operators, photographers, operate control towers, write and break codes, make maps, and do welding. This has freed so many male Marines for overseas combat duty that as of June, women constituted 85 percent of the enlisted personnel on duty at Marine Corps Headquarters, and almost two-thirds of those at major posts in the continental U.S. and the Territory of Hawaii.

Hopefully their contribution to the war effort, and their value as military personnel will be recognized this time, and women Marines will be a permanent part of the Corps after victory is achieved.

 

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December 25, 1912 : Even though there was no hiking today - the first time that's happened since the small army of Suffrage Pilgrims left New York City for Albany on the 16th - the troops were not idle.

The day began with Col. Ida Craft doing what she enjoys best, giving speeches and answering questions. In this case it was at the skating rink here in Hudson. General Rosalie Jones came along later, and after doing some skating, gave a speech as well.

At a tea hosted by General Jones, the "war correspondents" (reporters) presented her with a most appropriate gift. It was a copy of "Pilgrim's Progress," which each of her fellow pilgrims had signed, and then expressed a personal sentiment.

In the evening, the hikers attended the Charity Ball. It's always a major occasion here, but of special interest this year, as the three sponsors are all "Titanic" survivors, Gretchen Longley having rowed their small boat to the "Carpathia" just eight months ago.

It was a costumed affair, so the hikers came as the spirits of their feminist ancestors. Col. Jessie Hardy Stubbs was Margaret Brent, who in 1648 unsuccessfully demanded that the Maryland Assembly allow her to vote, both as a landowner and Lord Calvert's attorney.

General Jones was Abigail Adams, who urged her husband to "Remember the Ladies" in their revolution. Col. Craft was Lucretia Mott, among whose accomplishments was being a co-organizer of the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.

Katherine Stiles represented Revolutionary-era author Mercy Warren, and Gladys Coursen personified the modern woman of 1912, one part of her costume bearing the names of the nine States where women can now vote on the same basis as men.

Coursen was actually the main topic of conversation all day. It seems that after she was delegated by her fellow Poughkeepsie suffragists to accompany the marchers the rest of the way to Albany, another hiker joined their hardy band on an occasional basis. But it was apparently on enough occasions for a romance to bloom between she and Griffith Bonner of the Men's League for Equal Suffrage of Poughkeepsie. This morning he proposed, she is said to have "conditionally" accepted, and both seem quite happy. Their families will be pleased as well, because both of their fathers were in the Princeton Class of '76 and are still good friends 36 years later.

With this happy holiday behind them, and some much-needed and overdue rest having refreshed them, it's back on the road tomorrow, with Stockport as the day's objective.

 

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December 25, 1916 : A colorful and moving tribute to Inez Milholland Boissevain today at Statuary Hall in the Capitol. It was totally fitting that her memorial would be in such a place, having given her life for the cause of political equality for women. Despite health concerns that led doctors and family members to warn against a speaking tour, she kept a grueling pace for weeks throughout the Western suffrage States as Alice Paul's Congressional Union and National Woman's Party of Western Voters campaigned against Democrats for failing to pass the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment. Then in late October, she collapsed on stage in Los Angeles, never recovered, and died on November 25th, still only 30 years old. Her final words to the audience, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty ?" will be on Congressional Union and Woman's Party banners until suffrage is won.

Despite today being Christmas, nearly 1,000 people came to pay tribute in the hall which was decorated with purple, white and gold banners. The ceremony began with a procession of women wearing purple, white and gold robes and holding tricolor banners marching from the Congressional Library to the Capitol, passing through the rotunda and into the hall, then stationing themselves among the statues of American heroes. After the tributes were given, and in a move that Milholland would have totally approved, a suffrage resolution was passed by those present calling upon President Wilson to "act so that by her death Inez Milholland Boissevain shall have delivered her countrywomen from the sacrifice of life.

"We ask that you open the great doors before which our women are exhausting their lives in waiting and appeal. Will you not let this nation by its example win yet another victory for liberty throughout the world ? Those who are working in the cause for which Inez Milholland Boissevain died, who know the thousands of other women throughout the world bearing unflinchingly its sacrifices and labors and exhaustion, turn to the President of this democracy with the plea that he intercede to stop such waste of human life and effort ; for by her death there has been made clear the constant, unnoticed tragedy of this prolonged effort for a freedom that is acknowledged just, but is still denied. There is no need in the United States to prolong this struggle of the women."

Her own words, included in the resolution, were perhaps the tribute she would have chosen : "It is women for women now, and shall be till the fight is won" and "Don't dare to say you are free until all women are free."

 

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December 26, 1912 : "Day Eleven" of their suffrage hike found General Rosalie Jones' Suffrage Army now almost in sight of their goal of Albany, New York. But the objective isn't about to fall easily. Today, the advancing troops had to contend with ice, melting snow, ankle-deep mud in places, the sound of occasional gunshots and as if that wasn't enough, they even had to dodge a rocket as a unique challenge of the day.

The pilgrims and their local escorts "hit the pike" at 10:00. As they were leaving Hudson via Fairview Avenue, a group of children invited the hikers to slide with them in a stretch of icy pavement perfect for the game. General Jones gave it a try, and soon the entire army was sliding around and having at least as much fun as the kids.

Next, as they approached a plant that makes cement out of material blasted from the hillsides, they received a totally unexpected and somewhat unnerving salute from the workers, who set off several blasts, one after another, for the benefit of the marchers. These were far from the last startling sounds of the day, as hunters were out in unusual numbers as well.

Mary and Margaret Callhan were encountered sledding down a big hill, and since sledding in snow is at least as much fun as sliding around on ice, a second break was taken.

Two local escorts were picked up in Stottsville, who had quite an adventure during their short trek to Stockport. Just beyond the bridge spanning Kinderhook Creek, two men decided to salute the suffragists crossing the bridge by setting off several rockets they had placed on a chair outside a general store. But instead of going up, the first one went sideways, knocking Surgeon-General Dock's staff from her hand, and brushing her open coat, missing her only because a quick-thinking comrade pulled her aside just in time.

Once in Stockport, they got partial support from the Postmistress, a descendant of Martin Van Buren. She was leaning toward supporting the right of women to vote, but not yet ready for a woman to hold the same office as her Presidential ancestor.

Even finding a place to rest for the night was an adventure. Col. Craft asked a man in the street for directions to the nearest hotel, and he pointed down the road. When the hikers saw a substantial-looking building they assumed it was the hotel, and decided to walk in. But it turned out to be a woolen mill. Fortunately, their reception by the management was still friendly. Actually, it turned a bit too friendly when suffrage supporter Louis Wilcox decided to salute his visitors with an unannounced double-barrel shotgun blast into the air.

After 130 miles, often under atrocious weather and road conditions, many less dedicated suffragists would have had enough of hiking, and might even be wondering about the wisdom of doing such a long trek in Winter. But not these now-seasoned troops. This march isn't even over yet, but the main topic of the day was enthusiastic talk of a second pilgrimage. This one will be much longer - and in no better weather.

A plan is afoot to hike from New York City to Washington, D.C., in February, in order to lobby President-elect Wilson to actively support woman suffrage after his inauguration on March 4th. Judging by the extraordinary amount of favorable publicity this small group has generated with its first-of-its-kind suffrage hike, this sounds like a great way to advance the cause on a national level !

 

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December 26, 1916 : A noble, but ultimately unsuccessful effort today to get the New York County Medical Society to call for changing the State's present anti-birth-control law, which, except under very specific circumstances, makes it a crime punishable by imprisonment for anyone to give out information on contraception. Had it passed, the resolution would have put the society on record as favoring a change in the law so that licensed physicians could give birth control advice to any of their adult, married patients. At present, Section 1142 of the New York State Penal Code classes contraceptives and contraceptive information with obscenity and bans them under all circumstances. But the lesser-known Section 1145 gives exemption to physicians who give contraceptive advice to a patient for "the cure or prevention of disease," a narrow exception rarely employed. The vote was an overwhelming 210 against and 72 in favor, so a great deal of work still remains to be done, at least among male physicians. All six female members of the society voted in favor of the resolution.

The issue of birth control has been in the public eye ever since Margaret Sanger began her efforts to challenge, and ultimately change, the laws that ban contraception and birth control information. The County Medical Society finally began to address the issue last Spring, at which time they referred the issue to their Board of Governors for possible action. In Autumn, a majority of the Governors declared themselves opposed to any change, but a number of dissenting members felt quite strongly about the issue, and wanted the entire society to take a stand, so a committee was appointed to make a report at the general membership meeting on December 26th.

The committee's majority report opposing any change in the law, and the minority report, favoring a change were read. According to the majority : "We claim that no satisfactory evidence has been adduced by the propagandists, who favor regulating the control of births to show any necessity for giving recognition by law. A movement of this kind will undoubtedly have a most unfortunate effect on the minds of the public in general ..." They ended their report by saying : "The undersigned members of the committee firmly believe that any such action (as the proposed amendment of the law) on the part of the organized medical profession would be most inappropriate and uncalled for at any time, and particularly so at the present moment, when a senseless and sensational propaganda relative to this important matter is being circulated by so-called popular but very doubtful methods."

Dr. A.L. Goldwater then gave the minority report, first noting that the majority had gone beyond the original purpose of the report, which was to discuss only whether there were medical reasons why birth control should not be practiced. He than said that birth control was not harmful to health.

The report was followed by a five-hour debate. Things got quite heated early on, when Dr. Ira S. Wile suggested that perhaps one of the reasons some members of the Society were opposed to the legalization of birth control advice was because they made a lucrative income doing illegal abortions. As might be expected, this brought an immediate response, as Dr. F. Van Fleet sprang to his feet and shouted : "I dare Dr. Wile to give us the names of the physicians he accuses or to retract his charge if he is unable to do so." Wile did neither, and the discussion went right on, with society members on both sides fully airing their views as Margaret Sanger looked on from the packed balcony.

In the end, the anti-birth-control forces prevailed, and the New York County Medical Society has not endorsed any change in the law. But the battle goes on, as do the arrests of those who would challenge the law. On October 25th, Margaret Sanger, her sister, Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell were arrested for dispensing birth control information at the clinic they opened 9 days earlier. Their trials will take place next month.

 

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December 27, 1912 : General Rosalie Jones and her "suffrage army" spent Day 12 of their march from New York City to Albany plodding through a heavy snowstorm, and tonight is encamped in Valatie, just 18 miles from the hikers' final objective. The highlight of the day was a meeting in Kinderhook where they were able to speak to 300 people about the many reasons why women should have the vote.

Though they must have been fatigued by the day's hike from Stockport, the senior officers weren't done walking yet. After a bath and a change of clothing, General Jones announced that she would be hiking three miles to the home of James Valentine to address a suffrage gathering there. When she called for volunteers to accompany her, Col. Craft and her stock of literature, and Surgeon-General Dock and her blistered feet stepped forward, as did local resident and pathfinder Edward Van Wyck.

Two hours later they arrived at the Valentine home, and after a warm welcome and successful speech, the hikers were ready for a ride back to town. The Commissary Car driver was supposed to pick them up, but that car was being repaired, so he rented one from the local garage.

They should have stuck with their traditional pedestrian method of transportation. Three times on the way back to town the auto skidded. The first two times it was kept on the road. But the third time it was headed directly for a tree, and only missed it by a maneuver which caused the auto to skid down an embankment, crash through the undergrowth, and wind up tipped at a 45 degree angle. But no one was seriously hurt, and after about 15 minutes a car came along the icy road. General Jones waved it down with her bruised arm, and all got a ride back to the Pine Tree Inn.

Far from being unnerved or discouraged after the incident, General Jones and her troops may try to conquer Albany tomorrow, well ahead of schedule. The weather outlook is not good, but after the recent 22-mile hike from Upper Red Hook to Hudson in wind-driven, heavy snow, the troops are no longer that concerned with weather, and consider any shorter distance a "pink tea stroll." The only complication is that the preparations for their arrival are for the 31st. But suffragists are always able to improvise to meet changing circumstances, so there will be at least a small delegation from Albany on hand to escort them the last few miles from East Greenbush if the hikers make it that far tomorrow.

 

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December 27, 1919 : Another sign today that at long last, the end of the 71-year struggle for woman suffrage is in sight. Carrie Chapman Catt has issued a call for the final annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, which will be held at the Congress Hotel in Chicago, February 12th to 18th. Catt's statement exudes the optimism and confidence that she shares with all those at the forefront of the battle as more and more legislators jump on the suffrage bandwagon as it rolls toward victory :

"In other days our members and friends have been summoned to annual conventions to disseminate propaganda for their common cause, but this time they are called to rejoice that the struggle is over. Of all the conventions held within the past fifty-one years this will be the most momentous, for few live to see the realization of hopes to which they have devoted their lives, but that privilege is ours."

Of course, there is still plenty of work to do before the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment is enshrined in the Constitution. But the hardest work is now in the past, not the future. Getting the Anthony Amendment introduced into Congress was accomplished on January 10, 1878, thirty years after the first women's rights convention at Seneca Falls, NY, and nine years after the founding of the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association. (They merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890.)

It took 41 years after its introduction to get the necessary 2/3 of both houses of Congress to approve the Anthony Amendment, and send it to the States for ratification on June 4th of this year. Twenty-two States have ratified it since then, with Colorado the latest, twelve days ago. Fourteen more ratifications are needed, and the "easy" States have already approved it, so some hard battles are to be expected. But momentum, justice and history are on the side of suffrage, and though which State will be the 36th and final one to ratify, and when it will do so cannot be predicted, it will almost certainly happen before the 1920 Presidential Election. So this upcoming convention will be unlike any before it, and mark the end of one goal, and the beginning of another. As Catt put it today, the purpose of the convention will be to wind up the long struggle for "Votes for Women," then : "Let us inquire together how best we can now serve our beloved nation."

 

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December 28, 1912 : Albany at last ! "We have done the thing we set out to do," declared a happy and triumphant General Rosalie Jones after her Suffrage Army finished the final 18 miles and the 13th day of their 160-mile march from New York City. But the last day was not leisurely, as the troops kept up a brisk pace right from the start in order to take their objective by nightfall.

Surgeon-General Dock had the hardest time today, because her feet were in the worst condition. But when General Jones told the troops to move out, Dock fell into line like any good soldier. The main discussion topic of the day was that the army's entry into town would be well ahead of schedule. The local suffrage groups had made elaborate plans for a welcoming celebration, but not for today. General Jones wasn't worried about a reception, just successfully completing the mission, and with Col. Craft's support, she overruled requests by "Doc" Dock and Chief Orator Jessie Hardy Stubbs to keep to the original schedule.

They left Valatie at 8:45, and though the roads were still slippery, the snow had stopped, so they easily reached East Greenbush by noon for a luncheon. There they were met by the Albany delegation, which included officers of the New York State Suffrage League, plus five other supporters. They marched along together until finally there was a first view of Albany, when all halted and a great cheer went up.

At a toll bridge, Dr. C. M. Calver of the Men's League for Woman Suffrage was waiting to gallantly pay the 2 cent tolls for all. As the victorious army marched into the State Capital, they were greeted by large crowds, and though it was hard to tell how many were there out of curiosity and how many to give support, they all cheered, so it really didn't matter to the troops.

Many citizens fell in line behind the marchers and soon the little band which at one point had shrunk to just a few actual hikers, but then had slowly grown as the hike progressed, suddenly became so numerous that the line of march extended for almost two blocks along State Street. Upon arrival at the Hampton House the General addressed the crowd and her loyal troops :

"Our task has been accomplished. We have done the thing we set out to do, and in that thought alone there is much satisfaction. But we have done more than that. We have had a chance to talk to the men and women of the rural districts. They have come to know us, and many of them believe in us and the cause we represent. In this we have accomplished much, but how much more good have we done when one thinks of the women who now understand us as missionaries to the cause. A spectacular march was necessary to attract attention. I want to thank the press for all that has been done for us."

Now the only task remaining for these veterans is to deliver their still-secret message to Governor-elect Sulzer in hopes of getting his support for a planned Statewide suffrage referendum in 1915. Then, once the message is delivered, they can begin planning the next suffrage hike to Washington, D.C., in February !

 

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December 28, 1942 : Thirteen women today went where none have gone before : The United States Coast Guard Academy. They are members of the Coast Guard Women's Reserve, nicknamed "Spars." The name derives from the Coast Guard's motto of "Semper Paratus" and its English translation, "Always Ready." The Women's Reserve was created on November 23rd, when President Roosevelt signed Public Law 773.

Though thirteen is a small number, they are only the first of eight thousand that will eventually be needed to do jobs that will free an equivalent number of Coast Guard men for combat duty. At present, 4,700 enlisted personnel and 240 officers are needed. The women began their first day here by being bugled out of bed at the same early hour as the men in their separate quarters. But then the 13 women and 1,300 men breakfasted together, and the women moved right into their first classes. Later, they boarded a ship and were formally greeted by Rear Admiral James P. Pine, Superintendent of the Academy.

For twelve of the thirteen, this was not their first meeting with Admiral Pine. He is a strong supporter of the Spars, and when they resigned their commissions in the WAVES (the Navy's Women's Reserve, called Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), to become members of the newly-created Spars, it was he who swore them in on December 16th in a ceremony held at Smith College. They now must complete their training here at New London, Connecticut, before being given permanent assignments.

Almost all of the first 13 will recruit new members for the Spars. According to Lieutenant Commander Dorothy H. Stratton : "The whole success of our program depends upon what you, as procurement officers, do. We depend upon the ability of the procurement officers to select the right people to come into the Spars." Like women in the WAVES and WAAC (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps), they will be doing a wide variety of jobs, though not actual combat.

This is a unique day in American military history, as never before have women been admitted to any of the nation's service academies. So in addition to helping the war effort, this is also a great chance to prove that co-education can work in military as well as civilian colleges.

 

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December 29, 1912 : Though their grueling 13-day hike from New York City to Albany was successfully completed yesterday, General Rosalie Jones and her Suffrage Army still have one task remaining : to deliver a message from New York suffragists to Governor-elect Sulzer in support of a Statewide suffrage referendum in 1915.

Today, after a well-deserved rest (General Jones slept until noon), and a tea given for the hikers by Helen Hoy Greeley, it was time to deal with the opposition. The most prominent local opponent is the Rt. Rev. William Croswell Doane, Episcopal Bishop of Albany. Though he admitted the hikers were better behaved than their British sisters, he still condemned their efforts, and especially their desire to attract attention. But Gen. Jones reminded everyone that the Bishop's daughter was equally busy trying to bring attention to her anti-suffrage work. (Of course, she hasn't been as successful at it, because no anti-suffrage event has ever generated anything close to the massive publicity given to the suffrage hikers.)

Elsewhere this Sunday, Col. Craft tried to get permission to speak at Calvary Baptist Church, but was denied on the ground that it was "not wanted to open any such questions in the church." But on a more positive theological note, one of the hikers, Sibyl Wilbur, was warmly received when she told her fellow Christian Scientists at a church reception that it was her faith which prevented her from getting any blisters on the 160-mile hike.

General Jones and her troops are getting a good night's sleep tonight in preparation for a busy day tomorrow. Governor-elect Sulzer arrives in town and they have to track him down, get a meeting with him, and deliver their message.

 

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December 29, 1913 : Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw talked about the status of her tax revolt tonight, and gave out a copy of the letter that she recently sent to suffrage advocates around the country asking them to join her in refusing "taxation without representation." Though not in favor of the kind of violent actions taken by certain English militants, she is nevertheless standing firm, and will practice "passive resistance" regardless of the consequences. She said earlier this evening :

"I hold it is unfair to the women of this country to have taxation without representation, and I have urged them to adopt a course of passive resistance like the Quakers instead of aggressive resistance. I say to the Government, 'you may pick my pocket because you are stronger than I, but I'm not going to turn my pockets wrongside out for you. You will have to turn them out yourself.' Since my letter was sent all over the country, I have received letters of encouragement and support from all directions. I believe that the spirit of no taxation without representation that resulted in the Revolutionary War is inherent and just as actual in the women of the country as it was then in the men of the country."

She is aware that her refusal to fill out her tax assessment form or pay her taxes could result in her having to pay a fine of as much as $ 1,000, and continued failure to pay could result in her imprisonment. "Well, I will not pay the fine," she said, and if held in contempt, "I should go to jail, of course."

Though her personal battle is with the local tax assessor in Upper Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania (a State where women cannot vote), her letter to suffragists nationwide has attracted the attention of U.S. Treasury officials. They warned today that failure to file a return is just as much of a violation of the law as refusing to pay taxes assessed. The 16th (Federal Income Tax) Amendment was ratified by the 36th and final State needed on February 3rd of this year. According to the new law passed by Congress, single individuals will get an exemption of $3,000, and married couples $4,000, then must pay a tax of 1% on all income above these amounts up to $ 20,000, along with a graduated surtax of from one to six per cent for taxable income above $20,000. Though the generous exemptions mean few people will have incomes high enough to pay any Federal taxes at all, officials have made it clear that they are determined to enforce the law in regard to those who qualify.

This is the text of the letter Rev. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw sent to her fellow suffragists :

"The enactment of an income tax law has caused assessors to be more insistent in their demand that an accurate statement of all personal as well as real property shall be listed and returned within a specified time, in order that no property may escape the Government tax collectors.

Here women may make their passive protest and decline to aid the Government in levying upon them by refusing to render an account of their property. In this manner we can show our loyalty to those who struggled to make this a free republic and who laid down their lives in defense of the equal rights of all free citizens to a voice in their own Government. This is a time when we may utter again into the ears of an apostate republic the words of James Otis, the great champion of the liberties of the colonists when he wrote :

" 'The very act of taxing over those who are not represented appears to me to be depriving them of their most essential rights as free men, and if continued seems to be in effect an entire disenfranchisement of every civil right. For what one civil right is worth a rush after a man's property is subject to be taken from him at pleasure without his consent ? If a man is not his own assessor, in person or by deputy, his liberty is gone or he is entirely at the mercy of others.'

"Let our protest be universal, and let every believer in justice unite in this mode of passive resistance and steadfastly refuse to assist the Government in its unjust and tyrannical violation of its fundamental principle that 'taxation and representation are one and inseparable,' and thus prove ourselves worthy descendants of noble ancestors, who counted no price too dear to pay in defense of liberty and equality and justice.”

 

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December 30, 1912 : Though they completed their 13-day suffrage hike from New York City day before yesterday, General Rosalie Jones' "Suffrage Army" is still encamped in Albany giving speeches and attending teas. They're all waiting for their first "Sulzer sighting" so that they can arrange to give Governor-elect William Sulzer a message they've carried on behalf of several prominent suffragists.

The army's orators, always willing to speak, even on the most exhausting days of the hike, are now well-rested and were in peak form at several open-air meetings around town this morning, and two more earlier this evening. But the "main event" will have an audience of just one, when they make their pitch to the incoming Governor to declare his support for woman suffrage in general, then for a drive by the State's suffrage groups to put a referendum on the New York State ballot in 1915.

Sharp-eyed scouts will be dispatched to the train station to watch for Sulzer's arrival tomorrow, then after his train comes in, they will follow at a respectful distance, reporting his whereabouts to General Jones. Once it has been determined where he's staying until his inauguration on New Year's Day, an official envoy will be dispatched with a request for him to meet with the General.

There is great hope that the Governor-elect will be a strong supporter of suffrage because of his progressive record in Congress. He has advocated such things as establishing a United States Department of Labor, an eight hour day for the nation's workers, and that U.S. Senators be elected by each State's voters, rather than appointed by the State Legislatures. His support for expanding democracy in regard to direct election of Senators should be compatible with expanding the electorate to

include women as well.

 

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December 30, 1941 : Representative Edith Nourse Rogers, Republican of Massachusetts, today drafted new legislation that would give America's women a chance to serve their country in uniform. She has been promoting the idea of a Women's Army Auxiliary Corps for some time, and drafted one bill to create it months before America even entered the war. But her previous bill put a ceiling on the number of women who could enlist at 25,000. In the weeks following the attack on Pearl Harbor, there has been not only renewed interest in her proposal, but a desire to lift the limits on the W.A.A.C., so that its numbers could expand to meet any military needs required during the duration of the war.

Secretary of War Stimson has said : "A similar force is being used in England and experience both in this war and during the World War has demonstrated that such an organization will provide a practical means for utilizing the service of women when they can be of great assistance in national defense." Though there is presently no shortage of manpower in the U.S., the Secretary believes : "there are a great many types of duty in corps area service for which women are better fitted than men and the employment of women on such duty would increase efficiency and release men for more intensive work or combat service."

Those who wish to enlist must be physically and morally fit, between 21 and 45 years of age, and will be paid at the same rates as men in the Army. They will wear uniforms, be subject to Army regulations and discipline, live in barracks on Army posts, and do a wide variety of non-combat jobs.

Representative Rogers has been in Congress since June 30, 1925, when she succeeded her late husband in a special election, and became only the sixth woman ever elected to Congress. Her interest in the military and her commitment to veterans go back to the previous war, when she served as a "Gray Lady" volunteer with the Red Cross in France, and then at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She has fought child labor, promoted "equal pay for equal work" for women and is hopefully now about to add another accomplishment to her career by expanding women's opportunities to include uniformed service during wartime.

 

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December 31, 1907 : The end of our old year saw the beginning of a new and more assertive phase of the suffrage campaign. Today, for the first time, American suffragists held an open-air meeting, and spoke to a street corner crowd, composed mostly of men, who just happened to be passing by, instead of only to supporters in homes and private meeting halls. Despite warnings from more established and conservative advocates that such a breach of propriety by these "American Suffragettes" could harm the cause, the event was so well-attended, and got such a good response that it will now be done on a weekly basis.

The meeting was held in front of the Metropolitan Life Building on Madison Square, in New York City. Six suffragists braved the cold and wind, arriving about 3:00, only to find that the small platform upon which they were to stand was nowhere in sight. But over the past 59 years of the struggle, suffragists have learned to improvise, so they found something of about the right size at a nearby construction site, and under a banner which proclaimed "Stop" and "Danger" instead of "Votes for Women," the first speaker got up and began educating the general public about why women should have the right to vote.

The first to speak was Bettina Borrman Wells, who is visiting the U.S., trying to get American suffragists to adopt the more militant style of British "suffragettes." She said to the somewhat bemused crowd : "If any of you wonder why we are here today, it is to agitate for the cause of woman suffrage. Your smiles show that you don't know the importance of the question - you don't know the importance of the ballot." ("Yes we do," shouted some of her listeners.)

"You have made woman believe that politics is something she cannot understand. We can understand it quite easily, and we are determined to have a hand in the legislation. The education of your children, the health in your homes - everything depends upon legislation. I was told when I came here that this was the freest country in the world, but it is not so, for the women here have not as much freedom as we have in England, and we come to you to appeal to you to stand by the women as the men of England have stood by their women. You did not get the vote because you were men, but because you were taxpayers. We women are tired of paying the Legislature in which we have no say. We are going to make a vigorous struggle, and this is our first effort.

"There are 5,000,000 women workers in America. If you want to place them all in good homes they will be glad to stay in them," she said, anticipating one standard argument about women's place being in the home, not the polling place. She then asked an obvious question : "Do you think it would be possible for women to make a worse mess of politics than men have ?" ("No ! No !" agreed the men.) "When I see your tenement houses, your workers in Pittsburgh, your child laborers, I say, 'For God's sake, give us a chance in politics.' The women would surely look after the children better."

Christine Ross Barker, a single-tax advocate as well as a suffragist, said : "We have been wanting a long time to talk to the men, and that is why we are here. I know that most decent men don't oppose woman suffrage. The time has passed when a man could give away his children without his wife's consent ; he no longer has control over his wife's property as in the days when the husband should have said in the wedding service, 'With all thy worldly goods I me endow' ; no longer, as Anna Shaw says, does a woman wear not her own clothes, but her husband's.

"You have seen that we can accumulate property. We pay taxes ; we want to have our say in regard to them, and we ask you to give us your name to send to the Legislature to ask that they remove this disability."

When Maude Malone, who arranged the meeting, called for questions, she got the usual ones, and had ready answers. To one individual who said that women belong in the home cooking dinner, she said : "She can get his dinner better if she knows he has good wages to provide it," and concluded by saying that : "Women know as much about politics as men. If you men knew politics, would you have the men in power that you have now in New York ?"

All in all, it was a pleasant experience for both speakers and audience, and if the more conservative suffragists can be won over as easily as the passersby today, the new year of 1908 may see some real progress by a more militant, revitalized suffrage movement.

 

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December 31, 1912 : Their mission has now been fully accomplished ! Three days after completing a 13-day hike from New York City to Albany in support of woman suffrage, one more crucial task still remained today for "General" Rosalie Jones and her army of "suffrage pilgrims." They needed to deliver a message from prominent New York suffragists to Governor-elect Sulzer, asking him to explicitly pledge his support for "the cause" in general and a Statewide suffrage referendum in particular.

The General's strategy for getting such a commitment worked perfectly. Phase One was to do something so unusual or spectacular that the Governor-elect would be interested in meeting with her and other suffragists. A first-of-its-kind suffrage hike, in atrocious weather, with the participants accompanied by a large contingent of "war correspondents" (reporters) writing daily reports for their newspapers clearly accomplished that step of the plan.

Once in Albany, it was on to Phase Two. From the moment his train arrived today, Sulzer was under constant surveillance by Jones' troops, his whereabouts at all times quickly and accurately relayed to the Commander-in-Chief. An hour after stepping off the train, he was reported to be meeting with outgoing Governor Dix at the Executive Mansion. So General Jones, Col. Craft, Surgeon-General Dock, Chief Orator Stubbs, General's Aide Coursen, Corporal Stiles, and Privates Clark, Wilbur and McCullough marched onto the lawn.

Gladys Coursen went forward to ring the doorbell, and the Governor-elect's aide answered. He quickly went to get his boss, who was quite eager to meet with the little band he'd been reading so much about. He gave them a warm reception, then they delivered their message, which was finally removed from the black oilskin bag that had protected it from the snow, ice, mud and rain they encountered on their journey. It read :

"The suffrage hosts of the Empire State send greetings and renewed congratulations to Governor William L. Sulzer, and express the earnest hope that his administration may be distinguished by the speedy passage of the woman's suffrage amendment. (Signed) Harriet May Mills, Nora Blatch DeForest, Katherine Ely Tiffany, James L. Laidlaw, Mary Garrett Hay ; Co-Operative Committee, December 12, 1912."

The Governor-elect even gave the hikers the friendly courtesy of joking with them, at first indicating that the message had been delivered to the wrong person, because it was addressed to "William L. Sulzer," while he was "just plain Bill." But by whatever name, the man who tomorrow will become Governor of the nation's most populous State told the troops just what they came to hear :

"All my life I have believed in the right of women to have the franchise as a matter of political justice. In the future as in the past I will do all that I can to advance the political rights of women. I have incorporated in my message to the Legislature the advice that the suffrage amendment be adopted. I also hope that it will be adopted by the people."

Having pledged to do whatever he could to get the Legislature to put a suffrage referendum on the ballot, and to support it when they did, nothing more could be asked of "Bill," so the troops bade him a fond farewell. Afterward, he said : "I enjoyed the visit very much. I received them with open arms, took them into my heart and sent them away a happy lot."

A "happy lot" they are tonight, out of their marching clothes and wearing something appropriate to their attendance at the Governor's Inaugural Ball. But they're certainly not ready to retire from the battle, which still rages in all the States without equal suffrage, as well as in Congress for passage of the Susan B. Anthony (nationwide woman suffrage) Amendment.

Already there is talk among the veterans of a new hike, this one much longer, from New York to Washington, D.C. to deliver a similar message to President Wilson just prior to his inauguration on March 4th. If such a march is begun, there is no doubt that it will be completed, and generate even more support and publicity for "Votes for Women" than did this first hike !

 

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