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Title: Jailed for Freedom
Author: Stevens, Doris
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jailed for Freedom" ***

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Samuel R. Brown

Page numbers for scholarly reference are shown in curled brackets
thus {45} throughout the text. The page number is placed at the
start of the text of the printed page. Footnotes are shown in
square brackets thus [1] and are placed at the bottom of the page.


Jailed for Freedom

By Doris Stevens



To Alice Paul

Through Whose Brilliant and Devoted Leadership the Women of
America Have Been Able to Consummate with Gladness and Gallant
Courage Their Long Struggle for Political Liberty, This Book is
Affectionately Dedicated


Blank page



This book deals with the intensive campaign of the militant
suffragists of America [1913-1919] to win a solitary thing-the
passage by Congress of the national suffrage amendment
enfranchising women. It is the story of the first organized
militant ,political action in America to this end. The militants
differed from the pure propagandists in the woman suffrage
movement chiefly in that they had a clear comprehension of the
forces which prevail in politics. They appreciated the necessity
of the propaganda stage and the beautiful heroism of those who
had led in the pioneer agitation, but they knew that this stage
belonged to the past; these methods were no longer necessary or

For convenience sake I have called Part II "Political Action,"
and Part III "Militancy," although it will be perceived that the
entire campaign was one of militant political action. The
emphasis, however, in Part II is upon political action, although
certainly with a militant mood. In Part III dramatic acts of
protest, such as are now commonly called militancy, are given
emphasis as they acquired a greater importance during the latter
part of the campaign. This does not mean that all militant deeds
were not committed for a specific political purpose. They were.
But militancy is as much a state of mind, an approach to a task,
as it is the commission of deeds of protest. It is the state of
mind of those who is their fiery idealism do not lose sight of
the real springs of human action.

There are two ways in which this story might be told. It might be
told as a tragic and harrowing tale of martyrdom. Or it might be
told as a ruthless enterprise of compelling a hostile
administration to subject women to martyrdom in order to hasten
its surrender. The truth is, it has elements of both ruthlessness
and martyrdom. And I have tried to make them appear in a true
proportion. It is my sincere hope that you


will understand and appreciate the martyrdom involved, for it was
the conscious voluntary gift of beautiful, strong and young
hearts. But it was never martyrdom for its own sake. It was
martyrdom used for a practical purpose.

The narrative ends with the passage of the amendment by Congress.
The campaign for ratification, which extended over fourteen
months, is a story in itself. The ratification of the amendment
by the 36th and last state legislature proved as difficult to
secure from political leaders as the 64th and last vote in the
United States Senate.

This book contains my interpretations, which are of course
arguable. But it is a true record of events.

Doris Stevens.
New York, August, 1920.



Preface {vii}

Part I


1 A Militant Pioneer-Susan B. Anthony {3}
2 A Militant General-Alice Paul {10}

Part II

Political Action

1 Women Invade the Capital {21}
2 Women Voters Organize {35}
3 The Last Deputation to—President Wilson {48}

Part III


1 Picketing a President {63}
2 The Suffrage War Policy {80}
3 The First Arrests {91}
4 Occoquan Workhouse {99}
5 August Riots {122}
6 Prison Episodes {141}
7 An Administration Protest-Dudley Field Malone Resigns {158}
8 The Administration Yields {171}
9 Political Prisoners {175}
10 The Hunger Strike-A Weapon {184}
11 Administration Terrorism {192}
12 Alice Paul in Prison {210}


13 Administration-Lawlessness Exposed {229}
14 The Administration Outwitted {241}
15 Political Results {248}
16 An Interlude (Seven Months) {259}
17 New Attacks on the President {271}
18 The President Appeals to the Senate Too Late {280}
19 More Pressure {295}
20 The President Sails Away {301}
21 Watchfires of Freedom {305}
22 Burned in Effigy {314}
23 Boston Militants Welcome the President {319}
24 Democratic Congress Ends {326}
25 A Farewell to President Wilson {330}
26 President Wilson Wins the 64th Vote in Paris {336}
27 Republican Congress Passes Amendment {341}
Appendices {347}



[Note: The photographs and illustrations appearing in this book
are available on the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium
website www.ctdlc.org Follow the link to the Connecticut TALENT

Alice Paul
Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont
Democrats Attempt to Counteract Woman’s Party Campaign
Inez Milholland Boissevain
Scene of Memorial Service-Statuary Hall, the Capitol
Scenes on the Picket Line
Monster Picket-March 4, 1917
Officer Arrests Pickets
Women Put into Police Patrol
Suffragists in Prison Costume
Fellow Prisoners
Sewing Room at Occoquan Workhouse
Riotous Scenes on Picket Line
Dudley Field Malone
Lucy Burns
Mrs. Mary Nolan, Oldest Picket
Miss Matilda Young, Youngest Picket
Forty-One Women Face Jail
Prisoners Released
“Lafayette We Are Here”
Wholesale Arrests
Suffragists March to LaFayette Monument
Torch-Bearer, and Escorts


Some Public Men Who Protested Against Imprisonment of Suffragists
Abandoned Jail
Prisoners on Straw Pallets on Jail Floor
Pickets at Capitol
Senate Pages and Capitol Police Attack Pickets
The Urn Guarded by Miss Berthe Arnold
The Bell Which Tolled the Change of Watch
Watchfire “Legal”
Watchfire Scattered by Police-Dr. Caroline Spencer Rebuilding it
One Hundred Women Hold Public Conflagration
Pickets in Front of Reviewing Stand, Boston
Mrs. Louise Sykes Burning President Wilson’s Speech on Boston
Suffrage Prisoners


“I do pray, and that most earnestly and constantly, for some
terrific shock to startle the women o f the nation into a self-
respect which mill compel them to, see the absolute degradation o
f their present position; which will compel them to break their
yoke of bondage and give them faith in themselves; which will
make them proclaim their allegiance to women first . . . . The
fact is, women are in chains, and their servitude is all the more
debasing because they do not realize it. O to compel them to see
and feel and to give them the courage and the conscience to speak
and act for their own freedom, though they face the scorn and
contempt of all the world for doing it!"

Susan B. Anthony, 1872.


Blank page


Part I



Blank page


Chapter 1

A Militant Pioneer-Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony was the first militant suffragist. She has been
so long proclaimed only as the magnificent pioneer that few
realize that she was the first woman to defy the law for the
political liberty of her sex.

The militant spirit was in her many early protests. Sometimes
these protests were supported by one or two followers; more often
they were solitary protests. Perhaps it is because of their
isolation that they stand out so strong and beautiful in a
turbulent time in our history when all those about her were
making compromises.

It was this spirit which impelled her to keep alive the cause of
the enfranchisement of women during the passionate years of the
Civil War. She held to the last possible moment that no national
exigency was great enough to warrant abandonment of woman's fight
for independence. But one by one her followers deserted her. She
was unable to keep even a tiny handful steadfast to this
position. She became finally the only figure in the nation
appealing for the rights of women when the rights of black men
were agitating the public mind. Ardent abolitionist as she was,
she could not tolerate without indignant protest the exclusion of
women in all discussions of emancipation. The suffrage war policy
of Miss Anthony can be compared to that of the militants a half
century later when confronted with the problem of this country's
entrance into the world war.

The war of the rebellion over and the emancipation of the


negro man written into the constitution, women contended they had
a right to vote under the new fourteenth amendment. Miss Anthony
led in this agitation, urging all women to claim the right to
vote under this amendment. In the national election of 187'2 she
voted in Rochester, New York, her home city, was arrested, tried
and convicted of the crime of "voting without having a lawful
right to vote."

I cannot resist giving a brief excerpt from the court records of
this extraordinary case, so reminiscent is it of the cases of the
suffrage pickets tried nearly fifty years later in the courts of
the national capital.

After the prosecuting attorney had presented the government's
case, Judge Hunt read his opinion, said to have been written
before the case had been heard, and directed the jury to bring in
a verdict of guilty. The jury was dismissed without deliberation
and a new trial was refused. On the following day this scene took
place in that New York court room.

JUDGE HUNT (Ordering the defendant to stand up)-Has the prisoner
anything to say why sentence shall not be pronounced?

Miss ANTHONY-Yes, your Honor, I have many things to say; for in
your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled under foot
every vital principle of our government. My natural rights, my
civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all
alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of
citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that
of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all my sex
are, by your Honor's verdict doomed to political subjection under
this so-called republican form of government.

JUDGE HUNT-The Court cannot. listen to a rehearsal of argument
which the prisoner's counsel has already consumed three hours in

Miss ANTHONY-May it please your Honor, I am not arguing the
question, but simply stating the reasons why sentence


cannot in justice be pronounced against me. Your denial of my
citizen's right to vote, is the denial of my right of consent as
one of the governed, the denial of my right of representation as
one taxed, the denial of my right to a trial by jury of my peers
as an offender against law; therefore, the denial of my sacred
right to life, liberty, property, and

JUDGE HUNT-The Court cannot allow the prisoner to go on.

Miss ANTHONY-But, your Honor will not deny me this one and only
poor privilege of protest against this highhanded outrage upon my
citizen's rights. May it please the Court to remember that since
the day of my arrest last November this is the first time that
either myself or any person of my disfranchised class has been
allowed a word of defense before judge or jury

JUDGE HUNT-The prisoner must sit down, the Court cannot allow it.

Miss ANTHONY-Of all my persecutors from the corner grocery
politician who entered the complaint, to the United States
marshal, commissioner, district attorney, district judge, your
Honor on the bench, not one is my peer, but each and all are my
political sovereigns . . . . Precisely as no disfranchised person
is entitled to sit upon the jury and no woman is entitled to the
franchise, so none but a regularly admitted lawyer is allowed to
practice in the courts, and no woman can gain admission to the
bar-hence, jury, judge, counsel, all must be of superior class.

JUDGE HUNT-The Court must insist-the prisoner has been tried
according to the established forms of law.

Miss ANTHONY-Yes, your Honor, but by forms of law, all made by
men, interpreted by men, administered by men, in favor of men and
against women; and hence your Honor's ordered verdict of guilty,
against a United States citizen for the exercise of the
"citizen's right to vote," simply because that


citizen was a woman and not a man . . . . As then the slaves who
got their freedom had to take it over or under or through the
unjust forms of the law, precisely so now must women take it to
get their right to a voice in this government; and I have taken
mine, and mean to take it at every opportunity.

JUDGE Hunt-The Court orders the prisoner to sit down. It will not
allow another word.

Miss ANTHONY-When I was brought before your Honor for trial I
hoped for a broad interpretation of the constitution and its
recent amendments, which should declare all United States
citizens under its protecting aegis . . . . But failing to get
this justice, failing even to get a trial by a jury-not of my
peers-I ask not leniency at your-hands but rather the full rigor
of the law.

JUDGE HUNT-The Court must insist (here the prisoner sat down).
The prisoner will stand up. (Here Miss Anthony rose again.) The
sentence of the Court is that you pay a fine of $100.00 and the
costs of the prosecution.

Miss ANTHONY-May it please your Honor, I will never pay a dollar
of your unjust penalty . . . . And I shall earnestly and
persistently continue to urge all women to the practical
recognition of the old Revolutionary maxim, "Resistance to
tyranny is obedience to God."

JUDGE HUNT-Madam, the Court will not order you stand committed
until the fine is paid.

Miss Anthony did not pay her fine and was never imprisoned. I
believe the fine stands against her to this day.

On the heels of this sensation came another of those dramatic
protests which until the very end she always combined with
political agitation. The nation was celebrating its first
centenary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence at
Independence Square, Philadelphia. After women had been refused
by all in authority a humble half moment in which to present to
the Centennial the Women's Declaration of Rights,


Miss Anthony insisted on being heard. Immediately after the
Declaration of Independence had been read by a patriot, she led a
committee of women, who with platform tickets had slipped through
the military, straight down the center aisle of the platform to
address the chairman, who pale with fright and powerless to stop
the demonstration had to accept her document. Instantly the
platform, graced as it was by national dignitaries and crowned
heads, was astir. The women retired, distributing to the gasping
spectators copies of their Declaration. Miss Anthony had reminded
the nation of the hollowness of its celebration of an
independence that excluded women.

Susan B. Anthony's aim was the national enfranchisement of women.
As soon as she became convinced that the constitution would have
to be specifically amended to include woman suffrage, she set
herself to this gigantic task. For a quarter of a century she
appealed to Congress for action and to party. conventions for
suffrage endorsement. When, however, she saw that Congress was
obdurate, as an able and intensely practical leader she
temporarily directed the main energy of the suffrage movement to
trying to win individual states. With women holding the balance
of political power, she argued, the national government will be
compelled to act. She knew so well the value of power. She went
to the West to get it.

She was a shrewd tactician; with prophetic insight, without
compromise. To those women who would yield to party expediency as
advised by men, or be diverted into support of other measures,
she made answer in a spirited letter to Lucy Stone:

"So long as you and I and all women are political slaves, it ill
becomes us to meddle with the weightier discussions of our'
sovereign masters. It will be quite time enough for us, with
self-respect, to declare ourselves for or against any party upon


the intrinsic merit of its policy, when men shall recognize us as
their political equals . . . .

"If all the suffragists of all the States could see eye to eye on
this point, and stand shoulder to shoulder against every
party and politician not fully and unequivocally committed to
`Equal Rights for Women,' we should become at once the moral
balance of power which could not fail to compel the party of
highest intelligence to proclaim woman suffrage the chief plank
of its platform . . . . Until that good day comes, I shall
continue to invoke the party in power, and each party struggling
to get into power, to pledge itself to the emancipation of our
enslaved half of the people . . . ."

She did not live to see enough states grant suffrage in the West
to form a balance of power with which to carry out this policy.
She did not live to turn this power upon an unwilling Congress.
But she stood to the last, despite this temporary change of
program, the great dramatic protagonist of national freedom for
women and its achievement through rebellion and practical

With the passing of Miss Anthony and her leadership, the movement
in America went conscientiously on endeavoring to pile up state
after state in the "free column." Gradually her followers lost
sight of her aggressive attack and her objective-the
enfranchisement of women by Congress. They did not sustain her
tactical wisdom. This reform movement, like all others when
stretched over a long period of time, found itself confined in a
narrow circle of routine propaganda. It lacked the power and
initiative to extricate itself. Though it had many eloquent
agitators with devoted followings, it lacked generalship.

The movement also lost Miss Anthony's militant spirit, her keen
appreciation of the fact that the attention of the nation must be
focussed on minority issues by dramatic acts of protest.


Susan B. Anthony's fundamental objective, her political attitude
toward attaining it, and her militant spirit were revived in
suffrage history in 1913 when Alice Paul, also of Quaker
background, entered the national field as leader of the new
suffrage forces in America.


Chapter 2

A Militant General—Alice Paul

Most people conjure up a menacing picture when a person is called
not only a general, but a militant one. In appearance Alice Paul
is anything but menacing. Quiet, almost mouselike, this frail
young Quakeress sits in silence and baffles you with her
contradictions. Large, soft, gray eyes that strike you with a
positive impact make you feel the indescribable force and power
behind them. A mass of soft brown hair, caught easily at the
neck, makes the contour of her head strong and graceful. Tiny,
fragile hands that look more like an X-ray picture of hands, rest
in her lap in Quakerish pose. Her whole atmosphere when she is
not in action is one of strength and quiet determination. In
action she is swift, alert, almost panther-like in her movements.
Dressed always in simple frocks, preferably soft shades of
purple, she conforms to an individual style and taste of her own
rather than to the prevailing vogue.

I am going recklessly on to try to tell what I think about Alice
Paul. It is difficult, for when I begin to put it down on paper,
I realize how little we know about this laconic person, and yet
how abundantly we feel her power, her will and her compelling
leadership. In an instant and vivid reaction, I am either
congealed or inspired; exhilarated or depressed; sometimes even
exasperated, but always moved. I have seen her very presence in
headquarters change in the twinkling of an eye the mood of fifty
people. It is not through their affections


that she moves them, but through a naked force, a vital force
which is indefinable but of which one simply cannot be unaware.
Aiming primarily at the intellect of an audience or an
individual, she almost never fails to win an emotional

I shall never forget my first contact with her. I tell it here as
an illustration of what happened to countless women who came in
touch with her to remain under her leadership to the end. I had
come to Washington to take part in the demonstration on the
Senate in July, 1913, en route to a muchneeded, as I thought,
holiday in the Adirondacks.

"Can't you stay on and help us with a hearing next week?" said
Miss Paul.

"I'm sorry," said I, "but I have promised to join a party of
friends in the mountains for a summer holiday and . . ."

"Holiday?" said she, looking straight at me. Instantly ashamed at
having mentioned such a legitimate excuse, I murmured something
about not having had one since before entering college.

"But can't you stay?" she said.

I was lost. I knew I would stay. As a matter of fact, I stayed
through the heat of a Washington summer, returned only long
enough at the end of the summer to close up my work in state
suffrage and came back to join the group at Washington. And it
was years before I ever mentioned a holiday again.

Frequently she achieved her end without even a single word Of
retort. Soon after Miss Paul came to Washington in 1913, ;she
went to call on a suffragist in that city to ask her to donate
;some funds toward the rent of headquarters in the Capital. The
woman sighed. "I thought when Miss Anthony died," she said, "that
all my troubles were at an end. She used to come to me for money
for a federal amendment and I always told her it was wrong to ask
for one, and that besides we would never get it. But she kept
right on coming. Then when she died we


didn't hear any more about an amendment. And now you come again
saying the same things Miss Anthony said."

Miss Paul listened, said she was sorry and departed. Very shortly
a check arrived at headquarters to cover a month's rent.

A model listener, Alice Paul has unlimited capacity for letting
the other person relieve herself of all her objections without
contest. Over and over again I have heard this scene enacted.

"Miss Paul, I have come to tell you that you are all wrong about
this federal amendment business. I don't believe in it. Suffrage
should come slowly but surely by the states. And although I have
been a life-long suffragist, I just want to tell you not to count
on me, for feeling as I do, I cannot give you any help."

A silence would follow. Then Miss Paul would say ingenuously,
"Have you a half hour to spare?"

"I guess so," would come slowly from the protestant. “Why?”

"Won't you please sit down right here and put the stamps on these
letters? We have to get them in the mail by noon."

"But I don't believe …”

"Oh, that's all right. These letters are going to women probably
a lot of whom feel as you do. But some of them will want to come
to the meeting to hear our side."

By this time Miss Paul would have brought a chair, and that ended
the argument. The woman would stay and humbly proceed to stick on
endless stamps. Usually she would come back, too, and before many
days would be an ardent worker for the cause against which she
thought herself invincible.

Once the state president of the conservative suffrage forces in
Ohio with whom I had worked the previous year wrote me a letter
pointing out what madness it was to talk of winning the amendment
in Congress "this session," and adding that


"nobody but a fool would ever think of it, let alone speak of it
publicly." She was wise in politics; we were nice, eager, young
girls, but pretty ignorant-that was the gist of her remonstrance.
My vanity was aroused. Not wishing to be called "mad" or
"foolish" I sat down and answered her in a friendly spirit, with
the sole object of proving that we were wiser than she imagined.
I had never discussed this point with anybody, as I had been in
Washington only a few months and it had never occurred to me that
we were not right to talk of getting the amendment in that
particular session. But I answered my patronizing friend, in
effect, that of course we were not fools, that we knew we would
not get the amendment that session, but we saw no reason for not
demanding it at once and taking it when we got it.

When Miss Paul saw the carbon of that letter she said quietly,
pointing to the part where I had so nobly defended our sagacity,
"You must never say that again and never put it on paper." Seeing
my embarrassment, she hastened to explain. "You see, we can get
it this session if enough women care sufficiently to demand it

Alice Paul brought back to the fight that note of immediacy which
had gone with the passing of Miss Anthony's leadership. She
called a halt on further pleading, wheedling, proving, praying.
It was as if she had bidden women stand erect, with confidence in
themselves and in their own judgments, and compelled them to be
self-respecting enough to dare to put their freedom first, and so
determine for themselves the day when they should be free. Those
who had a taste of begging under the old regime and who abandoned
it for demanding, know how fine and strong a thing it is to
realize that you must take what is yours and not waste your
energy proving that you are or will some day be worthy of a gift
of power from your masters. On that glad day of discovery you
have first freed


yourself to fight for freedom. Alice Paul gave to thousands of
women the essence of freedom.

And there was something so cleansing about the way in which she
renovated ideas and processes, emotions and instincts. Her attack
was so direct, so clear, so simple and unafraid. And her
resistance had such a fine quality of strength.

Sometimes it was a roaring politician who was baffled by this
non-resistant force. I have heard many an irate one come into her
office in the early days to tell her how to run the woman's
campaign, and struggle in vain to arouse her to combat. Having
begun a tirade, honor would compel him to see it through even
without help from a silent adversary. And so he would get more
and more noisy until it would seem as if one lone shout from him
might be enough to blow away the frail object of his attack.
Ultimately he would be forced to retire, perhaps in the face of a
serene smile, beaten and angered that he had been able to make so
little impression. And many the delicious remark and delightful
quip afterward at his expense!

Her gentle humor is of the highest quality. If only her opponents
could have seen her amusement at their hysteria. At the very
moment they were denouncing some plan of action and calling her
"fanatical" and "hysterical" she would fairly beam with delight
to see how well her plan had worked. Her intention had been to
arouse them to just that state of mind, and how admirably they
were living up to the plan. The hysteria was all on their side.
She coolly sat back in her chair and watched their antics under

"But don't you know," would come another thundering
one, "that this will make the Democratic leaders so hostile that
. . ."

The looked-for note of surprise never came. She had counted ahead
on all this and knew almost to the last shade the reaction that
would follow from both majority and minority leaders. All this
had been thoroughly gone over, first with


herself, then with her colleagues. All the "alarms" had been
rung. The male politician could not understand why his
wellmeaning and generously-offered advice caused not a ripple and
not a change in plan. Such calm unconcern he could not endure. He
was accustomed to emotional panics. He was not accustomed to a
leader who had weighed every objection, every attack and counted
the cost accurately.

Her ability to marshal arguments for keeping her own followers in
line was equally marked. A superficial observer would rush into
headquarters with, "Miss Paul, don't you think it was a great
tactical mistake to force President Wilson at this time to state
his position on the amendment? Will it not hurt our campaign to
have it known that he is against us?"

"It is the best thing that could possibly happen to us. If he is
against us, women should know it. They will be aroused to greater
action if he is not allowed to remain silent upon something in
which he does not believe. It will make it easier for us to
campaign against him when the time comes."

And another time a friend of the cause would suggest, "Would it
not have been better not to have tried for planks in party
platforms, since we got such weak ones?"

"Not at all. We can draw the support of women with greater ease
from a party which shows a weak hand on suffrage, than from one
which hides its opposition behind silence."

She had always to combat the fear of the more timid ones who felt
sure with each new wave of disapproval that we would be
submerged. "Now, I have been a supporter of yours every step of
the way," a "fearful" one would say, "but this is really going a
little too far. I was in the Senate gallery to-day when two
suffrage. senators in speeches denounced the pickets and their
suffrage banners. They said that we were setting suffrage back
and that something ought to be done about it."

"Exactly so," would come the ready answer from Miss
Paul. "And they will do something about it only if we continue


to make them uncomfortable enough. Of course even suffrage
senators will object to our pickets and our banners because they
do not want attention called to their failure to compel the
Administration to act. They know that as friends of the measure
their responsibility is greater." And the "fearful" one was
usually convinced and made stronger.

I remember so well when the situation was approaching its final
climax in Washington. Men and women, both, came to Miss Paul
with, "This is terrible! Seven months' sentence is impossible.
You must stop! You cannot keep this up!"

With an unmistakable note of triumph in her voice Miss Paul would
answer, "Yes, it is terrible for us, but not nearly so terrible
as for the government. The Administration has fired its heaviest
gun. From now on we shall win and they will lose."

Most of the doubters had by this time banished their fears
and had come to believe with something akin to superstition that
she could never be wrong, so swiftly and surely, did they see her
policies and her predictions on every point vindicated before
their eyes.

She has been a master at concentration, a master strategist-a
great general. With passionate beliefs on all important social
questions, she resolutely set herself against being seduced into
other paths. Far from being naturally an ascetic, she has
disciplined herself into denials and deprivations, cultural and
recreational, to pursue her objective with the least possible
waste of energy. Not that she did not want above all else to do
this thing. She did. But doing it she had to abandon the easy
life of a scholar and the aristocratic environment of a cultured,
prosperous, Quaker family, of Moorestown, New Jersey, for the
rigors of a ceaseless drudgery and frequent imprisonment. A
flaming idealist, conducting the fight with the sternest kind of
realism, a mind attracted by facts, not fancies, she has led
fearlessly and with magnificent ruthlessness. Think-


ing, thinking day and night of her objective and never retarding
her pace a moment until its accomplishment, I know no modern
woman leader with whom to compare her. I think she must possess
many of the same qualities that Lenin does, according to
authentic portraits of him-cool, practical, rational, sitting
quietly at a desk and counting the consequences, planning the
next move before the first one is finished. And if she has
demanded the ultimate of her followers, she has given it herself.
Her ability to get women to work and never to let them stop is
second only to her own unprecedented capacity for work.

Alice Paul came to leadership still in her twenties, but with a
broad cultural equipment. Degrees from Swarthmore, the University
of Pennsylvania, and special study abroad in English universities
had given her a scholarly background in history, politics, and
sociology. In these studies she had specialized, writing her
doctor's thesis on the status of women. She also did factory work
in English industries and there acquired first hand knowledge of
the industrial position of women. In the midst of this work the
English militant movement caught her imagination and she
abandoned her studies temporarily to join that movement and go to
prison with the English suffragists.

Convinced that the English women were fighting the battle for the
women of the world, she returned to America fresh from their
struggle, to arouse American women to action. She came bringing
her gifts and concentration to this one struggle. She came with
that inestimable asset, youth, and, born of youth, indomitable
courage to carry her point in spite of scorn and

Among the thousands of telegrams sent Miss Paul the day the
amendment finally passed Congress was this interesting message
from Walter Clark, Chief Justice of the Supreme


Court of North Carolina, Southern Democrat, Confederate Veteran
and distinguished jurist:

"Will you permit me to congratulate you upon the great triumph in
which you have been so important a factor? Your place in history
is assured. Some years ago when I first met you I predicted that
your name would be written `on the dusty roll the ages keep.'
There were politicians, and a large degree of public sentiment,
which could only be won by the methods you adopted . . . . It is
certain that, but for you, success would have been delayed for
many years to come."


Part II

Political Action


Blank page


Chapter 1

Women Invade the Capital

Where are the people?" This was Woodrow Wilson's first question
as he arrived at the Union Station in Washington the day before
his first inauguration to the Presidency in March, 1913.

"On the Avenue watching the suffragists parade," came the answer.

The suffrage issue was brought oftenest to his attention from
then on until his final surrender. It lay entirely with him as to
how long women would be obliged to remind him of this issue
before he willed to take a hand.

"The people" were on the Avenue watching the suffragists parade.
The informant was quite right. It seemed to those of us who
attempted to march for our idea that day that the whole world was
there-packed closely on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The purpose of the procession was to dramatize in numbers and
beauty the fact that women wanted to vote that women were asking
the Administration in power in the national government to speed
the day. What politicians had not been able to get through their
minds we would give them through their eyes-often a powerful
substitute. Our first task seemed simple actually to show that
thousands of women wanted immediate action on their long delayed
enfranchisement. This we did.

This was the first demonstration under the leadership of Alice
Paul, at that time chairman of the Congressional Com-


mittee of the National American Woman. Suffrage Association. It
was also the beginning of Woodrow Wilson's liberal education.

The Administration, without intending it, played into the hands
of the women from this moment. The women had been given a permit
to march. Inadequate police protection allowed roughs to attack
them and all but break up the beautiful pageant. The fact of ten
thousand women marching with banners and bands for this idea was
startling enough to wake up the government and the country, but
not so startling as ten thousand women man-handled by
irresponsible crowds because of police indifference.

An investigation was demanded and a perfunctory one held. The
police administration was exonerated, but when the storm of
protest had subsided the Chief of Police was quietly retired to
private life.

It was no longer a secret that women wanted to vote and that they
wanted the President and Congress to act.

A few days later the first deputation of suffragists ever to
appear before a President to enlist his support for the passage
of the national suffrage amendment waited upon President
Wilson.[1] Miss Paul led the deputation. With her were Mrs.
Genevieve Stone, wife of Congressman Stone of Illinois, Mrs.
Harvey W. Wiley, Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, and Miss Mary Bartlett
Dixon of Maryland. The President received the deputation in the
White House Offices. When the women entered they found five
chairs arranged in a row with one chair in front, like a class-
room. All confessed to being frightened when the President came
in and took his seat at the head of the class. The President said
he had no opinion on the subject of woman suffrage; that he had
never given it any thought;[2]

[1]There had been individual visits to previous presidents.

[2]At Colorado Springs in 1911, when Mr. Wilson was Governor of
New Jersey and campaigning for the Presidential nomination, a
delegation of Colorado women asked him his position on woman
suffrage. He said, "Ladies, this is a very arguable question and
my mind is in the midst of the argument"


and that above all it was his task to see that Congress
concentrated on the currency revision and the tariff reform. It
is recorded that the President was somewhat taken aback when Miss
Paul addressed him during the course of the interview with this
query, "But Mr. President, do you not understand that the
Administration has no right to legislate for currency, tariff,
and any other reform without first getting the consent of women
to these reforms?"

"Get the consent of women?" It was evident that this course had
not heretofore occurred to him.

"This subject will receive my most careful consideration," was
President Wilson's first suffrage promise.

He was given time to "consider" and a second deputation went to
him, and still a third, asking him to include the suffrage
amendment in his message to the new Congress assembling in extra
session the following month. And still he was obsessed with the
paramount considerations of "tariff" and "currency." He flatly
said there would be no time to consider suffrage for women. But
the "unreasonable" women kept right on insisting that the liberty
of half the American people was paramount to tariff and currency.

President Wilson's first session of Congress came together April
7th, 1913. The opening day was marked by the suffragists' second
mass demonstration. This time women delegates representing every
one of the 435 Congressional Districts in the country bore
petitions from the constituencies showing that the people "back
home" wanted the amendment passed. The delegates marched on
Congress and were received with a warm welcome and their
petitions presented to Congress. The same day the amendment which
bears the name of Susan B. Anthony, who drafted it in 1875, was
reintroduced into both houses of Congress.


The month of May saw monster demonstrations in many cities and
villages throughout the country, with the direct result that in
June the Senate Committee on Suffrage made the first favorable
report made by that committee in twenty-one years, thereby
placing it on the Senate calendar for action.

Not relaxing the pressure for a day we organized the third great
demonstration on the last of July when a monster petition signed
by hundreds of thousands of citizens was brought to the Senate
asking that body to pass the national suffrage amendment. Women
from all parts of the country mobilized in the countryside of
Maryland where they were met with appropriate ceremonies-by the
Senate Woman Suffrage Committee. The delegation motored in gaily
decorated automobiles to Washington and went direct to the
Senate, where the entire day was given over to suffrage

Twenty-two senators spoke in favor of the amendment in presenting
their petitions. Three spoke against it. For the first time in
twenty-six years suffrage was actually debated in Congress. That
day was historic.

Speeches? Yes. Greetings? Yes. Present petitions from their
constituencies? Gladly. Report it from the Senate Committee? They
had to concede that. But passage of the amendment? That was
beyond their contemplation.

More pressure was necessary. We appealed to the women voters, of
whom there were then four million, to come into action.

"Four million women voters are watching you," we said to
Congress. We might as well have said, "There are in the South Sea
Islands four million heathens."

It was clear that these distant women voters had no relation in
the senatorial mind to the realism of politics. We decided to
bring some of these women voters to Washington: Having failed to
get the Senate to act by August, we invited the Council of Women
Voters to hold its convention in Wash-


ington that Congress might learn this simple lesson: women did
vote; there were four million of them; they had a voters'
organization; they cared about the enfranchisement of all
American women; they wanted the Senate to act; suffrage was no
longer a moral problem; it could be made a practical political
problem with which men and parties would have to reckon.

Voting women made their first impression on Congress that summer.

Meanwhile the President's "paramount issues"-tariff and currency-
had been disposed of. With the December Congress approaching, he
was preparing another message. We went to him again. This time it
was the women from his own home state, an influential deputation
of seventy-three women, including the suffrage leaders from all
suffrage organizations in New Jersey. The women urged him to
include recommendation of the suffrage resolution in his message
to the new Congress. He replied:

"I am pleased, indeed, to greet you and your adherents here, and
I will say to you that I was talking only yesterday with several
members of Congress in regard to a Suffrage Committee in the
House. The subject is one in which I am deeply interested, and
you may rest assured that I will give it my earnest attention."

In interesting himself in the formation of a special committee to
sit on suffrage in the House, the President was doing the
smallest thing, to be sure, that could be done, but he was doing
something. This was a distinct advance. It was our task to press
on until all the maze of Congressional machinery had been used to
exhaustion. Then there would be nothing left to do but to pass
the amendment.

A fourth time that year the determination of women to secure the
passage of the amendment was demonstrated. In December, the
opening week of the new Congress, the annual convention of the
National American Woman Suffrage Asso-


ciation was held in Washington. Miss Lucy Burns, vice chairman of
its Congressional Committee and also of the Congressional Union,
was applauded to the echo by the whole convention when she said:

"The National American Woman Suffrage Association is assembled in
Washington to ask the Democratic Party to enfranchise the women
of America.

"Rarely in the history of the country has a party been more
powerful than the Democratic Party is to-day. It controls the
Executive Office, the Senate and more than two-thirds of the
members of the House of Representatives. It is in a position to
give us effective and immediate help.

"We ask the Democrats to take action now. Those who hold power
are responsible to the country for the use of it. They are
responsible not only for what they do, but for what they do not
do. Inaction establishes just as clear a record as does a policy
of open hostility.

"We have in our hands to-day not only the weapon of a just cause;
we have the support of ten enfranchised states comprising one-
fifth of the United States Senate, one-seventh of the House of
Representatives, and one-sixth of the electoral vote. More than
3,600,000 women have a vote in Presidential elections. It is
unthinkable that a national government which represents women,
and which appeals periodically for the suffrages of women, should
ignore the issue of the right of all women to political freedom.

"We cannot wait until after the passage of scheduled
Administration reforms . . . . Congress is free to take action on
our question in the present session. We ask the Administration to
support the woman suffrage amendment in Congress with its whole

This represented the attitude of the entire suffrage movement
toward the situation in the winter of 1913. At no time did the
militant group deviate from this position until the amendment was
through Congress.

It was difficult to make the Administration believe that the
women meant what they said, and that they meant to use


everything in their power and resourcefulness to see it carried

Men were used to having women ask them for suffrage. But they
were disconcerted at being asked for it now; at being threatened
with political chastisement if they did not yield to the demand.

In spite of the repeated requests to President Wilson that he
include support of the measure in his message to Congress, he
delivered his message December end while the convention was still
in session, and failed to make any mention of the suffrage
amendment. He recommended self-government for Filipino men

Immediately Miss Paul organized the entire convention into a
fifth deputation to protest against this failure and to urge
support in a subsequent message. Dr. Anna Howard Shaw led the
interview. In reply to her eloquent appeal for his assistance,
the President said in part: "I am merely the spokesman of my
party . . . . I am not at liberty to urge upon Congress in
messages, policies which have not had the organic consideration
of those for whom I am spokesman. I am by my own principles shut
out, in the language of the street, from `starting anything.' I
have to confine myself to those things which have been embodied
as promises to the people at an election."

I shall never forget that day. Shafts of sunlight came in at the
window and fell full and square upon the white-haired leader who
was in the closing days of her power. Her clear, deep, resonant
voice, ringing with the genuine love of liberty, was in sharp
contrast to the halting, timid, little and technical answer of
the President. He stooped to utter some light pleasantry which he
thought would no doubt please the "ladies." It did not provoke
even a faint smile. Dr. Shaw had dramatically asked, "Mr.
President, if you cannot speak for us and your party will not,
who then, pray, is there to speak for us?"


"You seem very well able to speak for yourselves, ladies," with a
broad smile, followed by a quick embarrassment when no one

"We mean, Mr. President, who will speak for us with authority"
came back the hot retort from Dr. Shaw.

The President made no reply. Instead he expressed a desire to
shake the hands of the three hundred delegates. A few felt that
manners compelled them to acquiesce; the others filed out without
this little political ceremony.

Alice Paul's report to the national convention for her year's
work as Chairman of the Congressional Committee of the National
American Woman Suffrage Association, and as Chairman also of the
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage, showed that a budget of
twenty-seven thousand dollars had been raised and expended under
her leadership as against ten dollars spent during the previous
year on Congressional work. At the beginning of the year there
was no interest in work with Congress. It was considered
hopeless. At the close of the year 1918 it had become a practical
political issue. Suffrage had entered the national field to stay.

At this point the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage was
obliged to become an independent body in order to continue this
vigorous policy which the conservative suffrage leaders were
unwilling to follow.

Hearings, deputations to the President, petitions to Congress,
more persistent lobbying, all these things continued during the
following year under Miss Paul's leadership with the result that
a vote in the Senate was taken, though at ran inopportune
moment,-the first vote in the Senate since 188'7. The vote stood
86 to '84-thereby failing by 11 votes of the necessary two-thirds
majority. This vote, nevertheless, indicated that a new strength
in the suffrage battle had forced Congress to take some action.

In the House, the Rules Committee on a vote of 4 to 4


refused to create a suffrage committee. We appealed to the
Democratic caucus to see if tie party sustained this action. We
wished to establish their party responsibility, one way or
another, and by securing the necessary signatures to a petition,
we compelled the caucus to meet. By a vote of 128 to 57 the
caucus declared " . . . that the question of woman suffrage is a
state and not a federal question," as a substitute for the milder
resolution offered, providing for the creation of a committee on
woman suffrage. If this had left any doubt as to how the
Democratic Party, as a party, stood, this doubt was conveniently
removed by Representative Underwood, the Majority Leader of the
House, when he said on the floor of the House the following day:
"The Democratic Party last night took the distinctive position
that it was not in favor of this legislation because it was in
favor of the states controlling the question of suffrage . . . .
I not only said I was opposed to it, but I said the Party on this
side of the Chamber was opposed to it, and the Party that has
control of the legislation in Congress certainly has the right to
say that it will not support a measure if it is not in accordance
with its principles."

Meanwhile the President had said to a deputation of workingwomen
who waited upon him in February, "Until the Party, as such, has
considered a matter of this very supreme importance, and taken
its position, I am not at liberty to speak for it; and yet I am
not at liberty to speak for it as an individual, for I am not an

"But we ask you to speak to your party, not for it," answered
Mrs. Glendower Evans, Chairman of the deputation, amid evident
presidential embarrassment.

Those women who had been inclined perhaps to accept the
President's words as true to fact, entertained doubts when a .few
days later he demanded of his party in Congress the repeal of the
free tolls provision in the Panama Canal tolls act. In so doing,
he not only recommended action not endorsed by his


party, but he demanded action which his party had specifically
declared against.

It was necessary to appeal again to the nation. We called for
demonstrations. of public approval of the amendment in every
state on May 2. Thousands of resolutions were passed calling for
action in Congress. These resolutions were made the center of
another great demonstration in Washington, May 9, when thousands
of women in, procession carried them to the Capitol where
beautiful and impressive ceremonies were held on the Capitol
steps. The resolutions were formally received by members of
Congress and the demonstration ended dramatically with a great
chorus of women massed on the steps singing "The March of the
Women" to the thousands of spectators packed closely together on
the Capitol grounds.

And still the President withheld his support.

Under our auspices five hundred representative club women of the
country waited upon him in another appeal for help.[1] To them he
explained his "passion for local self-government," which led to
his conviction "that this is a matter for settlement by the
states[2] and not by the federal government . . . ."

Women had to face the fact that the 63rd Congress had made a
distinctly hostile record on suffrage. The President, as leader
of his party, had seven times refused all aid; the Democratic
Party had recorded its opposition through an adverse vote in the
Senate and a caucus vote in the House forbidding even
consideration of the measure.

It became clear that some form of political action would have to
be adopted which would act as an accelerator to the
Administration. This feeling was growing momentarily among many
women, but it was conspicuously strong in the mind of Mrs. Oliver
H. P. Belmont, recognized as one of the ablest

[1]7th deputation to the President, June 30, 1914.

[2]This amounted to virtual opposition because of the great
difficulties, (some of them almost insuperable) involved in
amending many state constitutions.


suffrage leaders in the country. Anticipating the unfriendly
record made by the Democrats in the 63rd Congress, Mrs. Belmont
had come to Miss Paul and to her vice-chairman, Miss Lucy Burns,
to urge the formulation of a plan whereby we could strike at
Administration opposition through the women voters of the West.
Miss Paul had the same idea and welcomed the support of this plan
by so able a leader.

Mrs. Belmont was impatient to do nationally what she had already
inaugurated in New York State suffrage work-make suffrage an
election issue. She was the first suffragist in America to be
"militant" enough to wage a campaign against office-seekers on
the issue of woman suffrage. She was roundly denounced by the
opposition press, but she held her ground. It is interesting to
record that she defeated the first candidate for the New York
Assembly ever campaigned against on this issue.

She had associated herself with the Pankhursts in England and was
the first suffrage leader here publicly to commend the tactics of
the English militants. Through her, Mrs. Pankhurst made her first
visits to America, where she found a sympathetic audience. Even
among the people who understood and believed in English tactics,
the general idea here was that only in the backward country of
England was "militancy" necessary. In America, men would give
women what women wanted without a struggle.

Mrs. Belmont was the one suffrage leader who foresaw a militant
battle here whenever women should determine to ask for their
freedom immediately. In a great measure she prepared the way for
that battle.

Since the movement had not even advanced to the stage of
political action at that time, however, Mrs. Belmont realized
that political action would have to be exhausted before
attempting more aggressive tactics. Not knowing whether Miss Paul
had contemplated inaugurating political action in the


national field, she sought out the new leader and urged her to
begin at, once to organize the women's power for use in the
approaching national elections.

Those interested in the woman's movement are fairly familiar with
Mrs. Belmont's early state suffrage work and her work with the
militants in England, but they do not know as much about her
national work. It is not easy for a woman of vast wealth to be
credited with much else in America than the fact of generosity in
giving money to the cause in which she believes. Wealth dazzles
us and we look no further. Mrs. Belmont has given hundreds of
thousands of dollars to suffrage, both state and national, but
she has given greater gifts in her militant spirit, her political
sagacity and a marked tactical sense. She was practically the
only leader formerly associated with the conservative forces who
had the courage to extricate herself from the old routine
propaganda and adventure into new paths. She always approached
the struggle for liberty in a wholesome revolutionary mood. She
was essentially a leader, and one who believed in action-always

Until the movement in America regained its militant spirit, her
heart was primarily with the English women, because she thought
their fight so magnificent that it would bring suffrage to women
in England sooner than our slow-going methods would bring it to
us. In 1910, when English militancy was at its height, Mrs.
Belmont gave out an interview in London, in which she predicted
that English women would have the suffrage before us. She even
went so far as to say that we in America would have to create an
acute situation here, probably a form of militancy, before we
could win. At the same time the President of the International
Suffrage Alliance said in London: "The suffrage movement in
England- resembles a battle. It is cruel and tragic. Ours in
America is an evolution-less dramatic, slow but more sure." Facts
sustained Mrs. Belmont's prophecy. Facts did not sustain the


prediction. English women got the vote in 1918. American women
were not enfranchised nationally until August, 1920.

The following is the political theory and program approved by
Mrs. Belmont and submitted to the Congressional Union, by its
chairman, Alice Paul, at a conference of the organization at the
home of Mrs. Belmont in Newport in August, 1914:

The dominant party (at that time the Democratic Party) is
responsible for all action and therefore for action on suffrage.

This party's action had been hostile to this measure.

The dominant party in the approaching election must be convinced,
and through it all other parties, that opposition to suffrage is

All parties will be convinced when they see that their opposition
costs them votes.

Our fight is a political one.

We must appeal for support to the constituency which is most
friendly to suffrage, that constituency being the voting women.

An attempt must be made, no matter how small, to organize the
women's vote.

An appeal must be made to the women voters in the nine suffrage
states to withhold their support from the Democrats nationally,
until the national Democratic Party ceases to block the suffrage

This is non-partisanship in the highest degree, as it calls upon
women to forego previous allegiance to a party. If they are
Democrats in this instance, ,they must vote against their party.
If the Republican Party were in power and pursued a similar
course, we would work against that party.

The party which sees votes falling away will change its attitude.

After we have once affected by this means the outcome of a
national election, even though slightly, every party will
hesitate to trifle with our measure any longer.

All candidates from suffrage states are professing suffragists,
and therefore we have nothing to lose by defeating a


member of the dominant party in those states. Another suffragist
will take his place.

Men will object to being opposed because of their party
responsibility in spite of their friendliness individually to
suffrage. But women certainly have a right to further through the
ballot their wishes on the suffrage question, as well as on other
questions like currency, tariff, and what not.

This can only be done by considering the Party record, for as the
individual record and individual pledges go, all candidates are
practically equal.

We, as a disfranchised class, consider our right to vote,
preeminently over any other issue in any party's program.

Political leaders will resent our injecting our issue into their
campaign, but the rank and file will be won when they see the
loyalty of women to women.

This policy will be called militant and in a sense it is, being
strong, positive and energetic.

If it is militant to appeal to women to use their vote to bring
suffrage to this country, then it is militant to appeal to men or
women to use their vote to any good end.

To the question of "How will we profit if another party comes
in?" our answer will be that adequate political chastisement of
one party for its bad suffrage record through a demonstration of
power by women voters affecting the result of the national
election, will make it easier to get action from any party in

Amidst tremendous enthusiasm this plan was accepted by the little
conference of women at Newport, and $7,000 pledged in a few
moments to start it. There was a small group of women, an
infinitely small budget with which to wage a campaign in nine
states, but here was also enthusiasm and resolute determination.

A tiny handful of women-never more than two, more often only one
to a state-journeyed forth from Washington into the nine suffrage
states of the West to put before the voting women this political
theory, and to ask them to support it.


Chapter 2

Women Voters Organize

It can't be done." "Women don't care about suffrage." I "Once
they've got it, it is a dead issue." "To talk of arousing the
Western women to protest against the Congressional candidates of
the National Democratic Party in the suffrage states, when every
one of them is a professing suffragist, is utter folly." So ran
the comment of the political wise acres in the autumn of 1914.

But the women had faith in their appeal.

It is impossible to give in a few words any adequate picture of
the anger of Democratic leaders at our entrance into the
campaign. Six weeks before election they woke up to find the
issue of national suffrage injected into a campaign which they
had meant should be no more stirring than an orderly and
perfunctory endorsement of the President's legislative program.

The campaign became a very hot one during which most of the
militancy seemed to be on the side of the political leaders.
Heavy fists came down on desks. Harsh words were spoken.
Violent threats were made. In Colorado, where I was cam-
paigning, I was invited politely but firmly by the Democratic
leader to leave the state the morning after I had arrived. "You
can do no good here. I would advise you to leave at once.
Besides, your plan is impracticable and the women will not
support it."

"Then why do you object to my being here?" I asked.

"You have no right to ask women to do this . . . ."

Some slight variation of this experience was met by every


woman who took part in this campaign. Of course, the Democratic
leaders did not welcome an issue raised unexpectedly, and one
which forced them to spend an endless amount of time apologizing
for and explaining the Democratic Party's record. Nor did they
relish spending more money publishing more literature, in short,
adding greatly to the burdens of their campaign. The candidates,
a little more suave than the party leaders, proved most
eloquently that they had been suffragists
"from birth." One candidate even claimed a suffrage inheritance
from his great-grandmother.

This first entry of women into a national election on the
suffrage amendment was little more than a quick, brilliant
dash. With all its sketchiness, however, it had immediate
political results, and when the election was over, there came
tardily a general public recognition that the Congressional
Union had made a real contribution to these results. In the
nine suffrage states women vote3 for 45 members of Congress.
For 43 of these seats the Democratic Party ran candidates.
We opposed in our campaign all of these candidates. Out of
the 43 Democratic candidates running, only 9.0 were elected.
While it was not our primary aim to defeat candidates it was
generally conceded that we had contributed to these defeats.

Our aim in this campaign was primarily to call to the attention
of the public the bad suffrage record of the Democratic Party.
The effect of our campaign was soon evident in Congress. The most
backward member realized for the first time that women had voted.
Even the President perceived that the movement had gained new
strength, though he was not yet politically moved by it. He was
still "tied to a conviction"[1] which he had had all his life
that suffrage "ought to be brought about state by state."

Enough strength and determination among women had

[1]Statement to Deputation of Democratic women (eighth
deputation) at the White House, Jan. 6, 1915.


been demonstrated to the Administration, however, to make them
want to do something "just as good" as the thing we asked.  The
Shafroth-Palmer[1] Resolution was introduced, providing for a
constitutional amendment permitting a national initiative and
referendum on suffrage in the states, thereby forcing upon women
the very course we had sought to circumvent.  This red herring
drawn across the path had been accepted by the conservative suff-
ragists evidently in a moment of hopelessness, and their strength
put behind it, but the politicians who persuade them to back it
knew that it was merely an attempt to evade the issue.

This made necessary a tremendous campaign throughout the country
by the Congressional Union, with the result that the compromise
measure was eventually abandoned. During its life, however,
politicians were happy in the opportunity to divide their support
between it and the original amendment, which was still pending.
To offset this danger and to show again in dramatic fashion the
strength and will of the women voters to act on this issue, we
made political work among the western women the principal effort
of the year 1915, the year preceding the presidential election.
Taking advantage of the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San
Francisco, we opened suffrage headquarters in the Palace of
Education on the exposition grounds. From there we called the
first Woman Voters' Convention ever held in the world for the
single purpose of attaching political strength to the movement.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont was chairman of the committee which signed
the convention call.

Women from all the voting states assembled in a mass convention
September 14, 15 and 16. There is not time to describe

[1]This resolution was introduced in the Senate by Senator
Shafroth of Colorado, Democrat; in the House by Representative A.
Mitchell Palmer of Pennsylvania, Democrat, later Attorney General
in President Wilson's Cabinet. Both men, although avowed
supporters of the original Susan B. Anthony amendment, backed
this evil compromise.


the beauty of the pageantry which surrounded that gathering, nor
of the emotional quality which was at high pitch throughout the
sessions. These women from the deserts of Arizona, from the farms
of Oregon, from the valleys of California, from the mountains of
Nevada and Utah, were in deadly earnest. They had answered the
call and they meant to stay in the fight until it was won. The
convention went on record unanimously for further political
action on behalf of national suffrage and for the original
amendment without compromise, and pledged itself to use all power
to this end without regard to the interests of any existing
political party.

Two emissaries, Sara Bard Field and Frances Joliffe, both of
California, were commissioned by women voters at the final
session, when more than ten thousand people were present, to go
to the President and Congress bearing these resolutions and
hundreds of thousands of signatures upon a petition gathered
during the summer. They would speak directly to the President
lest he should be inclined to take lightly the women voters'

The envoys, symbolic of the new strength that was to come out of
the West, made their journey across continent by automobile. They
created a sensation all along the way, received as they were by
governors, by mayors, by officials high and low, and by the
populace. Thousands more added their names to the petition and it
was rolled up to gigantic proportions until in December when
unrolled it literally stretched over miles as it was borne to the
Capitol with honor escorts.

The action of the convention scarcely cold, and the envoys mid-
way across the continent, the President hastened to New Jersey to
cast his vote for suffrage in a state referendum. He was careful
to state that he did so as a private citizen, "not as the leader
of my party in the nation" He repeated his position, putting the
emphasis upon his opposition to national suffrage, rather than on
his belief in suffrage for his state.


"I believe that it (suffrage) 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." He knew women were
asking the powerful aid of the President of the United States,
not the aid of Mr. Wilson of Princeton, New Jersey. The state
amendment in New Jersey was certain to fail, as President Wilson
well knew. Casting a vote for it would help his case with women
voters, and still not bring suffrage in the East a step nearer.

The envoys' reception at the Capitol was indeed dramatic.
Thousands of women escorted them amid bands and banners to the
halls of Congress, where they were received by senators and
representatives and addressed with eloquent speeches. The envoys
replied by asking that their message be carried by friends of the
measure to the floor of the Senate and House, and this was done.

The envoys waited upon the President at the White House. This
visit of the representatives of women with power marked rather an
advance in the President's position. He listened with an eager
attention to the story of the new-found power and what women
meant to do with it. For the first time on record, he said he had
"an open mind" on the question of national suffrage, and would
confer with his party colleagues.

The Republican and Democratic National Committees heard the case
of the envoys. They were given a hearing before the Senate
Suffrage Committee and before the House Judiciary in one of the
most lively and entertaining inquisitions in which women ever

No more questions on mother and home! No swan song on the passing
of charm and womanly loveliness! Only agile scrambling by each
committee member to ask with eagerness and some heat, "Well, if
this amendment has not passed Congress by then, what will you do
in the elections of 1916?" It


was with difficulty that the women were allowed to tell their
story, so eager was the Committee to jump ahead to political
consequences. "Sirs, that depends upon what you gentlemen do. We
are asking a simple thing-" But they never got any further from
the main base of their interest.

"If President Wilson comes out for it and his party does
not" from a Republican member, "will you-"

"I object to introducing partisan discussions here," came
shamelessly from a Democratic colleague. And so the hearing
passed in something of a verbal riot, but with no doubt as to the
fact that Congressmen were alarmed by the prospect of women
voting as a protest group.

The new year found the Senate promptly reporting the measure
favorably again, but the Judiciary Committee footballed it to its
sub-committee, back to the whole committee, postponed it, marked
time, dodged defeated it.

The problem of neutrality toward the European war was agitating
the minds of political leaders. Nothing like suffrage for women
must be allowed to rock the ship even slightly! Oh, no, indeed;
it was men's business to keep the nation out of war. Men never
had shown marked skill at keeping nations out of war in the
history of the world. But never mind! Logic must not be pressed
too hard upon the "reasoning" sex. This time, men would do it.

The exciting national election contest was approaching. Party
conventions were scheduled to meet in June while the amendment
languished at the Capitol. It was clear that more highly
organized woman-power would have to be called into action before
the national government would speed its pace. To the women voters
the Eastern women went for decisive assistance. A car known as
the "Suffrage Special," carrying distinguished Eastern women and
gifted speakers, made an


extensive tour of the West and under the banner of the
Congressional Union called again upon the women voters to come to
Chicago on June 5th to form a new party,-The Woman's Party[1]-to
serve as long as should be necessary as the balance of power in
national contests, and thus to force action from the old parties.

The instant response which met this appeal surpassed the most
optimistic hopes. Thousands of women assembled in Chicago for
this convention, which became epoch-making not only in .the
suffrage fight but in the whole woman movement. For the first
time in history, women came together to organize their political
power into a party to free their own sex. For the first time in
history representatives of men's political parties came to plead
before these women voters for the support of their respective

The Republican Party sent as its representatives John Hays
Hammond and C. S. Osborn, formerly Governor of Michigan. The
Democrats sent their most persuasive orator, President Wilson's
friend, Dudley Field Malone, Collector of the Port of New York.
Allan Benson, candidate for the Presidency on the Socialist
ticket, represented the Socialist Party. Edward Polling,
Prohibition leader, spoke for the Prohibition Party, arid Victor
Murdock and Gifford Pinchot for The Progressive Party.

All laid their claims for suffrage support before the women with
the result that the convention resolved itself into another
political party-The Woman's Party. A new party with but one
plank-the immediate passage of the federal suffrage amendment-a
party determined to withhold its support from all existing
parties until women were politically free, and to punish
politically any party in power which did not use its

[1]The Woman's Party started with a membership of all
Congressional Union members in suffrage states. Anne Martin of
Nevada was elected chairman.


power to free women; a party which became a potent factor of
protest in the following national election.

This first step towards the solidarity of women quickly brought
results. The Republican National Convention, meeting immediately.
after the Woman's Party Convention, and the Democratic National
Convention the week following, both included suffrage planks in
their national platforms for the first time in history. To be
sure, they were planks that failed to satisfy us. But the mere
hint of organized political action on suffrage had moved the two
dominant parties to advance a step. The new Woman's Party had
declared suffrage a national political issue. The two major
parties acknowledged the issue by writing it into their party

The Republican platform was vague and indefinite on national
suffrage. The Democratic Party made its suffrage plank specific
against action by Congress. It precisely said, "We recommend the
extension of the franchise to the women of the country by the
states upon the same terms as men." It was openly stated at the
Democratic Convention by leading Administration Democrats that
the President himself had written this suffrage plank. If the
Republicans could afford to write a vague and indefinite plank,
the President and his party could not. They as the party in power
had been under fire and were forced to take sides. They did so.
The President chose the plank and his subordinates followed his
lead. It may be remarked in passing that this declaration so
solidified the opposition within the President's party that when
the President ultimately sought to repudiate it, he met stubborn

Protected by the President's plank, the Democratic Congress
continued to block national suffrage. It would not permit it even
to be reported from the Judiciary Committee. The party platform
was written. The President, too, found it easy to hide behind the
plank which he had himself written,


counting on women to be satisfied. To Mrs. D. E. Hooker of
Richmond, Virginia, who as a delegate from the Virginia
Federation of Labor, representing 60,000 members, went to him
soon after to ask his support of the amendment, the President
said, "I am opposed by conviction and political traditions to
federal action on this question. Moreover, after the plank which
was adopted in the Democratic platform at St. Louis, I could not
comply with the request contained in this resolution even if I
wished to do so."

President Wilson could not act because the party plank which he
had written prevented him from doing so!

Meanwhile the women continued to protest.

Miss Mabel Vernon of Delaware, beloved and gifted crusader, was
the first member of the Woman's Party to commit a "militant" act.
President Wilson, speaking at the dedication services of the
Labor Temple in Washington, was declaring his interest in all
classes and all struggles. He was proclaiming his beliefs in the
abstractions of liberty and justice, when Miss Vernon, who was
seated on the platform from which he was speaking, said in her
powerful voice, "Mr. President, if you sincerely desire to
forward the interests of all the people, why do you oppose the
national enfranchisement of, women?" Instant consternation arose,
but the idea had penetrated to the farthest corner of the huge
assembly that women were protesting to the President against the
denial of their liberty.

The President found time to answer, "That is one of the things
which we will have to take counsel over later," and resumed his
speech. Miss Vernon repeated her question later and was ordered
from the meeting by the police.

As the summer wore on, women realized that they would have to
enter the national contest in the autumn. Attention was focussed
on the two rival presidential candidates, Woodrow Wilson and
Charles Evans Hughes, the Republican nominee, upon whom the new
Woman's Party worked diligently


for prompt statements of their position on the national

The next political result of the new solidarity of women
was Mr. Hughes' declaration on August 1st, 1916: "My view is that
the proposed amendment should be submitted and ratified and the
subject removed from political discussion."

The Democratic Congress adjourned without even report
ing the measure to that body for a vote, and went forthwith to
the country to ask reelection.

We also went to the country. We went to the women voters to lay
before them again the Democratic Party's record now complete
through one Administration. We asked women voters again to
withhold their support nationally from President Wilson and his

The President accepted at once the opportunity to speak before a
convention of suffragists at Atlantic City in an effort to prove
his great belief in suffrage. He said poetically, "The tide is
rising to meet the moon . . . . You can afford to wait" Whatever
we may have thought of his figure of speech, we disagreed with
his conclusion.

The campaign on, Democratic speakers throughout the West found an
unexpected organized force among women, demanding an explanation
of the past conduct of the Democratic Party and insisting on an
immediate declaration by the President in favor of the amendment.
Democratic orators did their utmost to meet this opposition.
"Give the President time. He can't do everything at once." "Trust
him once more; he will do it for you next term." "He kept us out
of war. He is the best friend the mothers of the nation ever
had" "He stood by you. Now you women stand by him." "What good
will votes do you if the Germans come over here and take your
country?" And so on. Enticing doctrine to women-the peace lovers
of the human race.

Although we entered this contest with more strength than


we had had in 1914, with a budget five times as large and with
piled-up evidence of Democratic hostility, we could rot have
entered a more difficult contest. The people were excited to an
almost unprecedented pitch over the issue of peace versus war. In
spite of the difficulty of competing with this emotional issue
which meant the immediate disposal of millions of lives, it was
soon evident that the two issues were running almost neck and
neck in the Western territory.

No less skilled a campaigner than William Jennings Bryan took the
stump in the West against the Woman's Party. At least a third of
each speech was devoted to suffrage. He urged. He exhorted. He
apologized. He explained. He pleaded. He condemned. Often he was
heckled. Often he saw huge "VOTE AGAINST WILSON! HE KEPT US OUT
OF SUFFRAGE!" banners at the doors of his meetings. One woman in
Arizona, who, unable longer to listen in patience to the glory of
"a democracy where only were governed those who consented,"
interrupted him. He coldly answered, "Madam, you cannot pick
cherries before they are ripe." By the time he got to.
California, however, the cherries had ripened considerably, for
Mr. Bryan came out publicly for the national amendment.

What was true of Mr. Bryan was true of practically every
Democratic campaigner. Against their wills they were forced to
talk about suffrage, although they had serenely announced at the
opening of the campaign that it was "not an issue in this
campaign." Some merely apologized and explained. Others, like
Dudley Field Malone, spoke for the federal amendment, and
promised to work to put it through the next Congress, "if only
you women will stand by Wilson and return him to power."

Space will not permit in this book to give more than a hint of
the scope and strength of our campaign. If it were possible to
give a glimpse of the speeches made by men in that cam-


paign, you would agree that it was not peace alone that was the
dominant issue, but peace and suffrage. It must be made perfectly
clear that the Woman's Party did not attempt to elect Mr. Hughes.
It did not feel strong enough to back a candidate in its first
battle, and did not conduct its fight affirmatively at all. No
speeches were made for Mr. Hughes and the Republican Party. The
appeal was to vote a vote of protest against Mr. Wilson and his
Congressional candidates, because he and his party had had the
power to pass the amendment through Congress and had refused to
do so. That left the women free to choose from among the
Republicans, Socialists and Prohibitionists. It was to be
expected that the main strength of the vote taken from Mr. Wilson
would go to Mr. Hughes, as few women perhaps threw their votes to
the minority parties. But just as the Progressive Party's protest
had been effective in securing progressive legislation without
winning the election, so the Woman's Party hoped its protest
would bring results in Congress without attempting to win the

History will never know in round numbers how many women voted
against the President and his party at this crisis, for there are
no records kept for men and women separately, except in one
state, in Illinois. The women there voted two to one against Mr.
Wilson and for Mr. Hughes.

Men outnumber women throughout the entire western territory; in
some states, two and three to one; in Nevada, still higher. But,
whereas, in the election of 191, President Wilson got 69
electoral votes from the suffrage states, in the 1916 election,
when the whole West was aflame for him because of his peace
policy, he got only 5'7. Enthusiasm for Mr. Hughes in the West
was not sufficiently marked to account entirely for the loss of
these 12 electoral votes. Our claim that Democratic opposition to
suffrage had cost many of them was never seriously denied.


The Democratic Judiciary Committee of the House which had refused
to report suffrage to the House for a vote, had only one
Democratic member from a suffrage state, Mr. Taggart of Kansas,
standing for reelection. This was the only spot where women could
strike out against the action of this committee-and Mr. Taggart.
They struck with success. He was defeated almost wholly by the
women's votes.

With a modest campaign fund of slightly over fifty thousand
dollars, raised almost entirely in small sums, the women had
forced the campaign committee of the Democratic Party to assume
the defensive and to practically double expenditure and work on
this issue. As much literature was used on suffrage as on peace
in the suffrage states.

Many Democrats although hostile to our campaign said without
qualification that the Woman's Party protest was the only factor
in the campaign which stemmed the western tide toward Wilson, and
which finally made California the pivotal state and left his
election in doubt for a week.

Again, with more force, national suffrage had been injected into
a campaign where it was not wanted, where the leaders had hoped
the single issue of "peace" would hold the center of the stage.
Again many women had stood together on this issue and put woman
suffrage first. And the actual reelection of President Wilson had
its point of advantage, too, for it enabled us to continue the
education of a man in power who had already had four years of
lively training on the woman question.


Chapter 3

The Last Deputation to President Wilson

Of the hundreds of women who volunteered for the last Western
campaign, perhaps the most effective in their appeal were the
disfranchised Eastern women.

The most dramatic figure of them all was Inez Milholland
Boissevain, the gallant and beloved crusader who gave her life
that the day of women's freedom might be hastened. Her last words
to the nation as she fell fainting on the platform in California
were, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?" Her
fiery challenge was never heard again. She never recovered from
the terrific strain of the campaign which had undermined her
young strength. Her death touched the heart of the nation; her
sacrifice, made so generously for liberty, lighted anew the fire
of rebellion in women, and aroused from inertia thousands never
before interested in the liberation of their own sex.

Memorial meetings were held throughout the country at which women
not only paid radiant tribute to Inez Milholland, but
reconsecrated themselves to the struggle and called again upon
the reelected President and his Congress to act.

The most impressive of these memorials was held on Christmas Day
in Washington. In Statuary Hall under the dome of the Capitol-the
scene of memorial services for Lincoln and Garfield-filled with
statues of outstanding figures in the struggle for political and
religious liberty in this country, the first memorial service
ever held in the Capitol to honor a woman, was held for this
gallant young leader.


Boy choristers singing the magnificent hymn

"Forward through the darkness
Leave behind the night,
Forward out of error,
Forward into light"

led into the hall the procession of young girl banner-bearers.
Garbed in simple surplices, carrying their crusading banners high
above their heads, these comrades of Inez Milholland Boissevain
seemed more triumphant than sad. They seemed to typify the spirit
in which she gave her life.

Still other young girls in white held great golden banners
flanking the laurel-covered dais, from which could be read the
inscriptions: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay
down his life for his friend" . . . "Without extinction is
liberty; Without retrograde is equality" . . . "As He died to
make men holy let us die to make men free" . . .

From behind the heavy velvet curtains came the music of voices
and strings, and the great organ sounded its tragic and
triumphant tones.

Miss Maud Younger of California was chosen to make the memorial
address on this occasion. She said in part:

"We are here to pay tribute to Inez Milholland Boissevain, who
was our comrade. We are here in the nation's capital, the seat of
our democracy, to pay tribute to one who gave up her life to
realize that democracy . . . .

"Inez Milholland walked down the path of life a radiant being.
She went into work with a song in her heart. She went into battle
with a laugh on her lips. Obstacles inspired her, discouragement
urged her on. She loved work and she loved battle. She loved life
and laughter and light, and above all else she loved liberty.
With a loveliness beyond most, a kindliness, a beauty of mind and
soul, she typified always the best and noblest in womanhood. She
was the flaming torch that went ahead to light the way-the symbol
of light and freedom . . .


"Symbol of the woman's struggle, it was she who carried to the
West the appeal of the unenfranchised, and carrying it, made her
last appeal on earth, her last journey in life.

"As she set out upon her last journey, she seems to have had the
clearer vision, the spiritual quality of one who has already set
out for another world. With infinite understanding and intense
faith in her mission, she was as one inspired. Her meetings were
described as `revival meetings,' her audiences as `wild with
enthusiasm.' Thousands acclaimed her, thousands were turned away
unable to enter . . .

"And she made her message very plain.

"She stood for no man, no party. She stood only for woman. And
standing thus she urged:

“`It is women for women now and shall be until the fight is won!
Together we shall stand shoulder to shoulder for the greatest
principle the world has-ever known, the right of self-government.

“`Whatever the party that has ignored the claims of women we as
women must refuse to uphold it. We must refuse to uphold any
party until all women are free.

“`We have nothing but our spirits to rely on and the vitality of
our faith, but spirit is invincible.

“'It is only for a little while. Soon the fight will be over.
Victory is in sight.'

"Though she did not live to see that victory, it is sweet to know
that she lived to see her faith in women justified. In one of her
last letters she wrote:

"`Not only did we reckon accurately on women's loyalty to women,
but we likewise realized that our appeal touched a certain
spiritual, idealistic quality in the western woman voter, a
quality which is yearning to find expression in political life.
At the idealism of the Woman's Party her whole nature flames into
enthusiasm and her response is immediate. She gladly transforms a
narrow partisan loyalty into loyalty to a principle, the
establishment of which carries with it no personal advantage to
its advocate, but merely the satisfaction of achieving one more
step toward the emancipation of mankind . . . . We are bound to
win. There never has been a fight yet where interest was pitted
against principle that principle did not triumph!'


" . . The trip was fraught with hardship. Speaking day and night,
she would take a train at two in the morning to arrive at eight;
then a train at midnight to arrive at five in the morning. Yet
she would not change the program; she would not leave anything
out . . .

"And so . . . her life went out in glory in the shining cause of

"And as she had lived loving liberty, working for liberty,
fighting for liberty, so it was that with this word on her lips
she fell. `How long must women wait for liberty?' she cried and
fell-as surely as any soldier upon the field of honor-as truly as
any who ever gave up his life for an ideal.

"As in life she had been the symbol of the woman's cause so in
death she is the symbol of its sacrifice. The whole daily
sacrifice, the pouring out of life and strength that is the toll
of woman's prolonged struggle.

"Inez Milholland is one around whom legends will grow up.
Generations to come will point out Mount Inez and tell of the
beautiful woman who sleeps her last sleep on its slopes.

"They will tell of her in the West, tell of the vision of
loveliness as she flashed through on her last burning mission,
flashed through to her death-a falling star in the western

"But neither legend nor vision is liberty, which was her life.
Liberty cannot die. No work for liberty can be lost. It lives on
in the hearts of the people, in their hopes, their aspira-
tions, their activities. It becomes part of the life of the
nation. What Inez Milholland has given to the world lives on

"We are here to-day to pay tribute to Inez Milholland Boissevain,
who was our comrade. Let our tribute be not words which pass, nor
song which flies, nor flower which fades. Let it be this: that we
finish the task she could not finish; that with new strength we
take up the struggle in which fighting beside us she fell; that
with new faith we here consecrate ourselves to the cause of
woman's freedom until that cause is won; that with new devotion
we go forth, inspired by her sacrifice, to the end that her
sacrifice be not in vain, for dying she shall bring to pass that
which living she could not achieve women, full democracy for the

"Let this be our tribute, imperishable, to Inez Milholland


Miss Anne Martin of Nevada, chairman of the Woman's Party,
presided over the services. Other speakers were Honorable George
Sutherland, United States Senator from Utah, representing the
United States Congress; and Honorable Rowland S. Mahany, former
member of Congress and lifelong friend of the Milholland family.

Mrs. William Kent of California, wife of Representative Kent,
presented two resolutions which the vast audience approved by
silently rising. One resolution, a tribute of rare beauty,
prepared by Zona Gale, a friend of Inez Milholland, was a
compelling appeal to all women to understand and to reverence the
ideals of this inspiring leader. The other was an appeal to the
Administration for action.

The pageantry of surpliced choristers and the long line of girl
standard-bearers retired to the strains of the solemn
recessional. The great audience sat still with bowed heads as the
voices in the distance dropped in silence. Instantly the strains
of the Marseillaise, filling the great dome with its stirring and
martial song of hope, were taken up by the organ and the strings,
and the audience was lifted to its feet singing as if in
anticipation of the triumph of liberty.

The women were in no mood merely to mourn the loss of a comrade-
leader. The government must be shown again its share of
responsibility. Another appeal must be made to the President who,
growing steadily in control over the people and over his
Congress, was the one leader powerful enough to direct
his party to accept this reform. But he was busy gathering
his power to lead them elsewhere. Again we would have to
compete with pro-war anti-war sentiment. But it was no time
to relax.

Following the holiday season a deputation of over three hundred
women carried to the White House the Christmas Day memorial for
Inez Milholland and other memorials from similar


services. The President was brought face to face with the new
protest of women against the continued waste of physical and
spiritual energy in their battle. There is no better way to
picture the protest than to give you something verbatim from the
speeches made that memorable day. This was the first meeting of
suffragists with the President since the campaign against him in
the previous autumn. It was only because of the peculiar
character of the appeal that he consented to hear them.

Miss Younger presented the national memorial to him and
introduced Mrs. John Winters Brannan, who made no plea to the
President but merely gave him the New York memorial which read as

"This gathering of men and women, assembled on New Year's day in
New York to hold a memorial service in honor of Inez Milholland
Boissevain, appeals to you, the President of the United States,
to end the outpouring of life and effort that has been made for
the enfranchisement of women for more than seventy years in this
country. The death of this lovely and brave women symbolizes the
whole daily sacrifice that vast numbers of women have made and
are making for the sake of political freedom. It has made vivid
the `constant unnoticed tragedy of, this prolonged effort for a
freedom that is acknowledged just, but still denied.'

"It is not given to all to be put to the supreme test and to
accept that test with such gallant gladness as she did. The
struggle, however, has reached the point where it requires such
intensity of effort-relentless and sustained-over the whole vast
country, that the health of thousands of noble women is being
insidiously undermined. If this continues, and it will continue
until victory is won, we know only too surely that many women
whom the nation can ill spare will follow in the footsteps of
Inez Milholland.

"We desire to make known to you, Mr. President, our deep sense of
wrong being inflicted upon women in making them spend their
health and strength and forcing them to abandon other work that
means fuller self-expression, in order to win


freedom under a government that professes to believe in

"There is only one cause for which it is right to risk health
and life. No price is too high to pay for liberty. So long as
lives of women are required, these lives will be given.

"But we beg of you, Mr. President, so to act that this ghastly
price will not have to be paid. Certainly it is a grim irony that
a Republic should exact it. Upon you at this moment rests a
solemn responsibility; for with you it rests to decide whether
the life of this brilliant, dearly-loved woman whose glorious
death we commemorate to-day, shall be the last sacrifice of fife
demanded of American women in their struggle for self-government.

"We ask you with all the fervor and earnestness of our souls to
exert your power over Congress in behalf of the national
enfranchisement of women in the same way you have so successfully
used it on other occasions and for far less important measures.

"We are confident that if the President of the United States
decides that this act of justice shall be done in the present
session of Congress, it will be done. We know further that if the
President does not urge it, it will not be done. . . "

A fraction of a moment of silence follows, but it is long enough
to feel strongly the emotional state of mind of the President. It
plainly irritates him to be so plainly spoken to. We are
conscious that his distant poise on entering is dwindling to
petty confusion. There is something inordinately cool about the
fervor of the women. This too irritates him. His irritation only
serves to awaken in every woman new strength. It is a wonderful
experience to feel strength take possession of your being in a
contest of ideas. No amount of trappings, no ' amount of
authority, no number of plainclothes men, nor the glamour of the
gold-braided attaches, nor the vastness of the great reception
hall, nor the dazzle of the lighted crystal chandeliers, and
above all not the mind of your opponent can cut in on your slim,
hard strength. You are more than invincible. Your mind leaps
ahead to the infinite liberty of which


yours is only a small part. You feel his strength in authority,
his weakness in vision. He does not follow. He feels sorrow for
us. He patronizes us. He must temper his irritation at our
undoubted fanaticism and unreason. We, on the other hand, feel so
superior to him. Our strength to demand is so much greater than
his power to withhold. But he does not perceive this.

In the midst of these currents the serene and appealing voice of
Sara Bard Field came as a temporary relief to the President-but
only temporary. Shy brought tears to the eyes of the women as she
said in presenting the California memorial resolutions:

"Mr. President, a year ago I had the honor of calling upon you
with a similar deputation. At that time we brought from my
western country a great petition from the voting women urging
your assistance in the passage of the federal amendment for
suffrage. At that time you were most gracious to us. You showed
yourself to be in line with all the progressive leaders by your
statement to us that you could change your mind and would
consider doing so in connection with this amendment. We went away
that day with hope in our hearts, but neither the hope inspired
by your friendly words nor the faith we had in you as an advocate
of democracy kept us from working day and night in the interest
of our cause.

"Since that day when we came to you, Mr. President, one of our
most beautiful and beloved comrades, Inez Milholland, has paid
the price of her life for this cause. The untimely death of a
young woman like this-a woman for whom the world has such bitter
need-has focussed the attention of the men and women of the
nation on the fearful waste of women which this fight for the
ballot is entailing. The same maternal instinct for the
preservation of life-whether it be the physical life of a child
or the spiritual life of a cause is sending women into this
battle for liberty with an urge which gives them no rest night or
day. Every advance of liberty has demanded its quota of human
sacrifice, but if I had time I could show you that we have paid
in a measure that is running over. In the


light of Inez Milholland's death, as we look over the long
backward trail through which we have sought our political
liberty, we are asking how long must this struggle go on.

"Mr. President, to the nation more than to women alone is this
waste of maternal force significant. In industry such a waste of
money and strength would not be permitted. The modern trend is
all toward efficiency. Why is such waste permitted in the making
of a nation?

"Sometimes I think it must be very hard to be a President, in
respect to his contacts with people as well as in the great
business he must perform. The exclusiveness necessary to a great
dignitary holds him away from that democracy of communion,
necessary to a full understanding of what the people .are really
thinking and desiring. I feel that this deputation to-day fails
in its mission if, because of the dignity of your office and the
formality of such an occasion, we fail to bring you the throb of
woman's desire for freedom and her eagerness to ally herself when
once the ballot is in her hand, with all those activities to
which you, yourself, have dedicated your life. Those tasks which
this nation has set itself to do are her tasks as well as man's.
We women who are here to-day are close to this desire of women.
We cannot believe that you are our enemy or indifferent to the
fundamental righteousness of our demand.

"We have come here to you in your powerful office as our helper.
We have come in the name of justice, in the name of democracy, in
the name of all women who have fought and died for this cause,
and in a peculiar way with our hearts bowed in sorrow, in the
name of this gallant girl who died with the word `liberty' on her
lips. We have come asking you this day to speak some favorable
word to us that we may know that you will use your good and great
office to end this wasteful struggle of women."

The highest point in the interview had been reached. Before the
President began his reply, we were aware that the high moment had
gone. But we listened.

"Ladies, I had not been apprised that you were coming here to
make any representations that would issue an appeal to me.


I had been told that you were coming to present memorial
resolutions with regard to the very remarkable woman whom your
cause has lost. I, therefore, am not prepared to say anything
further than I have said on previous occasions of this sort.

"I do not need to tell you where my own convictions and my own
personal purpose lie, and I need not tell you by what
circumscriptions I am bound as leader of a party. As the leader
of a party my commands come from that party and not from private
personal convictions.

"My personal action as a citizen, of course, comes from no source
but my own conviction. and, therefore, my position has been so
frequently defined, and I hope so candidly defined, and it is so
impossible for me until the orders of my party are changed, to do
anything other than I am doing as a party leader, that I think
nothing more is necessary to be said.

"I do want to say this: I do not see how anybody can fail to
observe from the utterances of the last campaign that the
Democratic Party is more inclined than the opposition to assist
in this great cause, and it has been a matter of surprise to me,
and a matter of very great regret that so many of those who were
heart and soul for this cause seemed so greatly to misunderstand
arid misinterpret the attitude of parties. In this country, as in
every other self-governing country, it is really through the
instrumentality of parties that things can be accomplished. They
are not accomplished by the individual voice but by concerted
action, and that action must come only so fast as you can concert
it. I have done my best and shall continue to do my best to
concert it in the interest of a cause in which I personally

Dead silence. The President stands for a brief instant at
the end of his words as if waiting for some faint stir of
approval which does not come. He has the baffled air of a dis-
appointed actor who has failed to "get across." Then he turns
abruptly on his heel and the great doors swallow him up. Silently
the women file through the corridor and into the fresh

The women returned to the spacious headquarters across


the park all of one mind. How little the President knew about
women! How he underestimated their intelligence and penetration
of things political,! Was it possible that he really thought
these earnest champions of liberty would merely carry resolutions
of sorrow and regret to the President?

But this was not the real irony. How lightly he had shifted the
responsibility for getting results to his party. With what
coldness he had bade us "concert opinion," a thing which he alone
could do. That was pretty hard to bear, coming as it did when
countless forms of appeal had been 'exhausted by which women
without sufficient power could "concert" anything. The movement
was almost at the point of languishing so universal was the
belief in the nation that suffrage for women was inevitable. And
yet he and his party remained immovable.

The three hundred women of the memorial deputation became on
their return to headquarters a spirited protest meeting.

Plans of action in the event the President refused to help had
been under consideration by Miss Paul and her executive committee
for some time, but they were now presented for the first time for
approval. There was never a more dramatic moment at which to ask
the women if they were ready for drastic action.

Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a
powerful leader of women, voiced the feeling of the entire body
when she said, in a ringing call for action:

"We have gone to Congress, we have gone to the President during
the last four years with great deputations, with small
deputations. We have shown the interest all over the country in
self-government for women-something that the President as a great
Democrat ought to understand and respond to instantly. Yet he
tells us to-day that we must win his party. He said it was
strange that we did not see before election that


his party was more favorable to us than the Republican party. How
did it show its favor? How did he show his favor today to us? He
says we have got to convert his party . . . Why? Never before did
the Democratic Party lie more in the hands of one man than it
lies to-day in the hands of President Wilson. Never did the
Democratic Party have a greater leader, and never was it more
susceptible to the wish of that leader, than is the Democratic
Party of to-day to President Wilson. He controls his party, and I
don't think he is too modest to know it. He can mould it as he
wishes and he has moulded it. He moulded it quickly before
election in the matter of the eight-hour law. Was that in his
party platform? He had to crush and force his party to pass that
measure. Yet he is not willing to lay a finger's weight on his
party to-day for half the people of the United States . . . . Yet
to-day he tells us that we must wait more-and more.

"We can't organize bigger and more influential deputations. We
can't organize bigger processions. We can't, women, do anything
more in that line. We have got to take a new departure. We have
got to keep the question before him all the time. We have got to
begin and begin immediately.

"Women, it rests with us. We have got to bring to the President,
individually, day by day, week in and week out, the idea that
great numbers of women want to be free, wall be free, and want to
know what he is going to do about it.

"Won't you come and join us in standing day after day at the
gates of the White House with banners asking, `What will you do,
Mr. President, for one-half the people of this nation?' Stand
there as sentinels-sentinels of liberty, sentinels of self-
government-silent sentinels. Let us stand beside the gateway
where he must pass in and out, so that he can never fail to
realize that there is a tremendous earnestness and insistence
back of this measure. Will you not show your allegiance today to
this ideal of liberty? Will you not be a silent sentinel of
liberty and self-government?"

Deliberations continued. Details were settled. Three thousand
dollars was raised in a few minutes among these women, fresh from
the President's rebuff. No one suggested


waiting until the next Presidential campaign. No one even
mentioned the fact that time was precious, and we could wait
no longer. Every one seemed to feel these things without
troubling to put them into words. Volunteers signed up for
sentinel duty and the fight was on.


Part III


“I will write a song for the President, full of menacing signs,
And back of it all, millions of discontented eyes.”

Walt Whitman


Blank page


Chapter 1

Picketing a President

When all suffrage controversy has died away it will be the little
army of women with their purple, white and gold banners, going to
prison for their political freedom, that will be remembered. They
dramatized to victory the long suffrage fight in America. The
challenge of the picket line roused the government out of its
half-century sleep of indifference. It stirred the country to hot
controversy. It made zealous friends and violent enemies. It
produced the sharply-drawn contest which forced the surrender of
the government in the second Administration of President Wilson.

The day following the memorial deputation to the President,
January 10th, 1917, the first line of sentinels, a dozen in
number, appeared for duty at the White House gates. In retrospect
it must seem to the most inflexible person a reasonably mild and
gentle thing to have done. But at the same time it caused a
profound stir. Columns of front page space in all the newspapers
of the country gave more or less dispassionate accounts of the
main facts. Women carrying banners were standing quietly at the
White House gates "picketing" the President; women wanted
President Wilson to put his power behind the suffrage amendment
in Congress. That did not seem so shocking and only a few editors
broke out into hot condemnation.

When, however, the women went back on the picket line the next
day and the next and the next, it began to dawn upon the excited
press that such persistence was "undesirable" . . .


"unwomanly" ...dangerous." Gradually the people most hostile to
the idea of suffrage in any form marshaled forth the fears which
accompany every departure from the prescribed path. Partisan
Democrats frowned. Partisan Republicans chuckled. The rest
remained in cautious silence to see how "others" would take it.
Following the refrain of the press, the protest-chorus grew

"Silly women" . . : "unsexed" . . ." pathological" . . .
"They must be crazy" . . . "Don't they know anything about
politics?" . . . "What can Wilson do? He does not have to sign
the constitutional amendment." . . . So ran the comment from the
wise elderly gentlemen sitting buried in their cushioned chairs
at the gentlemen's club across the Park, watching eagerly the
"shocking," "shameless" women at the gates of the White House. No
wonder these gentlemen found the pickets irritating! This
absorbing topic of conversation, we are told, shattered many an
otherwise quiet afternoon and broke up many a quiet game. Here
were American women before their very eyes daring to shock them
into having to think about liberty. And what was worse-liberty
for women. Ah well, this could not go on,-this insult to the
President. They could with impunity condemn him and gossip about
his affairs. But that women should stand at his gates asking for
liberty that was a sin without mitigation.

Disapproval was not confined merely to the gentlemen in their
Club. I merely mention them as an example, for they were our
neighbors, and the strain on them day by day, as our beautiful
banners floated gaily out from our headquarters was, I am told, a
heavy one.

Yet, of course, we enjoyed irritating them. Standing on the icy
pavement on a damp, wintry day in the penetrating cold of a
Washington winter, knowing that within a stone's throw of our
agony there was a greater agony than ours there was a joy in


There were faint rumblings also in Congress, but like so many of
its feelings they were confined largely to the cloak rooms.
Representative Emerson of Ohio did demand from the floor of the
House that the "suffrage guard be withdrawn, as it is an insult
to the President," but his protest met with no response whatever
from the other members. His oratory fell on indifferent ears. And
of course there were always those in Congress who got a vicarious
thrill watching women do in their fight what they themselves had
not the courage to do in their own. Another representative, an
anti-suffrage Democrat, inconsiderately called us "Iron-jawed
angels," and hoped we would retire. But if by these protests
these congressmen hoped to arouse their colleagues, they failed.

We were standing at the gates of the White House because
the American Congress had become so supine that it could not
or would not act without being compelled to act by the Presi-
dent. They knew that if they howled at us it would only afford
an opportunity to retort "Very well then, if you do not like
us at the gates of your leader; if you do not want us to `insult'
the President, end this agitation by taking the matter into
your own hands and passing the amendment." Such a sug-
gestion would be almost as severe a shock as our picketing.
The thought of actually initiating legislation left a loyal Demo-
cratic follower transfixed.

The heavy dignity of the Senate forbade their meddling much in
this controversy over tactics. Also they were more interested in
the sporting prospect of our going into the world war. There was
no appeal to blood-lust in the women's fight. There were no
shining rods of steel. There was no martial music. We were not
pledging precious lives and vast billions in our crusade for
liberty. The beginning of our fight did indeed seem tiny and
frail by the side of the big game of war, and so the senators
were at first scarcely aware of our presence.

But the intrepid women stood their long vigils, day


by day, at the White House gates, through biting wind and driving
rain, through sleet and snow as well as sunshine, waiting for the
President to act. Above all the challenges of their banners rang
this simple, but insistent one:

Mr. President

How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?

The royal blaze of purple, white and gold-the Party's tricolored
banners-made a gorgeous spot of color against the bare,
blacklimbed trees.

There were all kinds of pickets and so there were all kinds of
reactions to the experience of picketing. The beautiful lady, who
drove up in her limousine to do a twenty minute turn on the line,
found it thrilling, no doubt. The winter tourist who had read
about the pickets in her home paper thought it would be "so
exciting" to hold a banner for a few minutes. But there were no
illusions in the hearts of the women who stood at their posts day
in and day out. None of them will tell you that they felt
exalted, ennobled, exhilarated, possessed of any rare and exotic
emotion. They were human beings before they were pickets. Their
reactions were those of any human beings called upon to set their
teeth doggedly and hang on to an unpleasant job.

"When will that woman come to relieve me? I have stood here an
hour and a half and my feet are like blocks of ice," was a more
frequent comment from picket to picket than "Isn't it glorious to
stand here defiantly no matter what the stupid people say about

"I remember the thousand and one engaging things that would come
to my mind on the picket line. It seemed that anything but
standing at a President's gate would be more diverting. But there
we stood.

And what were the reflections of a President as he saw the
indomitable little army at his gates? We can only venture to


say from events which happened. At first he seemed amused and
interested. Perhaps he thought it a trifling incident staged by a
minority of the extreme "left" among suffragists and anticipated
no popular support for it. When he saw their persistence through
a cruel winnter his sympathy was touched. He ordered the guards
to invite them in for a cup of hot coffee, which they declined.
He raised his hat to them as he drove through the line. Sometimes
he smiled. As yet he was not irritated. He was fortified in his
national power.

With the country's entrance into the war and his immediate
elevation to world leadership, the pickets began to be a serious
thorn in his flesh. His own statements of faith in democracy and
the necessity for establishing it .throughout the world left him
open to attack. His refusal to pay the just bill owed the women
and demanded by them brought irritation.

What would you do if you owed a just bill and every day
some one stood outside your gates as a quiet reminder to the
whole world that you had not paid it?

You would object. You would get terribly irritated. You would
call the insistent one all kinds of harsh names. You
might even arrest him. But the scandal would be out.

Rightly or wrongly, your sincerity would be touched; faith
in you would be shaken a bit. Perhaps even against your will you
would yield.

But you would yield. And that was the one important fact
to the women.

This daily sight, inspiring, gallant and impressive, escaped no
visitor to the national capital. Distinguished visitors from the
far corners of the earth passed by the pickets on those days
which made history. Thousands read the compelling messages
on the banners, and literally hundreds of thousands learned the
story, when the visitors got "back home."

Real displeasure over the sentinels by those who passed was
negligible. There was some mirth and joking, but the vast


majority were filled with admiration, either silent or expressed.

"Keep it up." . . . "You are on the right track." . . .
"Congratulations." . . . "I certainly admire your pluck-stick to
it and you will get it." . . . This last from a military officer
. . . . "It is an outrage that you women should have to stand
here and beg for your rights. We gave it to our women in
Australia long ago:" . . . This from a charming gentleman who
bowed approvingly.

Often a lifted hat was held in sincere reverence over the heart
as some courteous gentleman passed along the picket line. Of
course there were some who came to try to argue with the pickets;
who attempted to dissuade them from their persistent course. But
the serene, good humor and even temper of the women would not
allow heated arguments to break in on the military precision of
their line. If a question was asked, a picket would answer
quietly. An occasional sneer was easy to meet. That required no

A sweet old veteran of the Civil War said to one of my comrades:
"Yous all right; you gotta fight for your rights in this world,
and now that we are about to plunge into another war, I want to
tell you women there'll be no end to it unless you women get
power. We can't save ourselves and we need you . . . . I am 84
years old, and I have watched this fight since I was a young man.
Anything I can do to help, I want to do. I am living at the Old
Soldiers' Home and I ain't got mach money, but here's something
for your campaign. It's all I got, and God bless you, you've
gotta win." He spoke the last sentence almost with desperation as
he shoved a crumpled $2.00 bill into her hand. His spirit made it
a precious gift.

Cabinet members passed and repassed. Congressmen by the hundreds
came and went. Administration leaders tried to conceal under an.
artificial indifference their sensitiveness to our strategy.

And domestic battles were going on inside the homes


throughout the country, for women were coming from every state in
the Union, to take their place on the line. For the first time
good "suffrage-husbands" were made uncomfortable. Had they not
always believed in suffrage? Had they not always been
uncomplaining when their wife's time was given to suffrage
campaigning? Had they not, in short, been good sports about the
whole thing? There was only one answer. They had. But it had been
proved that all the things that women had done and all the things
in which their menfolk had cooperated, were not enough. Women
were called upon for more intensive action. "You cannot go to
Washington and risk your health standing in front of the White
House. I cannot have it."

"But the time has come when we have to take risks of health or
anything else."

"Well, then, if you must know, I don't believe in it. Now I am a
reasonable man and I have stood by you all the way up to now, but
I object to this. It isn't ladylike, and it will do the cause
more harm than good. You women lay yourselves open to ridicule."

"That's just it-that's a fine beginning. As soon as men get tired
laughing at us, they will do something more about it. They won't
find our campaign so amusing before long."

"But I protest. You've no right to go without considering me."

"But if your country called you in a fight for democracy, as it
is likely to do at any moment, you'd go, wouldn't you?"

"Why, of course."

"Of course you would. You would go to the front and leave me to
struggle on as best I could without you. That is the way you
would respond to your country's call, whether it was a righteous
cause or not. Well, I am going to the front too. I am going to
answer the women's call to fight for democracy. I would be
ashamed of myself if I were not willing to


join my comrades. I am sorry that you object, but if you will
just put yourself in my place you will see that I cannot do

It must be recorded that there were exceptional men of sensitive
imaginations who urged women against their own hesitancy. They
are the handful who gave women a hope that they would not always
have to struggle alone for their liberation. And women passed by
the daily picket line as spectators, not as participants.
Occasionally a woman came forward to remonstrate, but more often
women were either too shy to advance or so enthusiastic that
nothing could restrain them. The more kind-hearted of them,
inspired by the dauntless pickets in the midst of a now freezing
temperature, brought mittens, fur pieces, golashes, wool
-lined raincoats: hot bricks to stand on, coffee in thermos
bottles and what not.

Meanwhile the pickets became a household word in Washington, and
very soon were the subject of animated conversation in
practically every corner of the nation. The Press cartoonists, by
their friendly and satirical comments, helped a great deal in
popularizing the campaign. In spite of the bitter editorial
comment of most of the press, the humor of the situation had an
almost universal appeal.

At the Washington dinner of the Gridiron Club, probably the best
known press club in the world,--a dinner at which President
Wilson was a guest,-one of the songs sung for his benefit was as

"We're camping to-night on the White House grounds

Give us a rousing cheer;

Our golden flag we hold aloft, of cops we have no fear.

Many of the pickets are weary to-night,

Wishing for the war to cease; many are the chilblains and frost-
bites too; It is no life of ease.

Camping to-night, camping to-night,

Camping on the White House grounds."


The White House police on duty at the gates came to treat the
picketers as comrades.

"I was kinds worried," confessed one burly officer when the
pickets were five minutes late one day. "We thought perhaps you
weren't coming and we world have to hold down this place alone."

The bitter-enders among the opponents of suffrage broke into such
violent criticism that they won new friends to the amendment.

People who had never before thought of suffrage for women had to
think of it, if only to the extent of objecting to the way in
which we asked for it. People who had thought a little about
suffrage were compelled to think more about it. People who had
believed in suffrage all their lives, but had never done a,
stroke of work for it, began to make speeches about it, if only
for the purpose of condemning us.

Some politicians who had voted for it when there were not enough
votes to carry the measure loudly threatened to commit political
suicide by withdrawing their support. But it was easy to see at a
glance that they would not dare to run so great a political risk
on an issue growing daily more important.

As soon as the regular picket line began to be accepted as a
matter of course, we undertook to touch it up a bit to sustain
public interest. State days were inaugurated, beginning with
Maryland. The other states took up the idea with enthusiasm.
There was a College Day, when women representing 15 American
colleges stood on the line; a Teachers' Day, which found the long
line represented by almost every state in the Union, and a
Patriotic Day, when American flags mingled with the party's
banners carried by representatives of the Women's Reserve Corps,
Daughters of the Revolution and other patriotic organizations.
And there were professional days when women doctors, lawyers and
nurses joined the picket appeal.

Lincoln's birthday anniversary saw another new feature.


A long line of women took out banners bearing the slogans:




and another:



A huge labor demonstration on the picket line late in February
brought women wage earners from office and factory throughout the
Eastern States.

A special Susan B. Anthony Day on the anniversary of the birth of
that great pioneer, served to remind. the President who said,
"You can afford to wait," that the women had been waiting and
fighting for this legislation to pass Congress since the year

More than one person came forward to speak with true religious
fervor of the memory of the great Susan B. Anthony. Her name is
never mentioned nor her words quoted without finding such a

In the face of heavy snow and rain, dozens of young women stood
in line, holding special banners made for this occasion.
Thousands of men and women streaming home from work in the early
evening read words of hers spoken during the Civil

[1]President Wilson had just advocated self-government for Porto
Rican men.


War, so completely applicable to the policy of the young banner-
bearers at the gates.




During the reunion week of the Daughters and Veterans of the
Confederacy, the picket line was the center of attraction for the
sight-seeing veterans and their families. For the first time in
history the troops of the Confederacy had crossed the Potomac and
taken possession of the capital city. The streets were lined with
often tottering but still gallant old men, whitehaired and
stooped, wearing their faded badges on their gray uniforms, and
carrying their tattered flags.

It seemed to the young women on picket duty during those days
that not a single veteran had failed to pay his respects to the
pickets. They came and came; and some brought back their wives to
show them the guard at the gates.

One old soldier with tears in his dim eyes came to say, "I've
done sentinel duty in my time. I know what it is . . .


And now it's your turn. You young folks have the strength and the
courage to keep it up . . . . You are going to put it through!"'

One sweet old Alabamian came shyly up to one of the pickets and
said, "I say, Miss, this is the White House, isn't it?"

Before she could answer, he added: "We went three times around
the place and I told the boys, the big white house in the center
was the White House, but they wasn't believing me and I wasn't
sure, but as soon as I saw you girls coming with your flags, to
stand here, I said, `This must be the White House. This is sure
enough where the President lives; here are the pickets with their
banners that we read about down home."' A note of triumph was in
his frail voice.

The picket smiled, and thanked him warmly, as he finished with,
"You are brave girls. You are bound to get him, pointing his
shaking finger toward the White House.

President Wilson's second inauguration was rapidly approaching.
Also war clouds were gathering with all the increased
emotionalism that comes at such a crisis. Some additional
demonstration of power and force must be made before the
President's inauguration and before the excitement of our entry
into the war should plunge our agitation into obscurity. This was
the strategic moment to assemble our forces in convention in

Accordingly, the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and the
Woman's Party, that section of the Congressional Union in
suffrage states made up of women voters, convened in Washington
and decided unanimously to unite their strength, money and
political power in one organization, and called it the National
Woman's Party.

The following officers were unanimously elected to direct the
activities of the new organization: Chairman of the National
Woman's Party, Miss Alice Paul, New Jersey; Vice-


chairman, Miss Anne Martin, Nevada; secretary, Miss Mabel Vernon,
Nevada; treasurer, Miss Gertrude Crocker, Illinois; executive
members, Miss Lucy Burns, Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, Mrs. John
Winters Brannan, New York; Mrs. Gilson Gardner, Illinois; Mrs.
Robert Baker, Washington, D. C.; Mrs. William Kent and Miss Maud
Younger, California; Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles, Delaware; Mrs.
Donald Hooker, Maryland; Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins, New Jersey; Mrs.
Lawrence Lewis, Pennsylvania, and Miss Doris Stevens, Nebraska.

The convention came to a close on the eve of inauguration,
culminating in the dramatic picket line made up of one thousand
delegates who sought an interview with the President. The purpose
of the interview was to carry to him the resolutions of the
convention, and further plead with him to open his second
administration with a promise to back the amendment.

In our optimism we hoped that this glorified picket-pageant might
form a climax to our three months of picketing. The President
admired persistence. He said so. He also said he appreciated the
rare tenacity shown by our women. Surely "now" he would be
convinced! No more worrying persistence would be needed ! The
combined political strength of the western women and the
financial strength of the eastern women would surely command his
respect and entitle us to a hearing.

What actually happened?

It was a day of high wind and stinging, icy rain, that March 4th,
1917, when a thousand women, each bearing a banner, struggled
against the gale to keep their banners erect. It is always
impressive to see a thousand people march, but the impression was
imperishable when these thousand women marched in rain-soaked
garments, hands bare, gloves roughly torn by the sticky varnish
from the banner poles and the streams of water running down the
poles into the palms of their hands. It was a sight to impress
even the most hardened


spectator who had seen all the various forms of the suffrage
agitation in Washington. For more than two hours the women
circled the White House-the rain never ceasing for an instant-
hoping to the last moment that at least their leaders would be
allowed to take in to the President the resolutions which they
were carrying.

Long before the appointed hour for the march to start, thousands
of spectators sheltered by umbrellas and raincoats lined the
streets to watch the procession. Two bands whose men managed to
continue their spirited music in spite of the driving rain led
the march playing "Forward Be Our Watchword"; "The Battle Hymn of
the Republic"; "Onward Christian Soldiers"; "The Pilgrim's
Chorus" from Tannhauser; "The Coronation March" from Le Prophete,
the Russian Hymn and "The Marsellaise"

Miss Vida Milholland led the procession carrying her sister's
last words, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for
liberty?" She was followed by Miss Beulah Amidon of North Dakota,
who carried the banner that the beloved Inez Milholland carried
in her first suffrage procession in New York. The long line of
women fell in behind.

Most extraordinary precautions had been taken about the White
House. Everything had been done except the important thing. There
were almost as many police officers as marchers. The Washington
force had been augmented by a Baltimore contingent and squads of
plainclothes men. On every fifty feet of curb around the entire
White House grounds there was a policeman., About the same
distance apart on the inside of the tall picket-fence which
surrounds the grounds were as many more.

We proceeded to the main gate. Locked! I was marshalling at the
head of the line and so heard first hand what passed between the
leaders and the guards. Miss Anne, Martin addressed the guard


"We have come to present some important resolutions to the
President of the United States."

"I have orders to keep the gates locked, Ma'am."

"But there must be some mistake. Surely the President does not
mean to refuse to see at least . . ."

"Those are my only orders, Ma'am."

The procession continued on to the second gate on Pennsylvania
Avenue. Again locked. Before we could address the somewhat
nervous policeman who stood at the gates, he hastened to say,
"You can't come in here; the gates are locked."

"But it is imperative; we are a thousand women from all States in
the Union who have come all the way to Washington to see the
President and lay before him . . ."

"No orders, Ma'am."

The line made its way to the third and last gate the gate leading
to the Executive offices. As we came up to this gate a small army
of grinning clerks and secretaries manned the windows of the
Executive offices, evidently amused at the sight of the women
struggling in the wind and rain to keep their banners intact.
Miss Martin, Mrs. William Kent of California, Mrs. Florence
Bayard Hilles of Delaware, Miss Mary Patterson of Ohio, niece of
John C. Patterson of Dayton, Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins of New Jersey,
Miss Eleanor Barker of Indiana, and Mrs. Mary Darrow Weible of
North Dakota,-the leaders -stayed at the gate, determined to get
results from the guard, while the women continued to circle the
White House.

"Will you not carry a message to the President's Secretary asking
him to tell the President that we are here waiting to see him?"

"Can't do that, Ma'am."

"Will you then take our cards to the Secretary to the president,
merely announcing to him that we are here, so that he may send
somebody to carry in our resolutions?"

Still the guard hesitated. Finally he left the gate and


carried the message a distance of a few rods into the Executive
offices. He had scarcely got inside when he rushed back to his
post. When we sought to ascertain what had happened to the cards-
-had they been given and what the answer was-he quietly confided
to us that he had been reprimanded for even attempting to bring
them in and informed us that the cards were still in his pocket.
"I have orders to answer no questions and to carry no messages.
If you have anything to leave here you might take it to the
entrance below the Executive offices, and-when I go off my beat
at six o'clock I will leave it as I go by the White House."

We examined this last entrance suggested. It, did not strike us
as the proper place to leave an important message for the

"What is this entrance used for?" I asked the guard.

"It's all right, lady. If you've got something you'd like to
leave, leave it with me. It will be safe."

I retorted that we were not seeking safety for our message, but
speed in delivery.

The guard continued: "This is the gate where Mrs. Wilson's
clothes and other packages are left."

It struck us as scarcely fitting that we should leave our
resolutions amongst "Mrs. Wilson's clothes and other packages,"
so we returned to the last locked gate to ask the guard if he had
any message in the meantime for us. He shook his head

Meanwhile the women marched and marched, and the rain fell harder
and as the afternoon wore on the cold seemed almost unendurable.

The white-haired grandmothers in the procession-there were some
as old as 84-were as energetic as the young girls of 20. What was
this immediate hardship compared to eternal subjection! Women
marched and waited-waited and marched,


under the sting of the biting elements and under the worse sting
of the indignities heaped upon them. It was impossible to believe
that in democratic America they could not see the President to
lay before him their grievance.

It was only when they saw the Presidential limousine, in the late
afternoon, roll luxuriously out of the grounds, and through the
gates down Pennsylvania Avenue, that the weary marchers realized
that President Wilson had deliberately turned them away unheard!

The car for an instant, as it came through the gates, divided the
banner-bearers on march. President and Mrs. Wilson looked
straight ahead as if the long line of purple, white and gold were

All the women who took part in that march will tell you what was
burning in their hearts on that dreary day. Even if reasons had
been offered-and they were not-genuine reasons why the President
could not see them, it would not have cooled the women's heat.
Their passionate resentment went deeper than any reason could
possibly have gone.

This one single incident probably did more than any other to make
women sacrifice themselves. Even something as thin as diplomacy
on the part of President Wilson might have saved him many
restless hours to follow, but he did not take the trouble to
exercise even that.

The women returned to headquarters and there wrote a letter which
was dispatched with the resolutions to President Wilson. In a
letter to the National Woman's Party, acknowledging the receipt
of them, he concluded by saying: "May I not once more express my
sincere interest in the cause of woman suffrage?"

Three months of picketing had not been enough. We must not only
continue on duty at his gates but also, at the gates of Congress.


Chapter 2

The Suffrage War Policy

President Wilson called the War Session of the Sixty-fifth
Congress on April 2, 1917.

On the opening day of Congress not only were the pickets again on
duty at the White House, but another picket line was inaugurated
at the Capitol. Returning senators and congressmen were surprised
when greeted with great golden banners reading:


The last desperate flurries in the pro-war and anti-war camps
were focused on the Capitol grounds that day. There swarmed about
the grounds and through the buildings pacifists from all over the
country wearing white badges, and advocates of war, wearing the
national colors. Our sentinels at the Capitol stood strangely
silent, and almost aloof, strong in their dedication to
democracy, while the peace and war agitation circled about them.

With lightning speed the President declared that a state of war
existed. Within a fortnight following, Congress declared war on
Germany and President Wilson voiced his memorable, "We shall
fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts
for democracy-for the right of those who submit to authority to
have a voice in their own government." Inspir-


ing words indeed! The war message concluded with still another
defense of the fight for political liberty: "To such a task we
can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are
and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know
that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her
blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and
happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her,
she can do no less."

Now that the United States was actually involved in war, we were
face to face with the question, which we had considered at the
convention the previous month, when war was rumored, as to what
position we, as an organization, should take in this situation.

The atmosphere of that convention had been dramatic in the
extreme. Most of the delegates assembled had been approached
either before going to Washington or upon arriving, and urged to
use their influence to persuade the organization to abandon its
work for the freedom of women and turn its activities into war
channels. Although war was then only rumored, the hysterical
attitude was already prevalent. Women were asked to furl their
banners and give up their half century struggle for democracy, to
forget the liberty that was most precious to their hearts.

"The President will turn this Imperialistic war into a crusade
for democracy." . . . "Lay aside your own fight and help us crush
Germany, and you will find yourselves rewarded with a vote out of
the nation's gratitude," were some of the appeals made to our
women by government officials high and low and by the rank and
file of men and women. Never in history did a band of women stand
together with more sanity and greater solidarity than did these
1000 delegates representing thousands more throughout the States.

As our official organ, The Suffragist, pointed out editorially,
in its issue of April 21st, 1917: Our membership was


made up of women who had banded together to secure political
freedom for women. We were united on no other subject. Some would
offer passive resistance to the war; others would become devoted
followers of a vigorous military policy. Between these, every
shade of opinion was represented. Each was loyal to the ideas
which she held for her country. With the character of these
various ideals, the National Woman's Party, we maintained, had
nothing to do. It was concerned only with the effort to obtain
for women the opportunity to give effective expression, through
political power, to their ideals, whatever they might be.

The thousand delegates present at the convention, though
differing widely on the duty of the individual in war, were
unanimous in voting that in the event of war, the National
Woman's Party, as an organization, should continue to work for
political liberty for women and for that alone, believing as the
convention stated in its resolutions, that in so doing the
organization "serves the highest interest of the country." They
were also unanimous in the opinion that all service which
individuals wished to give to war or peace should be given
through groups organized for such purposes, and not through the
Woman's Party, a body created, according to its constitution, for
one purpose only-"to secure an amendment to the United States
Constitution enfranchising women."

We declared officially through our organ that this held "as the
policy of the Woman's Party, whatever turn public events may

Very few days after we were put upon a national war basis it
became clear that never was there greater need of work for
internal freedom in the country. Europe, then approaching her
third year of war, was increasing democracy in the midst of the
terrible conflict. In America at that very moment women were
being told that no attempt at electoral reform had any place in
the country's program "until the war is over." The Demo-


crats met in caucus and decided that only "war measures" should
be included in the legislative program, and announced that no
subjects would be considered by them, unless the President urged
them as war measures.

Our task was, from that time on, to make national suffrage a war

We at once urged upon the Administration the wisdom of accepting
this proposed reform as a war measure, and pointed out the
difficulty of waging a war for democracy abroad while democracy
was denied at home. But the government was not willing to profit
by the experience of its Allies in extending suffrage to women,
without first offering a terrible and brutal resistance.

We must confess that the problem of dramatizing our fight for
democracy in competition with the drama of a world-war, was most
perplexing. Here were we, citizens without power and recognition,
with the only weapons to which a powerless class which does not
take up arms can resort. We could not and would not fight with
men's weapons. Compare the methods women adopted to those men use
in the pursuit of democracy; bayonets, machine guns, poison gas,
deadly grenades, liquid fire, bombs, armored tanks, pistols,
barbed wire entanglements, submarines, mines-every known
scientific device with which to annihilate the enemy!

What did we do?

We continued to fight with our simple, peaceful, almost quaint
device -a banner. A little more fiery, perhaps; pertinent to the
latest political controversy, but still only a banner inscribed
with militant truth!

Just as our political strategy had been to oppose, at elections,
the party in power which had failed to use its power to free
women, so now our military strategy was based on the military
doctrine of concentrating all one's forces on the enemy's weakest
point. To women the weakest point in the


Administration's political lines during the war was the
inconsistency between a crusade for world democracy and the
denial of democracy at home. This was the untenable position of
President Wilson and the Democratic Administration, from which we
must force them to retreat. We could force ,such a retreat when
we had exposed to the world this weakest point.

Just as the bluff of a democratic crusade must be called, so must
the knight-leader of the crusade be exposed to the critical eyes
of the world. Here was the President, suddenly elevated to the
position of a world leader with the almost pathetic trust of the
peoples of the world. Here was the champion of their democratic
aspirations. Here was a kind of universal Moses, expected to lead
all peoples out of bondage no matter what the bondage, no matter
of how long standing.

The President's elevation to this unique pinnacle of power was at
once an advantage and a disadvantage to us. It was an advantage
to us in that it made our attack more dramatic. One supposed to
be impeccable was more vulnerable. It was a disadvantage to have
to overcome this universal trust and world-wide popularity. But
this conflict of wits and brains against power only enhanced our

On the day the English mission headed by Mr. Balfour, and the
French mission headed by M. Viviani, visited the White House, we
took these inscriptions to the picket line:




Embarrassing to say these things before foreign visitors? We
hoped it would be. In our capacity to embarrass Mr. Wilson in his
Administration, lay our only hope of success. We had to keep
before the country the flagrant inconsistency of


the President's position. We intended to know why, if
democracy were so precious as to demand the nation's blood and
treasure for its achievement abroad, its execution at home was so


"I tell you solemnly, ladies and gentlemen, we cannot any longer
postpone justice in these United States"-President Wilson.

"I don't wish to sit down and let any man take care of me without
my at least having a voice in it, and if he doesn't listen to my
advice, I am going to make it as unpleasant as I can President
Wilson,-and other challenges were carried on banners to the
picket line.

Some rumblings of political action began to be heard. The
Democratic majority had appointed a Senate Committee on Woman
Suffrage whose members were overwhelmingly for federal action.
The chairman, Senator Andreas Jones of New Mexico, promised an
early report to the Senate. There were scores of gains in
Congress. Representatives and Senators were tumbling over each
other to introduce similar suffrage resolutions. We actually had
difficulty in choosing the man whose name should stamp our

A minority party also was moved to act. Members of the
Progressive Party met in convention in St. Louis on April 12, 13
and 14 and adopted a suffrage plank which demanded "the nation-
wide enfranchisement of women . . . ."

In addition to this plank they adopted a resolution calling for
the establishment of democracy at home "at a time when the United
States is entering into an international war for democracy" and
instructing the chairman of the convention "to request a
committee consisting of representatives of all liberal groups to
go to Washington to present to the President and the Congress of
the United States a demand for immediate sub-


mission of an amendment to the United States constitution
enfranchising women."

They appointed a committee from the convention to carry these
resolutions to the President. The committee included Mr. J. A. H.
Hopkins of the Progressive Party, as chairman; Dr. E. A. Rumley
of the Progressive-Republican Party and Vice President of the New
York Evening Mail; Mr. John Spargo of the Socialist Party; Mr.
Virgil Hinshaw, chairman of the Executive Committee of the
Prohibition Party; and Miss Mabel Vernon, Secretary of the
National Woman's Party. It was the first suffrage conference with
the President after the declaration of war, and was the last
deputation on suffrage by minority party leaders. The conference
was one of the utmost informality and friendliness.

The President was deeply moved, indeed, almost to the point of
tears, when Miss Mabel Vernon said, "Mr. President, the feelings
of many women in this country are best expressed by your own
words in your war message to Congress . . . . To every woman who
reads that message must come at once this question: If the right
of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own
government is so sacred a cause to foreign people as to
constitute the reason for our entering the international war in
its defense, will you not, Mr. President, give immediate aid to
the measure before Congress demanding self-government for the
women of this country?"

The President admitted that suffrage was constantly pressing upon
his mind for reconsideration. He added, however, that the program
for the session was practically complete and intimated that it
did not include the enfranchisement of women.

He informed the Committee that he had written a letter to Mr.
Pou, Chairman of the Rules Committee of the House, expressing
himself as favoring the creation of a Woman Suffrage Committee in
that body. While we had no objection to


having the House create a Suffrage Committee, we were not
primarily interested in the amplification of Congressional
machinery, unless this amplification was to be followed by the
passage of the amendment. The President could as easily have
written the Senate Committee on Suffrage or the Judiciary
Committee of the House, advising an immediate report on the
suffrage resolution, as have asked for the creation of another
committee to report on the subject.

He made no mention of his state-by-state conviction, however, as
he had in previous interviews, and the Committee of Progressives
understood him to have at least tacitly accepted federal action.

The House Judiciary Committee continued to refuse to act and the
House Rules Committee steadily refused to create a Suffrage

Hoping to win back to the fold the wandering Progressives who had
thus demonstrated their allegiance to suffrage and seeing an
opportunity to embarrass the Administration, the, Republicans
began to interest themselves in action on the amendment. In the
midst of Democratic delays, Representative James R. Mann,
Republican leader of the House, moved to discharge the Judiciary
Committee from further consideration of the suffrage amendment.
No matter if the discussion which followed did revolve about the
authorization of an expenditure of $10,000 for the erection of a
monument to a dead President as a legitimate war measure. It was
clear from the partisan attitude of those who took part in the
debate that we were advancing to that position where we were as
good political material to be contested over by opposing
political groups as was a monument to a dead President. And if
the Democrats could defend such an issue as a war measure, the
Republicans wanted to know why they should ignore suffrage for
women as a war measure. And it was encouraging to find ourselves


suddenly and spontaneously sponsored by the Republican leader.

The Administration was aroused. It did not know how far the
Republicans were prepared to go in their drive for action, so on
the day of this flurry in the House the snail-like Rules
Committee suddenly met in answer to the call of its chairman, Mr.
Pou, and by a vote of 6 to 5 decided to report favorably on the
resolution providing for a Woman Suffrage Committee in the House
"after all pending war measures have been disposed of."

Before the meeting, Mr. Pou made a last appeal to the Woman's
Party to remove the pickets . . . . "We can't possibly win as
long as pickets guard the White House and Capitol," Mr. Pou had
said. The pickets continued their vigil and the motion carried.

Still uncertain as to the purposes of the Republicans, the
Democrats were moved to further action.

The Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee,
meeting in Washington a few days later, voted 4 to 9. to
"officially urge upon the President that he call the two Houses
of Congress together and recommend the immediate submission of
the Susan B. Anthony amendment." This action which in effect
reversed the plank in the Democratic platform evidently aroused
protests from powerful quarters. Also the Republicans quickly
subsided when they saw the Democrats making an advance. And so
the Democratic Executive Committee began to spread abroad the
news that its act was not really official, but merely reflected
the "personal conviction" of the members present. It extracted
the official flavor, and so of course no action followed in

And so it went-like a great game of chess. Doubtless the
politicians believed they were moved from their own true and
noble motives. The fact was that the pickets had moved the
Democrats a step. The Republicans had then attempted to


take two steps, whereupon the Democrats must continue to move
more rapidly than their opponents. Behind this matching of
political wits by the two parties stood the faithful pickets
compelling them both to act.

Simultaneously with these moves and counter-moves in political
circles, the people in all sections of this vast country began to
speak their minds. Meetings were springing up everywhere, at
which resolutions were passed backing up the picket line and
urging the President and Congress to act. Even the South, the
Administration's stronghold, sent fiery telegrams demanding
action. Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, Maryland, Mississippi, as
well as the West, Middle West, New England and the East-the
stream was endless.

Every time a new piece of legislation was passed; the war
tax bill, food conservation or what not,-women from unex-
pected quarters sent to the Government their protest against
the passage of measures so vital to women without women's
consent, coupled with an appeal for the liberation of women.
Club women, college women, federations of labor; various
kinds of organizations sent protests to the Administration
leaders. The picket line, approaching its sixth month of duty,
had aroused the country to an unprecedented interest in suf-
frage; it had rallied widespread public support to the amend-
ment as a war measure, and had itself become almost univer-
sally accepted if not universally approved. And in the midst
of picketing ands in spite of all the prophecies and fears that
"picketing" would "set back the cause," within one month,
Michigan, Nebraska and Rhode Island granted Presidential
suffrage to women.

The leaders were busy marshaling their forces behind the
President's war program, which included the controversial
Conscription and Espionage Bills, then pending, and did not
relish having our question so vivid in the public mind. Even when
the rank and file of Congress gave consideration to questions not


in the war program, they had to face a possible charge of
inconsistency, insincerity or bad faith. The freedom of Ireland,
for example, was not in the program. And when 132 members of the
House cabled Lloyd George that nothing would do more for American
enthusiasm in the war than a settlement of the Irish question, we
took pains to ascertain the extent of the belief in liberty at
home of these easy champions of Irish liberty. When we found that
of the 132 men only 5'7 believed in liberty for American women,
we were not delicate in pointing out to the remaining "(5 that
their belief in liberty for Ireland would appear more sincere if
they believed in a democratic reform such as woman suffrage here.

The manifestations of popular approval of suffrage, the constant
stream of protests to the Administration against its delay
nationally, and the shame of having women begging at its gates,
could result in only one of two things. The Administration had
little choice. It must yield to this pressure from the people or
it must suppress the agitation which was causing such interest.
It must pass the amendment or remove the troublesome pickets.

It decided to remove the pickets.


Chapter 3

The First Arrests

The Administration chose suppression. They resorted to force in
an attempt to end picketing. It was a policy doomed to failure as
certainly as all resorts to force to kill agitation have failed
ultimately. This marked the beginning of the adoption by the
Administration of tactics from which they could never extricate
themselves with honor. Unfortunately for them they were entering
upon this policy toward women which savored of czarist practices,
at the very moment they were congratulating the Russians upon
their liberation from the oppression of a Czar. This fact
supplied us with a fresh angle of attack.

President Wilson sent a Mission to Russia to add America's appeal
to that of the other Allies to keep that impoverished country in
the war. Such was our-democratic zeal to persuade Russia to
continue the war and to convince her people of its democratic
purposes, and of the democratic quality of America, that Elihu
Root, one of the President's envoys, stated in Petrograd that he
represented a republic where "universal, direct, equal and secret
suffrage obtained." We subjected the President to attack through
this statement.

Russia also sent a war mission to our country for purposes of
cooperation. This occasion offered us the opportunity again to
expose the Administration's weakness in claiming complete
political democracy while women were still denied their political

It was a beautiful June day when all Washington was agog


with the visit of the Russian diplomats to the President. As
the car carrying the envoys passed swiftly through the gates
of the White House there stood on the picket line two silent
sentinels, Miss Lucy Burns of New York and Mrs. Lawrence
Lewis of Philadelphia, both members of the National Executive
Committee, with a great lettered banner which read:





Rumors that the suffragists would make a special demonstration
before the Russian Mission had brought a great crowd to the far
gate of the White House; a crowd composed almost entirely of men.

Like all crowds, this crowd had its share of hoodlums and roughs
who tried to interfere with the women's order of the day. There
was a flurry of excitement over this defiant message of truth,
but nothing that could not with the utmost ease have been settled
by one policeman.

There was the criticism in the press and on the lips of men that
we were embarrassing our Government before the eyes of foreign
visitors. In answering the criticism, Miss Paul publicly stated
our position thus: "The intolerable conditions


against which we protest can be changed in the twinkling of an
eye. The responsibility for our protest is, therefore, with the
Administration and not with the women of America, if the lack of
democracy at home weakens the Administration in its fight for
democracy three thousand miles away."

This was too dreadful. A flurry at the gates of the Chief of the
nation at such a time would never do. Our allies in the crusade
for democracy must not know that we had a day-by-day unrest at
home. Something must be done to stop this expose at once. Had
these women no manners? Had they no shame? Was the fundamental
weakness in our boast of pure and perfect democracy to be so
wantonly displayed with impunity?

Of course it was embarrassing. We meant it to be. The truth must
be told at all costs. This was no time for manners.

Hurried conferences behind closed doors! Summoning of the
military to discuss declaring a military zone around the White
House! Women could not advance on drawn bayonets. And if they did
. . . What a picture! Common decency told the more humane leaders
that this would never do. I daresay political wisdom crept into
the reasoning of others.

Closing the Woman's Party headquarters was discussed. Perhaps a
raid! And all for what? Because women were holding banners asking
for the precious principle at home that men were supposed to be
dying for abroad.

Finally a decision was reached embodying the combined wisdom of
all the various conferees. The Chief of Police, Major Pullman,
was detailed to "request" us to stop "picketing" and to tell us
that if we continued to picket, we would be arrested._

"We have picketed for six months without interference," said Miss
Paul. "Has the law been changed?"

"No," was the reply, "but you must stop it."

"But, Major Pullman, we have consulted our lawyers and know we
have a legal right to picket."


"I warn you, you will be arrested if you attempt to picket

The following day Miss Lucy Burns and Miss Katherine Morey of
Boston carried to the White House gates "We shall fight for the
things we have always held nearest our hearts, for democracy, for
the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in
their own government," and were arrested.

News had spread through the city that the pickets were to be
arrested. A moderately large crowd had gathered to see the "fun."
One has only to come into conflict with prevailing authority,
whether rightly or wrongly, to find friendly hosts vanishing with
lightning speed. To know that we were no longer wanted at the
gates of the White House and that the police were no longer our
"friends" was enough for the mob mind.

Some members of the crowd made sport of the women. Others hurled
cheap and childish epithets at them. Small boys were allowed to
capture souvenirs, shreds of the banners torn from non-resistant
women, as trophies of the sport.

Thinking they had been mistaken in believing the pickets were to
be arrested, and having grown weary of their strenuous sport, the
crowd moved on its way. Two solitary figures remained, standing
on the sidewalk, flanked by the vast Pennsylvania Avenue, looking
quite abandoned and alone, when suddenly without any warrant in
law, they were arrested on a completely deserted avenue.

Miss Burns and Miss Morey upon arriving at the police station,
insisted, to the great surprise of all the officials, upon
knowing the charge against them. Major Pullman and his entire
staff were utterly at a loss to know what to answer. The
Administration had looked ahead only as far as threatening
arrest. They doubtless thought this was all they would have to
do. People could not be arrested for picketing. Picketing is a
guaranteed right under the Clayton Act of


Congress. Disorderly conduct? There had been no disorderly
I	conduct. Inciting to riot? Impossible! The women had stood
as silent sentinels holding the President's own eloquent words.

Doors opened and closed mysteriously. Officials and subofficials
passed hurriedly to and fro. Whispered conversations were heard.
The book on rules and regulations was hopefully thumbed. Hours
passed. Finally the two prisoners were pompously told that they
had "obstructed the traffic" on Pennsylvania Avenue, were
dismissed on their own recognizance, and never brought to trial.

The following day, June 23rd, more arrests were made; two women
at the White House, two at the Capitol. All carried banners with
the same words of the President. There was no hesitation this
time. They were promptly arrested for "obstructing the traffic."
They, too, were dismissed and their cases never tried. It seemed
clear that the Administration hoped to suppress picketing merely
by arrests. When. however. women continued to picket in the face
of arrest, the Administration quickened its advance into the
venture of suppression. It decided to bring the offenders to

On June 26, six American women were tried, judged guilty on the
technical charge of "obstructing the traffic," warned by the
court of their "unpatriotic, almost treasonable behavior," and
sentenced to pay a fine of twenty-five dollars or serve three
days in jail.

"Not a dollar of your fine will we pay," was the answer of the
women. "To pay a fine would be an admission of guilt. We are

The six women who were privileged to serve the first terms of
imprisonment for suffrage in this country, were Miss Katherine
Morey of Massachusetts, Mrs. Annie Arneil and Miss Mabel Vernon
of Delaware, Miss Lavinia Dock of Pennsylvania, Miss Maud Jamison
of Virginia, and Miss Virginia Arnold of


North Carolina. "Privileged" in spite of the foul air, the rats,
and the mutterings of their strange comrades in jail!

Independence Day, July 4, 1917, is the occasion for two
demonstrations in the name of liberty. Champ Clark, late
Democratic speaker of the House, is declaiming to a cheering
crowd behind the White House, "Governments derive their just
powers from the consent of the governed." In front of the White
House thirteen silent sentinels with banners bearing the same
words, are arrested. It would have been exceedingly droll if it
had not been so tragic. Champ Clark and his throng were not
molested. The women with practically a deserted street were
arrested and served jail terms for "obstructing traffic."

The trial of this group was delayed to give the jail authorities
time to "vacate and tidy up," as one prisoner confided to Miss
Joy Young. It developed that "orders" had been received at the
jail immediately after the arrests and before the trial, "to make
ready for the suffragettes." What did it matter that their case
had not yet been heard? To jail they must go.

Was not the judge who tried and sentenced them a direct appointee
of President Wilson? Were not the District Commissioners who gave
orders to prepare the cells the direct appointees of President
Wilson? And was not the Chief of Police of the District of
Columbia a direct appointee of these same commissioners? And was
not the jail warden who made life for the women so unbearable in
prison also a direct appointee of the commissioners?

It was all a merry little ring and its cavalier attitude toward
the law, toward justice, and above all toward women was of no
importance. The world was on fire with a grand blaze. This tiny
flame would scarcely be visible. No one would notice a few "mad"
women thrown into jail. And if the world should find it out,
doubtless public opinion would agree that the women ought to stay
there. And even if it should not agree,


this little matter could all be explained away before another

Meanwhile the President could proclaim through official channels
his disinterestedness. Observe the document, of which I give the
substance, which he caused or allowed to be published at this
time, through his Committee on Public Information.


"Published Daily under order of the President of the United
States, by the Committee on Public Information.


"Furnished without charge to all newspapers, post offices,
government officials and agencies of a public character for the
dissemination of official news of the United States Government."

"Washington, July 3, 1917. No. 46-Vol. i."

There follows a long editorial[1] which laments the public
attention which has centered on the militant campaign, appeals to
editors and reporters not to "encourage" us in our peculiar
conduct by printing defies to the President of the United States
even when "flaunted on a pretty little purple and gold banner"
and exhorts the public to control its thrills. The official
bulletin concludes with:

"It is a fact that there remains in America one man who has known
exactly the right attitude to take and maintain toward the
pickets. A whimsical smile, slightly puckered at the roots by a
sense of the ridiculous, a polite bow-and for the rest a complete
ignoring of their existence. He happens to be the man around whom
the little whirlwind whirls-the President of the United States."
And finally with an admonition that "the rest' of the country ...
take example from him in its emotional reaction to the picket

[1]From the Woman Citizen.


The Administration pinned its faith on jail--that institution of
convenience to the oppressor when he is strong in power and his
weapons are effective. When the oppressor miscalculates the
strength of the oppressed, jail loses its convenience.


Chapter 4

Occoquan Workhouse

It is Bastille Day, July fourteenth. Inspiring scenes and tragic
sacrifices for liberty come to our minds. Sixteen women march in
single file to take their own "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" to
the White House gates. It is the middle of a hot afternoon. A
thin line of curious spectators is seen in the park opposite the
suffrage headquarters. The police assemble from obscure spots;
some afoot, others on bicycles. They close in on the women and
follow them to the gates.

The proud banner is scarcely at the gates when the leader is
placed under arrest. Her place is taken by another. She is taken.
Another, and still another steps into the breach and is arrested.

Meanwhile the crowd grows, attracted to the spot by the presence
of the police and the patrol wagon. Applause is heard. There are
cries of "shame" for the police, who, I must say, did not always
act as if they relished carrying out what they termed "orders
from higher up." An occasional hoot from a small boy served to
make the mood of the hostile ones a bit gayer. But for the most
part an intense silence fell upon the watchers, as they saw not
only younger women, but whitehaired grandmothers hoisted before
the public gaze into the crowded patrol, their heads erect, their
eyes a little moist and their frail hands holding tightly to the
banner until wrested from them by superior brute force.

This is the first time most of the women have ever seen a


police station, and they are interested in, their surroundings.
They are not interested in helping the panting policeman count
them over and identify them. Who arrested whom? That becomes the
gigantic question.

"Will the ladies please tell which officer arrested them?"

They will not. They do not intend to be a party to this outrage.
Finally the officers abandon their attempt at identification.
They have the names of the arrestees and will accept bail for
their appearance Monday.

"Well girls, I've never seen but one other court in my life and
that was the Court of St. James. But I must say they are not very
much alike," was the cheery comment of Mrs. Florence Bayard
Hilles,[1] as we entered the court room on Monday.

The stuffy court room is packed to overflowing. The fat, one-eyed
bailiff is perspiring to no purpose. He cannot make the throng
"sit down." In fact every one who has anything to do with the
pickets perspires to no purpose. Judge Mullowny takes his seat,
looking at once grotesque and menacing on his red throne.

"Silence in the court room," from the sinister-eyed bailiff. And
a silence. follows so heavy that it can be heard.

Saturday night's both black and white-are tried first. The
suffrage prisoners strain their ears to hear the pitiful pleas of
these unfortunates, most of whom come to the bar without counsel
or friend. Scraps of evidence are heard.

JUDGE: "You say you were not quarreling, Lottie?"

LOTTIE: "I sho' do yo' hono'. We wuz jes singin'-we wuz sho' nuf,

JUDGE: "Singing, Lottie? Why your neighbors here testify to the
fact that you were making a great deal of noise so much that they
could not sleep."

[1]Mrs. Hilles is the daughter of the late Thomas Bayard,
formerly America's ambassador to Great Britain, and Secretary of
State in President Cleveland's cabinet.


LOTTIE: "I tells yo' honor' we wuz jes singin' lak we allays do.”

JUDGE : "What were you singing?"

LOTTIE: "Why, hymns, sah."

The judge smiles cynically.

A neatly-attired white man with a wizened face again takes the
stand against Lottie. Hymns or no hymns he could not sleep. The
judge pronounces a sentence of "six months in the workhouse," for

And so it goes on.

The suffrage prisoners are the main business of the morning.
Sixteen women come inside the railing which separates "tried"
from "untried" and take their seats.

"Do the ladies wish the government to provide them with counsel?"

They do not.

"We shall speak in our own behalf. We feel that we can best
represent ourselves," we announce. Miss Anne Martin and I act as
attorneys for the group.

The same panting policemen who could not identify the people they
had arrested give their stereotyped, false and illiterate
testimony. The judge helps them over the hard places and so does
the government's attorney. They stumble to an embarrassed finish
and retire.

An aged government clerk, grown infirm in the service, takes the
stand and the government attorney proves through him that there
is a White House; that it has a side-walk in front of it, and a
pavement, and a hundred other overwhelming facts. The pathetic
clerk shakes his dusty frame and slinks off the stand. The
prosecuting attorney now elaborately proves that we walked, that
we carried banners, that we were arrested by the aforesaid
officers while attempting to hold our banners at the White House

Each woman speaks briefly in her own defense. She de-


nounces the government's policy with hot defiance. The blame is
placed squarely at the door of the Administration, and in
unmistakable terms. Miss Anne Martin opens for the defense:

"This is what we are doing with our banners before the White
House, petitioning the most powerful representative of the
government, the President of the United States, for a redress of
grievances; we are asking him to use his great power to secure
the passage of the national suffrage amendment.

"As long as the government and the representatives of the
government prefer to send women to jail on petty and technical
charges, we will go to jail. Persecution has always advanced the
cause of justice. The right of American women to work for
democracy must be maintained . . . . We would hinder, not help,
the whole cause of freedom for women, if we weakly submitted to
persecution now. Our work for the passage of the amendment must
go on. It will go on."

Mrs. John Rogers, Jr., descendant of Roger Sherman, one of the
signers of the Declaration of Independence, speaks: "We are not
guilty of any offence, not even of infringing a police
regulation. We know full well that we stand here because the
President of the United States refuses to give liberty to
American women. We believe, your Honor, that the wrong persons
are before the bar in this Court . . . ."

"I object, your Honor, to this woman making such a statement here
in Court," says the District Attorney.

"We believe the President is the guilty one and that we are

"Your Honor, I object," shouts the Government's attorney.

The prisoner continues calmly: "There are votes enough and there
is time enough to pass the national suffrage amendment through
Congress at this session. More than 200 votes in the House and
more than 50 in the Senate are pledged to this amendment. The
President puts his power behind all measures in which he takes a
genuine interest. If he will say one


frank word advocating this measure it will pass as a piece of war
emergency legislation."

Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles speaks in her own defense: "For
generations the men of my family have given their services to
their country. For myself, my training from childhood has been
with a father who believed in democracy and who belonged to the
Democratic Party. By inheritance and connection I am a Democrat,
and to a Democratic President I went with my appeal . . . . What
a spectacle it must be to the thinking people of this country to
see us urged to go to war for democracy in a foreign land, and to
see women thrown into prison who plead for that same cause at

"I stand here to affirm my innocence of the charge against me.
This court has not proven that I obstructed traffic. My presence
at the White House gate was under the constitutional right of
petitioning the government for freedom or for any other cause.
During the months of January, February, March, April and May
picketing was legal. In June it suddenly becomes illegal . . . .

"My services as an American woman are being conscripted by order
of the President of the United States to help win the world war
for democracy . . . . `for the right of those who submit to
authority to have a voice in their own government.' I shall
continue to plead for the political liberty of American women-and
especially do I plead to the President, since he is the one
person who . . . can end the struggles of American women to take
their proper places in a true democracy."

There is continuous objection from the prosecutor, eager advice
from the judge, "you had better keep to the charge of obstructing
traffic" But round on round of applause comes from the intent
audience, whenever a defiant note is struck by the prisoners, and
in spite of the sharp rapping of the gavel confusion reigns. And
how utterly puny the "charge" is! If it were true that the
prisoners actually obstructed the traffic,


how grotesque that would be. The importance of their demand, the
purity of their reasoning, the nobility and gentle quality of the
prisoners at the bar; all conspire to make the charge against
them, and the attorney who makes it, and the judge who hears it,
petty and ridiculous.

But justice must proceed.

Mrs. Gilson Gardner of Washington, D. C., a member of the
Executive Committee of the National Woman's party, and the wife
of Gilson Gardner, a well-known Liberal and journalist, speaks:

"It is impossible for me to believe that we were arrested
because we were obstructing traffic or blocking the public high-

"We have been carrying on activities of a distinctly political
nature, and these political activities have seemingly disturbed
certain powerful influences. Arrests followed. I submit that
these arrests are purely political and that the charge of an
unlawful assemblage and of obstructing traffic is a political
subterfuge. Even should I be sent to jail which, I could not,
your Honor, anticipate, I would be in jail, not because I
obstructed traffic, but because I have offended politically,
because I have demanded of this government freedom for women."

It was my task to sum up for the defense. The judge sat bored
through my statement. "We know and I believe the Court knows
also," I said, "that President Wilson and his Administration are
responsible for our being here to-day. It is a fact that they
gave the orders which caused our arrest and appearance before
this bar.

"We know and you know, that the District Commissioners are
appointed by the President, that the present commissioners were
appointed by President Wilson. We know that you, your Honor, were
appointed to the bench by President Wilson, and that the district
attorney who prosecutes us was appointed by the President. These
various officers would not dare bring us


here under these false charges without the policy having been
decided upon by the responsible leaders.

"What is our real crime? What have these distinguished and
liberty-loving women done to bring them before this court of
justice? Why, your Honor, their crime is that they peacefully
petitioned the President of the United States for liberty. What
must be the shame of our nation before the world when it becomes
known that here we throw women into jail who love liberty and
attempt to peacefully petition the President for it? These women
are nearly all descended from revolutionary ancestors or from
some of the greatest libertarian statesmen this country has
produced. What would these men say now if they could see that
passion for liberty which was in their own hearts rewarded in the
twentieth century with foul and filthy imprisonment!

"We say to you, this outrageous policy of stupid and brutal
punishment will not dampen the ardor of the women. Where sixteen
of us face your judgment to-day there will be sixty tomorrow, so
great will be the indignation of our colleagues in this fight."

The trial came to an end after a tense two days. The packed
court-room fat in a terrible silence awaiting the judge's answer.

There were distinguished men present at the trial-men who also
fight for their ideals. There was Frederic C. Howe, then
Commissioner of Immigration of the Port of New York, Frank P.
Walsh, International labor leader, Dudley Field Malone, then
Collector of the Port of New York, Amos Pinchot, liberal leader,
John A. H. Hopkins, then liberal-progressive leader in New Jersey
who had turned his organization to the support of the President
and become a member of the President's Campaign Committee, now
chairman of the Committee of Fortyeight and whose beautiful wife
was among the prisoners, Allen McCurdy, secretary of the
Committee of Forty-eight and many


others. One and all came forward to protest to us during the
adjournment. "This is monstrous." . . . "Never have I seen
evidence so disregarded." . . . "This is a tragic farce" . . .

"He will never dare sentence you."

It was reported to us that the judge used the interim to
telephone to the District building, where the District
Commissioners sit. He returned to pronounce, "Sixty days in the
workhouse in default of a twenty-five dollar fine."

The shock was swift and certain to all the spectators. We would
not of course pay the unjust fine imposed, for we were not guilty
of any offense.

The judge attempted persuasion. "You had better decide to pay
your fines," he ventured. And "you will not find jail a pleasant
place to be." It was clear that neither he nor his confreres had
imagined women would accept with equanimity so drastic a
sentence. It was now their time to be shocked. Here were
"ladies"-that was perfectly clear-"ladies" of unusual
distinction. Surely they would not face the humiliation of a
workhouse sentence which involved not only imprisonment but penal
servitude! The Administration was wrong again.

"We protest against this unjust sentence and conviction," we
said, "but we prefer the workhouse to the payment of a fine
imposed for an offense of which we are not guilty." We filed into
the "pen," to join the other prisoners, and wait for the "black
maria" to carry us to prison.

We are all taken to the District Jail, where we are put through
the regular catechism: "Were you ever in prison before?-Age-
birthplace-father-mother-religion and what not?" We are then
locked up,-two to a cell. What will happen next?

The sleek jailer, whose attempt to be cordial provokes a certain
distrust, comes to our corridor to "turn us over" to our next
keeper-the warden of Occoquan. We learn that the


workhouse is not situated in the District of Columbia but in

Other locked wagons with tiny windows up near the driver now take
us, side by side with drunks and disorderlies, prostitutes and
thieves, to the Pennsylvania Station. Here we embark for the
unknown terrors of the workhouse, filing through crowds at the
station, driven on by our "keeper," who resembles Simon Legree,
with his long stick and his pushing and shoving to hurry us
along. The crowd is quick to realize that we are prisoners,
because of our associates. Friends try to bid us a last farewell
and slip us a sweet or fruit, as we are rushed through the iron
station gates to the train.

Warden Whittaker is our keeper, thin and old, with a cruel mouth,
brutal eyes and a sinister birthmark on his temple. He guards
very anxiously his "dangerous criminals" lest they
try to leap out of the train to freedom! We chat a little and
attempt to relax from the strain that we have endured since
Saturday. It is now late in the afternoon of Tuesday.

The dusk is gathering. It is almost totally dark when we alight
at a tiny station in what seems to us a wilderness. It is a
deserted country. Even the gayest member of the party, I am sure,
was struck with a little terror here.

More locked wagons, blacker than the dusk, awaited us. The prison
van jolted and bumped along the rocky and hilly
road. A cluster of lights twinkled beyond the last hill, and we
knew that we were coming to our temporary summer residence. I can
still see the long thin line of black poplars against the
smoldering afterglow. I did not know then what tragic things they

We entered a well-lighted office. A few guards of ugly demeanor
stood about. Warden Whittaker consulted with the hard-faced
matron, Mrs. Herndon, who began the prison routine. Names were
called, and each prisoner stepped to the


desk to get her number, to give up all jewelry, money, handbags,
letters, eye-glasses, traveling bags containing toilet
necessities, in fact everything except the clothes on her body.

From there we were herded into the long bare dining room where we
sat dumbly down to a bowl of dirty sour soup. I say dumbly-for
now began the rule of silence. Prisoners are punished for
speaking to one another at table. They cannot even whisper, much
less smile or laugh. They must be conscious always of their
"guilt." Every possible thing is done to make the inmates feel
that they are and must continue to be antisocial creatures.

We taste our soup and crust of bread. We try so hard to eat it
for we are tired and hungry, but no one of us is able to get it
down. We leave the table hungry and slightly nauseated.

Another long march in silence through various channels into a
large dormitory and through a double line of cots ! Then we
stand, weary to the point of fainting, waiting the next ordeal.
This seemed to be the juncture at which we lost all that is left
us of contact with the outside world,-our clothes.

An assistant matron, attended by negress prisoners, relieves us
of our clothes. Each prisoner is obliged to strip naked without
even the protection of a sheet, and proceed across what seems
endless space, to a shower bath. A large tin bucket stands on the
floor and in this is a minute piece of dirty soap, which is
offered to us and rejected. We dare not risk the soap used by so
many prisoners. Naked, we return from the bath to receive our
allotment of coarse, hideous prison clothes, the outer garments
of which consist of a bulky mother-hubbard wrapper, of bluish
gray ticking and a heavy apron of the same dismal stuff. It takes
a dominant personality indeed to survive these clothes. The thick
unbleached muslin undergarments are of designs never to be
forgotten! And the thick stockings and forlorn shoes! What
torture to put on shoes that are alike for each foot and made to
fit just anybody who may happen along.


Why are we being ordered to dress? It is long past the bed-time

Our suspense is brief. All dressed in cloth of "guilt" we are led
into what we later learn is the "recreation" room. Lined up
against its wall, we might any other time have bantered about the
possibility of being shot, but we are in no mood to jest. The
door finally opens and in strides Warden Whittaker with a
stranger beside him.

He reviews his latest criminal recruits, engaging the stranger
meanwhile in whispered conversation. There are short, uncertain
laughs. There are nods of the head and more whispers.

"Well, ladies, I hope you are all comfortable. Now make
yourselves at home here. I think you will find it healthy here.
You'll weigh more when you go out than when you came in. You will
be allowed to write one letter a month-to your family. Of course
we open and read all letters coming in and going out. To-morrow
you will be assigned your work. I hope you will sleep well. Good

We did not answer. We looked at each other.

News leaked through in the morning that the stranger had been a
newspaper reporter. The papers next morning were full of the
"comfort" and "luxury" of our surroundings. The "delicious" food
sounded most reassuring to the nation. In fact no word of the
truth was allowed to appear.

The correspondent could not know that we went back to our cots to
try to sleep side by side with negro prostitutes. Not that we
shrank from these women on account of their color, but how
terrible to know that, the institution had gone out of its way to
bring these prisoners from their own wing to the white wing in an
attempt to humiliate us. There was plenty of room in the negro
wing. But prison must be made so unbearable that no more women
would face it. That was the policy attempted here.


We tried very hard to sleep and forget our hunger and weariness.
But all the night through our dusky comrades padded by to the
lavatory, and in the streak of bright light which shot across the
center of the room, startled heads could be seen bobbing up in
the direction of a demented woman in the end cot. Her weird
mutterings made us fearful. There was no sleep in this strange

Our thoughts turn to the outside world. Will the women care? Will
enough women believe that through such humiliation all may win
freedom? Will they believe that through our imprisonment their
slavery will be lifted the sooner? Less philosophically, will the
government be moved by public protest? Will such protest come?

The next morning brought us a visitor from suffrage headquarters.
The institution hoped that the visitor would use her persuasion
to make us pay our fines and leave and so she was admitted. We
learned the cheering news, that immediately after sentence had
been pronounced by the Court, Dudley Field Malone had gone direct
to the White House to protest to the President. His protest was
delivered with heat. The President said that he was "shocked" at
the sixty day sentence, that he did not know it had been done,
and made other evasions. Mr. Malone's report of his interview
with the President is given in full in a subsequent chapter.

Following Mr. Malone, Mr. J. A. H. Hopkins went to the White
House. "How would you like to have your wife sleep in a dirty
workhouse next to prostitutes?" was his direct talk to the
President. Again the President was "shocked." No wonder! Mr. and
Mrs. Hopkins had been the President's dinner guests not very long
before, celebrating his return to power. They had supported him
politically and financially in New Jersey. Now Mrs. Hopkins had
been arrested at his gate and thrown into prison.

In reporting the interview, Mr. Hopkins said:


"The President asked me for suggestions as to what might be done,
and I replied that in view of the seriousness of the present
situation the only solution lay in immediate passage of the Susan
B. Anthony amendment."

Gilson Gardner also went to the White House to leave his hot
protest. And there were others.

Telegrams poured in from all over the country. The press printed
headlines which could not but arouse the sympathy of thousands.
Even people who did not approve of picketing the White House
said, "After all, what these women have done is certainly not
`bad' enough to merit such drastic punishment"

And women protested. From coast to coast there poured in at our
headquarters copies of telegrams sent to Administration leaders.
Of course not all women by any means had approved this method of
agitation. But the government's action had done more than we had
been able to do for them. It had made them feel sex-conscious.
Women were being unjustly treated. Regardless of their feelings
about this particular procedure, they stood up and objected.

For the first time, I believe, our form of agitation began to
seem a little more respectable than the Administration's handling
of it. But the Administration did not know this fact yet.

"Everybody in line for the work-room!"

We were thankful to leave our inedible breakfast. We were unable
to drink the greasy black coffee. The pain in the tops of our
heads was acute.

"What you all down here for?" asked a young negress, barely out
of her teens, as she casually fingered her sewing material.

"Why, I held a purple, white and gold banner at the gates of the
White House."


"You don' say so! What de odders do?"

"Same thing. We all held banners at the White House gates asking
President Wilson to give us the vote."

"An' yo' all got sixty days fo' dat?"

"Yes. You see the President thought it would be a good idea to
send us to the workhouse for asking for the vote. You know women
want to vote and have wanted to for a long time in our country"

"O-Yass'm, I know. I seen yo' parades, an' meetin's, an'
everythin'. I know whah yo' all live, right near the White House.
You's alright. I hopes yo' git it, fo' women certainly do need
protextion against men like Judge Mullowny. He has us allatime
picked up an' sen' down here.

"They sen' yo' down here once, an' then yo' come out without a
cent, and try to look fo' a job, an' befo' yo' can fin' one a cop
walks up an' asks yo' whah yo' live, an' ef yo' haven't got a
place yet, becaus' yo' ain' got a cent to ren' one with, he says,
`Come with me, I'll fin' yo' a home,' an' hustles yo' off to the
p'lice station an' down heah again, an' you're called a 4vag'
(vagrant). What chance has we niggahs got, I ask ya? I hopes yo'
all gits a vote an' fixes up somethings for women!"

"You see that young girl over there?" said another prisoner, who
in spite of an unfortunate life had kept a remnant of her early
beauty. I nodded.

"Well, Judge Mullowny gave her thirty days for her first offense,
and when he sentenced her, she cried out desperately, `Don't send
me down there, Judge! If you do, I'll kill myself!' What do you
think he said to that? `I'll give you six months in which to
change your mind!"'

I reflected. The judge that broke this pale-faced, silent girl
was the appointee of the President. It was the task of such a man
to sentence American women to the workhouse for demanding

Conversing with the "regulars" was forbidden by the


wardress, but we managed, from time to time, to talk to our
fellow prisoners with stealthiness.

"We knew somethin' was goin' to happen," said one negro girl,
"because Monday the close we had on wer' took off us an' we were
giv' these old patched ones. We wuz told they wanted to take
`stock,’ but we heard they wuz bein' washed fo' you-all

The unpleasantness at wearing the formless garments of these
unfortunates made us all wince. But the government's calculation
aroused our hot indignation. We were not convicted until Tuesday
and our prison garments were ready Monday!

"You must not speak against the President," said the servile
wardress, when she discovered we were telling our story to the
inmates. "You know you will be thrashed if you say anything more
about the President; and don't forget you're on Government
property and may be arrested for treason if it happens again."

We doubted the seriousness of this threat of thrashing until one
of the girls confided to us that such outrages happened often. We
afterward obtained proof of these brutalities.[1]

"Old Whittaker beat up that girl over there just last week and
put her in the `booby' house on bread and water for five days."

"What did she do?" I asked.

"Oh, she an' another girl got to scrapping in the blackberry
patch and she didn't pick enough berries. .”

"All put up your work, girls, and get in line." This from the
wardress, who sped up the work in the sewing room. It was lunch
time, and though we were all hungry we dreaded going to the
silence and the food in that gray dining room with the vile
odors. We were counted again as we filed out, carrying our heavy
chairs with us as is the workhouse custom.

[1]See affidavit of Mrs. Bovee, page 144.


"Do they do this all the time?" I asked. It seemed as though
needless energy was being spent counting and recounting our
little group.

"Wouldn't do anybody any good to try to get away from here," said
one of the white girls. "Too many bloodhounds!"

"Bloodhounds!" I asked in amazement, for after all these women
were not criminals but merely misdemeanants.

"Oh, yes. Just a little while ago, three men tried to get away
and they turned bloodhounds after them and shot them dead-and
they weren't bad men either."

When our untasted supper was over that night we were ordered into
the square, bare-walled "recreation" room, where we and the other
prisoners sat, and sat, and sat, our chairs against the walls, a
dreary sight indeed, waiting for the fortyfive minutes before
bedtime to pass. The sight of two negro girl prisoners combing
out each other's lice and dressing their kinky hair in such a way
as to discourage permanently a return of the vermin did not
produce in us exactly a feeling of "recreation." But we tried to
sing. The negroes joined in, too, and soon outsang us, with their
plaintive melodies and hymns. Then back to our cells and another
attempt to sleep.

A new ordeal the next morning! Another of the numberless
"pedigrees" is to be taken. One by one we were called to the
warden's office.

"Were your father or mother ever insane?"

"Are you a confirmed drunkard, chronic or moderate drinker?"

"Do you smoke or chew or use tobacco in any form?"

"Married or single?"


"How many children?"



"What religion do you profess?"


"What religion do you profess?" in a higher pitched voice.

I did not clearly comprehend. "Do you mean `Am I a Catholic or a
Protestant?' I am a Christian."

But it was of no avail. She wrote down, "None."

I protested. "That is not accurate. I insist that I am a
Christian, or at least I try to be one."

"You must learn to be polite," she retorted almost fiercely, and
I returned to the sewing room.

For the hundredth time we asked to be given our toothbrushes,
combs, handkerchiefs and our own soap. The third day of
imprisonment without any of these essentials found us depressed
and worried over our unsanitary condition. We plead also for
toilet paper. It was senseless to deny these necessities. It is
enough to imprison people. Why seek to degrade them utterly?

The third afternoon we were mysteriously summoned into the
presence of Superintendent Whittaker. He seemed warm and cordial.
We were ordered drawn up in a semi-circle.

"Ladies, there is a rumor that you may be pardoned," he began.

"By whom?" asked one.

"For what?" asked another. "We are innocent women. There is
nothing to pardon us for."

"I have come to ask you what you would do if the President
pardoned you."

"We would refuse to accept it," came the ready response from

"I shall leave you for a while to consider this. Mind! I have not
yet received information of a pardon, but I have been asked to
ascertain your attitude."

Our consultation was brief. We were of one mind. We


were unanimous in wishing to reject a pardon for a crime which we
had never committed. We said so with some spirit when Mr.
Whittaker returned for our decision.

"You have no choice. You are obliged to accept a pardon."

That settled it, and we waited. That the protest on the outside
had been strong enough to precipitate action from the government
was the subject of our conversation. Evidently it had not been
strong enough to force action on the suffrage amendment, but it
was forcing action, and that was important.

Mr. Whittaker returned triumphant.

"Ladies, you are pardoned by the President. You are free to go as
soon as you have taken off your prison clothes and put on your

It was sad to leave the other prisoners behind. Especially
pathetic were the girls who helped us with our clothes. They
whispered such eager appeals in our ears, telling us of their
drastic sentences for trifling offenses and of the cruel
punishments. It was hard to resist digressing into some effort at
prison reform. That way lay our instincts. Our reason told us
that we must first change the status of women.

As we were leaving the workhouse to return to Washington we had
an unexpected revelation of the attitude of officialdom toward
our campaign. Addressing Miss Lucy Burns, who had arrived to
assist us in getting on our way, Superintendent Whittaker, in an
almost unbelievable rage, said, "Now that you women are going
away, I have something to say and I want to say it to you. The
next lot of women who come here won't be treated with the same
consideration that these women were." I will show later on how he
made good this terrible threat.

Receiving a Presidential pardon through the Attorney General had
its amusing aspect. My comrades shared this amusement when I told
them the following incident.

On the day after our arrest, I was having tea at the Chevy


Chase Country Club in Washington. Quite casually a gentleman
introduced me to Mr. Gregory, the Attorney General.

"I see you were mixed up with the suffragettes yesterday," was
the Attorney General's first remark to the gentleman. And before
the latter could explain that he had settled accounts quietly but
efficiently with a hoodlum who was attempting to trip the women
up on their march, the chief law officer of the United States
contributed this important suggestion: "You know what I'd do if I
was those policemen. I'd just take a hose out with me and when
the women came out with their banners, why I'd just squirt the
hose on 'em . . . ."

"But Mr. Gregory . . ."

"Yes, sir! If you can just make what a woman does look
ridiculous, you can sure kill it . . . ."

"But, Mr. Attorney General, what right would the police have to
assault these or any other women?" the gentleman managed finally
to interpolate.

"Hup-hup-"denoting great surprise, came from the Attorney
General, as he looked to me for reassurance.

His expectant look vanished when I said, "Mr. Gregory, did it
ever occur to you that it might make the government
look ridiculous instead of the women?"

You can imagine bow the easy manner of one who is sure of his
audience melted from his face.

"This is one of the women arrested yesterday," continued the
gentleman, while the Attorney General smothered a "Well, I'll be
. . ."

"I am out on bail," I said. " To-morrow we go to jail. It is all
prearranged, you understand. The trial is merely a matter of

The highest law officer of the land fled gurgling. s

The day following our release Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins carried a
picket banner to the gates of the White House to test


the validity of the pardon. Her banner read, "We do not ask
pardon for ourselves but justice for all American women." A
curious crowd, as large as had collected on those days when the
police arrested women for "obstructing traffic," stood watching
the lone picket. The President passed through the gates and
saluted. The police did not interfere.

Daily picketing was resumed and no arrests followed for the

It was now August, three months since the Senate Suffrage
Committee authorized its chairman, Mr. Jones, to report the
measure to the Senate for action. Mr. Jones said, however, that
he was too busy to make a report; .that he wanted to make a
particularly brilliant one, one that would "be a contribution to
the cause"; that he did not approve of picketing, but that he
would report the measure "in a reasonable time." So much for the
situation in the Senate!

From the House we gathered some interesting evidence. We reminded
Mr. Webb, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, that out of a
total membership of twenty-one men on his committee, twelve were
Democrats, two-thirds of whom were opposed to the measure; we
reminded him that the Republicans on the committee were for
action. Mr. Webb wrote in answer:

"The Democratic caucus passed a resolution that only war
emergency measures would be considered during this extra session,
and that the President might designate from time to time special
legislation which he regarded as war legislation, and such would
be acted on by the House. The President, not having designated
woman suffrage and national prohibition so far as war measures,
the judiciary committee up to this time has not felt warranted
under the caucus rule, in reporting either of these measures. If
the President should request either or both of them as war
measures, then I think the Committee would attempt to take some
action on them promptly. So you see after all it is important to
your cause to make the


President see that woman suffrage comes within the rules laid

Here was a frank admission of the assumption upon which women had
gone to jail-that the President was responsible for action on the

Now that we were again allowed to picket the White House, the
Republicans seized the opportunity legitimately to embarrass
their opponents by precipitating a bitter debate.

Senator Cummins of Iowa, Republican member of the Suffrage
Committee, moved, as had Mr. Mann in the House at an earlier
date, to discharge the Suffrage Committee for failing to make the
report authorized by the entire Committee. Mr. Cummins said,
among other things:

". . . I look upon the resolution as definitely and certainly a
war measure. There is nothing that this country could do which
would strengthen it more than to give the disfranchised women . .
. the opportunity to vote . . . .

"Last week . . . I went to the Chairman of the Committee and told
him that . . . we had finished the hearings, reached a conclusion
and that it was our bounden duty to make the report to the Senate
. . . . I asked him if he would not call a meeting of the
Committee. He said that it would be impossible, that he had some
other engagements which would prevent a meeting of the

Senator Cummins explained that he finally got the promise of the
Chairman that a meeting of the Committee would be called on a
given date. When it was not called he made his motion.

Chairman Jones made some feeble remarks and some evasive excuses
which meant nothing, and which only further aroused Republican
friends of the measure on the Committee.

Senator Gronna of North Dakota, Republican, interrupted

[1]Italics are mine.


him with the direct question, "I ask the chairman of this
committee why this joint resolution has not been reported? The
Senator, who is chairman of the committee, I suppose, knows as
well as I do that the people of the entire country are anxious to
have this joint resolution submitted and to be given an
opportunity to vote upon it.

Senator Johnson of California, Republican, proposed that Chairman
Jones consent to call the Committee together to consider
reporting out the bill, which Senator Jones flatly refused to do.

Senator Jones of Washington, another Republican member of the
Committee, added:

"I agree with the Senator from Iowa that this is a war measure
and ought to be considered as such at this time. I do not see how
we can very consistently talk democracy while disfranchising the
better half of our citizenship-1 may not approve of the action of
the women picketing the White House, but neither do I approve of
what I consider the lawless action toward these women in
connection with the picketing . . . ."

"I do not want to think the chairman does not desire to call the
committee together because of some influence outside of Congress
as some have suggested . . . ."

At this point Senator Hollis of New Hampshire, Democrat, arose to

"There is a small but very active group of women suffragists who
have acted in such a way that some who are ardently in favor of
woman suffrage believe that their action should not be encouraged
by making a favorable report at this time."

Senator Johnson protested at this point, but Senator Hollis

"To discharge the committee would focus the attention of the
country upon the action and would give undue weight to what has
been done by the active group of woman suffragists."


I think that any student of psychology will acknowledge that our
picketing had stimulated action in Congress, and that what was
now needed was some still more provocative action from us.


Chapter 5

August Riots

Imprisoning women had met with considerable public disapproval,
and attendant political embarrassment to the Administration. That
the presidential pardon would end this embarrassment was
doubtless the hope of the Administration. The pickets, however,
returned to their posts in steadily increasing numbers. Their
presence at the gates was desired by the Administration no more
now than it had been before the arrests and imprisonments. But
they had found no way to rid themselves of the pickets. And as
another month of picketing drew to an end the Administration
ventured to try other ways to stop it and with it the consequent
embarrassment. Their methods became physically more brutal and
politically more stupid. Their conduct became lawless in the

Meanwhile the President had drafted the young men of America in
their millions to die on foreign soil for foreign democracy. He
had issued a special appeal to women to give their work, their
treasure and their sons to this enterprise. At the same time his
now gigantic figure stood obstinately across the path to our main
objective. It was our daily task to keep vividly in his mind that
objective. It was our responsibility to compel decisive action
from him.

Using the return of Envoy Root from his mission to Russia


as another dramatic opportunity to speak to the President we took
to the picket line these mottoes:








At no time during the entire picketing was the traffic on
Pennsylvania Avenue so completely obstructed as it was for the
two hours during which this banner made its appearance on the
line. Police captains who three weeks before were testifying that
the police could not manage the crowds, placidly looked on while
these new crowds increased.

We did not regard Mr. Wilson as our President. We felt that he
had neither political nor moral claim to our allegiance. War had
been made without our consent. The war would be finished and very
likely a bad peace would be written without our consent. Our
fight was becoming increasingly difficult-I


might almost say desperate. Here we were, a band of women
fighting with banners, in the midst of a world armed to the
teeth. And so it was not very difficult to understand how high
spirited women grew more resentful, unwilling to be a party to
the President's hypocrisy, the hypocrisy so eager to sacrifice
life without stint to the vague hope of liberty abroad, while
refusing to assist in the peaceful legislative steps which would
lead to self-government in our own country. As a matter of fact
the President's constant oratory on freedom and democracy moved
them to scorn. They were stung into a protest so militant as to
shock not only the President but the public. We inscribed on our
banner what countless American women` had long thought in their

The truth was not pleasant but it had to be told. We submitted to
the world, through the picket line, this question:



We did not expect public sympathy at this point. We knew that not
even the members of Congress who had occasionally in debate, but
more frequently in their cloak rooms, and often to us privately,
called the President "autocrat"-"Kaiser"-"Ruler"-"King"-"Czar"-
would approve our telling the truth publicly.

Nor was it to be expected that eager young boys, all agog to
fight Germans, would be averse to attacking women in the
meantime. They were out to fight and such was the public hysteria
that it did not exactly matter whom they fought.


And so those excited boys of the Army and Navy attacked the women
and the banner. The banner was destroyed. Another was brought up
to take its place. This one met the same fate. Meanwhile a crowd
was assembling in front of the White House either to watch or to
assist in the attacks. At the very moment when one banner was
being snatched away and destroyed, President and Mrs. Wilson
passed through the gates on their way to a military review at
Fort Myer. The President saw American women being attacked, while
the police refused them protection.

Not a move was made by the police to control the growing crowd.
Such inaction is always a signal for more violence on the part of
rowdies. As the throng moved to and fro between the White House
and our Headquarters immediately opposite, so many banners were
destroyed that finally Miss Lucy Burns, Miss Virginia Arnold and
Miss Elizabeth Stuyvesant took those remaining to the second and
third floor balconies of our building and hung them out. At this
point there was not a picket left on the street. The crowd was
clearly obstructing the traffic, but no attempt was made to move
them back or to protect the women, some of whom were attacked by
sailors on their own doorsteps. The two police officers present
watched without interference while three sailors brought a ladder
from the Belasco Theater in the same block, leaned it against the
side of the Cameron House, the Headquarters, climbed up to the
second floor balcony, mounted the iron railing and tore down all
banners and the American flag. One sailor administered a severe
blow in the face with his clenched fist upon Miss Georgina
Sturgis of Washington.

"Why did you do that?" she demanded.

The man halted for a brief instant in obvious amazement and said,
"I don't know." And with a violent wrench he tore the banner from
her hands and ran down the ladder.

The narrow balcony was the scene of intense excitement.


But for Miss Burns' superb strength she would have been dragged
over the railing of the balcony to be plunged to the ground. The
mob watched with fascination while she swayed to and fro in her
wrestle with two young sailors. And still no attempt by the
police to quell the riot!

The climax came when in the late afternoon a bullet was fired
through one of the heavy glass windows of the second floor,
embedding itself in the ceiling. The bullet grazed past the head
of Mrs. Ella Morton Dean of Montana. Captain Flather of the 1st
Precinct, with two detectives, later examined the holes and
declared they had been made by a 38 caliber revolver, but no
attempt was ever made to find the man who had drawn the revolver.

Meanwhile eggs and tomatoes were hurled at our fresh banners
flying from the flag poles on the building.

Finally police reserves were summoned and in less than five
minutes the crowd was pushed back and the street cleared.
Thinking now that they could rely on the protection of the
police, the women started with their banners for the White House.
But the police looked on while all the banners were destroyed, a
few paces from Headquarters. More banners ,went out,-purple,
white and gold ones. They, too, were destroyed before they
reached the White House.

This entire spectacle was enacted on August 14, within a stone's
throw of the White House.

Miss Paul summed up the situation when she said:

"The situation now existing in Washington exists because
President Wilson permits it. Orders were first handed down to the
police to arrest suffragists. The clamor over their imprisonments
made this position untenable. The police were then ordered to
protect suffragists. They were then ordered to attack
suffragists. They have now been ordered to encourage
irresponsible crowds to attack suffragists. No police head would
dare so to besmirch his record without orders from his


responsible chief. The responsible chief in the National Capital
is the President of the United States."

Shortly after the incident of the "Kaiser banner" I was speaking
in Louisville, Kentucky. The auditorium was packed and
overflowing with men and women who had come to hear the story of
the pickets.

Up to this time we had very few members in Kentucky and
had anticipated in this Southern State, part of President
Wilson ,'s stronghold, that our Committee would meet with no
enthusiasm and possibly with warm hostility.

I had related briefly the incidents leading up to the picketing
and the Government's suppressions. I was rather cautiously
approaching the subject of the "Kaiser banner," feeling timid and
hesitant, wondering how this vast audience of Southerners would
take it. Slowly I read the inscription on the famous banner,
"Kaiser Wilson, have you forgotten how you sympathized with the
poor Germans because they were not self-governed? Twenty million
American women are not self-governed. Take the beam out of your
own eye."

I hardly reached the last word, still wondering what the,
intensely silent audience would do, when a terrific outburst of
applause mingled with shouts of "Good! Good! He is, he is!" came
to my amazed ears. As the applause died down there was almost
universal good-natured laughter. Instead of the painstaking and
eloquent explanation which I was prepared to offer, I had only to
join in their laughter.

A few minutes later a telegram was brought to the platform
announcing further arrests. I read:

"Six more women sentenced to-day to 30 days in Occoquan

Instant cries of "Shame! Shame! It's an outrage!" Scores of men
and two women were on their feet calling for the passage of a
resolution denouncing the Administration's policy


of persecution. The motion of condemnation was put. It seemed as
if the entire audience seconded it. It went through instantly,
unanimously, and again with prolonged shouts and applause.

The meeting continued and I shall never forget that audience. It
lingered to a late hour, almost to midnight, asking questions,
making brief "testimonials" from the floor with almost
evangelical fervor. Improvised collection baskets were piled high
with bills. Women volunteered for picket duty and certain
imprisonment, and the following day a delegation left for

I cite this experience of mine because it was typical. Every one
who went through the country telling the story had similar
experiences at this time. Indignation was swift and hot. Our mass
meetings everywhere became meetings of protest during the entire

And resolutions of protest which always went immediately by wire
from such meetings to the President, his cabinet and to his
leaders in Congress, of course created increasing uneasiness in
Democratic circles.

On August 15th the pickets again attempted to take their posts on
the line.

On this day one lettered banner and fifty purple, white and gold
flags were destroyed by a mob led by sailors in uniform. Alice
Paul was knocked down three times by a sailor in uniform and
dragged the width of the White House sidewalk in his frenzied
attempt to tear off leer suffrage sash.

Miss Katharine Morey of Boston was also knocked to the pavement
by a sailor, who took her flag and then darted off into the
crowd. Miss Elizabeth Stuyvesant was struck by a soldier in
uniform and her blouse torn from her body. Miss Maud Jamison of
Virginia was knocked down and dragged along the sidewalk. Miss
Beulah Amidon of North Dakota was knocked down by a sailor.


In the midst of these riotous scenes, a well-known Washington
correspondent was emerging from the White House, after an
interview with the President. Dr. Cart' Grayson, the President's
physician, accompanying him to the door, advised:

"You had better go out the side entrance. Those damned women are
in the front."

In spite of this advice the correspondent made his exit through
the same gate by which he had entered, and just in time to ward
off an attack by a sailor on one of the frailest girls in the

The Administration, in its desperation, ordered the police to
lawlessness. On August 16th, fifty policemen led the mob in
attacking the women. Hands were bruised and arms twisted lit'
police officers and plainclothes men. Two civilians who tried to
rescue the women from the attacks of the police were arrested.
The police fell upon these young women with more brutality even
than the mobs they had before encouraged. Twenty-five lettered
banners and 123 Party flags were destroyed by mobs and police on
this afternoon.

As the crowd grew more dense, the police temporarily retired from
the attack. When their activities had summoned a sufficiently
large and infuriated mob, they would rest.
And so the passions of the mob continued unchecked upon these
irrepressible women, and from day to day the Administration gave
its orders.

Finding that riots and mob attacks had not terrorized the
pickets, the Administration decided again to arrest the women in
the hope of ending the agitation. Having lost public sympathy
through workhouse sentences, having won it back by pardoning the
women, the Administration felt it could afford to risk losing it
again, or rather felt that it had supplied itself with an
appropriate amount of stage-setting.

And so on the third day of the riotous attacks, when it was clear
that the pickets would persist, the Chief of Police called


at headquarters to announce to Miss Paul that "orders have been
changed and henceforth women carrying banners will be arrested"

Meanwhile the pickets heard officers shout to civilian friends as
they passed-"Come back at four o'clock."

Members of the daily mob announced at the noon hour in various
nearby restaurants that "the suffs will be arrested to-day at 4

Four o'clock is the hour the Government clerks begin to swarm
homewards. The choice of this hour by the police to arrest the
women would enable them to have a large crowd passing the White
House gates to lend color to the fiction that "pickets were
blocking the traffic."

Throughout the earlier part of the afternoon the silent sentinels
stood unmolested, carrying these mottoes:




At four o'clock the threatened arrests took place. The women
arrested were Miss Lavinia Dock of Pennsylvania, Miss Edna Dixon
of Washington, D. C., a young public school teacher; Miss Natalie
Gray of Colorado, Mrs. Win. Upton Watson and Miss Lucy Ewing of
Chicago, and Miss Catherine Flanagan of Connecticut.

Exactly forty minutes were allowed for the trial of these six
women. One police officer testified that they were "obstructing

None of the facts of the hideous and cruel manhandling by the
mobs and police officers was allowed to be brought out. Nothing
the women could say mattered. The judge pro-


nounced : "Thirty days in Occoquan workhouse in lieu of a $10.00

And so this little handful of women, practically all of them tiny
and frail of physique, began the cruel sentence of 30 days
in the workhouse, while their cowardly assailants were not even
reprimanded, nor were those who destroyed over a thousand
dollars' worth of banners apprehended.

The riots had attracted sufficient attention to cause some
anxiety in Administration circles. Protests against us and others
against the rioters pressed upon them. Congress was provoked into
a little activity; activity which reflected some doubt as to the
wisdom of arresting women without some warrant in law.

Two attempts were made, neither of which was successful, to give
the Administration more power and more law.

Senator Culberson of Texas, Democrat, offered a bill authorizing
President Wilson at any time to prohibit any person from
approaching or  entering any place in short blanket authority
granting the President or his officials limitless power over the
actions of human beings. Realizing that this could be used to
prohibit picketing the White House we appeared before a committee
hearing on the bill and spoke against it. The committee did not
have the boldness to report such a bill.

Senator Myers of Montana, an influential member of the
Democratic majority, introduced into the Senate a few days later
a resolution making it illegal to picket the White House. The
shamelessness of admitting to the world that acts for which women
had been repeatedly sentenced to jail, and for which women were
at that moment lying in prison, were so legal as to make
necessary a special act of Congress against them, was appalling.
The Administration policy seemed to be "Let us put women in jail
first-let us enact a law to keep them there afterwards,"


This tilt between Senator Brandegee, of Connecticut, antisuffrage
Republican, and Senator Myers, suffrage Democrat, took place when
Mr. Myer's presented his bill:

MR. BRANDEGEE: . . . Was there any defect in the legal
proceedings by which these trouble makers were sentenced and put
in jail a few weeks ago?

MR. MYERS: None that I know of. I am not in a position to pass
upon that. I do not believe any was claimed . . . .

MR. BRANDEGEE: Inasmuch as the law was sufficient to land them in
jail . . . I fail to see why additional legislation is necessary
on the subject.

MR. MYERS: There seems to be a doubt in the mind of some whether
the present law is sufficient and I think it ought to be put
beyond doubt. I think . . . the laws are not stringent or severe
enough . . . .

MR. BRANDEGEE : They were stringent enough to land the
malefactors in jail . . . .

In spite of Senator Myers' impassioned appeal to his colleagues,
be was unable to command any support for his bill. I quote this
from his speech in the Senate August 18, 1917:

MR. MYERS: Mr. President, I wish to say a few words about the
bill I have just introduced. It is intended for the enactment of
better and more adequate legislation to prevent the infamous,
outrageous, scandalous, and, I think, almost treasonable actions
that have been going on around the White House for months past,
which President of the United States have been a gross insult to
the and to the people of the United States; I mean the so-called
picketing of the White House. . . These disgusting proceedings
have been going on for months, and if there is no adequate law to
stop them, I think there ought to be.

"I believe the President, in the generosity of his heart, erred
when he pardoned some of the women who have been conducting these
proceedings, after they had been sentenced to


60 days in the workhouse. I believe they deserved the sentence,
and they ought to have been compelled to serve it . . . .

"I for one am not satisfied longer to sit here idly day by day
and submit to having the President of the United States insulted
with impunity before the people of the country and before all the
world. It is a shame and reproach.

"I hope this bill . . . will receive careful consideration and
that it may be enacted into law and may be found an adequate
preventive and punishment for such conduct."

This bill, which died a well-deserved death, is so amusing as to
warrant reproduction. Although lamenting our comparison between
the President and the Kaiser, it will be seen that Senator Myers
brought forth a thoroughly Prussian document:


For the better protection and enforcement of peace and order and
the public welfare in the District of Columbia.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives o f the
United States o f America in Congress assembled, That when the
United States shall be engaged in war it shall be unlawful for
any person or persons to carry, hold, wave, exhibit, display, or
have in his or her possession in any public road, highway, alley,
street, thoroughfare, park, or other public place in the District
of Columbia, any banner, flag, streamer, sash, or other device
having thereon any words or language with reference to the
President or the Vice President of the United States, or any
words or language with reference to the Constitution of the
United States, or the right of suffrage, or right of citizenship,
or any words or language with reference to the duties of any
executive official or department of the United States, or with
reference to any proposed amendment to the Constitution of the
United States, or with reference to any law or proposed law of
the United States, calculated to bring the President of the
United States or the Government of the United States into
contempt, or which may tend to cause confusion, or excitement, or
obstruction of the streets or sidewalks thereof, or any passage
in any public place.


Sec. 2. That any person committing any foregoing described
offense shall, upon conviction thereof, for each offense be fined
not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not less
than thirty days nor more than one year, or by both such fine and

Voices were raised in our behalf, also, and among them I note the
following letter written to Major Pullman by Gilson Gardner:[1]

Mr. Raymond Pullman,
Chief of Police,
Washington, D. C.

My dear Pullman,-

I am writing as an old friend to urge you to get right in this
matter of arresting the suffrage pickets. Of course the only way
for you to get right is to resign. It has apparently
become impossible for you to stay in office and do your duty. The
alternative is obvious.

You must see, Pullman, that you cannot be right in what you have
done in this matter. You have given the pickets adequate
protection; but you have arrested them and had them sent to jail
and the workhouse; you have permitted the crowd to mob them, and
then you have had your officers do much the same thing by
forcibly taking their banners from them. In some of the actions
you must have been wrong. If it was right to give them protection
and let them stand at the White House for five months, both
before and after the war, it was not right to do what you did

You say that it was not right when you were "lenient" and gave
them protection. You cannot mean that. The rightness or wrongness
must be a matter of law, not of personal discretion, and for you
to attempt to substitute your discretion is to set up a little
autocracy m place of the settled laws of the land. This would
justify a charge of "Kaiserism" right here in our capital city.

The truth is, Pullman, you were right when you gave these women
protection. That is what the police are for. When

[1]The distinguished journalist who went to Africa to meet
Theodore Roosevelt and accompanied him on his return journey to


there are riots they are supposed to quell them, not by quelling
the "proximate cause," but by quelling the rioters.

I know your police officers now quite well and know that they are
most happy when they are permitted to do their duty. They did not
like the dirty business of permitting a lot of sailors and street
rifraff to rough the girls. All that went against the grain, but
when you let them protect the pickets, as you did March third,
when a thousand women marched around and around the White House,
the officers were as contented as they were efficient.

Washington has a good police force and there has never been a
minute when they could not have scattered any group gathered at
the White House gates and given perfect protection to the women
standing there.

You know why they did not do their duty.

In excusing what you have done, you say that the women carried
banners with "offensive" inscriptions on them. You refer to the
fact that they have addressed the President as "Kaiser Wilson."
As a matter of fact not an arrest you have made-and the arrests
now number more than sixty-has been for carrying one of those
"offensive" banners. The women were carrying merely the suffrage
colors or quotations from President Wilson's writings.

But, suppose the banners were offensive. Who made you censor of
banners? The law gives you no such power. Even when you go
through the farce of a police court trial the charge is
"obstructing traffic"; which shows conclusively that you are not
willing to go into court on the real issue.

No. As Chief of Police you have no more right to complain of the
sentiments of a banner than you have of the sentiments in an
editorial in the Washington Post, and you have no more right to
arrest the banner-bearer than you have to arrest the owner of the
Washington Post . . . . Congress refused to pass a press
censorship law. There are certain lingering traditions to the
effect that a people's liberties are closely bound up with the
right to talk things out and those who are enlightened know that
the only proper answer to words is words. When force is opposed
to words there is ground for the charge of "Kaiserism." . .

There was just one thing for you to have done, Pullman,


and that was to give full and adequate protection to these women,
no matter what banners they carried or what ideas their banners
expressed. If there is any law that can be invoked against the
wording of the banners it was the business of others in the
government to start the legal machinery which would abate them.
It was not lawful to abate them by mob violence, or by arrests.
And if those in authority over you were not willing that you thus
do your duty, it was up to you to resign.

After all it would not be such a terrible thing, Pullman, for you
to give up being Chief of Police, particularly when you are not
permitted to be chief of police, but must yield your judgment to
the district commissioners who have yielded their judgment to the
White House. Being Chief of Police under such circumstances can
hardly be worth while. You are a young man and the world is full
of places for young men with courage enough to save their self-
respect at the expense of their jobs. You did that once,-back in
the Ballinger-Pinchot days. Why not now?

Come out and help make the fight which must be made to recover
and protect the liberties which are being filched from us here at
home. There is a real fight looming up for real democracy. You
will not be alone. There are a lot of fine young men, vigorous
and patriotic, in and out of the Administration who are preparing
for this fight. Yours will not be the only resignation. But why
not be among the first? Don't wait. Let them have your
resignation. now and let me be the first to welcome and
congratulate you.


Representative John Baer of North Dakota, having witnessed for
himself the riotous scenes, immediately introduced into the House
a resolution[1] demanding an investigation of conditions in the
Capital which permitted mobs to attack women. This, too, went to
certain death. Between the members who did not dare denounce the
Administration and the others who did dare denounce the women, we
had to stand quite

[1]See Appendix 3 for full text of resolution.


solidly on our own program, and do our best to keep them nervous
over the next step in the agitation.

The press throughout the entire country at this time protested
against mob violence and the severe sentences pronounced upon the
women who had attempted to hold their banners steadfast.

The Washington (D. C.) Herald, August 19, printed the following

There is an echo of the President's phrase about the "firm hand
of stern repression" in the arrest, conviction and jailing of the
six suffragists; a touch of ruthlessness in their incarceration
at Occoquan along with women of the street, pickpockets and other
flotsam and jetsam. Still, the suffragists are not looking for
sympathy, and it need not be wasted upon them.

The police have arrived at a policy, although no one knows
whether it will be sufficiently stable and consistent to last out
the week . . . . Washington is grateful that the disgraceful
period of rioting and mob violence in front of the White House is
at an end, and another crisis in the militant crusade to bring
the Susan B. Anthony amendment before Congress has been reached.

What is the next step? No one knows. Picketing doubtless will
continue, or an effort will be made to continue it; and
militancy, if the police continue to arrest, instead of giving
the women protection, will pass into a new phase. The suffragists
as well as the public at large are thankful that the police
department has finally determined to arrest the pickets, instead
of allowing them to be mobbed by hoodlums .

. . . The public eye will be on Occoquan for the next few weeks,
to find out how these women bear up under the Spartan treatment
that is in store for them. If they have deliberately sought
martyrdom, as some critics have been unkind enough to suggest,
they have it now. And if their campaign, in the opinion of
perhaps the great majority of the public, has been misguided,
admiration for their pluck will not be withheld.

The Boston Journal of August 20, 1917, said in an editorial
written by Herbert N. Pinkham, Jr.:


	That higher authorities than the Washington police were
responsible for the amazing policy of rough house employed
against the suffrage pickets has been suspected from the very
beginning. Police power in Washington is sufficient to protect a
handful of women against a whole phalanx of excited or inspired
government clerks and uniformed hoodlums, if that power were

. . . In our nation's capital, women have been knocked down and
dragged through the streets by government employees-including
sailors in uniform. The police are strangely absent at such
moments, as a rule, and arrive only in time to arrest a few women
. . . .

Perhaps the inscriptions on the suffrage banners were not
tactful. It is sometimes awkward indeed to quote the President's
speeches after the speeches have "grown cold." Also a too
vigorous use of the word "democracy" is distasteful to some
government dignitaries, it seems. But right or wrong, the
suffragists at Washington are entitled to police protection, even
though in the minds of the Administration they are not entitled
to the ballot.

Perhaps, even in America, we must have a law forbidding people to
carry banners demanding what they consider their political
rights. Such a law would, of course, prohibit political parades
of all kinds, public mass meetings and other demonstrations of
one set of opinions against another set. Such a law has been
proposed by Senator Myers of Montana, the author of the latest
censorship and anti-free speech bill. It may be necessary to pass
the law, if it is also necessary that the public voice be stilled
and the nation become dumb and subservient.

But until there is such a law . . . people must be protected
while their actions remain within the law. If their opinions
differ from ours, we must refrain from smashing their faces, if a
certain number of people believe that they have the right to vote
we may either grant their claim or turn them sadly away, but we
may not roll them into the gutter; if they see fit to tell us our
professions of democracy are empty, we may smile sorrowfully and
murmur a prayer for their ignorance but we may not pelt them with
rotten eggs and fire a shot through the window of their dwelling;
if, denied a properly


dignified hearing, they insist upon walking through the streets
with printed words on a saucy banner, we may be amazed at their
zeal and pitiful of their bad taste, but even for the sake of
keeping their accusations out of sight of our foreign visitors
(whom we have trained to believe us perfect) we may not send them
to jail . . . .

All this suffrage shouting in Washington has as its single object
the attainment of President Wilson's material support for equal
suffrage . . . .

President Wilson's word would carry the question into Congress
 . . .

Would there be any harm in letting Congress vote on a suffrage
resolution? That would end the disturbance and it would make our
shield of national justice somewhat brighter.

It looks like President Wilson's move.

Between these opposing currents of protest and support, the
Administration drifted helplessly. Unwilling to pass the
amendment, it continued to send women to prison.

On the afternoon of September 4th, President Wilson led his first
contingent of drafted "soldiers of freedom" down Pennsylvania
Avenue in gala parade, on the first lap of their journey to the
battlefields of France. On the same afternoon a slender line of
women-also "soldiers of freedom"-attempted to march in

As they attempted to take up their posts, two by two, in front of
the Reviewing Stand, opposite the White House, they were gathered
in and swept away by the police like common street criminals-
their golden banners scarcely flung to the breeze.


was the offensive question on the first banner carried by Miss
Eleanor Calnan of Massachusetts and Miss Edith Ainge of New York.


The Avenue was roped off on account of the parade. There was
hardly any one passing at the time; all traffic had been
temporarily suspended, so there was none to obstruct. But the
Administration's policy must go on. A few moments and Miss Lucy
Branham of Maryland and Mrs. Pauline Adams of Virginia marched
down the Avenue, their gay banners waving joyously in the autumn
sun, to fill up the gap of the two comrades who had been
arrested. They, too, were shoved into the police automobile,
their banners still high and appealing, silhouetted against the
sky as they were hurried to the police station.

The third pair of pickets managed to cross the Avenue, but were
arrested immediately they reached the curb. Still others
advanced. The crowd began to line the ropes and to watch eagerly
the line of women indomitably coming, two by two, into the face
of certain arrest. A fourth detachment was arrested in the middle
of the Avenue on the trolley tracks. But still they came.

A few days later more women were sent to the workhouse for
carrying to the picket line this question:

"President Wilson, what did you mean when you said: `We have seen
a good many singular things happen recently. We have been told
there is a deep disgrace resting upon the origin of this nation.
The nation originated in the sharpest sort of criticism of public
policy. We originated, to put it in the vernacular, in a kick,
and if it be unpatriotic to kick, why then the grown man is
unlike the child. We have forgotten the very principle of our
origin if we have forgotten how to object, how to resist, how to
agitate, how to pull down and build up, even to the extent of
revolutionary practices, if it be necessary to readjust matters.
I have forgotten my history, if that be not true history."'

The Administration had not yet abandoned hope of removing the
pickets. They persisted in their policy of arrests and longer


Chapter 6

Prison Episodes

During all this time the suffrage prisoners were enduring the
miserable and petty tyranny of the government workhouse at
Occoquan. They were kept absolutely incommunicado. They were not
allowed to see even their nearest relatives, should any be within
reach, until they had been in the institution two weeks.

Each prisoner was allowed to write one outgoing letter a month,
which, after being read by the warden, could be sent or withheld
at his whim.

All incoming mail and telegrams were also censored by the
Superintendent and practically all of them denied the prisoners.
Superintendent Whittaker openly boasted of holding up the
suffragists' mail: "I am boss down here," he said to visitors who
asked to see the prisoners, or to send in a note. "I consider the
letters and telegrams these prisoners get are treasonable. They
cannot have them." He referred to messages commending the women
for choosing prison to silence, and bidding them stand steadfast
to their program.

Of course all this was done in the hope of intimidating not only
the prisoners, but also those who came wanting to see them.

It was the intention of the women to abide as far as possible by
the routine of the institution, disagreeable and unreasonable as
it was. They performed the tasks assigned to them. They ate the
prison food without protest. They wore the coarse prison clothes.
But at the end of the first week of detention


they became so weak from the shockingly bad food that they began
to wonder if they could endure such a system. The petty tyrannies
they could endure. But the inevitable result of a diet of sour
bread, half-cooked vegetables, rancid soup with worms in it, was

Finally the true condition of affairs trickled to the outside
world through the devious routes of prison messengers.

Senator J. Hamilton Lewis, of Illinois, Democratic whip in the
Senate, heard alarming reports of two of his constituents, Miss
Lucy Ewing, daughter of Judge Ewing, niece of Adlai Stevenson,
Vice-President in Cleveland's Administration, niece of James
Ewing, minister to Belgium in the same Administration, and Mrs.
William Upton Watson of Chicago. He made a hurried trip to the
workhouse to see them. The fastidious Senator was
shocked-shocked at the appearance of the prisoners, shocked at
the tale they told, shocked that "ladies" should be subjected to
such indignities. "In all my years of criminal practice," said
the Senator to Gilson Gardner, who had accompanied him to the
workhouse, "I have never seen prisoners so badly treated, either
before or after conviction." He is a gallant gentleman who would
be expected to be uncomfortable when he actually saw ladies
suffer. It was more than gallantry in this instance, however, for
he spoke in frank condemnation of the whole "shame and outrage"
of the thing.

It is possible that he reported to other Administration officials
what he had learned during his visit to the workhouse for very
soon afterwards it was announced that an investigation of
conditions in the workhouse would be held. That was, of course,
an admirable maneuver which the Administration could make. "Is
the President not a kind man? He pardoned some women. Now he
investigates the conditions under which others are imprisoned.
Even though they are lawless women, he wishes them well treated."

It would sound "noble" to thousands.


Immediately the District Commissioners announced this
investigation, Miss Lucy Burns, acting on behalf of the National
Woman's Party, sent a letter to Commissioner Brownlow. After
summing up the food situation Miss Burns wrote:

When our friends were sent to prison, they expected the food
would be extremely plain, but they also expected that
. . enough eatable food would be given them to maintain them in
their ordinary state of health. This has not been the case.

The testimony of one of the prisoners, Miss Lavinia Dock, a
trained nurse, is extremely valuable on the question of food
supplied at Occoquan. Miss Dock is Secretary of the American
Federation of Nurses. She has had a distinguished career in her
profession. She assisted in the work after the Johnstown flood
and during the yellow fever epidemic in Florida. During the
Spanish war she organized the Red Cross work with Clara Barton.
`I really thought,' said Miss Dock, when I last saw her, `that I
could eat everything, but here I have hard work choking down
enough food to keep the life in me.'

I am sure you will agree with me that these conditions should be
instantly remedied. When these and other prisoners were sentenced
to prison they were sentenced to detention and not to starvation
or semi-starvation.

The hygienic conditions have been improved at Occoquan since a
group of suffragists were imprisoned there. But they are still
bad. The water they drink is kept in an open pail, from which it
is ladled into a drinking cup. The prisoners frequently dip the
drinking cup directly into the pail.

The same piece of soap is used for every prisoner. As the
prisoners in Occoquan are sometimes seriously afflicted with
disease, this practice is appallingly negligent.

Concerning the general conditions of the person, I am enclosing
with this letter, affidavit of Mrs. Virginia Bovee, an ex-officer
of the workhouse . . . . The prisoners for whom I am counsel are
aware that cruel practices go on at Occoquan. On one occasion
they heard Superintendent Whittaker kicking a woman in the next
room. They heard Whittaker's voice, the sound of blows, and the
woman’s cries.


I lay these facts before you with the knowledge that you will be
glad to have the fullest possible information given you
concerning the institution for whose administration you as
Commissioner of the District of Columbia are responsible.'

Very respectfully yours,
(Signed) LUCY BURNS.

Mrs. Bovee, a matron, was discharged from the workhouse because
she tried to be kind to the suffrage prisoners. She also gave
them warnings to guide them past the possible contamination of
hideous diseases. As soon as she was discharged from the
workhouse she went to the headquarters of the Woman's Party and
volunteered to make an affidavit. The affidavit of Mrs. Bovee

I was discharged yesterday as an officer of Occoquan workhouse.
For eight months I acted as night officer, with no complaint as
to my performance of my duties. Yesterday Superintendent
Whittaker told me I was discharged and gave me two hours in which
to get out. I demanded the charges from the matron, Mrs. Herndon,
and I was told that it was owing to something that Senator Lewis
has said.

I am well acquainted with the conditions at Occoquan. I have had
charge of all the suffragist prisoners who have been there. I
know that their mail has been withheld from them. Mrs. Herndon,
the matron, reads the mail, and often discussed it with us at the
officers' table. She said of a letter sent to one of the
suffragist pickets now in the workhouse, "They told her to keep
her eyes open and notice everything. She will never get that
letter," said Mrs. Herndon. ,Then she corrected herself, and
added, "Not until she goes away." Ordinarily the mail not given
the prisoners is destroyed. The mail for the suffragists is saved
for them until they are ready to go away. I have Seen three of
the women have one letter each, but that is all. The three were
Mrs. Watson, Miss Ewing, and I think Miss Flanagan.

The blankets now being used in the prison have been in use since
December without being washed or cleaned. Blankets are washed
once a year. Officers are warned not to touch any


of the bedding. The one officer who handles it is compelled by
the regulations to wear rubber gloves while she does so. The
sheets for the ordinary prisoners are not changed completely,
even when one is gone and another takes her bed. Instead the top
sheet is put on the bottom, and one fresh sheet is given them. I
was not there when these suffragists arrived, and I do not know
how their bedding was arranged. I doubt whether the authorities
would have dared to give them one soiled sheet.

The prisoners with disease are not always isolated, by any means.
In the colored dormitory there are two women in the advanced
stages of consumption. Women suffering from, syphilis, who have
open sores, are put in the hospital. But those whose sores are
temporarily healed are put in the same dormitory with the others.
There have been several such in my dormitory.

When the prisoners come they must undress and take a shower bath.
For this they take a piece of soap from a bucket in the store
room. When they are finished they throw the soap back in the
bucket. The suffragists are permitted three showers a week and
have only these pieces of soap which are common to all inmates.
There is no soap at all in wash rooms.

The beans, hominy, rice, cornmeal (which is exceedingly coarse,
like chicken feed) and cereal have all had worms in them.
Sometimes the worms float on top of the soup. Often they are
found in the cornbread. The first suffragists sent the worms to
Whittaker on a spoon. On the farm 'is a fine herd of Holsteins.
The cream is made into butter and sold to the tuberculosis
hospital in Washington. At the officers' table we have very good
milk. The prisoners do not have any butter or sugar, and no milk
except by order of the doctor.

Prisoners are punished by being put on bread or water, or by
being beaten. I know of one girl who has been kept seventeen days
on only water this month in the "booby house." The ,same was kept
nineteen days on water last year because she .beat Superintendent
Whittaker when he tried to beat her.

Superintendent Whittaker or his son are the only ones who beat
the girls. Officers are not allowed to lay a hand on them in
punishment. I know of one girl beaten until the blood had to be
scrubbed from her clothing and from the floor of the


"booby house." I have never actually seen a girl beaten, but I
have seen her afterwards and I have heard the cries and blows.
Dorothy Warfield was beaten and the suffragists heard the


Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of disgust, 1917.
JOSEPH H. BATT, Notary Public.

While the Administration was planning an investigation of the
conditions in the workhouse, which made it difficult for women to
sustain health through a thirty day sentence, it was, through its
police court, sentencing more women to sixty day sentences, under
the same conditions. The Administration was giving some thought
to its plan of procedure, but not enough to master the simple
fact that women would not stop going to prison until something
had been done which promised passage of the amendment through

New forms of intimidation and hardship were offered by
Superintendent Whittaker.

Mrs. Frederick Kendall of Buffalo, New York, a frail and
highly sensitive woman, was put in a "punishment cell" on bread
and water, under a 'charge of "impudence." Mrs. Kendall says
that her impudence consisted of "protesting to the matron that
scrubbing floors on my hands and knees was too severe work for
me as I had been unable for days to eat the prison food. My
impudence further consisted in asking for lighter work."

Mrs. Kendall was refused the clean clothing she should have had
the day she was put in solitary confinement and was thus forced
to wear the same clothing eleven days. She was refused a
nightdress or clean linen for the cot. Her only toilet
accommodations was an open pail. For four days she was allowed no
water for toilet purposes., Her diet consisted of three thin
slices of bread and three cups of water, carried to her in a


paper cup which frequently leaked out half the meager supply
before it got to Mrs. Kendall's cell.

Representative and Mrs. Charles Bennet Smith, of Buffalo, friends
of Mrs. Kendall, created a considerable disturbance when they
learned of this cruel treatment, with the result that Mrs.
Kendall was finally given clean clothing and taken from her
confinement. When she walked from her cell to greet Mrs.
Genevieve Clark Thompson, daughter of Champ Clark, Speaker of the
House, and Miss Roberta Bradshaw, other friends, who, through the
Speaker's influence, had obtained special permission to see Mrs.
Kendall, she fell in a dead faint. It was such shocking facts as
these that the Commissioners and their investigating board were
vainly trying to keep from the country for the sake of the
reputation of the Administration.

For attempting to spear to Mrs. Kendall through her cell door, to
inquire as to her health, while in solitary, Miss Lucy Burns was
placed on a bread and water diet.

Miss Jeannette Rankin of Montana, the only woman member of
Congress, was moved by these and similar revelations to introduce
a resolution[1] calling for a Congressional investigation of the

There were among the suffrage prisoners women of all shades of
social opinion.

The following letter by Miss Gvinter, the young Russian worker,
was smuggled out of the workhouse. This appeal to Meyer London
was rather pathetic, since not even he, the only Socialist member
in Congress, stood up to denounce the treatment of the pickets.

Comrade Meyer London:

I am eight years in this movement, three and a half years a
member of the Socialist Party, Branches 2 and 4 of the Bronx, and
I have been an active member of the Waist Makers' Union since
1910. I am from New York, but am now in Balti-

[1]For text of Miss Rankin's resolution see Appendix 3.


more, where I got acquainted with the comrades who asked me to
picket the White House, and of course I expressed my willingness
to help the movement. I am now in the workhouse. I want to get
out and help in the work as I am more revolutionary than the
Woman's Party, yet conditions here are so bad that I feel I must
stay here and help women get their rights. We are enslaved here.
I am suffering very much from hunger and nearly blind from bad
nourishment. The food is chiefly soup, cereal with worms, bread
just baked and very heavy. Even this poor food, we do not get
enough. I do not eat meat. When I told the doctor that he said,
"You must eat, and if you don't like it here, you go and tell the
judge you won't picket any more, and then you can get out of
here." But I told him that I could not go against my principles
and my belief. He asked, "Do you believe you should break the
law?" I replied, "I have picketed whenever I had a chance for
eight years and have never broken the law. Picketing is legal."

Please come here as quickly as possible, as we need your help.

Will you give the information in this letter to the newspapers?

Please pardon this scrap of paper as I have nothing else to write
on. I would write to other comrades, to Hillquit or Paulsen, but
you are in the Congress and can do more.

Yours for the Cause,


Miss Gvinter swore to an affidavit when she came out in which she
said in part:

. . . The days that we had to stand on scaffolds and ladders to
paint the dormitories, I was so weak from lack of food I was
dizzy and in constant danger of falling.

. . . When they told me to scrub the floors of the lavatories I
refused, because I have to work for my living and I could not
afford to get any of the awful diseases that women down there


I obeyed all the rules of the institution. The only times I
stopped working was because I was too sick to work.


Sworn to before me and subscribed in my presence this 13th day of
October, 1917.

Notary Public, D. C.

Half a hundred women was the government's toll for one month:-
.Continuous arrests kept the issue hot and kept people who cared
in constant protest. It is impossible to give space to the
countless beautiful messages which were sent to the women, or the
fervent protests which went to government officials. Among the
hundreds of thousands of protests was a valuable one by Dr.
Harvey Wiley, the celebrated food expert, in a letter to Dr.
George M. Kober, member of the Board in control of the jail and
workhouse, and a well-known sanitarium. Dr. Wiley wrote:

November 3, 1917.

Dear Dr. Kober:

I am personally acquainted with many of the women who have been
confined at Occoquan, and at the District jail, and have heard
from their own lips an account of the nutrition and sanitary
conditions prevailing at both places.

I, therefore, feel constrained to make known to you the
conditions, as they have been told to me, and as I believe them
actually to exist.

As I understand it, there is no purpose in penal servitude of
lowering the vitality of the prisoner, or in inviting disease.
Yet both of these conditions prevail both at Occoquan and at the
District jail. First of all, the food question. The diet
furnished the prisoners at Occoquan especially is of a character
to invit6 all kinds of infections that may prevail, and to lower
the vitality so that the resistance to disease is diminished. I
have fortunately come into possession of samples of the food
actually given to these women. I have kept samples of the milk
religiously for over two weeks to see if I could


detect the least particle of fat, and have been unable to
perceive any. The fat of milk is universally recognized by
dieticians as its most important nutritive character. I
understand that a dairy is kept on the farm at Occoquan, and yet
it is perfectly certain that no whole milk is served or ever has
been served to one of the so-called "picketers" in that jail. I
have not had enough of the sample to make a chemical analysis,
but being somewhat experienced in milk, I can truthfully say that
it seems to me to be watered skimmed milk. I also have a sample
of the pea soup served. The pea grains are coarsely broken, often
more than half of a pea, being served in one piece. They never
have been cooked, but are in a perfectly raw state, and found to
be inedible by the prisoners.

I have also samples of the corn bread which is most unattractive
and repellant to the eye and to the taste. All of these witnesses
say that the white bread apparently is of good quality, but the
diet in every case is the cause of constipation, except in the
case of pea soup, which brings on diarrhea and vomiting. As
nutrition is the very foundation of sanitation, I wish to call to
your special attention, as a sanitation, the totally inadequate
sustenance given to these prisoners.

The food at the county jail at Washington is much better than the
food at Occoquan, but still bad enough. This increased excellence
of food is set off by the miserable ventilation of the cells, in
which these noble women are kept in solitary confinement. Not
only have they had a struggle to get the windows open slightly,
but also at the time of their morning meal, the sweeping is done.
The air of the cells is filled with dust and they try to cover
their coffee and other food with such articles as they can find
to keep the dust out of their food. Better conditions for
promoting tuberculosis could not be found.

I appeal to you as a well-known sanitarian to get the Board of
Charities to make such rules and regulations as would secure to
prisoners of all kinds, and especially to political prisoners, as
humane an environment as possible.

I also desire to ask that the Board of Charities would authorize
me to make inspections of food furnished to prisoners at Occoquan
and at the District Jail, and to have physical and chemical
analysis made without expense to the Board, in


order to determine more fully the nutritive environment in which
the prisoners live.



This striking telegram from Richard Bennett, the distinguished
actor, must have arrested the attention of the Administration.

September 22, 1917.

Hon. Newton Baker,
Secretary of War,
War Department,
Washington, D. C.

I have been asked to go to France personally, with the film of
"Damaged Goods," as head of a lecture corps to the American army.
On reliable authority I am told that American women, because they
have dared demand their political freedom, are held in vile
conditions in the Government workhouse in Washington; are
compelled to paint the negro toilets for eight hours a day; are
denied decent food and denied communication with counsel. Why
should I work for democracy in Europe when our American women are
denied democracy at home? If I am to fight for social hygiene in
France, why not begin at Occoquan workhouse?


Mr. Bennett never received a reply to this message.

Charming companionships grew up in prison. Ingenuity at lifting
the dull monotony of imprisonment brought to light many talents
for camaraderie which amused not only the suffrage prisoners but
the "regulars." Locked in separate cells, as in the District
Jail, the suffragists could still communicate by song. The
following lively doggerel to the tune of "Captain Kidd" was sung
in chorus to the accompaniment of a hair comb. It became a saga.
Each day a new verse was added, relating the day's particular
controversy with the prison authorities.


We worried Woody-wood,
As we stood, as we stood,
We worried Woody-wood,
As we stood.
We worried Woody-wood,
And we worried him right good;
We worried him right good as we stood.

We asked him for the vote,
As we stood, as we stood,
We asked him for the vote
As we stood,
We asked him for the vote,
But he'd rather write a note,
He'd rather write a note so we stood.

We'll not get out on bail,
Go to jail, go to jail-
We'll not get out on bail,
We prefer to go to jail,
We prefer to go to jail-we're not frail.

We asked them for a brush,
For our teeth, for our teeth,
We asked them for a brush
For our teeth.
We asked them for a brush,
They said, "There ain't no rush,"
They said, "There ain't no rush-darn your teeth."

We asked them for some air,
As we choked, as we choked,
We asked them for some air
As we choked.
We asked them for some air
And they threw us in a lair,
They threw us in a lair, so we choked.


We asked them for our nightie,
As we froze, as we froze,
We asked them for our nightie
As we froze.
We asked them for our nightie,
And they looked-hightie-tightie-
They looked hightie-tightie-so we froze.

Now, ladies, take the hint,
As ye stand, as ye stand,
Now, ladies, take the hint,
As ye stand.
Now, ladies, take the hint,
Don't quote the Presidint,
Don't quote the Presidint, as ye stand.

Humor predominated in the poems that came out of prison. There
was never any word of tragedy.

Not even an intolerable diet of raw salt pork, which by actual
count of Miss Margaret Potheringham, a teacher of Domestic
Science and Dietetics, was served the suffragists sixteen times
in eighteen days, could break their spirit of gayety. And when a
piece of fish of unknown origin was slipped through the tiny
opening in the cell door, and a specimen carefully preserved for
Dr. Wiley-who, by the way, was unable to classify it-they were
more diverted than outraged.

Sometimes it was a "prayer" which enlivened the evening hour
before bedtime. Mary Winsor of Haverford, Pennsylvania, was the
master prayer-maker. One night it was a Baptist prayer, another a
Methodist, and still another a stern Presbyterian prayer. The
prayers were most disconcerting to the matron for the "regulars"
became almost hysterical with laughter, when they should be
slipping into sleep. It was trying also to sit in the corridor
and hear your daily cruelties narrated to God and punishment
asked. This is what happened to the embarrassed warden and jail
attendants if they came to protest.


Sometimes it was the beautiful voice of Vida Milholland which
rang through the corridors of the dreary prison, with a stirring
Irish ballad, a French love song, or the Woman's Marseillaise.

Again the prisoners would build a song, each calling out from
cell to cell, and contributing a line. The following song to the
tune of "Charlie Is My Darling" was so written and sung with Miss
Lucy Branham leading:


Shout the revolution
Of women, of women,
Shout the revolution
For liberty.
Rise, glorious women of the earth,
The voiceless and the free
United strength assures the birth
Of true democracy.


Invincible our army,
Forward, forward,
Triumphant daughters pressing
To victory.

Shout the revolution
of women, of women,
Shout the revolution
For liberty.
Men's revolution born in blood,
But ours conceived in peace,
We hold a banner for a sword,
Till all oppression cease.


Prison, death, defying,
Onward, onward,
Triumphant daughters pressing
To victory.


The gayety was interspersed with sadness when the suffragists
learned of new cruelties heaped upon the helpless ones, those who
were without influence or friends. .. They learned of that
barbarous punishment known as "the greasy pole" used upon girl
prisoners. This method of punishment consisted of strapping girls
with their hands tied behind them to a greasy pole from which
they were partly suspended. Unable to keep themselves in an
upright position, because of the grease on the pole, they slipped
almost to the floor, with their arms all but severed from the arm
sockets, suffering intense pain for long periods of time. This
cruel punishment was meted out to prisoners for slight
infractions of the prison rules.

The suffrage prisoners learned also of the race hatred which the
authorities encouraged. It was not infrequent that the jail
officers summoned black girls to attack white women, if the
latter disobeyed. This happened in one instance to the suffrage
prisoners who were protesting against the warden's forcibly
taking a suffragist from the workhouse without telling her or her
comrades whither she was being taken. Black girls were called and
commanded to physically attack the suffragists. The negresses,
reluctant to do so, were goaded to deliver blows upon the women
by the warden's threats of punishment.

And as a result of our having been in prison, our headquarters
has never ceased being the mecca of many discouraged "inmates,"
when released. They come for money. They come for work. They come
for spiritual encouragement to face life after the wrecking
experience of imprisonment. Some regard us as "fellow prisoners."
Others regard us as "friends at court."

Occasionally we meet a prison associate in the workaday world.
Long after Mrs. Lawrence Lewis' imprisonment, when she was
working on ratification of the amendment in Delaware, she was
greeted warmly by a charming young woman who came forward at a
meeting. "Don't you remember me?" she asked, as


Mrs. Lewis struggled to recollect. "Don't you remember me?
I met you in Washington."

"I'm sorry but I seem to have forgotten where I met you,"
said Mrs. Lewis apologetically.

"In jail," came the answer hesitantly, whereupon Mrs.
Lewis listened sympathetically while her fellow prisoner told her
that she had been in jail at the tipie Mrs. Lewis was, that her
crime was bigamy and that she was one of the traveling circus
troupe then in Dover.

"She brought up her husband, also a member of the circus," said
Mrs. Lewis in telling of the incident, "and they both joined
enthusiastically in a warm invitation to come and see them in the

As each group of suffragists was released an enthusiastic welcome
was given to them at headquarters and at these times, in the
midst of the warmth of approving and appreciative comrades, some
of the most beautiful speeches were delivered. I quote a part of
Katharine Fisher's speech at a dinner in honor of released

Five of us who are with you to-night have recently come out from
the workhouse into the world. A great change? Not so much of a
change for women, disfranchised women. In prison or out, American
women are not free. Our lot of physical freedom simply gives us
and the public a new and vivid sense of what our lack of
political freedom really means.

Disfranchisement is the prison of women's power and spirit. Women
have long been classed with criminals so far as their voting
rights are concerned. And how quick the Government is to live up
to its classification the minute women determinedly insist upon
these rights. Prison life epitomizes all life under undemocratic
rule. At Occoquan, as at the Capitol and the White House, we
faced hypocrisy, trickery and treachery on the part of those in
power. And the constant appeal to us to "cooperate" with the
workhouse authorities sounded wonderfully like the exhortation
addressed to all women to "support the Government."


"Is that the law of the District of Columbia?" I asked
Superintendent Whittaker concerning a statement he had made to
me. "It is the law," he answered, "because it is the rule I
make." The answer of Whittaker is the answer Wilson makes to
women every time the Government, of which he is the head, enacts
a law and at the same time continues to refuse to pass the Susan
B. Anthony amendment . . . .

We seem to-day to stand before you free, but I have no sense of
freedom because I have left comrades at Occoquan and because
other comrades may at any moment join them there . . . .

While comrades are there what is our freedom? It is as empty as
the so-called political freedom of women who have won suffrage by
a state referendum. Like them we are free only within limits . .
. .

We must not let our voice be drowned by war trumpets or cannon.
If we do, we shall find ourselves, when the war is over, with a
peace that will only prolong our struggle, a democracy that will
belie its name by leaving out half the people.

The Administration continued to send women to the workhouse and
the District Jail for thirty and sixty day sentences.


Chapter 7

An Administration Protest-Dudley Field Malone Resigns

Dudley Field Malone was known to the country as sharing the
intimate confidence and friendship of President Wilson. He had
known and supported the President from the beginning of the
President's political career. He had campaigned twice through New
Jersey with Mr. Wilson as Governor; he had managed Mr. Wilson's
campaigns in many states for the nomination before the Baltimore
Convention; he had toured the country with Mr. Wilson in 1912 ;
and it was he who led to victory President Wilson's fight for
California in 1916.

So when Mr. Malone went to the White House in July, 1917, to
protest against the Administration's handling of the suffrage
question, he went not only as a confirmed suffragist, but also a5
a confirmed supporter and member of the Wilson Administration-the
one who had been chosen to go to the West in 1916 to win women
voters to the Democratic Party.

Mr. Malone has consented to tell for the first time, in this
record of the militant campaign, what happened at his memorable
interview with President Wilson in July, 1917, an interview which
he followed up two months later with his resignation as Collector
of the Port of New York. I quote the story in his own words:

Frank P. Walsh, Amos Pinchot, Frederic C. Howe, J. A.
H. Hopkins, Allen McCurdy and I were present throughout
the trial of the sixteen women in July. Immediately after the
police court judge had pronounced his sentence of sixty days


in the Occoquan workhouse upon these "first offenders," on the
alleged charge of a traffic violation, I went over to Anne
Martin, one of the women's counsel, and offered to act as
attorney on the appeal of the case. I then went to the court
clerk's office and telephoned to President Wilson at the Whit
House, asking him to see me at once. It was three o'clock. I
called a taxicab, drove direct to the executive offices and met

I began by reminding the President that in the seven years and a
half of our personal and political association we had never had a
serious difference. He was good enough to say that my loyalty to
him bad been one of the happiest circumstances of his public
career. But I told him I had come to place my resignation in his
hands as I could not remain a member of any administration which
dared to send American women to prison for demanding national
suffrage. I also informed him that I had offered to act as
counsel for the suffragists on the appeal of their case. He asked
me for full details of my complaint and attitude. I told Mr.
Wilson everything I had witnessed from the time we saw the
suffragists arrested in front of the White House to their
sentence in the police court. I observed that although we might
not agree with the "manners" of picketing, citizens had a right
to petition the President or any other official of the government
for a redress of grievances. He seemed to acquiesce in this view,
and reminded me that the women had been unmolested at the White
House gates for over five months, adding that he had even ordered
the head usher to invite the women on cold days to come into the
White House and warm themselves and have coffee.

"If the situation is as you describe it, it is shocking," said
the President'. "The manhandling of the women by the police was
outrageous and the entire trial (before a judge of your own
appointment) was a perversion of justice," I said. This seemed to
annoy the President and he replied with asperity, "Why do you
come to me in this indignant fashion for things which have been
done by the police officials of the city of Washington?"

"Mr. President," I said, "the treatment of these women is the
result of carefully laid plans made by the District Com-


missioners of the city of Washington, who were appointed to
office by you. Newspaper men of unquestioned information and
integrity have told me that the District Commissioners have been
in consultation with your private secretary, Mr. Tumulty, and
that the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. McAdoo, sat in at a
conference when the policy of these arrests was being

The President asserted his ignorance of all this.

"Do you mean to tell me," he said, "that you intend to resign, to
repudiate me and my Administration and sacrifice me for your
views on this suffrage question?"

His attitude then angered me and I said, "Mr. President, if there
is any sacrifice in this unhappy circumstance, it is I who am
making the sacrifice. I was sent twice as your spokesman in the
last campaign to the Woman Suffrage States of the West. You have
since been good enough to say publicly and privately that I did
as much as any man to carry California for you. After my first
tour I had a long conference with you here at the White House on
the political situation in those states. I told you that I found
your strength with women voters lay in the fact that you had with
great patience and statesmanship kept this country out of the
European war. But that your great weakness with women voters was
that you had not taken any step throughout your entire
Administration to urge the passage of the Federal Suffrage
Amendment, which Mr. Hughes was advocating and which alone can
enfranchise all the women of the nation. You asked me then how I
met this situation, and I told you that I promised the women
voters of the West that if they showed the political sagacity to
choose you as against Mr. Hughes, I would do everything in my
power to get your Administration to take up and pass the suffrage
amendment. You were pleased and approved of what I had done. I
returned to California and repeated this promise, and so far as I
am concerned, I must keep my part of that obligation."

I reiterated to the President my earlier appeal that he assist
suffrage as an urgent war measure and a necessary part of
America's program for world democracy, to which the President
replied: "The enfranchisement of women is not at all necessary to
a program of democracy and I see nothing in


the argument that it is a war measure unless you mean that
American women will not loyally support the war unless they are
given the vote." I firmly denied this conclusion of the President
and told him that while American women with or without the vote
would support the United States Government against German
militarism, yet it seemed to me a great opportunity of his
leadership to remove this grievance which women generally felt
against him and his administration. "Mr. President," I urged, "if
you, as the leader, will persuade the administration to pass the
Federal Amendment you will release from the suffrage fight the
energies of thousands of women which will be given with redoubled
zeal to the support of your program for international justice."
But the President absolutely refused to admit the validity of my
appeal, though it was as a "war measure" that the President some
months later demanded that the Senate pass the suffrage

The President was visibly moved as I added, "You are the
President now, reelected to office. You ask if I am going to
sacrifice you. You sacrifice nothing by my resignation. But I
lose much. I quit a political career. I give up a powerful office
in my own state. I, who have no money, sacrifice a lucrative
salary, and go back to revive my law practice. But most of all I
sever a personal association with you of the deepest affection
which you know has meant much to me these past seven years. But I
cannot and will not remain in office and see women thrown into
jail because they demand their political freedom."

The President earnestly urged me not to resign, saying, "What
will the people of the country think when they hear that the
Collector of the Port of New York has resigned because of an
injustice done to a group of suffragists by the police officials
of the city of Washington?"

My reply to this was, "With all respect for you, Mr. President,
my explanation to the public will not be as difficult as yours,
if I am compelled to remind the public that you have appointed to
office and can remove all the important officials of the city of

The President ignored this and insisted that I should not resign,
saying, "I do not question your intense conviction about this
matter as I know you have always been an ardent suf-


fragist; and since you feel as you do I see no reason why you
should not become their counsel and take this case up on appeal
without resigning from the Administration."

"But," I said, "Mr. President, that arrangement would be
impossible for two reasons; first, these women would not want me
as their counsel if I were a member of your Administration, for
it would appear to the public then as if your Administration was
not responsible for the indignities to which they have been
subjected, and your Administration is responsible; and, secondly,
I cannot accept your suggestion because it may be necessary in
the course of the appeal vigorously to criticize and condemn
members of your cabinet and others close to you, and I could not
adopt this policy while remaining in office under you." The
President seemed greatly upset and finally urged me as a personal
service to him to go at once and perfect the case on appeal for
the suffragists, but not to resign until I had thought it over
for a day, and until he had had an opportunity to investigate the
facts I had presented to him. I agreed to this, and we closed the
interview with the President saying, "If you consider my personal
request and do not resign, please do not leave Washington without
coming to see me." I left the executive offices and never saw him

There was just a day and a half left to perfect the exceptions
for the appeal under the rules of procedure. No stenographic
record of the trial had been taken, which put me under the
greatest legal difficulties. I was in the midst of these
preparations for appeal the next day when I learned to my
surprise that the President had pardoned the women. He had not
even consulted me as their attorney. Moreover, I was amazed that
since the President had said he considered the treatment of the
women "shocking," he had pardoned them without stating that he
did so to correct a grave injustice. I felt certain that the
high-spirited women in the workhouse would refuse to accept the
pardon as a mere "benevolent" act on the part of the President.

I at once went down to the workhouse in Virginia. My opinion was
confirmed. The group refused to accept the President's pardon. I
advised them that as a matter of law no one could compel them to
accept the pardon, but that as a matter of fact they would have
to accept it, for the Attorney


General would have them all put out of the institution bag and
baggage. So as a solution of the difficulty and in view of the
fact that the President had said to me that their treatment was
"shocking" I made public the following statement:

"The President's pardon is an acknowledgment by him of the grave
injustice that has been done:" This he never denied.

Under this published interpretation of his pardon the women at
Occoquan accepted the pardon and returned to Washington. The
incident was closed. I returned to New York. During the next two
months I carefully watched the situation. Six or eight more
groups of women in that time were arrested on the same false
charges, tried and imprisoned in the same illegal way. Finally a
group of women was arrested in September under the identical
circumstances as those in July, was tried in the same lawless
fashion and given the same sentence of "sixty days in the
workhouse." The President may have been innocent of
responsibility for the first arrests, but he was personally and
politically responsible for all the arrests that occurred after
his pardon of the first, group. Under this development it seemed
to me that self-respect demanded action, so I sent my resignation
to the President, publicly stated my attitude and regretfully
left his Administration."

Mr. Malone's resignation in September, 1917, came with a sudden
shock, because the entire country and surely the Administration
thought him quieted and subdued by the President's personal
appeal to him in July.

Mr. Malone was shocked that the policy of arrests should be
continued. Mr. Wilson and his Administration were shocked that
any one should care enough about the liberty of women to resign a
lucrative post in the Government. The nation was shocked into the
realization that this was not a street brawl between women and
policemen, but a controversy between suffragists and a powerful
Administration. We had said so but it would have taken months to
convince the public that the President was in any way
responsible. Mr. Malone did what we could only have done with the
greatest difficulty and after more pro-


longed sacrifices. He laid the responsibility squarely and
dramatically where it belonged. It is impossible to overemphasize
what a tremendous acceleration Mr. Malone's fine, solitary and
generous act gave to the speedy break-down of the
Administration's resistance. His sacrifice lightened ours.

Women ought to be willing to make sacrifices for their own
liberation, but for a man to have the courage and imagination to
make such a sacrifice for the liberation of women is
unparalleled. Mr. Malone called to the attention of the nation
the true cause of the obstruction and suppression. He reproached
the President and his colleagues after mature consideration, in
the most honorable and vital way,-by refusing longer to associate
himself with an Administration which backed such policies.

And Mr. Malone's resignation was not only welcomed by the
militant group. The conservative suffrage leaders, although they
heartily disapproved of , picketing, were as outspoken in their

Alice Stone Blackwell, the daughter of Lucy Stone, herself a
pioneer suffrage leader and editor, wrote to Mr. Malone:

"May I express my appreciation and gratitude for the excellent
and manly letter that you have written to President Wilson on
woman suffrage? I am sure that I am only one of many women who
feel thankful to you for it.

"The picketing seems to me a very silly business, and I am sure
it is doing the cause harm instead of good; but the picketers are
being shamefully and illegally treated, and it is a thousand
pities, for President Wilson's own sake, that he ever allowed the
Washington authorities to enter on this course of persecution. It
was high time for some one to make a protest, and you have made
one that has been heard far and wide . . . ."

Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, the President of the National American
Woman Suffrage Association, wrote:

"I was in Maine when your wonderful letter announcing your
resignation came out. It was the noblest act that any man


ever did on behalf of our cause. The letter itself was a high
minded appeal . . . . "

Mrs. Norman de R. Whitehouse, the President of the New York State
Woman Suffrage Party, with which Mr. Malone had worked for years,

"Although we disagree with you on the question of picketing every
suffragist must be grateful to you for the gallant support you
are giving our cause and the great sacrifice you are making."

Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw, Vice Chairman of the New York Suffrage
Party, said:

"No words of mine can tell you how our hearts have been lifted
and our purposes strengthened in this tremendous struggle in New
York State by the reading of your powerful and noble utterances
in your letter to President Wilson. There flashed through my mind
all the memories of Knights of chivalry and of romance that I
have ever read, and they all paled before your championship, and
the sacrifice and the high-spirited leadership that it signifies.
Where you lead, I believe, thousands of other men will follow,
even though at a distance, and most inadequately . . . ."

And from the women voters of California with whom Mr. Malone had
kept faith came the message:

"The liberty-loving women of California greet you as one of the
few men in history who have been willing to sacrifice material
interests for the liberty of a class to which they themselves do
not belong. We are thrilled by your inspiring words. We
appreciate your 'sympathetic understanding of the viewpoint of
disfranchised women. We are deeply grateful for the incalculable
benefit of your active assistance in the struggle of American
women for political liberty and for a real Democracy."

I reprint Mr. Malone's letter of resignation which sets forth in
detail his position.


September 7, 1917.

The President,
The White House,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. President:

Last autumn, as the representative of your Administration, I went
into the woman suffrage states to urge your reelection. The most
difficult argument to meet among the seven million voters was the
failure of the Democratic party, throughout four years of power,
to pass the federal suffrage amendment looking toward the
enfranchisement of all the women of the country. Throughout those
states, and particularly in California, which ultimately decided
the election by the votes of women, the women voters were urged
to support you, even though Judge Hughes had already declared for
the federal suffrage amendment, because you and your party,
through liberal leadership, were more likely nationally to
enfranchise the rest of the women of the country than were your

And if the women of the West voted to reelect you, I promised
them that I would spend all my energy, at any sacrifice to
myself, to get the present Democratic Administration to pass the
federal suffrage amendment.

But the present policy of the Administration, in permitting
splendid American women to be sent to jail in Washington, not for
carrying offensive banners, not for picketing, but on the
technical charge of obstructing traffic, is a denial even of
their constitutional right to petition for, and demand the
passage of, the federal suffrage amendment. It, therefore, now
becomes my profound obligation actively to keep my promise to the
women of the West.

In more than twenty states it is a practical impossibility to
amend the state constitutions; so the women of those States can
only be enfranchised by the passage of the federal suffrage
amendment. Since England and Russia, in the midst of the great
war, have assured the national enfranchisement of their women,
should we not be jealous to maintain our democratic leadership in
the world by the speedy national enfranchisement of American

To me, Mr. President, as I urged upon you in Washington two
months ago, this is not only a measure of justice and democracy,
it is also an urgent war measure. The women of


the nation are, and always will be, loyal to the country, and the
passage of the suffrage amendment is only the first step toward
their national emancipation. But unless the government takes at
least this first step toward their enfranchisement, how can the
government ask millions of American women, educated in our
schools and colleges, and millions of American women, in our
homes, or toiling for economic independence in every line of
industry, to give up by conscription their men and happiness to a
war for democracy in Europe, while these women citizens are
denied the right to vote on the policies of the Government which
demands of them such sacrifice?

For this reason many of your most ardent friends and supporters
feel that the passage of the federal suffrage amendment is a war
measure which could appropriately be urged by you at this session
of Congress. It is true that this amendment would have to come
from Congress, but the present Congress shows no earnest desire
to enact this legislation for the simple reason that you, as the
leader of the party in power, have not yet suggested it.

For the whole country gladly acknowledges, Mr. President, that no
vital piece of legislation has come through Congress these five
years except by your extraordinary and brilliant leadership. And
what millions of men and women to-day hope is that you will give
the federal suffrage amendment to the women of the country by the
valor of your leadership now. It will hearten the mothers of the
nation, eliminate a just grievance, and turn the devoted energies
of brilliant women to a more hearty support of the Government in
this crisis.

As you well know, in dozens of speeches in many states I have
advocated your policies and the war. I was the first man of your
Administration, nearly five years ago, to publicly advocate
preparedness, and helped to found the first Plattsburg training
camp. And if, with our troops mobilizing in France, you will give
American women this measure for their political freedom, they
will support with greater enthusiasm your hope and the hope of
America for world freedom.

I have not approved all the methods recently adopted by women in
pursuit of their political liberty; yet, Mr. President, the
Committee on Suffrage of the United States Senate was formed in
1883, when I was one year old; this same federal


suffrage amendment was first introduced in Congress in 187'8,
brave women like Susan B. Anthony were petitioning Congress for
the suffrage before the Civil War, and at the time of the Civil
War men like William Lloyd Garrison, Horace Greeley, and Wendell
Phillips assured the suffrage leaders that if they abandoned
their fight for suffrage, when the war was ended the men of the
nation "out of gratitude" would enfranchise the women of the-

And if the men of this country had been peacefully demanding for
over half a century the political right or privilege to vote, and
had been continuously ignored or met with evasion by successive
Congresses, as have the women, you, Mr. President, as a lover of
liberty, would be the first to comprehend and forgive their
inevitable impatience and righteous indignation. Will not this
Administration, reelected to power by the hope and faith of the
women of the West, handsomely reward that faith by taking action
now for the passage of the federal suffrage amendment?

In the Port of New York, during the last four years, billions of
dollars in the export and import trade of the country have been
handled by the men of the customs service; their treatment of the
traveling public has radically changed, their vigilance supplied
the evidence of the Lusitania note; the neutrality was rigidly
maintained; the great German fleet guarded, captured, and
repaired-substantial economies and reforms have been concluded
and my ardent industry has been given to this great office of
your appointment.

But now I wish to leave these finished tasks, to return to my
profession of the law, and to give all my leisure time to fight
as hard for the political freedom of women as I have always
fought for your liberal leadership.

It seems a long seven years, Mr. President, since I first
campaigned with you when you were running for Governor of New
Jersey. In every circumstance throughout those years I have
served you with the most respectful affection and unshadowed
devotion. It is no small sacrifice now for me, as a member of
your Administration, to sever our political relationship. But I
think it is high time that men in this generation, at some cost
to themselves, stood up to battle for the national
enfranchisement of American women. So in order effectively


to keep my promise made in the West and more freely to go into
this larger field of democratic effort, I hereby resign my office
as Collector of the Port of New York, to take effect at once, or
at your earliest convenience.

Yours respectfully,


The President's answer has never before been published:

12 September, 1917.


My dear Mr. Collector:

Your letter of September 7th reached me just before I left home
and I have, I am sorry to say, been unable to reply to it sooner.

I must frankly say that I cannot regard your reasons for
resigning your position as Collector of Customs as convincing,
but it is so evidently your wish to be relieved from the duties
of the office that I do not feel at liberty to withhold my
acceptance of your resignation. Indeed, I judge from your letter
that any discussion of the reasons would not be acceptable to you
and that it is your desire to be free of the restraints of public
office. I, therefore, accept your resignation, to take effect as
you have wished.

I need not say that our long association in public affairs makes
me regret the action you have taken most sincerely.

Very truly yours,

Hon. Dudley Field Malone,
Collector of Customs,
New York City.

To this Mr. Malone replied:

New York, N.Y.,
September 15th, 1917.

The President,
The White House,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you sincerely for your courtesy, for I knew you were on a
well-earned holiday and I did not expect an earlier reply to my
letter of September 7th, 1917.


After a most careful re-reading of my letter, I am unable to
understand how you could judge that any discussion by you of my
reasons for resigning would not be acceptable to me since my
letter was an appeal to you on specific grounds for action now by
the Administration on the Federal Suffrage amendment.

However, I am profoundly grateful to you for your prompt
acceptance of my resignation.

Yours respectfully,

It may have been accidental but it is interesting to note that
the first public statement of Mr. Byron Newton, appointed by the
Administration to succeed Mr. Malone as Collector of the Port of
New York, was a bitter denunciation of all woman suffrage whether
by state or national action.


Chapter 8

The Administration Yields

Immediately after Mr. Malone's sensational resignation the
Administration sought another way to remove the persistent
pickets without passing the amendment. It yielded on a point of
machinery. It gave us a report in the Senate and a committee in
the House and expected us to be grateful.

The press had turned again to more sympathetic accounts of our
campaign and exposed the prison regime we were undergoing. We
were now for a moment the object of sympathy; the Administration
was the butt of considerable hostility. Sensing their predicament
and fearing any loss of prestige, they risked a slight advance.

Senator Jones, Chairman of the Suffrage Committee, made a visit
to the workhouse. Scarcely had the women recovered from the
surprise of his visit when the Senator, on the following day,
September 15th, filed the favorable report which had been lying
with his Committee since May 15th, exactly six months.

The Report, which he had so long delayed because he wanted [he
said] to make it a particularly brilliant and elaborate one,

"The Committee on Woman Suffrage, to which was referred the
joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of
the United States, conferring upon women the right of suffrage,
having the same under consideration, beg leave to report it back
to the Senate with the recommendation that the joint resolution
do pass."


This report to the Senate was immediately followed by a vote of
181 to 107 in the House of Representatives in favor of creating a
Committee on Woman Suffrage in the House. This vote was
indicative of the strength of the amendment in the House. The
resolution was sponsored by Representative Pou, Chairman of the
Rules Committee and Administration leader, himself an anti-

It is an interesting study in psychology to consider some of the
statements made in the peculiarly heated debate the day this vote
was taken.

Scores of Congressmen, anxious to refute the idea that the
indomitable picket had had anything to do with their action,
revealed naively how surely it had.

Of the 291 men present, not one man stood squarely up for the
right of the hundreds of women who petitioned for justice. Some
indirectly and many, inadvertently, however, paid eloquent
tribute to the suffrage picket.

From the moment Representative Pou in opening the debate spoke of
the nation-wide request for the committee, and the President's
sanction of the committee, the accusations and counter-
accusations concerning the wisdom of appointing it in the face of
the pickets were many and animated.

Mr. Meeker of Missouri, Democrat, protested against Congress
"yielding to the nagging of a certain group."

Mr. Cantrill of Kentucky, Democrat, believed that "millions of
Christian women in the nation should not be denied the right of
having a Committee in the House to study the problem of suffrage
because of the mistakes of some few of their sisters."

"One had as well say," he went on, "that there should be no
police in Washington because the police force of this city
permitted daily thousands of people to obstruct the streets and
impede traffic and permitted almost the mobbing of the women
without arresting the offenders. There was a lawful and peaceful
way in which the police of this city could have taken charge


of the banners of the pickets without permitting the women
carrying them to be the objects of mob violence. To see women
roughly handled by rough men on the streets of the capital of the
nation is not a pleasing sight to Kentuckians and to red-blooded
Americans, and let us hope the like will never again be seen

Mr. Walsh, an anti-suffrage Democrat from Massachusetts, deplored
taking any action which would seem to yield to the demand of the
pickets who carried banners which "if used by a poor workingman
in an attempt to get his rights would speedily have put him
behind the bars for treason or sedition, and these poor,
bewildered, deluded creatures, after their disgusting exhibition
can thank their stars that because they wear skirts they are now
incarcerated for misdemeanors of a minor character . . . . To
supinely yield to a certain class of women picketing the gates of
the official residence,-yes, even posing with their short skirts
and their short hair within the view of this `very capitol and
our office buildings,' with banners which would seek to lead the
people to believe that because we did not take action during this
war session upon suffrage, if you please, and grant them the
right of the ballot that we were traitors to the American
Republic, would be monstrous."

The subject of the creation of a committee on suffrage was almost
entirely forgotten. The Congressmen were utterly unable to shake
off the ghosts of the pickets. The pickets had not influenced
their actions! The very idea was appalling to Representative
Stafford of Wisconsin, anti-suffrage Republican, who joined in
the Democratic protests. He said:

"If a Suffrage Committee is created the militant class will
exclaim, `Ah, see how we have driven the great House of
Representatives to recognize our rights. If we keep up this sort
of practices, we will compel the House, when they come to vote on
the constitutional amendment, to surrender obediently likewise'."


He spoke the truth, and finished dramatically with:

"Gentlemen, there is only one question before the House today and
that is, if you look at it from a political aspect, whether you
wish to approve of the practices of these women who have been
disgracing their cause here in Washington for the past several

Representative Volstead, of Minnesota, Republican, came the
closest of all to real courage in his protest:-

"In this discussion some very unfair comments have been made upon
the women who picketed the White House. While I do not approve of
picketing, I disapprove more strongly of the hoodlum methods
pursued in suppressing the practice. I gather from the press that
this is what took place. Some women did in a peaceable, and
perfectly lawful manner, display suffrage banners on the public
street near the White House. To stop this the police allowed the
women to be mobbed, and then because the mob obstructed the
street, the women were arrested and fined, while the mob went
scot-free . . . ."

The Suffrage Committee in the House was appointed. The creation
of this committee, which had been pending since 1913, was now
finally granted in September, 1917. To be sure this was
accomplished only after an inordinate amount of time, money and
effort had been spent on a sustained and relentless campaign of
pressure. But the Administration had yielded.

As a means to remove the pickets, however, this yielding had
failed. "We ask no more machinery; we demand the passage of the
amendment," said the pickets as they lengthened their line.


Chapter 9

Political Prisoners

Finding that a Suffrage Committee in the House and a report in
the Senate had not silenced our banners, the Administration cast
about for another plan by which to stop the picketing. This time
they turned desperately to longer terms of imprisonment. They
were indeed hard pressed when they could choose such a cruel and
stupid course.

Our answer to this policy was more women on the picket line, on
the outside, and a protest on the inside of prison.

We decided, in the face of extended imprisonment, to demand to be
treated as political prisoners. We felt that, as a matter of
principle, this was the dignified and self-respecting thing to
do, since we had offended politically, not criminally. We
believed further that a determined, organized effort to make
clear to a wider public the political nature of the offense would
intensify the Administration's embarrassment and so accelerate
their final surrender.

It fell to Lucy Burns, vice chairman of the organization, to be
the leader of the new protest. Miss Burns is in appearance the
very symbol of woman in revolt. Her abundant and glorious red
hair burns and is not consumed-a flaming torch. Her body is
strong and vital. It is said that Lucy Stone had the "voice" of
the pioneers. Lucy Burns without doubt possessed the "voice" of
the modern suffrage movement. Musical, appealing, persuading-she
could move the most resistant person. Her talent as an orator is
of the kind that makes for instant


intimacy with her audience. Her emotional quality is so powerful
that her intellectual capacity, which is quite as great, is not
always at once perceived.

I find myself wanting to talk about her as a human being rather
than as a leader of women. Perhaps it is because she has such
winning, lovable qualities. It was always difficult for her to
give all of her energy and power to a movement. She yearned to
play, to read, to study, to be luxuriously indolent, to revel in
the companionship of her family, to which she is ardently
devoted; to do any one of a hundred things more pleasant than
trying to reason with a politician or an unawakened member of her
own sex. But for these latter labors she had a most gentle and
persuasive genius, and she would not shrink from hours of close
argument to convince a person intellectually and emotionally.

Unlike Miss Paul, however, her force is not nonresistant. Once in
the combat she takes delight in it; she is by nature a rebel. She
is an ideal leader for the stormy and courageous attack-reckless
and yet never to the point of unwisdom.

From the time Miss Burns and Miss Paul met for the first time in
Cannon Row Police Station, London, they have been constant co-
workers in suffrage. Both were students abroad at the time they
met. They were among the hundred women arrested for attempting to
present petitions for suffrage to Parliament. This was the first
time either of them had participated in a demonstration. But from
then on they worked together in England and Scotland organizing,
speaking, heckling members of the government, campaigning at bye-
elections; going to Holloway Prison together, where they joined
the Englishwomen on hunger strike. Miss Burns remained organizing
in Scotland while Miss Paul was obliged to return to America
after serious illness following a thirty day period of
imprisonment, during all of which time she was forcibly fed.

Miss Burns and she did not meet again until 1913-three


years having intervened-when they undertook the national work on
Congress. Throughout the entire campaign Miss Burns and Miss Paul
counseled with one another on every point of any importance. This
combination of the cool strategist and passionate rebel-each
sharing some of the attributes of the other-has been a complete
and unsurpassed leadership.

You have now been introduced, most inadequately, to Lucy Burns,
who was to start the fight inside the prison.

She had no sooner begun to organize her comrades for protest than
the officials sensed a "plot," and removed her at once to
solitary confinement. But they were too late. Taking the leader
only hastened the rebellion. A forlorn piece of paper was
discovered, on which was written their initial demand, It was
then passed from prisoner to prisoner through holes in the
wall surrounding leaden pipes, until a finished document had been
perfected and signed by all the prisoners.

This historic document-historic because it represents the first
organized group action ever made in America to establish the
status of political prisoners-said:

To the Commissioners of the Distinct of Columbia:

As political prisoners, we, the undersigned, refuse to work while
in prison. We have taken this stand as a matter of principle
after careful consideration, and from it we shall not recede.

This action is a necessary protest against an unjust sentence. In
reminding President Wilson of his pre-election promises toward
woman suffrage we were exercising the right of peaceful petition,
guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which
declares peaceful picketing is legal in the District of Columbia.
That we are unjustly sentenced has been well recognized-when
President Wilson pardoned the first group of suffragists who had
been given sixty days in the workhouse, and again when Judge
Mullowny suspended sentence for the last group of picketers. We
wish to point out the inconsistency and injustice of our
sentences-some of us have been given sixty days, a later group
thirty days, and


another group given a suspended sentence for exactly the same

Conscious, therefore, of having acted in accordance with the
highest standards of citizenship, we ask the Commissioners of the
District to grant us the rights due political prisoners. We ask
that we no longer be segregated and confined under locks and bars
in small groups, but permitted to see each other, and that Miss
Lucy Burns, who is in full sympathy with this letter, be released
from solitary confinement in another building and given back to

We ask exemption from prison work, that our legal right to
consult counsel be recognized, to have food sent to us from
outside, to supply ourselves with writing material for as much
correspondence as we may need, to receive books, letters,
newspapers, our relatives and friends.

Our united demand for political treatment has been delayed,
because on entering the workhouse we found conditions so very bad
that before we could ask that the suffragists be treated as
political prisoners, it was necessary to make a stand for the
ordinary rights of human beings for all the inmates. Although
this has not been accomplished we now wish to bring the important
question of the status of political prisoners to the attention of
the commissioners, who, we are informed, have full authority to
make what regulations they please for the :District prison and

The Commissioners are requested to send us a written reply so
that we may be sure this protest has reached them.

Signed by,


The Commissioners' only answer to this was a hasty transfer of
the signers and the leader, Miss Burns, to the District Jail,
where they were put in solitary confinement. The women were not
only refused the privileges asked but were denied some of the
usual privileges allowed to ordinary criminals.

Generous publicity was given to these reasonable demands,


and a surprisingly wide-spread protest followed the official
denial of them. Scores of committees went to the District
Commissioners. Telegrams backing up the women's demand again
poured in upon all responsible administrators, from President
Wilson down. Not even foreign diplomats escaped protest or

Miss Vera Samarodin sent to the Russian Ambassador the following
touching letter, concerning her sister, which is translated from
the Russian:-

The Russian Ambassador,
Washington, D.C.


I am appealing to you to help a young Russian girl imprisoned in
the workhouse near Washington. Her name is Nina Samarodin. I have
just come from one of the two monthly visits I am allowed to make
her, as a member of her family.

The severity and cruelty of the treatment she is receiving at
Occoquan are so much greater than she would have to suffer in
Russia for the simple political offense she is accused of having
committed that I hope you will be able to intercede with the
officials of this country for her.

Her offense, aside from the fact that she infringed no law nor
disturbed the peace, had only a political aim, and was proved to
be political by the words of the judge who sentenced her, for he
declared that because of the innocent inscription on her banner
he would make her sentence light.

Since her imprisonment she has been forced to wear the dress of a
criminal, which she would not in Russia; she has had to eat only
the coarse and unpalatable food served the criminal inmates, and
has not been allowed, as she would in Russia, to have other food
brought to her; nor has she, as she would be there been under the
daily care of a physician. She is not permitted to write letters,
nor to have free access to books and other implements of study.
Nina Samarodin has visibly lost in weight and strength since her
imprisonment, and she has a constant headache from hunger.

Her motive in holding the banner by the White House, I


feel, cannot but appeal to you, Excellency, for she says it was
the knowledge that her family were fighting in Russia in this
great war for democracy, and that she was cut off from serving
with them that made her desire to do what she could to help the
women of this nation achieve the freedom her own people have.

Will you, if it is within your power, attempt to have her
recognized as a political prisoner, and relieve the severity of
the treatment she is receiving for obeying this impulse born of
her love of liberty and the dictates of her conscience?

I have, Excellency, the honor to be,

Respectfully, your countrywoman,

Baltimore, Maryland.

Another Russian, Maria Moravsky, author and poet, who had herself
been imprisoned in Czarist Russia and who was touring America at
the time of this controversy, expressed her surprise that our
suffrage prisoners should be treated as common criminals. She
wrote:[1] "I have been twice in the Russian prison; life in the
solitary cell was not sweet; but I can assure you it was better
than that which American women suffragists must bear.

"We were permitted to read and write; we wore our own clothes; we
were not forced to mix with the criminals; we did no work. (Only
a few women exiled to Siberia for extremely serious political
crimes were compelled to work.) And our guardians and even judges
respected us; they felt we were victims, because we struggled for

The Commissioners, who bad to bear the responsibility of an
answer to these protests and to the demand of the prisoners,
contended to all alike that political prisoners did not exist.

"We shall be happy to establish a precedent," said the women.

"But in America," stammered the Commissioners, "there is no need
for such a thing as political prisoners."

[1]Reprinted from The Suffragist, Feb. 8, 1919.


"The very fact that we can be sentenced to such long terms for a
political offense shows that there does exist, in fact, a group
of people who have come into conflict with state power for
dissenting from the prevailing political system," our
representatives answered.

We cited definitions of political offenses by eminent
criminologists, penologists, sociologists, statesmen and
historians. We declared that all authorities on political crime
sustained our contention and that we clearly came under the
category of political, if any crime. We pointed as proof to James
Bryce, George Sigerson, Maurice Parmelee and even to Clemenceau,
who defined the distinction between political offenses and common
law crimes thus: " . . . theoretically a crime committed in the
interest of the criminal is a common law crime, while an offense
committed in the public interest is a political crime."[1]

We called to their attention the established custom of special
treatment of political prisoners in Russia, France, Italy and
even Turkey.[2]

We told them that as early as 18'72 the International Prison
Congress meeting in London recommended a distinction in the
treatment of political and common law criminals and the
resolution of recommendation was "agreed upon by the
representatives of all the Powers of Europe and America-with the
tacit concurrence of British and Irish officials."[3]

Mr. John Koren, International Prison Commissioner[4] for the
United States, was throughout this agitation making a study of
this very problem. As chairman of a Special Commit-

[1]Speech before the French Chamber of Deputies May 16, 1876,
advocating amnesty for those who participated in the Commune of
1871. From the Annales de la Chambre des Deputes, 1876, v. 2, pp.

[2]Those interested in the question of political prisoners and
their treatment abroad may want to read Concerning Political
Prisoners, Appendix 6.

[3]Siegerson, Political Prisoners at Home and Abroad, p. 10.

[4]Appointed and sponsored by the Department of State as delegate
to the International Prison Congress.


tee of the American Prison Association, empowered to investi-
gate the problem of political prisoners for America, he made a
report at the annual meeting of the American Prison Associ-
ation in New York, October, 1919, entitled "The Political Of
fenders and their Status in Prison"[1] in which he says:

"The political offender . . . must be measured by a different
rule, and . . . is a creature of extraordinary and temporary
conditions . . . .

"There are times in which the tactics used in the pursuit of
political recognition may result in a technical violation of the
law for which imprisonment ensues, as witness the suffragist
cases in Washington . . . . These militants were completely out
of place in a workhouse, . . . they could not be made to submit
to discipline fashioned to meet the needs of the derelicts of
society, and . . . they therefore destroyed it for the entire

There was no doubt in the official mind but that our claim was
just. But the Administration would not grant this demand, as
such, of political prisoners. It must continue to persuade public
opinion that our offense was not of a political nature; that it
was nothing more than unpleasant and unfortunate riotous conduct
in the capital. The legend of "a few slightly mad women seeking
notoriety" must be sustained. Our demand was never granted, but
it was kept up until the last imprisonment and was soon
reinforced by additional protest tactics. Our suffrage prisoners,
however, made an important contribution toward establishing this
reform which others will consummate. They were the first in
America to organize and sustain this demand over a long period of
time. In America we maintain a most backward policy in dealing
with political prisoners. We have neither regulation nor
precedent for special treatment of them. Nor have we official

[1]Mr. Koren discusses the political offender from the
penological, not the social, point of view.


This controversy was at its height in the press and in the public
mind when President Wilson sent the following message, through a
New York State suffrage leader, on behalf of the approaching New
York referendum on state woman suffrage:

"May I not express to you my very deep interest in the campaign
in New York for the adoption of woman suffrage, and may I not say
that I hope no voter will be influenced in his decision with
regard to the great matter by anything the so-called pickets may
have done here in Washington. However justly they may have laid
themselves open to serious criticism, their action represents, I
am sure, so small a fraction of the women of the country who are
urging the adoption of woman suffrage that it would be most
unfair and argue a narrow view to allow their actions to
prejudice the cause itself. I am very anxious to see the great
state of New York set a great example in this matter."

This statement showed a political appreciation of the growing
power of the movement. Also it would be difficult to prove that
the "small fraction" had not shown political wisdom in injecting
into the campaign the embarrassment of a controversy which was
followed by the above statement of *the President. In the
meantime he continued to imprison in Washington the "so-called
pickets" whom he hoped would not influence the decision of the
men voters of New York. It will be remembered, in passing, that
the New York voters adopted suffrage at this time, although they
had rejected it two years earlier. If the voters of New York were
influenced at all by the "so-called pickets," could even
President Wilson himself satisfactorily prove that it had been an
adverse influence?


Chapter 10

The Hunger Strike-A Weapon

When the Administration refused to grant the demand of the
prisoners and of that portion of the public which supported them,
for the rights of political prisoners, it was decided to resort
to the ultimate protest-weapon inside prison. A hunger strike was
undertaken, not only to reinforce the verbal demand for the
rights of political prisoners, but also as a final protest
against unjust imprisonment and increasingly long sentences. This
brought the Administration face to face with a more acute
embarrassment. They had to choose between more stubborn
resistance and capitulation: They continued for a while longer on
the former path.

Little is known in this country about the weapon of the hunger
strike. And so at first it aroused tremendous indignation. "Let
them starve to death," said the thoughtless one, who did not
perceive that that was the very thing a political administration
could least afford to do. "Mad fanatics," said a kindlier critic.
The general opinion was that the hunger strike was "foolish."

Few people realize that this resort to the refusal of food is
almost as old as civilization. It has always represented a
passionate desire to achieve an end. There is not time to go into
the religious use of it, which would also be pertinent, but I
will cite a few instances which have tragic and amusing
likenesses to the suffrage hunger strike.

According to the Brehon Law,[1] which was the code of

[1]Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland, Vol. I, Chapter


ancient Ireland by which justice was administered under ancient
Irish monarchs (from the earliest record to the 17th century), it
became the duty of an injured person, when all else failed, to
inflict punishment directly, for wrong done. "The plaintiff
`fasted on' the defendant." He went to the house of the defendant
and sat upon his doorstep, remaining there without food to force
the payment of a debt, for example. The debtor was compelled by
the weight of custom and public opinion not to let the plaintiff
die at his door, and yielded. Or if he did not yield, he was
practically outlawed by the community, to the point of being
driven away. A man who refused to abide by the custom not only
incurred personal danger but lost all character.

If resistance to this form of protest was resorted to it had to
take the form of a counter-fast. If the victim of such a protest
thought himself being unjustly coerced, he might fast in
opposition, "to mitigate or avert the evil."

"Fasting on a man" was also a mode of compelling action of
another sort. St. Patrick fasted against King Trian to compel him
to have compassion on his [Trian's] slaves.[1] He also fasted
against a heretical city to compel it to become orthodox.[2] He
fasted against the pagan King Loeguire to "constrain him to his

This form of hunger strike was further used under the Brehon Law
as compulsion to obtain a request. For example, the Leinstermen
on one occasion fasted on St. Columkille till they obtained from
him the promise that an extern King should never prevail against

It is interesting to note that this form of direct action was
adopted because there was no legislative machinery to enforce
justice. These laws were merely a collection of customs attaining
the force of law by long usage, by hereditary habit, and by

[1]Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, CLXXVII, p. 218.
[2]Ibid. CLXXVII, p. 418.
[3]Ibid. CLXXVII, p. 556.


public opinion. Our resort to this weapon grew out of the same
situation. The legislative machinery, while empowered to give us
redress, failed to function, and so we adopted the fast.

The institution of fasting on a debtor still exists in the East.
It is called by the Hindoos "sitting dharna."

The hunger strike was continuously used in Russia by prisoners to
obtain more humane practices toward them. Kropotkin 1 cites an
instance in which women prisoners hunger struck to get their
babies back. If a child was born to a woman during her
imprisonment the babe was immediately taken from her and not
returned. Mothers struck and got their babies returned to them.

He cites another successful example in Rharkoff prison in 1878
when six prisoners resolved to hunger strike to death if
necessary to win two things-to be allowed exercise and to have
the sick prisoners taken out of chains.

There are innumerable instances of hunger strikes, even to death,
in Russian prison history. But more often the demands of the
strikers were won.. Breshkovsky[2] tells of a strike by 17 women
against outrage, which elicited the desired promises from the

As early as 1877 members of the Land and Liberty Society s
imprisoned for peaceful and educational propaganda, in the
Schlusselburg Fortress for political prisoners, hunger struck
against inhuman prison conditions and frightful brutalities and
won their points.

During the suffrage campaign in England this weapon was used for
the double purpose of forcing the release of imprisoned militant
suffragettes, and of compelling the British government to act.

Among the demonstrations was a revival of the ancient Irish

[1]See In Russian and French Prisons, P. Kropotkin.

[2]For Russia's Freedom, by Ernest Poole,-An Interview with

[3]See The Russian Bastille, Simon O. Pollock.


custom by Sylvia Pankhurst, who in addition to her hunger strikes
within prison, "fasted on" the doorstep of Premier Asquith to
compel him to see a deputation of women on the granting of
suffrage to English women. She won.

Irish prisoners have revived the hunger strike to compel either
release or trial of untried prisoners and have Lyon. As I write,
almost a hundred Irish prisoners detained by England for alleged
nationalist activities, but not brought to trial, hunger struck
to freedom. As a direct result of this specific hunger strike
England has promised a renovation of her practices in dealing
with Irish rebels.

And so it was that when we came to the adoption of this
accelerating tactic, we had behind us more precedents for winning
our point than for losing. We were strong in the knowledge that
we could "fast on" President Wilson and his powerful
Administration, and compel him to act or "fast back."

Among the prisoners who with Alice Paul led the hunger strike was
a very picturesque figure, Rose Winslow (Ruza Wenclawska) of New
York, whose parents had brought her in infancy from Poland to
become a citizen of "free" America. At eleven she was put at a
loom in a Pennsylvania mill, where she wove hosiery for fourteen
hours a day until tuberculosis claimed her at nineteen. A poet by
nature she developed her mind to the full in spite of these
disadvantages, and when she was forced to abandon her loom she
became an organizer for the Consumers' League, and later a vivid
and eloquent power in the suffrage movement.

Her group preceded Miss Paul's by about a week in prison.

These vivid sketches of Rose Winslow's impressions while in the
prison hospital were written on tiny scraps of paper and smuggled
out to us, and to her husband during her imprisonment. I reprint
them in their original form with cuts but no editing.


"If this thing is necessary we will naturally go through with it.
Force is so stupid a weapon. I feel so happy doing my bit for
decency-for our war, which is after all, real and fundamental."

"The women are all so magnificent, so beautiful. Alice Paul is as
thin as ever, pale and large-eyed. We have been in solitary for
five weeks. There is nothing to tell but that the days go by
somehow. I have felt quite feeble the last few days faint, so
that I could hardly get my hair brushed, my arms ached so. But
to-day I am well again. Alice Paul and I talk back and forth
though we are at opposite ends of the building and, a hall door
also shuts us apart. But occasionally thrills-we escape from
behind our iron-barred doors and visit. Great laughter and

To her husband:

"My fainting probably means nothing except that I am not strong
after these weeks. I know you won't be alarmed.

“I told about a syphilitic colored woman with one leg. The other
one cut off, having rotted so that it was alive with maggots when
she came in. The remaining one is now getting as bad. They are so
short of nurses that a little colored girl of twelve, who is here
waiting to have her tonsils removed, waits on her. This child and
two others share a ward with a syphilitic child of three or four
years, whose mother refused to have it at home. It makes you
absolutely ill to see it. I am going to break all three windows
as a protest against their confining Alice Paul with these!

"Dr. Gannon is chief of a hospital. Yet Alice Paul and I found we
had been taking baths in one of the tubs here, in which this
syphilitic child, an incurable, who has his eyes bandaged all the
time, is also bathed. He has been here a year. Into the room
where he lives came yesterday two children to be


operated on for tonsillitis. They also bathed in the same tub.
The syphilitic woman has been in that room seven months. Cheerful
mixing, isn't it? The place is alive with roaches, crawling all
over the walls, everywhere. I found one in my bed the other day .
. . ."

"There is great excitement about my two syphilitics. Each nurse
is being asked whether she told me. So, as in all institutions
where an unsanitary fact is made public, no effort is made to
make the wrong itself right. All hands fall to, to find the
culprit, who made it known, and he is punished."

"Alice Paul is in the psychopathic ward. She dreaded forcible
feeding frightfully, and I hate to think how she must be feeling.
I had a nervous time of it, gasping a long time afterward, and my
stomach rejecting during the process. I spent a bad, restless
night, but otherwise I am all right. The poor soul who fed me got
liberally besprinkled during the process. I heard myself making
the most hideous sounds . . . . One feels so forsaken when one
lies prone and people shove a pipe down one's stomach."
"This morning but for an astounding tiredness, I am all right. I
am waiting to see what happens when the President realizes that
brutal bullying isn't quite a statesmanlike method for settling a
demand for justice at home. At least, if men are supine enough to
endure, women-to their eternal glory-are not.

"They took down the boarding from Alice Paul's window yesterday,
I heard. It is so delicious about Alice and me. Over in the jail
a rumor began that I was considered insane and would be examined.
Then came Doctor White, and said he had come to see 'the thyroid
case.' When they left we argued about the matter, neither of us
knowing which was considered `suspi-


cious.' She insisted it was she, and, as it happened, she was
right. Imagine any one thinking Alice Paul needed to be `under
observation!' The thick-headed idiots!"

"Yesterday was a bad day for me in feeding. I was vomiting
continually during the process. The tube has developed an
irritation somewhere that is painful.

"Never was there a sentence[1] like ours for such an offense as
ours, even in England. No woman ever got it over there even for
tearing down buildings. And during all that agitation we were
busy saying that never would such things happen in the United
States. The men told us they would not endure such

"Mary Beard and Helen Todd were allowed to stay only a minute,
and I cried like a fool. I am getting over that habit, I think.

"I fainted again last night. I just fell flop over in the
bathroom where I was washing my hands and was led to bed when I
recovered, by a nurse. I lost. consciousness just as I got there
again. I felt horribly faint until 12 o'clock, then fell asleep
for awhile."

"I was getting frantic because you seemed to think Alice was with
me in the hospital. She was in the psychopathic ward. The same
doctor feeds us both, and told me. Don't let them tell you we
take this well. Miss Paul vomits much. I do, too, except when I'm
not nervous, as I have been every time against my will. I try to
be less feeble-minded. It's the nervous reaction, and I can't
control it much. I don't imagine bathing one's food in tears very
good for one.

"We think of the coming feeding all day. It is horrible.

[1]Sentence of seven months for "obstructing traffic."


The doctor thinks I take it well. I hate the thought of Alice
Paul and the others if I take it well."

"We still get no mail; we are `insubordinate.' It's strange,
isn't it; if you ask for food fit to eat, as we did, you are
`insubordinate'; and if you refuse food you are `insubordinate.'
Amusing. I am really all right. If this continues very long I
perhaps won't be. I am interested to see how long our so-called
`splendid American men' will stand for this form of discipline.

"All news cheers one marvelously because it is hard to feel
anything but a bit desolate and forgotten here in this place.

"All the officers here know we are making this hunger strike that
women fighting for liberty may be considered political prisoners;
we have told them. God knows we don't want other women ever to
have to do this over again."

There have been sporadic and isolated cases of hunger strikes in
this country but to my knowledge ours was the first to be
organized and sustained over a long period of time. We shall see
in subsequent chapters how effective this weapon was.


Chapter 11

Administration Terrorism

The Administration tried in another way to stop picketing. It
sentenced the leader, Alice Paul, to the absurd and desperate
sentence of seven months in the Washington jail for "obstructing

With the "leader" safely behind the bars for so long a time, the
agitation would certainly weaken! So thought the Administration!
To their great surprise, however, in the face of that reckless
and extreme sentence, the longest picket line of the entire
campaign formed at the White House in the late afternoon of
November 10th. Forty-one women picketed in protest against this
wanton persecution of their leader, as well as against the delay
in passing the amendment. Face to face with an embarrassing
number of prisoners the Administration used its wits and decided
to reduce the number to a manageable size before imprisoning this
group. Failing of that they tried still another way out. They
resorted to imprisonment with terrorism.

In order to show how widely representative of the nation this
group of pickets was, I give its personnel complete:

First Group

New York-Mrs. John	Winters Brannan, Miss Belle
Sheinberg, Mrs. L. H. Hornsby, Mrs. Paula Jakobi, Mrs. Cyn-
thia Cohen, Miss M. Tilden Burritt, Miss Dorothy Day, Mrs.
Henry Butterworth, Miss Cora Week, Mrs. P. B. Johns, Miss


Elizabeth Hamilton, Mrs. Ella O. Guilford, New York City; Miss
Amy Juengling, Miss Hattie Kruger, Buffalo.

Second Group

Massachusetts-Mrs. Agnes H. Morey, Brookline; Mrs. William Bergen
and Miss Camilla Whitcomb, Worcester; Miss Ella Findeisen,
Lawrence; Miss L. J. C. Daniels, Boston.
New Jersey-Mrs. George Scott, Montclair.
Pennsylvania-Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Miss Elizabeth McShane, Miss
Katherine Lincoln, Philadelphia.

Third Group

California-Mrs. William Kent, Kentfield.
Oregon-Miss Alice Gram, Miss Betty Gram, Portland.
Utah-Mrs. R. B. Quay, Mrs. T. C. Robertson, Salt Lake City.
Colorado-Mrs. Eva Decker, Colorado Springs, Mrs. Genevieve
Williams, Manitou.

Fourth Group

Indiana-Mrs. Charles W. Barnes, Indianapolis.
Oklahoma-Mrs. Kate Stafford, Oklahoma City.
Minnesota-Mrs. J. H. Short, Minneapolis.
Iowa-Mrs. A. N. Beim, Des Moines; Mrs. Catherine Martinette,
Eagle Grove.

Fifth Group

New York-Miss Lucy Burns, New York City.
District of Columbia-Mrs. Harvey Wiley.
Louisiana-Mrs. Alice M. Cosu, New Orleans.
Maryland-Miss Mary Bartlett Dixon, Easton; Miss Julia Emory,
Florida-Mrs. Mary I. Nolan, Jacksonville.

There were exceptionally dramatic figures in this group. Mrs.
Mary Nolan of Florida, seventy-three years old, frail in


health but militant in spirit, said she had come to take her
place with the women struggling for liberty in the same spirit
that her revolutionary ancestor, Eliza Zane, had carried bullets
to the fighters in the war for independence.

Mrs. Harvey Wiley looked appealing and beautiful as she said in
court, "We took this action with great consecration of spirit,
with willingness to sacrifice personal liberty for al] the women
of the country."

Judge Mullowny addressed the prisoners with many high-sounding
words about the seriousness of obstructing the traffic in the
national capital, and inadvertently slipped into a discourse on
Russia, and the dangers of revolution. We always wondered why the
government was not clever enough to eliminate political
discourses, at least during trials, where the offenders were
charged with breaking a slight regulation. But their minds were
too full of the political aspect of our offense to conceal it.
"The truth of the situation is that the court has not been given
power to meet it," the judge lamented. "It is very, very
puzzling-I find you guilty of the offense charged, but will take
the matter of sentence under advisement."

And so the "guilty" pickets were summarily released.

The Administration did not relish the incarceration of forty-one
women for another reason than limited housing accommodations.
Forty-one women representing sixteen states in the union might
create a considerable political dislocation. But these same
forty-one women were determined to force the Administration to
take its choice. It could allow them to continue their peaceful
agitation or it could stand the reaction which was bound to come
from imprisoning them. And so the forty-one women returned to the
White House gates to resume' their picketing. They stood guard
several minutes before the police, taken unawares, could summon
sufficient force to arrest them, and commandeer enough cars to
carry them to police headquarters. As the Philadelphia North
American pointed


out: "There was no disorder. The crowd waited with interest and
in a noticeably friendly spirit to see what would happen. There
were frequent references to the pluck of the silent sentinels."

The following morning the women were ordered by Judge Mullowny to
"come back on Friday. I am not yet prepared to try the case."

Logic dictated that either we had a right to stand at the gates
with our banners or we did not have that right; but the
Administration was not interested in logic. It had to stop
picketing. Whether this was done legally or illegally, logically
or illogically, clumsily or dexterously, was of secondary
importance. Picketing must be stopped!

Using their welcome release to continue their protest, the women
again marched with their banners to the White House in an attempt
to picket. Again they were arrested. No one who saw that line
will ever forget the impression it made, not only on friends of
the suffragists, but on the general populace of Washington, to
see these women force with such magnificent defiance the hand of
a wavering Administration. On the following morning they were
sentenced to from six days to six months in prison. Miss Burns
received six months.

In pronouncing the lightest sentence upon Mrs. Nolan, the judge
said that he did so on account of her age. He urged her, however,
to pay her fine, hinting that jail might be too severe on her and
might bring on death. At this suggestion, tiny Mrs. Nolan pulled
herself up on her toes and said with great dignity: "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." Even the judge seemed moved by her beautiful and
simple spirit.

In spite of the fact that the women were sentenced to serve


their sentences in the District Jail, where they would join Miss
Paul and her companions, all save one were immediately sent to
Occoquan workhouse.

It had been agreed that the demand to be treated as political
prisoners, inaugurated by previous pickets, should be continued,
and that failing to secure such rights they would unanimously
refuse to eat food or do prison labor.

Any words of mine would be inadequate to tell the story of the
prisoners' reception at the Occoquan workhouse. The following is
the statement of Mrs. Nolan, dictated upon her release, in the
presence of Mr. Dudley Field Malone:

It was about half past seven at night when we got to Occoquan
workhouse. A woman [Mrs. Herndon] was standing behind a desk when
we were brought into this office, and there were five or six men
also in the room. Mrs. Lewis, who spoke for all of us, . . .
;said she must speak to Whittaker, the superintendent of the

"You'll sit here all night, then," said Mrs. Herndon.

I saw men begin to come upon the porch, but I didn't think
anything about it. Mrs. Herndon called my name, but I did not
answer. . . '

Suddenly the door literally burst open and Whittaker burst in
like a tornado; some men followed him. We could see a crowd of
them on the porch. They were not in uniform. They looked as much
like tramps as anything. They seemed to come in-and in-and in.
One had a face that made me think of an ourang-outang. Mrs. Lewis
stood up. Some of us had been sitting and lying on the floor, we
were so tired. She had hardly begun to speak, saying we demanded
to be treated as political prisoners, when Whittaker said:

"You shut up. I have men here to handle you." Then he shouted,
"Seize her!" I turned and saw men spring toward her, and then
some one screamed, "They have taken Mrs. Lewis."

A man sprang at me and caught me by the shoulder. I am used to
remembering a bad foot, which I have had for years, and I
remember saying, "I'll come with you; don't drag me;


I have a lame foot." But I was jerked down the steps and away
into the dark. I didn't have my feet on the ground. I guess that
saved me. I heard Mrs. Cosu, who was being dragged along with me,
call, "Be careful of your foot."

Out of doors it was very dark. The building to which they took us
was lighted up as we came to it. I only remember the American
flag flying above it because it caught the light from a window in
the wing. We were rushed into a large room that we found opened
on a large hall with stone cells on each side. They were
perfectly dark. Punishment cells is what they call them. Mine was
filthy. It had no window save a slip at the top and no furniture
but an iron bed covered with a thin straw pad, and an open toilet
flushed from outside the cell . . . .

In the hall outside was a man called Captain Reems. He had on a
uniform and was brandishing a thick stick and shouting as we were
shoved into the corridor, "Damn you, get in here."

I saw Dorothy Day brought in. She is a frail girl. The two men
handling her were twisting her arms above her head. Then suddenly
they lifted her up and banged her down over the arm of an iron
bench-twice. As they ran me past, she was lying there with her
arms out, and we heard one of the men yell, "The suffrager! My
mother ain't no suffrager. I'll put you through ."

At the end of the corridor they pushed me through a door. Then I
lost my balance and fell against the iron bed. Mrs. Cosu struck
the wall. Then they threw in two mats and two dirty blankets.
There was no light but from the corridor. The door was barred
from top to bottom. The walls and floors were brick or stone
cemented over. Mrs. Cosu would not let me lie on the floor. She
put me on the couch and stretched out on the floor on one of the
two pads they threw in. We had only lain there a few minutes,
trying to get our breath, when Mrs. Lewis, doubled over and
handled like a sack of something, was literally thrown in. Her
head struck the iron bed. We thought she was dead. She didn't
move. We were crying over her as we lifted her to the pad on my
bed, when we heard Miss Burns call:

"Where is Mrs. Nolan?"

I replied, "I am here."


Mrs. Cosu called out, "They have just thrown Mrs. Lewis in here,

At this Mr. Whittaker came to the door and told us not to dare to
speak, or he would put the brace and bit in our mouths and the
straitjacket on our bodies. We were so terrified we kept very
still. Mrs. Lewis was not unconscious; she was only stunned. But
Mrs. Cosu was desperately ill as the night wore on. She had a bad
heart attack and was then vomiting. We called and called. We
asked them1to send our own doctor, because we thought she was
dying . . . . They [the guards paid no attention. A cold wind
blew in on us from the outside, and we three lay there shivering
and only half conscious until morning.

"One at a time, come out," we heard some one call at the barred
door early in the morning. I went first. I bade them both good-
by. I didn't know where I was going or whether I would ever see
them again. They took me to Mr. Whittaker's office, where he
called my name.

"You're Mrs. Mary Nolan," said Whittaker.

"You're posted," said I.

"Are you willing to put on prison dress and go to the workroom?"
said he.

I said, "No."

"Don't you know now that I am Mr. Whittaker, the superintendent?"
he asked.

"Is there any age limit to your workhouse?" I said. "Would a
woman of seventy-three or a child of two be sent here?"

I think I made him think. He motioned to the guard.

"Get a doctor to examine her," he said.

In the hospital cottage I was met by Mrs. Herndon and taken to a
little room with two white beds and a hospital table.

"You can lie down if you want to," she said.

I took off my coat and hat. I just lay down on the bed and fell
into a kind of stupor. It was nearly noon and I had had no food
offered me since the sandwiches our friends brought us in the
courtroom at noon the day before.

The doctor came and examined my heart. Then he examined my lame
foot. It had a long blue bruise above the ankle, where they had
knocked me as they took me across the night


before. He asked me what caused' the bruise. I said, "Those
fiends when they dragged me to the cell last night." It was
paining me. He asked if I wanted liniment and I said only hot
water. They brought that, and I noticed they did not lock the
door. A negro trusty was there. I fell back again into the same

The next day they brought me some toast and a plate of food, the
first I had been offered in over 36 hours. I just looked at the
food and motioned it away. It made me sick . . . . I was released
on the sixth day and passed the dispensary as I came out. There
were a group of my friends, Mrs. Brannan and Mrs. Morey and many
others. They had on coarse striped dresses and big, grotesque,
heavy shoes. I burst into tears as they led me away.

(Signed) MARY I. NOLAN.
November 21, 1917,

The day following their commitment to Occoquan Mr. O'Brien, of
counsel, was directed to see the women, to ascertain their
condition. Friends and relatives were alarmed, as not a line of
news had been allowed to penetrate to the world. Mr. O'Brien was
denied admission and forced to come back to Washington without
any report whatsoever.

The next day Mr. O'Brien again attempted to see his clients, as
did also the mother of Miss Matilda Young, the youngest prisoner
in Mr. Whittaker's care, and Miss Katherine Morey, who went
asking to see her mother. Miss Morey was held under armed guard
half a mile from the prison. Admission was denied to all of them.

The terrible anxiety at Headquarters was not relieved the third
day by a report brought from the workhouse by one of the marines
stationed at Quantico Station, Virginia, who had been summoned to
the workhouse on the night the women arrived. He brought news
that unknown tortures were going on. Mr. O'Brien immediately
forced his way through by a court order, and brought back to
Headquarters the astounding news


of the campaign of terrorism which had started the moment the
prisoners had arrived, and which was being continued at that
moment. Miss Lucy Burns, who had assumed responsibility for the
welfare of the women, had managed to secrete small scraps of
paper and a tiny pencil, and jot down briefly the day by day
events at the workhouse.

This week of brutality, which rivaled old Russia, if it did not
outstrip it, was almost the blackest page in the Administration's
cruel fight against women.

Here are some of the scraps of Miss Burn's day-by-day log,
smuggled out of the workhouse. Miss Burns is so gifted a writer
that I feel apologetic for using these scraps in their raw form,
but I know she will forgive me.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14. Demanded to see Superintendent Whittaker.
Request refused. Mrs. Herndon, the matron, said we would have to
wait up all night. One of the men guards said he would "put us in
sardine box and put mustard on us." Superintendent Whittaker came
at 9 p. m. He refused to hear our demand for political rights.
Seized by guards from behind, flung off my feet, and shot out of
the room. All of us were seized by men guards and dragged to
cells in men's part. Dorothy Day was roughly used-back twisted.
Mrs. Mary A. Nolan ('73-year-old picket from Jacksonville,
Florida) flung into cell. Mrs. Lawrence Lewis shot past my cell.
I slept with Dorothy Day in a single bed. I was handcuffed all
night and manacled to the bars part of the time for asking the
others how they were, and was threatened with a straitjacket and
a buckle gag.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 . . . . Asked for Whittaker, who came. He
seized Julia Emory by the back of her neck and threw her into the
room very brutally. She is a little girl. I asked for counsel to
learn the status of the case. I was told to "shut up," and was
again threatened with a straitjacket and a buckle gag. Later I
was taken to put on prison clothes, refused and resisted
strenuously. I was then put in a room where delirium tremens
patients are kept.


On the seventh day, when Miss Lucy Burns and Mrs. Lawrence Lewis
were so weak that Mr. Whittaker feared their death, they were
forcibly fed and taken immediately to the jail in Washington. Of
the experience Mrs. Lewis wrote:-

I was seized and laid on my back, where five people held me, a
young colored woman leaping upon my knees, which seemed to break
under the weight. Dr. Gannon then forced the tube through my lips
and down my throat, I gasping and suffocating with the agony of
it. I didn't know where to breathe from and everything turned
black when the fluid began pouring in. I was moaning and making
the most awful sounds quite against my will, for I did not wish
to disturb my friends in the next room. Finally the tube was
withdrawn. I lay motionless. After a while I was dressed and
carried in a chair to a waiting automobile, laid on the back seat
and driven into Washington to the jail hospital. Previous to the
feeding I had been forcibly examined by Dr. Gannon, I protesting
that I wished a woman physician.

Of this experience, Miss Burns wrote on tiny scraps of paper:

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 colored 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. This morning Dr. Ladd appeared with his tube. Mrs. Lewis and
I said we would not be forcibly fed. Said he would call in men
guards and force us to submit. Went away and we were not fed at
all this morning. We hear them outside now cracking eggs.

With Miss Burns and Mrs. Lewis, who were regarded as leaders in
the hunger strike protest, removed to the district jail, Mr.
Whittaker and his staff at Occoquan began a systematic attempt to
break down the morale of the hunger strikers. Each one was called
to the mat and interrogated.

"Will you work?"-"Will you put on prison clothes?" "Will you
eat?"-"Will you stop picketing?"-"Will you go without paying your
fine and promise never to picket again?"

How baffled he must have been! The answer was definite and final.
Their resistance was superb.

"One of the few warning incidents during the gray days of our
imprisonment was the unexpected sympathy and understanding of one
of the government doctors," wrote Miss Betty Gram of Portland,

"’This is the most magnificent sacrifice I have ever seen made
for a principle [he said I never believed that American women
would care so much about freedom. I have seen women in Russia
undergo extreme suffering for their ideals, but unless I had seen
this with my own eyes I never would have believed it. My sister
hunger struck in Russia, where she was imprisoned for refusing to
reveal the whereabouts of two of her friends indicted for a
government offense. She was fed after three days. You girls are
on your ninth day of hunger strike and your condition is
critical. It is a great pity that such women should be subjected
to this treatment. I hope that you will carry your point and
force the hand of the government soon'."


The mother of Matilda Young, the youngest picket, anxiously
appealed to Mr. Tumulty, Secretary to President Wilson, and a
family friend, to be allowed to see the President and ask for a
special order to visit her daughter. Failing to secure this, she
went daily to Mr. Tumulty's office asking if he himself would not
intercede for her. Mr. Tumulty assured her that her daughter was
in safe hands, that she need give herself no alarm, the stories
of the inhuman treatment at Occoquan were false, and that she
must not believe them. Finally Mrs. Young pleaded to be allowed
to send additional warm clothing to her daughter, whom she knew
to be too lightly clad for the vigorous temperature of November.
Mr. Tumulty assured her that the women were properly clothed, and
refused to permit the clothing to be sent. The subsequent stories
of the women showed what agonies they had endured, because they
were inadequately clad, from the dampness of the cells into which
they were thrown.

Mrs. John Winters Brannan was among the women who endured the
"night of terror." Mrs. Brannan is the daughter of Charles A.
Dana, founder of the New York Sun and that great American patriot
of liberty who was a trusted associate -and counselor of Abraham
Lincoln. Mrs. Brannan, life-long suffragist, is an aristocrat of
intellect and feeling, who has always allied herself with
libertarian movements. This was her second term of imprisonment.
She wrote a comprehensive affidavit of her experience. After
narrating the events which led up to the attack, she continues:

Superintendent Whittaker . . . then shouted out in a loud tone of
voice, "Seize these women, take them off, that one, that one;
take her off." The guards rushed forward and an almost
indescribable scene of violent confusion ensued. I . . . saw one
of the guards seize her [Lucy Burns] by the arms, twist or force
them back of her, and one or two other guards seize her by the
shoulders, shaking her violently . . . .


I then . . took up my heavy sealskin coat, which was lying by,
and put it on, in order to prepare myself if attacked . . . . I
was trembling at the time and was stunned with terror at the
situation as it had developed, and said to the superintendent, "I
will give my name under protest," and started to walk towards the
desk whereon lay the books. The superintendent shouted to me,
"Oh, no, you won't; don't talk about protest; I won't have any of
that nonsense."

I . . . saw the guards seizing the different women of the party
with the utmost violence, the furniture being overturned and the
room a scene of the utmost disturbance. I saw Miss Lincoln lying
on the floor, with every appearance of having just been thrown
down by the two guards who were standing over her in a menacing
attitude. Seeing the general disturbance, I gave up all idea of
giving my name at the desk, and instinctively joined my
companions, to go with them and share whatever was in store for
them. The whole group of women were thrown, dragged or herded out
of the office on to the porch, down the steps to the ground, and
forced to cross the road . . . to the Administration Building.

During all of this time, . . . Superintendent Whittaker was . . .
directing the whole attack. . . .

. . .All of us were thrown into different cells in the men's
prison, I being put in one with four other women, the cell
containing a narrow bed and one chair, which was immediately
removed . . . .

During the time that we were being forced into the cells
the guards kept up an uproar, shouting, banging the iron
doors, clanging bars, making a terrifying noise.

I and one of my companions were lying down on the narrow bed, on
which were a blanket and one pillow. The door of the cell was
opened and a mattress and a blanket being thrown in, the door was
violently banged to . . . . My other . . . companions arranged
the mattress on the floor and lay down, covering themselves with
the blanket.

. . . I looked across the corridor and saw Miss Lincoln, . and
asked her whether she was all right, being anxious to know
whether she had been hurt by the treatment in the office
building. . . Instantly Superintendent Whittaker rushed forward,
shouting at me, "Stop that; not another word from your


mouth, or I will handcuff you, gag you and put you in a
straitjacket. . .

I wish to state again that the cells into which we were put were
situated in the men's prison. There was no privacy for the women,
and if any of us wished to undress we would be subject to the
view or observation of the guards who remained in the corridor
and who could at any moment look at us . . . . Furthermore, the
water closets were in full view of the corridor where
Superintendent Whittaker and the guards were moving about. The
flushing of these closets could only be done from the corridor,
and we were forced to ask the guards to do this for us,-the men
who had shortly before attacked us . . . .

None of the matrons or women attendants appeared at any time that
night. No water was brought to us for washing, no food was
offered to us . . . .

I was exhausted by what I had seen and been through, and spent
the night in absolute terror of further attack and of what might
still be in store for us. I thought of the young girls who were
with us and feared for their safety. The guards
acted brutal in the extreme, incited to their brutal conduct
towards us, . . , by the superintendent. I thought of the offense
with which we had been charged,-merely that of obstructing
traffic,-and felt that the treatment that we had received was out
of all proportion to the offense with which we were charged, and
that the superintendent, the matron and guards would not have
dared to act towards us as they had acted unless they relied upon
the support of higher authorities. It seemed to me that
everything had been done from the time we reached the workhouse
to terrorize us, and my fear lest the extreme of outrage would be
worked upon the young girls of our party became intense.

It is impossible for me to describe the terror of that night. . .

The affidavit then continues with the story of how Mrs. Brannan
was compelled the following morning to put on prison clothes, was
given a cup of skimmed milk and a slice of toast, and then taken
to the sewing room, where she was put to work sewing on the
underdrawers of the male prisoners.


I was half fainting all of that day and . . . requested
permission to lie down, feeling so ill . . . . I could not sleep,
having a sense of constant danger . . . . I was almost paralyzed
and in wretched physical condition.

On Friday afternoon Mrs. Herndon [matron]. . . led us
through some woods nearby, for about three-quarters of a mile,
seven of us being in the party. We were so exhausted and weary
that we were obliged to stop constantly to rest. On our way back
from the walk we heard the baying of hounds very near us in the
woods. The matron said, "You must hurry, the bloodhounds are
loose." One of the party, Miss Findeisen, asked whether they
would attack us, to which the matron replied, "That is just what
they would do," and hurried us along. The baying grew louder and
nearer at times and then more distant, as the dogs rushed back
and forth, and this went on until we reached the sewing room. The
effect of this upon our nerves can better be imagined than
described . . . .

Every conceivable lie was tried in an effort to force the women
to abandon their various form of resistance. They were told that
no efforts were being made from the outside to reach them, and
that their attorney had been called off the case. Each one was
told that she was the only one hunger striking. Each one was told
that all the others had put on prison clothes and were working.
Although they were separated from one another they suspected the
lies and remained strong in their resistance. After Mr. O'Brien's
one visit and the subsequent reports in the press he was
thereafter refused admission to the workhouse.

The judge had sentenced these women to the jail, but the District
Commissioners had ordered them committed to the workhouse. It was
evident that the Administration was anxious to keep this group
away from Alice Paul and her companions, as they counted on
handling the rebellion more easily in two groups than one.

Meanwhile the condition of the prisoners in the workhouse grew
steadily worse. It was imperative that we force the Ad-


ministration to take them out of the custody of Superintendent
Whittaker immediately. We decided to take the only course open-to
obtain a writ of habeas corpus. A hurried journey by counsel to
United States District Judge Waddill of Norfolk, Virginia,
brought the writ. It compelled the government to bring the
prisoners into court and show cause why they should not be
returned to the district jail. This conservative, Southern judge
said of the petition for the writ, "It is shocking and blood-

There followed a week more melodramatic than the most stirring
moving picture film. Although the writ had been applied for in
the greatest secrecy, a detective suddenly appeared to accompany
Mr. O'Brien from Washington to Norfolk, during his stay in
Norfolk, and back to Washington. Telephone wires at our
headquarters were tapped.

It was evident that the Administration was cognizant of every
move in this procedure before it was executed. No sooner was our
plan decided upon than friends of the Administration besought us
to abandon the habeas corpus proceedings. One member of the
Administration sent an emissary to our headquarters with the
following appeal:

"If you will only drop these proceedings, I can absolutely
guarantee you that the prisoners will be removed from the
workhouse to the jail in a week:"

"In a week? They may be dead by that time," we answered. "We
cannot wait."

"But I tell you, you must not proceed."

"Why this mysterious week?" we asked. "Why not tomorrow? Why not

"I can only tell you that I have a positive guarantee of the
District Commissioners that the women will be removed," he said
in conclusion. We refused to grant his request.

There were three reasons why the authorities wished for a week's
time. They were afraid to move the women in their


weakened condition and before the end of the week they hoped to
increase their facilities for forcible feeding at the workhouse.
They also wished to conceal the treatment of the women, the
exposure of which would be inevitable in any court proceedings.
And lastly, the Administration was anxious to avoid opening up
the whole question of the legality of the very existence of the
workhouse in Virginia.

Persons convicted in the District for acts committed in violation
of District law were transported to Virginia-alien territory-to
serve their terms. It was a moot point whether prisoners were so
treated with sufficient warrant in law. Eminent jurists held that
the District had no right to convict a person under its laws and
commit that person to confinement in another state. They
contended that sentence imposed upon a person for unlawful acts
in the District should be executed in the District.

Hundreds of persons who had been convicted in the District of
Columbia and who had served their sentences in Virginia had been
without money or influence enough to contest this doubtful
procedure in the courts. The Administration was alarmed.

We quickened our pace. A member of the Administration rushed his
attorney as courier to the women in the workhouse to implore them
not to consent to the habeas corpus proceedings. He was easily
admitted and tried to extort from one prisoner at a time a
promise to reject the plan. The women suspected his solicitude
and refused to make any promise whatsoever without first being
allowed to see their own attorney.

We began at once to serve the writ. Ordinarily this would be an
easy thing to do. But for us it developed into a very difficult
task. A deputy marshal must serve the writ. Counsel sought a
deputy. For miles around 'Washington, not one was to be found at
his home or lodgings. None could be reached by telephone.

Meanwhile Mr. Whittaker, had sped from the premises of


the workhouse to the District, where he kept himself discreetly
hidden for several days. When a deputy was found, six attempts
were made to serve the writ. All failed. Finally by a ruse, Mr.
Whittaker was caught at his home late at night. He was aroused to
a state of violent temper and made futile threats of reprisal
when he learned that he must produce the suffrage prisoners at
the Court in Alexandria, Virginia, on the day of November twenty-


Chapter 12

Alice Paul in Prison

Great passions when they run through a whole population,
inevitably find a great spokesman. A people cannot remain dumb
which is moved by profound impulses of conviction; and when
spokesmen and leaders are found, effective concert of action
seems to follow as naturally. Men spring together for common
action under a common impulse which has taken hold upon their
very natures, and governments presently find that they have those
to reckon with who know not only what they want, but also the
most effective means of making governments uncomfortable until
they get it. Governments find themselves, in short, in the
presence of Agitation, of systematic movements of opinion, which
do not merely flare up in spasmodic flames and then die down
again, but burn with an accumulating ardor which can be checked
and extinguished only by removing the grievances, and abolishing
the unacceptable institutions which are its fuel. Casual
discontent can be allayed, but agitation fixed upon conviction
cannot be. To fight it is merely to augment its force. It burns
irrepressibly in every public assembly; quiet it there, and it
gathers head at street corners; drive it thence, and it smolders
in private dwellings, in social gatherings, in every covert of
talk, only to break forth more violently than ever because denied
vent and air. It must be reckoned with . . . .

Governments have been very resourceful in parrying agitation, in
diverting it, in seeming to yield to it, and then cheating it of
its objects, in tiring it out or evading it . . . . But the end,
whether it comes soon or late, is quite certain to be always the

“Constitutional Government in the United States."
Woodrow Wilson, Ph.D., LL.D.,
President of Princeton University.

The special session of the 65th Congress, known as the "War
Congress," adjourned in October, 1917, having passed every
measure recommended as a war measure by the President.

In addition, it found time to protect by law migratory birds, to
appropriate forty-seven million dollars for deepening rivers and
harbors, and to establish more federal judgeships. No honest
person would say that lack of time and pressure of


war legislation had prevented its consideration of the suffrage
measure. If one-hundredth part of the time consumed by its
members in spreading the wings of the overworked eagle, and in
uttering to bored ears "home-made" patriotic verse, had been
spent in considering the liberty of women, this important
legislation could have been dealt with. Week after week Congress
met only for three days, and then often merely for prayer and a
few hours of purposeless talking.

We had asked for liberty, and had got a suffrage committee
appointed in the House to consider the pros and cons of suffrage,
and a favorable report in the Senate from the Committee on Woman
Suffrage, nothing more.

On the very day and hour of the adjournment of the special
session of the War Congress, Alice Paul led eleven women to the
White House gates to protest against the Administration's
allowing its lawmakers to go home without action on the suffrage

Two days later Alice Paul and her colleagues were put on trial.

Many times during previous trials I had heard the District
Attorney for the government shake his finger at Miss Paul and
say, "We'll get you yet . . . . Just wait; and when we do, we'll
give you a year!"

It was reported from very authentic sources that Attorney General
Gregory had, earlier in the agitation, seriously considered
arresting Miss Paul for the Administration, on the charge of
conspiracy to break the law. We were told this plan was abandoned
because, as one of the Attorney General's staff put it, "No jury
would convict her."

However, here she was in their hands, in the courtroom.

Proceedings opened with the customary formality. The eleven
prisoners sat silently at the bar, reading their morning papers,
or a book, or enjoying a moment of luxurious idleness, oblivious
of the comical movements of a perturbed court.


Nothing in the world so baffles the pompous dignity of a court as
non-resistant defendants. The judge cleared his throat and the
attendants made meaningless gestures.

"Will the prisoners stand up and be sworn?"

They will not.

"Will they question witnesses?"

They will not.

"Will they speak in their own behalf ?"

The slender, quiet-voiced Quaker girl arose from her seat. The
crowded courtroom pressed forward breathlessly. She said calmly
and with unconcern: "We do not wish to make any plea before this
court. We do not consider ourselves subject to this court, since
as an unenfranchised class we have nothing to do with the making
of the laws which have put us in this position."

What a disconcerting attitude to take! Miss Paul sat down as
quietly and unexpectedly as she had arisen. The judge moved
uneasily in his chair. The gentle way in which it was said was
disarming. Would the judge hold them in contempt? He had not time
to think. His part of the comedy he had expected to run smoothly,
and here was this defiant little woman calmly stating that we
were not subject to the court, and that we would therefore have
nothing to do with the proceedings. The murmurs had grown to a
babel of conversation. A sharp rap of the gavel restored order
and permitted Judge Mullowny to say: "Unfortunately, I am here to
support the laws that are made by Congress, and, of course, I am
bound by those laws; and you are bound by them as long as you
live in this country, notwithstanding the fact that you do not
recognize the law."

Everybody strained his ears for the sentence. The Administration
had threatened to "get" the leader. Would they dare?

Another pause!


"I shall suspend sentence for the time being," came solemnly from
the judge.

Was it that they did not dare confine Miss Paul? Were they
beginning actually to perceive the real strength of the movement
and the protest that would be aroused if she were imprisoned?
Again we thought perhaps this marked the end of the jailing of

But though the pickets were released on suspended sentences,
there was no indication of any purpose on the part of the
Administration of acting on the amendment. Two groups, some of
those on suspended sentence, others first offenders, again
marched to the White House gates. The following motto:


a quotation from the President's second Liberty Loan appeal, was
carried by Miss Paul.

Dr. Caroline E. Spencer of Colorado carried:


All were brought to trial again.

The trial of Miss Paul's group ran as follows:

MR. HART (Prosecuting Attorney for the Government):
Sergeant Lee, were you on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White
House Saturday afternoon?


MR. HART: At what time?

LEE: About 4:35 in the afternoon.

HART: Tell the court what you saw.

LEE: A little after half-past four, when the department clerks
were all going home out Pennsylvania Avenue, I saw four


suffragettes coming down Madison Place, cross the Avenue and
continue on Pennsylvania Avenue to the gate of the White
House, where they divided two on the right and two on the left
side of the gate.

HART: What did you do?

LEE: I made my way through the crowd that was surrounding them
and told the ladies they were violating the law by standing at
the gates, and wouldn't they please move on?

HART: Did they move on?

LEE: They did not; and they didn't answer either.

HART: What did you do then?

LEE: I placed them under arrest.

HART: What did you do then?

LEE: I asked the crowd to move on.

Mr. Hart then arose and summing up said: "Your Honor, these women
have said that they will picket again. I ask you to impose the
maximum sentence."

Such confused legal logic was indeed drole!

"You ladies seem to feel that we discriminate in making arrests
and in sentencing you," said the judge heavily. "The result is
that you force me to take the most drastic means in my power to
compel you to obey the law."

More legal confusion!

"Six months," said the judge to the first offenders, "and then
you will serve one month more," to the others.

Miss Paul's parting remark to the reporters who intercepted her
on her way from the courtroom to begin her seven months' sentence

"We are being imprisoned, not because we obstructed traffic, but
because we pointed out to the President the fact that he was
obstructing the cause of democracy at home, while Americans were
fighting for it abroad."

I am going to let Alice Paul tell her own story, as she related
it to me one day after her release:


It was late afternoon when we arrived at the jail. There we found
the suffragists who had preceded us, locked in cells.

The first thing I remember was the distress of the prisoners
about the lack of fresh air. Evening was approaching, every
window was closed tight. The air in which we would be obliged to
sleep was foul. There were about eighty negro and white prisoners
crowded together, tier upon tier, frequently two in a cell. I
went to a window and tried to open it. Instantly a group of men,
prison guards, appeared; picked me up bodily, threw me into a
cell and locked the door. Rose Winslow and the others were
treated in the same way.

Determined to preserve out health and that of the other
prisoners, we began a concerted fight for fresh air. The windows
were about twenty feet distant from the cells, and two sets of
iron bars intervened between us and the windows, but we
instituted an attack upon them as best we could. Our tin drinking
cups, the electric light bulbs, every available article of the
meagre supply in each cell, including my treasured copy of
Browning's poems which I had secretly taken in with me, was
thrown through the windows. By this simultaneous attack from
every cell, we succeeded in breaking one window before our supply
of tiny weapons was exhausted. The fresh October air came in like
an exhilarating gale. The broken window remained untouched
throughout the entire stay of this group and all later groups of
suffragists. Thus was won what the "regulars" in jail called the
first breath of air in their time.

The next day we organized ourselves into a little group for the
purpose of rebellion. We determined to make it impossible to keep
us in jail. We determined, moreover, that as long as we were
there we would keep up an unremitting fight for the rights of
political prisoners.

One by one little points were conceded to quiet resistance. There
was the practice of sweeping the corridors in such a way that the
dust filled the cells. The prisoners would be choking to the
gasping point, as they sat, helpless, locked in the cells, while
a great cloud of dust enveloped them from tiers above and below.
As soon as our tin drinking cups, which were sacrificed in our
attack upon the windows, were restored to us, we instituted a
campaign against the dust. Tin cup after tin cup was filled and
its contents thrown out into the corridor


from every cell, so that the water began to trickle down from
tier to tier. The District Commissioners, the Board of Charities,
and other officials were summoned by the prison authorities.
Hurried consultations were held. Nameless officials passed by in
review and looked upon the dampened floor. Thereafter the
corridors were dampened and the sweeping into the cells ceased.
And so another reform was won.

There is absolutely no privacy allowed a prisoner in a cell. You
are suddenly peered at by curious strangers, who look in at you
all hours of the day and night, by officials, by attendants, by
interested philanthropic visitors, and by prison reformers, until
one's sense of privacy is so outraged that one rises in
rebellion. We set out to secure privacy, but we did not succeed,
for, to allow privacy in prison, is against all institutional
thought and habit. Our only available weapon was our blanket,
which was no sooner put in front of our bars than it was forcibly
taken down by Warden Zinkhan.

Our meals had consisted of a little almost raw salt pork, some
sort of liquid-I am not sure whether it was coffee or soup-bread
and occasionally molasses. How we cherished the bread and
molasses! We saved it from meal to meal so as to try to
distribute the nourishment over a longer period, as almost every
one was unable to eat the raw pork. Lucy Branham, who was more
valiant than the rest of us, called out from her cell, one day,
"Shut your eyes tight, close your mouth over the pork and swallow
it without chewing it. Then you can do it." This heroic practice
kept Miss Branham in fairly good health, but to the rest it
seemed impossible, even with our eyes closed, to crunch our teeth
into the raw pork.

However gaily you start out in prison to keep up a rebellious
protest, it is nevertheless a terribly difficult thing to do in
the face of the constant cold and hunger of undernourishment.
Bread and water, and occasional molasses, is not a diet destined
to sustain rebellion long. And soon weakness overtook us.

At the end of two weeks of solitary confinement, without any
exercise, without going outside of our cells, some of the
prisoners were released, having finished their terms, but five of
us were left serving seven months' sentences, and two, one month
sentences. With our number thus diminished to seven,


the authorities felt able to cope with us. The doors were
unlocked and we were permitted to take exercise. Rose Winslow
fainted as soon as she got into the yard, and was carried back to
her cell. I was too weak to move from my bed. Rose and I were
taken on stretchers that night to the hospital.

For one brief night we occupied beds in the same ward in the
hospital. Here we decided upon the hunger strike, as the ultimate
form of protest left us-the strongest weapon left with which to
continue within the prison our battle against the Administration.

Miss Paul was held absolutely incommunicado in the prison
hospital. No attorney, no member of her family, no friend could
see her. With Miss Burns in prison also it became imperative that
I consult Miss Paul as to a matter of policy. I was peremptorily
refused admission by Warden Zinkhan, so I decided to attempt to
communicate with her from below her window. This was before we
had established what in prison parlance is known as the "grape-
vine route." The grape-vine route consists of smuggling messages
oral or written via a friendly guard or prisoner who has access
to the outside world.

Just before twilight, I hurried in a taxi to the far-away spot,
temporarily abandoned the cab and walked past the dismal cemetery
which skirts the prison grounds. I had fortified myself with a
diagram of the grounds, and knew which entrance to attempt, in
order to get to the hospital wing where Miss Paul lay. We had
also ascertained her floor and room. I must first pick the right
building, proceed to the proper corner, and finally select the
proper window.

The sympathetic chauffeur loaned me a very seedy looking overcoat
which I wrapped about me. Having deposited my hat inside the cab,
I turned up the collar, drew in my chin and began surreptitiously
to circle the devious paths leading to a side entrance of the
grounds. My heart was palpitating, for the authorities had
threatened arrest if any suffragists were


found on the prison grounds, and aside from my personal feelings,
I could not at that moment abandon headquarters.

Making a desperate effort to act like an experienced and trusted
attendant of the prison, I roamed about and tried not to appear
roaming. I successfully passed two guards, and reached the
desired spot, which was by good luck temporarily deserted. I
succeeded in calling up loudly enough to be heard by Miss Paul,
but softly enough not to be heard by the guards.

I shall never forget the shock of her appearance at that window
in the gathering dusk. Everything in the world seemed black-gray
except her ghost-like face, so startling, so inaccessible. It
drove everything else from my mind for an instant. But as usual
she was in complete control of herself. She began to hurl
questions at me faster than I could answer. "How were the
convention plans progressing?" . . . "Had the speakers been
secured for the mass meeting?" . . . "How many women had signed
up to go out on the next picket line?" And so on.

"Conditions at Occoquan are frightful," said I. "We are planning
to . . ."

"Get out of there, and move quickly," shouted the guard, who came
abruptly around the corner of the building. I tried to finish my
message. "We are planning to habeas corpus the women out of
Occoquan and have them transferred up here."

"Get out of there, I tell you. Damn you!" By this time he was
upon me. He grabbed me by the arm and began shaking me. "You will
be arrested if you do not get off these grounds." He continued to
shake me while I shouted back, "Do you approve of this plan?"

I was being forced along so rapidly that I was out of range of
her faint voice and could not hear the answer. I plead with the
guard to be allowed to go back quietly and speak a few more words
with Miss Paul, but he was inflexible. Once out of the grounds I
went unnoticed to the cemetery and sat on a


tombstone to wait a little while before making another attempt,
hoping the guard would not expect me to come back. The lights
were beginning to twinkle in the distance and it was now almost
total darkness. I consulted any watch and realized that in forty
minutes Miss Paul and her comrades would again be going through
the torture of forcible feeding. I waited five minutes-ten
minutes-fifteen minutes. Then I went back to the grounds again. I
started through another entrance, but had proceeded only a few
paces when I was forcibly evicted. Again I returned to the cold
tombstone. I believe that I never in my life felt more utterly
miserable and impotent. There were times, as I have said, when we
felt inordinately strong. This was one of the times when I felt
that we were frail reeds in the hands of cruel and powerful
oppressors. My thoughts were at first with Alice Paul, at that
moment being forcibly fed by men jailers and men doctors. I
remembered then the man warden who had refused the highly
reasonable request to visit her, and my thoughts kept right on up
the scale till I got to the man-President-the pinnacle of power
against us. I was indeed desolate. I walked back to the hidden
taxi, hurried to headquarters, and plunged into my work, trying
all night to convince myself that the sting of my wretchedness
was being mitigated by activity toward a release from this state
of affairs.

Later we established daily communication with Miss Paul through
one of the charwomen who scrubbed the hospital floors. She
carried paper and pencil carefully concealed upon her. On
entering Miss Paul's room she would, with very comical stealth,
first elaborately push Miss Paul's bed against the door, then
crawl practically under it, and pass from this point of
concealment the coveted paper and pencil. Then she would linger
over the floor to the last second, imploring Miss Paul to hasten
her writing. Faithfully every evening this silent, dusky


messenger made her long journey after her day's work, and
patiently waited while I wrote an answering note to be delivered
to Miss Paul the following morning. Thus it was that while in the
hospital Miss Paul directed our campaign, in spite of the
Administration's most painstaking plans to the contrary.

Miss Paul's story continues here from the point where I
interrupted it.

From the moment we undertook the hunger strike, a policy of
unremitting intimidation began. One authority after another, high
and low, in and out of prison, came to attempt to force me to
break the hunger strike.

"You will be taken to a very unpleasant place if you don't stop
this," was a favorite threat of the prison officials, as they
would hint vaguely of the psychopathic ward, and St. Elizabeth's,
the Government insane asylum. They alternately bullied and
hinted. Another threat was "You will be forcibly fed immediately
if you don't stop"-this from Dr. Gannon. There was nothing to do
in the midst of these continuous threats, with always the "very
unpleasant place" hanging over me, and so I lay perfectly silent
on my bed.

After about three days of the hunger strike a man entered my room
in the hospital and announced himself as Dr. White, the head of
St. Elizabeth's. He said that he had been asked by District
Commissioner Gardner to make an investigation. I later learned
that he was Dr. William A. White, the eminent alienist.

Coming close to my bedside and addressing the attendant, who
stood at a few respectful paces from him, Dr. White said: "Does
this case talk?"

"Why wouldn't I talk?" I answered quickly.

"Oh, these cases frequently will not talk, you know," he
continued in explanation.

"Indeed I'll talk," I said gaily, not having the faintest idea
that this was an investigation of my sanity.

"Talking is our business," I continued, "we talk to any one on
earth who is willing to listen to our suffrage speeches."

"Please talk," said Dr. White. "Tell me about suffrage;


why you have opposed the President; the whole history of your
campaign, why you picket, what you hope to accomplish by it. Just
talk freely."

I drew myself together, sat upright in bed, propped myself up for
a discourse of some length, and began to talk. The stenographer
whom Dr. White brought with him took down in shorthand everything
that was said.

I may say it was one of the best speeches I ever made. I recited
the long history and struggle of the suffrage movement from its
early beginning and narrated the political theory' of our
activities up to the present moment, outlining the status of the
suffrage amendment in Congress at that time. In short, I told him
everything. He listened attentively, interrupting only
occasionally to say, "But, has not President Wilson treated you
women very badly?" Whereupon, I, still unaware that I was being
examined, launched forth into an explanation of Mr. Wilson's
political situation and the difficulties he had confronting him.
I continued to explain why we felt our relief lay with him; I
cited his extraordinary power, his influence over his party, his
undisputed leadership in the country, always painstakingly
explaining that we opposed President Wilson merely because he
happened to be President, not because he was President Wilson.
Again came an interruption from Dr. White, "But isn't President
Wilson directly responsible for the abuses anal indignities which
have been heaped upon you? You are suffering now as a result of
his brutality, are you not?" Again I explained that it was
impossible for us to know whether President Wilson was personally
acquainted in any detail with the facts of our present condition,
even though we knew that he had concurred in the early decision
to arrest our women.

Presently Dr. White took out a small light and held it up to my
eyes. Suddenly it dawned upon me that he was examining me
personally; that his interest in the suffrage agitation and the
jail conditions did not exist, and that he was merely interested
in my reactions to the agitation and to jail. Even then I was
reluctant to believe that I was the subject of mental
investigation and I continued to talk.

But he continued in what I realized with a sudden shock, was an
attempt to discover in me symptoms of the persecution


mania. How simple he had apparently thought it would be, to prove
that I had an obsession on the subject of President Wilson!

The day following he came again, this time bringing with him the
District Commissioner, Mr. Gardner, to whom he asked me to repeat
everything that had been said the day before. For the second time
we went through the history of the suffrage movement, and again
his inquiry suggested his persecution mania clue? When the
narrative touched upon the President and his responsibility for
the obstruction of the suffrage amendment, Dr. White would turn
to his associate with the remark: "Note the reaction."

Then came another alienist , Dr. Hickling, attached to the
psychopathic ward in the District Jail, with more threats and
suggestions, if the hunger strike continued. Finally they
departed, and I was left to wonder what would happen next.
Doubtless my sense of humor helped me, but I confess A was not
without fear of this mysterious place which they continued to

It appeared clear that it was their intention either to discredit
me, as the leader of the agitation, by casting doubt upon my
sanity, or else to intimidate us into retreating from the
hunger strike.

After the examination by the alienists, Commissioner Gardner,
with whom I had previously discussed our demand for treatment as
political prisoners, made another visit. "All these things you
say about the prison conditions may be true," said Mr. Gardner,
"I am a new Commissioner, and I do not know. You give an account
of a very serious situation in the jail. The jail authorities
give exactly the opposite. Now I promise you we will start an
investigation at once to see who is right, you or they. If it is
found you are right, we shall correct the conditions at once. If
you will give up the hunger strike, we will start the
investigation at once."

"Will you consent to treat the suffragists as political
prisoners, in accordance with the demands laid before you?" I

Commissioner Gardner refused, and I told him that the hunger
strike would not be abandoned. But they had by no means exhausted
every possible facility for breaking down our


resistance. I overheard the Commissioner say to Dr. Gannon on
leaving, "Go ahead, take her and feed her."

I was thereupon put upon a stretcher and carried into the
psychopathic ward.

There were two windows in the room. Dr. Gannon immediately
ordered one window nailed from top to bottom. He then ordered the
door leading into the hallway taken down and an iron-barred cell
door put in its place. He departed with the command to a nurse to
"observe her."

Following this direction, all through the day once every hour,
the nurse came to "observe" me. All through the night, once every
hour she came in, turned on an electric light sharp in my face,
and "observed" me. This ordeal was the most terrible torture, as
it prevented my sleeping for more than a few minutes at a time.
And if I did finally get to sleep it was only to be shocked
immediately into wide-awakeness with the pitiless light.

Dr. Hickling, the jail alienist, also came often to "observe" me.
Commissioner Gardner and others-doubtless officials came to peer
through my barred door.

One day a young interne came to take a blood test. I protested
mildly, saying that it was unnecessary and that I objected. "Oh,
well," said the young doctor with a sneer and a supercilious
shrug, "you know you're not mentally competent to decide such
things." And the test was taken over my protest.

It is scarcely possible to convey to you one's reaction to such
an atmosphere. Here I was surrounded by people on their way to
the insane asylum. Some were waiting for their commitment papers.
Others had just gotten them. And all the while everything
possible was done to attempt to make me feel that I too was a
"mental patient."

At this time forcible feeding began in the District Jail. Miss
Paul and Miss Winslow, the first two suffragists to undertake the
hunger strike, went through the operation of forcible feeding
this day and three times a day on each succeeding day until their
release from prison three weeks later. The


hunger strike spread immediately to other suffrage prisoners in
the jail and to the workhouse as recorded in the preceding

One morning [Miss Paul's story continues the friendly face of a
kindly old man standing on top of a ladder suddenly appeared at
my window. He began to nail heavy boards across the window from
the outside. He smiled and spoke a few kind words and told me to
be of good cheer. He confided to me in a sweet and gentle way
that he was in prison for drinking, that he had been in many
times, but that he believed he had never seen anything so inhuman
as boarding up this window and depriving a prisoner of light and
air. There was only time for a few hurried moments of
conversation, as I lay upon my bed watching the boards go up
until his figure was completely hidden and I heard him descending
the ladder.

After this window had been boarded up no light came into the room
except through the top half of the other window, and almost no
air. The authorities seemed determined. to deprive me of air and

Meanwhile in those gray, long days, the mental patients in the
psychopathic ward came and peered through my barred door. At
night, in the early morning, all through the day there were cries
and shrieks and moans from the patients. It was terrifying. One
particularly melancholy moan used to keep up hour after hour,
with the regularity of a heart beat. I said to myself, "Now I
have to endure this. I have got to live through this somehow.
I'll pretend these moans are the noise of an elevated train,
beginning faintly in the distance and getting louder as it comes
nearer." Such childish devices were helpful to me.

The nurses could not have been more beautiful in their spirit and
offered every kindness. But imagine being greeted in the morning
by a kindly nurse, a new one who had just come on duty, with, "I
know you are not insane." The nurses explained the procedure of
sending a person to the insane asylum. Two alienists examine a
patient in the psychopathic ward, sign an order committing the
patient to St. Elizabeth's Asylum, and there. the patient is sent
at the end of one week.


No trial, no counsel, no protest from the outside world! This was
the customary procedure.

I began to think as the week wore on that this was probably their
plan for me. I could not see my family or friends; counsel was
denied me; I saw no other prisoners and heard nothing of them; I
could see no papers; I was entirely in the hands of alienists,
prison officials and hospital staff.

I believe I have never in my life before feared anything or any
human being. But I confess I was afraid of Dr. Gannon, the jail
physician. I dreaded the hour of his visit.

"I will show you who rules this place. You think you do. But I
will show you that you are wrong." Some such friendly greeting as
this was frequent from Dr. Gannon on his daily round. "Anything
you desire, you shall not have. I will show you who is on top in
this institution," was his attitude.

After nearly a week had passed, Dudley Field Malone finally
succeeded in forcing an entrance by an appeal to court officials
and made a vigorous protest against confining me in the
psychopathic ward. He demanded also that the boards covering the
window be taken down. This was promptly done and again the
friendly face of the old man became visible, as the first board

"I thought when I put this up America would not stand for this
long," he said, and began to assure me that nothing dreadful
would happen. I cherish the memory of that sweet old man.

The day after Mr. Malone's threat of court proceedings, the
seventh day of my stay in the psychopathic ward, the attendants
suddenly appeared with a stretcher. I did not know whither I was
being taken, to the insane asylum, as threatened, or back to the
hospital-one never knows in prison where one is being taken, no
reason is ever given for anything. It turned out to be the

After another week spent by Miss Paul on hunger strike in the
hospital, the Administration was forced to capitulate. The doors
of the jail were suddenly opened, and all suffrage prisoners were

With extraordinary swiftness the Administration's almost


incredible policy of intimidation had collapsed. Miss Paul had
been given the maximum sentence of seven months, and at the end
of five weeks the Administration was forced to acknowledge
defeat. They were in a most unenviable position. If she and her
comrades had offended in such degree as to warrant so cruel a
sentence, (with such base stupidity on their part in
administering it) she most certainly deserved to be detained for
the full sentence. The truth is, every idea of theirs had been
subordinated to the one desire of stopping the picketing
agitation. To this end they had exhausted all their weapons of

From my conversation and correspondence with Dr. White, it is
clear that as an alienist he did not make the slightest
allegation to warrant removing Miss Paul to the psychopathic
ward. On the contrary he wrote, "I felt myself in the presence of
an unusually gifted personality" and . . . "she was wonderfully
alert and keen . . . possessed of an absolute conviction of her
cause . . . with industry and courage sufficient to avail herself
of them [all diplomatic possibilities. He praised the "most
admirable, coherent, logical and forceful way" in which she
discussed with him the purpose of our campaign.

And yet the Administration put her in the psychopathic ward and
threatened her with the insane asylum.

An interesting incident occurred during the latter part of Miss
Paul's imprisonment. Having been cut off entirely from outside
communication, she was greatly surprised one night at a late hour
to find a newspaper man admitted for an interview with her. Mr.
David Lawrence, then generally accepted as the Administration
journalist, and one who wrote for the various newspapers
throughout the country defending the policies of the Wilson
Administration, was announced. It was equally well known that
this correspondent's habit was to ascertain the position of the
leaders on important questions, keeping inti-


mately in touch with opinion in White House circles at the same

Mr. Lawrence came, as he said, of his own volition, and not as an
emissary from the White House. But in view of his close relation
to affairs, his interview is significant as possibly reflecting
an Administration attitude at that ,point in the campaign.

The conversation with Miss Paul revolved first about our fight
for the right of political prisoners, Miss Paul outlining the
wisdom and justice of this demand.

"The Administration could very easily hire a comfortable house in
Washington and detain you all there," said Mr. Lawrence, "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."

The political prisoners protest, then, had actually encouraged
the Administration to choose the lesser of two evils some action
on behalf of the amendment.

"Suppose," continued Mr. Lawrence, "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?"

"Nothing short of the passage of the amendment through Congress
will end our agitation," Miss Paul quietly answered for the
thousandth time.

Since Mr. Lawrence disavows any connection with the
4dministration in this interview, I can only remark that events
followed exactly in the order he outlined; that is, the Admin-


istration attempted to satisfy the women by putting the amendment
through the House and not through the Senate.

It was during Miss Paul's imprisonment that the forty-one women
went in protest to the picket line and were sent to the
workhouse, as narrated in the previous chapter. The terrorism
they endured at Occoquan ran simultaneously with the attempted
intimidation of Miss Paul and her group in the jail.


Chapter 13

Administration Lawlessness Exposed

In August, 1917, when it was clear that the policy of imprisoning
suffragists would be continued indefinitely, and under longer
sentences, the next three groups of pickets to be arrested asked
for a decision from the highest court, the District Court of
Appeals. Unlike other police courts in the country, there is no
absolute right of appeal-from the Police Court of the District of
Columbia. Justice Robb, of the District Court of Appeals, after
granting two appeals, refused to grant any more, upon the ground
that he had discretionary power to grant or withhold an appeal.
When further right of appeal was denied us, and when the
Administration persisted in arresting us, we were compelled
either to stop picketing or go to prison.

The first appealed case was heard by the Court of Appeals on
January 8, 1918, and the decision[1] handed down in favor of the
defendants on March 4, 1918. This decision was concurred in by
all three judges, one of whom was appointed by President Wilson,
a second by President Roosevelt and the third by President Taft.

In effect the decision declared that every one of the 218
suffragists arrested up to that time was illegally arrested,
illegally convicted, and illegally imprisoned. The whole policy
of the Administration in arresting women was by this decision
held up to the world as lawless. The women could, if they had
chosen, have filed suits for damages for false arrest and
imprisonment at once.

[1]See Hunter vs. District of Columbia, 47 App. Cas. (D. C.) p.


The appeal cases of the other pickets were ordered dismissed and
stricken from the records. Dudley Field Malone was chief counsel
in the appeal.

Another example of ethical, if not legal lawlessness, was shown
by the Administration in the following incident. Throughout the
summer and early autumn we had continued to press for an
investigation of conditions at Occoquan, promised almost four
months earlier.

October 2nd was the date finally set for an investigation to be
held in the District Building before the District Board of
Charities. Armed with 18 affidavits and a score of witnesses as
to the actual conditions at Occoquan, Attorney Samuel C. Brent
and Judge J. K. N. Norton, both of Alexandria, Virginia, acting
as counsel with Mr. Malone, appeared before the Board on the
opening day and asked to be allowed to present their evidence.
They were told by the Board conducting the investigation that
this was merely "an inquiry into the workhouse conditions and
therefore would be held in secret without reporters or outsiders
present." The attorneys demanded a public hearing, and insisted
that the question was of such momentous importance that the
public was entitled to hear both sides of it. They were told they
might submit in writing any evidence they wished to bring before
the Board. They refused to produce testimony for a "star chamber
proceeding," and refused to allow their witnesses to be heard
unless they could be heard in public.

Unable to get a public hearing, counsel left the following letter
with the President of the Board:

Hon. John Joy Edson,
President Board of Charities,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir:-We are counsel for a large group of citizens, men and
women, who have in the past been associated with Occoquan work
house as officials or inmates and who are ready


to testify to unspeakable conditions of mismanagement, graft,
sanitary depravity, indignity and brutality at the institution.

We are glad you are to conduct this long-needed inquiry and shall
cooperate in every way to get at the truth of conditions in
Occoquan through your investigation, provided you make the
hearings public, subpoena all available witnesses, including men
and women now prisoners at Occoquan, first granting them
immunity, and provided you give counsel an opportunity to examine
and cross examine all witnesses so called.

We are confident your honorable board will see the justice and
wisdom of a public inquiry. If charges so publicly made are
untrue the management of Occoquan work house is entitled to
public vindication, and if these charges are true, the people of
Washington and Virginia should publicly know what kind of a
prison they have in their midst, and the people of the country
should publicly know the frightful conditions in this institution
which is supported by Congress and the government of the United

We are ready with our witnesses and affidavits to aid your
honorable board in every way, provided you meet the conditions
above named. But if you insist on a hearing behind closed doors
we cannot submit our witnesses to a star chamber proceeding and
shall readily find another forum in which to tell the American
public the vivid story of the Occoquan work house.

Respectfully yours,

Subsequently the District Board of Charities reported findings on
their secret investigation. After a lengthy preamble, in which
they attempted to put the entire blame upon the suffrage
prisoners, they advised:

That the investigation directed by the Commissioners of the
District of Columbia be postponed until the conditions of unrest,
excitement, and disquiet at Occoquan have been overcome:

That the order relieving W. H. Whittaker as superintend-


ent, temporarily and without prejudice, be revoked, and Mr.
Whittaker be restored to his position as superintendent:[1]

That the members of the National Woman's Party now at Occoquan be
informed that unless they obey the rules of the institution and
discontinue their acts of insubordination and riot, they will be
removed from Occoquan to the city jail and placed in solitary

In announcing the report to the press the District Commissioners
stated that they approved the recommendations of the Board of
Charities "after most careful consideration," and that "as a
matter of fact, the District workhouse at Occoquan is an
institution of which the commissioners are proud, and is a source
of pride to every citizen of the nation's Capital."

That the Administration was in possession of the true facts
concerning Mr. Whittaker and his conduct in office there can be
no doubt. But they supported him until the end of their campaign
of suppression.

Another example of the Administration's lawlessness appeared in
the habeas corpus proceedings by which we rescued the prisoners
at the workhouse from Mr. Whittakers custody. The trial occurred
on November 23rd.

No one present can ever forget the tragi-comic scene enacted in
the little Virginia court room that cold, dark November morning.
There was Judge Waddill[2]-who had adjourned his sittings in
Norfolk to hasten the relief of the prisoners-a mild mannered,
sweet-voiced Southern gentleman. There was Superintendent
Whittaker in his best Sunday clothes, which mitigated very little
the cruel and nervous demeanor which no one who has come under
his control will ever forget. His thugs were there, also dressed
in their best clothes, which only exaggerated their coarse
features and their shifty eyes. Mrs. Herndon, the thin-lipped
matron, was there, looking nervous

[1]Pending the investigation Mr. Whittaker was suspended, and his
first assistant, Alonzo Tweedale, served in the capacity of

[2]Appointed to the bench by President Roosevelt.


and trying to seem concerned about the prisoners in her charge.
Warden Zinkhan was there seeming worried at the prospect of the
prisoners being taken from the care of Superintendent Whittaker
and committed to him-he evidently unwilling to accept the

Dudley Field Malone and Mr. O'Brien of counsel, belligerent in
every nerve, were ready to try the case. The two dapper
government attorneys, with immobile faces, twisted nervously in
their chairs. There was the bevy of newspaper reporters
struggling for places in the little courtroom, plainly
sympathetic, for whatever they may have had to write for the
papers they knew that this was a battle for justice against
uneven odds. There were as many eager spectators as could be
crowded into so small an area. Upon the whole an air of
friendliness prevailed in this little court at 'Alexandria which
we had never felt in the Washington courts. And the people there
experienced a shock when the slender file of women, haggard, red-
eyed, sick, came to the bar. Some were able to walk to their
seats; others were so weak that they had to be stretched out 6n
the wooden benches with coats propped under their heads for
pillows. Still others bore the marks of the attack of the "night
of terror." Many of the prisoners lay back in their chairs hardly
conscious of the proceedings which were to. free them. Mrs.
Brannan collapsed utterly and had to be carried to a couch in an

It was discovered just as the trial was to open that Miss Lucy
Burns and Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, who it will be remembered had been
removed to the jail before the writ had been issued, were absent
from among the prisoners.

"They are too ill to be brought into court," Mr. Whittaker
replied to the attorneys for the defense.

"We demand that they be brought into court at our risk," answered
counsel for the defense.

The government's attorneys sustained Mr. Whittaker in


not producing them. It was clear that the government did not
her wish to have Miss Burns with the marks still fresh on
wrists from her manacling and handcuffing, and Mrs. Lewes with a
fever from the shock of the first night, brought before the judge
who was to decide the case.

"If it was necessary to handcuff Miss Burns to the bars of her
cell, we consider her well enough to appear," declared Mr.
O'Brien. . "We consider we ought to know what has happened to all
of these petitioners since these events. While I was at Occoquan
Sunday endeavoring to see my clients, Mr. Whittaker was trying to
induce the ladies, who, he says, are too sick to be brought here,
to dismiss this proceeding. Failing in that, he refused to let me
see them, though I had an order from Judge Mullowny, and they
were taken back to the District of Columbia. From that time to
this, though I had your Honor's order which you signed in
Norfolk, the superintendent of the Washington jail also refused
to allow me to see my clients, saying that your order had no
effect in the District of Columbia."

"If there are any petitioners that you claim have not been
brought here because they have been carried beyond the
jurisdiction of the courts, I think we should know it," ruled the
court. "Counsel for these ladies want them here; and they say
that they ought to be here and are well enough to b here; that
the respondent here has spirited them away and put them beyond
the jurisdiction of the court. On that showing, unless there is
some reason why they ought not to come, they should be here."

Miss Burns and Mrs. Lewes were accordingly ordered brought to

This preliminary skirmish over, the opening discussion revolved
about a point of law as to whether the Virginia District Court
had authority to act in this case.

After hearing both sides on this point, Judge Waddill said:


"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.

"Here was 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. They are here
in court, and yet your answer denies all these facts which they
submit, It is a question whether you can do that anal yet deny
these petitioners the right of testimony."

Proceeding with this argument, the defense contended that the act
itself of the District Commissioners in sending prisoners to the
Occoquan 	workhouse was illegal; that no formal transfer from one
institution to another had ever been made, the sentencing papers
distinctly stating that all prisoners were committed to "the
Washington Asylum and Jail."

"We deny that the records of the Commissioners of the District of
Columbia can show that there was any order made by the Board for
the removal of these women. The liberty of a citizen cannot be so
disregarded and trifled with that any police official or jailer
may at his own volition, commit and hold him in custody and
compel him to work. The liberty of the people depends upon a
broader foundation."

Repeated questions brought out from Mr. Zinkhan, Warden of the
Jail, the fact that the directions given by the Commissioners to
transfer prisoners from the jail to Occoquan rested entirely upon
a verbal order given "five or six years ago."

"Do you really mean," interrupted the court, "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?"

Questions by the defense brought out the fact also that Mr.
Zinkhan could remember in detail the first oral orders he had
received for such a transfer, dating back to 1911, although he
could not remember important details as to how he had received
the orders concerning the suffragists committed to his care! He
only knew that "orders were oral and explicit."

Q. [By defense in court You say the three commissioners were

A. Sure.

Q. Who else was present?

A. I am not sure just now who else was present. I remember
somebody else was there, but I don't remember just who . . . .

Q. Were the three commissioners present at the time Mr.
[Commissioner] Brownlow gave you this order?

A. Yes.

Q. You say it was a verbal order of the Commissioners?

A. Yes.

Q. Was the clerk of the Board present?

A. I think not.

Q. And you cannot remember who was present aside from the three

A. No, I cannot remember just now.

Q. Try to recollect who was present at that meeting when this
order was given, aside from the Commissioners. There was somebody
else present?

A. It is my impression that there was some one other person
present, but I am not sure just now who it was.

Q. It was some official, some one well known, was it not . . . .?

A. I am not sure. . . .


[This conference was one in which Mr. McAdoo was reported to have

The gentle judge was distressed when in answer to a question by
the government's attorney as to what Mr. Zinkhan did when the
prisoners were given into his charge, the warden replied:

A. I heard early in the afternoon of the sentence, and I did not
get away from the Commissioners' meeting until nearly 4 o'clock
and I jumped in my machine and went down to the jail, and I think
at that time six of them had been delivered there and were in the
rotunda of the jail, and a few minutes after that a van load
came. The remaining number of ten or twelve had not arrived, but
inasmuch as the train had to leave at 5 o'clock and there would
not be time enough to receive them in the jail and get them there
in time for the train, I took the van that was there right over
to the east end of the Union Station, and I think I took some of
the others in my machine and another machine we had there carried
some of the others over, and we telephoned the other van at
Police Court to go direct to the east end of the Union Station
and to deliver them to me. I had of course the commitments of
those that were brought up to the jail-about 20 of them-and
received from the officer of the court the other commitments of
the last van load, and there I turned all of them except one that
I kept back . . over to the receiving and discharging officer
representing the District Workhouse, and they were taken down
there that evening.

There followed some questioning of the uneasy warden as to how he
used this power to decide which prisoners should remain in jail
and which should be sent to Occoquan. Warden Zinkhan stuttered
something about sending "all the able bodied prisoners to
Occoquan-women able to perform useful work"-and that
"humanitarian motives" usually guided him in his selection. It
was a difficult task for the warden for he had to


conceal just why the suffrage prisoners were sent to Occoquan,
and in so doing had to invent "motives" of his own.

Q. [By defense.] Mr. Zinkhan, were you or were you not actuated
by humanitarian motives when you sent this group of women to the
Occoquan Workhouse?

A. Yes.

Q. Were you actuated by humanitarian motives when you sent Mrs.
Nolan, a woman of 73 years, to the workhouse? Did you think that
she could perform some service at Occoquan that it was necessary
to get her out of district jail and go down there?

Warden Zinkhan gazed at the ceiling, shifted in his chair and
hesitated to answer. The question was repeated, and finally the
warden admitted uncomfortably that he believed he was inspired by
"humanitarian motives."

"Mrs. Nolan, will you please stand up?" called out Mr. Malone.

All eyes turned toward the front row, where Mrs. Nolan slowly got
to her feet. The tiny figure of a woman with pale face and snowy
hair, standing out dramatically against her black bonnet and
plain black dress, was answer enough.

Warden Zinkhan's answers after that came even more haltingly. He
seemed inordinately fearful of trapping himself by his own words.

"The testimony has brought out the fact," the judge remarked at
this point, "that two of these ladies were old and one of them is
a delicate lady. Her appearance would indicate that she is not
strong. Under this rule, if one of these ladies had been eighty
years old and unable to walk she would have gone along with the
herd and nobody would have dared to say `ought this to be done?'
Would the Commissioners in a case of that sort, if they gave
consideration to it, think of sending such an individual there?
Was not that what the law expected them to do, and not take them
off in droves and inspect them


at the Union Station and shoot them on down? Yet that is about
what was done in this case."

In summing up this phase of the case in an eloquent appeal, Mr.
Malone said:

"Can the Commissioners, with caprice and no order and no record
except that orally given five or six years ago, and one which
this warden now says was given `oral and explicit,' transfer
defendants placed in a particular institution, and under a
particular kind of punishment arbitrarily to another institution,
and add to their punishment?

"Even if we admit that the Commissioners had power, did Congress
ever contemplate that any District Commissioners would dare to
exercise power affecting the life and health of defendants in
this fashion? Did Congress ever contemplate that, by mere whim,
these things could be done? I am sure it did not, and even on the
admission of the government that they had the power, they have
exercised this power in such a scandalous fashion that it is
worthy of the notice of the court and worthy of the remedy which
we seek-the removal of the suffrage prisoners from the Occoquan

After a brief recess, Judge Waddill rendered this decision: "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 o f prisoners and this number of prisoners
should haze 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."
. . .


It having been decided that the prisoners were illegally detained
in the workhouse, it was not necessary to go into a discussion of
the cruelties committed upon the prisoners while there.

The government's attorneys immediately announced that they would
appeal from the decision of Judge Waddill. Pending such an appeal
the women were at liberty to be paroled in the custody of
counsel. But since they had come from the far corners of the
continent and since some of them had served out almost half of
their sentence, and did not wish in case of an adverse decision
on the appeal, to have to return later to undergo the rest of
their sentence, they preferred to finish their sentences.

These were the workhouse prisoners thus remanded to the jail who
continued the hunger strike undertaken at the workhouse, and made
a redoubtable reinforcement to Alice Paul and Rose Winslow and
their comrades 'on strike in the jail when the former arrived.


Chapter 14

The Administration Outwitted

With thirty determined women on hunger strike, of whom eight were
in a state of almost total collapse, the Administration
capitulated. It could not afford to feed thirty women forcibly
and risk the social and political consequences; nor could it let
thirty women starve themselves to death, and likewise take the
consequences. For by this time one thing was clear, and that was
that the discipline and endurance of the women could not be
broken. And so all the prisoners were unconditionally released on
November 27th and November 28th.

On leaving prison Miss Paul said: "The commutation of sentences
acknowledges them to be unjust and arbitrary. The attempt to
suppress legitimate propaganda has failed.

"We hope that no more demonstrations will be necessary, that the
amendment will move steadily on to passage and ratification
without further suffering or sacrifice. But what we do depends
entirely upon what the Administration does. We have one aim: the
immediate passage of the federal amendment"

Running parallel to the protest made inside the prison, a
public protest of nation-wide proportions had been made
against continuing to imprison women. Deputations of in-
fluential women had waited upon all party leaders, cabinet
officials, heads of the war boards, in fact every friend of the
Administration, pointing out that we had broken no law, that


we were unjustly held, and that .the Administration would suffer
politically for their handling of the suffrage agitation.

A committee of women, after some lively fencing with the
Secretary of War, finally drove Mr. Baker to admit that women had
been sent to prison for a political principle; that they were not
petty disturbers but part of a great fundamental struggle.
Secretary Baker said, "This [the suffrage struggle] is a
revolution. There have been revolutions all through his-
tory. Some have been justified and some have not. The burden of
responsibility to decide whether your revolution is justified or
not is on you. The whole philosophy of your movement seems to be
to obey no laws until you have a voice in those laws."

At least one member of the Cabinet thus showed that he had caught
something of the purpose and depth of our movement. He never
publicly protested, however, against the Administration's policy
of suppression.

Mr. McAdoo, then Secretary of the Treasury, gave no such evidence
of enlightenment as Mr. Baker. A committee of women endeavored to
see him. He was reported "out. But we expect him here soon."

We waited an hour. The nervous private secretary returned to say
that he had been mistaken. "The Secretary will not be in until
after luncheon."

"We shall wait," said Mrs. William Kent, chairman of the
deputation. "We have nothing more important to do to-day than to
see Secretary McAdoo. We are willing to wait the whole day, if
necessary, only it is imperative that we see him."

The private secretary's spirits sank. He looked as if he would
give anything to undo his inadvertence in telling us that the
Secretary was expected after luncheon! Poor man! We settled down
comfortably to wait, a formidable looking committee of twenty

There was the customary gentle embarrassment of attend-


ants whose chief is in a predicament from which they seem
powerless to extricate him, but all were extremely courteous. The
attendant at the door brought us the morning papers to read.
Gradually groups of men began to arrive and cards were sent in
the direction of the spot where we inferred the Secretary of the
Treasury was safely hidden, hoping and praying for our early

Whispered conversations were held. Men disappeared in and out of
strange doors. Still we waited.

Finally as the fourth hour of our vigil was dragging on, a
lieutenant appeared to announce that the Secretary was very sorry
but that he would not be able to see us "at all." We consulted,
and finally sent in a written appeal, asking for "five minutes of
his precious time on a matter of grave importance." More waiting!
Finally a letter was brought to us directed to Mrs. William Kent,
with the ink of the Secretary of the Treasury's signature still
wet. With no concealment of contempt, he declared that under no
circumstances could he speak with women who had conducted such an
outrageous campaign in such an "illegal" way. We smiled as we
learned from his pronouncement that "picketing" was "illegal,"
for we were not supposed to have been arrested for picketing. The
tone of his letter, its extreme bitterness, tended to confirm
what we had always been told, that Mr. McAdoo assisted in
directing the policy of arrests and imprisonment.

I have tried to secure this letter for reproduction but
unfortunately Mrs. Kent did not save it. We all remember its
bitter passion, however, and the point it made about our "illegal

Congress convened on December 4th. President Wilson delivered a
message, restating our aims in the war. He also recommended a
declaration of a state of war against Austria; the control of
certain water power sites; export trade-combination; railway
legislation; and the speeding up of all neces-


sary appropriation legislation. But he did not mention the
suffrage amendment. Having been forced to release the prisoners,
he again rested.

Immediately we called a conference in Washington of the Executive
Committee and the National Advisory Council of the Woman's Party.
Past activities were briefly reviewed and the political situation
discussed. It is interesting to note that the Treasurer's report
made at this conference showed that receipts in some months
during the picketing had been double what they were the same
month the previous year when there was no picketing. In one month
of picketing the receipts went as high as six times the normal
amount. For example in July of 1917, when the arrests had just
begun, receipts for the month totalled $21,628.65 as against
$8,690.62 for July of 1916. In November, 1917, when the militant
situation was at its highest point, there was received at
National Headquarters $81,117.87 as against $15,008.18 received
in November, 1916. Still there were those who said we had no

A rumor that the President would act persisted. But we could not
rely on rumor. We decided to accelerate him and his
Administration by filing damage suits amounting to $800,000
against the District Commissioners, against Warden Zinkhan,
against Superintendent Whittaker and Captain Reams, a workhouse
guard.[1] They were brought in no spirit of revenge, but merely
that the Administration should not be allowed to forget its
record of brutality, unless it chose to amend its conduct by
passing the amendment. The suits were brought by the women woo
suffered the greatest abuse during the "night of terror" at the

If any one is still in doubt as to the close relation between the
Court procedure in our case and the President's actions,

[1]We were obliged to bring the suits against individuals, as we
could not in the law bring them against the government.


this letter to one of our attorneys in January, 1918, must
convince him.

My dear Mr. O'Brien:

I wish you would advise me as soon as you conveniently can, what
will be done with the suffragist cases now pending against
Whittaker and Reams in the United States District Court at

I have heard rumors, the truth of which you will understand
better than I, that these cases will be dropped if the President
comes out in favor of woman suffrage. This, I understand, he will
do and certainly hope so, as I am personally in favor of it and
have been for many years. But in case of his delay in taking any
action, will you agree to continue these cases for the present?

Very truly yours,

(Signed) F. H. STEVENS,
Assistant Corporation Counsel, D. C.

In order to further fortify themselves, the District
Commissioners, when the storm had subsided, quietly removed
Warden Zinkhan from the jail and Superintendent Whittaker
resigned his post at the workhouse, presumably under pressure
from the Commissioners.

The Woman's Party conference came to a dramatic close during that
first week in December with an enormous mass meeting in the
Belasco Theatre in Washington. On that quiet Sunday afternoon, as
the President came through his gates for his afternoon drive, a
passageway had to be opened for his motor car through the crowd
of four thousand people who were blocking Madison Place in an
effort to get inside the Belasco Theatre. Inside the building was
packed to the rafters. The President saw squads of police
reserves, who had been for the past six months arresting pickets
for him, battling with a crowd that was literally storming the
theatre in their eagerness to do honor to those who had been
arrested. Inside there was a fever heat of enthusiasm, bursting
cheers, and


thundering applause which shook the building. America has never
before nor since seen such a suffrage meeting.

Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, chairman, opened the meeting by saying:

"We are here this afternoon to do honor to a hundred gallant
women, who have endured the hardship and humiliation of
imprisonment because they love liberty.

"The suffrage pickets stood at the White House gates for ten
months and dramatized the women's agitation for political
liberty. Self-respecting and patriotic American women will no
longer tolerate a government which denies women the right to
govern themselves. A flame of rebellion is abroad among women,
and the stupidity and brutality of the government in this revolt
have only served to increase its heat.

"As President Wilson wrote, `Governments have been very
successful in parrying agitation, diverting it, in seeming to
yield to it and then cheating it, tiring it out or evading it.
But the end, whether it comes soon or late, is quite certain to
be the same.' While the government has endeavored to parry, tire,
divert, and cheat us of our goal, the country has risen in
protest against this evasive policy of suppression until to-day
the indomitable pickets with their historic legends stand
triumphant before the nation."

Mrs. William Kent, who had led the last picket line of forty-one
women, was chosen to decorate the prisoners.

"In honoring these women, who were willing to go to jail for
liberty," said Mrs. Kent, "we are showing our love of country and
devotion to democracy." The long line of prisoners filed past her
and amidst constant cheers and applause, received a tiny silver
replica of a cell door, the same that appears in miniature on the
title page of this book.

As proof of this admiration for what the women had done, the
great audience in a very few moments pledged $86,826 to continue
the campaign. Many pledges were made in honor of


Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Mrs. Belmont, Dudley Field Malone,
and all the prisoners. Imperative resolutions calling upon
President Wilson and his Administration to act, were unanimously
passed amid an uproar.


Chapter 15

Political Results

Immediately following the release of the prisoners and the
magnificent demonstration of public support of them, culminating
at the mass meeting recorded in the preceding chapter, political
events happened thick and fast. Committees in Congress acted on
the amendment. President Wilson surrendered and a date for the
vote was set.

The Judiciary Committee of the House voted 18 to 2 to report the
amendment to that body. The measure, it will be remembered, was
reported to the Senate in the closing days of the previous
session, and was therefore already before the Senate awaiting

To be sure, the Judiciary Committee voted to report the amendment
without recommendation. But soon after, the members of the -
Suffrage Committee, provision for which had also been made during
the war session, were appointed. All but four members of this
committee were in favor of national suffrage, and immediately
after its formation it met to organize and decided to take the
suffrage measure out of the hands of the Judiciary Committee and
to press for a vote.

A test of strength came on December 18th.

On a trivial motion to refer all suffrage bills to the new
suffrage committee, the vote stood 204 to 10'7. This vote,
although unimportant in itself, clearly promised victory for the
amendment in the House. In a few days, Representative Mon-

[1]See Chapter 8.


dell of Wyoming, Republican, declared that the Republican side of
the House would give more than a two-thirds majority of its
members to the amendment.

"It is up to our friends on the Democratic side to see that the
amendment is not defeated through hostility or indifference on
their side," said Mr. Mondell.

Our daily poll of the House showed constant gains. Pledges from
both Democratic and Republican members came thick and fast;
cabinet members for the first time publicly declared their belief
in the amendment. A final poll, however, showed that we lacked a
few votes of the necessary two-thirds majority to pass the
measure in the House.

No stone was left unturned in a final effort to get the President
to secure additional Democratic votes to insure the passage of
the amendment. Finally, on the eve of the vote President Wilson
made his first declaration of support of the amendment through a
committee of Democratic Congressmen. During the vote the
following day Representative Cantrill of Kentucky, Democrat,
reported the event to the House. He said in part:

It was my privilege yesterday afternoon to be one of a committee
of twelve to ask the President for advice and counsel on this
important measure (prolonged laughter and jeers). Mr. Speaker, in
answer to the sentiment expressed by part of the House, I desire
to say that at no time and upon no occasion am I ever ashamed to
confer with Woodrow Wilson upon any important question (laughter,
applause, and, jeers) and that part of the House that has jeered
that statement before it adjourns to-day will follow absolutely
the advice which he gave this committee yesterday afternoon.
(Laughter and applause.) After conference with the President
yesterday afternoon he wrote with his own hands the words which I
now read to you, and each member of the committee was authorized
by the President to give full publicity to the following:

"The committee found that the President had not felt at liberty
to volunteer his advice to Members of Congress in this


important matter, but when we sought his advice (laughter) he
very frankly and earnestly advised us to vote for the amendment
as an act of right and justice to the women of the country and o
f the world."

. . . To my Democratic brethren who have made these halls ring
with their eloquence in their pleas to stand by the President, I
will say that now is your chance to stand by the President and
vote for this amendment, "as' an act of right and justice to the
women of the country and of the world" . . .

Do you wish to do that which is right and just toward the women
of your own country? If so, follow the President's advice and
vote for this amendment. It will not do to follow the President
in this great crisis in the world's history on those matters only
which are popular in your own districts. The true test is to
stand by him, even though your own vote is unpopular at home. The
acid test for a Member of Congress is for him to stand for right
and justice even if misunderstood at home at first. In the end,
right and justice will prevail

 . . . No one thing connected with the war is of more importance
at this time than meeting the reasonable demand of millions of
patriotic and Christian women of the Nation that the amendment
for woman suffrage be submitted to the States . . . .

The amendment passed the House January 10, 1918, by a vote of 274
to l36-a two-thirds majority with one vote to spare-exactly forty
years to a day from the time the suffrage amendment was first
introduced into Congress, and exactly one year to a day from the
time the first picket banner appeared at the gates o f the White

Eighty-three per cent of the Republicans voting on the measure,
voted in favor of it, while only fifty per cent of the Democrats
voting, voted for it. Even after the Republicans had pledged
their utmost strength, more than two-thirds of their membership,
votes were still lacking to make up the Democratic deficiency,
and the President's declaration that the measure ought to pass
the House, produced them from his own


party. Those who contend that picketing had "set back the
clock,"-that it did "no good,"-that President Wilson would "not
be moved by it"-have, we believe, the burden of proof on their
side of the argument. It is our firm belief that the solid year
of picketing, with all its political ramifications, did compel
the President to abandon his opposition and declare himself for
the measure. I do not mean to say that many things do not
cooperate in a movement toward a great event. I do mean to say
that picketing was the most vital force amongst the elements
which moved President Wilson. That picketing had compelled
Congress to see the question in terms of political capital is
also true. From the first word uttered in the House debate, until
the final roll-call, political expediency was the chief motif.

Mr. Lenroot of Wisconsin, Republican, rose to say:

"May I suggest that there is a distinction between the Democratic
members of the Committee on Rules and the Republican members, in
this, that all of the Republican members are for this
proposition?" This was met with instant applause from the
Republican side.

Representative Cantrill prefaced his speech embodying the
President's statement, which caused roars and jeers from the
opposition, with the announcement that he was not willing to risk
another election, with the voting women of the West, and the
amendment still unpassed.

Mr. Lenroot further pointed out that: "From a Republican
standpoint-from a partisan standpoint, it would be an advantage
to Republicans to go before the people in the next election and
say that this resolution was defeated by southern Democrats."

An anti-suffragist tried above the din and noise to remind Mr.
Lenroot that three years before Mr. Lenroot had voted "No," but a
Republican colleague came suddenly to the rescue with "What about
Mr. Wilson?" which was followed by, "He


kept us out of war," and the jeers on the Republican side became
more pronounced.

This interesting political tilt took place when Representatives
Dennison and Williams of Illinois, and Representative Kearns of
Ohio, Republicans, fenced with Representative Raker of
California, Democrat, as he attempted, with an evident note of
self-consciousness, to make the President's reversal seem less

MR. DENNISON : It was known by the committee that went to see the
President that the Republicans were going to take this matter up
and pass it in caucus, was it not?'

MR. RAKER: I want to say to my Republican friends upon this
question that I have been in conference with the President for
over three years upon this question . . . .

MR. KEARNS: How did the women of California find out and learn
where the President stood on this thing just before election last
fall? Nobody else seemed to know it.

MR. RAKER: They knew it.

MR. KEARNS: How did they find it out?

MR. RAKER: I will take a minute or two

MR. KEARNS: I wish the gentleman would.

MR. RAKER: The President went home and registered. The President
went home and voted for woman suffrage.

MR. KEARNS: He said he believed in it for the several states . .
. .

MR. RAKER: One moment—

MR. KEARNS : That is the only information they had upon the
subject, is it?

MR. WILLIAMS: . . . Will the gentleman yield?

MR. RAKER: I cannot yield.

MR. WILLIAMS: Just for a question.

MR. RAKER: I cannot yield . . . .

That the President's political speed left some overcome was clear
from a remark of Mr. Clark of Florida when he said:


"I was amused at my friend from Oklahoma, Mr. Ferris, who wants
us to ,stand with the President. God knows I want to stand with
him. I am a Democrat, and I want to follow the leader of my
party, and I am a pretty good lightning change artist myself
sometimes (laughter); but God knows I cannot keep up with his
performance. (Laughter.) Why, the President wrote a book away
back yonder" . . . and he quoted generously from President
Wilson's many statements in defense of state rights as recorded
in his early writings.

Mr. Hersey of Maine, Republican, drew applause when he made a
retort to the Democratic slogan, "Stand by the President." He

"Mr. Speaker, I am still `standing with the President,' or, in
other words, the President this morning is standing with me."

The resentment at having been forced by the pickets to the point
of passing the amendment was in evidence throughout the debate.

Representative Gordon of Ohio, Democrat, said with bitter
ness : "We are threatened by these militant suffragettes with a
direct and lawless invasion by the Congress of the United States
of the rights of those States which have refused to confer upon
their women the privilege of voting. This attitude on the part
of some of the suffrage Members of this House is on an exact
equality with the acts of these women militants who have spent
the last summer and fall, while they were not in the district
jail or workhouse, in coaxing, teasing, and nagging the Presi
dent of the United States for the purpose of inducing him, by
coercion, to club Congress into adopting this joint resolution."

Shouts of "Well, they got him!" and "They got it!" from all
sides, followed by prolonged laughter and jeers, interrupted the
flow of his oratory.

Mr. Ferris of Oklahoma, Democrat, hoped to minimize the
effectiveness of the picket.


"Mr. Speaker," he said, "I do not approve or believe in picketing
the White House, the National Capitol, or any other station to
bring about votes for women. I do not approve of wild militancy,
hunger strikes, and efforts of that sort. I do not approve of the
course of those women that . . ., become agitators, lay off their
womanly qualities in their efforts to secure votes. I do not
approve of anything unwomanly anywhere, any time, and my course
to-day in supporting this suffrage amendment is not guided by
such conduct on the part of a very few women here or elsewhere."

Representative Langley of Kentucky, Republican, was able to see
picketing in a fairer light:

"Much has been said pro and con about `picketing',-that rather
dramatic chapter in the history of this great movement. It is not
my purpose to speak either in criticism or condemnation of that;
but if it be true-I do not say that it is, because I do not know-
but if it be true, as has been alleged, that certain promises
were made, as a result of which a great campaign was won, and
those promises were not kept, I wonder whether in that silent,
peaceful protest that was against this broken faith, there can be
found sufficient warrant for the indignities which the so-called
`pickets' suffered; and when in passing up and down the Avenue I
frequently witnessed cultured, intellectual women arrested and
dragged off to prison because of their method, of giving
publicity to what they believed to be the truth, I will confess
that the question sometimes arose in my mind whether when the
impartial history of this great struggle has been written their
names may not be placed upon the roll of martyrs to the cause to
which they were consecrating their lives in the manner that they
deemed most effective."

Mr. Mays of Utah was one Democrat who placed the responsibility
for militancy where it rightly belonged when he said:


"Some say to-day that they are ashamed of the action of the
militants in picketing the Capitol: . . . But we should be more
ashamed of the unreasonable stubbornness on the part of the men
who refused them the justice they have so long and patiently

And so the debate ran on. Occasionally one caught a glimmer of
real comprehension, amongst these men about to vote upon our
political liberty; but more often the discussion stayed on a very
inferior level.

And there were gems imperishable!

Even friends of the measure had difficulty not to romanticize
about "Woman-God's noblest creature" . . . "man's better
counterpart" . . . "humanity's perennial hope" . . . "the world's
object most to be admired and loved" . . . and so forth.

Representative Elliott of Indiana, Republican, favored the
resolution because-"A little more than four hundred years ago
Columbus discovered America. Before that page of American history
was written he was compelled to seek the advice and assistance of
a woman. From that day until the present day the noble women of
America have done their part in times of peace and of war . . ."

If Queen Isabella was an argument in favor for Mr. Elliott of
Indiana, Lady Macbeth played the opposite part for Mr. Parker of
New Jersey, Republican . . . . "I will not debate the question as
to whether in a time of war women are the best judges of policy.
That great student of human nature, William Shakespeare, in the
play of Macbeth, makes Lady Macbeth eager for deeds of blood
until they are committed and war is begun and then just as eager
that it may be stopped." . . .

Said Mr. Gray of New Jersey, Republican: "A nation will endure
just so long as its men are virile. History, physiology, and
psychology all show that giving woman equal political rights with
man makes ultimately for the deterioration of manhood. It is,
therefore, not only because I want our country to


win this war but because I want our nation to possess the male
virility necessary to guarantee its future existence that I am
opposed to the pending amendment."

The hope was expressed that President Wilson's conversion would
be like that of St. Paul, "and that he will become a master-
worker in the vineyards of the Lord for this proposition."

Mr. Gallivan, Democrat, although a representative of
Massachusetts, "the cradle of American liberty," called upon a
great Persian philosopher to sustain him in his support. " `Dogs
bark, but the caravan moves on.' . . . Democracy cannot live half
free and half female."

Mr. Dill of Washington, Democrat, colored his support with the
following tribute: " . . . It was woman who first learned to
prepare skins of animals for protection from the elements, and
tamed and domesticated the dog and horse and cow. She was a
servant and a slave . . . . To-day she is the peer of man."

Mr. Little of Kansas, Republican, tried to bring his colleagues
back to a moderate course by interpolating:

"It seems to me, gentlemen, that it is time for us to learn that
woman is neither a slave nor an angel, but a human being,
entitled to be treated with ordinary common sense in the
adjustment of human affairs . . . ."

But this calm statement could not allay the terror of
Representative Clark of Florida, Democrat, who cried: "In the
hearings before the committee it will be found that one of the
leaders among the suffragettes declared that they wanted the
ballot for `protection', and when asked against whom she desired
`protection' she promptly and frankly replied, `men.' My God, has
it come to pass in America that the women of the land need to be
protected from the men?" The galleries quietly nodded their
heads, and Mr. Clark continued to predict either the complete
breakdown of family life . . . . or "they [man and wife] must
think alike, act alike, have the same ideals of life,


and look forward with like vision to the happy consummation
`beyond the vale.' . . .

"God knows that . . . when you get factional politics limited to
husband and wife, oh, what a spectacle will be presented, my
countrymen . . . . Love will vanish, while hate ascends the
throne . . . .

"To-day woman stands the uncrowned queen in the hearts of all
right-thinking American men; to her as rightful sovereign we
render the homage of protection, respect, love, and may the
guiding hand of an all-wise Providence stretch forth in this hour
of peril to save her from a change of relation which must bring
in its train, discontent, sorrow, and pain," he concluded
desperately, with the trend obviously toward "crowning" the

There was the disturbing consideration that women know too much
to be trusted. "I happen to have a mother," said Mr. Gray of New
Jersey, Republican, "as most of us have, and incidentally I think
we all have fathers, although a father does not count for much
any more. My mother has forgotten more political history than he
ever knew, and she knows more about the American government and
American political economy than he has ever shown symptoms of
knowing, and for the good of mankind as well as the country she
is opposed to women getting into politics."

The perennial lament for the passing of the good old days was
raised by Representative Welty of Ohio, Democrat, who said:

"The old ship of state has left her moorings and seems to be
sailing on an unknown and uncharted sea. The government founded
in the blood of our fathers is fading away. Last fall, a year
ago, both parties recognized those principles in their platforms,
and each candidate solemnly declared that he would abide by them
if elected. But lo, all old things are passing away, and the lady
from Montana has filed a bill asking


that separate citizenship be granted to American women marrying

Representative Greene of Massachusetts, Republican, all but shed
tears over the inevitable amending of the Constitution:

"I have read it [the Constitution] many times, and there have
been just 17 amendments adopted since the original Constitution
was framed by the master minds whom God had inspired in the cabin
of the Mayflower to formulate the Constitution of the Plymouth
Colony which was made the basis of the Constitution of
Massachusetts and subsequently resulted in the establishment of
the Constitution of the United States under which we now live . .
. ."

Fancy his shock at finding the pickets triumphant.

"Since the second session of the Sixty-fifth Congress opened," he
said, "I have met several women suffragists from the State of
Massachusetts. I have immediately propounded to them this one
question: ‘Do you approve or disapprove of the suffrage banners
in front of the White House . . . ?' The answer in nearly every
case to my question was: `I glory in that demonstration' . . .
the response to my question was very offensive, and I immediately
ordered these suffrage advocates from my office."

And again the pickets featured in the final remarks of Mr. Small
of North Carolina, Democrat, who deplored the fact that advocates
of the amendment had made it an issue inducing party rivalry.
"This is no party question, and such efforts will be futile. It
almost equals in intelligence the scheme of that delectable and
inane group of women who picketed the White House on the theory
that the President could grant them the right to vote."

Amid such gems of intellectual delight the House of the great
American Congress passed the national suffrage amendment.

We turned our entire attention then to the Senate.


Chapter 16

An Interlude (Seven Months)

The President had finally thrown his power to putting the
amendment through the House. We hoped he would follow this up by
insisting upon the passage of the amendment in the Senate. We
ceased our acts of dramatic protest for the moment and gave our
energies to getting public pressure upon him, to persuade him to
see that the Senate acted. We also continued to press directly
upon recalcitrant senators of the minority party who could be won
only through appeals other than from the President.

There are in the Senate 96 members-2 elected from each of the 48
states. To pass a constitutional amendment through the Senate, 64
votes are necessary, a two-thirds majority. At this point in the
campaign, 58 senators were pledged to support the measure and 48
were opposed. We therefore had to win 11 more votes. A measure
passed through one branch of Congress must be passed through the
other branch during the life of that Congress, otherwise it dies
automatically and must be born again in a new Congress. We
therefore had only the remainder of the first regular session of
the 65th Congress and, failing of that, the short second session
from December, 1918, to March, 1919, in which to win those votes.

Backfires were started in the states of the senators not yet
committed to the amendment. Organized demand for action in the
Senate grew to huge proportions.

We turned also to the leading influential members of the
respective parties for active help.


Colonel Roosevelt did his most effective suffrage work at this
period in a determined attack upon the few unconvinced Republican
Senators. The Colonel was one of the few leaders in our national
life who was never too busy to confer or to offer and accept
suggestions as to procedure. He seemed to have imagination about
women. He never took a patronizing attitude nor did he with moral
unction dogmatically tell you how the fight should be waged and
won. He presupposed ability among women leaders. He was not
offended, morally or politically, by our preferring to go to jail
rather than to submit in silence. In fact, he was at this time
under Administration fire, because of his bold attacks upon some
of their policies, and remarked during an interview at Oyster

"I may soon join you women in jail. One can never tell these

His sagacious attitude toward conservative and radical suffrage
forces was always delightful and indicative of his appreciation
of the political and social value of a movement's having vitality
enough to disagree on methods. None of the banal philosophy that
"you can never win until all your forces get together" from the
Colonel. One day, as I came into his office for an interview, I
met a member of the conservative suffragists just leaving, and we
spoke. In his office the Colonel remarked, "You know, I
contemplated having both you and Mrs. Whitney come to see me at
the same time, since it was on a similar mission, but I didn't
quite know whether the lion and the lamb would lie down together,
and I thought I'd better take no chances . . . . But I see you're
on speaking terms," he added. I answered that our relations were
extremely amiable, but remarked that the other side might not
like to be called "lambs."

"You delight in being the lions-on that point I am safe, am I
not?" And he smiled his widest smile as he plunged into a vivid
expository attack upon the Senatorial opponents of


suffrage in his own party. He wrote letters to them. If this
failed, he invited them to Oyster Bay for the week-end. Never did
he abandon them until there was literally not a shadow of hope to
bank on.

When the Colonel got into action something always happened on the
Democratic side. He made a public statement to Senator Gallinger
of New Hampshire, Republican leader in the Senate, in which lie
pointed to the superior support of the Republicans and urged even
more liberal party support to ensure the passage of the amendment
in the Senate. Action by the Democrats followed fast on the heels
of this public statement.

The National Executive Committee of the Democratic party, after a
referendum vote of the members of the National Committeemen,
passed a resolution calling for favorable action in the Senate.
Mr. A. Mitchell Palmer wrote to the Woman's Party saying that
this resolution must be regarded as "an official expression of
the Democratic Party through the only organization which can
speak for it between national conventions."

The Republican National Committee meeting at the same time
commended the course taken by Republican Representatives who had
voted for the amendment in the House, and declared their position
to be "a true interpretation of the thought of the Republican

Republican and Democratic state, county and city committees
followed the lead and called for Senate action.

State legislatures in rapid succession called upon the Senate to
pass the measure, that they in turn might immediately ratify.
North Dakota, New York, Rhode Island, Arizona, Texas and other
states acted in this matter.

Intermittent attempts on the Republican side to force action,
followed by eloquent speeches from time to time, piquing their
opponents, left the Democrats bison-like across


the path. The majority of them were content to rest upon the
action taken in the House.

I was at this time Chairman of the Political Department of the
Woman's Party, and in that capacity interviewed practically every
national leader in both majority parties. I can not resist
recording a few impressions.

Colonel William Boyce Thompson of New York, now Chairman of Ways
and Means of the Republican National Committee, who with Raymond
Robins had served in Russia as member of the United States Red
Cross. Mission, had just returned. The deadlock was brought to
his attention. He immediately responded in a most effective way.
In a brief but dramatic speech at a great mass meeting of the
Woman's Party, at Palm Beach, Florida, he said:

"The story of the brutal imprisonment in Washington of women
advocating suffrage is shocking and almost incredible. I became
accustomed in Russia to the stories of men and women who served
terms of imprisonment under the Czar, because of their love of
liberty, but did not know that women in my own country had been
subjected to brutal treatment long since abandoned in Russia.

"I wish now to contribute ten thousand dollars to the campaign
for the passage of the suffrage amendment through the Senate,,
one hundred dollars for each of the pickets who went to prison
because she stood at the gates of the White House, asking for the
passage of the suffrage measure."

This was the largest single contribution received during the
national agitation. Colonel Thompson had been a suffragist all
his life, but he now became actively identified with the work for
the national amendment. Since then he has continued to give
generously of his money and to lend his political prestige as
often as necessary.

Colonel House was importuned to use his influence to win
additional Democratic votes in the Senate, or better still to


urge the President to win them. Colonel House is an interesting
but not unfamiliar type in politics. Extremely courteous, mild
mannered, able, quickly sympathetic, he listens with undistracted
attention to your request. His round bright eyes snap as he comes
at you with a counter-proposal. It seems so reasonable. And while
you know he is putting back upon you the very task you are trying
to persuade him to undertake, he does it so graciously that you
can scarcely resist liking it. He has the manner of having done
what you ask without actually doing more than to make you feel
warm at having met him. It is a kind of elegant statecraft which
has its point of grace, but which is exasperating when
effectiveness is needed. Not that Colonel House was not a
supporter of the federal amendment. He was. But his gentle, soft
and traditional kind of diplomacy would not employ high-powered
pressure. "I shall be going to Washington soon on other matters,
and I shall doubtless see the President. Perhaps he may bring up
the subject in conversation, and if he does, and the opportunity
offers itself, I may be able to do something." Some such gentle
threat would come from the Colonel. He was not quite so tender,
however, in dealing with Democratic senators, after the President
declared for the amendment. He did try to win them.

Ex-President Taft, then joint Chairman of the National War Labor
Board, was interviewed at his desk just after rendering an
important democratic labor award.

"No, indeed! I'll do nothing for a proposition which adds more
voters to our electorate. I thought my position on this question
was well known," said Mr. Taft.

"But we thought you doubtless had changed your mind since the
beginning of our war for democracy-" I started to answer.

"This is not a war for democracy," he said emphatically, looking
quizzically at me for my assertion; "if it were, I


wouldn't be doing anything for it .... The trouble in this
country is we've got too many mm voting as it is. Why, I'd take
the vote away from most of the men," he added. I wanted to ask
him what men he would leave voting. I wanted also to tell him
they were taking the vote away from one class of men in Russia at
that moment.

Instead, I said, "Well, I'm not quite sure whom we could trust to
sit in judgment"-while he looked smiling and serene, as much as
to say, "Oh, that would be a simple matter."

"However," I said, "we have no quarrel with you. You are an
avowed aristocrat, and we respect your candor. Our quarrel is
with democrats who will not trust their own doctrines." Again he
smiled with as much sophistication as such a placid face could
achieve, and that was all. I believe Mr. Taft has lately modified
his attitude toward women voting. I do not know how he squares
that with his distaste of democracy.

There was Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of
Labor, high in Administration confidence. It was a long wait
before Abby Scott Baker and I were allowed into his sanctum.

"Well, ladies, what can I do for you?" was the opening question,
and we' thought happily here is a man who will not bore us with
his life record on behalf of women. He comes to the point with

"Will you speak to the President on behalf of your organization,
which has repeatedly endorsed national suffrage, to induce him to
put more pressure behind the Senate which is delaying suffrage?"
we asked with equal direction. We concealed a heavy sigh as a
reminiscent look came into his shrewd, wan eyes, and he began:

"Doubtless you ladies do not know that as long ago as1888"-I
believe that was the date-"my organization sent a petition to the
United States Congress praying for the adop-


tion of this very amendment and we have stood for it ever since .
. . ."

"Don't you think it is about time that prayer was answered?" we
ventured to interrupt. But his reverie could not be disturbed. He
looked at us coldly, for he was living in the past, and continued
to recount the patient, enduring qualities of his organization.

"I will speak to my secretary and see what the organization can
do," he said finally. We murmured again that it was the President
we wished him to speak to, but we left feeling reasonably certain
that there would be no dynamic pressure from this cautious

Herbert Hoover was the next man we sought. Here we encountered
the well-groomed secretary who would not carry our cards into his

"Mr. Hoover has appointments a week ahead," he said. "For
example, his chart for to-day includes a very important
conference with some grain men from the Northwest," . . . and he
continued to recite the items of the chart, ending with "a dinner
at the White House to-night."

"If we could see him for just five minutes," we persisted, "he
could do what we ask this very night at the White House." But the
trained-to-protect secretary was obdurate.

"We shall leave a written request for five minutes at Mr.
Hoover's convenience," we said, and prepared the letter.

Time passed without answer. Mrs. Baker and I were compelled to go
again to Mr. Hoover's office.

Again we were greeted by the affable secretary, who on this
occasion recounted not only his chief's many pressing
engagements, but his devoted family life-his Saturday and Sunday
habits which were "so dreadfully cut into by his heavy work:" We
were sympathetic but firm. Would Mr. Hoover not be willing to
answer our letter? Would he not be willing to state publicly that
he thought the amendment ought to be passed


in the Senate? Would the secretary, in short, please go to him to
ascertain if he' would be willing to say a single word in behalf
of the political liberty of women? The secretary disappeared and
returned to say, "Mr. Hoover wishes me to tell you ladies he can
give no time whatever to the consideration of your question until
after the war is over. This is final."

The Chief Food Administrator would continue to demand sacrifices
of women throughout the war, but he would not give so much as a
thought to their rights in return. Mr. Hoover was the only.
important man in public life who steadfastly refused to see our
representatives. After announcing his candidacy for nomination to
the Presidency he authorized his secretary to write us a letter
saying he had always been for woman suffrage.

Mr. Bainbridge Colby, then member of the Emergency Fleet
Corporation of the Shipping Board and member of the Inter-Allied
Council which sat on shipping problems, now Secretary of State in
President Wilson's Cabinet, was approached as a suffragist, known
to have access to the President. Mr. Colby had just returned from
abroad when I saw him. He is a cultivated gentleman, but he knows
how to have superlative enthusiasm.

"In the light of the world events," he said, "this reform is
insignificant. No time or energy ought to be diverted from the
great program of crushing the Germans."

"But can we not do that," I asked, "without neglecting internal

Mr. Colby is a strong conformist. He became grave. When I was
indiscreet enough to reveal that I was inclined to pin my faith
to the concrete liberty of women, rather than to a vague and
abstract "human freedom," which was supposed to descend upon the
world, once the Germans were beaten, I know he wanted to call me
"seditious." But he is a gallant


gentleman and he only frowned with distress. He continued with
enthusiasm to plan to build ships.

Bernard Baruch, then member of the Advisory Committee of the
Council of National Defense, later economic expert at the Peace
Conference, was able to see the war and the women's problem at
the same time. He is an able politician and was therefore
sensitive to our appeal; he saw the passage of the amendment as a
political asset. I do not know how much he believed in the
principle. That was of minor importance. What was important was
that he agreed to tell the President that he believed it wise to
put more pressure on the measure in the Senate. Also I believe
Mr. Baruch was one member of the Administration who realized in
the midst of the episode that arresting women was bad politics,
to say nothing of the doubtful chivalry of it.

George Creel, chairman of the Committee on Public Information,
was also asked for help. We went to him many times, because his
contact with the President was constant. A suffragist of long
standing, he nevertheless hated our militant tactics, for he knew
we were winning and the Administration was losing. He is a
strange composite. Working at terrific tension and mostly under
fire, he was rarely in calm enough mood to sit down and devise
ways and means.

"But I talk to the President every day on this matter" and-"I am
doing all I can"-and-"The President is doing all he can"-he would
drive at you-without stopping for breath.

"But if you will just ask him to get Senator"

"He is working on the Senator now. You people must give him time.
He has other things to do," he would say, sweeping aside every
suggestion. Familiar advice!

Charles D. Hilles, former Chairman of the Republican National
Committee, was a leader who had come slowly to believe in
national suffrage. But, once convinced, he was a


faithful and dependable colleague who gave practical political

William Randolph Hearst in powerful editorials called upon the
Senators to act. Mr. R. J. Caldwell of New York, life-long
suffragist, financier and man of affairs, faithfully and
persistently stood by the amendment and by the militants. A more
generous contributor and more diligent ally could not be found. A
host of public men were interviewed and the great majority of
them did help at this critical juncture. It is impossible to give
a list that even approaches adequacy, so I shall not attempt it.

Our pressure from below and that of the leaders from above began
to have its effect. An attempt was made by Administration leaders
to force a vote on May 19, 1918. Friends interceded when it was
shown that not enough votes were pledged to secure passage. Again
the vote was tentatively set for June 27th and again postponed.

The Republicans, led by Senator Gallinger, provided skirmishes
from time to time. The Administration was accused on the floor of
blocking action, to which accusation its leaders did not even

Still unwilling to believe that we would be forced to resume our
militancy we attempted to talk to the President again A special
deputation of women munition workers was sent to him under our
auspices. The women waited for a week, hoping he would consent to
see them among his receptions-to the Blue Devils of France, to a
Committee of Indians, to a Committee of Irish Patriots, and so

"No time," was the answer. And the munition workers were forced
to submit their appeal in writing.

"We are only a few of the thousands of American women," they
wrote the President, "who are forming a growing part of the army
at home. The work we are doing is hard and dangerous to life and
health, making detonators, handling TNT, the


highest of all explosives. We want to be recognized by our
country, as much her citizens as our soldiers are."

Mr. Tumulty replied for the President:

"The President asks me to say that nothing you or your associates
could say could possibly increase his very deep interest in this
matter and that he is doing everything that he could with honor
and propriety do in behalf of the [suffrage] amendment."

An opportunity was given the President to show again his sympathy
for a world-wide endeavor just after having ignored this specific
opportunity at home. He hastened to accept the larger field. In
response to a memorial transmitted through Mrs. Carrie Chapman
Catt, President of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, the
French Union for Woman Suffrage urged the President to use his
aid on their behalf "which will be a powerful influence for woman
suffrage in the entire world." The memorial was endorsed by the
suffrage committee of Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, and
Portugal. The President took the occasion to say: "The democratic
reconstruction of the world will not have been completely or
adequately obtained until women are admitted to the suffrage. As
for America it is my earnest hope that the Senate of the United
States will give an unmistakable answer by passing the federal
amendment before the end of this session."

Meanwhile four more Democratic Senators pledged their support to
the amendment. Influenced by the President's declaration of
support, and by widespread demands from their constituents,
Senators Phelan of California, King of Utah, Gerry of Rhode
Island, and Culberson of Texas abandoned the ranks of the

During this same period the Republican side of the Senate gave
five more Republican Senators to the amendment. They were
Senators McCumber of North Dakota, Kellogg of Minnesota, Harding
of Ohio, Page of Vermont, and Sutherland of


West Virginia. All of these men except Senator McCumber[1] were
won through the pressure from Republican Party leaders.

This gain of nine recruits reduced to two the number of votes to
be won.

When at the end of seven months from the time the amendment had
passed the House, we still lacked these two votes, and the
President gave no assurance that he would put forth sufficient
effort to secure them, we were compelled to renew our attacks
upon the President.

[1]Senator McCumber, though opposed, was compelled to support the
measure, by the action of the N. D. legislature commanding him to
do so.


Chapter 17

New Attacks on the President

The Senate was about to recess. No assurance was given by the
majority that suffrage would be considered either before or after
the recess. Alarmed and aroused, we decided upon a national
protest in Washington August 6th, the anniversary of the birth of
Inez Milholland.

The protest took the form of a meeting at the base of the
Lafayette monument in the park, directly opposite the White
House. Women from many states in the Union, dressed in white,
hatless and coatless in the midsummer heat of Washington, marched
t0 the monument carrying banners of purple, white and gold, led
by a standard-bearer carrying the American flag. They made a
beautiful mass of color as they grouped themselves around the
statue, against the abundant green foliage of the park.

The Administration met this simple reasonable form of protest by
further arrests.

Mrs. Lawrence Lewis of Philadelphia, the first speaker, began:
"We are here because when our country is at war for liberty and
democracy . . ." At that point she was roughly seized by a
policeman and placed under arrest. The great audience stood in
absolute and amazed silence.

Miss Hazel Hunkins of Montana took her place. "Here at the statue
of Lafayette, who fought for the liberty of this country," she
began, "and under the American flag, I am asking for . . ." She
was immediately arrested.

Miss Vivian Pierce of California began: "President Wilson


has said . . .' She was dragged from the plinth to the waiting

One after another came forward in an attempt to speak, but no one
was allowed to continue. Wholesale arrests followed. Just as the
women were being taken into custody, according to the New York
Evening World of August 13th, "the President walked out of the
northeast gate of the White House and up Pennsylvania Avenue for
a conference with Director General of Railroads McAdoo. The
President glanced across the street and smiled."

Before the crowd could really appreciate what had happened,
forty-eight women had been hustled to the police station by the
wagon load, their gay banners floating from the backs of the
somber patrols. They were told that the police had arrested them
under the orders of Col. C. S. Ridley, the President's military
aide, and assistant to the Chief Engineer attached to the War
Department. All were released on bail and ordered to appear in
court the following day.

When they appeared they were informed by the Government's
attorney that he would have to postpone the trial until the
following Tuesday so that he might examine witnesses to see "what
offense, if any, the women would be charged with."

"I cannot go on with this case," he said, "I have had no orders.
There are no precedents for cases like these . . . ."

The women demanded that their cases be dismissed, or else a
charge made against them. They were merely told to return on the
appointed day. Such was the indignation aroused against the
Administration for taking this action that Senator Curtis of
Kansas, Republican whip, could say publicly:

"The truth of this statement is made evident by the admission of
the court that the forty-eight suffragists are arrested upon
absolutely no charges, and that these women, among them munition
workers and Red Cross workers, are held in Washington until next
Tuesday, under arrest, while the United


States attorney for the District of Columbia decides for what
offense, `if any,' they were arrested.

"The meeting was called to make a justified protest against
continued blocking of the suffrage amendment by the Democratic
majority in the Senate. It is well known that three-fourths of
the Republican membership in the Senate are ready to vote for the
amendment, but under the control of the Democratic majority the
Senate has recessed for six weeks without making any provision
for action on this important amendment.

"In justice to the women who have been working so hard for the
amendment it should be passed at the earliest date, and if action
is not taken on it soon after the resumption of business in the
Senate there is every possibility that it will not be taken
during this Congress, and the hard-won victory in the House of
Representatives will have been won for nothing."

When they finally came to trial ten days after their arrest, to
face the charge of "holding a meeting in public grounds," and for
eighteen of the defendants an additional charge of "climbing on a
statue," the women answered the roll call but remained silent
thereafter. The familiar farce ensued. Some were released for
lack of identification. The others were sentenced to the District
Jail-for ten days if they had merely assembled to hold a public
meeting, for fifteen days if they had also "climbed on a statue"

The Administration evidently hoped by lighter sentences to avoid
a hunger strike by the prisoners.

The women were taken immediately to a building, formerly used as
a man's workhouse, situated in the swamps of the District prison
grounds. This building, which had been declared unfit for human
habitation by a committee appointed under President Roosevelt in
1909, and which had been uninhabited ever since, was now
reopened, nine years later, to receive twenty-six women who had
attempted to hold a meeting in a public park in Washington. The
women protested in a


body and demanded to be treated as political prisoners. This
being refused, all save two very elderly women, too frail to do
so, went on hunger strike at once.

This last lodgment was the worst. Hideous aspects which had not
been encountered in the workhouse and jail proper were
encountered here. The cells, damp and cold, were below the level
of the upper door and entirely below the high windows. The doors
of the cell were partly of solid steel with only a small section
of grating, so that a very tiny amount of light penetrated the
cells. The wash basins were small and unsightly; the toilet open,
with no pretense of covering. The cots were of iron, without any
spring, and with only a thin straw pallet to lie upon. The
heating facilities were antiquated and the place was always cold.
So frightful were the nauseating odors which permeated the place,
and so terrible was the drinking water from the disused pipes,
that one prisoner after another became violently ill.

"I can hardly describe that atmosphere," said Mrs. W. D. Ascough,
of Connecticut. "It was a deadly sort of smell, insidious and
revolting. It oppressed and stifled us. There was no escape."

As a kind of relief from these revolting odors, they took their
straw pallets from the cells to the floor outside. They were
ordered back to their cells but refused in a body to go. They
preferred the stone floors to the vile odors within, which kept
them nauseated.

Conditions were so shocking that Senators began to visit their
constituents in this terrible hole. Many of them protested to the
authorities. Protests came in from the country, too.

At the end of the fifth day the Administration succumbed to the
hunger strike and released the prisoners, trembling with
weakness, some of them with chills and some of them in a high


fever, scarcely able even to walk to the ambulance or motor car.

We had won from the Administration, however, a concession to our
protest. Prior to the release of the prisoners we had announced
that in spite of the previous arrests a second protest meeting
would be held on the same spot. A permit to hold this second
protest meeting was granted us.

"I have been advised [Col. Ridley wrote to Miss Paul that you
desire to hold a demonstration in Lafayette Square on Thursday,
August 9.2d. By direction of the chief of engineers, U. S. Army,
you are hereby granted permission to hold this demonstration. You
are advised good order must prevail."

"We received yesterday [Miss Paul replied] your permit for a
suffrage demonstration in Lafayette Park this afternoon, and are
very glad that our meetings are no longer to be interfered with.
Because of the illness of so many of our members, due to their
treatment in prison this last week, and with the necessity of
caring for them at headquarters, we are planning to hold our neat
meeting a little later. We have not determined on the exact date
but we will inform you of the time as soon as it is decided

It was reported on credible authority that this concession -was
the result of a conference at which the President, Secretary of
War Baker and Colonel Ridley were present. It was said that
Secretary Baker and Colonel Ridley persuaded the President to
withdraw the orders to arrest us and allow our meetings to go on,
even though they took the form of attacks upon the President.

Two days after the release of the women, the Republican Party,
for the first time in the history of woman suffrage, caucused in
the Senate in favor of forcing suffrage to a vote.

The resolution which was passed unanimously by the caucus
determined to "insist upon consideration immediately" and
`also to insist upon a final vote . . . at the earliest possible


moment .... Provided, That this resolution shall not be construed
as in any way binding the action or vote of any Member of the
Senate upon the merits of the said woman suffrage amendment."

While not a direct attempt, therefore, to win more Republican
Senators, this proved a very great tactical contribution to the
cause. The Republicans were proud of their suffrage strength.
They knew the Democrats were not. With the Congressional
elections approaching the Republicans meant to do their part
toward acquainting the country with the Administration's policy
of vacillation and delay. This was not only helpful to the
Republicans politically; it was also advantageous to the
amendment in that it goaded the majority into action.

Nine months had passed since the vote in the House and we were
perilously near the end of the session, when on the 16th of
September, Senator Overman, Democrat, Chairman of the Rules
Committee, stated to our Legislative Chairman that suffrage was
"not on the program for this session" and that the Senate would
recess in a few days for the election campaigns without
considering any more legislation. On the same day Senator Jones,
Chairman of the Suffrage Committee, announced to us that he would
not even call his Committee together to consider taking a vote.

We had announced a fortnight earlier that another protest
'meeting would be held at the base of the Lafayette Monument that
day, September 16th, at four o'clock. No sooner had this protest
been announced than the President publicly stated that he would
receive a delegation of Southern and Western women partisans on
the question of the amendment at two o'clock the same day.

To this delegation he said, "I am, as I think you know, heartily
in sympathy with you. I have endeavored to assist you in every
way in my power, and I shall continue to do so.


I will do all I can to urge the passage of the amendment by an
early vote."

Presumably this was expected to disarm us and perhaps silence our
demonstration. However, it merely moved us to make another hasty
visit to Senator Overman, Chairman of the Rules Committee, and to
Senator Jones, Chairman of the Suffrage Committee, between the
hours of two and four to see if the President's statement that he
would do all he could to secure an early vote had altered their
statements made earlier in the day.

These Administration leaders assured us that their statements
stood; that no provision had been made for action on the
amendment; that the President's statement did not mean that a
vote would be taken this session; and that they did not
contemplate being so advised by him.

Such a situation was intolerable. The President was uttering more
fine words, while his Administration leaders interpreted them to
mean nothing, because they were not followed up by action on his

We thereupon changed our demonstration at four o'clock to a more
drastic form of protest. We took these words of the President to
the base of Lafayette Monument and burned them in a flaming

A throng gathered to hear the speakers. Ceremonies were opened
with the reading of the following appeal by Mrs. Richard
Wainwright, wife of Rear-Admiral Wainwright:

"Lafayette, we are here!

"We, the women of the United States, denied the liberty which you
helped to gain, and for which we have asked in vain for sixty
years, turn to you to plead for us.

"Speak, Lafayette, dead these hundred years but still living in
the hearts of the American people. Speak again to plead for us
like the bronze woman at your feet, condemned like us to a silent
appeal. She offers you a sword. Will you not use


for us the sword of the spirit, mightier far than the sword she
holds out to you?

"Will you not ask the great leader of democracy to look upon the
failure of our beloved country to be in truth the place where
every one is free and equal and entitled to a share in the
government? Let that outstretched hand of yours pointing to the
White House recall to him his words and promises, his trumpet
call for all of us, to see that the world is made safe for

"As our army now in France spoke to you there, saying here we are
to help your country fight for liberty, will you not speak here
and now for us, a little band with no army, no power but justice
and right, no strength but in our Constitution and in the
Declaration of Independence; and win a great victory again in
this country by giving us the opportunity we ask,,--to be heard
through the Susan B. Anthony amendment.

"Lafayette, we are here!"

Before the enthusiastic applause for Mrs. Wainwright's appeal had
died away, Miss Lucy Branham of Baltimore stepped forward with a
flaming torch, which she applied to the President's latest words
on suffrage. The police looked on and smiled, and the crowd
cheered as she said:

"The torch which I hold symbolizes the burning indignation of the
women who for years have been given words without action . . . .

"For five years women have appealed to this President and his
party for political freedom. The President has given words, and
words, and words. To-day women receive more words. We announce to
the President and the whole world to-day, by this act of ours,
our determination that words shall not longer be the only reply
given to American women-our determination that this same
democracy for whose establishment abroad we are making the utmost
sacrifice, shall also prevail at home.


"We have protested to this Administration by banners; we have
protested by speeches; we now protest by this symbolic act.

"As in the ancient fights for liberty, the crusaders for freedom
symbolized their protest against those responsible for injustice
by consigning their hollow phrases to the flames, so we, on
behalf of thousands of suffragists, in this same way to-day
protest against the action of the President and his party in
delaying the liberation of American women."

Mrs. Jessie Hardy Mackaye of Washington, D. C., then came forward
to the end of the plinth to speak, and as she appeared, a man in
the crowd handed her a twenty-dollar bill for the campaign in the
Senate. This was the signal for others. Bills and coins were
passed up. Instantly marshals ran hither and thither collecting
the money in improvised baskets while the cheers grew louder and
louder. Many of the policemen present were among the donors.

Burning President Wilson's words had met with popular approval
from a large crowd!

The procession of women was starting back to headquarters, the
police were eagerly clearing the way for the line; the crowd was
dispersing in order; the great golden banner, "Mr. President,
what will you do for woman suffrage?" was just swinging past the
White House gate, when President Wilson stepped into his car for
the afternoon drive.


Chapter 18

President Wilson Appeals to the Senate Too Late

The next day the Administration completely reversed its policy.
Almost the first Senate business was an announcement on the floor
by Senator Jones, Chairman of the Suffrage Committee, that the
suffrage amendment would be considered in the Senate September
26th. And Senator Overman, Chairman of the Rules Committee,
rather shyly remarked to our legislative chairman that he had
been "mistaken yesterday." It was "now in the legislative
program." The Senate still stood 6Q votes for and 34 against the
amendment-2 votes lacking. The President made an effort among
individual Democrats to secure them. But it was too feeble an
effort and he failed.

Chairman Jones took charge of the measure on the floor. The
debate opened with a long and eloquent. speech by Senator
Vardaman of Mississippi, Democrat, in support of the amendment.
"My estimate of woman," said he, in conclusion, "is well
expressed in the words employed by a distinguished author who
dedicated his book to a `Little mountain, a great meadow, and a
woman,' `To the mountain for the sense of time, to the
meadow for the sense of space, and of everything."'

Senator McCumber of North Dakota, Republican, followed with a
curious speech. His problem was to explain why, although opposed
to suffrage, he would vote for the amendment. Beginning with the
overworked "cave man" and "beasts of the forests," and down to
the present day, "the male had


always protected the female" He always would! Forgetting recent
events in the Capital, he went so far as to say, " . . . In our
courts she ever finds in masculine nature an asylum of
protection, even though she may have committed great wrong. While
the mind may be convinced beyond any doubt, the masculine heart
finds it almost impossible to pronounce the word `guilty' against
a woman." Scarcely had the galleries ceased smiling at this idea
when he treated them to a novel application of the biological
theory of inheritance. "The political field," he declared,
"always has been and probably always will be an arena of more or
less bitter contest. The political battles leave scars as ugly
and lacerating as the physical battles, and the more sensitive
the nature the deeper and more lasting the wound. And as no man
can enter this contest or be a party to it and assume its
responsibilities without feeling its blows and suffering its
wounds, much less can woman with her more emotional and more
sensitive nature.

"But . . . you may ask why should she be relieved from the scars
and wounds of political contest? Because they do not affect her
alone but are transmitted through her to generations yet to come
. . . . "

The faithful story of the sinking ship was invoked by the Senator
from North Dakota. One might almost imagine after listening to
Congressional debates for some years that traveling on sinking
ships formed a large part of human experience. "Fathers, sons,
and brothers," said the Senator in tearful voice, "guarding the
lifeboats until every woman from the highest to the lowest has
been made safe, waving adieu with a smile of cheer on their lips,
while the wounded vessel slowly bears them to a strangling death
and a watery tomb, belie the charge . . " that woman needs her
citizenship as a form of protection.

In spite of these opinions, however, the Senator was obliged to
vote for the amendment because his state had so ordered.


Senator Hardwick of Georgia, Democrat, felt somewhat betrayed
that the suffrage plank in the platform of his party in 1916,
recommending state action, should be so carelessly set aside.
"There is not a Democratic Senator present," said Mr. Hardwick,
"who does not know the history that lies back of the adoption of
that plank. There is not a Democratic Senator who does not know
that the plank was written here in Washington and sent to the
convention and represented the deliberate voice of the
administration and of the party on this question, which was to
remit this question to the several States for action . . . .

"The President of the United States . . . was reported to have
sent this particular plank . . .from Washington, supposedly by
the hands of one of his Cabinet officers." The fact that his own
party and the Republican party were both advancing on suffrage
irritated him into denouncing the alacrity with which
"politicians and senators are trying to get on the band wagon

Senator McKellar of Tennessee, Democrat, reduced the male
superiority argument to simple terms when he said: " . . . Taking
them by and large, there are brainy men and brainy women, and
that is about all there is to the proposition."

Our armies were sweeping victorious toward Germany. There was
round on round of eloquence about the glories of war. Rivers of
blood flowed. And always the role of woman was depicted as a
contented binding of wounds. There were those who thought woman
should be rewarded for such service. Others thought she ought to
do it without asking anything in return. But all agreed that this
was her role. There was no woman's voice in that body to protest
against the perpetuity of such a role.

The remarks of Senator Reed of Missouri, anti-suffrage Democrat,
typify this attitude. “. . . Women in my state


believe in the old-fashioned doctrine that men should fight the
battles on the red line; that men should stand and bare their
bosoms to the iron hail; and that back of them, if need be, there
shall be women who may bind up the wounds and whose tender hands
may rest upon the brow of the valiant soldier who has gone down
in the fight.

"But, sir, that is woman's work, and it has been woman's work
always . . . . The woman who gave her first born a final kiss and
blessed him on his way to battle," had, according to the Senator
from Missouri, earned a "crown of glory . . . gemmed with the
love of the world."

And with Senator Walsh of Montana, Democrat, "The women of
America have already written a glorious page in the history of
the greatest of wars that have vexed the world. They, like
Cornelia, have given, and freely given, their jewels to their

Some of us wondered.

Senator McLean of Connecticut, anti-suffrage Republican, flatly
stated "that all questions involving declarations of war and
terms of peace should be left to that sex which must do the
fighting and the dying on the battlefield." And he further said
that until boys between 18 and 21 who had just been called to the
colors should ask for the vote, "their mothers should be and
remain both proud and content" without it. He concluded with an
amusing account of the history of the ballot box. "This joint
resolution," he said, "goes beyond the seas and above the clouds.
It attempts to tamper with the ballot box, over which mother
nature always has had and always will have supreme control; and
such attempts always have ended and always will end in failure
and misfortune."

Senator Phelan of California, Democrat, made a straightforward,
intelligent speech.

Senator Beckham of Kentucky, Democrat, deplored the idea that man
was superior to woman. He pleaded "guilty to


the charge of Romanticism." He said, "But I look upon woman as
superior to man." Therefore he could not trust her with a vote.
He had the hardihood to say further, with the men of the world at
each other's throats, . . . "Woman is the civilizing, refining,
elevating influence that holds man from barbarism." We charged
him with ignorance as well as romanticism when he said in
closing, "It is the duty of man to work and labor for woman; to
cut the wood, to carry the coal, to go into the fields in the
necessary labor to sustain the home where the woman presides and
by her superior nature elevates him to higher and better
conceptions of life."

Meanwhile Senator Shafroth of Colorado, Democrat, lifelong
advocate of suffrage, was painstakingly asking one senator after
another, as he had been for years, "Does not the Senator believe
that the just powers of government are derived from the consent
of the governed?" and then-"But if you have the general principle
acknowledged that the just powers of government are derived from
the consent of the governed." . . . and so forth. But the idea of
applying the Declaration of Independence to modern politics
fairly put them to sleep.

These samples of senatorial profundity may divert, outrage, or
bore us, but they do not represent the real battle. It is not
that the men who utter these sentiments do not believe them. More
is the pity, they do. But they are smoke screens-mere skirmishes
of eloquence or foolishness. They do not represent the motives of
their political acts.

The real excitement began when Senator Pittman of Nevada,
Democrat, attempted to reveal to the senators of his party the
actual seriousness of the political crisis in which the Democrats
were now involved. He also attempted to shift the blame for
threatened defeat of the amendment to the Republican side of the
chamber. There was a note of desperation in his voice, too, since
he knew that President Wilson had not


up to that moment won the two votes lacking. The gist of Senator
Pittman's remarks was this: The Woman's Party has charged the
Senate Woman Suffrage Committee, which is in control of the
Democrats, and the President himself, with the responsibility fob
obstructing a vote on the measure. "I confess," said he, that
this is "having its effect as a campaign argument" in the woman
suffrage states.

Senator Wolcott of Delaware, Democrat, interrupted him to ask if
this was "the party that has been picketing here in Washington?"
Senator Pittman, having just paid this tribute to our campaign in
the West, hastened to say that it was, but that there was another
association, the National American Woman Suffrage Association,
which had always conducted its campaign in a "lady-like-modest-
and intelligent way" and which had "never mixed in politics."

Waving a copy of the Suffragist in the air, Senator Pittman began
his attempt to shift responsibility to the Republican side, for
the critical condition of the amendment. He denounced the
Republicans for caucusing on the amendment and deciding
unanimously to press for a vote, when they the Republicans] knew
there were two votes lacking. He scored us for having given so
much publicity to the action of the caucus and declared with
vehemence that a "trick" had been executed through Senator Smoot
which he would not allow to go unrevealed. Senator Pittman
charged that the Republicans had promised enough votes to pass
the amendment and that upon that promise the Democrats had
brought the measure on the floor; that the Republicans thereupon
withdrew enough votes to cause the defeat of the amendment.
Whether or not this was true, at any rate, as Senator Smoot
pointed out, the Democratic Chairman in charge of the measure
could at any moment send the measure back to Committee, safe from
immediate defeat. This was true, but not exactly a suggestion to
be welcomed by the Democrats.


"Yes," replied Senator Pittman, "and then if we move to refer it
back to the committee, the Senator from Utah would say again,
`The Democrats are obstructing the passage of this amendment . .
. . We told you all the time they wanted to kill it.' . . . If we
refer it back to the committee, then we will be charged, as we
have been all the time in the suffrage states, with trying to
prevent a vote on it, and still the Woman's Party campaign will
go on as it is going on now; and if we vote on it they will say:
`We told you the Democrats would kill it, because the President
would not make 332 on his side vote for it'."

That was the crux of the whole situation. The Democrats had been
manaeuvered into a position where they could neither afford to
move to refer the amendment back to the committee, nor could they
afford to press it to a losing vote. They were indeed in an
exceedingly embarrassing predicament.

Throughout hours of debate, Senator Pittman could not get away
from the militants. Again and again, he recited our deeds of
protest, our threats of reprisal, our relentless strategy of
holding his party responsible for defeat or victory.

"I should like the Senator," interpolated Senator Poindexter of
Washington, Republican, "so long as he is discussing the action
of the pickets, to explain to the Senate whether or not it is the
action of the pickets . . . the militant . . . woman's party,
that caused the President to change his attitude on the subject.
Was he coerced into supporting this measure -after he had for
years opposed it-because he was picketed? When did the President
change his attitude? If it was not because he was picketed, will
the Senator explain what was the cause of the change in the
President's attitude?"

Mr. Pittman did not reply directly to these questions.

Senator Reed of Missouri, anti-Administration Democrat, consumed
hours reading into the Congressional Record various


press reports of militant activities. He dwelt particularly upon
the news headlines, such as,

"Great Washington Crowd Cheers Demonstration at White House by
National Woman's Party." . . .

"Suffragists Burn Wilson `Idle Words' . . ."

"Money Instead of Jeers Greet Marchers and Unique Protest Against
Withholding Vote" . . .

"Apply Torch to President's Words . . . Promise to Urge Passage
of Amendment Not Definite Enough for Militants."

"Suff's Burn Speech . . .,Apply Torch to Wilson's Words During
Demonstration-Symbol of `Indignation'-Throngs Witnessing Doings
in Lafayette Square Orderly and Contribute to Fund-President
Receives Delegation of American Suffrage Association Women."

Senator McKellar of Tennessee, Democrat, asked Mr. Reed if he did
not believe that we had a right peaceably to assemble under the
"first amendment to our Constitution which I shall read: Congress
shall make no law . . . abridging . . . the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances." Mr. Reed made no direct answer.

Lest the idea get abroad from the amount of time they spent in
discussing the actions of the "wicked militants," that we had had
something to do with the situation which had resulted in
Democratic despair, Senator Thomas of Colorado, the one Democrat
who had never been able to conceal his hostility to us for having
reduced his majority in 1914, arose to pay a tribute to the
conservative suffrage association of America. Their "escutcheon,"
he said, "is unstained by mob methods or appeals to violence. It
has neither picketed Presidents nor populated prisons . . . . It
has carried no banners flaunting insults to the Executive," while
the militants on the other hand have indulged in "much tumult and
vociferous braying, all for notoriety's sake." . . . The
galleries smiled as he counseled


the elder suffrage leaders "not to lose courage nor yet be:
fainthearted," for this "handicap" would soon be overcome. It
would have taken an abler man than Senator Thomas, in the face of
the nature of this debate, to make any one believe that we had
been a "handicap" in forcing them to their position. He was the
only one hardy enough to try. After this debate the Senate
adjourned, leaving things from the point of view of party
politics, tangled in a hopeless knot. It was to untie this knot
that the President returned hastily from New York in answer to
urgent summons by long distance telephone, and went to the
Capitol to deliver his memorable address.

Mr. Vice President and Gentlemen of the Senate: The unusual
circumstances of a world war in which we stand and are judged in
the view not only of our own people and our own consciences but
also in view of all nations and all peoples will, I hope, justify
in your thought, as it does in mine, the message I have come to
bring you. I regard the concurrence of the Senate in the
constitutional amendment proposing the extension of the suffrage
to women as vitally essential to the successful prosecution of
the great war of humanity in which we are engaged. I have come to
urge upon you the considerations which have led me to that
conclusion. It is not only my privilege, it is also my duty to
appraise you of every circumstance and element involved in this
momentous struggle which seems to me to affect its very processes
and its outcome. It is my duty to win the war and to ask you to
remove every obstacle that stands in the way of winning it.

I had assumed that the Senate would concur in the amendment
because ho disputable principle is involved but only a question
of the method by which the suffrage is to be extended to women.
There is and can be no party issue involved in it. Both of our
great national parties are pledged, explicitly pledged, to
equality of suffrage for the women of the country. Neither party,
therefore, it seems to me, can justify hesitation as to the
method of obtaining it, can rightfully hesitate to substitute
federal initiative for state initiative, if the early adoption,
of the measure is necessary to the successful prose-


cution of the war and if the method of state action proposed in
party platforms of 1916 is impracticable within any reasonable
length of time, if practicable at all. And its adoption is, in my
judgment, clearly necessary to the successful prosecution of the
war and the successful realization of the objects for which the
war is being fought.

That judgment, I take the liberty of urging upon you with solemn
earnestness for reasons which I shall state very frankly and
which I shall hope will seem as conclusive to you as they have
seemed to me.

This is a peoples' war, and the peoples' thinking constitutes its
atmosphere and morale, not the predilections of the drawing room
or the political considerations of the caucus. If we be indeed
democrats and wish to lead the world to democracy, we can ask
other peoples to accept in proof of our sincerity and our ability
to lead them whither they wish to be led nothing less persuasive
and convincing than our actions. Ours professions will not
suffice. Verification must be forthcoming when verification is
asked for. And in this case verification is asked for, asked for
in this particular matter. You ask by whom? Not through
diplomatic channels; not by Foreign Ministers, not by the
intimations of parliaments. It is asked for by the anxious,
expectant, suffering peoples with whom we are dealing and who are
willing to put their destinies in some measure in our hands, if
they are sure that we wish the same things that they wish. I do
not speak by conjecture. It is not alone the voices of statesmen
and of newspapers that reach me, and the voices of foolish and
intemperate agitators do not reach me at all! Through many, many
channels I have been made aware what the plain, struggling,
workaday folk are thinking upon whom the chief terror and
suffering of this tragic war falls. They are looking to the
great, powerful, famous democracy of the West to lead them to the
new day for which they have so long waited; and they think, in
their logical simplicity, that democracy means that women shall
play their part in affairs alongside men and upon an equal
footing with them. If we reject measures like this, in ignorance
or defiance of what a new age has brought forth, of what they
have seen but we have not, they will cease to follow or to trust
us. They have seen their own governments accept this inter-


pretation of democracy,-seen old governments like Great Britain,
which did not profess to be democratic, promise readily and as of
course this justice to women, though they had before refused it,
the strange revelations of this war having made many things new
and plain to governments as well as to peoples.

Are we alone to refuse to learn the lesson? Are we alone to ask
and take the utmost that women can give,-service and sacrifice of
every kind,-and still say that we do not see what title that
gives them to stand by our sides in the guidance of the affairs
of their nation and ours? We have made partners of the women in
this war; shall we admit them only to a partnership of sacrifice
and suffering and toil and not to a partnership of privilege and
of right? This war could not have been fought, either by the
other nations engaged or by America, if it had not been for the
services of the women, services  rendered in every sphere,-not
only in the fields of effort in which we have been accustomed to
see them work, but wherever men have worked and upon the very
skirts and edges of the battle itself. We shall not only be
distrusted but shall deserve to be distrusted if we do not
enfranchise them with the fullest possible enfranchisement, as it
is now certain that the other great free nations will enfranchise
them. We cannot isolate our thought or our action in such a
matter from the thought of the rest of the world. We must either
conform or deliberately reject what they propose and resign the
leadership of liberal minds to others.

The women of America arc too noble and too intelligent and too
devoted to be slackers whether you give or withhold this thing
that is mere justice; but I know the magic it will work in their
thoughts and spirits if you give it them. I propose it as I would
propose to admit soldiers to the suffrage, the men fighting in
the field for our liberties and the liberties of the world, were
they excluded. The tasks of the women lie at the very heart of
the war, and I know how much stronger that heart will beat if you
do this just thing and show our women that you trust them as much
as you in fact and of necessity depend upon them.

Have I said that the passage of this amendment is a vitally
necessary war measure, and do you need further proof? Do


you stand in need of the trust of other peoples and of the trust
of our women? Is that trust an asset or is it not? I tell you
plainly, as commander-in-chief of our armies and of the gallant
men in our fleets, as the present spokesman of this people in our
dealings with the men and women throughout the world who are now
our partners, as the responsible head of a great government which
stands and is questioned day by day as to its purposes, its
principles, its hopes, whether they be serviceable to men
everywhere or only to itself, and who must himself answer these
questionings or be shamed, as the guide and director of forces
caught in the grip of war and by the same token in need of every
material and spiritual resource this great nation possesses,-I
tell you plainly that this measure which I urge upon you is vital
to the winning of the war and to the energies alike of
preparation and of battle.

And not to the winning of the war only. It is vital to the right
solution of the great problems which we must settle, and settle
immediately, when the war is over. We shall need then a vision of
affairs which is theirs, and, as we have never needed them
before, the sympathy and insight and clear moral instinct of the
women of the world. The problems of that time will strike to the
roots of many things that we have not hitherto questioned, and I
for one believe that our safety in those questioning days, as
well as our comprehension of matters that touch society to the
quick, will depend upon the direct and authoritative
participation of women in our counsels. We shall need their moral
sense to preserve what is right and fine and worthy in our system
of life as well as to discover just what it is that ought to be
purified and reformed. Without their counselings we shall be only
half wise.

That is my case. This is my appeal. Many may deny its validity,
if they choose, but no one can brush aside or answer the
arguments upon which it is based. The executive tasks of this war
rest upon me. I ask that you lighten them and place in my hands
instruments, spiritual instruments, which I do not now possess,
which I sorely need, and which I have daily to apologize for not
being able to employ. (Applause).

It was a truly beautiful appeal.


When the applause and the excitement attendant upon the occasion
of a message from the President had subsided, and the floor of
the chamber had emptied itself of its distinguished visitors, the
debate was resumed.

"If this resolution fails now," said Senator Jones of Washington,
ranking Republican member of the Suffrage Committee, "it fails
for lack of Democratic votes."

Senator Cummins of Iowa, Republican, also a member of the
Suffrage Committee, reminded opponents of the measure of the
retaliatory tactics used by President Wilson when repudiated by
senators on other issues. "I sincerely hope," he said tauntingly,
"that the President may deal kindly and leniently with those who
are refusing to remove this obstacle which stands in his way. It
has not been very long since the President retired the junior
Senator from Mississippi [Mr. Vardaman] from public life. Why?
Because he refused at all times to obey the commands which were
issued for his direction. The junior Senator from Georgia [Mr.
Hardwick] suffered the same fate. How do you hope to escape? . .
. My Democratic friends are either proceeding upon the hypothesis
that the President is insincere or that they may be able to
secure an immunity from him that these other unfortunate
aspirants for office failed to secure."

Senator Cummins chided Senator Reed for denouncing "the so-called
militants who sought to bring their influence to bear upon the
situation in rather a more forcible and decisive method than was
employed by the national association. . . I did not believe in
the campaign they were pursuing (not one senator was brave enough
to say outright that he did). . . .

"But that was simply a question for them to determine; and if
they thought that in accordance with the established custom the
President should bring his influence to bear more effectively
than he had, they had a perfect right to burn his message; they
had a perfect right to carry banners in Lafay-


ette Park, in front of the White House, or anywhere else; they
had a perfect right to bring their banners into the Capitol and
display them with all the force and vigor which they could
command. I did not agree with them; but they also were making a
campaign for an inestimable and a fundamental right.

"What would you have done, men, if you had been deprived of the
right to vote? What would you have done if you had been deprived
of the right of representation? Have the militants done anything
worse than the revolutionary forces who gathered about the tea
chests and threw them into the sea? . . .

"I do not believe they [the militants] committed any crime; and
while I had no particle of sympathy with the manner in which they
were conducting their campaign, I think their arrest and
imprisonment and the treatment which they received while in
confinement are a disgrace to the civilized world, and much the
more a disgrace to the United States, which assumes to lead the
civilized world in humane endeavor. They disturbed nobody save
that disturbance which is common to the carrying forward of all
propaganda by those who are intensely and vitally interested in
it. I wish they had not done it, but I am not to be the judge of
their methods so long as they confine themselves to those acts
and to those words which are fairly directed to the
accomplishment of their purposes. I cannot accept the conclusion
that because these women burned a message in Lafayette Park or
because they carried banners upon the streets in Washington
therefore they are criminals."

The time had come to take the vote, but we knew we had not won.
The roll was called and the vote stood 62 to 34 [Oct. 1, 1918],
counting all pairs. We had lost by 2 votes.

Instantly Chairman Jones, according to his promise to the women,
changing his vote from "yea" to "nay," moved for a
reconsideration of the measure, and thus automatically kept it on
the calendar of the Senate. That was all that could be done.


The President's belief in the power of words had lost the
amendment. Nor could he by a speech, eloquent as it was, break
down the opposition in the Senate which he had so long protected
and condoned.

Our next task was to secure a reversal of the Senate vote. We
modified our tactics slightly.


Chapter 19

More Pressure

Our immediate task was to compel the President to secure a
reversal of two votes in the Senate. It became necessary to enter
again the Congressional elections which were a month away.

By a stroke of good luck there were two senatorial contests-in
New Jersey and New Hampshire-for vacancies in the short term.
That is, we had an opportunity to elect two friends who would
take their seats in time to vote on the amendment before the end
of this session. It so happened that the Democratic candidates
were pledged to vote for the amendment if elected, and that the
Republican candidates were opposed to the amendment. We launched
our campaign in this instance for the election of the Democratic
candidates. We went immediately to the President to ask his
assistance in our endeavor. We urged him personally to appeal to
the voters of New Jersey and New Hampshire on behalf of his two
candidates. As Party leader he was at the moment paying no
attention whatever to the success of these two suffragists. Both
of the Democratic candidates themselves appealed to President
Wilson for help in their contests, on the basis of their suffrage
advocacy. His speech to the Senate scarcely cold, the President
refused to lend any assistance in these contests, which with
sufficient effort might have produced the last two votes.

At the end of two weeks of such pressure upon the President we
were unable to interest him in this practical endeavor. It was
clear that he would move again only under attack. We


went again, therefore, to the women voters of the west and asked
them to withhold their support from the Democratic Senatorial
candidates in the suffrage states in order to compel the
President to assist in the two Eastern contests. This campaign
made it clear to the President that we were still holding him and
his party to their responsibility.

And as has been pointed out, our policy was to oppose the
Democratic candidates at elections so long as their party was
responsible for the passage of the amendment and did not pass it.
Since there is no question between individuals in suffrage
states-they are all suffragists-this could not increase our
numerical strength. It could, however, and did demonstrate the
growing and comprehensive power of the women voters.

Shortly before election, when our campaign was in full swing in
the West, the President sent a letter appealing to the voters of
New Jersey to support Mr. Hennessey, the Democratic candidate for
the Senate. He subsequently appealed to the voters of New
Hampshire to elect Mr. Jameson, candidate for Democratic Senator
in New Hampshire.

We continued our campaign in the West as a safeguard against
relaxation by the President after his appeal. There were seven
senatorial contests in the western suffrage states. In all but
two of these contests-Montana and Nevada-the Democratic
Senatorial candidates were defeated. In these two states the
Democratic majority was greatly reduced.

Republicans won in New Jersey and New Hampshire and a Republican
Congress was elected to power throughout the country.

The election campaign had had a wholesome effect, however, on
both parties and was undoubtedly one of the factors in persuading
the President to again appeal to the Senate.

Immediately after the defeat in the Senate, and throughout the
election campaign, we attempted to hold banners at the Capitol to
assist our campaign and in order to weaken the


resistance of the senators of the opposition. The mottoes on the
banners attacked with impartial mercilessness both Democrats and
Republicans. One read:




Another read:




And still a third:




As the women approached the Senate, Colonel Higgins, the Sergeant
at Arms of the Senate, ordered a squad of Capitol policemen to
rush upon them. They wrenched their banners from them, twisting
their wrists and manhandling them as they took them up the steps,
through the door, and down


into the guardroom,-their banners confiscated and they themselves
detained for varying periods of time. When the women insisted on
knowing upon what charges they were held, they were merely told
that "peace and order must be maintained on the Capitol grounds,"
and further, "It don't make no difference about the law, Colonel
Higgins is boss here, and he has taken the law in his own hands."

Day after day this performance went on. Small detachments of
women attempted to hold banners outside the United States Senate,
as the women of Holland had done outside the Parliament in the
Hague. It was difficult to believe that American politicians
could be so devoid of humor as they showed themselves. The panic
that overwhelms our official mind in the face of the slightest
irregularity is appalling! Instead of maintaining peace and
order, the squads of police managed to keep the Capitol grounds
in a state of confusion. They were assisted from time to time by
Senate pages, small errand boys who would run out and attack
mature women with impunity. The women would be held under the
most rigid detention each day until the Senate had safely
adjourned. Then on the morrow the whole spectacle would be

While the United States Senate was standing still under our
protest world events rushed on. German autocracy had collapsed.
The Allies had won a military victory. The Kaiser had that very
week fled for his life because of the uprising of his people.

"We are all free voters of a free republic now," was the message
sent by the women of Germany to the women of the United States
through Miss Jane Addams. We were at that moment heartily ashamed
of our government. German women voting! American women going to
jail and spending long hours in the Senate guardhouse without
arrests or, charges. The war came to an end. Congress adjourned
November 21st.

When the 65th Congress reconvened for its short and final


session, December 2nd, 1918 [less than a month after our election
campaign], President Wilson, for the first time, included
suffrage in his regular message to Congress, the thing that we
had asked of him at the opening of every session of Congress
since March, 1918.

There were now fewer than a hundred days in which to get action
from the Senate and so avoid losing the benefit of our victory in
the House.

In his opening address to Congress, the President again appealed
to the Senate in these words:

"And what shall we say of the women-of their instant
intelligence, quickening every task that they touched; their
capacity for .organization and cooperation, which gave their
action discipline and enhanced the effectiveness of everything
they attempted; their aptitude at tasks to which they had never
before set their hands; their utter self-sacrifice alike in what
they did and in what they gave? Their contribution to the great
result is beyond appraisal. They have added a new luster to the
annals of American womanhood.

"The least tribute we can pay them is to make them the equals of
men in political rights, as they have proved themselves their
equals in every field of practical work they have entered,
whether for themselves or for their country. These great days of
completed achievement would be sadly marred were we to omit that
act of justice. Besides the immense practical services they have
rendered, the women of the country have been the moving spirits
in the systematic economies in which our people have voluntarily
assisted to supply the suffering peoples of the world and the
armies upon every front with food and everything else we had,
that might serve the common cause. The details of such a story
can never be fully written but we carry them at our hearts and
thank God that we can say that we are the kinsmen of such."

Again we looked for action to follow this appeal. Again


we found that the President had uttered these words but had made
no plan to translate them into action.

And so his second appeal to the Senate failed, coming as it did
after the hostility of his party to the idea of conferring
freedom on women nationally, had been approved and fostered by
President Wilson for five solid years. He could not overcome with
additional eloquence the opposition which he himself had so long
formulated, defended, encouraged and solidified, especially when
that eloquence was followed by either no action or only half-
hearted efforts.

It would now require a determined assertion of his political
power as the leader of his party. We made a final appeal to him
as leader of his party and while still at the height of his world
power, to make such an assertion and to demand the necessary two


Chapter 20

The President Sails Away

No sooner had we set ourselves to a brief, hot campaign to compel
President Wilson to win the final votes than he sailed away to
France to attend the Peace Conference, sailed away to consecrate
himself to the program of liberating the oppressed peoples of the
whole world. He cannot be condemned for aiming to achieve so
gigantic a task. But we reflected that again the President had
refused his specific aid in an humble aspiration, for the rosy
hope of a more boldly conceived ambition.

It was positively impossible for us, by our own efforts, to win
the last 2 votes. We could only win them through the President.
That he had left behind him his message urging the Senate to act,
is true. That Administration leaders did not consider these words
a command, is also true. It must be realized that even after the
President had been compelled to publicly declare his support of
the measure, it was almost impossible to get his own leaders to
take seriously his words on suffrage. And so again the Democratic
Chairman of the Rules Committee, in whose keeping the program
lay, had no thought of bringing it to a vote. The Democratic
Chairman of the Woman Suffrage Committee assumed not the
slightest responsibility for its success, nor could he produce
any plan whereby the last votes could be won. They knew, as well
as did we, that the President only could win those last 2 votes.
They made it perfectly clear that until he had done so, they
could do nothing.


Less than fifty legislative days remained to us. Something had to
be done quickly, something bold and offensive enough to threaten
the prestige of the President, as he was riding in sublimity to
unknown heights as a champion of world liberty; something which
might penetrate his reverie and shock him into concrete action.
We had successfully defied the full power of his Administration,
the odds heavily against us. We must now defy the popular belief
of the world in this apostle of liberty. This was the feeling of
the four hundred officers of the National Woman's Party, summoned
to a three days' conference in Washington in December, 1918. It
was unanimously decided to light a fire in an urn, and, on the
day that the President was officially received by France, to burn
with fitting public ceremonies all the President's past and
present speeches or books concerning "liberty", "freedom" and

It was late afternoon when the four hundred women proceeded
solemnly in single file from headquarters, past the White House,
along the edge of the quiet and beautiful Lafayette Park, to the
foot of Lafayette's statue. A slight mist added beauty to the
pageant. The purple, white and gold banners, so brilliant in the
sunshine, became soft pastel sails. Half the procession carried
lighted torches; the other half banners. The crowd gathered
silently, somewhat awe-struck by the scene. Massed about that
statue, we felt a strange strength and solidarity, we felt again
that we were a part of the universal struggle for liberty.

The torch was applied to the pine-wood logs in the Grecian Urn at
the edge of the broad base of the statue. As the flames began to
mount, Vida Milholland stepped forward and without accompaniment
sang again from that spot of beauty, in her own challenging way,
the Woman's Marseillaise. Even the small boys in the crowd,
always the most difficult to please, cheered and clapped and
cried for more.


Mrs. John Rogers, Jr., chairman of the National Advisory Council,
said, as president of the ceremony:

"We hold this meeting to protest against the denial of liberty to
American women. All over the world to-day we see surging and
sweeping irresistibly on, the great tide of democracy, and women
would be derelict in their duty if they did not see to it that it
brings freedom to the women of this land . . . .

"Our ceremony to-day 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 to-day, not in malice or anger, but
in a spirit of reverence for truth.

"This meeting is a message to President Wilson. We expect an
answer. If the answer 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."

The few hoots and jeers which followed all ceased, when a tiny
and aged woman stepped from her place to the urn in the brilliant
torch light. The crowd recognized a veteran. It was the most
dramatic moment in the ceremony. Reverend Olympia Brown of
Wisconsin, one of the first ordained women ministers in the
country, then in her eighty-fourth year, gallant pioneer, friend
and colleague of Susan B. Anthony, said, as she threw into the
flames the speech made by the President on his arrival in France:

" . . . I have fought for liberty for seventy years, and I
protest against the President's leaving our country with this old
fight here unwon."

The crowd burst into applause and continued to cheer as she was
assisted from the plinth of the statue, too frail to dismount by
herself. Then came the other representative women, from
Massachusetts to California, from Georgia to Michigan, each one
consigning to the flames a special declaration of the


President's on freedom. The flames burned brighter and brighter
and leapt higher as the night grew black.

The casual observer said, "They must be crazy. Don't they know
the President isn't at home? Why are they appealing to him in the
park opposite the White House when he is in France?"

The long line of bright torches shone menacingly as the women
marched slowly back to headquarters, and the crowd dispersed in
silence. The White House was empty. But we knew our message would
be heard in France.


Chapter 21

Watchfires of Freedom

December came to an end with no plan for action on the amendment
assured. This left us January and February only before the
session would end. The President had not yet won the necessary 2
votes. We decided therefore to keep a perpetual fire to consume
the President's speeches on democracy as fast as he made them in

And so on New Year's Day, 1919, we light our first watchfire of
freedom in the Urn dedicated to that purpose. We place it on the
sidewalk in a direct line with the President's front door. The
wood comes from a tree in

Independence Square, Philadelphia. It burns gaily. Women with
banners stand guard over the watchfire. A bell hung in the
balcony at headquarters tolls rhythmically the beginning of the
watch. It tolls again as the President's words are tossed to the
flames. His speech to the workingmen of Manchester; his toast to
the King at Buckingham Palace: "We have used great words, all of
us. We have used the words `right' and `justice' and now we are
to prove whether or not we understand these words;" his speech at
Brest; all turn into ignominious brown ashes.

The bell tolls again when the watch is changed. All Washington is
reminded hourly that we are at the President's gate, burning his
words. From Washington the news goes to all the world.

People gather to see the ceremony. The omnipresent small boys and
soldiers jeer, and some tear the banners. A soldier rushes to the
scene with a bucket of water which does not extin-


guish the flames. The fire burns as if by magic. A policeman
arrives and uses a fire extinguisher. But the fire burns on! The
flames are as indomitable as the women who guard them! Rain
comes, but all through the night the watchfire burns. All through
the night the women stand guard.

Day and night the fire burns. Boys are permitted by the police to
scatter it in the street, to break the. urn, and to demolish the
banners. But each time the women rekindle the fire. A squad of
policemen tries to demolish the fire. While the police are
engaged at the White House gates, other women go quietly in the
dusk to the huge bronze urn in Lafayette Park and light another
watchfire. A beautiful blaze leaps into the air from the great
urn. The police hasten hither. The burning contents are
overturned. Alice Paul refills the urn and kindles a new fire.
She is placed under arrest. Suddenly a third blaze is seen in a
remote corner of the park. The policemen scramble to that corner.
When the watchfires have been continued for four days and four
nights,, in spite of the attempts by the police to extinguish
them, general orders to arrest are sent to the squad of

Five women are taken to the police station. The police captain is
outraged that the ornamental urn valued at $10,000 should have
been used to hold a fire which burned the President's words! His
indignation leaves the defendants unimpressed, however, and he
becomes conciliatory. Will the "ladies promise to be good and
light no more fires in the park?"

Instead, the "ladies" inquire on what charge they are held. Not
even the police captain knows. They wait at the police station to
find out, refusing to give bail unless they are told. Meanwhile
other women address the crowd lingering about the watchfire. The
crowd asks thoughtful questions. Little knots of men can be seen
discussing "what the whole thing is about anyway."

Miss Mildred Morris, one of the participants, overheard


the following discussion in one group composed of an old man, a
young sailor and a young soldier.

"But whatever you think of them," the sailor was telling the
soldier, "you have to admire their sincerity and courage. They've
got to do this thing. They want only what's their right and real
men want to give it to them."

"But they've got no business using a sidewalk in front of the
White House for a bonfire," declared the soldier. "It's disloyal
to the President, I tell you, and if they weren't women I'd slap
their faces."

"Listen, sonny," said the old man, patting the soldier's arm,
"I'm as loyal to the President as any man alive, but I've got to
admit that he ain't doing the right thing towards these women.
He's forced everything else he's wanted through Congress, and if
he wanted to give these women the vote badly enough he could
force the suffrage amendment through. If you and I were in these
women's places, sonny, we'd act real vicious. We'd want to come
here and clean out the ,whole White House."

"But if the President doesn't want to push their amendment
through, it's his right not to," argued the soldier. "It's
nobody's business how he uses his power."

"Good God!" the sailor burst out. "Why don't you go over and get
a job shining the Kaiser's boots?"

The women were released without bail, since no one was able to
supply a charge. But a thorough research was instituted and out
of the dusty archives some one produced an ancient statute that
would serve the purpose. It prohibits the building of fires in a
public place in the District of Columbia between sunset and
sunrise. And so the beautiful Elizabethan custom of lighting
watchfires as a form of demonstration was forbidden!

In a few days eleven women were brought to trial. There was a
titter in the court room as the prosecuting attorney read


with heavy pomposity the charge against the prisoners "to wit:
That on Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, in the District of
Columbia they did aid and abet in setting fire to certain
combustibles consisting of logs, paper, oil, etc., between the
setting of the sun in the said District of Columbia on the sixth
day of January and the rising of the sun in the said District of
Columbia o f the sixth day o f January, 1919, A. D."

The court is shocked to hear of this serious deed. The prisoners
are unconcerned.

"Call the names of the prisoners," the judge orders. The clerk
calls, "Julia Emory."

No answer!

"Julia Emory," he calls a second time.

Dead silence!

The clerk tries another name, a second, a third, a fourth. Always
there is silence!

In a benevolent tone, the judge asks the policeman to identify
the prisoners. They identify as many as they can. An attempt is
made to have the prisoners rise and be sworn. They sit.

"We will go on with the testimony," says the judge.

The police testify as to the important details of the crime. They
were on Pennsylvania Avenue they looked at their watch-they
learned it was about 5:30-they saw the ladies in the park putting
wood on fires in urns. "I threw the wood on the pavement; they
kept putting it back," says one policeman. "Each time I tried to
put out the fire they threw on more wood," says another. "They
kept on lighting new fires, and I'd keep putting them out," says
a third with an injured air.

The prosecuting attorney asks an important question, "Did you
command them to stop?"

Policeman-"I did sir, and I said, `You ladies don't want to be
arrested do you?' They made no answer but went on attending to
their fires."


The statute is read for the second time. Another witness is
called. This time the district attorney asks the policeman, "Do
you know what time the sun in the District of Columbia set on
January 5th and rose on January 6th?"

At this profound question, the policeman hesitates, looks
abashed, then says impressively, "The sun in the District of
Columbia set at 5 o'clock January 5th, and rose at 7:9.8 o'clock
January 6th."

The prosecutor is triumphant. He looks expectantly at the judge.

"How do you know what time the sun rose and set on those days?"
asks the judge.

"From the weather bureau," answers the policeman.

The judge is perplexed.

"I think we should have something more official," he says.

The prosecutor suggests that perhaps an almanac would settle the
question. The judge believes it would. The government attorney
disappears to find an almanac.

Breathless, the prisoners and spectators wait to hear the
important verdict of the almanac. The delay is interminable. The
court room is in a state of confusion. The prisoners, especially,
are amused at the proceedings. It is clear their fate may hang
upon a minute or two of time. An hour goes by, and still the
district attorney has not returned. Another half hour! Presently
he returns to read in heavy tones from the almanac. The policeman
looks embarrassed. His information from the weather bureau
differs from that of the almanac. His sun rose two minutes too
early and continued to shine twelve minutes too long! However, it
doesn't matter. The sun shone long enough to make the defendants

The judge looks at the prisoners and announces that they are
"guilty" and "shall pay a fine of $5.00 or serve five days in
jail." The Administration has learned its lesson about hunger
strikes and evidently fears having to yield to another


strike. And so it seeks safety in lighter sentences. The judge
pleads almost piteously with them not to go to jail at all, and
says that he will put them on probation if they will promise to
be good and not light any more fires in the District of Columbia.
The prisoners make no promise. They have been found guilty
according to the almanac and they file through the little gate
into the prisoners' pen.

Somehow they did not believe that whether the sun rose at 7 :26
or 7:28 was the issue which had decided whether they should be
convicted or not, and it was not in protest against the almanac
that they straightway entered upon a hunger strike.

Meanwhile the watchfires continued in the capital. January
thirteenth, the day the great world Peace Conference under the
President's leadership, began to deliberate on the task of
administering "right" and "justice" to all the oppressed of the
earth, twenty-three women were arrested in front of the White

Another trial! More silent prisoners! They were to be tried this
time in groups. A roar of applause from friends in the courtroom
greeted the first four as they came in. The judge said that he
could not possibly understand the motive for this outburst, and
added, "If it is repeated, I shall consider it contempt of
court." He then ordered the bailiff to escort the four prisoners
out and bring them in again.-Shades of school days!

"And if there is any applause this time . . ."

With this threat still in the air, the prisoners reentered and
the applause was louder than before. Great Confusion! The judge
roared at the bailiff. The bailiff roared at the prisoners and
their friends.

Finally they rushed to the corners of the courtroom and evicted
three young women.

"Lock the doors, and see that they do not return," shouted


the angry judge. Thus the dignity of the court was restored. But
the group idea had to be abandoned. The prisoners were now
brought in one at a time, and one policeman after another
testified that, "she kep' alightin' and alightin' fires."

Five days' imprisonment for each woman who "kep' alightin"'

On January 25th, in Paris, President Wilson received a delegation
of French working women who urged woman suffrage as one of the
points to be settled at the Peace Conf6rence. The President
expressed admiration for the women of France, and told them of
his deep personal interest in the enfranchisement of women. He
was `honored' and `touched' by their tribute. It was a great
moment for the President. He had won the position in the eyes of
the world of a devout champion of the liberty of women, but at
the very moment he was speaking to these French women American
women were lying in the District of Columbia jail for demanding
liberty at his gates.

Mrs. Mary Nolan, the eldest suffrage prisoner, took to the
watchfire those vain words of the President to the French women.
The flames were just consuming-"All sons of freedom are under
oath to see that freedom never suffers," when a whole squadron of
police dashed up to arrest her. There was a pause when they saw
her age. They drew back for an instant. Then one amongst them,
more "dutiful" than the rest, quietly placed her under arrest. As
she marched along by his side, cheers for her went up from all
parts of the crowd.

"Say what you think about them, but that little old lady has
certainly got pluck," they murmured.

At the bar Mrs. Nolan's beautiful speech provoked irrepressible
applause. The judge ordered as many offenders as could be
recognized brought before him. Thirteen women were hastily
produced. The trial was suspended while the judge


sentenced these thirteen to "forty-eight hours in jail for
contempt of court."

And so, throughout January and the beginning of February, 1919,
the story of protest continued relentlessly. Watchfires-arrests-
convictions-hunger strikes - release - until again the nation
rose in protest against imprisoning the women and against the
Senate's delay. Peremptory cables went to the President at the
Peace Conference, commanding him to act. News of our
demonstrations were well reported in the Paris press. The
situation must have again seemed serious to him, for although
reluctantly and perhaps unwillingly, he did begin to cable to
Senate leaders, who in turn began to act. On February 2d, the
Democratic Suffrage Senators called a meeting at the Capitol to
"consider ways and means." On February 3d, Senator Jones
announced in the Senate that the amendment would be-brought up
for discussion February 10th. The following evening, February
4th, a caucus of all Democratic Senators was called together at
the Capitol by Senator Martin of Virginia, Democratic floor
leader in the Senate. This was the first Democratic caucus held
in the Senate since war was declared, which would seem to point
to the anxiety of the Democrats to marshal two votes.

Several hours of very passionate debate occurred, during which
Senator Pollock of South Carolina announced for the first time
his support of the measure.

Senator Pollock had yielded to pressure by cable from the
President as well as to the caucus. This gain of one vote had
reduced the number of votes lacking to one.

Many Democratic leaders now began to show alarm lest the last
vote be not secured. William Jennings Bryan was one leader who,
rightly alarmed over such a situation, personally consulted with
the Democratic opponents. The argument which he presented to them
he subsequently gave to the press.


"Woman suffrage is coming to the country and to the world. It
will be submitted to the states by the next Congress, if it is
not submitted by the present Congress.

"I hope the Democrats of the South will not handicap the
Democrats of the North by compelling them to spend the next
twenty-five years explaining to the women of the country why
their party prevented the submission of the suffrage amendment to
the states.

"This is our last chance to play an important part in bringing
about this important reform, and it is of vital political concern
that the Democrats of the Northern Mississippi Valley should not
be burdened by the charge that our party prevented the passage of
the suffrage amendment, especially when it is known that it is
coming in spite of, if not with the aid of, the Democratic

As we grew nearer the last vote the President was meeting what
was perhaps his most bitter resistance from within. It was a
situation which he could have prevented. His own early hostility,
his later indifference and negligence, his actual protection
given to Democratic opponents of the measure, his own reversal of
policy practically at the point of a pistol, the half-hearted
efforts made by him on its behalf, were all coming to fruition at
the moment when his continued prestige was at stake. His power to
get results on this because of belated efforts was greatly
weakened. This also undermined his power in other undertakings
essential to his continued prestige. Whereas more effort, at an
earlier time, would have brought fairer results, now the
opponents were solidified in their opposition, were through their
votes publicly committed to the nation as opponents, and were
unwilling to sacrifice their heavy dignity to a public reversal
of their votes. This presented a formidable resistance, indeed.

Therefore the Democratic blockade continued.

And so did the watchfires !


Chapter 22

Burned in Effigy

The suffrage score now stood as follows: One vote lacking in the
Senate, 15 days in which to win it, and President Wilson across
the sea! The Democrats set February 10 as the date on which the
Senate would again vote on the amendment, without any plan as to
how the last vote would be won.

We were powerless to secure the last vote. That was still the
President's problem. Knowing that he always put forth more effort
under fire of protest from us than when not pressed, we decided
to make as a climax to our watchfire demonstrations a more
drastic form of protest. We wanted to show our contempt for the
President's inadequate support which promised so much in words
and which did so little in deeds to match the words.

And so on the day preceding the vote we burned in effigy a
portrait of President Wilson even as the Revolutionary fathers
had burned a portrait of King George.[1]

[1]This is the inscription on a tablet at the State House, Dover
Green, Dover, in commemoration of Delaware's revolutionary

Signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Caeser Rodney-Thomas McKain-George Read
At the urgent request of Thomas McKain, Caesar Rodney being then
in Delaware, rode post haste on horseback to Philadelphia and
reached Independence Hall July 4, 1776.

The following day news of the adoption of the Declaration of
Independence reaching Dover a portrait of King George was burned
on Dover Green at the order of the Committee of Safety. The
following historic words being uttered by the chairman:

"Compelled by strong necessity thus we destroy even the shadow of
that king who refused to reign over a free people."


A hundred women marched with banners to the center of the
sidewalk opposite the White House. Mingling with the party's tri-
colored banners were two lettered ones which read:











As the marchers massed their banners, and grouped themselves
about the urn, a dense crowd of many thousand people closed in
about them, a crowd so interested that it stood almost motionless
for two hours while the ceremonies continued. The fire being
kindled, and the flames leaping into the air, Miss Sue White of
Tennessee and Mrs. Gabrielle Harris of South Carolina dropped
into the fire in the urn a figure of President Wilson sketched on
paper in black and white -a sort of effigy de luxe, we called it,
but a symbol of our contempt none the less.

Mrs. Henry O. Havemeyer of New York, life-long suffragist and
woman of affairs, said as master of the ceremonies, "Every


Anglo-Saxon government in the world has enfranchised its women.
In Russia, in Hungary, in Austria, in Germany itself, the women
are completely enfranchised, and thirty-four women are now
sitting in the new Reichstag. We women of America are assembled
here to-day to voice our deep indignation that . . . American
women are still deprived of a voice in their government at home.
We mean to show that the President . . . ." She was caught by the
arm, placed under arrest, and forced into the waiting patrol

Thereupon the police fell upon the ceremonies, and indiscriminate
arrests followed. Women with banners were taken; women without
banners were taken. Women attempting to guard the fire; women
standing by doing nothing at all; all were seized upon and rushed
to the patrol. While this uproar was going on, others attempted
to continue the speaking where Mrs. Havemeyer had left it, but
each was apprehended as she made her attempt. Some that had been
scheduled to speak, but were too shy to utter a word in the
excitement, were also taken. When the "Black Marias" were all
filled to capacity, nearby automobiles were commandeered, and
more patrols summoned. And still not even half the women were

The police ceased their raids suddenly. Orders to arrest no more
had evidently been given. Some one must have suggested that a
hundred additions to the already overcrowded jail and workhouse
would be too embarrassing. Perhaps the ruse of arresting some,
and hoping the others would scamper away at the sight of
authority, was still in their minds.

After a brief respite they turned their attention to the
fascinated crowd. They succeeded in forcing back these masses of
people half way across Pennsylvania Avenue, and stationed an
officer every two feet in front of them. But still women came to
keep the fire burning. Was there no end of this battalion of
women? The police finally declared a "military zone" between the
encircling crowd and the remaining


women, and no person was allowed to enter the proscribed area.
For, another hour, then, the women stood on guard at the urn, and
as night fell, the ceremonies ended. Sixty of them marched back
to headquarters. Thirty-nine had been arrested.

The following morning, February 10th, saw two not unrelated
scenes in the capital. Senators were gathering in their seats in
the senate chamber to answer. to the roll call on the suffrage
amendment. A few blocks away in the courthouse, thirty-nine women
were being tried for their protest of the previous day.

There was no uncertainty either in the minds of the galleries or
of the senators. Every one knew that we still lacked one vote.
The debate was confined to two speeches, one for and one against.

When the roll was called, there were voting and paired in favor
of the amendment, 63 senators; there were voting and paired
against the amendment 83 senators. The amendment lost therefore,
by one vote. Of the 63 favorable votes 62 were Republicans and 31
Democrats. Of the 33 adverse votes 12 were Republicans and 21
Democrats. This means that of the 44 Republicans in the Senate,
32 or 73 per cent voted for the amendment. Of the 52 Democrats in
the Senate 31 or 60 per cent voted for it. And so it was again
defeated by the opposition of the Democratic Administration, and
by the failure of the President to put behind it enough power to

Meanwhile another burlesque of justice dragged wearily on in the
dim courtroom. The judge was sentencing thirty-nine women to
prison. When the twenty-sixth had been reached, he said wearily,
"How many more are out there?"

When told that he had tried only two-thirds of the defendants, he
dismissed the remaining thirteen without trial!

They were as guilty as their colleagues. But the judge was tired.
Twenty-six women sent to jail is a full judicial day's work, I


There was some rather obvious shame and unhappiness in the Senate
because of the petty thing they had done. The prisoners in the
courtroom were proud because they had done their utmost for the
principle in which they believed.

Senator Jones of New Mexico, Chairman of the Committee, and his
Democratic colleagues refused to reintroduce the Susan B. Anthony
amendment in the Senate immediately after this defeat. But on
Monday, February 17, Senator Jones of Washington, ranking
Republican on the Suffrage Committee, obtained unanimous consent
and reintroduced it, thereby placing it once more on its way to
early reconsideration.


Chapter 23

Boston Militants Welcome the President

It was announced that the President would return to America on
February 24th. That would leave seven days in which he could act
before the session ended on March 3d. We determined to make
another dramatic effort to move him further.

Boston was to be the President's landing place. Boston, where
ancient liberties are so venerated, and modern ones so abridged.
No more admirable place could have been found to welcome the
President home in true militant fashion.

Wishing the whole world to know that women were greeting
President Wilson, why they were greeting him, and what form of
demonstration the greetings would assume, we announced our plans
in advance. Upon his arrival a line of pickets would hold banners
silently calling to the President's attention the demand for his
effective aid. In the afternoon they would hold a meeting in
Boston Common and there burn the parts of the President's Boston
speech which should pertain to democracy and liberty. These
announcements were met with official alarm of almost unbelievable
extent. Whereas front pages had been given over heretofore to
publishing the elaborate plans for the welcome to be extended to
the President, eulogies of the President, and recitals of his
great triumph abroad, now the large proportion of this space was
devoted to clever plans of the police to outwit the suffragists.
The sustained publicity of this demonstration was unprecedented.
It actually filled the Boston papers for all of two weeks.


A "deadline," a diagram of which appeared in the press, was to be
established beyond which no suffragist, no matter how
enterprising, could penetrate to harass the over-worked President
with foolish ideas about the importance of liberty for women. Had
not this great man the cares of the world on his shoulders? This
was no time to talk about liberty for women! The world was
rocking and a great peace conference was sitting, and the
President was just returning to report on the work done so far.
The Boston descendants of the early revolutionists would do their
utmost to see that no untoward event should mar the perfection of
their plans. They would see to it that the sacred soil of the old
Boston Common should not be

It was a perfect day. Lines of marines whose trappings shone
brilliantly in the clear sunshine were in formation to hold back
the crowds from the Reviewing stand where the President should
appear after heading the procession in his honor. It seemed as if
all Boston were on hand for the welcome. A slender file of
twenty-two women marched silently into the sunshine, slipped
through the 'deadline," and made its way to the base` of the
Reviewing stand. There it unfurled its beautiful banners and took
up its post directly facing the line of marines which was
supposed to keep all suffragists at bay. Quite calmly and yet
triumphantly, they stood there, a pageant of beauty and defiant
appeal, which not even the most hurried passerby could fail to
see and comprehend.

There were consultations by the officials in charge of the
ceremonies. The women looked harmless enough, but had they not
been told that they must not come there? They were causing no
riot, in fact they were clearly adding much beauty. People seemed
to take them as part of the elaborate ceremony but officials
seldom have sense of humor enough or adaptability enough to
change quickly, especially when they have made


threats. It would be a taint on their honor, if they did not
"pick up" the women for the deed.

One could hear the people reading slowly the large lettered


The American flag carried by Miss Katherine Morey of Brookline
held the place of honor at the head of the line and there were
the familiar, "Mr. President, how long must women wait for
liberty?" and "Mr. President, what will you do for woman
suffrage?" The other banners were simply purple, white and gold.

"When we had stood there about three quarters of an hour," said
Katherine Morey, "Superintendent Crowley came to me and said, `We
want to be as nice as we can to you suffragette ladies, but you
cannot stand here while the President goes by, so you might as
well go back now.' I said I was sorry, but as we had come simply
to be there at that very time, we would not be able to go back
until the President had gone by. He thereupon made a final appeal
to Miss Paul, who was at headquarters, but she only repeated our
statement. The patrol wagons were hurried to the scene and the
arrests were executed in an exceedingly gentlemanly manner. But
the effect on the crowd was electric. The sight of `ladies' being
put into patrols, seemed to thrill the Boston masses as nothing
the President subsequently said was able to.

"We were taken to the House of Detention and there charged with
`loitering more than seven minutes'."


As Mrs. Agnes H. Morey, Massachusetts Chairman of the Woman's
Party, later remarked:

"It is a most extraordinary thing. Thousands loitered from
curiosity on the day the President arrived. Twenty-two loitered
for liberty, and only those who loitered for liberty were

Realizing that the event of the morning had diverted public
attention to our issue, and undismayed by the arrests, other
women entered the lists to sustain public attention upon our
demand to the President.

The ceremony on the Common began at three o'clock. Throngs of
people packed in closely in an effort to hear the speakers, and
to catch a glimpse of the ceremony, presided over by Mrs. Louise
Sykes of Cambridge, whose late husband was President of the
Connecticut College for Women. From three o'clock until six,
women explained the purpose of the protest, the status of the
amendment, and urged those present to help. At six o'clock came
the order to arrest. Mrs. C. C. Jack, wife of Professor Jack of
Harvard University, Mrs. Mortimer Warren of Boston, whose husband
was head of a base hospital in France, and Miss Elsie Hill,
daughter of the late Congressman Hill, were arrested and were
taken to the House of Detention, where they joined their

"Dirty, filthy hole under the Court House," was the general
characterization of the House of Detention. "Jail was a Paradise
compared to this depraved place," said Miss Morey. "We slept in
our clothes, four women to a cell, on iron shelves two feet wide.
In the cell was an open toilet. The place slowly filled up during
the night with drunks and disorderlies until pandemonium reigned.
In the evening, Superintendent Crowley and Commissioner Curtis
came to call on us. I don't believe they had ever been there
before, and they were painfully embarrassed. Superintendent
Crowley said to me, "If you were


drunk we could release you in the morning, but unfortunately
since you are not we have got to take you into court."

When the prisoners were told next morning the decision of Chief
Justice Bolster to try each prisoner separately and in closed
court, they all protested against such proceedings. But guards
took the women by force to a private room. "The Matron, who was
terrified," said Miss Morey, "shouted to the guards, `You don't
handle the drunks that way. You know you don't.' But they
continued to push, shove and shake the women while forcing them
to the ante room."

"As an American citizen under arrest, I demand a public trial,"
was the statement of each on entering the judge's private trial

While the trial was proceeding without the women's cooperation;
some were tried under wrong names, some were tried more than once
under different names, but most of them under the name of Jane
Doe-vigorous protests were being made to all the city officials
by individuals among the throngs who had come to the court house
to attend the trial. This protest was so strong that the last
three women were tried in open court. The judge sentenced
everybody impartially to eight days in j ail in lieu of fines,
with the exception of Miss Wilma Henderson, who was released when
it was learned that she was a minor.

The women were taken to the Charles Street Jail to serve their
sentences. "The cells were immaculately clean," said Miss Morey,
"but there was one feature of this experience which obliterated
all its advantages. The cells were without modern toilet
facilities. The toilet equipment consisted of a heavy wooden
bucket, about two and a half feet high and a foot and a half in
diameter, half filled with water. No one of us will ever forget
that foul bucket. It had to be carried to the lower floor-we were
on the third and fourth floors-every morning. I could hardly lift
mine off the floor, to say nothing of getting


it down stairs (Miss Morey weighs 98 pounds), so there it stayed.
Berry Pottier managed to get hers down, but was so exhausted she
was utterly unable to get it back to her cell.

"The other toilet facility provided was a smaller bucket of water
to wash in, but it was of such a strangely unpleasant odor that
we did not dare use it."

The Boston reporters were admitted freely-and they wrote columns
of copy. There was the customary ridicule, but there were
friendly light touches such as, "Militant Highlights-To be
roommates at Vassar College and then to meet again as cellmates
was the experience of Miss Elsie Hill and Mrs. Lois Warren Shaw."
. . . "Superintendent Kelleher didn't know when he was in
Congress with Elsie Hill's father he would some day have
Congressman Hill's daughter in his jail."

And there were friendly serious touches in these pages of
sensational news-such as this excerpt from the front page of the
Boston Traveler of February 25, 1919. "The reporter admired the
spirit of the women. Though weary from loss of sleep, the fire of
a great purpose burned in their eyes . . . .

"It was a sublime forgetting of self for the goal ahead, and
whether the reader is in sympathy with the principle for which
these women are ready to suffer or not, he will be forced to
admire the spirit which leads them on."

Photographs of the women were printed day by day giving their
occupations, if any, noting their revolutionary ancestors,
ascertaining the attitude of husbands and fathers. Mrs. Shaw's
husband's telegram was typical of the support the women got.
"Don't be quitters," he wired, "I have competent nurses to look
after the children." Mr. Shaw is a Harvard graduate and a
successful manufacturer in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Telegrams of protest from all over the country poured in upon all
the Boston officials who had had any point of contact with the
militants. All other work was for the moment sus-


pended. Such is the quality of Mrs. Morey's organizing genius
that she did not let a solitary official escape. Telegrams also
went from Boston, and especially from the jail, to President

Official Boston was in the grip of this militant invasion when
suddenly a man of mystery, one E. J. Howe, appeared and paid the
women's fines. It was later discovered that the mysterious E. J.
Howe alleged to have acted for a "client." Whether the "client"
was a part of Official Boston, no one ever knew. There were
rumors that the city wished to end its embarrassment.

Sedate Boston had been profoundly shaken. Sedate Boston gave more
generously than ever before to militant finances. And when the
"Prison Special" arrived a few days later a Boston theatre was
filled to overflowing with a crowd eager to hear more about their
local heroines, and to cheer them while they were decorated with
the already famous prison pin.

Something happened in Washington, too, after the President's safe
journey thither from Boston.


Chapter 24

Democratic Congress Ends

It would be folly to say that President Wilson was not at this
time aware of a very damning situation.

The unanswerable "Prison Special"-a special car of women
prisoners-was touring the country from coast to coast to keep the
public attention, during the closing days of the session, fixed
upon the suffrage situation in the Senate. The prisoners were
addressing enormous meetings and arousing thousands, especially
in the South, to articulate condemnation of Administration
tactics. It is impossible to calculate the number of cables
which, as a result of this sensational tour, reached the
President during his deliberations at the Peace Table. The
messages of protest which did not reach the President at the
Peace Conference were waiting for him on his desk at the White

Even if some conservative Boston suffragists did present him with
a beautiful bouquet of jonquils tied with a yellow ribbon, as
their welcome home, will any one venture to say that that token
of trust was potent enough to wipe from his consciousness the
other welcome which led his welcomers to jail? Will any one
contend that President Wilson upon his arrival in Washington, and
after changing his clothes, piously remarked:

"By the way, Tumulty, I want to show you some jonquils tied with
a yellow ribbon that were presented to me in Boston. I am moved,
I think I may say deeply moved by this sincere tribute, to do
something this morning for woman suffrage.


Just what is the state of affairs? And does there seem to be any
great demand for it?" We do not know what, if anything, he did
say to Secretary Tumulty, but we know what he did. He hurried
over to the Capitol, and there made his first official business a
conference with Senator Jones of New Mexico, Chairman of the
Senate Suffrage Committee. After expressing chagrin over the
failure of the measure in the Senate, the President discussed
ways and means of getting it through.

An immediate result of the conference was the introduction in the
Senate, February 28th, by Senator Jones, of another resolution on
suffrage. Senator Jones had refused to reintroduce the original
suffrage resolution immediately after the Senate defeat, February
10th. Now he came forward with this one, a little differently
worded, but to the same purpose as the original amendment.[1]

This resolution was a concession to Senator Gay of Louisiana,
Democrat, who had voted against the measure on February 10th, but
who immediately pledged his vote in favor of the new resolution.
Thus the sixty-fourth and last vote was won. The majority
instantly directed its efforts toward getting a vote on the new

On March 1st Senator Jones attempted to get unanimous consent to
consider it. Senator Wadsworth, of New York, Republican anti-
suffragist, objected. When consent was again asked, the following
day, Senator Weeks of Massachusetts, Republican anti-suffragist,
objected. On the last day of the session, Senator Sherman of
Illinois, Republican suffragist, objected. And so the Democratic
Congress ended without passing the amendment.

On the face of it, these parliamentary objections from
Republicans prevented action, when the Democrats had finally

[1]This amendment, although to the same purpose as the original
amendment, was not as satisfactory because of possible
controversial points in the enforcement article. The original
amendment is of course crystal clear in this regard.


secured the necessary votes. As a matter of fact, however, the
President and his party were responsible for subjecting the
amendment to the tactical obstruction of individual anti-suffrage
Senators. They waited until the last three days to make the
supreme effort. That the President did finally get the last vote
even at a moment when parliamentary difficulties prevented it
from being voted upon, proved our contention that he could pass
the amendment at any time he set himself resolutely to it. This
last ineffective effort also proved how hard the President had
been pushed by our tactics.

But it seems to me that President Wilson has a pathetic aptitude
for acting a little too late. The fact that the majority of the
Southern contingent in his party stood stubbornly against him on
woman suffrage, was of course a real obstacle. But we contended
that the business of a statesman who declared himself to be a
friend of a measure was to remove even real obstacles to the
success of that measure. Perhaps our standard was too high. It
must be confessed that people in general are distressingly
patient, easily content with pronouncements, and shockingly inert
about seeing to it that political leaders act as they speak.

We had seen the President overcome far greater obstacles than
stood in his way on this issue. We had seen him lead a country
which had voted to stay out of the European war into battle
almost immediately after they had so voted. We had seen him
conscript the men of the same stubborn South, which had been
conspicuously opposed to conscription. We had seen him win
mothers to his war point of view after they had fought
passionately for him and his peace program at election time. He
had taken pains to lead men and women influential and obscure to
his way of thinking. I do not condemn him-I respect him for being
able to do this. The point is that he dirt overcome obstacles
when his heart and head were set to the task.


Since our problem was neither in his head nor his heart, it was
our task to put it there. Having got it there, it was our -
responsibility to see that it churned and churned there, until he
had to act. We did our utmost.

For six full years, through three Congresses under President
Wilson's power, the continual Democratic resistance, meandering,
delays, deceits had left us still disfranchised. A world war had
come and gone during this span of effort. Vast millions had died
in pursuit of liberty. A Czar and a Kaiser had been deposed. The
Russian people had revolutionized their whole social and economic
system. And here in the United States of America we couldn't even
wrest from the leader of democracy and his poor miserable
associates the first step toward our political liberty-the
passage of an amendment through Congress, submitting the question
of democracy to the states!

What a magnificent thing it was for those women to rebel! Their
solitary steadfastness to their objective stands out in this
world of confused ideals and half hearted actions, clear and
lonely and superb!


Chapter 25

A Farewell to President Wilson

The Republican Congress elected in November, 1918, would not sit
until December, 1919-such is our unfortunate system-unless called
together by the President in a special session. We had polled the
new Congress by personal interviews and by post, and found a safe
two-thirds majority for the amendment in the House. In the new
Senate we still lacked a fateful one vote.

Our task was, therefore, to induce the President to call a
special session of Congress at the earliest possible moment, and
to see that he did not relax his efforts toward the last vote.

"He won't do it!" . . ."President Wilson will never let the
Republican Congress come together until the regular time." . . .
"Especially with himself in Europe!" The usual points of
objection were raised. But we persisted. We felt that the
President could win this last vote. And the fear that a
Republican Congress might, if he did not, was an accelerating

One feature of the campaign to force a special session was a
demonstration in New York, on the eve of President Wilson's
return to Europe, at the time he addressed a mass meeting in the
Metropolitan Opera House on behalf of his proposed League of
Nations. The plan of demonstration was to hold outside of the
Opera House banners addressed to President Wilson, and to consign
his speech to the flames of a torch at a public meeting nearby.


It was a clear starry night in March when the picket line of 26
women proceeded with tri-colored banners from New York
headquarters in Forty-first street to the Opera House. As we
neared the corner of the street opposite the Opera House and
before we could cross the street a veritable battalion of
policemen in close formation rushed us with unbelievable
ferocity. Not a word was spoken by a single officer of the two
hundred policemen in the attack to indicate the nature of our
offense. Clubs were raised and lowered and the women beaten back
with such cruelty as none of us had ever witnessed before.

The women clung to their heavy banner poles, trying to keep the
banners above the maelstrom. But the police seized them, tore the
pennants, broke the poles, some of them over our backs, trampled
them underfoot, pounded us, dragged us, and in every way behaved
like frantic beasts. It would have been so simple quietly to
detain our little handful until after the President's speech, if
that seemed necessary. But to launch this violent attack under
the circumstances was madness. Not a pedestrian had paid any
except friendly attention to the slender file of women. But the
moment this happened an enormous crowd gathered, made up mostly
of soldiers and sailors, many of whom had just returned from
abroad and were temporarily thronging the streets of New York.
They joined forces with the police in the attack.

Miss Margaretta Schuyler, a beautiful, fragile young girl, was
holding fast a silken American flag which she had carried at the
head of the procession when a uniformed soldier jumped upon her,
twisted her arms until she cried in pain, cursed, struggled until
he had torn her flag from its pole, and then broke the pole
across her head, exulting in his triumph over his frailer victim.

When I appealed to the policeman, who was at the moment occupied
solely with pounding me on the back, to intercept the


soldier in his cruel attack, his only reply was: "Oh, he's
helping me." He thereupon resumed his beating of me and I cried,
"Shame, shame! Aren't you ashamed to beat American women in this
brutal way?" I offered no other resistance. "If we are breaking
any law, arrest us! Don't beat us in this cowardly fashion!"

"We'll rush you like bulls," was his vulgar answer, "we've only
just begun."

Another young woman, an aviatrice, was seized by the coat collar
and thrown to the pavement for trying to keep hold of her banner.
Her fur cap was the only thing that saved her skull from serious
injury. As it was, she was trampled under foot and her face
severely cut before we could rescue her with the assistance of a
sympathetic member of the crowd. The sympathetic person was
promptly attacked by the policeman for helping his victim to her
feet. There were many shouts of disapproval of the police conduct
and many cheers for the women from the dense crowd.

By this time the crowd had massed itself so thickly that we could
hardly move an inch. It was perfectly apparent that we could
neither make our way to the Opera House nor could we extricate
ourselves. But the terrors continued. Women were knocked down and
trampled under foot, some of them almost unconscious, others
bleeding from the hands and face; arms were bruised and twisted;
pocketbooks were snatched and wrist-watches stolen.

When it looked as if the suffocating melee would result in the
death or permanent injury to some of us, I was at last dragged by
a policeman to the edge of the crowd. Although I offered not the
slightest resistance, I was crushed continuously in the arm by
the officer who walked me to the police station, and kept
muttering: "You're a bunch of cannibals, cannibals,-Bolsheviks."

Upon arriving at the police station I was happily relieved


to find eve of my comrades already there. We were all impartially
cursed at; told to stand up; told to sit down; forbidden to speak
to one another; forbidden even to smile at one another. One ' by
one we were called to the desk to give our name, age, and various
other pieces of information. We stood perfectly silent before the
station lieutenant as he coaxingly said, "You'd better tell."-
"You'd better give us your name." "You'd better tell us where you
live-it will make things easier for you." But we continued our

Disorderly conduct, interfering with the police, assaulting the
police (Shades of Heaven! assaulting the police!), were the
charges entered against us.

We were all locked in separate cells and told that we would be
taken to the Woman's Night Court for immediate trial.

While pondering on what was happening to our comrades and
wondering if they, too, would be arrested, or if they would just
be beaten up by the police and mob, a large, fat jail matron came
up and began to deliver a speech, which, ran something like this:

"Now, shure and you ladies must know that this is goin' a bit too
far. Now, I'm for suffrage alright, and I believe women ought to
vote, but why do you keep botherin' the President? Don't you know
he has got enough to think about with the League of Nations, the
Peace Conference and fixin' up the whole world on his mind?"

In about half an hour we were taken from our cells and brought
before the Lieutenant, who now announced, "Well, you ladies may
go now,-I have just received a telephone order to release you."

We accepted the news and jubilantly left the station house,
returning at once to our comrades. There the battle was still
going on, and as we joined them we were again dragged and cuffed
about the streets by the police and their aids, but there


were no more arrests. Elsie Hill succeeded in speaking from a
balcony above the heads of the crowd:

"Did you men turn back when you saw the Germans coming? What
would you have thought of any one who did? Did you expect us to
turn back? We never turn back, either and we won't until
democracy is won! Who rolled bandages for you when you were
suffering abroad? Who bound your wounds in your fight for
democracy? Who spent long hours of the night and the day knitting
you warm garments? There are women here to-night attempting to
hold banners to remind the President that democracy is not won at
home; who have given their sons and husbands for your fight
abroad. What would they say if they could see you, their comrades
in the fight over there, attacking their mothers, their sisters,
their wives over here? Aren't you ashamed that you have not
enough sporting blood to allow us to make our fight in our own
way? Aren't you ashamed that you accepted the help of women in
your fight, and now to-night brutally attack them?"

And they did listen until the police, in formation-looking now
like wooden toys-advanced from both sides of the street and
succeeded in entirely cutting off the crowd from Miss Hill.

The meeting thus broken up, we abandoned a further attempt that
night. As our little, bannerless procession filed slowly back to
headquarters, hoodlums followed us. The police of course gave us
no protection and just as we were entering the door of our own
building a rowdy struck me on the side of the head with a heavy
banner pole. The blow knocked me senseless against the stone
building; my hat was snatched from my head, and burned in the
street. We entered the building to find that soldiers and sailors
had been periodically rushing it in our absence, dragging out
bundles of our banners, amounting to many hundreds of dollars,
and burning them in the street, without any protest from the

One does not undergo such an experience without arriving


at some inescapable truths, a discussion of which would interest
me deeply but which would be irrelevant in this narrative.

"Two hundred maddened women try to see the President" . . . "Two
hundred women attack the police," and similar false headlines,
appeared the next morning in the New York papers. It hurt to have
the world think that we had attacked the police. That was a
slight matter, however, for that morning at breakfast, aboard the
George Washington, the President also read the New York papers.
He saw that we were not submitting in silence to his inaction. It
seems reasonable to assume that on sailing down the harbor that
morning past the Statue of Liberty the President had some trouble
to banish from his mind the report that "two hundred maddened
women" had tried to "make the Opera House last night."


Chapter 26

President Wilson Wins the 64th Vote in Paris

The "Prison Special," which was nearing the end of its dramatic
tour, was arousing the people to call for a special session of
Congress, as the President sailed away.

Although a Republican Congress had been elected, President
Wilson, as the head of the Administration, was still responsible
for initiating and guiding legislation. We had to see to it that,
with his Congress out of ,power, he did not relax his efforts on
behalf of the amendment.

There was this situation which we were able to use to our
advantage. Two new Democratic Senators, Senator Harrison of
Mississippi and Senator Harris of Georgia, had been elected to
sit in the incoming Congress through the President's influence.
He, therefore, had very specific power over these two men, who
were neither committed against suffrage by previous votes nor
were they yet won to the amendment.

We immediately set ourselves to the task of getting the President
to win one of these men. From the election of these two men in
the autumn to early spring, constant pressure was put upon the
President to this end. When we could see no activity on the part
of the President to secure the support of one of them, we again
threatened publicly to resume dramatic protests against him. We
kept the idea abroad that he was still responsible, and that we
would continue to hold him so, until the amendment was passed.

Such a situation gave friends of the Administration con-


siderable alarm. They realized that the slightest attack on the
President at that moment would jeopardize his many other
endeavors. And so these friends of the President undertook to
acquaint him with the facts.

Senator Harris was happily in Europe at the time. A most anxious
cable, signed by politicians in his own party, was sent to the
President in Paris explaining the serious situation and urging
him to do his utmost to secure the vote of the Senator at once.

Senator Harris was in Italy when he received an unexpected
telegram asking him to come to Paris. He journeyed with all speed
to the President, perhaps even thinking that he was about to be
dispatched to some foreign post, to learn that the conference was
for the purpose of securing his vote on the national suffrage

Senator Harris there and then gave his vote, the 64th vote.

On that day the passage by Congress of the original Susan B.
Anthony amendment was assured.

Instantly a cable was received at the White House carrying news
to the suffragists of the final capture of the elusive last vote.
Following immediately on the heels of this cable came another
cable calling the new Congress into special session May 19th.

In the light of the President's gradual yielding and final
surrender to our demand, it will not be out of place to summarize
briefly just what happened.

President Wilson began his career as President of the United
States an anti-suffragist. He was opposed to suffrage for women
both by principle and political expediency. Sometimes I think he
regarded suffragists as a kind of sect-good women, no doubt, but
tiresome and troublesome. Whether he has yet come to see the
suffrage battle as part of a great movement embracing the world
is still a question. It is not an


important question, for in any case it was not inward conviction
but political necessity that made him act.

Believing then that suffragists were a sect, he said many things
to them at first with no particular care as to the bearing of
these things upon political theory or events. He offered,
successively, "consideration," an "open mind," a "closed mind,"
and "age-long conviction deeply matured," party limitations,
party concert of action, and what not. He saw in suffrage the
"tide rising to meet the moon," but waited and advised us to wait
with him. But we did not want to wait, and we proceeded to try to
make it impossible for him to wait, either. We determined to make
action upon this issue politically expedient for him.

When the President began to perceive the potential political
power of women voters, he first declared, as a "private citizen,"
that suffrage was all right for the women of his home state, New
Jersey, but that it was altogether wrong to ask him as President
to assist in bringing it about for all the women of the nation.
He also interested himself in writing the suffrage plank in the
Democratic Party's national platform, specifically relegating
action on suffrage to the states. Then he calmly announced that
he could not act nationally, "even if I wanted to," because the
platform had spoken otherwise.

The controversy was lengthened. The President's conspicuous
ability for sitting still and doing nothing on a controversial
issue until both sides have exhausted their ammunition was never
better illustrated than in this matter. He allowed the
controversy to continue to the point of intellectual sterility.
He buttressed his delays with more evasions, until finally the
women intensified their demand for action. They picketed his
official gates. But the President still recoiled from action. So
mightily did he recoil from it that he was willing to imprison
women for demanding it.

It is not extraordinary to resent being called upon to act,


for it is only the exceptional person who springs to action, even
when action is admitted to be desirable and necessary. And the
President is not exceptional. He is surprisingly ordinary.

While the women languished in prison, he fell back upon words-
beautiful words, too expressions of friendliness, good wishes,
hopes, and may-I-nots. In this, too, he was acting like an
ordinary human being, not like the statesman he was reputed to
be. He had habituated himself to a belief in the power of words,
and every time he uttered them to us he seemed to refortify
himself in his belief in their power.

It was the women, not the President, who were exceptional. They
refused to accept words. They persisted in demanding acts. Step
by step under terrific gunfire the President's resistance
crumbled, and he yielded, one by one, every minor facility to the
measure, always withholding from us, however, the main objective.
Not until he had exhausted all minor facilities, and all possible
evasions, did he publicly declare that the amendment should pass
the House, and put it through. When he had done that we rested
from the attack momentarily, in order to let him consummate with
grace, and not under fire, the passage of the amendment in the
Senate. He rested altogether. We were therefore compelled to
renew the attack. He countered at first with more words. But his
reliance upon them was perceptibly shaken when we burned them in
public bonfires. He then moved feebly but with a growing concern
toward getting additional votes in the Senate. And when, as an
inevitable result of his policy-and ours-the political
embarrassment became too acute, calling into question his honor
and prestige, he covertly began to consult his colleagues. We
pushed him the harder. He moved the faster toward concrete
endeavor. He actually undertook to win the final votes in the

There he found, however, that quite an alarming situation


had developed-a situation which he Should have anticipated, but
for which he was totally unprepared. Opposition in his own party
had been growing more and more rigid and cynical. His own
opposition to the amendment, his grant of immunity to those
leaders in his party who had fought the measure, his isolating
himself from those who might have helped-all this was coming to
fruition among his subordinates at a time when he could least
afford to be beaten on anything. What would have been a fairly
easy race to win, if he had begun running at the pistol shot, had
now become most difficult.

Perceiving that he had now not only to move himself, but also to
overcome the obstacle which he had allowed to develop, we
increased the energy of our attack. And finally the President
made a supreme assertion of his power, and secured the last and
64th vote in the Senate. He did this too late to get the
advantage-if any advantage is to be gained from granting a just
thing at the point of a gun-for this last vote arrived only in
time for a Republican Congress to use it.

It seems to me that Woodrow Wilson was neither devil nor God in
his manner of meeting the demand of the suffragists. There has
persisted an astounding myth that he is an extraordinary man. Our
experience proved the contrary. He behaved toward us like a very
ordinary politician. Unnecessarily cruel or weakly tolerant,
according as you view the justice of our fight, but a politician,
not a statesman. He did not go out to meet the tide which he
himself perceived was "rising to meet the moon" That would have
been statesmanship. He let it all but engulf him before he acted.
And even as a politician he failed, for his tactics resulted in
the passage of the amendment by a Republican Congress.


Chapter 27

Republican Congress Passes Amendment

The Republican Congress convened in Special Session May 19.

Instantly Republican leaders in control of the 66th Congress
caucused and organized for a prompt passage of the amendment. May
21st the Republican House of Representatives passed the measure
by a vote of 304 to 89-the first thing of any importance done by
the new House. This was 42 votes above the required two-thirds
majority, whereas the vote in the House in January, 1918, under
Democratic control had given the measure only one vote more than
was required.

Immediately the Democratic National Committee passed a resolution
calling on the legislatures of the various states to hold special
legislative sessions where necessary, to ratify the amendment as
soon as it was through Congress, in order to "enable women to
vote in the national elections of 1920."

When the 64th vote was assured two more Republican Senators
announced their support, Senator Keyes of New Hampshire and
Senator Hale of Maine, and on June 4th the measure passed the
Senate by a vote of 66 to 30,-2 votes more than needed.[l] Of the
49 Republicans in the Senate, 40 voted for the amendment, 9
against. Of the 47 Democrats in the Senate, 26 voted for it and
21 against.

And so the assertion that "the right of citizens of the United
States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the

[1]These figures include all voting and paired.


United States or by any state on account of sex," introduced into
Congress by the efforts of Susan B. Anthony in 1878, was finally
submitted to the states for ratification[1] on June 4th, 1919.

I do not need to explain that the amendment was not won from the
Republican Congress between May 19th and June 4th, 1919. The
Republican Party had been gradually coming to appreciate this
opportunity throughout our entire national agitation from 1913 to
date. And our attack upon the party in power, which happened to
be President Wilson's party, had been the most decisive factor in
stimulating the opposition party to espouse our side. It is
perhaps fortunate for the Republican Party that it was their
political opponents who inherited this lively question in 1913.
However, the political advantage is theirs for having promptly
and ungrudgingly passed the amendment the moment they came into
power. But it will not be surprising to any one who has read this
book that I conclude by pointing out that the real triumph
belongs to the women.

Our objective was the national enfranchisement of women. A tiny
step, you may say. True! But so long as we know that this is but
the first step in the long struggle of women for political,
economic and social emancipation, we need not be disturbed. If
political institutions as we know them to-day in their
discredited condition break down, and another kind of
organization-perhaps industrial-supplants them, women will battle
for their place in the new system with as much determination as
they have shown in the struggle just ended.

That women have been aroused never again to be content with their
subjection there can be no doubt. That they will ultimately
secure for themselves equal power and responsibility

[1]When a constitutional amendment has passed Congress it must be
ratified by a majority vote of 36 state legislatures and
thereupon proclaimed operative by the Secretary of State of the
United States before it becomes the law of the land. For
ratification data see Appendix 1.


in whatever system of government is evolved is positive. How
revolutionary will be the changes when women get this power and
responsibility no one can adequately foretell. One thing is
certain. They will not go back. They will never again be good and
willing slaves.

It has been a long, wearying struggle. Although drudgery has
persisted throughout, there have been compensatory moments of
great joy and beauty. The relief that comes after a great
achievement is sweet. There is no residue of bitterness. To be
sure, women have often resented it deeply that so much human
energy had to be expended for so simple a right. But whatever
disillusionments they have experienced, they have kept their
faith in women. And the winning of political power by women will
have enormously elevated their status.










Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
extending the right of suffrage to women.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States o f America in Congress assembled (twothirds of each House
concurring therein), That the following articles be proposed to
the legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the
Constitution of the United States, which when ratified by three-
fourths of the said legislatures, shall be valid as part of said
Constitution, namely:

"ARTICLE-SEC. 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.

"SEC. 2. Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation,
to enforce the provisions of this article."



In Congress


By Susan B. Anthony in 1875

First Introduced

January 10, 1878, by Hon. A. A. Sargent, in the Senate

Reported from Committee

In the Senate
1878, Adverse majority.
1879, Favorable minority.
1882, Favorable majority, adverse minority.
1884, Favorable majority, adverse minority.
1886, Favorable majority.
1890, Favorable majority.
1892, Favorable majority, adverse minority.
1896, Adverse majority.
1913, Favorable majority.
1914, Favorable majority.
1917, Favorable majority.
1919, Unanimously favorably.

In the House
1883, Favorable majority.
1884, Adverse majority, favorable minority.
1886, Favorable minority.
1890, Favorable majority.
1894, Adverse majority.
1914, Without recommendation.
1916, Without recommendation.
1917, Without recommendation.
1918, Favorable majority.
1919, Favorable majority.

Voted Upon

In the Senate
January 25, 1887. Yeas 16, nays 94. Absent 25 (of whom 4 were
announced as for and 2 against).
March 19, 1914. Yeas 35, nays 34, failing by 11 of the necessary
two thirds vote.
October 1, 1918. Yeas 54, nays 30, failing by 2 of the two-thirds
February 10, 1919. Yeas 55, nays 29, failing by 1 of the
necessary two-thirds vote.
June 4, 1919. Yeas 56, nays 25, passing by 2 votes over necessary
two-thirds majority.

In the House
January 12, 1915. Yeas 174, nays 204, failing by 78 of the
necessary two-thirds vote.
January 10, 1918. Yeas 274, nays 136, passing by 1 vote over
necessary two-thirds majority.
May 21, 1919. Yeas 304, nays 89, passing by 42 votes over
necessary two-thirds majority


State; Date of Ratification; Vote: Senate, House;	Party of
Governor; Party Controlling Legislature

1	Wisconsin June 10, 1919	24-1	54-2	  Rep. Rep.
2	*Michigan	June 10, 1919	Unan. Unan. Rep. Rep.
3	*Kansas	June 16, 1919	Unan. Unan. Rep. Rep.
4	*Ohio	June 16, 1919	27-3	73-6	  Dem. Rep.
5	*New York	June 16, 1919	Unan. Unan. Dem. Rep.
6	Illinois	June 17, 1919	Unan. 133-4 Rep. Rep.
7	Pennsylvania 	June 24, 1919	32-6	153-44	Rep.	Rep.
8	Massachusetts 	June 25, 1919	34-5	184-77	Rep.	Rep.
9	*Texas	June 29, 1919	Unan. 96-21 Dem. Dem.
10	*Iowa	July	2, 1919	Unan. 95-5  Rep. Rep.
11	*Missouri July	3, 1919	28-3	125-4  Dem. Div’d.
12	*Arkansas	July 20, 1919	20-2	76-17  Dem. Dem.
13	*Montana	July 30, 1919	38-1	 Unan. Dem. Rep.
14	*Nebraska	Aug. 2, 1919	Unan. Unan. Rep. Rep.
15	*Minnesota 	Sept. 8, 1919	60-5	120-6 Rep. Rep.
16	*New Hampshire Sept. 10, 1919	14-10 212-143	Rep. Rep.
17	*Utah	Sept. 30, 1919	Unan. Unan. Dem. Dem.
18	*California 	Nov. 1, 1919	Unan. 73-2 Rep. Rep.
19	*Maine	Nov. 5, 1919.	24-5	72-68 Rep. Rep.
20	*North Dakota 	Dec. 1, 1919	38-4	103-6 Rep. Rep.
21	*South Dakota 	Dec. 4, 1919	Unan. Unan. Rep. Rep.
22	*Colorado	Dec. 12, 1919	Unan. Unan. Rep. Rep.
23	Rhode Island 	Jan.	6, 1920	37-1	89-3	Rep.	Rep.
24	Kentucky	Jan.	6, 1920	30-8	72-25 Rep. Div’d.
25	*Oregon	Jan.	12, 1920	Unan. Unan.	Rep.	Rep.
26	*Indiana	Jan.	16, 1920	43-3	 Unan.	Rep.	Rep.
27	*Wyoming	Jan.	27, 1920	Unan. Unan.	Rep.	Rep.
28	*Nevada	Feb.	7, 1920	Unan. Unan.	Dem.	Div’d.
29	New Jersey	Feb.	10,	1920	18-2	34-24	Dem,	Rep.
30	*Idaho	Feb. 11, 1920	29-6	Unan.	Rep.	Rep.
31	*Arizona	Feb.	12, 1920	Unan. Unan.	Rep.	Dem.
32	*New Mexico 	Feb. 19, 1920	17-5	36-10	Rep.	Rep.
33	*Oklahoma	Feb. 27, 1920	24-15	84-12	Dem.	Dem.
34	*West Virginia Mar. 10, 1920	15-14	47-40	Dem.	Rep.
35	*Washington	Mar. 22, 1920	Unan.	Unan.	Rep.	Rep.
36	*Tennessee	Aug. 18, 1920	25-4	49-47	Dem.	Dem.

* States ratifying at Special Session.




Azerbaijain (Moslem) Republic 1919
Australia  1902
Austria  1918
[1]Belgium 1919
British East Africa 1919
Canada 1918
Czecho Slovakia 1918
Denmark 1915
[2]England 1918
Finland 1906
Germany 1918
Holland 1919
Hungary 1918
Iceland 1919
Ireland 1918
Isle of Man 1881
Luxembourg 1919
[3]Mexico 1917
New Zealand 1893
Norway 1907
Poland 1918
Rhodesia 1919
Russia 1917
Scotland 1918
[4]Sweden 1919
United States 1920
Wales 1918

[1]Electoral Reform Bill as passed granted suffrage to widows who
have not remarried and mothers of soldiers killed in battle or
civilians shot by Germans.
[2]Women over age of 80-Bill to reduce age to 21 has passed its
second reading.
[3]No sex qualification for voting in constitution. Women haze so
far not availed themselves of their right to note, but are
expected to do so in the coming elections.
[4]To be confirmed, in 1920.


Appendix 3

Resolutions Demanding Investigations

Resolution (171) to authorize an Investigation of the District of
Columbia Workhouse.
Introduced in the House by Miss Jeannette Rankin, Representative
from Montana.
October 5, 1917.

Text of Resolution:

Resolved, That a select committee of seven Members of the House
of Representatives be appointed by the Speaker to investigate the
administration of the District of Columbia Workhouse at Occoquan,
Virginia, and to report thereon as early as possible during the
second session of the Sixty-fifth Congress. Said committee is
authorized to sit during the recess in Washington, District of
Columbia and elsewhere, to subpoena witnesses, and to call for
records relating to the said workhouse. To defray the necessary
expenses of such investigation, including the employment of
clerical assistance, the committee is authorized to expend not to
exceed 1,000 from the contingent fund of the House.

Resolution (180) to authorize an Investigation of Mob Attacks on
Introduced in the House by John Baer, Representative from North
August 17, 1917.

Text of Resolution:


WHEREAS, in the city of Washington, D. C., about 350 feet from
the White House premises is a building known as the Cameron
House, in which is located headquarters and main offices of a
woman's organization at which is continually congregated women of
character, courage and intelligence, who come from various
sections of the United States, and

WHEREAS, on three successive days, to wit: the 14th, 15th and
16th days of August, 1917, on said days immediately following the
closing of the day's work by the clerks and employees of the
Executive Departments, hundreds of these clerks and employees,
acting with sailors, then and now in the service of the United
States Navy and in uniform at the time, and soldiers, then and
now in the service of the United States Army, also in their
uniforms at the time,-and these clerks, employees, sailors and
soldiers, and others, formed themselves into mobs and
deliberately, unlawfully and violently damaged the said
headquarters and offices of the said woman's organization by
pelting rotten eggs through the doors and windows, shooting a
bullet from a revolver through a window, and otherwise damaging
said Cameron House, and also violently and unlawfully did strike,
choke, drag and generally mistreat and injure and abuse the said
women when they came defenseless upon the streets adjoining as
well as when they were in the said building; and

WHEREAS, the organized police of the City of Washington, District
of Columbia, made no attempt to properly safeguard the property
and persons of the said defenseless women, but, on the contrary,
said police even seemed to encourage the lawless acts of the mob;

WHEREAS, such lawlessness is in the Capital of the United States
and within a few hundred feet of -the Executive Mansion and
offices of the President of the United States; and

WHEREAS, these attacks upon defenseless women are not only an
outrage and crime in themselves, that prove the


perpetrators and those lending aid to the same to be cowards, but
in addition, create throughout the world contempt for the United
States and set a vicious example to the people throughout the
United States and the world at large, of lawlessness and
violence; and encourage designing cowards and manipulators
everywhere to form mobs to molest the innocent and defenseless
under any pretext whatever; and

WHEREAS, there seems to be no activity or attempt on the part of
any one in authority in the City of Washington, District of
Columbia, nor by the government officials to apprehend, arrest or
punish those perpetrating the violence, on account of which the
same may occur indefinitely unless Congress acts in the premises;

WHEREAS, the legal status upon the premises stated would excuse
the occupants of the Cameron House if they were so disposed in
firing upon the mobs aforesaid, and thus create a state of
greater violence and unlawless, to further injure the prestige
and good name of the United States for maintaining law and order
and institutions of democracy; therefore be it

Resolved, that the Speaker appoint a Committee of seven members
to investigate into all the facts relating to the violence and
unlawful acts aforesaid, and make the earliest possible report
upon the conditions, with the purpose in view of purging the army
and navy of the United States and other official departments, of
all lawless men who bring disgrace upon the American flag by
participating in mob violence, and also to inquire regarding the
conduct of all government employees and the police of the city of
Washington, District of Columbia, with a view to maintaining law
and order.


Appendix 4

Suffrage Prisoners

Note:-Scores of women were arrested but never brought to trial;
many others were convicted and their sentences suspended or
appealed. It has been possible to list below only those women who
actually served prison sentences although more than five hundred
women were arrested during the agitation.

MINNIE D. ABBOTT, Atlantic City, N. J., officer of the N.W.P.
[National Woman's Party]. Arrested picketing July 14, 1917,
sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan workhouse.

MRS. PAULINE ADAMS, Norfolk, Va., wife of leading physician,
prominent clubwoman and Congressional District Chairman of the
N.W.P. Arrested picketing Sept. 4, 1917. Sentenced to 60 days in
Occoquan workhouse. Arrested watchfire demonstration Feb. 9,
1919, but released on account of lack of evidence.

EDITH AINGE, Jamestown, N. Y., native of England, came to America
when a child, and has brought up family of nine brothers and
sisters. Worked for state suffrage in N. Y. 1915. Served five
jail sentences. Sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan for picketing
Sept., 1917, 15 days in Aug., 1918, Lafayette Sq. meeting, and
three short terms in District Jail in Jan., 1919, watchfire

HARRIET U. ANDREWS, Kansas City, Mo., came to Washington as war
worker. Arrested watchfire demonstration and sentenced to 5 days
in District Jail Jan., 1919.

MRS. ANNIE ARNEIL, Wilmington, Del., did picket duty from
beginning in 1917. One of first six suffrage prisoners. Served
eight jail sentences, 3 days, June, 1917; 60 days in Occoquan,
Aug.-Sept., 1917, picketing; 15 days, Aug., 1918, Lafayette Sq.
meeting and five sentences of 5 days each in Jan. and Feb., 1919,
watchfire demonstrations.

BERTHE ARNOLD, Colorado Springs, Colo., daughter of prominent
physician. Educated at Colo. State Univ. Student of music Phila.;
member of D.A.R.; kindergarten teacher. Arrested Jan., 1919,
watchfire demonstration, sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

VIRGINIA ARNOLD, North Carolina, student George Washington and
Columbia Univs., school teacher, later organizer and executive
secretary N.W.P, in Washington. Served 3 days June, 1917, with
first pickets sentenced.


MRS. W. D. ASCOUGH, Detroit, Mich. Former Conn. State Chairman,
N.W.P. Studied for concert stage London and Paris. Abandoned
concert stage to devote time to suffrage. Sentenced to 15 days
Aug., 1918, Lafayette Sq. meeting, and 5 days Feb., 1919, in
watchfire demonstration. Member "Prison Special" which toured
country in Feb., 1919.

MRS. ARMY Scorr BAKER, Washington, D. C., wife of Dr. Robert
Baker, and descendant long line of army officers. Three sons in
service during World War. Known as the diplomat of the N.W.P.,
and as such has interviewed practically every man prominent in
political life. Member executive committee of N.W.P. and has been
political chairman since 1918. Arrested picketing and sentenced
to 60 days in Occoquan, Sept., 1917.

MRS. CHARLES W. BARNES, Indianapolis, Ind., officer of Ind.
Branch, N.W.P. Arrested picketing Nov., 1917, sentenced to 15
days in jail.

MRS. NAOMI BARRETT, Wilmington, Del., arrested watchfire
demonstration Jan. 13, 1919. Sentenced to 5 days in District

MRS. W. J. BARTLETT, Putnam, Conn., leader Conn. State Grange.
Arrested Aug., 1917, picketing, sentenced to 60 days.

MRS. M. TOSCAN BENNETT, Hartford, Conn., wife of lawyer and
writer, member D.A.R. and Colonial Dames, has been active in
state suffrage work for many years. Member National Advisory
Council, N.W.P. and Conn. state treasurer. Arrested Jan., 1919,
watchfire demonstration. Sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

HILDA BLUMBERG, New York City, native of Russia, one of youngest
prisoners. Educated and taught school in this country. Arrested
picketing, Sept., 1917; sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan;
arrested again Nov. 10, sentenced to 15 days.

MRS. KATE BOECKH, Washington, D. C., native of Canada, one of
first women aeroplane pilots. Arrested picketing Aug., 1917, case
appealed. Arrested applauding in court Jan., 1919, served 3 days.

MRS. CATHERINE BOYLE, Newcastle, Del., munitions worker during
World War. Arrested Jan., 1919, watchfire demonstration,
sentenced to 5 days in jail.

LUCY G. BRANHAM, Baltimore, Md., organizer N.W.P., graduate
Washington College, Md.; M. A., Johns Hopkins; graduate student
Univ. of Chicago and Ph.D. Columbia. Won Carnegie hero medal for
rescuing man and woman from drowning at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Arrested picketing Sept., 1917, sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan
and District Jail.

MRS. LUCY G. BRANHAM, Baltimore, Md., mother of Miss Lucy
Branham, widow of Dr. John W. Branham who lost his life fighting
a yellow fever epidemic in Ga. Arrested watchfire demonstration
Jan., 1919; sentenced to 3 days in District Jail.

MRS. JOHN WINTERS BRANNAN, New York City, daughter of the late
Charles A. Dana, founder and editor N. Y. Sun., trusted counselor
of President Lincoln; wife of Dr. Brannan. Pres. Board of
Trustees Bellevue Hos-


pital; member executive committee N.W.P., state chairman New York
Branch. Did brilliant state suffrage work as officer of Woman's
Political Union in N. Y. Arrested picketing July 14, 1917,
sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan; pardoned by President after
serving 3 days. Again arrested picketing Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced
to 45 days.

JENNIE BRONENBERG, Philadelphia, Pa. Student Wharton School,
Univ. of Pa. Arrested Feb., 1919, sentenced to 5 days in District

MRS. MARY E. BROWN, Wilmington, Del., state press chairman,
N.W.P. Father member First Del. regiment; mother field nurse,
Civil War. Descendant Captain David Porter, of Battleship Essex,
War of 1812. Arrested watchfire demonstration Jan. 13, 1919,
sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

LOUISE BRYANT, New York City, formerly of Portland Ore., author,
poet and journalist, wife of John Reed. Correspondent for Phila.
Public Ledger in Petrograd for six months during Russian
revolution. Arrested Watchfire demonstration Feb., 1919,
sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

Lucy BURNS, New York City, graduate Vassar College, student of
Yale Univ. and Univ. of Bonn, Germany. High School teacher.
Joined English militant suffrage movement 1909, where she met
Alice Paul, with whom she joined in establishing first permanent
suffrage headquarters in Washington in Jan., 1913; helped
organize parade of March 3, 1913; vice chairman and member of
executive committee Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage [later
the N.W.P.], for a time editor of The Suffragist. Leader of most
of the picket demonstrations and served more time in jail than
any other suffragist in America. Arrested picketing June, 1917,
sentenced to 3 days; arrested Sept., 1917, sentenced to 60 days;
arrested Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to six months; in January,
1919, arrested watchfire demonstrations for which she served one
3 day and two 5 day sentences. She also served 4 prison terms in

MRS. HENRY BUTTERWORTH, New York City, comes of an old Huguenot
family. Active in civic and suffrage work in N. Y. for past 20
years. Charter member National Society of Craftsmen. Arrested
picketing Nov., 1917, sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan.

MRS. LUCILLE A. CALME9, Princeton, Ia. Great-granddaughter of
George Fowler, founder of New Harmony, Ind. Government worker
during World War. Arrested watchfire demonstration Jan. 13, 1919,
sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

ELEANOR CALNAN, Methuen, Mass. Congressional district chairman of
Mass. Branch N.W.P. Arrested picketing July 14, 1917, sentenced
to 60 days in Occoquan, pardoned by President after 3 days;
arrested Sept., 1917, sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan. Arrested
in Boston, Feb., 1919, for participation in Boston demonstration
at home coming of President; sentenced to 8 days in Charles St.

MRS. AGNES CHASE, Washington, D. C., formerly of Ill.; engaged in
scientific research work for U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. Arrested
Lafayette Sq. meeting August, 1918, sentenced to 10 days.
Arrested watchfire demonstration Jan., 1919, sentenced to 5 days.


MRS. PALYS L. CHEVRIER, New York City, arrested watchfire
demonstration Jan., 1919, sentenced to 5 days. Member "Prison
Special" which toured country in Feb., 1919.

MRS. HELEN CHISASKI, Bridgeport, Conn., munition worker and
member of Machinists' Union. Arrested watchfire demonstration
Jan. 13, 1919; sentenced to 5 days in jail.

MRS. WILLIAM CHISHOLM, Huntington, Pa., now deceased; arrested
picketing Sept. 4, 1917, sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan.

JOSEPHINE COLLINS, Framingham, Mass., owns and manages the
village store at Framingham Center. She encountered serious
opposition from some of her customers on account of her militant
activities; one of first members N.W.P.; arrested in Boston Feb.,
1919, for taking part in welcome to the President; sentenced to 8
days in Charles St. Jail.

MRS. SARAH TARLETON COLVIN, St. Paul, Minn., member famous
Tarleton family of Alabama, wife of Dr. A. R. Colvin, Major in
the Army, and Acting Surgical Chief at Fort McHenry during World
War; graduate nurse Johns Hopkins training school, Red Cross
nurse in this country during war; Minnesota state chairman N.W.P.
Member "Prison Special." Arrested watchfire demonstrations Jan.,
190; sentenced to 2 terms of 5 days each.

BETTY CONNOLLY, West Newton, Mass., household assistant, arrested
in Boston, Feb., 1919, demonstration of welcome to President
Wilson; sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail.

MRS. ALICE M. COSU, New Orleans, La., vice chairman La. state
branch N.W.P. Arrested picketing Nov., 1917, and sentenced to 30
days in Occoquan workhouse.

CORA CRAWFORD, Philadelphia, Pa., business woman. Marched in 1913
suffrage parade in Washington. Arrested watchfire demonstration
Jan., 1919; sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

GERTRUDE CROCKER, Washington, D. C., formerly of Ill., educated
at Vassar College and Univ. of Chicago. National Treasurer N.W.P.
1916; government worker, 1917. Served 3 jail sentences: 30 days
for picketing in 1917, 10 days for assisting Lafayette Sq.
meeting 1918, and 5 days for participating watchfire 1919.

RUTH CROCKER, Washington, D. C., formerly of Ill., sister of
Gertrude Crocker. Came to Washington for suffrage, later
government worker. Served 30 days at Occoquan for picketing in
1917 and 3 days in District Jail for watchfire demonstration
Jan., 1919.

Miss L. J. C. DANIELS, Grafton, Vt., and Boston. Arrested
picketing Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to 15 days. Took part in
Capitol picketing Nov., 1918; arrested watchfire demonstration
Jan. 9, 1919, sentenced to 5 days in District Jail. Arrested in
Boston for participation in welcome demonstration to President,
sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail.

DOROTHY DAY, New York City, member of the "Masses" [now the
"Liberator"] staff. Arrested picketing Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced
to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse.


EDNA DIXON, Washington, D. C., daughter of physician; teacher in
public schools. Arrested picketing Aug., 1917, sentenced to SO
days in Occoquan workhouse.

LAVINIA L. DOCK, Fayetteville, Pa., associated with the founders
of American Red Cross nursing service; secretary of American
Federation of Nurses and member of International Council of
Nurses. Assisted in relief work during Johnstown flood and during
Fla. yellow fever epidemic; army nurse during Spanish-American
War, author of "The History of Nursing," "The Tuberculosis
Nurse," and a number of other text books on nursing. One of early
workers of Henry St. Settlement in N. Y., and founder of visiting
nurse movement in N. Y. On staff of American Journal of Nursing.
One of first six pickets to serve prison sentence of 3 days in
June, 1917. Later that summer she served 25 days in Occoquan; and
in Nov. 15 days.

MRS. MARY CARROLL DOWELL, Philadelphia, Pa., wife of William F.
Dowell, magazine editor and writer with whom she has been
associated in business. Active club and suffrage worker in Pa.
and N. J., state officer Pa. branch N.W.P. Arrested watchfire
demonstration Jan. 20, 1919, and served 5 days in District Jail.

MARY DUBROW, Passaic, N. J.; student Univ. of N. Y.; teacher in
N. J. until she joined suffrage ranks as organizer and speaker.
Arrested watchfire demonstration Jan. 6, 1919, sentenced to 10

JULIA EMORY, Baltimore, Md.; daughter of late state senator, D.
H. Emory. Gave up work for Trade Union League to work for
suffrage in 1917. Sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan for picketing
Nov., 1917. After her release became organizer N.W.P. Aug., 1918,
arrested and sentenced td 10 days Lafayette Sq. meeting. Jan. 7,
1919, sentenced to 10 days, and later in that month to 5 days for
watchfire demonstrations. Led Capitol picket Oct. and Nov., 1919,
and suffered many injuries at hands of police.

MRS. EDMUND C. EVANs, Ardmore, Pa., one of three Winsor sisters
who served prison terms for suffrage. Member of prominent Quaker
family. Arrested watchfire demonstration Jan., 1919, and
sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

Lucy EWING, Chicago, Ill., daughter of Judge Adlai Ewing, niece
of James Ewing, minister to Belgium under Cleveland; niece also
of Adlai Stevenson, Vice-President under Cleveland. Officer Ill.
Branch N.W.P. Arrested picketing Aug. 17, 1917, sentenced to 30
days in Occoquan workhouse.

MRS. ESTELLA EYLWARD, New Orleans, La. Business woman. Came to
Washington to take part in final watchfire demonstration Feb.,
1919; arrested and sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

MARY GERTRUDE FENDALL, Baltimore, Md., graduate of Bryn Mawr
College; campaigned for N.W.P. in West 1916; national treasurer
of organization June, 1917, to December, 1919. Arrested and
sentenced to 3 days, Jan., 1819, for applauding in court.


ELLA FINDEISEN, Lawrence, Mass. Arrested picketing Nov. 10, 1917,
sentenced to 30 days at Occoquan.

KATHARINE FISHER, Washington, D. C., native of Mass. Great-
greatgranddaughter of Artemas Ward, ranking Major General in
Revolutionary War. Teacher, social worker and later employee of
U. S. War Risk Bureau. Written prose and verse on suffrage and
feminist topics. Arrested picketing Sept. 13, 1917, sentenced to
30 days 'at Occoquan workhouse.

MRS. ROSE GRATZ FISHSTEIN, Philadelphia, Pa., native of Russia.
Came to America at 15. Had been imprisoned for revolutionary
activities in Russia and fled to this country following release
on bail. Operator in shirt factory; later union organizer;
factory inspector for N. Y. State Factory Commission. Feb. 9,
1919 arrested watchfire demonstration and sentenced to 5 days in
District Jail.

ROSE FISHSTEIN, Philadelphia, Pa., sister-in-law of Mrs. Rose G.
Fishstein, born in Russia, educated in N. Y. and Phila. Student
of Temple Univ., business woman. Arrested watchfire
demonstration, Feb., 1919, sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

CATHERINE M. FLANAGAN, Hartford, Conn., state and national
organizer for N.W.P.; formerly secretary for Conn. Woman Suffrage
Association. Father came to this country as Irish exile because
of his efforts in movement for Irish freedom. Arrested picketing
August, 1917, sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse.

MARTHA FOLEY, Dorchester, Mass., active worker in Mass. labor
movement. Arrested in demonstration at homecoming of President in
Boston, Feb., 1919; sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail.

MRS. T. W. FORBES, Baltimore, Md., officer of Just Government
League of Md.; arrested watchfire demonstration Feb. 9, 1919,
sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

JANET FOTHERINGHAM, Buffalo, N. Y., teacher of physical culture.
Arrested picketing July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60 days in
workhouse, but pardoned by President after 3 days.

MARGARET FOTHERINGHAM, Buffalo, N. Y., Red Cross dietician,
stationed at military hospital at Waynesville, N. C., during war.
Later dietician at Walter Reid Military Hospital, Washington, D.
C. Arrested picketing Aug., 1917, sentenced to 60 days.

FRANCIS FOWLER, Brookline, Mass., sentenced to 8 days in Charles
St. Jail for participation in demonstration of welcome to
President, Boston, Feb., 1919.

MRS. MATILDA HALL GARDNER, Washington, D. C., formerly of
Chicago, daughter of late Frederick Hall, for many years editor
of Chicago Tribune, and wife of Gilson Gardner, Washington
representative of Scripps papers. Educated Chicago, Paris and
Brussels. Associated with Alice Paul and Lucy Burns when they
came to Washington to begin agitation for federal suffrage and
member of national executive committee of N.W.P. since 1914.
Arrested July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan; Jan.
13, 1919, sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.


ANNA GINSBERG, New York City; served 5 days in District jail for
watchfire demonstration Feb., 1919.

REBA GOMROROV, Philadelphia, Pa.; born in Kiev, Russia. Educated
in U. S. public schools; social worker; assistant secretary and
visitor for Juvenile Aid Society of Phila. President Office
Workers' Association; secretary of Penn. Industrial Section for
Suffrage; member N.W.P., Trade Union League. Sentenced to 5 days
in District Jail Jan., 1919, for watchfire demonstration.

ALICE GRAM, Portland, Ore., graduate Univ. of Ore., came to
Washington to take part in picket Nov. 10, 1917. Arrested and
sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse. Following release
assistant in press dept. N.W.P.

BETTY GRAM, Portland, Ore., graduate Univ. of Ore. Abandoned
stage career to take part in picket demonstration of Nov. 10,
1917. Worker in Juvenile courts of Portland. Sentenced to 30 days
in Occoquan workhouse; later arrested in Boston demonstration of
Feb., 1919, and sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail. Business
manager of The Suffragist and national organizer for N.W.P.

NATALIE GRAT, Col. Springs, Col., daughter of treasurer Col.
Branch N. W. P. Arrested picketing Aug. 17, 1917, sentenced to 30
days in Occoquan workhouse.

MRS. FRANCIS GREEN, New York City, one of second group of women
to serve prison sentences for suffrage in this country. Served 3
days in District Jail following picket demonstration of July 4,

GLADYS GREINER, Baltimore, Md., daughter of John E. Greiner ,
engineering expert, member of Stevens Railway Commission to
Russia in 1917. Graduate of Forest Glen Seminary, Md.; did
settlement work in mountain districts of Ky.; has held tennis and
golf championships of Md., and for 3 years devoted all time to
suffrage. Arrested picketing July 4, 1917, sentenced to 3 days in
District Jail; arrested Oct. 20, 1917, sentenced to 30 days in
District Jail; arrested Lafayette Sq. meeting Aug., 1918,
sentenced to 15 days in District Jail. Recently taken up work in
labor movement.

MRS. J. IRVING GROSS. Boston, Mass., charter member of Mass.
Branch N.W.P. Father and husband both fought in Civil War.
Arrested 5 times Lafayette Sq. meetings Aug., 1918, and sentenced
to 15 days in District Jail. Arrested in Boston demonstration on
Common following landing of President and sentenced to 8 days in
Charles St. Jail.

ANNA GWINTER, New York City, arrested for picketing Nov. 10,
1917, and sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse.

ELIZABETH HAMILTON, New York City, arrested for picketing Nov.
10, 1917, and sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse.

ERNESTINE HARA, New York City, young Roumanian, arrested for
picketing Sept., 1917, and sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan

REBECCA HARRISON Joplin, Mo., arrested final watchfire
demonstration Feb. 10, 1919; sentenced to 5 days in District


MRS. H. O. HAVEMEYER, New York City; widow of late H. O.
Havemeyer; leader of suffrage movement for many years; one of its
most eloquent speakers, and generous contributor to its funds;
active in Liberty Loan campaigns, in the Land Army movement of N.
Y. State, and in working for military rank for nurses. As member
of "Prison Special" spoke for suffrage in the large cities.
Arrested Feb. 10, 1919, for taking part in final watchfire
demonstration; sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

KATE HEFFELFINGER, Shamokin, Pa.; art student; sentenced to 6
months in District Jail for picketing Oct. 15, 1917; another
month later added for previous offense. Aug., 1918, sentenced to
15 days for participating in Lafayette Sq. meeting; Jan., 1919,
sentenced to 5 days for participation in watchfire demonstration.

MRS. JESSICA HENDERSON, Boston, Mass., wife of prominent
Bostonian, one of liberal leaders of Boston; identified with many
reform movements. Mother of 6 children, one of whom, Wilma, aged
18, was arrested with her mother, spent night in house of
detention, and was released as minor. Sentenced to 8 days in
Charles St. Jail Feb., 1919, for participation in Boston
demonstration of welcome to President.

MINNIE HENNESY, Hartford, Conn.; business woman, having supported
herself all her life; arrested for picketing Oct. 6, 1917, and
sentence suspended. Rearrested Oct. 8, 1917, and sentenced to 6

ANNE HERKIMER, Baltimore, Md., Child Labor inspector for U. S.
Children's Bureau. Arrested Feb., 1919, and sentenced to 5 days
in District Jail for participating watchfire demonstration.

ELSIE HILL, Norwalk, Conn.; daughter of late Ebenezer J. Hill, 21
years Congressman from Conn.; graduate Vassar College and student
abroad. Taught French in District of Columbia High School. Lately
devoted all her time to suffrage. Member of executive committee
of Congressional Union 1914-1915; President D.C. Branch College
Equal Suffrage League, and later national organizer for N.W.P.
Aug., 1918, sentenced to 15 days in District Jail for speaking at
Lafayette Sq. meeting. Feb., 1919, sentenced to 8 days in Boston
for participation in welcome demonstration to President.

MRS. GEORGE HILL, Boston, Mass.; sentenced to 8 days in Boston,
Feb., 1919, for participation in welcome to President.

MRS. FLORENCE BAYARD HILLES, Newcastle, Del.; daughter of late
Thomas Bayard, first American ambassador to Great Britain and
secretary of state under Cleveland. Munitions worker during World
War. After the war engaged in reconstruction work in France.
Chairman Del. Branch N.W.P. and member of national executive
committee. Arrested picketing July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60 days
in Occoquan workhouse; pardoned by President after 3 days.

state chairman N.W.P., member executive committee N.W.P. 1917,
and president and officer of various women's clubs. Her husband
was leader Progressive Party and later supported President
Wilson, serving on Democratic National Campaign Committee in
1916. At present Chairman Committee of


48. Mrs. Hopkins arrested July 14, 1917, for picketing, sentenced
to 60 days in workhouse; pardoned by President after 3 days.

MRS. L. H. HORNBBY, New York City, formerly of Ill., one of first
women aviators in this country. Arrested for picketing Nov. 10,
1917; sentenced to 30 days in District Jail.

ELIZABETH HOFF, Des Moines, Ia.; came to Washington to work for
war department during war; later with Red Cross. Sentenced to 5
days in jail, Jan., 1919, for watchfire demonstration.

EUNICE HUFF, Des Moines, Ia.; sister of Elizabeth; also engaged
in war work in Washington. Sentenced to 3 days in jail Jan.,
1919, for applauding suffrage prisoners in court.

HAZEL HUNSINs, Billings, Mont.; graduate Vassar College; later
instructor in Chemistry, Univ. of Mo. Joined suffrage movement as
organizer for N.W.P. Later investigator for War Labor Board.
Active in all picketing campaigns. Aug. 1918, sentenced to 15
days for participation in Lafayette Sq. meeting.

JULIA HURLBUT, Morristown, N. J., vice chairman N. J. Branch
N.W.P. In 1916 assisted in Washington state campaign. Arrested
picketing July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan
workhouse; pardoned by President after 3 days. Engaged in war
work in France during war.

MARY INGRAM, Philadelphia, Pa.; graduate Bryn Mawr College; Pa.
chairman of N.W.P.; secretary of National Progressive League
1912. Has held offices of vice president of Pa. Women's Trade
Union League, director of Bureau of Municipal Research of Phila-,
member of board of corporators of Woman's Medical College of Pa.,
where she was former student. For several years manager woman's
department of Bonbright and Co., investment brokers. Arrested for
picketing July 14, 1917; sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan,
pardoned by President after 3 days.

MRS. MARK JACKSON, Baltimore, Md., arrested picketing Aug., 1917,
sentenced to 30 days.

PAULA JAKOBI, New York City; playwright, author of "Chinese
Lily." Once matron of Framingham reformatory for purpose of
studying prison conditions. Arrested picketing Nov. 10, 1917, and
sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse.

MAUD JAMISON, Norfolk, Va.; came to Washington in 1916 as
volunteer worker of N.W.P. Later became assistant in treasurer's
department. Had been school teacher and business woman before
joining N.W.P. Took active part in picketing from the beginning;
one of first group arrested, June, 1917; served 3 days in
District Jail; later served 30 days in District Jail; Oct., 1917,
sentenced to 7 months. Released by Government after 44 days.
Jan., 1919, served 5 days in jail for participation in watchfire

MRS. PEGGY BAIRD JOHNS; New York City, formerly of St. Louis,
newspaper woman and magazine writer. Sentenced to 30 days in
Occoquan workhouse Aug., 1917; and 30 days in Nov., 1917, for


WILLIE GRACE JOHNSON, Shreveport, La., state officer, N.W.P. and
prominent in civic work. Successful business woman. Arrested in
final watchfire demonstration Feb., 1919. Sentenced to 5 days in
District Jail.

AMY JUENGLING, Buffalo, N. Y.; of Swiss and German ancestry.
Graduated with honors from Univ. of N. Y. Has lived in Porto Rico
and North Carolina, in latter state doing educational work among
mountaineers. At present engaged in Americanization work. Nov.,
1917, sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse for picketing.

ELIZABETH GREEN KALB, Houston, Texas; graduate Rice Institute,
1916; student Univ. Chicago, 1916. Won Carnegie Peace Prize in
Texas state intercollegiate oratory contest in 1915. In 1918
became active worker for N.W.P., taking part in Capitol picket.
Arrested watchfire demonstration Jan., 1919, sentenced to 5 days
in District Jail. In charge of literature and library dept. of
N.W.P. at national headquarters.

RHODA KELLOGG, Minneapolis, Minn.; graduate Univ. of Minn. and
Pres. of Univ. Equal Suffrage Club. Sentenced to ~?4 hours for
applauding suffrage prisoners in Court Jan., 1919, sentenced to 5
days in District Jail for participation in watchfire
demonstration same month.

MRS. FREDERICK W. KENDALL, Hamburg, N. Y.; wife of one of editors
of Buffalo Express; writer, public speaker and club leader.
Arrested for picketing, Aug., 1917, and sentenced to 30 days in
Occoquan workhouse.

MARIE ERNST KENNEDY, Philadelphia, Pa.; formerly state chairman
N.W.P. Arrested Feb., 1919, in watchfire demonstration, sentenced
to 5 days in jail.

MRS. MARGARET WOOD KESSLER, Denver, Col.; vice president Woman's
Progressive Club of Col. Sept., 1917, sentenced to 30 days in
Occoquan for picketing.

ALICE KIMBALL, New York City. Has been engaged in Y.W.C.A. work,
and as librarian in N. Y. Public Library, and later as labor
investigator. Sentenced to 15 days in District Jail for taking
part in Lafayette Sq. meeting Aug. 10, 1918.

MRS. BEATRICE KINKEAD, Montclair, N. J., active member of N.W.P.
in N. J. Joined picket of July 14, 1917. Sentenced to 60 days in
Occoquan, but pardoned by President after 3 days.

MRS. RQBY E. KOENIG, Hartford, Conn. Took part in Lafayette Sq.
meeting of Aug., 1918, and suffered sprained arm from rough
treatment by police. Arrested and sentenced to 15 days in
District Jail.

HATTIE KRUGER, Buffalo, N. Y. Trained nurse; ran for Congress on
Socialist ticket in 1918. Worker in Lighthouse Settlement,
Philadelphia, and for time probation officer of Juvenile Court of
Buffalo. Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan
workhouse for picketing.

DR. ANNA KUHN, Baltimore, Md., physician. Arrested picketing Nov.
10, 1917, sentenced to 30 days.


MRS. LAWRENCE LEWIS, Philadelphia, Pa., maternal ancestor of
family which took possession 1660 land grant in Conn. from King,
paternal ancestor Michael Hillegas who came Phila. 1727, a
founder of Phila. Academy Fine Arts, Assembly, etc. Son of
Hillegas was first U. S. treasurer; sister of Dr. Howard A.
Kelly, well-known surgeon, formerly professor Johns Hopkins
Hospital, author of many medical books; sister of Mrs. R. R. P.
Bradford, founder and Pres. of Lighthouse Settlement, Phila.;
member executive committee of N.W.P. since 1913; chairman of
finance 1918; national treasurer, 1919; chairman ratification
committee 1920; active in state suffrage work many years; served
3 days in jail for picketing July, 1917; arrested Nov. 10, 1917,
sentenced to 60 days; arrested Lafayette Sq. meeting, Aug., 1918,
sentenced to 15 days; arrested watchfire demonstration Jan.,
1919, sentenced to 5 days in jail.

KATHARINE LINCOLN, New York City, formerly of Philadelphia. Was
working for Traveler's Aid when she came to picket Nov. 10, 1917.
Sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse. Worked for N.W.P. for
several months; later campaigned for Anne Martin, candidate for
U. S. Senate from Nev. 	`

DR. SARAH H. LOCKREY, Philadelphia, Pa.; graduate Woman's Medical
College of Pa. Served as interne Woman's Hospital in Phila., and
later head of gynecological clinic of same hospital. Surgeon on
West Phila. Hospital for Women and Children. Received degree of
Fellow of American College of Surgery 1914. Chairman of her
Congressional District for the N.W.P. Aug., 1918, sentenced to 15
days in District Jail for taking part in Lafayette Sq. meeting.

ELIZABETH MCSHANE, Philadelphia, Pa., graduate Vassar College;
principal of school near Indianapolis, later business woman.
Assisted in Pa. health survey, working with the American Medical
Association. Aug., 1918, sentenced to 15 days in jail for
participation in Lafayette Sq. meeting. Jan., 1919, served 5 days
for participating in watchfire demonstration. Member of "Prison
Special" 1919.

MRS. ANNIE J. MAGEE, Wilmington, Del., one of first Del.
supporters of N.W.P. Took part in many pickets. Arrested
watchfire demonstration Jan., 1919, and sentenced to 5 days in
District Jail.

MRS. EFFIE B. MAIN, Topeka, Kan., arrested for taking part in
Lafayette Sq. meeting Aug. 10, 1918; sentenced to 10 days in
District Jail.

MAUD MALONE, New York City, librarian in N. Y. Lifelong
suffragist; arrested for picketing, Sept. 4, 1917, and served
sentence of 60 days at Occoquan workhouse.

ANNE MARTIN, Reno, Nev.; graduate Leland Stanford Univ.; studied
in English Univs. Professor of history in Univ. of Nev. As Pres.
of Nev. Woman's Civic League led successful fight for state
suffrage in 1914. Served as legislative chairman for
Congressional Union, and N.W.P. and member of executive
committee. When N.W.P. was formed, in 1916, elected its chairman.
When it combined with Congressional Union, she became vice
chairman. In 1918 ran on independent ticket for U. S. Senate.
July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60 days at Occoquan workhouse for
picketing. Pardoned by President after 3 days.


MRS. LOUISE PARKER MAYO, Framingham, Mass., of Quaker descent.
Taught school for five years before marriage to William 1. Mayo,
grandson of Chief Justice Isaac Parker of Mass. Mother of 7
children. Arrested for picketing July 14, 1917; sentenced to 60
days in Occoquan workhouse; pardoned by President after 3 days.

NELL MERCER, Norfolk, Va.; member of Norfolk Branch, N.W.P.
Business woman. Feb., 1919, sentenced to 5 days in District Jail
for participation in final watchfire demonstration.

VIDA MILHOLLAND, New York City; daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John E.
Milholland and sister of Inez Milholland Boissevain. Student at
Vassar where won athletic championships and dramatic honors.
Studied singing here and abroad, but on death of sister gave up
career of promise to devote herself to suffrage work. July 4,
1917 arrested and served 3 days in District Jail for picketing.
In 1919 toured the country with "Prison Special," singing at all

MRS. BERTHA MOLLER, Minneapolis, Minn., campaigned for state
suffrage before joining N.W.P. Interested in industrial problems.
Of Swedish descent, one of ancestors served on staff of Gustavus-
Adolphus, and 2 uncles are now members of Swedish parliament. She
served 2 ,jail sentences, one of 24 hours for applauding
suffragists in court, and another of 5 days for participation in
watchfire demonstration, Jan., 1919.

MARTHA W. MOORE, Philadelphia, Pa., of Quaker ancestry, student
at Swarthmore College; charter member of Congressional Union; has
devoted herself to social service work, Children's Aid,
Traveler's Aid, etc. Arrested and sentenced to 5 days in District
Jail Jan., 1919, for participation in watchfire demonstration.

MRS. AGNES H. MOREY, Brookline, Mass., comes of line of Colonial
ancestors who lived in Concord. Following picket of Nov. 10,
1917, sentenced to 30 days at District Jail and Occoquan.
Chairman of Mass. Branch N.W.P., of which she was one of
founders, and member of National Advisory Council N.W.P. Member
of "Suffrage Special" of 1916, and a gifted speaker and

KATHARINE A. MOREY, Brookline, Mass., daughter of Mrs. A. H.
Morey; also officer State Branch N.W.P. Organizer election
campaign 1916 in Kansas and has many times assisted at national
headquarters. One of first group pickets sentenced, served 3
days, June, 1917; Feb., 1919, arrested in Boston demonstration of
welcome to President and sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail.

MILDRED MORRIS, Denver, Col., well-known newspaper woman of
Denver. Came to Washington for Bureau of Public Information
during war. Later investigator for War Labor Board. Now
Washington correspondent International News Service. In Jan.,
1919, served 5 day sentence in District Jail for lighting

MRS. PHOEBE C. MUNNECKE, Detroit, Mich.; assisted with meetings
and demonstrations in Washington winter of 1918-19. Jan., 1919,
arrested for lighting watchfire, sentenced to 10 days in jail.
Later sentenced to 3 days in jail for applauding suffrage
prisoners in court.


GERTRUDE MURPHY, Minneapolis, Minn., superintendent of music in
Minn. public schools. Jan.; 1919, served 24-hour sentence for
applauding suffragists in court. Later served 5 days in District
Jail for participation in watchfire demonstration.

MRS. MARY A. NOLAN, Jacksonville, Fla., born in Va.; descended
from family of Duffy, Cavan, Ireland. Educated at convent of Mont
CIO Chantal in W. Va. As young woman was teacher and leader in
Southern library movement. Suffrage pioneer; prominent in
Confederate organizations of South. In 1917 joined N.W.P., came
to Washington to picket. Arrested Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to 6
days in District Jail, but sent to Occoquan workhouse. January,
1919, arrested many times in watchfire demonstrations; sentenced
to 24 hours in jail. Oldest suffrage prisoner.

MRS. MARGARET OAKES, Idaho; arrested Lafayette Sq. meeting Aug.,
1918, and sentenced to 10 days in District Jail.

ALICE PAUL, Moorestown, N. J. English Quaker ancestor imprisoned
for Quaker beliefs died in English prison; born of Quaker
parentage and brought up in this small Quaker town. Received her
A.B. degree from Swarthmore College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from
Univ. of Pa. Graduate of N. Y. School of Philanthropy, and
studied at Universities of London and Birmingham, specializing in
economics and sociology. While in England took part in militant
campaign under Mrs. Pankhurst. On return to America, she was
appointed chairman in 1913 of the Congressional Committee of the
National American Woman Suffrage Association. Founded
Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage; made chairman. When this
became an independent organization reappointed chairman. When it
merged with the N.W.P. in 1917, she was chosen chairman of the
combined organizations, and has continued in this office to the
present date. Has served 6 prison terms for suffrage, 3 in
England and 3 in United States. In Oct., 1919, she was sentenced
to 7 months for picketing and served 5 weeks before released on
account of hunger strike. While in jail suffered the severest
treatment inflicted upon any suffrage prisoner. In Aug., 1918,
sentenced to 10 days for participation in Lafayette Sq. meeting.
In Jan., 1919, sentenced to 5 days for lighting a watchfire.

BERRY POTTIER, Boston, Mass., of French descent; art student;
participated in Boston demonstration at home-coming of President,
and sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail.

EDNA M. PURTELLE, Hartford, Conn., sentenced to 5 days in
District Jail for participation in Lafayette Sq. meeting Aug.,

MRS. R. B. QUAY, Salt Lake City, Utah; arrested in Nov. 10, 1917,
picket; sentenced to 30 days in District Jail, but sent to
Occoquan workhouse.

MRS. BETSY REYNEAU, Detroit, Mich., wife of Paul Reyneau;
portrait painter. Arrested picketing July 14, 1917. Sentenced to
60 days in Occoquan, but pardoned by the President after 3 days.

MRS. C. T. ROBERTSON, Salt Lake City, Utah; active worker for
reforms affecting women. Arrested in Nov. 10, 1917, picket;
sentenced to 30 days in District Jail, but sent to Occoquan


MRS. GEORGE E. ROEWER, Belmont, Mass., graduate of Radcliffe,
active suffragist since college days; wife of well known attorney
of Boston and granddaughter of prominent figures in German
Revolution of 1848 who were exiled to the United States.
Sentenced to 8 days in Boston Charles St. Jail following
participation in welcome demonstration to the President, Feb.

MRS. JOHN ROGERS, JR., New York City, wife of Dr. John Rogers,
Jr., celebrated thyroid expert, is a descendant of Roger Sherman,
signer of the Declaration of Independence. A pioneer worker for
state suffrage before taking up national work. Before entering
suffrage movement active in improving conditions in New York
public schools. Chairman Advisory Council of the N.W.P., and one
of the most forceful speakers in the suffrage ranks. In 1916 and
1919 as member of "Suffrage Special" and "Prison Special" toured
the country speaking for suffrage. July 14, 1917, sentenced to 60
days in Occoquan workhouse for picketing, but was pardoned by the
President after 3 days.

MARGUERITE ROSSETTE, Baltimore, Md., young artist, and niece of
Dr. Joshua Rossette, well known social worker. Took part in
N.W.P. demonstrations, served 5 days in District Jail for
participation in final watchfire demonstration, Feb., 1919.

MRS. ELISE T. RUSSIAN, Detroit, Mich., born in Constantinople of
Armenian parentage. Educated in this country. Taught school in
Mass. until marriage. State officer N.W.P. Sentenced to 5 days in
District Jail for participation in Jan., 1919, watchfire
demonstration; and 8 days in Boston in the Charles St. Jail for
participation in welcome demonstration to President in Feb.,

NINA SAMARODIN, born in Kiev, Russia, graduate of Kiev
University. In 1914 came to America on visit, but entered
industrial fight, becoming, first, worker and then union
organizer. Teacher Rand School of Social Science, New York.
Sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan for picketing September, 1917.

MRS. PHOEBE PERSONS SCOTT, Morristown, New Jersey, graduate of
Smith College where she specialized in biology and botany. Did
settlement work at New York Henry St. Settlement. Worked for
state suffrage before joining N.W.P. and becoming one of its
officers. Sentenced to 30 days in District Jail for picketing
Nov. 10, 1917, but sent to Occoquan workhouse.

RUTH SCOTT, Bridgeport, Conn., munitions worker. Sentenced to 5
days in District Jail for participation in watchfire
demonstration Jan., 1919.

BELLE SHEINBERG, New York City; of Russian descent; student of
New York Univ., who left her studies to picket in Washington Nov.
10, 1917. Sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse.

MRS. LUCILLE SHIELDS, Amarillo, Texas. Picketed regularly during
1917. July 4, 1917, served 3 days in District Jail for picketing;
served 5 days Jan. 13, 1919, for participation in watchfire
demonstration. Soon after release sentenced to 3 days for
applauding suffrage prisoners in Court.


MRS. MARTHA REED SHOEMAKER, Philadelphia, Pa., graduate of Vassar
College. Served 5 days in District Jail for participation in
final watchfire demonstration of Feb. 9, 1919.

MRS. MARY SHORT, Minneapolis, Minn., state officer N.W.P.
Sentenced to 30 days in Occoquan workhouse for picketing November
10, 1917.

MRS. LOIS WARREN SHAW, Manchester, N. H., student of Vassar and
Radcliffe, mother of six children. Wife of V. P. and General
Manager McElwain Shoe Co., N. H., chairman N.W.P. Sentenced to 8
days in Charles St. Jail after participation in Boston
demonstration to welcome President Feb., 1919.

RUTH SMALL, Boston, Mass., participant in several state suffrage
campaigns before taking up national work. In charge of Boston
headquarters of N.W.P. for a time. For taking part in Boston
demonstration on the return of the President in Feb., 1919,
sentenced to 8 days in Charles St. Jail.

DR. CAROLINE E. SPENCER, Colorado Springs, Col., formerly of
Philadelphia. Secretary Col. Branch, N.W.P. Graduate Woman's
Medical College of Pa. October 20, 1917, arrested for picketing
and sentenced to 7 months' impl1sonment. For participating in
watchfire demonstration Jan. 13, 1919, sentenced to 5 days in
District Jail.

MRS. KATE STAFFORD, Oklahoma City, Okla., active worker for
reforms affecting women and children in her own state. Mother of
six children. Picketed Nov. 10, 1917, and was sentenced to 30
days in District Jail.

DORIS STEVENS, Omaha, Neb., now resident New York City. Graduate
of Oberlin College; social worker and teacher; organized and
spoke for state suffrage campaigns in Ohio and Michigan; ,joined
Congressional Union in 1913. Organized first Convention of women
voters at Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915; managed 1916
election campaign in Cal. for N.W.P. Has acted successively as
executive secretary, organizer, legislative chairman, political
chairman, and executive committee member of N.W.P. Arrested for
picketing July 14, 1917; sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan
workhouse; pardoned by President after 3 days. Arrested N. Y.
Mar., 1919, picket demonstration Metropolitan Opera House, but
not sentenced.

ELIZABETH STUYVESANT, New York City, formerly of Cincinnati;
dancer by profession; active in settlement work and in campaign
for birth-control. July 4, 1917, arrested for picketing and
sentenced to 3 days in District Jail.

ELSIE UNTERMAN, Chicago, Ill., social worker who took week's
vacation in January, 1919, to come to Washington to picket. She
served 3 days in District Jail for applauding suffragists in

MABEL VERNON, Wilmington, Del., Secretary N.W.P., graduate
Swarthmore College. Fellow student with Alice Paul. Gave up
position as high school teacher when Congressional Union was
founded to become organizer and speaker. With remarkable gifts as
a speaker, has addressed large meetings in every part of the
country. As brilliant organizer has had charge of many important
organization tasks of N.W.P. Organized


the transcontinental trip of voting envoys to the President.
Campaigned in Nev. 1914 and 1916. Became national organization
chairman N.W.P. Organized the Washington picket line for several
months. One of the first six women to serve prison sentence for
suffrage in District Jail. For picketing June, 1917, served 3

MRS. ELSIE VERVANE, Bridgeport, Conn., munitions worker and
President of Woman's Machinist Union of Bridgeport. In Jan.,
1919, came to Washington with group of union women and took part
in watchfire demonstration; arrested and served 5 days in
District Jail.

IRIS CALDERHEAD [now wife of John Brisben Walker], Marysville,
Kansas, now resident of Denver, Colo., daughter of former-
Representative Calderhead of Kansas. Graduate of Univ. of Kansas
and student at Bryn Mawr. Abandoned school teaching to work for
suffrage; became organizer and speaker for N.W.P. July 4, 1917,
arrested for picketing and served 3 days in District Jail.

MRS. ROBERT WALKER, Baltimore, Md., officer Md. Branch N.W.P. A
Quaker and graduate of Swarthmore College; wife of a captain in
the late war and mother of 3 children. Arrested July 14, 1917,
for picketing and sentenced to 60 days in Occoquan workhouse.
Pardoned by President after 3 days.

BERTHA WALLERSTEIN, New York City, student of Barnard College;
served 5 days in District Jail Jan., 1919, for watchfire

MRS. BERTHA WALMSLEY, Kansas City, Mo., holding government
position at time arrested for applauding suffragists in court;
served 3 days in District Jail.

MRS. WILLIAM UPTON WATSON, Chicago, Ill., treasurer state branch,
N.W.P. Sentenced to 30 days Occoquan workhouse for picketing Aug.
17, 1917. Aug., 1918, sentenced to 5 days for participation in
Lafayette Sq. meeting.

MRS. C. WEAVER, Bridgeport, Conn., worked during war in munitions
factory. Came to Washington for watchfire demonstration of Jan.
13, 1919; arrested and sentenced to 5 days in District Jail.

EVA WEAVER, Bridgeport, Conn., daughter of Mrs. C. Weaver, also
worked in munitions factory; arrested with mother Jan. 13, 1919,
and served 5 days in District Jail.

MRS. HELENA HILL WEED, Norwalk, Conn., graduate of Vassar and
Montana School of Mines. One of few qualified women geologists of
country. Daughter of late Congressman Ebenezer Hill. At one time
vice-president general of D.A.R. Prominent member of
Congressional Union and N.W.P. from early days. One of first
pickets arrested, July 4, 1917; served 3 days in District Jail.
Aug., 1918, arrested for participation in Lafayette Sq. meeting;
sentenced to 15 days. Jan., 1918, sentenced to 24 hours for
applauding in court.

CORA A. WEEK, New York City, of Norse descent; parents Wisconsin
pioneers; studied art in Boston; became member Art Student's


of New York; helped organize Oliver Merson Atelier in Paris;
exhibited Paris Salon. Arrested for picketing Nov. 10, 1917;
sentenced to 30 days in District Jail. Member of "Prison Special"

CAMILLA WHITCOMB, Worcester, Mass., chairman 4th Congressional
District Mass. N.W.P. Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to 30 days in jail
for picketing.

SUE WHITE, Jackson, Tenn., state chairman N.W.P.; recently edited
The Suffragist; organizer and research chairman. Belongs to
prominent pioneer families of Tenn. and Ky. and is descendant of
Marshall and Jefferson families of Va. Court and convention
reporter for ten years; 1918 appointed by Governor Secretary of
Tenn. State Commission for the Blind. Identified with U.D.C. and
D.A.R., the Federation of Women's Clubs and Parent Teachers'
Association. Has done much to organize suffrage sentiment in her
state. Feb. 9, 1919, arrested and served 5 days in District Jail
for participating in final watchfire demonstration.

MARGARET FAY WHITTEMORE, Detroit, Mich. Her grandmother, a
Quaker, started suffrage work in Michigan. Daughter of one of
leading patent attorneys of country. N.W.P. organizer since 1914.
Imprisoned 3 days for picketing July 4, 1917. Jan., 1919, served
24 hours in jail for applauding in court.

MRS. HARVEY W. WILEY, Washington, D. C., daughter of General
Kelton, and wife of Dr. Harvey Wiley, food expert and ex-director
of the pure food department of U. S. Government. Member of
national advisory council of N.W.P. Has done lobbying, political
work and picketing for N.W.P. Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to 15 days
in District Jail; appealed her case; later sustained by higher

Ross WINSLOW, New York City, born in Poland and brought to this
country when child. Began work at age of 11 in Philadelphia; for
many years worked in hosiery factory in Pittsburg; later employed
in shop in Philadelphia. Recently has won success as an actress.
Has brilliant gifts; 1916 spoke throughout West in suffrage
campaign of N.W.P. Oct. 15, 1917, sentenced to 7 months in
District Jail for picketing.

MARY WINSOR, Haverford, Pa.; comes of family of pioneer Quaker
descent. Educated at Drexel Institute of Philadelphia, at Bryn
Mawr and abroad. At request of American Academy of Political and
Social Science made survey of English suffrage movement. Founder
and Pres. of Pa. Limited Suffrage Society. Sept., 1917, sentenced
to 60 days at Occoquan workhouse for picketing. Later sentenced
to 10 days for participation in Lafayette Sq. meeting. Has worked
and spoken for suffrage in many parts of the country. Member
"Prison Special" Feb., 1919.

ELLEN WINSOR, Haverford, Pa., sister of Mary Winsor and of Mrs.
Edmund C. Evans, both of whom served prison sentences. Jan.,
1919, sentenced to 5 days in District Jail for participation in
watchfire demonstration.

MRS. KATE WINSTON, Chevy Chase, Md., wife of Prof. A. P. Winston,
formerly Professor of economics at Univ. of Col. and at Univ. of
Tokio. Jan., 1919, arrested and sentenced to 5 days in District
Jail for participation in watchfire demonstration.


CLARA WOLD, Portland, Ore., newspaper writer. Of Norwegian
parentage; her family closely related to Henrik Ibsen. Graduate
of Univ. of Ore. Took part in Lafayette Sq. meeting of Aug.,
1918; sentenced to 15 days. Jan., 1919, arrested for
participation in watchfire demonstration and sentenced to 5 days.
For several months acted as editor of The Suffragist.

JOY YOUNG, New York City, formerly of Washington, D. C., wife of
Merrill Rogers. Former assistant on The Suffragist and later
organizer for N.W.P. in various parts of the country. Served 3
days in District Jail for picketing July 4, 1917.

MATILDA YOUNG, Washington, D. C., sister of Joy Young; has
devoted all her time to suffrage for several years. Youngest
picket arrested, being 19 years old when she first served a
prison term. For picketing Nov. 10, 1917, sentenced to 15 days in
District Jail; served two terms in jail in Jan., 1919; 5 days for
watchfire demonstration; 3 days for applauding suffrage prisoners
in court.


Appendix 5

Directors of National Campaign

Executive Committees Listed by Years



Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y., Vice-chairman
Mrs. Mary R. Beard, N. Y.
Miss Crystal Eastman, N. Y.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.



Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y., Vice-chairman
Mrs. Mary R. Beard, N. Y.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, N. Y.
Miss Crystal Eastman, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilson Gardner, D. C.
Miss Elsie Hill, Conn.
Mrs. William Kent, Cal.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.


Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y., Vice-chairman
Mrs. Mary R. Beard, N. Y.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, N. Y.
Miss Crystal Eastman, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilson Gardner, D. C.
Miss Elsie Hill, Conn.
Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, Md.
Mrs. William Kent, Cal.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.


Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y., Vice-chairman


Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, N. Y.
Mrs. John Winters Brannan, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilson Gardner, D. C.
Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, Md.
Mrs. William Kent, Cal.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.
Miss Anne Martin, Nevada
Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch, N. Y.

WOMAN'S PARTY (Formed June, 1916)


Miss Anne Martin, Nev., Chairman
Mrs. Phoebe Hearst, Cal., 1st Vice-chairman
Judge Mary M. Bartelme, Ill., 2nd Vice-chairman
Miss Mabel Vernon, Nev., Secretary
Miss Alice Paul, N. J., ex-officio


(After Amalgamation of Congressional Union and Woman's Party)


Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Anne Martin, Nev., Vice-chairman
Miss Mabel Vernon, Del., Secretary
Miss Gertrude L. Crocker, Ill., Treasurer
Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, D. C.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, N. Y.
Mrs. John Winters Brannan, N. Y.
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilson Gardner, D. C.
Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles, Del.
Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, Md.
Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins, N. J.
Mrs. William Kent, Cal.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.
Miss Doris Stevens, N. Y.
Miss Maud Younger, Cal.


Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Anne Martin, Nev., Vice-chairman
Miss Mabel Vernon, Del., Secretary
Miss Mary Gertrude Fendall, Md., Treasurer
Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, D. C.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, N. Y.
Mrs. John Winters Brannan, N. Y.
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilson Gardner, D.C.
Mrs. Thomas N. Hepburn, Conn.
Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles, Del.


Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, Md.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.
Miss Doris Stevens, N. Y.
Miss Maud Younger, Cal.


Miss Alice Paul, N. J., Chairman
Miss Mabel Vernon, Del., Secretary
Miss Mary Gertrude Fendall, Md., Treasurer
Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, D.C.
Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont, N.Y.
Mrs. John Winters Brannan, N.Y.
Miss Lucy Burns, N. Y.
Mrs. Gilson Gardner, D. C.
Mrs. Thomas N. Hepburn, Conn.
Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles, Del.
Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, Md.
Mrs. Henry G. Leach, N. Y.
Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Pa.
Miss Doris Stevens. N. Y.
Mrs. Richard Wainwright, D. C.
Miss Maud Younger, Cal.


Appendix 6

Concerning Political Prisoners


James Bryce:[1]

"Perhaps we may say that whenever the moral judgment of the
community at large does not brand an offence as sordid and
degrading, and does not feel the offence to be one which destroys
its respect for the personal character of the prisoner, it may
there be held that prison treatment ought to be different from
that awarded to ordinary criminals."

George Sigerson:[2]

"Men may differ, in thought and deed, on many questions without
moral guilt. Forms of government and measures relating to the
welfare and organization of society have been, in all ages and
countries, questions on which men have entertained divergent
convictions, and asserted their sincerity by conflicting action,
often at grave personal sacrifice and the loss of life. On the
other hand, all people are agreed in condemning certain acts,
stigmatized as crimes, which offend against the well-being of the
individual or the community.

"Hence, civilized states distinguish between actions concerning
which good men may reasonably differ, and actions

[1]James Bryce made this distinction in 1889 between the two
kinds of offenders. Letter Introductory to "Political Prisoners
at Home and Abroad," Sigerson.

[2]"Political Prisoners at Home and Abroad."


which all good men condemn. The latter, if permitted to prevail,
would disintegrate and destroy the social life of mankind; the
former, if successful, would simply reorganize it, on a different
basis . . . . The objects may, in one generation, be branded as
crimes, whilst in the next those who fail to make them triumph
and suffered as malefactors are exalted as patriot martyrs, and
their principles incorporated amongst the foundation principles
of the country's constitution.

"Attempts to effect changes by methods beyond the conventions
which have the sanction of the majority of a community, may be
rash and blameworthy sometimes, but they are not necessarily
dishonorable, and may even occasionally be obligatory on

As to the incumbency upon a government to differentiate in
punishments inflicted upon these two classes of offenders, he
further says: "When a Government exercises its punitive power, it
should, in awarding sentence, distinguish between the two classes
of offenders. To confound in a common degradation those who
violate the moral law by acts which all men condemn, and those
who offend against the established order of society by acts of
which many men approve, and for objects which may sometime be
accepted as integral parts of established order, is manifestly
wrong in principle. It places a Government morally in the wrong
in the eyes of masses of the population, a thing to be sedulously
guarded against."

George Clemenceau:[1]

"Theoretically a crime committed in the interest of the criminal
is a common law crime, while an offense committed in the public
interest is a political crime." He says further, "That an act
isolated from the circumstances under which it was committed . .
. may have the appearance of a common

[1]Clemenceau in a speech before the French Chamber of Deputies,
May 16th, 1876, advocating amnesty for those who participated in
the Commune of 1871. From the Annals de la Chambre des Deputies,
1876, v. 2, pp. 44-48.


law crime . . : while viewed in connection with the circumstances
under which it is committed (in connection with a movement) . . .
it may take on a political character."

Maurice Parmelee:[1]

"Common crimes are acts contrary to the law committed in the
interest of the individual criminal or of those personally
related to the criminal. Political crimes are acts contrary to
the law committed against an existing government or form of
government in the interest of another government or form of
government . . . . .

"Furthermore, there are other offenses against the law which are
not common crimes, and yet are not political crimes in the usual
criminological sense . . . .

"Among these crimes, which are broader than the ordinary
political crimes, are offenses in defense of the right to freedom
of thought and belief, in defense of the right to express one's
self in words in free speech, . . . and many illegal acts
committed by conscientious objectors to the payment of taxes or
to military service, the offenses of laborers in strikes and
other labor disturbances, the violations of law committed by
those who are trying to bring about changes in the relations
between the sexes, etc.

"Common crimes are almost invariably anti-social in their nature,
while offenses which are directly or indirectly political are
usually social in their intent, and are frequently beneficial to
society in their ultimate effect. We are, therefore, justified in
calling them social crimes, as contrasted with the anti-social
common crimes . . . . ."

[1]"Criminology" by Maurice Parmelee, Chap. XXVIII. Author also
of "Poverty and Social Progress," "The Science of Human
Behavior," "The Principles of Anthropology and Sociology in their
relation to Criminal Procedure." During the late war Dr. Parmelee
was a Representative of the U. S. War Trade Board stationed at
the American Embassy, London; economic advisor to the State
Department, and Chairman of the Allied Rationing Committee which
administered the German Blockade.



It is interesting to note what other countries have done toward
handling intelligently the problem of political offenders.

Russia was probably the first country in modern history to
recognize political prisoners as a class,[1] although the
treatment of different groups and individuals varied widely.

First of all, the political offender was recognized as a
“political" not by law, but by custom. When sure of a verdict of
guilty, either through damaging evidence or a packed jury, the
offender was tried. When it was impossible to commit him to trial
because there were no proofs against him, "Administrative Exile"
was resorted to. These judgments or Administrative orders to
exile were pronounced in secret on political offenders; one
member of the family of the defendant was admitted to the trial
under the law of 1881. Those exiled by Administrative order were
transported in cars, but stopped en route at the etapes,
political prisoners along with common law convicts. Since 1866
politicals condemned by the courts to hard labor or to exile,
journeyed on foot with common law convicts.[1]

There were no hospitals for political exiles; doctors and `
surgeons among the exiled helped their sick comrades.

Families were permitted to follow the loved ones into exile, if
they chose. For example, wives were allowed to stay at Lower
Kara, and visit their husbands in the prison in Middle Kara twice
a week and to bring them books.

When criminal convicts were freed in Siberia after serving a
given sentence at hard labor, they received an allotment of land
and agricultural implements for purposes of sustenance, and after
two years the government troubled no more about

[1]Siberia received its first exiles [non-conformists] in the
17th Century.


them. They became settlers in some province of Southern Siberia.
With political exiles it was quite different. When they had
finished a seven, ten, or twelve year sentence, they were not
liberated but transferred to the tundras within the Arctic

Fancy a young girl student exiled to a village numbering a
hundred houses, with the government allowance of 8 to 10
shillings a month to live on. Occupations were closed to her, and
there was no opportunity to learn a trade. She was forbidden to
leave the town even for a few hours. The villagers were for the
most part in fear of being suspected if seen to greet politicals
in the street.

"Without dress, without shoes, living in the nastiest huts,
without any occupation, they [the exiles were mostly dying from
consumption," said the Golos of February 2, 1881. They lived in
constant fear of starvation. And the Government allowance was
withdrawn if it became known that an exile received any monetary
assistance from family or friends.

Those politicals condemned to hard labor in Siberia worked mostly
in gold mines for three months out of twelve, during which period
meat was added to their diet. Otherwise black bread was the main
food of the diet.

When held in prisons awaiting trial or convicted and awaiting
transfer into exile, politicals did no work whatever. Their only
occupation was reading. Common criminals had to work in prison as
well as in Siberia.

In the fortress of Sts. Peter and Paul,[1] Kropotkin was lodged
in a cell big enough to shelter a big fortress gun (25 feet on
the diagonal). The walls and floor were lined with felt to
prevent communication with others. "The silence in these felt-
covered cells is that of a grave," wrote Kropotkin . . . . "Here
I wrote my two volumes on The Glacial Period." Here

[1]In the Trubeskoi bastion, one building in the fortress.


he also prepared maps and drawings. This privilege was
only granted, to him, however, after a strong movement amongst
influential circles compelled it from the Czar.[1] The Geo-
graphical Society for whom he was writing his thesis also made
many pleas on his behalf. He was allowed to buy tobacco,
writing paper and to have books-but no extra food.

Kropotkin says that political prisoners were not subjected
to corporal punishment, through official fear of bloodshed.
But he must mean by corporal punishment actual beatings, for
he says also, "The black holes, the chains, the riveting to bar
rows are usual punishments." And some politicals were al-
leged to have been put in oubliettes in the Alexis Ravelin[2]
which must have been the worst feature of all the tortures.
This meant immurement alive in cells, in a remote spot where
no contact with others was possible, and where the prisoner
would often be chained or riveted for years.

More recently there was some mitigation of the worst fea-
tures of the prison regime and some additional privileges were
extended to politicals.

All this applied to old Russia. There is no documentary
proof available yet, as to how Soviet Russia treats its offenders
against the present government. The Constitution of the Rus-
sian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic' does not provide a
status for political prisoners, but it does provide for their re
lease. It specifically deals with amnesty which is proof of
the importance with which it regards the question of political
offenders. It says: "The All-Russian Central Executive Com
mittee deal with questions of state such as . . . the right to
declare individual and general amnesty.[4]

France has had perhaps the most enlightened attitude of
all the nations toward political offenders. She absolutely

[1]Set Memoirs of a Revolutionist, Kropotkin.
[2]Another section of Sts. Peter and Paul Fortress.
[3]Adopted by the 5th All-Russian Congress of Soviets, July 10,
1918. Reprinted from The Nation, January 4, 1919.
[4]Article 3, Chapter 9 . . . 49 q.


guarantees special treatment, by special regulations, and does
not leave it to the discretion of 'changing governments.

On August 7, 1884; Thiers, in a ministerial circular, laid down
the fundamental principles upon which France has acted. The only
obligation upon the defendant, according to this circular, was to
prove the political nature of the offense, "that it should be
demonstrated and incontestable that they have acted under the
influence of their opinions."[1] Theirs advocated superior diet
for political prisoners and no work.

His edict was followed by special regulations issued for
politicals under the Empire, February 9th, 1867, through M.
Pietri, Prefect of the Seine. These regulations, illustrative of
the care France exercised at an early date over her politicals,
defined the housing conditions, diet, intercourse with comrades
inside the prison and with family and friends from the outside.
Their privacy was carefully guarded. No curious visitor was
allowed to see a political unless the latter so desired.

Kropotkin wrote[2] of his incarceration in Clairvaux prison in
1888, to which he and twenty-two others were transferred from
Lyons after being prosecuted for belonging to the International
Workingmen's Association: "In France, it is generally understood
that for political prisoners the loss of liberty and the forced
inactivity are in themselves so hard that there is no need to
inflict additional hardships."

In Clairvaux he and his comrades were given quarters in spacious
rooms, not in cells. Kropotkin and Emile Gautier, the French
anarchist, were given a separate room for literary work and the
Academy of Sciences offered them the use of its library.

There was no intercourse with common law prisoners. The
politicals were allowed to wear their own clothes, to smoke, to
buy food and wine from the prison canteen or have it brought

[1]Sigerson, Political prisoners at Home and Abroad, p. 89.
[2]Memoirs of a Revolutionist, Kropotkin.


in; they were free of compulsory work, but might, if they chose,
do light work for which they were paid. Kropotkin mentions the
extreme cleanliness of the prison and the "excellent quality" of
the prison food.

Their windows looked down upon a little garden and also commanded
a beautiful view of the surrounding country. They played nine-
pins in the yard and made a vegetable and flower garden on the
surface of the building's wall. For other forms of recreation,
they were allowed to organize themselves into classes. This
particular group received from Kropotkin lessons in cosmography,
geometry, physics, languages and bookbinding. Kropotkin's wife
was allowed to visit him daily and to walk with him in the prison

Sebastian Faure, the great French teacher and orator, was
sentenced to prison after the anarchist terrorism in 1894 and
while there was allowed to write his "La Douleur Universelle"

Paul La Fargue, son-in-law of Karl Marx, wrote his famous "The
Right to be Lazy" in Sainte Pelagie prison.

France has continued this policy to date. Jean Grave, once a
shoemaker and now a celebrated anarchist, was condemned to six
months in La Sante prison for an offensive article in his paper,
Les Temps Nouveaux. Such is the liberty allowed a political that
while serving this sentence he was given paper and materials with
which to write another objectionable article, called "La Societe
Mourante et 1'Anarchie," for the publication of which he received
another six months.

It is interesting to note the comparatively light sentences
political offenders get in France. And then there is an
established practice of amnesty. They rarely finish out their
terms. Agitation for their release extends from the extreme
revolutionary left to the members of the Chamber of Deputies,
frequently backed by the liberal press.

Italy also distinguishes between political and common law


offenders. The former are entitled to all the privileges of
custodia honesta[1] which means they are allowed to wear their
own clothes, work or not, as they choose; if they do work, one
half their earnings is given to them. Their only penal obligation
is silence during work, meals, school and prayers. A friend of
Sr. Serrati, the ex-editor of the Italian journal Il Proletario,
tells me that Serrati was a political prisoner during the late
war; that he was sentenced to three and a half years, but was
released at the end of six months, through pressure from the
outside. But while there, he was allowed to write an article a
day for Avanti, of which paper he was then an editor.

Even before the Franco-Prussian War German principalities
recognized political offenders as such. The practice continued
after the federation of German states through the Empire and up
to the overthrow of Kaiser Wilhelm. Politicals were held in
"honorable custody" in fortresses where they were deprived only
of their liberty.

For revolutionary activities in Saxony in 1849, Bakunin[2] was
arrested, taken to a Cavalry Barracks and later to Koeriigstein
Fortress, where politicals were held. Here he was allowed to walk
twice daily under guard. He was allowed to receive books, he
could converse with his fellow prisoners and could write and
receive numerous letters. In a letter to a friend $ he wrote that
he was occupied in the study of mathematics and English, and that
he was "enjoying Shakespeare." And .. : . "they treat me with
extraordinary humanness."

Another letter to the same friend a month later said he was
writing a defense of his political views in "a comfortable room,"
with "cigars and food brought in from a nearby inn."

[1]Sigerson, pp. 154-5.
[2]The Life of Michael Bakunin-Eine Biographie von Dr. Max
Nettlau. (Privately printed by the author. Fifty copies
reproduced by the autocopyist, Longhaus.)
[3]To Adolph R- (the last name illegible) October 15, 1849.


The death sentence was pronounced against him in 1850 but
commuted to imprisonment for life. The same year he was
extradited to Austria where the offense was committed, then to
Russia and on to Siberia in 1855, whence he escaped in 1860 in an
American ship.

In 1869 Bebell[1] received a sentence of three weeks in Leipzig
(contrast with Alice Paul's seven months' sentence) "for the
propagation of ideas dangerous to the state." Later for high
treason based upon Social-Democratic agitation he was sentenced
to two years in a fortress. For lese majeste he served nine
months in Hubertusburg-a fortress prison (in 1871). Here
politicals were allowed to pay for the cleaning of their cells,
to receive food from a nearby inn, and were allowed to eat
together in the corridors. They were only locked in for part of
the time, and the rest of the time were allowed to walk in the
garden. They were permitted lights until ten at night; books; and
could receive and answer mail every day. Bebel received
permission to share cell quarters with the elder Lielr knecht
(Wilhelm), then serving time for his internationalism. He says
that political prisoners were often allowed a six weeks' leave of
absence between sentences; when finishing one and beginning a

According to Sigerson, politicals in Austria also were absolved
from wearing prison clothes, might buy their own food and choose
their work. I am told the same regime prevailed in Hungary under
Franz Joseph.

The new constitution of the German Republic adopted at Weimar
July 31, 1919, provides that[2] "The President of the Republic
shall exercise for the. government the right of pardon .. . . .
Government amnesties require a national law."

In the Scandinavian countries there is no provision for special
consideration of ~ political prisoners, although a proposed

[1]My Life, August Bebel.
[2]Article 49.


change in Sweden's penal laws now pending includes special
treatment for them, and in Denmark, although politicals are not
recognized apart from other prisoners, the people have just won
an amnesty for all prisoners convicted of political offense as I
write. Neither Switzerland nor Spain makes separate provision for
politicals, although there are many prisoners confined in their
prisons for political offenses, especially in Spain, where there
are nearly always actually thousands in Monjuich. Portugal also
subjects political offenders to the same regime as criminals.

Concerning Turkey and Bulgaria, I appealed to George
Andreytchine, a Bulgarian revolutionist who as protege of King
Ferdinand was educated at Sofia and Constantinople, knowing his
knowledge on this point would be authentic. He writes: "Turkey,
which is the most backward of all modern states, recognized the
status of political prisoners before 1895, or shortly after the
Armenian massacres. Thousands of Bulgarian, Greek, Armenian and
Arabian insurgents, caught with Arms in their hands, conspiring
and actually in open rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, were
sentenced to exile or hard labor, but were never confined in the
same prisons with ordinary criminals and felons. They were put in
more hygienical prisons where they were allowed to read and write
and to breathe fresh air. Among some of my friends who were
exiled to Turkish Africa for rebellion was a young scholar, Paul
Shateff, by name, who while there wrote a remarkable monograph on
the ethnology and ethnography of the Arabian Tribes in which he
incidentally tells of the special treatment given him and his
fellow exiles as political prisoners.

"There is something to be said for the political wisdom of the
Sultans. Amnesty is an established practice, usually at the
birthday of the Sultan or the coming to power of a new Sultan, or
on Ramadan[1], a national holiday.


"In 1908 when the young Turks assumed control of the government,
all political prisoners were released and cared for by the state.
My friend Paul Shateff was sent at state expense to Bruxelles to
finish his studies.

"Bulgaria, another one of those `backward countries,' established
the political regime even earlier than Turkey. Politicals are
allowed to read, to write books or articles for publication, to
receive food from outside, and are periodically released on

And now we come to England. In general England, too, give's
political offenders much lighter sentences than does America,
but, except in isolated cases, she treats them no better. She
does not recognize them as political prisoners. If they are
distinguished prisoners like Dr. Jamison, who was permitted to
serve the sentence imposed upon him for leading an armed raid
into the Transvaal in 1895, in a luxuriously furnished suite, to
provide himself with books, a piano, and such food as he chose,
and to receive his friends, special dispensation is allowed; or
like William Cobbett, who was imprisoned for writing an alleged
treasonable article in his journal, The Register, in 1809; or
Leigh Hunt for maligning the Prince Regent who, he believed,
broke his promise to the Irish cause; Daniel O'Connell and six
associates in 1844 for "seditious activity"; John Mitchell, who
in 1848 was sent to Bermuda and then to Van Dieman's Land.[2]
These British prisoners, while not proclaimed as politicals, did
receive special privileges.[3]

More recently Bertrand Russell, the distinguished man of letters
who served sixty-one days in lieu of payment of fine for

[1]The month (the ninth in the Mohammedan year) in which the
first part of the Koran is said to have been received.
[2]English penal colony in Tasmania.
[3]For details of their handsome treatment see Sigerson, pp. 19-


writing a pamphlet intended to arouse public indignation against
the treatment of a certain conscientious objector, received
special privileges. In England the matter of treatment rests
largely with the will of the Prime Minister, who dictates the
policy to the Home Secretary, who in turn directs the Chairman of
the Board of Directors of Prisons. The Home Secretary may,
however, of his own accord issue an order for special privileges
if he so desires, or if there is a strong demand for such an
order. Many government commissions and many distinguished British
statesmen have recommended complete recognition and guarantee of
the status of political prisoners, but the matter has been left
to common law custom and precedent, and the character of the
prime minister. In the case of Ireland the policy agreed upon is
carried out by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

It is difficult to generalize about England's treatment of Irish
political offenders. From the earliest nationalist activities she
has treated them practically all as common criminals, or worse,
if such a thing is possible. She has either filled English
prisons, or, as in the sixties, put them in convict ships and
sent them to Bermuda and Australia for life sentences along with
common convicts where they performed the hardest labor.. Irish
prisoners have fought with signal and persistent courage for the
rights due political offenders. Lately, after militant
demonstrations within the prisons and after deaths resulting from
concerted hunger striking protests, some additional privileges
have been extended. But these can be and are withheld at will.
There is no guarantee of them.

As early as 1885 Canadian nationalists who had taken part in an
insurrection in Upper Canada on behalf of self-government and who
were sent to Van Dieman's Land in convict ships, entered a
vigorous protest to Lord Russell, the Home Secre-


tary, against not receiving the treatment due political

England has to her credit, then, some flexibility about extending
privileges to politicals. We have none. England has to her credit
lighter sentences-Irish cases excepted. No country, not excluding
imperial Germany, has ever given such cruelly long sentences to
political offenders as did America during the late war.

I have incorporated this discussion in such a book for two
reasons: first, because it seemed to me important that you should
know what a tremendous contribution the suffrage prisoners made
toward this enlightened reform. They were the first in America to
make a sustained demand to establish this precedent which others
will consummate. They kept up the demand to the end of the prison
episode, reinforcing it by the hunger strike protest. The other
reason for including this discussion here is that it seems to me
imperative that America recognize without further delay the
status of political offenders. As early as 1872 the International
Prison Congress meeting in London recommended a distinction in
the treatment of common law criminals and politicals, and the
resolution was agreed upon by the representatives of all the
Powers of Europe and America with the tacit concurrence of
British and Irish officials. And still we are behind Turkey in
adopting an enlightened policy. We have neither regulation,
statute nor precedent. Nor have we the custom of official

Note-The most conspicuous political prisoner from the point of
view of actual power the United States has ever held in custody
was Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States,
during the rebellion of the South against the Union. He was
imprisoned in Fortress Monroe and subjected to the most cruel and
humiliating treatment conceivable. For details of his
imprisonment see the graphic account given in "Jefferson Davis--A
Memoir" by his wife, Vol. II, pp. 653-95.

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