Jailed for Freedom
by Doris Stevens
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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


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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 effective.

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


Chapter 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 toPresident 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 Follow the link to the Connecticut TALENT Program]

Alice Paul Mrs. O.H.P. Belmont Democrats Attempt to Counteract Womans 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 Wilsons Speech on Boston Common 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.


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Part I



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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 presenting.

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 strategy.

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 GeneralAlice 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 allegiance.

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 now."

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 pressure.

"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 misrepresentation.

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


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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 discussion.

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 strength."

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 out.

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 instead.

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 stirred.

"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 individual."

"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 action.

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 other


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 inexpedient.

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 amendment.

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 power

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' resolutions.

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 participated.

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 parties.

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 platforms.

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 resistance.

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 amendment.

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 party.

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 election.

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 freedom.

"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 heavens.

"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 forever.

"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 nation.

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


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 follows:

"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 democracy.

"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. . . "

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