Teaching Americans to be bolder


Teaching Americans to be bolder


When US suffragists began street demonstrations in 1910, the women in the UK had already become more brazen. They were holding huge demonstrations, intentionally provoking arrest, and more.

One of their leaders came to the US in 1907 to encourage us to be bolder. Thread.

Anne Cobden-Sanderson was first arrested in 1906 along with nine other members of the Women’s Social and Political Union, demonstrating at the House of Commons.

They were charged with using “threatening and abusive words and behaviour" and put on trial.

They chose two months in Holloway Prison rather than a £10 fine and six months good behavior.

The public was shocked that upper-class women would go to prison, but Anne said: “We have talked so much for the Cause now let us suffer for it.”

In 1909 Cobden-Sanderson was arrested for picketing 10 Downing Street with a petition to the Prime Minister. There’s a photo!

Harriot Stanton Blatch & Sarah Smith Garnet invited Cobden-Sanderson to the US in 1907.

Her visit was a coup for both Blatch’s Equality League and Garnet’s Brooklyn Equal Suffrage League. In the packed hall of the Cooper Union, Cobden-Sanderson emphasized how much the British movement owed to its working-class instigators.

@EllenDubois10 recounts: “After women factory workers were arrested for trying to see the prime minister, Cobden-Sanderson and other privileged women, who felt they ‘had not so much to lose as [the workers] had,’ decided to join them and get arrested.”'

She toured the US; her lecture at Bryn Mawr college was called “Why I Went to Prison.”

New York suffragists didn’t instantly become more radical, but Cobden-Sanderson and her stories of WSPU’s long prison terms had an impact. #Suffrage100 #CenturyofStruggle 


Daily Suffragist






Daily Suffragist, “Teaching Americans to be bolder,” Daily Suffragist, accessed July 22, 2024, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/408.

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