Mrs. Pankhurst at Carnegie Hall


Mrs. Pankhurst at Carnegie Hall


While Alice Paul was in London’s Holloway Prison with a feeding tube forced down her nose, Emmeline Pankhurst traveled to the US to raise funds and promote the cause.

American women were fascinated to see the British radical up close. 🧵

On Monday, October 25, 1909, all 3,000 seats of Carnegie Hall were filled, almost all by women. The line stretched around the corner; 1,000 people were turned away.

Vassar and Barnard students wearing Votes for Women sashes served as ushers - we’ll meet some of them tomorrow!

Harriot Stanton Blatch’s Equality League for Self-Supporting Women sponsored the evening. 400 working, wage-earning women were seated onstage behind Mrs. Pankhurst: teachers, doctors, dentists, nurses, social workers, lawyers, civil service workers & trade unionists.

Blatch presided; Anna Howard Shaw from NAWSA & Margaret Dreier Robins from Women’s Trade Union League gave welcoming remarks.

However, 4 days later a different group of women met at Carnegie Hall to create a more conservative local suffrage group. There’s a photo of that night.

Back to Mrs. Pankhurst...

In her memoirs, Harriot Stanton Blatch says the crowd expected someone more fearsome than the elegant Englishwoman. (Meryl Streep played Emmeline Pankhurst in the movie "Suffragette." The movie was eh but the casting seemed right.)

“I know you have not all come here tonight because you are interested in suffrage. You have come to see what a militant suffragette looks like & to see what a Hooligan woman is like…

I am not going to tell you why we need the vote but how we are going to get it.”

She spoke for two hours, explaining that polite demonstrations simply weren’t enough.

“It is by going to prison, rather than by any arguments we have employed that we have won the support of the English working man.”

As for rock-throwing, it was a British political tradition--and a necessity.

“Around every one of these [stones] was wrapped a piece of paper with a question on it. We only threw them because we were not admitted to Liberal meetings and had no chance to ask our questions any other way.”

Later in her visit Pankhurst urged the US government to intervene on behalf of Alice Paul. She noted diplomatic interventions on behalf of other Americans jailed abroad, and asked why President Taft was doing nothing for Miss Paul. #Suffrage100 #CenturyofStruggle


Daily Suffragist






Daily Suffragist, “Mrs. Pankhurst at Carnegie Hall,” Daily Suffragist, accessed July 22, 2024,

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