Taking over the Senate

Title

Taking over the Senate

Description

Passage of the 16th & 17th Amdts in 1913 - especially the 17th, which expanded voting rights over opposition from the deep south - proved a federal amendment strategy was viable. So Alice Paul & Lucy Burns spent a hot July plotting to force their way onto the Senate floor. 🧵

The Senate Woman Suffrage Committee had just issued a positive report, its first in years. It cited the recent amendments as proof the Constitution was a living document, and affirmed: “In this Republic, the people constitute the Government…‘The people’ includes women.”

Alice & Lucy asked those Senators to help them prove this true, beginning with another massive public event. "General" Rosalie Jones’ pilgrimage to Washington for the Inauguration march had gotten a lot of press, so Alice devised larger-scale caravans from multiple states.

Women traveled by car, on foot, on horseback, by train; the Virginia delegation came up the Potomac by boat! The caravans gathered at a ballpark in Hyattsville, MD on July 31, undeterred by a huge storm the day before. See photo above & via @HvilleTimes

2020The supportive Senators joined them there, and rode with the suffragists in an auto parade to the Capitol. Spectators lined the streets. The DC police escorted them the whole way, eager to show they could do better than they had the day before the Inauguration.

Arriving at the Senate, they took over “morning business.” Suffragists packed the gallery while pages delivered petitions with 10,000s of names. 25 Senators presented the petitions from their states, and most of them spoke on the floor in favor of suffrage.

On July 31, 1913, suffragists commandeered the Senate floor for more than two hours. It was the first time since 1887 that women’s voting rights had been discussed there. #CenturyofStruggle #19thamendment #VotesforWomen #Suffrage100 

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

18/07/2020

Files

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Citation

Daily Suffragist, “Taking over the Senate,” Daily Suffragist, accessed October 20, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/455.

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