Suffrage martyr

Title

Suffrage martyr

Description

President Wilson surely thought the National Woman’s Party women were nasty. They campaigned ferociously against his reelection in western states in 1916. That October they stood boldly on the streets of Chicago and New York, so his motorcade would pass women protesting him. 🧵

He very nearly lost. Most California women could vote, and had 3,806 of them voted the other way, the state’s 13 electoral votes and the Presidency would have gone to Charles Evans Hughes. Wilson went to bed that night thinking he was a one-term president.

But Wilson was reelected, and all the suffrage ballot measures in various eastern states failed. Then, just a few weeks after the election, Inez Milholland died. She had collapsed onstage campaigning against the Democrats - her last words: “How long must women wait?”

One of the most famous and glamorous suffragists, literally a poster girl, had given her life for the cause. With the family’s blessing, Alice Paul created vivid political theatre - a memorial service on Christmas Day in the rotunda of the US Capitol.

The symbolism was thick: Inez’s Christlike sacrifice was memorialized in the seat of male political power, with 1,000 people attending. No woman had ever been recognized there, and none would again until Rosa Parks died in 2005.

The hall was decorated in NWP purple, white, and gold, with flags on every chair. A boys choir sang the suffrage hymn “Forward out of darkness.” Maud Younger gave a stirring speech. 1916 was ending, and Wilson’s second term was about to begin. #19thAmendment #Suffrage100

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

12/08/2020

Files

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Citation

Daily Suffragist, “Suffrage martyr,” Daily Suffragist, accessed October 25, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/481.

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