This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great- grandmothers; they lived only 90+ years ago.
Background Information With World War I raging overseas & the United States entering the war in 1917, American suffragists believed that if America could fight a war to defend democracy, women deserved it at home! In the beginning of 1917, a small but determined group of women led by Alice Paul began to picket the White House, urging President Wilson to support a Constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote.
Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. The women including Alice Paul were often jailed for picketing the White House & carrying signs asking for the vote.
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.
Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
19 th Amendment VOTE! 1920: Law that officially gave women the right to VOTE!
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Worked not only for women’s voting rights, but also for: –Parental/custody rights –Divorce rights –Property rights –Employment and equal pay She also supported abolition during the Civil War Outspoken supporter of the temperance movement.temperance movement
Lucretia Mott Suffragist and abolitionist during the Civil War Believed in promoting women’s rights, including the right to vote
Susan B. Anthony American civil rights leader who helped introduce women’s suffrage to the United States. She traveled the United States and Europe and gave 75 to 100 speeches per year on women's rights for 45 years.