After the passing of the first generation of leaders, the suffrage torch was carried on not only by Carrie Chapman Catt (Episode 51), but also Alice Paul. The two leaders would both cooperate and clash along the way. Ultimately, the passage of the 19th Amendment needed both of them.
Catt was the founder of the Woman Suffrage Party and president of the more traditional National American Woman’s Suffrage Party (NAWSA, Episode 38). A long-time suffrage strategist, and protege of Susan B. Anthony, she believed in a state-by-state approach to achieve suffrage nationwide.
Paul began as a quiet Quaker girl from New Jersey who had become a militant suffragist while working abroad in England. She and her friend, Lucy Burns, had been part of the English suffrage movement working alongside top leaders like Emmaline and Christabel Pankhurst. Paul and Burns were both arrested, jailed, participated in a hunger strike and force-fed. (See sources for more information on Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. They will be mentioned a lot in upcoming episodes.)
After her return to the United States, Paul joined NAWSA and was put in charge of the secondary but mostly moribund issue of a national constitutional amendment for suffrage. In late 1912 Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Crystal Eastman went to Washington D.C. as part of NAWSA’s Congressional Committee. By April of 1913, Paul’s progressive views continually clashed with NAWSA's more moderate approach. As a result, Paul founded the Congressional Union for Women’s Suffrage (CU) as a separate organization but still remained on the NAWSA committee.
The CU would eventually become the National Woman’s Party (NWP) in 1916 but between it’s founding and rebranding, it was the Congressional Union that led militant actions in Washington D.C. and states that lacked suffrage. Artist Nina Evans Allender would become their cartoonist and propagandist for their journal, “The Suffragist”. Her famous “Allender Girl” embodied the type of independent, vibrant, and savvy young woman who found the progressive CU more appealing than the conservative NAWSA organization.
Also happening at this time (1912-1914) were the suffrage hikes led by “General” Rosalie Jones. The first hike was from Manhattan to the state capital of Albany, New York (170 miles) and took place during the bitter winter days of December 16-28, 1912. The second hike finished at the 1913 Suffrage Parade in Washington D.C. (Episode 62) There is a small clip of footage from this hike in the National Film Preservation Foundation. (See sources) The final hike in 1914 was from Manhattan to Albany to petition the governor for New York state suffrage. Although mostly forgotten today, Jones was an excellent propagandist and made sure that the hikes got a lot of press and attention. Jones also allowed women of color and men to join the hikes.
This week’s song pick:
“A Living Human Girl” by the Regrettes https://youtu.be/kttX5GTyJYc
Episode 61 Sources:
Suffrage Hike of 1913 on film (80 seconds)
To learn more about Alice Paul
To learn more about Lucy Burns