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By Lavinia H. Egan,
ber National Council National
Jow that time has supplied the
r perspective, it is possible to
from the correct angle of vision
with quite sedate judgment the
t suffrage campaign of the Na
Woman's Party during those
lar years immedately pre
the passage of the Nineteenth
- _ ent.
A sore dramatic period than that
which Woodrow Wilson, di
the affairs of the nation and
Paul directed the militant suf
Sampaign of the National Wo
4 Party can not be found in the
- history. The nations of the
were at war: an explosion un
ed had disrupted the affairs
o world and shocked humanity
a great spiritual awakening. Hu
thought was so accellerated that
e action without the medium
itnsition. To think was to do,
everybody was thinking as never
since civilization began be
civilization was at stake.
never before in its history, the
needed men: as never before it
: women, and nobly and won
they proved themselves, men
:bere any wonder, when the civ
people of the earth were strug
for the preservation of civiliza
.td that principle of democracy
s fety was America's concern,
is there any wonder, I say, that the
women of America, disfranchised by
the very articles of our constitution,
denied the right to citizenship, dis
criminated against by the law, should,
in the midst of this crystalization of
MISS ALICE PAUL,
Vice President of the National Wo
man's Party, who led the campaign
for the passage of the Federal Suf
frage Amendment. The National
Woman's Party is now working for
the establishment of political, legal
and civil equality of women with men.
human thought, have found a new
voice, a new method of articulation?!
Had they not been struggling for
their rightful place in group life
since 1848? Had they not exhausted.
every means in the indirect mode of
operation that was the only method
at their command previous to 1920.
and the enactment of the suffrage
Appeals and petitions had availed
nothing. Even the vociferans clam
,ring of some early woman suffrage
advocates had, apparently, not been
heard. If ever in this history of the
world, action was to speak louder
than words, that time had come. It
was action on the part of the mili
tant suffragists-swift, sure, dra
matic action, compelling attention,
crystalizing thought that brought
results. Behind the action was a very
ca' militancy of spirit, for if ever
a cause was fourht for and won by
the sword of the spirit, it was the
(,Ifranchisement of the women of
inee United States.
Alice Paul is a Hicksite Quaker.
She does nothing, whether great or
small, except with the guidance of
the spirit. She has a thoroughly
trained mind; she holds degrees from
three universities and from colleges
in two hemispheres. Those who
know her best call her the girl with
the seventy-two caliber mind and the
Jeanne D'Arc vision. Such combina
tion is well-nigh invincible. What
ever such a soul undertakes becomes
a crusade, a crusade that ends in
I shall summarize presently what
her militant suffrage campaign ac
complished. Meanwhile, we should
review the situation with regard . to
suffrage in 1912. in the last months
of which year Alice Paul came to
Washington as chairman of the Con
gressional Committee of the Nation
al American Suffrage Association.
In 1912, while suffrage agitation in
the various states was being pushed
with a verying degree of persistence,
agitation for an amendment to the
Constitution. which had been Susan
B. Anthony's dream, had, practically,
ceased. Before the passing of Miss
Anthony in 1906, suffragists gener
ally had followed the line of least'
resistance by listening to the sirenI
song of the doctrine of State's rights.I
In Washington, suffrage agitation had
ceased entirely and there was almost
no vibration. The American Suf
frage Association maintained a Con
gressional Committee in Washington
but no headquarters. The chairman
of the committee was allowed ten
dollars a year for expenses, and re
turned the change at the end of the
year. The committee was expected to
arrange for' one formal hearing be
fore the Senate and House Commit
tees of each Congress. The formal
speeches delivered on these occasions
were used as suffrage propaganda and
distributed on a Congressman's frank.
The suffrage amendment had never
been brought to a vote in the House
and hut once, in 1887, in the Senate.
It had not received a favorable report
MISS ANITA POLLITZER,
National Legislative Sec'etary of the
National Woman's Party.
from the Committee in either house
since 1892 and had not received a re
port of any kind since 1896.
In addition the incoming President,
if not openly opposing it, was indif
ferent to it; the great political part
ies were against it. Political leaders
were unwilling to be connected with
it. Last of all the majority of suf
fragists did not think the Federal
Amendment practical. They were en
tirely engrossed with state cam
On the other hand, the suffrage
movement was never more alive and
virile. A new force had come with
the fourth generation of women to
espouse the cause. These were of
a different type from those of the
second and third generation. They
were more like the pioneers. They
possessed the spirit and vision of the
pioneers plus the power and ability
of the emancipated generation, (f
which they were a part.
Six states, Wyoming. Colorado,
Utah, Idaho, Washington, California
had enfranchised w(;men. With the
winning of Oregon, Kansas and Ari
zona, in 1912 the movement had as
sumed a new national importance.
`These victofies meant that there
were approximately two million wo
men-voters in the United States; that
one fifth of the Senate. one seventh
of the House, and one sixth of the
electoral vote came from suffrage
It was in December, 1912, an]I as
chairman of the Congressional Com
mittee of the National American Suf
frage Association, that Alice Paul
came to Washington. In the next
eight years, this Quaker girl, frail,
wraith-like, timid. still in her twen
ties but with five years of settlement
work and social service back of her,
was to briny into existance, by the
power of her spiritual domination, a
new non-partisan political organiza
tion. composed of women working for
women and numbering fifty thousand
members. "She was." says Inoz
Ilaynes Gimore Irwin. "t' gather in
to her organization hundreds of de.
voted workers; somne without pay and ,
others with less pay than they could
command at other work and in other'
;'rg'anizations. She was to raise for.
work over three-quarters of a million
dollars. She was to establish head
quarters at Washington that became
the center of liberal thought of the l
• ountry. She was to introduce into
'he suffrage agitation a policy which,:
Sthough not new to politics, was new]l
to suffrage, the policy that led to
much misunderstanding but which led
also to victory, that of holding the
party in power responsible for the
legislation enacted during the period
of party power." She was to insti
tute a suffrage campaign so swift, so
intensive, so compelling, and at the
same time so interesting, so pictur
esque, that again and again it pushed
the war-news out of the preferred
position on the front pages of the
:ew ispapers of the country. She was
to see her organization blaze a pur
ple, white and gold trail from the
east to the west and from the north
to the south of the United States.
She was to resurrect the amendment
written by Miss Anthony, to name
it after its author, the Susan B. An
thony Amendment. She was to see
this amendment pass from the House
and from the Senate. She was to see
:37 states ratify the amendment in less
than a year and a half thereafter.
She was to seo the President of the.
United States move from a position
of indifference to suffrage to an open
espousal of it; move slowly at first,
but with a progress which gradually
accelerated until he himself obtained
the last senatorial vote necessary to
pass the amendment.
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