Does Your Vote Count?

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Let me begin by informing you that the photographs and much of the historical content of this blog is not my original research.

I received an email containing much of this information from my WONDERFUL friend of many decades (since she was my undergraduate English Professor, actually)

To see something of her click on: Reflections – A Visit to Pennsylvania 

………..so the story begins………A True Story of OUR Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago…..

 

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote……..

 
…………at one point, innocent and defenseless women were jailed for picketing the White House….

…… carrying signs asking for the vote……..

……..and by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women. Women wrongly convicted of “obstructing sidewalk traffic”!!!
Lucy Burns, pictured below, was beaten and then left hanging from shackles on her wrists that were chained above her head…….she was left in this manner, throughout the night, bleeding and gasping for air………

Dora Lewis (below) was hurled into a dark cell, causing her to smash her head against an iron bed frame. She was knocked out by the blow; her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Dora was dead and became so terrified that she suffered a heart attack. Affidavits describe the prison guards as grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
Thus was the unfolding of “The Night of Terror” on November 15, 1917.

This was the night that the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to ‘teach a lesson’ to the suffragists who 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 was infested with worms.


Alice Paul, pictured below, was one of the leaders among the women and began a hunger strike. The guards tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. Alice continued to be tortured like this for weeks until word of her treatment was leaked to the press

Pictured below is Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving her 60 day sentence.


………Miss Edith Ainge of Jamestown, New York………

……..Berthe Arnold Graduate of CSU…….

……….conferring over ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution at the National Women’s Party Headquarters, Jackson Place, Washington D.C.………
Left to Right: Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Politzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing)

It is jarring to imagine Woodrow Wilson and his cronies attempted to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized.

To his credit the psychiatrist stated that Alice Paul was strong and brave and that did not make her crazy.

Below is Helena Hill Week from Norwalk, Connecticut, serving a three-day sentence in a Washington D.C. prison for carrying a banner that stated: “Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”


……….so it is with this recollection of facts that I implore you to not let all this hard work and suffering be in vain…..VOTE

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19 responses »

  1. Thank you, Tin Man. Powerful info. I will be interested in seeing what kind of responses you receive Certainly different from other postings. Good man!! Mary Rauch

  2. This information has been circulating the internet. It’s public knowledge. Nonetheless it seems still to be unknown. Talk of Memorial Day! How about a day to honor these women, whose sacrifices are still too little known, and too much ignored and ridiculed where they are known!
    To take everything for granted is to deserve nothing.
    Well done, Emil.

  3. I would dream about the day i could VOTE, yes me since i was not a citizen i couldent vote. With hard word i became a natrualize citizen and now it will be my 3rd time voting……so proud that i was giving that oportunity. Very important that anybody who can should vote. Thanks to the women that made that possible. Great post.

    Ana

  4. I just don’t know how they did it, but you’re right. We have to vote. Thank you for putting this post together, otherwise I may have never known.

  5. Dear Tin Man, What a timely post. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the women since I read it earlier today. The photographs are incredible. They capture the courage in their eyes and body language. Would I be so brave? I’m not so sure. Thank you sharing such an important post. Yes! Vote!! Theadora (Big hugs!!)

  6. I vote every time that an issue comes up where a vote is required. It amazes me that so many people (women and men) do not vote. They are usually the first to complain about issues though. Good for you to bring this to everyones attention.

  7. These woman are amazing role models. Their achievements came at a high cost. They put it on the line at a time when woman could only be seen and not heard.

  8. Even tho this post was not actually about you traveling, it traveled all over my soul. I do believe this was your most amazing post yet! It would have made your mom very proud that she raised a man to respect women! Thank you so much for this!

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