Let me begin by informing you that the photographs and much of the historical content of this blog is not my original research.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