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Have a question? Need assistance? Use our online form to ask a librarian for help. On Monday, March 3,clad in a white cape astride a white horse, lawyer Inez Milholland led the great woman suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation's capital.
Behind her stretched a long line with nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, about twenty-four floats, and more than 5, marchers. Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wearing appropriate garb—nurses in uniform, women farmers, homemakers, women doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians, college women in academic gowns.
The state delegations followed, and finally the separate section for male supporters of women's suffrage. The procession began late, but all went well for the first few blocks. Soon, however, the crowds, mostly men in town for the following day's inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, surged into the street making it almost impossible for the marchers to pass. Occasionally only a single file could move forward. They did not regard the affair very seriously. Head of suffrage parade, Washington, D. Women suffragists marching on Pennsylvania Avenue led by Mrs.
Richard Coke Burleson center on horseback ; U. Capitol in background. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Woman's suffrage parade, Wash. Crowd breaking parade up at 9th St. Woman's suffrage procession in Washington, D. George Grantham Bain.
Suffragette parade Mch. Photograph shows nurses marching to support women's suffrage near the U. But to the women, the event was very serious. One hundred marchers were taken to the local Emergency Hospital. Before the afternoon was over, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, responding to a request from the chief of police, authorized the use of a troop of Saturday lets march for womens rights from nearby Fort Myer to help control the crowd.
Despite enormous difficulties, many of those in the parade completed the route.
Charity entered, her path strewn with rose petals. In the final tableau, Columbia, surrounded by Justice, Charity, Liberty, Peace, and Hope, all in flowing robes and colorful scarves, with trumpets sounding, stood to watch the oncoming procession. At the railway station a few blocks away, president-elect Wilson and the presidential party arrived to little fanfare. Scene from a tableau held on the Treasury steps in Washington, D. The Washington march came at a time when the suffrage movement badly needed an infusion of vigor, a new way to capture public and press interest.
Women had been struggling for the right to vote for more than sixty years, and although progress had been made in recent years on the state level with six western states granting women suffrage, the movement had stalled on the national level. Delegates from the National American Woman Suffrage Association NAWSA, and its predecessor associations had arrived in the nation's capital every year since to present petitions asking that women be enfranchised.
Despite this annual pilgrimage and the millions of atures collected, debate on the issue had never even reached the floor of the House of Representatives. A twenty-eight-year-old Quaker from New Jersey, she had recently returned to the United States fresh from helping the militant branch of the British suffrage movement. She asked to be allowed to organize a suffrage parade to be held in Washington at the time of the president's inauguration, thus ensuring maximum press attention. NAWSA accepted her offer when she promised to raise the necessary funds and gave her the title chairman of the Congressional Committee.
The nation's capital : [Washington D. Library of Congress Geography and Map Division. Alice Paul Talks. Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jan Undaunted, Alice Paul convened the first Saturday lets march for womens rights of her new committee on January 2,in the newly rented basement headquarters at F Street, NW.
By March 3 this fledgling committee had organized and found the money for a major suffrage parade with floats, banners, speakers, and a twenty- official program. Suffrage groups across the nation contributed to the success of the procession.
Because this is the most conspicuous and important demonstration that has ever been attempted by suffragists in this country. Because this parade will be taken to indicate the importance of the suffrage movement by the press of the country and the thousands of spectators from all over the United States gathered in Washington for the Inauguration. This call was answered. Edison Company to make a talking picture known as a Kinetophone, which included a cylinder recording of one-minute speeches by each of the women. The mistreatment of the marchers by the crowd and the police roused great indignation and led to congressional hearings where more than witnesses recounted their experiences; some complained about the lack of police protection, and others defended the police.
Before the inquiries were over, the superintendent of police of the District of Columbia had lost his job. The public outcry and its accompanying press coverage proved a windfall for the suffragists. It was to take seven more years before the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women full rights to vote, finally passed both houses of Congress and was ratified by the required thirty-six states.
Behind this description of the Washington Suffrage Procession—one event in the long history of women's campaign for suffrage in the United States—lies a wealth of telling detail and the human stories that make history interesting and meaningful. A rich variety of suffrage materials Saturday lets march for womens rights many formats lie scattered throughout the collections of the Library of Congress awaiting the curious reader in search of further details and other stories, of the sounds and sights of the fight for the vote.
The organizers of the parade intended its floats and ant to have visual appeal for the media and thus to attract publicity for the movement. Photographers recorded the women's activities for newspaper readers and these images live on in newspapers and photo archives.
Easily the single most heavily represented suffrage event in the Prints and Photographs Division's holdings, the march appears in more than forty images, including news photographs of the hike from New York to Washington, the marchers and crowds on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the ant performed at the Treasury Building. A surviving stereograph of the parade suggests that publishers of these images, which appeared in three dimensions when seen through a special viewer, expected that the public would be willing to pay for a permanent memento of the event.
Within the General Collections lie innumerable journal articles, autobiographies, and extensive secondary literature addressing the issues of women's suffrage.
Further examples of these types of materials can be found in the microform collections. Legal materials on women's suffrage—congressional hearings and reports, relevant laws, articles in legal journals, and books—are held in the Law Library. See a discussion of "State Suffrage Laws. Contemporary press coverage of the suffrage movement can be found in newspapers from around the country and the world. Many of these valuable primary sources can be read in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room, but some foreign-language newspapers are held by Area Studies reading rooms.
As you move through this Web site exploring the variety of formats available to study the women's suffrage movement, you will find many other sources to open new avenues for continuing the investigation of the long and fascinating fight for women's right to vote. One of the great rewards of research is the exhilaration of new discoveries—uncovering a new fact, locating an unknown photograph, or hearing the voice of a Saturday lets march for womens rights you are studying.
At the Library of Congress you can hold a letter written by Alice Paul, follow the path of the suffrage parade on a map of Washington, watch a film of suffragists, or scan old newspapers for Nellie Bly's forthright words. If you listen carefully, our foremothers will speak to you. If you tell their story, they will live again. Others who contributed to this effort are identified in the Acknowledgments. The women's march also inspired cartoonists, some of whom likened the suffrage movement to colonial America's fight for independence. Vivid details about the march also turn up in a seemingly unlikely source.
The Yidishes Tageblatt Jewish daily newsa Yiddish-language publication from New York City with a circulation of seventy thousand, devoted two columns to the women's parade. The article claimed that twenty-five lost children stayed in police stations overnight and eighteen men asked the police to find their wives. A magazine interview with eighty-nine-year-old Alice Paul reveals the problems for the historian of hindsight and memory.
In two major respects Miss Paul's recollections of the event, sixty-one years after it occurred, differ from those of contemporary sources. You know the usual things about why aren't you home in the kitchen where you belong. But it wasn't anything violent. The other major point in which Paul's memory differs from contemporary s is on the question of the place of African American women in the procession.
Wells-Barnett was among those who objected strongly to a segregated parade; she walked with the Illinois delegation. Moving beyond sources related to a single event to examine other aspects of the history of women's suffrage, researchers visiting the Library of Congress will discover collections of major ificance in many different reading rooms. Most of these materials are discussed in greater detail elsewhere on this site—just follow the links.
For researching women's suffrage in the Library's digital collections, see the following primary sources:. For suffrage images from the Library's Prints and Photographs collections, see the following pathfinders and collection guides:. The Rare Book and Special Collections Division holds several important collections including personal and institutional libraries.
Some of the relevant collections are listed below. Search this Guide Search. American Women: Topical Essays Part of the American Women series, this essay tells the story of the parade, including the mistreatment of marchers by rowdy crowds and inept police, the contested participation of African American women, and the parade's impact on Saturday lets march for womens rights larger suffrage mov. Created: June 28, Last Updated: September 6, Marching for the Vote: Remembering the Woman Suffrage Parade of Abstract: When Alice Paul and Lucy Burns returned to the United States after working with the radical wing of the British suffrage movement, they sought to infuse the lethargic American campaign with techniques and strategies that had proven successful across the ocean.
Their first activity was mobilizing five thousand women for a massive suffrage parade on the eve of President-elect Woodrow Wilson's inauguration. Harvey identifies sources throughout the Library that can be pieced together to tell the story of the parade, including the mistreatment of marchers by rowdy crowds and inept police, the contested participation of African American women, and the parade's impact on the larger suffrage movement.
Helen Keller in a boat by shore. Rea Irvin. Ancient History. Official program woman suffrage procession. Why You Must March Suffrage groups across the nation contributed to the success of the procession. From its New York headquarters, NAWSA urged suffrage supporters to gather in Washington: Because this is the most conspicuous and important demonstration that has ever been attempted by suffragists in this country. George Grantham Bain Collection.
Front of the "Woman's journal and suffrage news" with the headline: "Parade struggles to victory despite disgraceful scenes" showing images of the women's suffrage parade in Washington, March 3, Suffragette parade, Pennsylvania Ave. James Harrison Donahey, artist. Jones crossing the Delaware. Suffrage March Line. Researching Women's Suffrage at the Library of Congress Digital Collections For researching women's suffrage in the Library's digital collections, see the following primary Saturday lets march for womens rights.
Women's Suffrage: Primary Source Set for Teachers The resources in this primary source set are intended for classroom use. If your use will be beyond a single classroom, please review the copyright and fair use guidelines. Susan B. Anthony Collection The papers of reformer and suffragist Susan B. Anthony span the period The collection, consisting of approximately items 6, images on seven recently digitized microfilm reels, includes correspondence, diaries, a daybook, scrapbooks, speeches, and miscellaneous items.
Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party This collection includes digitized photographs selected from approximately 2, print photographs in the Records of the National Woman's Party, a collection of more thanitems, housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Elizabeth Cady Stanton Collection The papers of suffragist, reformer, and feminist theorist Elizabeth Cady Stanton cover the years to Consisting of approximately 1, items 4, imagesreproduced on five reels of recently digitized microfilm, the collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, drafts of books, scrapbooks, and printed matter relating to Stanton and the woman's rights movement.
Mary Church Terrell Papers The papers of educator, lecturer, suffragist, and civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell consist of approximately 13, documents, comprising 25, images, all of which were digitized from 34 reels of ly produced microfilm. Spanning the years tothe collection contains diaries, correspondence, printed matter, clippings, and speeches and writings, primarily focusing on Terrell's career as an advocate of women's rights and equal treatment of African Americans.
Political Activity and Social Reform: Women's History Resources in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division This pathfinder is intended to give researchers a flavor for the variety of ways in which any given topic can be researched in the division's holdings, as well as offering a starting point for pursuing research in various topic areas that broadly reflect aspects of American women's lives. They include portraits of women who campaigned for women's rights, particularly voting rights, and suffrage campaign scenes, cartoons, and ephemera.
An accompanying women's suffrage timeline features many of the images. Three especially useful image collections to search are:. It also prepared sets of pictures on popular subjects and undertook special photographic asments for local businesses and government agencies.
Bain Collection The George Grantham Bain Collection represents the photographic files of one of America's earliest news picture agencies. The collection richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, political activities including the woman suffrage campaign, conventions and public celebrations.
The photographs Bain produced and gathered for distribution through his news service were worldwide in their coverage, but there was a special emphasis on life in New York City. The bulk of the collection dates from the s to the mids, but scattered images can be found as early as the s and as late as the s. League of Women Voters U. Anthony Papers The papers of reformer and suffragist Susan B. Anthony span the period with the bulk of the material dating from toSaturday lets march for womens rights
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