Characters in “A Pageant of Protests” given by leading suffrage workers of New York in the Broadway Theater


Title
Characters in “A Pageant of Protests” given by leading suffrage workers of New York in the Broadway Theater
Created / Published
n. d.
Subject Headings
– photomechanical print
– suffrage play
– Broadway Theater, New York City
– Burt, Laura
– Burton, Fred
– Curtis, Sofia
– Linthicum, Lotta
– “Pageant of Protest”
– Prints
Genre
Prints
Notes
– Shows characters in suffrage pageant at Broadway Theater well attended entertainment. “Uncle Sam,” as Supreme Court Judge gives women the vote. While “Betsy Ross” sews suffrage stars on a flag.

Source Collection
Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911
Repository
Rare Book And Special Collections Division
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbcmil.scrp7008401
Online Format
image
online text

Congress Approves Nineteenth Amendment


On June 4, 1919, Congress, by joint resolution, approved the woman’s suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. The House of Representatives had voted 304-89 and the Senate 56-25 in favor of the amendment.

National Woman’s Party activists watch Alice Paul sew a star onto the NWP Ratification Flag… National Photo Co., Washington, D.C., ca. 1919-1920. Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party. Prints & Photograph Division

Disagreement on whether the best strategy was to pursue enfranchisement through a federal amendment or by individual state campaigns had divided the women’s suffrage movement in 1869. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony worked for a federal amendment under the banner of the National Woman Suffrage Association, while Lucy Stone led the American Woman Suffrage Association’s state-by-state battle for the vote.

In 1890, the two groups united to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). NAWSA combined both techniques to secure voting rights for all American women. A series of well-orchestrated state campaigns took place under the dynamic direction of Carrie Chapman Catt, while the new National Woman’s Party, led by Alice Paul, used more militant tactics to obtain a federal amendment.

In his 1916 book Woman’s Suffrage By Constitutional Amendment, Congressman Henry St. George Tucker of Virginia argued that enfranchising women by constitutional amendment would violate the Constitution:

For three-fourths of the States to attempt to compel the other one-fourth of the States of the Union, by constitutional amendment, to adopt a principle of suffrage believed to be inimical to their institutions, because they may believe it to be of advantage to themselves and righteous as a general doctrine, would be to accomplish their end by subverting a principle which has been recognized from the adoption of the Constitution of the United States to this day, viz., that the right of suffrage — more properly the privilege of suffrage — is a State privilege, emanating from the State, granted by the State, and that can be curtailed alone by the State.

Woman’s Suffrage By Constitutional Amendment, by Henry St. George Tucker. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1916. p 4. National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

Henry Wade Rogers, a Yale University law professor, offered a different perspective in “Federal Action and State Rights,” an essay within the 1917 collection Woman Suffrage by Federal Constitutional Amendment, compiled by Carrie Chapman Catt. He argued that previous constitutional amendments set a precedent for the demands of suffragists:

…the Fifteenth Amendment provides that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude…” If woman suffrage is a sound principle in a republican form of government, and such I believe it to be, there is in my opinion no reason why the States should not be permitted to vote upon an Amendment to the Constitution declaring that no citizen shall be deprived of the right to vote on account of sex.

“Federal Action and State Rights,” by Henry Wade Rogers. In Woman Suffrage by Federal Constitutional Amendment. New York: published by the National Woman Suffrage Publishing Co., Inc., 1917. p 67. National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

Rogers’s position prevailed. Women’s active participation in the war effort during World War I and their broadening role in society highlighted the injustice of their political powerlessness. On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified.

National Woman’s Party activists watch Alice Paul sew a star onto the NWP Ratification Flag… National Photo Co., Washington, D.C., ca. 1919-1920. Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party. Prints & Photograph Division
Disagreement on whether the best strategy was to pursue enfranchisement through a federal amendment or by individual state campaigns had divided the women’s suffrage movement in 1869. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony worked for a federal amendment under the banner of the National Woman Suffrage Association, while Lucy Stone led the American Woman Suffrage Association’s state-by-state battle for the vote.

In 1890, the two groups united to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). NAWSA combined both techniques to secure voting rights for all American women. A series of well-orchestrated state campaigns took place under the dynamic direction of Carrie Chapman Catt, while the new National Woman’s Party, led by Alice Paul, used more militant tactics to obtain a federal amendment.
In his 1916 book Woman’s Suffrage By Constitutional Amendment, Congressman Henry St. George Tucker of Virginia argued that enfranchising women by constitutional amendment would violate the Constitution:
For three-fourths of the States to attempt to compel the other one-fourth of the States of the Union, by constitutional amendment, to adopt a principle of suffrage believed to be inimical to their institutions, because they may believe it to be of advantage to themselves and righteous as a general doctrine, would be to accomplish their end by subverting a principle which has been recognized from the adoption of the Constitution of the United States to this day, viz., that the right of suffrage — more properly the privilege of suffrage — is a State privilege, emanating from the State, granted by the State, and that can be curtailed alone by the State.
Woman’s Suffrage By Constitutional Amendment, by Henry St. George Tucker. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1916. p 4. National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Rare Book & Special Collections Division

Henry Wade Rogers, a Yale University law professor, offered a different perspective in “Federal Action and State Rights,” an essay within the 1917 collection Woman Suffrage by Federal Constitutional Amendment, compiled by Carrie Chapman Catt. He argued that previous constitutional amendments set a precedent for the demands of suffragists:

…the Fifteenth Amendment provides that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude…” If woman suffrage is a sound principle in a republican form of government, and such I believe it to be, there is in my opinion no reason why the States should not be permitted to vote upon an Amendment to the Constitution declaring that no citizen shall be deprived of the right to vote on account of sex.

“Federal Action and State Rights,” by Henry Wade Rogers. In Woman Suffrage by Federal Constitutional Amendment. New York: published by the National Woman Suffrage Publishing Co., Inc., 1917. p 67. National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection. Rare Book & Special Collections Division
Rogers’s position prevailed. Women’s active participation in the war effort during World War I and their broadening role in society highlighted the injustice of their political powerlessness. On August 18, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified.

The Senate Passes the Woman Suffrage Amendment


Maud Younger

June 4, 1919

Throughout its history the Senate has cast many crucial votes that have broken a deadlock to bring about legislative success. On June 4, 1919, the Senate cast one such vote when it approved the Woman Suffrage Amendment, clearing the way for state ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. That success did not come easily. It took years of activism by suffragists, and some brilliant maneuvering by one particular female lobbyist, to gain Senate support for a woman’s right to vote.

One of the suffragists’ first campaigns in the Senate came in 1913. The so-called “Siege of the Senate” brought to Washington hundreds of female activists who arrived in a parade of automobiles and carried petitions for voting rights signed by more than 200,000 women. “We want action now,” chanted the suffragists as they marched into the Capitol. Opponents called the siege a cheap advertising trick, but as the women filled halls and committee rooms, armed with banners, picket signs, and lengthy petitions, senators paid attention.

Senators who supported suffrage rights quickly took the floor and introduced petitions for women of their home states. Giving women the vote, Reed Smoot of Utah observed reassuringly, “has made no daughter less beautiful, no wife less devoted, no mother less inspiring.” Senators opposed to female suffrage, feeling pressure from the lady lobbyists, also participated. “I wish to say that I am opposed to the passage of the amendment,” explained John Thornton of Louisiana, before obediently submitting a petition. Joseph Johnston of Alabama explained that his petition came “at the request of one lady,” then left to speculation the identity of that singular suffragist. “Whatever may be my personal view on this matter,” James Martine of New Jersey confessed, “I would be a veritable coward [should] I not present this petition.”

As years passed, and the Senate remained a barrier to reform, the activists intensified their efforts. Leading the way was a savvy operator named Maud Younger. Although Younger employed a variety of tactics, her most effective strategy was the use of a “congressional card index,” a voluminous collection of index cards on which she recorded every detail, public and private, that she learned about each member of Congress. No detail was overlooked. If the cards noted that a senator always arrived at his office at 7:30 a.m., Younger had a suffragist there at 7:29. If a senator smoked cigars, she sought support among his state’s cigar-makers, or his lodge members, or the family doctor, or anyone else who might influence his vote. She found it especially useful to collect information about the senators’ mothers. Some men, she explained, “listen to their mothers more than to their wives.” By 1919 the tide of Senate opinion was shifting, prompting Maud Younger to boast: “Twenty-two senators have changed their position since I came to Washington.”

On June 4, 1919, 37 Republican senators joined 19 Democrats to pass the amendment. In quick succession, states then ratified the amendment, with Tennessee becoming the necessary 36th state to approve on August 18, 1920. Once again, a Senate vote had provided the crucial bridge to success. In reviewing the tactics that helped bring about that successful Senate vote, the New York Times paid special tribute to Maud Younger and her sister lobbyists. “In the hands of determined women,” concluded the Times, “a full card index is even mightier than pen or sword.”