A History Lesson for women voters

Miss Lucy Burns in Occoquan Workhouse, Washing...

Miss Lucy Burns in Occoquan Workhouse, Washington Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman’s Party, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in the day when the Constitution was followed in this country, all wasn’t sweetness and light. We all know how the blacks were discriminated against, terrorized, even lynched for daring to vote. It was very bad and it lasted far too long. I’ll note in passing that the Ku Klux Klan (both the first and the second time around were almost all members of the Democratic Party. Someday we should go into the reasons for that but, not just now.

Another group that was discriminated against were women. In those days of states rights, voting requirements were established by states, from its statehood for instance Wyoming granted women the vote. I think the reason for that is that out here, it’s hard country, any woman that could survive in those days, deserves all the respect we can give her. It wasn’t until the 20s that all states gave women the vote.

But that’s far too passive. American women won the vote for themselves by fighting all the obstacles that men could throw in their paths. They are truly American Heroines. This is a story about them. There are others. It came to me from a12iggymom’s Blog, and it’s a story of American prejudice and heroism that I’m proud to present and ashamed to know is true.

This is the 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.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless 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 wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’

(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the ’Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they 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–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.

Continue reading  A History Lesson for women voters.

Tell me again, or better yet, tell these women, why you’re too busy to vote this year. They paid a very high price for you.


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13 Responses to A History Lesson for women voters

  1. JessicaHof says:

    What a great and inspiring story from history – and how much you are right to remind us to vote 🙂


    • Indeed, a vote for the lesser evil, is in some sense still evil but, not as bad as not voting, for surely then the most evil will win.

      And, yes it is a great and inspiring story.


      • JessicaHof says:

        It really seems incredible that they should have been treated so badly – how can people be that bad?


        • Jails at the time were pretty bad, at best. But, this is just insane, although I’m seeing reports that some of it still goes on, usually where the progressives rule.


        • JessicaHof says:

          It ought to be unbelievable – but alas is not.


        • It’s what always happens when we sacrifice the individual for the collective, alas. We lose the respect for the individual.


        • JessicaHof says:

          That is one of the many areas where our Faith has a part to play in the public sphere 🙂


        • Yes, it is, indeed. 🙂


  2. Fantastic post!


    • Thanks, Rebecca, so was yours today.


  3. Freedom, by the way says:

    Great story that doesn’t get told as it should. Thanks!


    • Not nearly enough, Freedom. They were great women.


  4. Pingback: Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws | Marcus' s Space

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