Suffragists Oral History Project

Conversations with Alice Paul: Woman Suffrage and the Equal Rights Amendment

Alice Paul

An Interview Conducted by
Amelia R. Fry

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Alice Paul in 1917 (left) and 1970s: A Lifetime Crusade
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Alice Paul, ERA author ( S.F Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, July 10, 1977)

© 1976 by The Regents of the University of California

Introductory Materials


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Preface to Suffragists Oral History Project

The Suffragists Oral History Project was designed to tape record interviews with the leaders of the woman's suffrage movement in order to document their activities in behalf of passage of the Nineteenth Amendment and their continuing careers as leaders of movements for welfare and labor reform, world peace, and the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Because the existing documentation of the suffrage struggle indicates a need for additional material on the campaign of the National Woman's Party, the contribution of this small but highly active group has been the major focus of the series.

The project, underwritten by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, enabled the Regional Oral History Office to record first-hand accounts of this early period in the development of women's rights with twelve women representing both the leadership and the rank and file of the movement. Five held important positions in the National Woman's Party. They are Sara Bard Field, Burnita Shelton Matthews, Alice Paul, Rebecca Hourwich Reyher, and Mabel Vernon. Seven interviews are with women who campaigned for suffrage at state and local levels, working with other suffrage organizations. Among this group is Jeannette Rankin, who capped a successful campaign for suffrage in Montana with election to the House of Representatives, the first woman to achieve this distinction. Others are Valeska Bary, Jessie Haver Butler, Miriam Allen de Ford, Ernestine Kettler, Laura Ellsworth Seiler, and Sylvie Thygeson.

Planning for the Suffragists Project and some preliminary interviews had been undertaken prior to receipt of the grant. The age of the women—74 to 104—was a compelling motivation. A number of these interviews were conducted by Sherna Gluck, Director of the Feminist History Research Project in Los Angeles, who has been recording interviews with women active in the suffrage campaigns and the early labor movement. Jacqueline Parker, who was doing post-doctoral research on the history of the social welfare movement, taped interviews with Valeska Bary. A small grant from a local donor permitted Malca Chall to record four sessions with Jeannette Rankin. Both Valeska Bary and Jeannette Rankin died within a few months of their last interviewing session.


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The grant request submitted to the Rockefeller Foundation covered funding both to complete these already-recorded interviews and to broaden the scope and enrich the value of the project by the inclusion of several women not part of the leadership. The grant, made in April, 1973, also provided for the deposit of all the completed interviews in five major manuscript repositories which collect women's history materials.

In the process of research, a conference with Anita Politzer (who served more than three decades in the highest offices of the National Woman's Party, but was not well enough to tape record that story) produced the entire series of Equal Rights and those volumes of the Suffragist missing from Alice Paul's collection; negotiations are currently underway so that these in-party organs can be available to scholars everywhere.

The Suffragists Project as conceived by the Regional Oral History Office is to be the first unit in a series on women in politics. Unit two will focus on interviews with politically active and successful women who are incumbents in elective office today.

The Regional Oral History Office was established to tape record autobiographical interviews with persons prominent in the history of the West and the nation. The Office is under the administrative supervision of James D. Hart, Director of The Bancroft Library.

Malca Chall, Director Suffragists Oral History Project Amelia Fry, Interviewer-Editor Willa Baum, Department Head, Regional Oral History Office 2 January 1974

Regional Oral History Office
486 The Bancroft Library
University of California at Berkeley

Suffragists Oral History Project

BARY, Helen Valeska. Labor Administration and Social Security: A Woman's Life . 1974

MATTHEWS, Burnita Shelton. Pathfinder in the Legal Aspects of Women . 1975

PAUL, Alice. Conversations with Alice Paul: An Autobiography. 1975

RANKIN, Jeannette. Activist for World Peace, Women's Rights, and Democratic Government . 1974

REYHER, Rebecca Hourwich. Search and Struggle for Equality and Independence . 1977

The Suffragists: From Tea-Parties to Prison. 1975 Thygeson, Sylvie, "In the Parlor" Butler, Jessie Haver, "On the Platform" deFord, Miriam Allen, "In the Streets" Seiler, Laura Ellsworth, "On the Soapbox" Kettler, Ernestine, "Behind Bars"

VERNON, Mabel. The Suffrage Campaign, Peace and International Relations . 1975

FIELD, Sara Bard. Poet and Suffragist . 1979


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Interview History

Alice Paul was the leader of the more militant suffrage and equal rights organization called the National Woman's Party. After campaigning in England with Mrs. Pankhurst, the young Quaker returned to this country, finished a Ph.D., and in 1912 became the head of the congressional committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Her group soon spun off from the mother organization, rejecting the state-by- state referenda as a method of achieving equal suffrage and evolving into the National Woman's Party, which worked for suffrage by constitutional amendment. The energetic militants soon became known for their central political strategies: make suffrage a mainstream issue through public demonstrations and protests, and increase political clout by holding the party in power responsible in elections in western states where women already had the vote.

The actual tape recording of Alice Paul's memoir was preceded by a half dozen years of intermittent and fruitless negotiations between this indomitable leader and myself. I first met her when I came to research the archives of the National Woman's Party headquarters at the Alva-Belmont House in Washington and to read the party's papers in the Library of Congress.

Each trip east thereafter I stayed at the Alva-Belmont House, where Alice lived and where women writers, doctors, lawyers, and long-time Woman's Party members frequently sojourned. There Alice and I had long conversations at night about the past. While these increased our friendship, they did little to got Alice's own story preserved for posterity: she objected to tape or notebook, and explained more than once that it was unthinkable to embark on a taping project when the ERA still needed everyone's assistance in Congress. It was not long before I was sporadically lobbying House Judiciary Subcommittee members for passage of the ERA whenever I was in Washington, or when Alice called me and I could arrange my work to go.

I had jokingly struck a bargain with Alice: I would lobby if she would agree to tape record after ERA passed Congress. While my lobbying held undetermined value for the ERA, it was an indispensable apprenticeship for historical inquiry into political processes. I am indebted to Alice and to the National Woman's Party for making this experience possible.


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It was Alice's departure from Washington after the passage of the ERA in Congress in 1972 that set the stage for our interviews. Although she continued to nurse ratification through state after state from her telephone in her lakeside cottage in Ridgefield, Connecticut, she has never returned to headquarters. The abrupt change in leadership in the National Woman's Party which occurred at that time is a fertile subject for theses of the future.

Regardless of her continuing work on ratification, Alice recognized that she could make time to tape her memoirs, and she invited me to come to Ridgefield.

Our first interview sessions were held November 24 to 26, 1972, with neither of us knowing whether there would ever be adequate funding for transcribing, correcting, and retyping. The following spring Rockefeller Foundation made possible the processing of that session's tapes and a much-needed second session, which we held May 10 to 12, 1973. Both were three-day marathons.

1. See the more detailed account, "Interviewer's impressions," dictated December 30, 1972, which follows.

The second session circles back to expand on some of the material we had covered during the first because the arrival of the grant made possible additional research in other collections and, therefore, different questions.

Among sources which proved most helpful were the National Woman's Party's the Suffragist, a weekly publication which became Equal Rights in 1923, Inez Haynes Irwin's Story of the Woman's Party ( Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1921 ), and Doris Stevens, Jailed for Freedom ( New York, 1920). Many papers relating to the Woman's Party and Alice Paul were found in several cross-referenced collections in Radcliffe College's Schlesinger Library and in the Anne Martin-Mable Vernon papers in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Because at the time of the interview the National Woman's Party was denying most people, including myself, access to Paul's papers and other materials in the headquarter's library, the ample footnotes in the thesis of Loretta Ellen Zimmerman, who earlier had had access to the Paul correspondence, were of unique value. (See Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party, 1912-1920; Ph.D. diss., Tulane University 1964.)

Among difficult-to-locate books that Alice made available at her cottage was one whose careful documentation made it especially helpful: Carolyn Katzenstein's Lifting the Curtain, written from her notes at the time of the campaigns; although


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it is from the vantage point of the Pennsylvania chapter of the Woman's Party it sheds a great deal of light on the national scene. The classic six-volume history of suffrage from the view of the National American Woman Suffrage Association is probably familiar to anyone who reads Alice Paul's transcript; volumes V and VI, edited by Ida Husted Harper and published in New York in 1922, provided the first steps in my preparation. So also did the ground-breaking history, Century of Struggle, written by Eleanor Flexnerin 1959for Harvard University Press ; chapters XX to XXIV of my paperback copy (Atheneum Press) were well-thumbed by the time Alice agreed to tape record. Other more recent books on suffrage and on the broader struggle for women's rights (like William L. O'Neill's Everyone Was Brave, Quadrangle, Chicago, 1969 ) were used and are referred to in the interview text.

Alice was still working on ratification of the ERA in Connecticut and other states when I sent her the rough-edited version of the first two chapters of our transcript. As could be predicted, they lay on her desk while she organized supporters via her telephone, and while her next door neighbor and close friend, "Scotty" Reynolds, and I carried on a lively correspondence about how to get Alice to check through it. Among other obstacles, Alice was plagued by poor vision and would not take the time to get new glasses.

Then, one day in March, 1974, Alice fell. Ultimately she was taken to a New York hospital, then transferred shortly to a nursing home in Ridgefield. Diagnoses had progressed from "just bruises" to a concussion to a mild stroke. Her period of residence at the nursing home drew more protracted, and in November I was granted the rare privilege of visiting her. She was eager to know how the ERA campaign was progressing and anxious to get to Washington so she could properly organize her papers for deposit in an archive. Although our discussion was as lucid as old times, an anxiety to return to her cottage underlay her customary serenity, probably because she still was denied newspapers, TV news, letters, phone calls and visitors. We agreed that her transcript should be issued as soon as possible, that this office would finish it in its verbatim form and edit any ambiguities in the text with notations in footnotes and brackets.

Her nephew, Donald Paul, proofread the manuscript and added notations about the family, which are in brackets and footnotes and attributed to him.

At this writing, the current legal efforts on Alice's behalf have removed some of the restrictions on her, two years after she was placed in the convalescent home. Hopes are high that she may indeed move back into her cottage. It


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should be noted that her indomitable spirit and powerful mind may well lend her determination enough to live to see the ERA through to ratification and to establish her long-cherished plan for a world-wide equal rights organization. The wise research historian using this manuscript would be well-advised to check for a post-memoir career for Alice Paul.

Amelia R. Fry
Interviewer/Editor 5 January 1976

Regional Oral History Office
History office 486 The Bancroft
Library University of California, Berkeley


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The Interviewer's Impressions of Alice Paul

Dictated on December 30, 1972 after the interview sessions of November 24-26, 1972; edited, December 23, 1975.

Alice Paul and I met about six years before the interview, when I had gone to Washington searching for material about Sara Bard Field's 1915 automobile campaign for suffrage. National Woman's Party headquarters, in the elegant and ancient Alva-Belmont mansion, housed a veritable goldmine of suffrage material in its library. When I met Alice Paul to get her permission to use it, she wondered aloud how anyone in good conscience could spend research time on the long-gone suffrage campaign when so much effort was currently needed to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. I pondered silently how anyone could continue to make history and remain insensitive to the historical imperative.

After that first stalemate, I usually took one of the rooms at the elegant Alva-Belmont House whenever I was in Washington. There, after dinner in the garden in the warmer months, or with trays in the living room if it was winter, Alice would tell me some of the history of the Equal Rights Amendment. When our talks stretched into the evening hours, she would even go into her recollections of the suffrage struggle, and often our sessions would not break up until the early hours of morning. But she would never let me turn on a tape recorder, and if I pulled out a pencil to take notes she would say, "Oh, don't take notes on this. This isn't really worthwhile," or "Everything we have is either in the Library of Congress or right here."

In 1972 the Equal Rights Amendment passed Congress. It was yet to be ratified, but she had moved to Connecticut because there were some drastic changes taking place at the Alva-Belmont House. At the same time an article had appeared on her in a popular history magazine which she felt was unsatisfactory. These two factors created hope that she might finally respond to the constant overtures to tape record her life history. Perhaps Alice realized that because she had never produced a memoir she was going to have more inaccurate articles appearing about her, but that if she could record a fairly complete oral history, writers would have access to her account of her life which they could use without bothering her.

It was November and I was in Washington when I called Alice in Connecticut to make arrangements to begin an interview. We decided that she would see me the Monday before Thanksgiving. However, there were difficulties in my getting access to the


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library in the Alva-Belmont House, so that pre-interview research was slowed as I searched out substitute sources in Washington and New York. We postponed our date to Thanksgiving Day itself.

I was to meet her in her cottage in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She was fretting and apologetic over the fact that she could not provide her usual level of hospitality because she had just moved in. One hostessing problem was that she had not found anyone to cook for us. I remembered that at Belmont House, she always had a cook come in to prepare breakfast and dinner. I assured her that I was happy and able to do the cooking or anything else domestic; but she wouldn't hear of that. Further evidence of her hospitality was her insistence on having me met at the train some fifteen miles away at the Stamford station. Lacking a driver and a car, she arranged for a taxi driver to watch for me at the train and take me to Ridgefield.

Inadvertently, I was delivered to Alice's little white frame cottage about thirty minutes earlier than expected. I knocked. A dismayed Alice Paul opened the door; she had not yet dressed for the day, and her handyman's wife was still running the vacuum cleaner. (She introduced her not as her handyman's wife but as "a friend and neighbor.") For Alice's peace of mind, I wanted to back out the door and re-enter in twenty minutes. But she soon reappeared in a dress of brilliant turquoise sparkling with bead trim. A long string of pearls was further accented with a star- shaped pin of gold netting with a pearl at its center, which I suddenly realized had almost become a symbol of Alice Paul to me. She had worn it frequently in Washington, and, regrettably, I never asked her where it came from.

The little white cottage had been owned jointly by her and her late brother since the middle thirties, and although she had lived here in the forties while she worked with the United Nations at Lake Success, she was now converting it for permanent living. It was rustic, built by some early day Thoreau and his daughter on the edge of a small, wooded lake which Alice Paul also owned. The house itself still had the wide, wide planks that the early builders had hewn by hand. Ax marks still lined the rough logs that formed the ceiling beams. A great fireplace dominated the main room, which was a rather modest-sized living room with a windowed bay which, lined with blooming plants, served as a dining area. The other rooms had been added long before. There are now two bedrooms, a bath, and a study off the living room. In the study was a beautifully preserved rosewood desk that had belonged to Susan B. Anthony. Beyond is another addition, an airy sunroom windowed on three sides over the lake. There is a small kitchen,


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and adjacent to it a built-on informal breakfast room of brick and wood and tile; behind that was what Alice called the "back kitchen," which holds pantries, a small coal bin, and a place where the handyman stored the logs that he cut for the fireplace. The basement apartment below was being made into a year-round flat, and a young woman had rented it, a potter.

The period furniture was comfortable overstuffed, carved, and dark-stained. There were no graphics, paintings (except family portraits ), objets d'art, or sound systems for music, unless one counts the small radio on the kitchen table—used mainly for news while I was there.

Throughout the house, particularly in the bedroom I was assigned, were portraits of members of her family, all of whom were Quakers, going back to the time the first Quakers arrived on the American continent. Alice carefully identified each one as she showed me around. Over the fireplace was a beautiful portrait in oil of a woman whom I think she said was two generations ahead of her, a close relative of William Penn. (I think she had Penn in her name.) Alice's family had been in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for many, many generations and had been Quaker even before the first one came to America. Her grandfather had helped establish Swarthmore College, where her mother attended. This strong Quaker tradition comes out in the interview.

Alice's relatively simple housekeeping needs were met by neighbors who were also close friends. "Scotty"(A.S.) Reynolds, who lived next door in a house also owned by Alice, was a competent, witty woman retired from Life magazine (she had been a photography editor) and a dear friend of Alice's. It was she who cooked and brought over Thanksgiving dinner for us.

The day I arrived was crisp and cold. Ice edged the lake, and Alice had given a local carpenter the task of fitting storm windows. After her handyman laid a fire in the fireplace, Alice said to me, "Now I will make you Captain of the Fireplace." The title was never fully earned, but I shoveled and poked assiduously, and Alice assured me that I was a marvelous firebuilder.

She's very good at thanking people—a trait I noticed with some surprise when lobbying for her. Inez Haynes Irwin had written in 1921,

"...it never occurred to [Alice Paul] to thank anybody... "

2.  Irwin, Inez Haynes Up Hill With Banners Flying, reprinted 1964, Traversity Press, Penobscot, Maine, p. 25 . Formerly The Story of the Woman's Party, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1921.

Yet often, in response to a task performed by
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the handyman, or Scotty, or the carpenter, she would say, "Oh, that's so wonderful you were able to do that, and do such a good job, and do it with such dispatch. I don't know what I would do without you."

The same concern for people close to her showed in her attitude toward the young woman who had taken the apartment downstairs. The tenant frequently complained that she was cold, and she probably was. Alice would then request that I turn up the thermostat, thus making it too hot upstairs so that the basement would be habitable. To put an end to this untenable situation Alice had ordered a new furnace installed in the small apartment. In the meantime she frequently asked the handyman or the carpenter (they were always coming in and out) to check to see if the tenant was comfortable. When she invariably said that she was still cold, Alice, very concerned, would say, "She always says it's cold." Although a little annoyed, she was going to great expense to make the apartment comfortable.

To prepare for our interview sessions, Alice had assembled in the study her complete set of the Suffragist (the weekly National Woman's Party magazine for the suffrage movement) and other papers. By this time, I had drafted three different interview outlines—one in Berkeley, one in Washington, and now a third was developing from the additional records; I was frantically trying to get these combined before she was ready to record. After our Thanksgiving dinner we talked at length about the scope of the history and what it should include. As we talked, her sense of scholarship expanded her role from respondant to co-worker.

A few days before, contrary to her life-long policy, she had agreed to a long journalism interview. The lucky writer was Robert S. Gallagher from American Heritage magazine.

3.  Gallagher, Robert S., “I Was Arrested, Of Course,” an interview, American Heritage, February, 1974, pp. 17-24, 92-94 .

While she felt that this young man was perfectly able and most charming, she was having grave second thoughts because of qualms that she had limited unduly her answers to his questions and omitted some vital material.

At that point, we agreed that in our interview I would ask questions, that we would cover the subject year by year chronologically, and that she would tell everything of relevance that she could think of, whether I asked her or not; whenever I felt she was leaving out something, I would ask. This is pretty much the way the interview developed, although


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we had to review this procedure two or three times before we really got a firm agreement that was clear to both of us.

Alice was eighty-seven at this time and she was in fragile physical condition. Trying to keep a balance between her strong mental and intellectual health and her precarious physical health presented a challenge for which, as an interviewer, I was scarcely prepared. About six months before, in May, one of Alice's friends in Washington sensing some deterioration in her general health had whisked her to a New York hospital. Although they both told me what happened, it still is not clear to me. It seems that after the amendment passed Congress, Alice had what she called a "tired heart." In the hospital her pulse rate was very low, she was given digitalis, and after a few days she returned to Connecticut.

She discussed this in quite cavalier fashion, partly because she has only airy disdain for any physical discomfort and thus refuses to dignify ill health by catering to it, or even admitting it exists. Alice told me of the Christian Science influence on her by her brother, who after his marriage had become a Christian Scientist, and of his widow who was still living in Connecticut.

During the intervening six months since her hospitalization, Alice saw no doctor, but a local "visiting nurse" regularly came to see her. That was her only contact with the medical world. Since her own doctor in New York was too far away to be of assistance even should Alice have needed her, it was necessary to maintain a careful and continual check on Alice's health, in order to be aware of significant changes that might require immediate attention. Scotty, having had some first aid training, came over daily, and listened to Alice's heartbeats with a stethoscope, kept a daily log of her heart rate, and checked to see whether her ankles were swollen. That was the extent of Alice's medical care.

Planning to start the interview the following day, we stayed up rather late that first night. I worked even later in my own room in order to complete my research. Alice awoke very early the next morning and, noticing that the furnace was off, hauled the logs from the back kitchen into the living room and built a fire. By the time I finally got up, probably two hours later, the house was still very, very cold.

As I began to make breakfast for us, I noticed that Alice looked rather gray; she obviously was not well. My first impulse was to dash to the phone and call Scotty, but I didn't know either her phone number or her whole name. I wrestled with


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the stethoscope but couldn't distinguish Alice's heartbeat. Finally, I counted her wrist pulse—47 and very irregular. Even with no medical background, I knew that she was a sick woman. She accepted the idea that she had better lie down —a big concession. She was very chilled.

Scotty was due to come by some time that morning. In the meantime the handyman came and, as the only person who knew the cottage's electrical system, was able to hook up the heating pad. We piled blankets and hot water bottles on her. I was feeling somewhat panicked. Here was Alice needing medical attention and there was none at close hand. Because it was the Thanksgiving weekend, I knew that even a call to a New York hospital would not produce a doctor. Although we were close to the biggest concentration of medical facilities in the world, we might as well have been in the Australian' bush. The irony could be tragic.

Scotty appeared in a few minutes. We had a hurried conference. Alice protested. She would not hear of our even calling the visiting nurse. She said she would be quite fine, we were not to worry, nor, clearly, were we to worry her. She got so anxious about our calling in some medical help on a Thanksgiving weekend that we felt we were making matters worse by discussing it. She asked to be left alone.

I took some of the suffrage literature from her library and sat by her bedroom doorway where I could ostensibly study, but where I really could watch her closely by looking in at her sideways. I knew she would object if she caught me watching. Scotty gave me her phone number so I could call if Alice's condition seriously changed.

So the day passed with me sitting at her doorway, doing whatever research I could, and surreptitiously watching her. The carpenter was in and out building stormwindows, and Alice actually roused enough to give him directions, then went back to sleep.

Alice got up about seven or eight o'clock that evening, astonished at the incredible fact that she had slept all day. I tried to take her pulse; I tried to hear her heart. Again I could not find her heart with the stethoscope, and our efforts dissolved into giggles that mercifully released the tension of the day. When I counted three widely varying rates for her pulse, we concluded that all we had to go on was the way she felt. Her color was much better, she was warm, and much of her energy had returned, but the prognosis was still quite obscure.


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Then she called her Christian Scientist sister-in-law. I remember Alice saying, "No, I don't really need you to come over; I just wanted you to know that—that I feel this way, that this is going on—because I thought that would help." She said this very matter of factly, and, after a little conversation, she hung up. She retired for the night confident that she was going to be all right, and the next morning she was.

I was careful to leave my door open in order to get up when she did, and thereby prevent her from hauling wood, or in any other way exerting herself, although the problems of the day before had been resolved at least temporarily. The oil company, which had inadvertently let Alice run out of oil, finally filled the tank and the furnace was started again. Coal and a large bag of wood had been hauled in by the fireplace. Scotty came over, took her pulse, and found it had much improved. After breakfast we began the taping, but we agreed that, having lost a day, we would only have time to talk about Alice's life up through the suffrage period.

The world outside now was a deep freeze with the lake a solid crystal plain. During a break, Alice stood at the window and showed me where she and her brother had sold a number of lots around the shore. Some beautiful homes are tucked back in the woods. A large piece of land was saved around her cottage. She told me that the lake had become quite a worry to her because one million dollars a year in insurance was required to cover liability for almost anything that could happen on the lakeshore. She was beginning to think of selling the lake to the city of Ridgefield, which wanted to buy it.

While I prepared a lunch for us that day, Alice was looking pink and bright-eyed. I mentioned this to her, and she said, "I thought I would, after I called my sister-in-law." (In fact, she looked stronger than I felt after the perils of the day before.)

Her diet was meatless. "Alice, when did you become vegetarian?", I asked. I think she said it was just after the suffrage campaign. She laughed and said, "I didn't have much time to think about such things until then. It occurred to me that I just didn't see how I could go ahead and continue to eat meat. It just seemed so— cannibalistic to me. And so," she said, "I'm a vegetarian, and I have been ever since." Perhaps Alice's experiences of hunger strikes in the prisons, both in England and in this country, may have had an effect on her attitude about food in general. Two or three times she has said to me, "Food simply isn't important to me; they're always bringing in these things," referring to her refrigerator which was stacked wall-to-wall and shelf-to-shelf with all kinds


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of health food. It was another proof that "taking care" of Alice requires some very adroit chicanery.

A corollary to this was Alice's sincere inability to recall past physical discomfort. Our interview starts out with a discussion of whether she really did spend some time in a rain storm on the roof of a building in England during a suffrage protest. To the American Heritage writer, she had denied this had ever hapened. I was puzzled by her denial, and the interview opens by my showing her both the Pankhurst and the Inez Haynes Irwin accounts of this.

4.  Pankhurst, Estelle Sylvia, The Suffragette; the history of the women's militant suffrage movement, 1905-1910 . New York, Sturgis & Walton Company, 1911.

One says she spent the whole night on the roof in the rain; the other only that she was up there for quite a time. Alice was perplexed and amazed that this actually had happened. Another instance was a scuffle during the picketing of the White House in which, I believe, a sailor was reported to have knocked Alice down and dragged her across the sidewalk. She said she doesn't ever remember being manhandled.

She also insisted that the account of that first parade of the Woman's Party, in March, 1912, during which the U.S. Cavalry and police were called in, was not a "riot," nor that anyone got roughed up; the reports she claimed have been exaggerated. I'm inclined to accept this because reports of mass actions inevitably tend to become exaggerated.

This lack of concern about her physical condition probably accounts for the fact that she simply cannot recall hunger strikes in prison (or even being hungry). Nor can she remember what must have been extreme physical discomfort, or much of anything concerning her treatment there. Thus the interview is lacking some of the more brutal details about the prison experiences, but, that would hardly be the major value of an interview with Alice Paul.

Her ability to set strategy rapidly and unerringly is one of the most astounding things about her. About two years before the interview Alice had asked me to come to Washington to do a week of lobbying for the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress. I happily agreed. First of all, I believed in the cause. I also wanted to see what it was like to work under Alice Paul.


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Alice, then age eighty-five, had a running record in her head of every congressman. She knew almost anything that she needed to know about his past actions on the ERA and his operations with other congressmen. She usually knew the attitudes of wives, secretaries, and administrative assistants. She knew that Mrs. Alan Cranston had her hair coiffed in a particular place where Alice sometimes went. (Belmont House was across the parking lot from the Senate Office Building.) Thus had she become acquainted with Mrs. Cranston, and it was through Mrs. Cranston that she had been working to get Senator Cranston's approval of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Her knowledge of the connections in Washington as well as out in the states was amazing. It was clear that in the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment, as it wore on through the decades, she had utilized a small nucleus of women, maybe only one or two women per state, who in turn knew how to contact those persons most influential with the key senators and with certain congressmen. In more recent years she had been concerned with the members of the judiciary committees, since the struggle came to focus there. The result was a very compact campaign. There was only a little of the big, scattergun grass roots approach to create support which in turn would bring pressure on the Congress in general. Before I went back to California, I found myself appointed Northern California chairman for the ERA (much as I was appointed Captain of the Fireplace) and I understood why I had few troops to command.

In lobbying, I learned to apply caution after talking to Alice. When she would tell me what a congressman had once done for the ERA, it could have been several congresses ago. I had to check before I went to talk to him to be certain that the last time he had helped on the Equal Rights Amendment was indeed recent enough to form a basis for current action. This same trait enabled Alice Paul to put two and two together to make a vote. Finding the two and two often required complete recall, and she carried the chess board of maybe thirty Congresses and political manueverings thereof in her head, and from that formulated her own successful strategy.

Alice Paul's executive ability included an uncanny way to utilize whatever manpower was within her range. Irwin has written about this at length, and in the seventies it was still true. I witnessed one coup about 1970 that she brought off when a young woman from Los Angeles came with her sociologist husband to do some research on the woman's movement. They asked to use the library in Belmont House, one of the best women's political history libraries at that time. They needed access to some as- yet-uncatalogued, unorganized papers that were sitting in boxes in the old, old, rambling two-story carriage house, one of two buildings behind Belmont House.


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(This building has since been torn down for a Senate parking lot.) The sociologist appeared to be apolitical and intent on doing his research while his meager budget for travel expenses lasted; he could stay only a very limited number of days. I met both of them and commiserated over the fact that he would probably never get in to see those papers because of Alice's belief that the ERA work should have top priority with everyone.

Later that day Alice mentioned to me, "You know, Chita, he's from Los Angeles. I wonder if he knows Congressman Danielson? He probably could go speak to him as a constituent." Doubting that the scholar would submit to a lobbying assignment, I murmured that it was unlikely he would be from Danielson's district. Danielson was the lone urban Democrat in the subcommittee who had voted against the ERA, causing a tie vote. Neither Don Edwards, the subcommittee chairman, nor anyone else, could figure out why. I had talked to the solon twice and had received only a "Well, maybe I'll vote to bring it up again," but that had been as far as I could got with him.

Alice found that although the sociologist himself did not come from the congressman's district, he volunteered to Alice that his students had done some research in that district and had found that the young Mexican-Americans were very much for equal rights for women, whereas the older Mexican-American women couldn't have cared less. Alice said matter-of-factly to him, "I want you to go to Congressman Danielson and tell him that his district is changing, and that he'll be put out of office because of these changes of the young Mexican-Americans that are now of voting age in his district." The professor, disgruntled at the prospect of spending his limited research time lobbying, protested that he didn't have the money or the time to go over and try to see Danielson. Sometimes hours, even days were required to get in to talk with a congressman not from one's own district.

Shortly Alice told me that he did talk to Danielson. And Danielson, as a matter of fact, did request that the ERA be voted on again in the subcommittee, at which point it was voted out for a full committee vote.

At the end of my first week's lobbying, my notes of June 29, 1971, read, "...I marvel at her [Alice's] obsession. By the third day, I was delirious to have a break from the continuous pressure of advocacy. It was like living with a single beam of strong light piercing my world constantly. I accepted a lunch appointment with a single-tax expert—mainly to have an hour's reprieve. It was almost a holy moment, like stepping off a race track for a time. And I knew that a mile away was


xvii
Alice, in the 180th day of the forty-ninth year of telephoning, assigning tasks, getting advocate statements written, and running her small army. At times I doubt that. she ever notices the news about Viet Nam or the ghetto riots..."

Alice's campaign, in fact her whole life, was a one-issue affair: women's rights. Moving to the drum beat of her commitment, she is a person whose tremendous intellectual energy is put behind that commitment, with no tangents allowed.

But there were times when other issues almost intervened. It required fortitude, but Alice would not let the Viet Nam war issue in the late sixties interfere with or become related to the Equal Rights Amendment issue, just as she had refused to allow World War I to slow the suffrage campaign. One weekend when I was in Washington, women were gathering for a women's peace march on Washington that was led by Alice's old friend, Jeannette Rankin. Jeannette Rankin was staying at the Alva-Belmont House, as were some of the other so-called "Rankin File" marchers. Alice was anxious that their presence at the National Woman's Party headquarters have no relationship to the events of that weekend. She mentioned to me that evening how NBC and CBS network men and reporters from Life and Time had been trying to get interviews with the leaders of the march there at the house, but how she feared a background of the National Woman's Party headquarters would connect the ERA with the anti-Viet Nam marchers. She singlehandedly held off what sounded like the entire national news media—and quite successfully too.

There is another aspect to Alice's personality that one has to keep in mind: her background of aristocracy. Her family was cultured and well-to-do. They were also highly respected leaders in the Quaker community. These two worlds—her family and the Society of Friends—were the only worlds she knew until after she was graduated from Swarthmore. Her contact with other socio- economic classes was limited to the maids who worked for them, and the fact that the maids went dancing and behaved differently was excused because they were "that class" of people. Her class consciousness is still something that one from a different generation senses now and then. While she always denied that the women's movement she has led has been made up primarily of the higher socio-economic classes, the actual proportion of upper middle class educated women who participated in successive phases of the campaign might be the subject of further research.

The attention to class carries over into her campaign. For instance, when I was working for her in the ERA campaign, I would come in to report after lobbying on the Hill. Regarding a certain congressman, "What is he?" she would ask. Her question always baffled me. She meant, was his name Irish, Italian, or what? Alice was well aware of the strength of political ties


xviii
between members of an ethnic group, particularly in the East.

The Alva-Belmont House in Washington now is in a highcrime neighborhood—with the Senate Office Building adjacent, however, and the U.S. Supreme Court on an adjoining block. It was such a dangerous neighborhood when I was there that we could never carry our purses with us when we went out at night because of the probability of provoking attack. Most of the women there had been mugged at least once. Alva-Belmont House itself had been broken into two or three times. This was all laid at the door of the blacks. It is true that the neighborhood was nearly all black, but whether the crime had a racial cause or something else (drugs, for instance) was a question in my mind.

This attitude of Alice's however, seemed to be less a classical color prejudice than a consciousness of class that is almost benevolent with her, coupled with generalizing about people who, as she grew up, had been outside of her experience. Her close work with women from ethnic minorities is a matter of record.

Alice held other attitudes which colored her political outlook; at least they were her attitudes by the time I came to know her. She was non-partisan; personally, however, she seemed to trust Republicans in Congress more than Democrats. This probably began or was reinforced in the suffrage struggle when Woodrow Wilson, a Democratic and recalcitrant president, became the object of her attack in "holding the party in power responsible" for defeats of the suffrage amendment. She also had a great fear of the machinations of communism and how it might manipulate her cause. She felt further that government was doing too much to help people who did not work; she deplored the welfare system—a view which is shared by many people of both parties, of course. Her views of these and many other social issues, however, seemed not to concern her unless they were related to the issue of the Equal Rights Amendment. While she had opinions about them, they held a low priority with her, and she did not spend time analyzing their causes and effects as broad societal manifestations. For instance, when we watched the television news in the living room at Belmont House, with our dinner trays brought in by the cook, Alice rarely commented on any news item unless it was of a senator or a congressman who had recently done something concerning the ERA. (or more likely who had not so recently done something.)

Alice talks rather fast and her voice is very even in tone, thus feeling and emotion come through muted. Her mannerisms in talking show an efficient energy at work at all times. There are no "uhs" or "ahs" in her speech. While she gropes for a word, she's absolutely silent. When a problem is presented to


xix
her, she simply sits silently for a minute; you wonder if she heard you.
("She has the quiet of a spinning top," wrote

[Inez Hayes] Irwin.)

Then she will lay out maybe eight or ten relevant points and conclude with a statement on the major focus.

Yet I have seen her upset about the twists and turns of the Equal Rights Amendment. She has a short laugh which seems on occasion to cover up despair. It might be considered a "bitter little laugh," except that Alice Paul doesn't sound bitter. She will laugh about things as though she sees the irony in a sudden twist of fate that has led to the wrong congressman getting on a committee, or a public issue like abortion suddenly coupled with the ERA in the press. A set-back in support brings from her a pause, then, "Well, then, here is what we must do." Frustrations seemed to lead to increased persistence and determination.

In Ridgefield, once we began recording, Alice had the same commitment to getting this story on tape that she had to the suffrage and ERA campaigns. She worked and worked and worked . Usually several attempts would be made before I could get her to take a break for lunch. By the second day, I had added two extension cords to the tape recorder to that her words could be captured at the dining table as well as in the study.

Finally, I stayed an additional day in order to finish—but Alice felt another was needed. Since another change in my schedule was impossible, we continued to work so that by nightfall we had wrapped up what we expected to be our last session. The recorder was turned off. Conversation came around to her genealogy. She mused on my maiden name, Roberts, and was certain that this signified a relation between herself and myself because she had a Roberts on her Quaker family tree. I was touched that she wanted to send me back to California with information on her forebears so that I could check records to confirm her conviction. But little did I suspect what this meant. The next morning Alice mentioned (in an off-hand way) that she had finally found the genealogy chart she was looking for, even though she had to hunt for it until four o'clock in the morning. This was alarming news in view of the health crisis of three days before. As I prepared to leave, the phone rang. A reporter wanted an interview on the ERA. Alice agreed. I knew she was going to go strong all day. As Scotty drove me to the airport, I extracted a promise. "For heaven's sake, Scotty, please let me know if Alice doesn't make it through the day." But we both knew she would.


xx
figure
Striking Pen-Picutre of Alice Paul ( Equal Rights, August 18, 1923


1

Tape 1, Side A

1. I. Family and Education

Forebears: Quaker

Prelude: Memory Discrepancy About the Rooftop Episode

Paul

You ask questions. I'll answer, you see. Just the way the Heritage man did [last week].

5.  Gallagher, Robert S., “I Was Arrested, Of Course,” an interview, American Heritage, February, 1974, pp. 17-24, 92-94 .

Whatever you wish.


Fry

I just want you to be Alice Paul, like we've always talked, that's all. But this time I want to get it down for the record.


Paul

No but I mean you'll want to guide the questions.


Fry

Yes.


Paul

So you guide the questions that would be useful to you. I will try to just answer those. If you want me to elaborate, you can say so. I didn't dare elaborate with [the man from American Heritage ]. I was so—my first interview—I was so humble [laughter], so I think he would have had a better interview if I had elaborated, but I didn't.


Fry

It's different, too, when you are being interviewed for publication, compared to this kind of interview, which isn't necessarily going to be published. If it's published, it'll be just as one part of someone else's research, so that ours can be a lot looser.


Paul

I'd like to know, before we begin, just what did Sylvia Pankhurst say on this episode on the [roof]top. Because


2
I just have to write to the man [Robert Gallagher] and tell him what it was because I said I can't remember a thing about it.


Fry

Well, according to the outline that's in my head, we'll probably get to that in about twenty minutes.


Paul

Well, couldn't you just tell me about that now? Where was the place?


Fry

I think what I'll do is read it to you.


Paul

He read it in Mrs. [Inez Haynes] Irwin's book

6.  Irwin, Inez Haynes, Up Hill With Banners Flying, pp. 11-12 .

and said it was in Glasgow. I said, "I know I never was on a roof in Glasgow but for one meeting when I was probably arrested and didn't have time to get up on the roof." [Laughter.]


Fry

Sylvia Pankhurst

7.  Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910 ., pp. 416-17 .

puts you on a roof, too, Alice.


Paul

I know, but I want to know where the roof was. Sylvia spoke also at the meeting. She was the principal speaker at this meeting in Glasgow. There were all of us at this meeting and so she knows whether I was on a roof in Glasgow.


Fry

[thumbing through the Pankhurst book] All right, here we are. It says:

"On August 20th, when Lord Crewe spoke at the great Saint Andrew's Hall, Glasgow, Miss Alice Paul succeeded in climbing to the roof, and, in the hope of being able to speak to the Cabinet Minister from this point, she lay there concealed for many hours in spite of a downpour of rain. When she was discovered and forced to descend she was heartily cheered for her pluck by a crowd of workmen, one of whom came forward and apologised for having told a policeman of her presence..."

Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, pp. 416-17


Paul

[Laughter.]


Fry

" ...saying that he had thought that she was in
3
need of help."

Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, , pp. 416-17


Paul

Well, then, that was really bad. I don't remember one thing about it.


Fry

Well, then "later"—I guess it means later in the day—

"when the women attempted to force their way into the building, the people needed no urging to lend their aid, and the police who were guarding the entrance were obliged to use their truncheons to beat them back. When the officers of the law attempted to make arrests, women were rescued from their clutches again and again. Eventually Adela Pankhurst, Lucy Burns, Alice Paul and Margaret Smith were taken into custody..."

Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, pp. 416-17


Paul

Who was the first one?


Fry

[mispronouncing] Adela Pankhurst


Paul

Adela, we call her. She was Mrs. Pankhurst's youngest daughter.


Fry

And Lucy Burns, and you, and Margaret Smith.


Paul

And Margaret Smith was the niece of the Lord Mayor of Glasgow. I remember that.


Fry

Oh she was?


Paul

Yes. Which gave us a little standing. [Laughter.]

Then I guess it's true about the roof, but isn't it strange that I can't remember one single thing about that!


Fry

You don't remember the rain on the roof? Well,

"...even when the gates of the police station were closed upon them, the authorities feared that they would not be able to hold their prisoners for the crowd shouted vociferously for their release and twisted the strong iron gates. It was only when the women themselves appealed to them that they consented to refrain from further violence."

Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, pp. 416-17


Paul

Well does she say what happened?



4
Fry

I will read you one more paragraph.

"When Lord Crewe had safely left the town, friends of the women were allowed to bail them out on the understanding that they would appear at the police court at nine o'clock the following morning. Nevertheless though they arrived before the appointed time, there was no one to show them the Court room, and whilst they wandered about in the passages, trying to find their way, the case was disposed of behind locked doors and with the public excluded. The bail was escheated and a warrant was issued for their arrest before five minutes past nine. At this Mr. Thomas Kerr—

Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, pp. 416-17


Paul

Oh it was another arrest all over again?


Fry

You were bailed out and now you are coming back for your court appearance.


Paul

But then when we came back they dismissed the case. And what was it, we were arrested again?


Fry

Yes, a warrant was issued for your arrest, but at this point Mr. Thomas Kerr, one of the bailies,

"rose to protest and asked two minutes' leave to find the defaulting prisoners, saying he was sure they were already in the building, but he was abruptly told that the court was closed. So he went outside and immediately met the ladies and brought them in before Bailie Hunter, who presided, had left the bench, but though the Bailie saw them, he hurried away whilst the Fiscal tried to put all the blame upon him." (The Fiscal is the officer who prosecutes.) "The bail was never refunded, and the women never answered to the warrants, so the matter was dropped."

Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, pp. 416-17


Paul

I knew it was dropped, but I didn't remember all these things. Isn't memory a strange thing. You know that it's so many years since I would ever even turn my thoughts to England and so on. But you wouldn't think you would ever forget [laughing] spending a night on the roof!


Fry

Well, this was 1909, on August 20th—



5
Paul

That's right.


Fry

—so that's a long time ago.


Paul

That's the last summer I was in England, you see.


Fry

And you had gone through so many episodes. I can see why you wouldn't remember just one.


Paul

Well, anyway, now I can tell him what really happened.


Fry

Okay. You think you must have spent a night on the roof then if—


Paul

But I denied it! I didn't want to deny something I had really done, but I didn't think [laughing] I ever had been on a roof. Now let's begin with you.


Fry

I thought that we might spend the first few minutes talking about your own biography.


Paul

All right. You ask the questions and I'll answer. I want you to get everything you need before you leave [on Sunday]. Now you tell me what you want to know.


Fry

I will. What I need to know is some of your genealogy, particularly going back to the Penns. If you have this written down somewhere, I could just use that.


Father and Mother

Paul

Yes, I will go and get my chart, so let's skip that for the minute.


Fry

Okay, fine. Where were you born?


Paul

I was born in Moorestown, New Jersey. That's a little Quaker village in Burlington County, and it's about nine miles out of Philadelphia.


Fry

And let's see, your birthday is in January?


Paul

January 11, 1885.


Fry

I saw the pictures in the guest room of your mother's family. They were Quakers. Was your family Quaker on both your mother's and your father's side?



6
Paul

From the beginning of the Quaker movement, yes. In England. They all came [to this country]. My first Paul ancestor was imprisoned in England as a Quaker and came to this country for that reason, I mean not to escape prison but because he was such a strong opponent of the government in every possible way. You know I told you, this little village was named after him, the town of Paulsboro in New Jersey which is now quite a big place. His original home is there, and I think I have a photograph of it which I could show you.


Fry

Okay.


Paul

And on my mother's side they were all Quakers. I have practically no ancestor who wasn't a Quaker. I don't know whether I had any who wasn't a Quaker. My father and mother were, and their fathers and mothers were.


Fry

Why don't you give me a picture of your immediate family, then? What did your father do?


Paul

He was a banker. And he was president [one of the founders.- Donald Paul] of the Burlington County Trust Company, which was the principal bank in Burlington County. And he was a director of other companies and so on.


Fry

[calling out] Come in.


Paul

Who's that?


Fry

Your carpenter.

We had gotten to your father being president of Burlington County Trust Company and on other boards. Could you give me some idea of your mother's education?


Paul

Well, I told you, she was one of the first girls who ever went to Swarthmore (I think I told you that) because her father collected the money with this little committee and founded Swarthmore. And he sent his daughter there and other women members of the family. My mother's first cousins went there and they were there with her. Anyway, she had an education the same as I did in a little Friends school, Quaker school, in a town called Cinnaminson, New Jersey, where she lived and was brought up.


Fry

Called what?


Paul

[spelling] Cinnaminson, I guess they still call it that.


7
And I have something here which I will just give to you to read. It is the anniversary quite recently of the founding of Cinnaminson. And in it they give a photograph of my grandfather's home. He was the judge of that community and had probably one of the biggest homes, with enormous grounds around it and so on, which was recently bought by Campbell's Soup. It is so pitiful, you know, that you can't keep these old homes. My grandfather's son, oldest son, inherited this property and died shortly after. His widow, not knowing anything I guess about business at all, was induced to sell it for a large sum to the Campbell Soup. So then they demolished this whole beautiful old building. That was my mother's education. She went to a Friends school and then went to Swarthmore and then married her year she would have graduated, but she didn't finish.


Fry

But she almost finished?


Paul

Well, I don't know if she almost did or not. I don't know how long before she graduated she married, but I know she married the year she could have graduated. I believe it was the year.


Fry

Where did your father go to school?


Paul

He went to—I guess probably but I don't know—probably to the same Friends school because my father's father died before he was born, and so I never saw him and my father never saw him. And so he was brought up in the home of a, I presume a relative, another Quaker family. (We always called them "uncle" and so on because my father was brought up [by them], and I suppose they were, but I don't know how close a relative.) It was in the same section where my mother was born, very close to it, so he probably went to the same school, but I never asked him where he went. He died in my life before I was interested in where people went to school. I was just a freshman at Swarthmore. I was sixteen when he died. So I didn't know very much about—I never cared to ask him where he went to school. I just never thought of it.


Fry

Did he die very suddenly? Unexpectedly?


Paul

No, he went to Florida with my mother, to get away from the cold I suppose, and I don't know, stayed maybe two weeks. He was extremely busy, terribly busy, so he came back pretty soon and seems to have caught a terrible cold


8
at once when he came back and died very quickly from pneumonia.


Fry

Oh, for goodness sakes.


Paul

So.


Fry

That must have been a blow to you, just at that age.


Paul

Well, I was too young for it to be much of a blow to me. Life went on just the same. Of course it was a great blow, I presume, to my mother, who was left with four young children and all of this responsibility.


Fry

Who took over all of his banking interests and financial things? Your mother?


Paul

Well, he was the president. I suppose the vice-president became the president. I don't remember.


Fry

I meant, did your mother then supervise the investments and so forth?


Paul

No she didn't, and she wouldn't have known enough. [She had had no experience. - Donald Paul] But her brother was one of the board of directors of the same bank. I remember vividly, oh, I remember so vividly, every week when there was a meeting of the board of directors of the bank, my uncle came up and had dinner with us in the middle of the day (or lunch, or whatever it was). He would come out after their bank meeting, and then went back to the bank meeting. So he more or less took charge of all the investing in things. And then the man who was elected to succeed—I presume the vice-president—took over; I don't know [for sure] about that. But soon they had an election of the board of trustees, and they elected a president who was a cousin of ours and who lived very, very close to us and he—

My father also had a very big farm, not as big as [in] the West, though, but about three hundred acres, and my mother hadn't the faintest idea I'm sure how to run the farm. My father did it with no difficulty at all. He had a superintendent and he gave him orders in the morning and off he went. Certainly my mother had no idea how to run a farm or anything else [She was a very wise woman who turned to experts for advice on many matters and prospered. - Donald Paul] This cousin, who was made president of the bank, whom we saw every day, I should say, he came in every day and rode


9
around the farm and saw that everything was all right and gave directions. So everything went on all right. We didn't have any great [hardships].

None of this is of any importance, but I only tell you because you asked me.


Fry

I am interested in it.


Sister

Fry

Alice, I am still confused, though, on your brothers and sisters. I know you had one sister who, much later, would come and live with you here in the cottage in Ridgefield, Connecticut.


Paul

I had one sister [Helen] who graduated at Wellesley, and while at Wellesley she became what they call a "student volunteer," if you know what that is.


Fry

No.


Paul

It's an organization that had students volunteer to go to the foreign mission fields. [to carpenter] Charlie, may I speak to you a minute?


Charlie

I will be right there.


Paul

And she was very prominent in that movement at Wellesley, and when she graduated and wanted to go with the missionaries to China, they said she was too young; they had an age limit. She wasn't old enough. So she went to the University of Pennsylvania, after she graduated from Wellesley, for graduate studies in Chinese, thinking she would prepare herself to know the language and so on. And while there she became suddenly interested in Christian Science, and deeply interested. So interested that —

Charlie, I wanted to ask, how you are getting on [with the storm windows]?


Charlie

Oh, I'm doing good. I'm working out on the back door.


Paul

Can you put them up again, or do you want Mrs._________ to put them in?



10
Charlie

Oh no, I put them in. I take them out and paint them and then I put them right back.


Paul

You can do it?


Charlie

Oh sure.


Paul

Good. Good for you.

[to Fry] So she then founded a Christian Science Church in our little village of Moorestown, and they built a little Christian Science church building, and she was sort of the soul [an active member. - Donald Paul] of this little church, though she was very young.

That made her stop wanting to go to China because the Christian Scientists don't send missionaries. So she changed her whole life from that moment on and devoted practically her whole life to Christian Science. And then she studied in what they call "the classes," which they give to all the people who want to be students and then, through her teacher (who was named Mr. Johns and lived in New York; she came up and studied in New York) he told her of this little cottage which he owned out here, this very little cottage. (This is of no importance to your study but I will just tell you.) He owned other territory [property - Donald Paul] out here, and in this little cottage was one of his assistants. He had, I guess, rented it to him and he was living here. This porch wasn't on and this [sun] room wasn't on. It was just a very little house. So she had become so deeply interested in Christian Science that he told her the great need of having camps for Christian Science children, so she opened a little Christian Science camp right here in this little cottage. And that was her purpose in taking the cottage.


Fry

And that's when the lake and everything around here was bought, is that right?


Paul

Yes, we bought the whole territory. She bought it; I didn't buy it. I was over in Europe at this time and I remember writing to her and saying, "Now please don't undertake anything that is going to involve you in too much expense," and so on, and she wrote back and said she would certainly be careful not to. But this little camp turned out to be a great expense. People wouldn't pay enough and didn't want to pay enough.

So finally she felt it was costing her more than she


11
could justify in doing, so she gave up the little camp. In the meantime I returned from Geneva, where I had been, and I came up to see her here in her little camp. I had bought almost a similar little one up in Vermont when I had gone up—I had finally decided that I couldn't live any longer in New Jersey with the enormous taxes on your real estate, which were simply wiping everybody out, and so—


Fry

Was that at your old family home in New Jersey?


Paul

No. We had divided up our family homes. One brother took one and one brother took the other. And then my sister took our home in the town; they had three houses there. I took one that was the least desirable because I thought I would be the least able to look after these places. I didn't want to live in this little place and I didn't want to pay the taxes which were so enormous. So I thought, "I'll find a little home for myself, and I'd like to go far away from everybody and go up into the most remote place I can get, where we'll have some American people left, and so on." And so I went up to Vermont.


Fry

And this was for summertime living?


Paul

There's a painting of it.


Fry

Oh, the watercolor?


Paul

Yes. One of my cousins who came up to visit me painted that while she was there.


Fry

That's a lovely house.


Paul

It's called Echo Lake and the reason that I got to know about it was through the [Porter Hineman] Dales—who gave me the dishes you had for breakfast this morning —so well because we [National Woman's Party] had bought our headquarters in Washington from Senator Dale when we moved over from the old brick Capitol. So I got to know Senator Dale and his wife pretty well in that transaction.

So Mrs. Dale invited me to come up and visit her in Vermont, and I drove up to Vermont with a friend of mine from Holland, who had come over and married an American man who was a cousin of mine. So we drove up together to visit Mrs. Dale. And while I was there she showed me this enchanting little, (I thought) this very old,


12
old house just across the lake from her. And so I bought the little house, for a very small sum. I lived there I guess, off and on, maybe ten years or so. And my sister came up and stayed with me a good deal. But I was trying then to work with the United Nations, and it took so long to come down from this little far away lake in Vermont to New York to go up to the United Nations that finally I sold it. And then I came down to live with her all the time [here in Connecticut].


Fry

When you were at the United Nations, did you try to commute on weekends to Vermont?


Paul

Not on weekends. When I was here (up until this time, because this is the only time I haven't had Elsie Hill here with me) we always drove in together. First when it [U.N.] was out on Long Island, Hunter's College, whatever the place was called—Lake Success wasn't it called? That's very close to here. So I had my car and she had her car, so in one car or the other we drove down together every day to Lake Success the whole time that anything connected with the woman question was up. And then when they [U.N.] moved into New York, we drove into New York every morning.


Fry

Did your sister marry?


Paul

No, she never married.


Brothers

Fry

And what about your two brothers: where did they go to school and what were they interested in?


Paul

Well this brother whose photograph I showed you over there (in fact this little painting here in the living room is when he was a child; it's right over the desk) his name was Parry Haines Paul. Parry after my mother's family and Haines after one of our families. He went to the same little Quaker school and graduated, and then he went to the University of Wisconsin and graduated in engineering, and he then joined the Friends Service Committee to teach the use of tractors and so on to the Russians.

I remember he told me many times how he would get up before dawn and go out, because they had such


13
short season in which he could teach them. All day long he would go over the fields with them showing them how to use tractors and so on. That he did for about a year.

Then he came home and married this Jean Dagget, who is my sister-in-law now.

8. She was from a suburb of Chicago—and was supervisor of music in the Moorestown schools and high school at this time. - Donald Paul.

She was a very devout Christian Scientist, and she wouldn't marry anybody who wasn't a Christian Scientist. So between the influence of my sister, (who was such a Christian Scientist, who had put him in touch with Jean Daggett; she was a very great friend of this Jean Daggett's, and so they got married) my young brother then became not only a Christian Scientist, but a very convinced one, I guess. He became the treasurer of the church out in Haverford, and the rest of his life he lived as an engineer and a consultant engineer to—I think it is called the Mac Company

9. The White Motors Company, Autocar Division. (They had one son, Donald Daggett Paul, and when Donald was very small they moved from Moorestown, N.J. to Haverford, Pennsylvania when Parry joined the Autocar Division of White Motors.) So he was there until he died a few years ago. - Donald Paul.

which manufactures trucks. So he was there until he died a few years ago.

Now my older brother went to the same Friends high school, and then he went up to Rutgers College because he wanted to become a farmer. Did you ever hear of Rutgers?


Fry

Oh yes, I have heard of Rutgers, but I didn't know that it was an agricultural school.


Paul

Well it is mainly that. At least it was mainly that. I always thought it was mainly that. (My mother's father) I think my grandfather was chairman of the board of trustees, or at least he was on the board of trustees of Rutgers, so my brother went there. I presume he graduated. I don't remember whether he did or not, but I imagine. And then he went on to Cornell and studied in the Cornell School of Agriculture.

He inherited this family farm of my father's you see. So he was trying to equip himself to take care of


14
it all right. Then he turned and he was made the vicepresident of the bank [He served on the board of directors of the bank. - Donald Paul] which my father—no, I'm not sure. Don't say vice-president because maybe he wasn't, maybe he wasn't—I think he was. Anyway, he was put on the board of directors, and he was on the board of directors until his death, which was quite a short time ago. He continued quite prominent—I won't say quite prominent but fairly prominent—in the Quaker meeting in Moorestown.


Fry

So he didn't turn Christian Scientist like the others did. Where do you fit in this line-up of children?


Paul

I was the first. Then came my brother William, the one that became the agricultural one. Then came my sister.


Fry

What's her name?


Paul

Helen. And then came my younger brother. My first brother was named William Mickle Paul. Mickle is one of our family names. Parry was my mother's name. [spelling] Mickle I guess. I could look it up in the family Bible and make sure, but I think that's what it is.


Fry

Is Perry's name spelled Perry?


Paul

[spelling] P a rry. That was my mother's name. And her mother was Alice Stokes, the one I was named after.


Fry

And you went to this private Friends school in Cinnaminson?


Paul

No, no, no. In Moorestown. That's the one we all went to. My mother went to—


Fry

Your mother went to Cinnaminson?


Paul

I think she must have. I don't know that she did, but I know that she went to a Friends school, and that's the only one that I can conceive of that was near her home. Her mother and her father were almost, I would say, the heads of the Friends Meeting there, so I'm sure she would have gone to a Quaker school. She never told me anything about it. She told me a good deal about going to Swarthmore, but she never told me about the school. But I'm sure she had to go to that school.



15

Childhood

Fry

What sort of Quaker life did you practice in your home? Some of the Friends I know don't have a lot of formalized practice in their homes and others do, and I wonder what kind yours was.


Paul

Well, of course, I never met anybody who wasn't a Quaker, and I never heard of anybody who wasn't a Quaker except that the maids we had were always Irish Catholics, always; we never had anybody but Irish Catholics. But I never met anybody who wasn't a Quaker, and I don't know, I suppose it was like all Quaker homes.


Fry

Did you have a lot of prohibitions?


Paul

Prohibitions of what?


Fry

Prohibitions of anything, that sprung from Quaker beliefs.


Paul

What kind of things?


Fry

Let's see. Some Quakers would prohibit music.


Paul

Oh yes, we never had any music at all. I never heard anything musical in the beginning of my childhood. Later on when I went to Swarthmore was the first time I ever heard, I guess, a hymn or anything like that, any music. But gradually after my father's death my mother—of course that was so early in my life—I remember my mother buying a piano and engaging a teacher for my sister. I was off [at school] and I didn't have any time to be taught, I guess, or to practice or to do anything, but my sister was. So finally we had music introduced.


Fry

I see. Did Quakers have any dancing in social events?


Paul

Quakers change quite a good deal. At Swarthmore for instance we did have musical instruments and we had, although it was purely Quaker when I went there, we had hymns every Sunday night. We had hymns in some kind of a general assembly of all the students. But I never heard a hymn until I went to Swarthmore; [laughter] I never knew there was such a thing as a hymn.


Fry

You'd never sung any songs?



16
Paul

I guess not. I don't believe so. Maybe we had, maybe we tried to; [laughing] I don't remember. You didn't regard it as oppressive, you know, you didn't know there was such a thing. You just knew all these gay maids we had were going off to dances and had a different life than we did. We just felt that was a sort of common people who did these things.


Fry

The lower classes.


Paul

Yes, the lower classes did these things [laughing].


Fry

What did you do for recreation, then, when you were at home?


Paul

Well, we played tennis. I showed you this photograph of our house, this little painting of our house. Well, the whole grounds in front, where you look, that was a great porch around the whole building and in front was a lawn, a very great lawn, so we had a tennis court there, and that is the only game I think that we played at home. And we played all the little things that people play, checkers and such things; I don't remember what we did.

And I read just endlessly, ceaselessly, almost every book it seems! We had a Friends library there in the meeting house, and I took out every book in the library. Also a great part of these books here [indicating several bookcases] were those that I had in my home, that I grew up with, any number of them. There is a whole set of Dickens right in there I have to put away. I remember reading every single line of Dickens as a child over and over and over and over again. So we just read whatever books there were, and there was pretty nearly everything I can remember. It's a wonder.



17

College and Social Work

To Swarthmore in 1901

Fry

You must have been a pretty well-educated little girl by the time you entered Swarthmore.


Paul

Well I knew that when I went there you had to decide what to be your major, you know. You had to decide. You did there anyway. And I thought well, most of the girls were taking English and Latin and things like that.

So I thought, "I already know these things pretty well." I said, "I don't think there would be much use in my doing this because whether I studied or not I will always read,"" So I said, "The one thing I don't know anything about and I never would read and I can't understand it or comprehend it or have any interest in it are all the things in the field of science."

So I decided to make biology, which I knew nothing about, my major. I thought, "This is the only way I will ever learn about biology." And then I had chemistry and physics and higher mathematics and all these things that normally [laughing] I would never have known anything about. I don't think I did too well in them because it was not very native to my disposition, but anyway these classes were almost all the young men students because they were all studying to be engineers and took it very seriously.


Fry

And doctors—


Paul

No, not doctors. I can't remember if we had anything like premedical there. But in this biology course we even had dissection of human beings you see. [This is doubtful. It may have been animals. - Donald Paul]


18
And it was maybe pre-med from that point of view. That was my major, the subject I am still most ignorant of in the whole world! [laughter] I can see when I talk to my doctor and she tells me these things about [my] heart, I think, "What on earth are these things, why don't I remember some of these things?"


Fry

Did you intend to do anything with your biology training?


Paul

Well, I never thought then about doing anything.


Fry

You didn't foresee a career for yourself then?


Paul

If I did I don't remember. But I did think by the time I got to graduate that I'd like to become a teacher. When I was in the senior year—not by any effort on my part—but I was awarded by the college, a fellowship, or scholarship, if that's what you would call it, by the College Settlement Association of America. It was a time when the college settlements and all the settlements started by Miss Jane Addams were becoming rather common through the country, and so they had formed an association and they gave these scholarships or fellowships (I don't remember what they called them) every year to certain colleges. One was Smith, one was Swarthmore, one was Vassar. I don't know whether there were any others, but I remember these colleges. One was Wellesley. And it was awarded by the college to the person that was most probably interested in that field of thought.

I had a Professor Robert Brooks, who came I think the last year I was there. He became a quite famous professor at Swarthmore and he started courses in political science and economics, which I had never studied, and immediately I seemed to have a great joy in them. He evidently thought I was very good, so he had this fellowship given to me. (I don't think it was called a fellowship but this grant; scholarship may be the word.) That was to [allow me to] go into some settlement for one year and help. This was to pay all my expenses you see, or part of my expenses.


To New York School of Philanthropy

Paul

I went up to College Settlement in New York. I could go to any one I wanted to.



19
Fry

Where was that?


Paul

95 Rivington Street.


Fry

In the city?


Paul

Yes. It is in the Jewish section, next door to the synagogue. We were in the Jewish and the Italian section. So I spent that year there, and the same time I went to the School of Philanthropy. I graduated in 1905 from Swarthmore, then I graduated from the School of Philanthropy in New York in 1906; that's now called the School of Social Work under Columbia University. It's been incorporated into Columbia. And so I am an alumna member of Columbia; I get their bulletins—I think I got one today—asking for money and so on, or giving reports about what they are doing in the School of Social Work, while I never went to it: I went to it under its previous name.


Fry

What sort of training did they give then?


Paul

I guess they give the same as they do now. They just had lectures, authorities in one field after another field, in what you call social work, and then they took you of course to visit all kinds of institutions. I remember the head of Bedford Reformatory for Women coming in and lecturing us, and Miss Lillian [pause] what is her name, let's see—the nurse's settlement, Lillian Wald, but I don't think that she—

Dr. Edward Devine was the president of it when I was there. It was an extremely good school and had a very good reputation, and most of the people who went there wanted to become professional social workers because that's what they were being trained for, you see.


Fry

And is that what you had decided on for a career at this time?


Paul

No, I had never decided to be a [social worker]. By the time I had been there a while, I knew I didn't want to be a social worker, whatever else I was. Are you taking this down now?


Fry

Yes, I am.


Paul

I will have to be more careful what I say!


Fry

Well, Alice, we will type it up for you and send it back


20
to you, the whole thing, so you can look at it.


Paul

I can put in what I really felt. I can cut it out then.

I knew in a very short time I was never going to be a social worker, because I could see that social workers were not doing much good in the world. That's what I thought anyway. I still think so. So to spend all your life doing something that—you knew you couldn't change the situation by social work.


Fry

Yes. There wasn't any real reform taking place to prevent these unfortunate situations from occurring.


Paul

No, I didn't think so. I thought the work we'd be asked to do—


Charity Organization Society, Summer of 1906

Paul

Now the next summer, after I graduated, I was asked by, I suppose, somebody in the School of Social Work—I'm not quite sure who asked me—to join the force of the Charity Organization Society. Did you ever hear of that? The Charity Organization Society, COS, they called it. And at that time I think in every city in the United States there was a COS. One of the lectures we had had—probably somebody in the lecture course that asked me to come. Somebody did.

So I spent all that summer working in New York for the Charity Organization Society. We were paid the tiniest little sum of money, perhaps enough just to pay your lodging, hardly anything at all. I worked in the office in my own section when I was living in the College Settlement. I kept on living at the College Settlement all summer although my scholarship was up, and I had this little salary from the Charity Organization Society. It was just a marvelous experience. I was assistant to an exceedingly experienced social worker, and I was just sent to this family and that family and the other family to see what their troubles were.

You see, then they couldn't get welfare [payments]; they couldn't get anything . The only thing anybody could get would maybe to get a church to help her or


21
help him, or go to the Charity Organization Society, which was organizing all the existing welfare groups. They were all independent you see. Church groups and civic groups and any group that was organized to help people in distress were all federated in this Charity Organization Society. So you would be sent to somebody who was needing medical attention and then you would try to call up the hospitals and so on that she might be eligible for and get her in and get it for her. Just all day long. So you got to know the city of New York in places which were sort of the underground places—not underground , but the under layer of people who were up against it. So all that summer I stayed there.


To the University of Pennsylvania, Fall of 1906

Paul

Then I decided that I didn't know very much. I was thoroughly convinced of that [laughter]. I had learned enough to know that I didn't know anything about this field, the political and economic field which, if I had known it existed in the beginning, I think I would have majored in always because that just was what I really was interested in. So I went to the University of Pennsylvania and enrolled as a graduate student.


Fry

That must have been the fall of 1906. Is that right?


Paul

Yes, because I graduated the School of Social Work in 1906 in the spring. And I'd had a certificate from it and all the things you get, you know. So I could have become a social worker, but I am certainly glad I never did that.

Then at the school of economics I took as my major, sociology and as my minor, political science and economics. And I kept on with those minors and majors until I finally took my doctorate degree, but I didn't start to take any degree excepting a master's degree, which I got the following spring, which was 1907.


Fry

Did you have to write a thesis?


Paul

Yes.


Fry

What did you write it on?


Paul

It was called "Toward Equality" and it was on the subject


22
of equality for women in Pennsylvania.


Fry

Was that the first time you had picked up this subject?


Paul

[pause] I was wondering. I'm not quite sure whether I took my master's degree. I could look it up in one of the old Who's Who . It has to be an old one because I suddenly began to get questionnaires from Who's Who and I filled them out for quite a number of years and then I decided that I didn't think much of this idea of Who's Who so I stopped sending any replies.


Fry

That's why I can't find you in any recent Who's Who.


Paul

Well, I didn't send anymore. I just didn't see why it was anybody's business, all these questions they ask you; there wasn't any conceivable reason for it. So I just didn't fill them out anymore. But I do have some old ones probably, and then I would remember what year I took my master's degree.


Fry

Well, I can check that out. Let me just make a note here to myself to see an old Who's Who .

10. The 1922-23 Edition of Who's Who shows that the M.A. was awarded from the University of Pennsylvania, 1907.


Paul

You asked me if I had written a thesis. I don't think I wrote a thesis that first year, is what made me suddenly pause. But of course I wouldn't remember very well about my thesis. Anyway, whether I took a degree or not, I took the courses anyway and passed all the examinations and everything, and felt just great joy in it. Especially this Professor Patton I felt was a great, great, great teacher. Simon Patton made a profound impression upon me.


Fry

Was he in economics?


Paul

Economics, yes.

Anyway at the end of the year I was given a scholarship—I suppose you call them, I really don't know what they call these things, or a fellowship—to someplace called Woodbrook in England. Now this College


23
Settlement one that [had] come to me, I hadn't known about it even and I hadn't asked for it; I was just awarded it. And it was more or less the same I think to Woodbrook. Because I don't know that I ever knew there was a place called Woodbrook in England. Woodbrook was a central training school for young Quakers in the field of public service and theology, and young Quakers, a very few of them, were selected in different countries to go there, and they gave you this quite liberal fellowship there. They paid all your expenses while you were living over there in the school. It was a one-year fellowship or scholarship, whatever the thing was called. So I received this just toward the end of my first year at the University of Pennsylvania.

I was very happy to go. [I left] the day, I think, of commencement or right immediately afterwards. Now at that time there were almost no women students at the University of Pennsylvania except in graduate school, and there were very few graduate students.


Fry

So you were kind of a rarity there?


Paul

Well, I was in the graduate school, and you weren't conscious of it there because the few girls that were there were in those classes and we got to know each other very well. It was a splendid, splendid group of young women whom I have kept in touch with nearly all my life.


More About Friends and Activities at Swarthmore

Fry

That is one of the things that I wanted to ask you: Who were the friendships that you formed at Swarthmore and at the University of Pennsylvania who meant the most to you, that you kept up with later in your life? I know Mabel Vernon was at Swarthmore. Were there any others who later on were active in the women's equality work with you?


Paul

Amelia Walker was. Her name was Amelia Himes when I knew her, a Swarthmore girl. She married a Robert Walker. She was a Quaker of course. She was a senior when I was a freshman and the loveliest person. I remember being in a Shakespearean play—by that time we were having these things at Swarthmore—and she was Ophelia, and I still can remember her being so beautiful


24
and such a lovely voice and singing so wonderfully. So when we went to Washington, she was one of the people who had married over in Baltimore, and she joined in our committee and later became our national chairman, I believe, of the Women's Party.

I think those were the two who I continued to know the most just because they went into our own campaign.


Fry

Anyone at the University of Pennsylvania?


Paul

At the University of Pennsylvania? I just kept up with them [Mabel Vernon and Amelia Himes] more or less because that time I was so absorbed I couldn't take the time to really keep in touch with any more people, which I would have liked to have done. I was always so awfully busy after I got in the suffrage movement. I remember one person I knew the best was named Clara Louise Thompson, from St. Louis, and I roomed with her for a time in the graduate school. You see we had no graduate building or anything like that and we had to live in little pensiones around the University. She became a great Latin authority in the field of Latin and Sanskrit and went down to teach in a college in Georgia. I think she has been teaching there ever since and I have occasionally crossed her path. For a few months she came to Washington and helped us in our campaign and stayed there helping the first year I was in Washington.


Fry

I have two other little things to pick up at Swarthmore: One is Mabel told me that she met you when you and she were on a debating team, so I figured from that you must have done some debating at Swarthmore.


Paul

I'm sure if I did I was the worst possible debater. I guess they were teaching us how to debate probably. But I remember Mabel being probably the most eloquent and best public speaker in Swarthmore. She was a year older than I was but for some reason or other (I don't know why; she was later in getting to Swarthmore) she graduated the year after I did. I remember we were in a Latin class together—it is the only class I can remember being in, studying the poems of Horace—I can remember that very well. I was named what they called the Ivy Poet at Swarthmore. Every year they had what they called the Ivy Stone; another stone was put by a class into the building. And they had an outdoor ceremony at commencement with all the alumni present and all the college present and they had somebody—a boy always—who made the speech and presented the stone,


25
and then they always had an Ivy Poet. So suddenly I was told that I was the Ivy Poet, to my great horror and amazement. I remember being oh, so troubled by that, terrible. [Laughter.]


Fry

What did you have to do?


Paul

I had to write the poem.


Fry

Oh, write it; not just select one and say it.


Paul

No, you had to write it. You had to compose, and a boy had to compose a proper speech connected with the placing of the stone, and the Ivy Poet had to sort of set the atmosphere.

It was a great tragedy when this happened to me. I had once written a little sort of jingle which was published in the college paper and I guess that gave me the reputation of being a poet, probably [inaudible]. I remember I struggled away and I struggled away and I wrote a little poem and took it to our English professor and asked him if it would pass as a poem. He thought it was a very good little poem.

So then I thought, "Well, I've done all I can on composing, and now the awful problem, with my complete lack of oratorical knowledge or any oratorical power, how will I deliver it outdoors to all these people?" So then I went to Mabel Vernon. [Laughter.] maybe she told you this.


Fry

No, she didn't.


Paul

And I said, "Now will you train me so I can deliver my poem?" So she undertook very religiously to have me practice and practice and practice my poem. So when the day came—I think she had gotten me up to a point where probably people could hear me—and this great audience [was there, and] I gave my little Ivy Poem. I wish I could remember a word or two of it. I'd have to think about it to see if I could. [pause] Oh well, it doesn't matter. Since it was my first poem, I think about it once in a while.


Fry

Had you written much poetry or been encouraged in that in your Quaker household?


Paul

No, I never thought of writing anything. Anything of any type. Hardly such an idea!



26
Fry

After you had this initiation into the world of being a poet, did you ever write any more?


Paul

No, never wrote one more. I'll see if I can think of it. But anyway, I remember my aunt, my father's sister, who was, well, her whole mind more or less was devoted to the world of books and such. I remember telling my mother that she thought it was a very good poem, so I got some little support for it. [laughter] I'll see if I can think of it. I hope I can.


Fry

I hope you can. You think of it and write it down.

The other thing was, Mabel said you were in sports at Swarthmore.


Paul

Oh yes, I was.


Fry

Did you follow up on your tennis?


Paul

Everything that happened I took part in, or tried to at Swarthmore. And I naturally was, I don't think I was very good but I think that I had the championship in tennis. (I am not quite sure. I believe I did among the women tennis players.) And then I played basketball; everybody had to play basketball, so I played. I played with great happiness. I was very happy in playing it. And I played hockey. All the things that the girls played there.


Fry

Was there a lot of difference then between what girls played and what boys played? For instance, was baseball on the campus?


Paul

I don't know; the boys may have played baseball, but I don't remember ever hearing of it. I remember that they played football and lacrosse. And the girls had an instructor, a person we all liked very much, in athletics, and so it was just every afternoon, it was part of the regular routine you see.

You had breakfast at a certain hour and all the students were together you know. At the long table at the head of the room sat the dean of the college, the woman dean. She presided just as though it were her own private dining room. It was great decorum and at each table was a certain number of girls, a certain number of boys and one professor. Maybe there were not enough professors to go around. but generally there was


27
a professor. You all came in together, you all sat down together; they all had grace together, then the boys arose and went out and brought in the food and placed it on the table.

The professor at the head of that little table, she just saw that everything was done with the greatest attention to proper form. Some of the people came from homes, you know, which they hadn't perhaps known very much about how to serve food and so on, so she was there to see that her table was perfect. Then the boys came in and sat down, and we all had breakfast or lunch or dinner. Three times a day we had this. Probably Mabel has told you all this so—


Fry

No, she hasn't told me any of it.


Paul

So then the boys cleared the table, took everything off, and came down and sat down, and then the dean arose and with great ceremony walked away from the table and out, and all the students arose and with great ceremony walked out behind her. It was a very dignified and a very lovely regime that she—it was her own, of course, ideas and thought; she was from, oh, just a very distinguished family, a Quaker family, and was a very distinguished person herself. She had an enormous influence, I think, on the whole sort of good breeding, of this college.


Fry

What was her name?


Paul

Elizabeth Powell Barnes [Bond?].


Fry

Did she teach classes?


Paul

No, she did nothing but be dean.


Fry

Did you personally get to know her?


Paul

Oh, of course. You know there were only four hundred students altogether. I can't say exactly four hundred, but it was about four hundred. They weren't allowed to have any more. There must have been about two hundred girls. Well naturally, she knew every girl. She made it her business to know every girl personally, and I guess she made it her business to know every boy personally.

Then they had a director of athletics who was another big figure in the college, a man who was very


28
much admired I think by all the young boys there. He had entire charge of all the athletic life of the college. He had entire charge of all the social life of the college.

The president lived in the president's house with his wife and he presided at important gatherings. I think he presided every morning in the college collection.


Fry

That was a chapel service, wasn't it?


Paul

Yes, but it was also what they called "collection." Every student had to go there. You had to attend this collection unless you were ill or something like that. And you were seated alphabetically, I guess by class, but anyway alphabetically. Every person had his own seat, always, from the first year to the last that I was there at Swarthmore. So the president I think presided there.

Every Sunday we went to the Quaker meeting which was on the grounds. I think the president and the dean and everybody else, I guess all the professors, always went there and stood up in the benches facing you know to the students.


Fry

What other social life did you have besides that?


Paul

Well, every night after the dinner (or supper is what we called it; I don't know what we called it but everything was very simple) everybody was invited always (but not a formal invitation, just in the beginning you were invited ) to go into the social hour. You went or not, as you wanted; most of the students went. This was held in quite a large room on the main floor presided over by the dean. And there was a piano, and some people would go to the piano and sit down and play, and some people would sing, and some people would sit down and talk to each other. It was just a [inaudible] of students, I guess, everybody always went. It was a way to get to know each other.


Fry

Did you have the temptations that your mother had before you, of getting married at the end of your college year?


Paul

No, no such temptations at all, no such at all. And I don't think many of the students did there then. Of course she [Mother] married somebody from the outside;


29
my father wasn't at Swarthmore, you see.


Fry

You mean students in your generation were getting married later in life?


Paul

Well, they might have, but I never heard of any student being engaged at Swarthmore.


Fry

That surprises me.


Paul

You see they were quite young. I went there when I was sixteen and I was out at twenty. Some of them were maybe out at twenty-one or twenty-two, but certainly nobody older than that.

Let's see, Amelia Walker for instance married Robert Walker who was in her class at Swarthmore. You know you didn't get to know the older people, the older class people very well. I knew Amelia mainly by sight, seeing her as Ophelia and things like that. She married some years later. I don't think anybody at Swarthmore ever dreamed that they would get married.

It was sort of a generation—I think maybe people are marrying in colleges now much more than they were then. I never heard of a person being married or being engaged at Swarthmore.


Fry

This kind of goes up and down in the generations, it seems. There for a while in the '50s, there were a lot of marriages at the ages of nineteen and twenty, and college marriages the then.


Paul

See, now, I don't know at Swarthmore, but up here in Ridgefield, I heard them over the television (I'm not sure if it's reporting Ridgefield, maybe it's reporting all of Connecticut or maybe it's reporting New York state) where they are considering at their boards of education what to do about the large portion of the senior class and junior class girls who are pregnant. You see, you never heard of these things at Swarthmore. And the boys had one dormitory and the girls another dormitory. The only time that you ever were totally together would be at the meals, and that's only at your own table. And the one little social hour which was probably an hour long.


Fry

Could you go out somewhere together after the social hour with a boy you liked?



30
Paul

Oh, no, no. You couldn't. You couldn't do anything. You went then to—then everybody dispersed to their dormitory. Girls went to the girls' dormitory, boys to the boys' dormitory. I never saw or heard of anybody— of course I suppose you could have surreptitiously, but nobody ever seemed to do anything that was against the rules.


Fry

It's that Quaker conscience, I guess.


Paul

Well, it was just the rule of the college. I never heard of— So I think people got to be good friends, just as Amelia Walker got to be a good friend of Robert Walker, sitting at the table with him for maybe four years, and then they probably continued to see each other afterwards, and I remember when she was married everybody was very much surprised. We hadn't any idea [laughter] that she was thinking of being married. I have continued to know her a little bit. I don't remember anybody else at Swarthmore with me that married a Swarthmore person; there must have been some others.


Fry

I wonder, in the Friends' education of devoting yourself to a cause, would this have made a number of girls feel that they really don't want to tie themselves up with a marriage because they have more important and higher things to do? Was this a part of the feeling at all, that you know of, at Swarthmore?


Paul

No, I don't think so.


Fry

It wasn't seen as one or the other? Was it mutually exclusive, marriage or work?


Paul

Oh, no, no. As far as I can recall, the general impression that I had among the men students was that they were all preparing to sort of succeed their fathers in taking care of their families, and having a family, and most of them that I can remember were specializing in engineering. It was not any cause ; it was just what they were preparing to do.

The girls were—I remember in my class, there was one young man who came from the same school that I did in Moorestown, the same Friends meeting, and his father was president of some very large dairy firm in Philadelphia. And as a young boy I remember, while there was no college in the summer, he would go in early morning, five o'clock or something, under the


31
direction of his father to help with this business. And he was growing up wanting to succeed his father, and he did. But he wasn't seeking any particular preparation in college, but most of them were.

All the girls planned to start in and support themselves—and you know it wasn't so general then for girls to support themselves. If their families were able to, they didn't give it a thought. They just supposed they'd go home, live at home and maybe they would marry; they didn't think much about anything but finishing college, I guess. But the girls who did think that they were going to begin to earn some money to help support their families, were all, every one (I never heard of one who wasn't; I heard of one only, in the years I was there) all were going to be teachers, they hoped. And in the last years they were all taking courses in the things they would teach, and writing to different schools, mainly Friends schools, asking if there would be any vacancy.

Mabel Vernon, for instance, was preparing to be a teacher, and she became a teacher of German, I think. Her father was an editor and I presume that she was really trying to help meet the expenses of her own college work and so on.

Then one girl I remember wanted to be a physician, and I think after maybe two years she left and went into a women's medical college to prepare herself. But I don't remember anybody else ever going into a profession of any kind.


Fry

Was there a lot of social work type of things gone into by the young women who did not have to support themselves?


Paul

No, nobody. Nobody went into it, did anything at college. You see I told you how this professor came, Professor Brooks, the last year I was there and started this interest in social work. We never heard of it; we never knew there was such a thing as social work.


The University of Birmingham and Woodbrook, England, 1907

Fry

Well, Alice, how did you get interested in the idea of political reform? Was it that year after college?



31a
Paul

In suffrage, you mean?


Fry

Yes. How did you come around to it? Was it through your work in England?


Paul

Well, you see the year that I went to—First of all, I never heard of the idea of anybody being opposed to the idea of [suffrage or equality]; I just knew women didn't vote. I know my father believed and my mother believed in and supported the suffrage movement, and I remember my mother taking me to suffrage meetings held in the home of a Quaker family that lived not far from us. It was just—I just never thought about there being any problem about it. It was one thing that had to be done , [laughing] I guess that's how I thought.

So then when I went to England, this Quaker school, this place at Woodbrook, I remember one day when I was one of the students there, I went into the University of Birmingham as soon as I went there because I wanted to go on with what I had started at the University of Pennsylvania, in the same field. So I enrolled in a few courses there, maybe three times a week or something like that. I rode in on a bicycle, I remember, through the deep fog; the main thing I can always remember is riding through this terrible fog in England on a bicycle into Birmingham and going up to the University of Birmingham. And there I went, I studied more or less the same fields I'd had been studying at the University of Pennsylvania and went on with it.


Fry

Did you do that while you were at Woodbrook?


Paul

Yes, I was living in Woodbrook and I was taking the courses they had, and then they were very glad to have students go into the University of Birmingham and take special courses on any field that they wanted to. So I studied economics there in that department, mainly economics.

Then I went in, I don't know how many times a week, to the settlement house because I had lived in a settlement in


32
New York City, you see, and knew about them. So I went into, it was called Summer Lane Settlement in Birmingham. The head of that was a well-known, very prominent Quaker woman, and they welcomed me, and immediately—every day I had lunch with them there, I remember, every day that I went in; I don't know how many days a week—So then because I just knew exactly how to do it, because of my experience in the summer in New York City, they would send me to this house and that house and the other house, where people were appealing there for help. I thought I got a very thorough idea of the poverty situation in a big city.

I know when the head of the settlement came out to give a lecture at Woodbrook. They were always having people come and lecture on all the things that they thought the students ought to know about. An absolutely wonderful, wonderful place this Woodbrook; I couldn't possibly say enough in admiration of it. Later on my sister went there, and one of my first cousins went there. And gradually from all over the world young Quakers came. When I was there there were for instance two from Holland, who still have been lifelong friends of mine. And there were [some] from Ireland, I remember. Of course from England. And from Norway. And from India. I've forgotten these places.

It was a small little settlement. You couldn't have very many people. They had one little house just for the women students. There weren't so very many, but the teachers were superb, I thought.

And this one night, or one afternoon I guess it was, there was a meeting at the University of Birmingham to which all students were invited to all these public meetings. Sir Oliver Lodge was then the head of it, if you have ever heard of him. He is a great scientist and a great name in English history. He was the president, I guess you'd call it, the head, of the University of Birmingham.

Under his auspices they would have these distinguished or undistinguished people coming on all sorts of subjects. So one day they were having one on votes for women. You didn't go unless you wanted to. I wanted very much to go to this one, so I went to his public meeting—after school hours you see. It was Christabel Pankhurst. I don't know that I'd ever heard of her name before. [She] was the principal speaker, and she had a little group of two or three women with her. She was Mrs. Pankhurst's daughter. (You know who Christabel Pankhurst was probably, because she ended her life in California.)


Fry

I didn't know—


Paul

All the last years of her life she spent down there. I am so sorry I didn't take advantage— So many regrets


33
when I begin to tell you all these things that I think I ought to have done, and should have done and wanted to do. I did get up maybe two meetings for her. She was absolutely wonderful whenever she got up to speak.


Fry

Where was she in California?


Paul

She was down near Santa Monica, somewhere down there. And she died about a year ago, I guess.

Anyway she was a very young girl and a young lawyer, one of the few women that had ever studied law I guess in England at that time. Quite entrancing and delightful person, really very beautiful I thought. So she started to speak. And the students started to yell and shout, and I don't believe anybody heard one single word that Christabel said. So she kept on anyway for her whole speech. She was completely shouted down.

So I just became from that moment very anxious to help in this movement. You know if you feel some group that's your group is the underdog you want to try to help; it's natural I guess for everybody. When I had gone to the suffrage meetings in this country there was no oppositions at the meetings, everybody was in accord, all the Quakers were in accord. This had been one of their principles since Quakerism was started, you know: equality of the sexes. This is the only group I ever heard of that had it in their first principles , first enunciated back in 1684. It wasn't a subject for discussion. You just knew that there were many things in which the world hadn't come along and this was one that had to come along sometime. But here, when I saw this outbreak of hostility, I thought, "That's one group now I want to throw in all the strength I can give to help."

I went back to Woodbrook, and then I learned that Sir Oliver Lodge, who hadn't been at this meeting, was very aroused when he heard of this rowdyism in his college. (You see they had a totally different attitude than they have in this college here of giving way to all the rowdyism, which I think is a great mistake.) Anyway over there Sir Oliver Lodge didn't have any patience with it. He wasn't going to say, "Well, we want to give the students all the right to express themselves." [Laughter.] Not at all. He said, "This is a great disgrace to the University of Birmingham. I call a meeting and all students—" I guess they were all required to attend this meeting, which would be conducted


34
under his supervision. And it was. He was there and he was a great figure in English life, supposedly a most distinguished man. Christabel Pankhurst and her friends were invited to present their case, with many apologies from him to them, as to the unforgivable spectacle that the college had witnessed. I can tell you that no student would have dared to open his mouth at this meeting.

Well, then I understood everything about what the English militants were trying to do. She and the other young women who spoke with her—they were all three young girls—they had anyway one heart and soul convert—I don't know how many others they had. That was myself. The meeting was over, very decorous indeed, and that was all there was to it.


Social Work in the Dalston District, 1908

Paul

So then when I finished at Woodbrook, my one year, which is what you all went for—[pause]

While I was at Woodbrook one of the leaders of the charity organizations in London came to speak and visit Woodbrook. Quakers came from everywhere, you see, if they were authorities in any field. It seems that this Quaker head of the settlement in Birmingham felt that I had been doing quite good work, I guess, because she was invited to make a speech too, and people began to ask questions. She said, "Well I am going to ask"—she referred to me; she wanted me to answer the questions. She said to the group, "I think Miss Paul" (I don't suppose they called you Miss in those days) "I think this young girl Alice Paul knows more about these points than I do." So I got to have quite a good feeling it seemed to me toward my own little efforts in social work. So this lady who came down from London began to talk to me, and she said, "I need an assistant in the charity organization work. I am in charge of a certain district, the Dalston, northeast district of London."


Fry

The what?


Paul

It's just a district of London up in the northeast, and a very poor section. So she said, "I want to invite you to come up and be my assistant. We will pay


35
a very tiny sum to you which would maybe cover your expenses. There is nobody there but one man who is assisting me, and you." So I said I would like very much to do it, so right then and there we made that arrangement.


Cycling in France

Paul

Then I went over first to visit France for a little while and I took my bicycle along with one of these Dutch girls whom I came to know exceedingly well. (We became friends for all our lives, and she married ultimately one of the boys from Woodbrook who happened to be a distant cousin of mine.) Anyway we went together all through the north of France, Normandy and—


Fry

This was that summer I guess.


Paul

Yes, summer.


Fry

What fun. And you just bicycled?


Paul

I did. She didn't. She went by train or something. We would always meet and then spend the night in some little pension and then we would go and see everything together. Then I would go on my bicycle to the next place and she would get there whatever way she wanted to use.


Fry

What did you do when you had flats on your bike and things like that?


Paul

Well, I can't remember that detail.


Fry

Wasn't it unusual for a girl to tour France on her bicycle in that period? This was 1908.


Paul

I don't know. If it was it didn't seem to me unusual. Seemed to me a very normal thing. You see, everybody in England always went everywhere on their bicycles, you know—any place you could go. I remember many bicycle trips that we took there from Woodbrook, with some of the boy students and girl students, maybe five or six, to this famous castle and this famous place in history and so on. All nearby England we went to this way. That's when I bought my bicycle over there, because I saw I couldn't go around and do much without a bicycle.


36
Then having gotten it, I just naturally took it over with me to France.

So then I think she had another term at Woodbrook because there were two terms and I think I came at the beginning of one and she came at the beginning of the next one. I think so. And I believe she went back to Woodbrook [to finish]. I went on to Paris.

And I remember arriving in Paris on my bicycle. The great city of Paris [laughing]. And I had the address of some students' house conducted by English and Americans for students with an enormous wall around the garden. I remember not knowing very much French—very very little. although I had studied it all through Swarthmore but still I didn't know very much about speaking it. Still I managed somehow finally, because very many people spoke English, to find out where the house was. And I landed there and saw this great wall, and went in. Everything was so lovely from then on. So I stayed in Paris quite a little while at this very lovely students' place. I suppose it was for American and English students. It was a student's hostel anyway, conducted by English and American people who wanted to have assurance their daughters were in a safe place in Paris. And certainly it couldn't have been a lovelier place.

Then I went back by myself to London and went up to this place up in Dalston, this very poor spot. This lady had arranged for me to live in the little house that she lived in which was the headquarters for the whole charity organization movement there. So it was very nice. She had a housekeeper and you got all your meals there. You were right in the office. Then my bicycle became precious to me because I had to ride all over. Everybody else was doing it; it was nothing unusual certainly in London to be riding on a bicyle. I rode all over my district.

This was [still] in the summer. I stayed there maybe a year; I'm not sure how long. While I was there, when I first began, Miss Lucy Gardner was the person I went to assist; she was a high-up person in the charity organization work. She needed an assistant very much because she didn't have anybody excepting this one man. She couldn't possibly cope with it.

She couldn't possibly have been a nicer person to work with and be under. So she wanted me to be trained


37
in the way that people did in England. She knew I knew how we did it in America, and that is one reason I guess why she wanted me. Because I chose by this time to be a trained social worker. I had graduated from the foremost school for social work in the country, which was this New York one. That's really the reason that I went to New York with my scholarship that year.

Well, so she asked the head of the neighboring district if she would let me go there and work maybe a month, without any pay at all, to be trained. And this was an equally splendid person, I thought, that I worked under. But in addition, she was a fervent member of the Woman's Social and Political Union.



38

Suffrage Work in Great Britain

The First Suffrage Procession

Paul

I won't say it was the Woman's Social and Political Union; that was Mrs. Pankhurst's. But she was a fervent member of some suffrage society. They were having a great procession through the streets of London, otherwise I might never have known about it. So I signed up to walk in this big procession, as it turned out. From all over England people came for this procession, and probably you will find a lot about it in Sylvia Pankhurst's book. Enormous procession. I guess I would never have gone if this hadn't happened, to suddenly meet this lady who knew all about it and made the arrangements so I could go.

Well, I was put in a section anyway, and marched in that section—and we marched down to Hyde Park where it was to end. And my particular section was the section that was led by Lady Pethick-Lawrence; she was then Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence.


Fry

Oh, that's where you met her?


Paul

Well, I didn't meet her. I was just one of many marchers, and she was the very great figure. And when we got there, here were these great—platforms (I don't know what they were [called]; I don't know how they put them up, the great platforms from which they were speaking. She was the principal speaker at this place. I was standing there right at her feet. Just by chance. I didn't know where I was going. I just walked where I was sent. And it was right down to this platform—we were all sent down to this platform, surrounding this particular platform. The other people were surrounding another platform, just by chance I had her platform. And I was thrilled beyond words by this marvelous speech.


39
She was a great, great speaker I thought. And so I became sort of again linked with what I had heard of in the University of Birmingham.

Do you want me to tell you all these things?


Fry

This is just what I want. Perfect.


Paul

You see, when I had this man [here from the magazine last week] he was so different. He just would say—and I didn't put any of this in because none of his questions could possibly have related to it. The only question was whether I spent the night on the roof; that's all he wanted to know about England!


Tape 2, Side A
Following or just preceding, anyway on this occasion, I became a member of the Women's Social and Political Union. You became a member by signing an application blank and giving 25 cents. I still remember my thrill at getting a letter from Mrs. Mabel Touk, the national treasurer I think she was, of the organization, a beautiful letter welcoming me into their ranks and thanking me for my 25 cents and so on. I was just so extremely happy to really be a part of it. Then I began to go to all their meetings. They had brief meetings every week in a big hall in London. The meetings were all oh , so enthusiastic.

So all this time then that I continued working for the charity organization (to finish that part) I took this period of training and then I went back to the original place I was to go, Mrs. Gardner's. I did I guess just about everything there was to be done there, everything that you could do. I learned again a great deal about a very poor working class section of London and what their lives were. I was again more and more and more convinced that I didn't want to be a social worker, but that I wanted to learn what life was like, as many aspects as I could. At the same time the Quakers had a headquarters in London for their own social work at a place called Clerkenwell.


Fry

How do you spell that?


Paul

I guess it was Clerkenwell . It was one of the very poorest sections of London. There was a little Quaker meeting there.


40

Anyway, after a time of working here at this Charity Organization Society, this chairman decided to resign. I don't know what she was going to do, I've forgotten. To travel or something.


Fry

Oh, that's Lucy Gardner.


Paul

Yes, the head of my place. And so she proposed to the board, her board of directors (whatever they had) that I be engaged in her place. She said that I knew now all about the work and all about the district and all about how to raise money for it, and there was nobody else she wanted to propose.

So then they considered and they said would I agree to stay on. I said no, I was going back to America probably next year. So then they said, "Well, we can't have a person take this excepting undertaking it for some period of time." I said well then I would stay and help the new person they got, help her get started all right because this other lady, whatever it was that she had to do, she had to go to pretty soon. So I did.

They finally found someone whom I liked very much, who came down from somewhere up in the Midlands. I thought she was a splendid person. So we worked together for maybe a month or two, until she got on to the ropes. She was the daughter of a clergyman and such a spiritual type of a person and so consecrated really in her work.

Then I thought that I didn't want to keep on, I couldn't keep on as head of it because of the fact that I wouldn't stay [more than] a little while. She took it over and I know everything was all right.

Then I thought I'd go up to the School of Economics in London and learn a little more; I still knew I didn't know very much. I went up and stayed at the Friends' Quaker hostel that they had in London. That's one wonderful thing that Quakers have done; they've had these places for students. Every place I went I found some hostel, not always for Quakers but some hostel for students. And this one in London was run by Miss Anna Littleboy, I remember.


Fry

Littleboy?


Paul

Littleboy. That was one of the most outstanding Quaker families in England. One word. Happened to be her name. Her brother had been the head of Woodbrook before I went


41
there. He was no longer head of Woodbrook, but he had it for a few years. People who were the heads of Woodbrook—it was an unpaid, honorary position. They would take leading Quakers, always a husband and wife, who would, say, take it for a year or two years, or three years. The year I was there, a Mr. and Mrs. Braithwaite [?] were what they called the wardens.

Anyway, this Mr. Littleboy's sister was in charge of this hostel which took in students. So I became one of her students, one of her group anyway, and went up to the School of Economics in London.


London School of Economics and the Pankhurst Movement

Paul

I went there for two years. That's part of the University of London, you know. I didn't try to take any degree. I wanted to go back and take it at the University of Pennsylvania; I thought it would be more useful in my own country. But I took all the courses as though I were studying for a degree.

I remember taking a course in the history of human marriage by a professor named Westermark, from Denmark, and he was at that time, I suppose, the greatest authority— certainly in England, maybe in the world—on the question of forms of human marriage. I remember while I was there he would depart for, say, half a year and go down to some new tribe that he had never visited in some very remote place (we'll say Africa, I don't know where these places were) and sink himself into the community and learn the marriage systems. Then he would come back and teach us, and then he would go back to another place. It was a perfectly wonderful course, I must say. You got familiar with every possible variety of human marriage [laughing] that there was. It makes you have a very good idea too, and you don't get too excited when people want to have some other form of marriage.


Fry

You at least know that—


Paul

You know that it exists there, and exists there and exists there; whatever they think of, it is always something that you had known about.

So I took courses like that that I couldn't get anywhere else, perhaps in the world.



42
Fry

What was the School of Economics like then? Was this a fairly "radical" school?


Paul

No, it has become very much so, but it wasn't then. It was neither radical nor non-radical. The head of it was a Mr. Pember Reeves [sp?] from New Zealand, and I would say it was a very scholarly school. Just like this Westermark. He wasn't advocating any extreme form of marriage you see, but he was making you really know all the forms that mankind had been able to think of. And doing it in a very scholarly way. And he's written a book, The History of Human Marriage which we all studied, and I think I still have it here.

Then there was Sydney Webb, did you ever hear of him?


Fry

What was he?


Paul

He was a great—and Mrs. Sydney Webb—they were great authorities in the field of economics, but really more in its practical application to the life of England For instance there was a great study being made while I was there, a study of unemployment. Mrs. Sydney Webb and I guess Sydney Webb too, were people who were very prominent in making that study. They were known to every person in England, the Sydney Webbs. Well, he was one of the professors there.

You had people, these outranking, just marvelous, marvelous professors. I never heard of anybody advocating anything either radical or not radical, it was so purely scholarly.


Fry

It was an inquiry without any advocacy—


Paul

Well, they were teaching people whatever subject you were taking, the basic agreed-upon facts in that field, I thought. I know now whenever I say to people I have been to the School of Economics they look with somewhat suspicion.


Fry

I have in my notes that you were there at the School of Economics for 1908 and '09.


Paul

I guess So. I graduated, let me see, the School of Social Work in New York in 1906. Then I finished my first degree at the University of Pennsylvania, whether I took my master's now, I can't remember, in 1907. Then I went in the spring of 1907, about June, to


43
Germany. Oh, I spent my first summer over there, by the way, in Germany.


Fry

Oh, in 1907.


Paul

Yes. When I went over I went first to Germany because I had this scholarship for Woodbrook but I didn't wait till Woodbrook opened in the autumn. I went the first boat I could get and landed at Antwerp. Then went down through Germany to Berlin, and spent the summer in Berlin. I studied German all summer.


Fry

In Berlin, that was primarily for language?


Paul

Primarily to see something of the world, I guess. Being there I wanted of course to try to learn as much as I could. So from the day I started almost I got somebody to teach me German by talking to me. I went to a hostel there, students' hostel. I learned about that on the boat over. Somebody told me how she had spent so many months or so at this students' hostel. So I went to it. It was again a place I never shall forget. It was so excellent, oh delightful in every way, delightful. And I learned really quite a little German. I remember every morning we had a sort of church service and we had the Lord's Prayer and everything was in German. I think I can still say the Lord's Prayer in German, because by saying them every day you learned a good deal.

I was given a roommate. She was a teacher of German, so I let her teach me German. Then after a little while I met, I guess an American who had been to Swarthmore with me, I'm not sure. I met somebody. Maybe it was somebody crossing in the boat with me. Somebody over there. She told me she was staying in a German family and she thought I would perhaps learn more there. So I went the rest of the summer and lived in this German family.


Fry

Did you like that?


Paul

Yes. Very much. Liked them all. Very, very much.


Fry

Alice, what sort of things did you visit and seek out when you were in France and in Germany. For instance, architectural examples, or did you go a lot to art museums?


Paul

No, I don't think I ever went to one. I went to the opera with this second place—



44
Fry

The German family?


Paul

Yes, the German family place because they had young men in their—little what you called there a pension, you know. The loveliest woman was the head of it. Her business in life was to conduct this little pension. I remember so well one long dining table and some of these young men and girls—women—girls, I guess they were, were going to operas. And so the first time in my life I had ever been to an opera I guess. I went to these operas and we always stood up in the gallery, because they didn't have any money and I didn't have any money. We always stood up in the back at these operas. These young men were all preparing for the army, all not knowing how many more years they had in life. They had to be in the army. Well, I spent that summer there. And then went over to Woodbrook in the autumn, and I've told you the Woodbrook experience.


Fry

So that would be 1907, autumn, and—


Paul

Then I went to Woodbrook. And I finished in the spring of 1908. And then I went first over to Paris to have some more knowledge of something in Europe, and in 1908 went up to this Miss Lucy Gardner's charity organization work. That's when I began really to take part in the Suffrage movement.

Maybe that winter I started at the School of Economics. I guess I did.


Fry

I have here 1908 and '09 you were in the School of Economics; that comes out right.


Paul

You see I went from this charity organization. Say that we stopped our work in May at the Woodbrook and I went over—maybe as little as two weeks, I don't know how long—in France; and then came up and spent I suppose all the first half of that year with this Miss Gardner. Then I must have left and gone up to London to this student hostel, to begin work at the School of Economics.


First Suffrage Tasks and the Clerkenwell Settlement

Paul

While I was at the School of Economics, I met one girl especially, her name was Rachel Barrett, I remember, who was a very ardent worker in the Women's


45
Social and Political Union, as they called it, of Mrs. Pankhurst's. I remember the first thing that I ever really did [for suffrage] while I was still at the School of Economics. This particular person, I think it was this Rachel Barrett, asked me if I would go out and help her in selling their paper, Votes for Women, in the street. So I did. I remember how very bold and good she was and how very timid and [laughing] unsuccessful I was, standing beside her trying to ask people to buy Votes for Women . So contrary to my nature really. I didn't seem to be very brave by nature. I remember very well doing this day after day after day, going down to the School of Economics, where she was a student and I was a student and other people were students, and we would just stand out in the street wherever we were supposed to stand, on some corner, with these Votes for Women . It is what they did all over London. A great many of the girls in all parts of London were doing it.


Fry

Did you get some hostile responses?


Paul

Well, I don't remember anything about that. [Laughter] I don't know whether I did or not. I didn't think I was much of a success, but anyway I tried.

Then they began to ask me to speak outdoors at the street corners. Naturally they asked anybody, as I have always tried to do in our movement—to ask anybody to do anything that I could get them to do. So all we had to do was to tell what the movement was doing that week, what they were trying to do. I did speak, I guess, in a great many parts of London at little outdoor meetings, and indoor meetings when there was an election going on and they would meet in a schoolhouse perhaps and try to get all the people in that neighborhood to come in. The way you started, of course—they always started [new workers] by [having you] just introduce someone, someone who was an experienced speaker and would give you a little confidence so that you'd know you didn't have to go on; you could stop in a minute and now introduce the speaker. So that's the way I started, by introducing people. Then after a little while they would promote you to speaking yourself and having somebody introduce you —another new beginner.

We would go to the railroad stations in London and what they call the "tubes" (the subway) and in little parks. I don't know what we had for things to stand on, but they always had something we could stand on to


46
be a little above the crowd.

So then in a little while I decided I wouldn't stay any longer in this Friends' pension, but I would like to try to see a little more of the life of London. So I went down to this Clerkenwell headquarters of the Quakers and rented a little tiny apartment, or room, I guess it was an apartment in Clerkenwell, in the very poorest section of London you can imagine. And I became one of their assistants in their Clerkenwell settlement. It was very easy, you know, having been in settlement; they would take you in and were glad to have you. They would give you classes of people you were to instruct.

Do you want to go and get some lunch?


Fry

I'm out of ink in my pem.


Paul

Don't you think you'd better get some orange juice or something?


Fry

Why don't we do that. We are just now getting into your suffrage work and this might be a good place to stop for a minute.


Paul

All right. I'll come out [to the kitchen]. We'll just get a glass of orange juice.


Fry

Well, let me bring it in here to you.


Paul

I really don't want to stop. If you're going to do it, I must make sure that you get everything that you want [before you have to leave].

[break; tape recorder off]

Now if I am going too much into detail, you will stop me, will yo


Fry

You're not. It's the detail that I need, because we have the outlines and the general stuff.

Okay. So you are at Clerkenwell.


Personal Risk: Arrest in the Pankhurst Movement

Paul

Clerkenwell. This is where the Quakers had this little


47
sort of settlement house, headquarters anyway. So then they asked me to come in and be one of their assistants there. So I did. I had this little apartment right by, so I fixed the little tiny apartment up and made it the first little home I ever fixed up. I fixed it up, I thought, and made it quite nice. I don't know whether it was one room, one floor, or what, but it was just the type that people were living in there. You had to go down to the pump in the—it was built around some kind of a little center place—and there was a pump you had to get all your water from, walk down and fill up your bucket of water or whatever you had.


Fry

Was there a long handle that you had to pump?


Paul

No, there wasn't any handle, but you had to go down , with a bucket, to fill it for whatever you wanted to take up to your room. It was the only water we had. I can't remember about the toilet, what we had. This was just—you felt that you were living the life and that you could see what the life of the ordinary person and all the handicaps and troubles and so on that they had.

I stayed there. I still kept on going up to the School of Economics and doing this work with the Quakers in this little settlement and going to all the meetings that I could of the WSPU. That was sort of my life. I

I guess all that winter that was what I did because it was in the spring [of 1909] when I was still at the School of Economics I remember that I got a letter from the Women's Social and Political Union asking me if I would go on a deputation to, I suppose, the prime minister [Asquith] (whoever was the head of the—a person that they were going on deputations to in Parliament). It was to be on a certain day, to be led by Mrs. Pankhurst and it would probably mean that you would be under some danger of being arrested and imprisoned, so you must not accept this invitation unless you were willing to do this. I remember hesitating the longest time and writing the letter and not being able to get enough courage to post it [laughter] and going up and walking around the post office, wondering whether I dare put this in.


Fry

Saying yes?


Paul

To say yes. (That's all you could say. If you didn't want to go, you didn't write; if you would go, why then


48
they wanted you to write.) I thought maybe I could go under an assumed name, as some of the people were doing, because while I didn't object to going at all, I thought all my family and everybody I knew would object, so to save them from terrible disgrace [laughing] and a blot on our family escutcheon and so on, I thought, "Well, I will go under an assumed name." And finally I decided I wouldn't do that. So at last I got up enough courage to post my letter, saying I would go.

And I did go to the meeting in Caxton Hall in London, which you will probably come across in Sylvia [Pankhurst]"s book because all the meetings were held in Caxton Hall, very close to Parliament. I must read her book again to see what she says of all these affairs.

11.  Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette, The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, New York, Sturgis and Walton Company, 1911.

I remember Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence and Christabel conducted the meeting. They told us just what to do, where to meet, what to wear, how to act, everything. And then, we'll say the next day, we met. Mrs. Pankhurst led the procession. I imagine there were about a hundred people, but I am not sure how many. We marched—not really marched but we just walked—through the streets of London from Caxton Hall, very close, up to Parliament. There we were stopped and we were all arrested, and taken to the—I think it was Canon Row Street Station—I'd have to look it up [Canon Row]. But anyway to a police station that the suffragists were always taken to when they went to Parliament. That's where I met Lucy Burns. I had never heard of her—you know who she was, don't you?


Fry

Yes. [Later a close associate of Paul's in the suffrage movement in the United States.]


Paul

She was a student in Baden University in Germany and I guess she had gone over on her vacation to England. I imagine it was. Anyway, she heard of this deputation and she was always much more valiant than I. About a thousand times more valiant than I, by nature, I think. So she wanted to go right away on this deputation. She had a little United States flag of some type on her suit, and so I went up to her to introduce myself—we were the only two Americans there. So we became very good friends and continued to be all our lives until she sort of melted away in the last part of our [Equal Rights


49
Amendment] campaign. But from that time on in England we saw a great, great deal of each other.

Well, bail was given to everybody on [the deputation] by Mr. Pethick Lawrence, who was a very wealthy man. So he put up the bail for everybody. Now I remember he was talking to me here in the police station, and he said now would we be sure to be there when the time was appointed for us to come to be sentenced. We were just released on bail.

I remember so well. (Funny how you remember some things and others you don't, though I have never thought of it from that day to this. I guess I've never thought of it since.) He sat down beside each person and said, "Now I am leaving this money, and you be there at such-and-such a date."

And I said, "You know I have a return ticket for America on the boat going such a date, which is before the time that I have to be there."

He said, "The only thing you can do I guess is to cancel your return ticket because by order of the court you have to appear at this time." So I did. I cancelled my return ticket to America. Then somehow or other this group never was called for sentence. Of course they [the court officials] were very arbitrary. They did what they wanted. Maybe it was such a large group that they didn't want to put all these people in prison. Whatever the reason was, they finally announced that the case was dismissed.

I was at the School of Economics when this letter arrived but it was just about the end of the term, and that's the reason that I had gotten my ticket to go home.

Since I had sent in my name for this deputation, they supposed, of course, that I might be willing to help in any of their militant efforts. Immediately, it never failed, [laughter] everything that they got up from that time after that was of a militant nature they always sent me a note, saying would I take part.



50

First Imprisonment

Paul

Almost immediately they were going to have a meeting in Bermondsey to protest against one of the members, Chancellor of the Exchequer] Lloyd George it was, Lloyd George's speech which he was making as a member of the cabinet; he was participating in the general opposition to the suffrage measure. They all were. The cabinet was united against us; as far as you could tell, they were united.

So I went down, being asked to go, to speak. Imagine I, knowing hardly anything about speaking at all! And a group of people were asked to speak. That's all we did: go outside the meeting and have a protest meeting. But I learned then that you didn't have to be an eloquent speaker as I thought you might have to be and I knew I would never be. So anyway I agreed to go, to make one more.

And the person who got up to speak first was instantly arrested. And then the next one that she would introduce was instantly arrested. So when it came my time to get up and make a speech, my heart was calm [laughing] because I knew I wouldn't have to make the terrible speech [laughter] which was the thing that worried me more than anything else. So I was immediately arrested. And that's the first time I was in prison.


Fry

What was the name of the town?


Paul

It was part of London—Bermondsey, one of the industrial, poor sections of London. I may have some of these things wrong, you see; I would have to refresh my memory, but I think it was in Bermondsey.

So then we all were taken to the police station and were not let out on bail at all and were convicted and sentenced to prison, we'll say, for two weeks or something, maybe a month. It wasn't any very long period. [pause]

So from that time on, I really did participate I guess, almost entirely—I guess about everything I did was from that time on in the suffrage movement.



51

To Scotland with Mrs. Pankhurst

Paul

I remember that Mrs. Pankhurst was going up to Scotland to get up what they hoped would be a very large procession through the streets of Edinburgh on October 9, 1909 to start the movement there. And she invited Lucy Burns and myself, two Americans, the only two Americans perhaps that ever had taken part in the movement, to drive up with her, which we were both of us very happy that she asked us to do it.


Fry

Was it because she wanted Americans or was it just because you and Lucy had been doing so well?


Paul

I don't know. I suppose she was going on this tour and wanted to take some people along; maybe we had just come to her attention in some way or other. I don't know why she asked us to go, but we both were overjoyed to be asked.

I remember she had a woman chauffeur, and this was something absolutely unheard of. Nobody had ever seen a woman chauffeur. It was unusual for a woman to drive a car but to have a woman chauffeur—! So she was quite a picture on her expedition. Only Mrs. Pankhurst, Lucy Burns and myself, and this woman chauffeur. Then we would stop at meetings along the way; great meetings had been arranged for Mrs. Pankhurst, and she would make one of her great speeches to enormous crowds; and then we would go on to the next stopping place where she would make another speech.

What they wanted to do was to organize this procession, and I think that Mrs. Pankhurst thought that maybe we could help her organize it. We both were going back to America and we had no particular ties in England, and so when we got up to Edinburgh—have you ever been to Edinburgh?


Fry

No.


Paul

One of the most beautiful streets that you can think of—Princes Street—goes from I think what they call the castle, an old, old, old castle, down to an equally historic place. It is between two very historic places. They opened headquarters there under Mrs. Pankhurst. And she had an assistant called Flora Drummond (they always called her General Drummond) who managed everything. So sad, you know, not to keep


52
up all your connections with these people that you think were so wonderful.

So she asked me, and I think maybe Lucy Burns but anyway she asked me, to go down to a meeting at Berwickon-Tweed (and by the way, that's another thing that Mr. Gallagher asked me all about, so [that story] must be in one of these books).


Interrupting Sir Edward Grey, Winston Churchill, and Lord Crewe

Paul

A meeting by [Minister of Foreign Affairs] Sir Edward Grey; he was a member of the cabinet. We were not supposed to go outside and make a meeting, but to go inside and ask a question of him as to why the government was obstructing the enfranchisement of women, or something like that.

I remember the person that I was [assigned to]. I was always sent along you know as a little girl assistant to somebody important. This person that was put in charge of this, I hope I can think of her name; her husband was one of the foremost journalists in Great Britain. (Previously at a meeting in London, where various women had gotten up and asked questions and had been thrown out of the meeting, there was a man named Henry Nevinson. Did you ever hear of him? He has written a book not exactly on this topic but on a related one; he was one of the foremost newspapermen in England. He got up in great indignation when all these women were being thrown out and made a public protest. Then there was another newspaperman who followed him and got up and did the same. Probably I will think of his name.

12. H. N. Brailsford

His wife up in Edinburgh helping Mrs. Pankhurst.) She was sent down with me to Berwick-on-Tweed. She was to make the speeches and I was to help her by introducing her and so on.

So for one week we stayed there, and every night we went out and spoke on the street corners of Berwick-on-Tweed, in the marketplace or someplace where people assembled. This was to acquaint the people of the town with why we were protesting against Sir Edward Grey.

When the meeting came I think she went back to London and I stayed on. Whether Lucy Burns was there


53
or not, I can't remember; it seems to me she was. But at all events I know that when the meeting was in full sway and Sir Edward Grey was talking about their great principles I just was told what I was to do so I did it, or tried to. I was supposed to get up and say, "Well, these are very wonderful ideals and so on but couldn't you extend them to women" or something like that. And when I did this (with great timidity, I am sure; anyway I got it out enough so that [laughing] I was heard), the police immediately took me by the arms and right out of the meeting. I remember I was most indignant.

They conducted me all up through the streets of Berwick-on-Tweed to the police station holding my hands behind me. I don't know whether with handcuffs or with what, so I was, I remember, so blazingly angry and—


Fry

They made you walk through the streets?


Paul

Yes, to take me to be arrested to the police station, or be booked, or whatever you did. So then I was arrested and I was charged with whatever I was supposed to be charged with and the meeting was over, and I guess Sir Edward Grey must have told them not to go forward with any prosecution of anybody or something like that. Because I was released.

So having done this little chore, Mrs. Drummond asked Lucy Burns and me to go together up to East Fife to arouse East Fife on this subject. Let's see, what was the name of that town—Dundee. We were sent to Dundee. We went out from Dundee into all the neighboring little towns. It was so interesting, the experiences; and we usually spoke on the street corners. They hardly ever had indoor meetings; it was in the summer.

Then there was to be a meeting by Winston Churchill, a great meeting, I think it was in a great hall in Dundee. And so we were asked to get up a meeting outside, a protest, which we undertook to do. And we did. We got up the meeting and we were both arrested and we were both imprisoned. I don't know for how long, but both of us were put in Dundee prison.

13. See Irwin, Inez Haynes, Up Hill with Banners Flying, Traversity Press, Penobscot, Maine, 1964, p. 10 , for fuller account. This is the 1964 edition of Irwin's Story of the Woman's Party .


54
Then when we came out, a very lovely woman by the name of Miss MacGregor who lived in one of these beautiful Scotch estates outside of Dundee, and who was a great supporter of this movement, invited us to come out and to be her guests and recuperate. So we went, both of use

I remember when we got there, we were far out in the country, and Lucy Burns and I thought we would go out for a walk, and Miss MacGregor was very much embarrassed. She said, "You know, no lady goes out without having a hat and a coat and gloves and so on. I wouldn't want anybody to go out from my house without being properly gowned." So we gradually learned all the right customs [laughing] and conformed to them, I guess all right. And this was at Invorkeelor.


Fry

How would you spell that?


Paul

I'll have to look these things up. I may find them in Sylvia's book. I think it was [spelling] Invorkeelor or something like that. That was the name of her town. And the name of her house was [spelling] Abbeythune. Maybe that was the little village she lived in. But anyway we spent maybe two or three weeks there as her guests.

Then we went back to Edinburgh, where the procession was being gotten up. And that's the time they sent us over to Glasgow, which you read to me.


Fry

And that's where you were arrested again? On the rooftop episode in the rain.


Paul

Yes, we were arrested there, but they didn't prosecute the case. I remember they didn't. The only time I went to prison in Scotland was in Dundee.


Fry

One question: When you were going into the Sir Edward Grey meeting, how did you get inside the hall for that?


Paul

Berwick-on-Tweed? Well, they were public meetings; people could always go in.

Then the procession came off. Both Lucy Burns and I spent our time helping in every way we could in getting it up. Doing all the things you had to do to get up a big procession. It was a great success. The procession was very beautiful.


56

Then when it was over we went back to London.


Fry

Any arrests on the procession?


Paul

No, no, no. There were no arrests at all. It was just a beautiful procession through the streets. There was no opposition: I suppose they had a permit. The only time we were ever arrested was when it was some protest against some members of the cabinet.


London, the Annual Meeting of the Lord Mayor, November 9, 1909: Alice as a Charwoman

Paul

Then when we went back to London in the autumn, (as I recall it, though I might find more in Sylvia's book) the first thing we were asked to do—Lucy Burns and I—was, as I can recall, to go to the meeting of the Lord Mayor of London [Nov. 9 1909] which was held every year for some celebrity and to ask (probably the prime minister, but whoever was speaking) again about why they were holding up the suffrage movement.

14.  Pankhurst, Sylvia, The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910 . p. 459-60 . See Appendix for text.

And I will have to read more about it because as far as I can remember, Lucy Burns was asked to dress up and go as a guest—they they got a ticket for her in some way—and to get up and interrupt the meeting. I don't remember whether she did or not, but she was always very courageous, so I suppose she did. I don't remember though.

I was asked to go in as a charwoman in the morning when all these charwomen were going in, and go up where the gallery was and call down to make sure that if Lucy down on the floor didn't get her words heard, at least they would hear this from above.

I was with another woman. Maybe her name was Brown, I mean Nurse Brown, I always called her. Maybe it was Amelia. But the two of us were sent together to do this upstairs business. She was a nurse and I was a student. So we went there and spent the whole day.


Fry

As charwomen?


Paul

No, we just concealed ourselves. We got in as charwomen, and then we had to conceal ourselves upstairs somewhere in the loft. The police searched the whole building. I remember they came in and searched just where we were crouching down, and they even touched my hair, but they didn't—I guess they thought it was something else, so they didn't discover us. So we stayed there all through this day.


Fry

Were you in a closet or something?


Paul

No, we were just—we'll say some loft, over the—


Fry

Up over a ceiling.


Paul

Over the building. And it was not adjoining the place where the Lord Mayor's meeting was, but it was right next to it. So we were supposed to break a window and call down [into the meeting] because the place that was right above—it was too thoroughly guarded, I guess, probably, they thought.

So we stayed there all day. And then I suppose Nurse Brown called down too—I don't remember a single thing except of myself. So I called down what I was supposed to call down and the police came rushing up and arrested us. She probably did the same. And whether Lucy Burns ever made her speech and so on on the floor I don't know. I suppose she did, but I don't remember because I don't think she was in prison with me.


Forced Feeding in Prison

Paul

Anyway, Nurse Brown and I were in prison, I think for about a month. And that is the time I think they started forcible feeding, I'm not quite sure. But anyway, we served out our sentence.


Fry

Pankhurst says in here that you had to undergo forced feeding.



57
Paul

It was started at a certain time, and I think it was then. I don't think it ever was in a previous one that I can recall.

So then when I came out I was invited by a very nice Jewish family who belonged to this movement to come to their house and recuperate. I was supposed to be very ill [laughter] apparently, because I was a very frail and fragile person anyway. I suppose I looked more ill than I was. So I went to this home. It was lovely, oh very cordial and warm and generous people. And I stayed there maybe two weeks. I remember Mrs. Pankhurst came to see me there and various people connected with the movement came to see me. And then I got finally my passage home and returned.

I don't know whether I told you all the episodes or whether there were some others that I have forgotten.


Fry

Well, the one that you just told me, according to Sylvia Pankhurst, took place in November of 1909.


Paul

And I came home in January, 1910.


Fry

What was your treatment like in the jails and prisons that you were in?


Paul

Oh, they just paid no attention to us. You were just locked up and you were in solitary confinement. You never saw anybody. You were not given anything to read. You were just left alone. Nobody paid any attention to you whatsoever.


Fry

Did you get plenty to eat?


Paul

Well, we were forcibly fed you see. We didn't eat anything.


Fry

What about in the other English jails you had been in? You had this other sentence that you had to serve, and you said you were sentenced for a short while after your protest against Lloyd George.


Paul

About two weeks, I think. Maybe a month, but not very long.


Fry

I just wondered if there was any—


Paul

I don't remember a thing. You know I still today don't know much about food, or think much about it or care


58
much about it. So I don't remember a thing about the food. I guess it was all right.


Fry

Apparently the hunger strike was one of the coordinated strategies of the Women's Social and Political Union.


Paul

Well, the hunger strike was the reason we were forcibly fed. Wouldn't have been otherwise. And I don't recall whether we went on a hunger strike before. I know we did the last time, but whether we ever did before or not, I don't know. Whenever they adopted finally as a policy, which they did, of asking all the prisoners—the Women's Social and Political Union would say, "Now if you want to go, we want you to hunger strike or not go." And so you went in with that understanding. When they adopted that policy—and I think the policy was probably after we were imprisoned in Dundee because I don't recall that we hunger struck in Dundee. We might have, but I could look it up and see. Whenever it was, we did.

15. Pankhurst relates the first hunger strike taking place in Holloway gaol, London, July 5, 1909. The Suffragette; The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement, 1905-1910, p. 391 .

So that's the end of England. I think I have told you most of the things that happened.


Fry

I think you have.

There's a note I picked up somewhere that in the summer before, (1908) you were a resident worker for Christian Social Union Settlement of Hoxton, London. Did we cover that?


Paul

Well, when I was staying with this Miss Lucy Gardner in the Charity Organization work I told you the first month [of the summer] I didn't stay with her because I went up to have this training, we'll say a month. I don't know whether I got there about July or June or when. Then after staying with her a little while and I learned all about the Dalston region because I went over always with my bicycle.

I must tell you one other thing. While I was going all over the place with my bicycle, going everywhere, full of confidence and everything, which I still retain—I don't seem to learn much through ages going by—I came out from visiting one family, and here my bicycle


59
was gone. I had to walk home, and I never had a bicycle from then on. I had no fear because I had read so many tales about Scotland Yard. So I thought, well, Scotland Yard will find it for me. But Scotland Yard never did. I don't think they took any interest in finding it.


Fry

Did you walk everywhere after that, or how did you get around?


Paul

I walked every place. Maybe they had some little buses, I don't remember. Of course it was only one little section you know, not an enormous section you covered.

When I was about to come home, Christabel Pankhurst asked me if I would stay on as an organizer and be paid a little salary, (they paid very tiny salaries, but they paid a little salary) and give all my time to being one of their organizers. And she made the same offer to Lucy Burns. Same time. And Lucy Burns decided she would and she did. And I decided I would still go home and try to finish up my academic work and take a degree. I thought it was perhaps the best thing to do. So I came home. By myself.



60

2. II The USA Suffrage Campaign

Return To The USA

From Suffragette to Suffragist

Paul

When I got home the suffragists in this country asked me of course—naturally they would—to go to their meetings. So I joined the one in [Philadelphia). I went right back to the University of Pennsylvania and took a room in Philadelphia so I could go to classes all the time; they still didn't have any place for the graduate students and there were no other women there. They put me on the board of their Philadelphia committee.


Fry

This happened right away?


Paul

Yes. After I came back, I remember when I made a speech, they asked me to come in and speak to them and tell them about the English campaign. I remember the head of it, Miss Jane Campbell, who was the president, said, "You know, when we asked you, we didn't know who you were or what sort of person you were or whether you were wild and fanatical or what you might be, but we thought we'd ask you just because you are a figure now in the minds of people. Now we see what sort of a person you are and we'd like you to go on our committee." So they were very welcoming from the very beginning. Even though I think they may have thought we had done rather [laughing] extraordinary things.

Then they formed a committee for the first time on having street meetings in Philadelphia and trying to make this movement better known. So I was made chairman of the street meeting committee.


Fry

That sounds logically like it might have been your idea—bringing over the street meeting technique from England.



61
Paul

No, they were beginning to start them in Boston and other places in this country, before we got back. Just the natural thing that comes in all political campaigns when you desperately want to get before the people; it is about all you can do.

So I took the chairmanship of this, and in Miss Katzenstein's book,

16.  Katzenstein, Carolyn, Lifting the Curtain, the State and National Women's Suffrage Campaign in Pennsylvania as I Saw Them . Dorrance & Co, 1955.

I think she tells about the first street meeting that she organized and took me to. I spoke. I'm sure it's in her book because it was the first time I met her when we started out on this meeting when I went in to see the people at the Philadelphia office. Then she got some kind of a conveyance for me and she went with me, and from that time on we worked together. Then that summer, all summer, we had these street meetings.

I was, let me see, I think I didn't start into the University of Pennsylvania until the fall, but all this time I sort of got into the woman's movement. And I was invited down to the national convention of the National American Women's Suffrage Association in Washington. I guess it must have been in the spring of 1912.


Fry

That was fall of 1910 when you started back at the University, according to my notes. Is that right?


Paul

I think so. I got back here in January I think. And I didn't enroll in the University right away but went to these different meetings, and, among others to one that was held in Washington (the first time I had ever gone to Washington in my life) at one of the hotels, their convention. Could it have been 1912?


Fry

Let's see. You got your Ph.D. in 1912.


Paul

No, this must have been earlier then. It was probably the spring of 1910, the year I came back. It would have been 1910 because Taft was the president of the United States and I presume he was president in 1910. We can look that up. Taft was a speaker at this convention, and Dr. Anna Howard Shaw, I think, was the presiding officer, and they invited me just because I had taken part in the English movement and I guess they invited


62
me to talk about that, I imagine. Whatever they invited me to do, I tried to do.

Then when it came time for Taft to speak (before or after—I don't know where I came in the program) Taft made clear that he didn't think much of this voting for women. All over the room people began to hiss, and he was unperturbed, but they did. [pause]

Nothing happened through the meeting excepting I got to know some of the different leaders of the movement and continued to know them always because of that first meeting. That was just one little—perhaps one week it took me down in Washington.


Fry

Any certain leaders that you want to mention?


Paul

I remember the women, but I won't say at this meeting because maybe I didn't meet them at this meeting. But I can tell you later who the women were I can remember.


A Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania

Paul

Then we went on—beginning I guess in the summer—to hold these street meetings and, let's see, this would have been 1910. I went back to the University evidently in the autumn of 1910 and stayed through 1911 and 1912. In 1912 I think I took my degree in June, my doctor's degree. Previously to that I had taken a master's degree. Whether it was the first year that I was back or whether it was the last year before I went, I am not quite sure. Anyway, I know what my thesis was for my doctor's degree. It was called "Toward Equality" and the same title I think I had for my master's. It was toward equality in the United States for women. And the previous one, I think my master's, was toward equality for women in Pennsylvania.

So on the basis of the Pennsylvania one, I just enlarged it to take in the country.


Fry

In this thesis—


Paul

One of the biggest things we did in our street meeting affair [?] —we had no opposition, but we didn't get much—I don't know, I wouldn't say very much assistance. There were just a few of us who did all the meetings.


63
We wound up by meeting in Independence Square, the biggest meeting. (I guess it was the end of the summer of the first year, 1910. It might have been a subsequent year.) And we had little stands for speakers all over Independence Square because of the great traditions of Independence Square, and I know Inez Mulholland came down and spoke to this meeting. We had the most illustrious people we could get. It was utterly, I thought, a thrilling meeting. The whole square was filled with people. We had a great deal of publicity. I could look up when that occurred. It is probably somewhere I could find. About September it was, of one year, I don't remember which year.


Fry

It will be probably in Katzenstein's book.


Paul

It might have been September of that year I came down to Washington. Perhaps it was because that year [1912] they had the National [American Woman] Suffragist Convention in Philadelphia and the person in charge of getting that up was Mrs. Lawrence Lewis.


Appointment as Congressional Chairman, National American Woman Suffragist Convention

Paul

She asked me to help her, which I did, perhaps because of this big meeting that we'd gotten up in Independence Square—but anyway she asked me to help her. So at that meeting I went—I suppose as a delegate; I don't know about that—but anyway I went to the meeting and as a sort of assistant to Mrs. Lewis, helping her any way I could. That's when I was appointed to be the Congressional Chairman for the coming year, November, 1912. The national Congressional Chairman had to go to Washington, you know. Lucy Burns and I were appointed and the resolution was offered by Miss Jane Addams at the national board meeting, that we be appointed and that we be given free reign and free hand in anything we wanted to do, excepting we were not to be allowed to send in a bill for anything that we spent and not to charge anything to the national treasury and not to spend even one dollar that we didn't ourselves raise or give. That's the only condition they made. That was the treasurer I suppose who made all those conditions.


Fry

Now on my notes I have that you visited Lucy Burns at


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her Long Island home in the summer after your Ph.D. was awarded, which would be somewhat earlier in 1912.


Paul

Well, I don't know whether it was that summer, I thought it was later, but maybe it was that summer—she came down and visited me at my little home in Moorestown. It must have been in the summer of 1912 I guess, because we were considering what to do about whether we would undertake this work in Washington. She came down and stayed with me a little while, and we discussed it and felt that we would offer to come down and do this in Washington; maybe they wouldn't accept it, but we would make an offer. Then I went up to visit her to talk about it further. I don't know which came first, whether she came to me first, or I went there first, but anyway we had conferences, at least those two.

Then at the time of the convention—I don't know whether she went to the convention or not—but I know I did. And we went— I went at least, maybe she went too—to Miss Jane Addams to say we would like to offer to help in any way we could in the federal amendment campaign in Washington. And she said Mrs. William Kent, who was then acting as congressional chairman, didn't want to continue or couldn't continue for some reason, and they wanted someone to be on the congressional committee, and that she would offer our names, propose a resolution, which she did, and it was adopted with that one restriction.


Fry

I want to be sure I have this right. Did you and Lucy prefer to work on the congressional committee?


Paul

[Inaudible] a committee. This was [inaudible] open door [?],there was only one committee for the open door [?] meeting, only one committee for the congressional work. We didn't, I suppose, even know anything about it when we offered to go down and try to see if we could push it. Then we learned that there was Mrs. William Kent, wife of the congressman from California, who had been and who didn't feel able to continue, and wanted someone to take her place. I guess we were told that by Miss Addams; I can't be sure.

Then anyway she said that she thought it would be a splendid thing for us to do, and she would be delighted to back it and would offer the resolution, which she did.


Fry

That's what I have in my notes—that Jane Addams brought it before the board and it was approved. The names I


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have, that the committee would consist of, are Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, Crystal Eastman (Max Eastman's sister); and then I have later Mrs. Lawrence Lewis.


Paul

Well, as far as I know only—that may be if there is some record that Crystal Eastman was on—I don't remember that. Crystal Eastman was a personal friend of Lucy Burns and I didn't know her. They had been at Vassar together, and it was my impression that after we got down there and began to see all the work that was needed and felt that we had to have more people, that she asked—we asked her together—Crystal Eastman to come down and join us, which she did. Or maybe she was already appointed, I didn't remember.


Fry

Well, my notes may be wrong because I think I got a lot of these notes from the History of the Woman's Party by Inez Irwin, so you see this might be wrong [in a secondary source].


Paul

Well, it might be true. Anyway she from the very beginning worked with us. I didn't think she did in the very beginning. I thought she came later.


Getting Set Up in Washington, D.C.

Paul

I went down alone on December 7, 1912, after I was appointed. I spent that Christmas in Washington getting ready for the opening of our little headquarters. Mrs. William Kent asked me to have Christmas dinner with them, I remember so well. She was the most stalwart and wonderful aide anybody could ever want, my predecessor. Extra, extra, extra, extra wonderful.

Lucy Burns came down, I imagine about the middle of January, but anyway she didn't come down for quite a little while. I went into a little friendly boarding house on I Street in Washington right next to the Quaker meeting house and everybody there, I guess, was a Quaker or in some way connected with them. And I remember I had one little third floor room. And no headquarters of course, no office, nothing. And I told you that's when we got the Susan B. Anthony desk—I think I told you about that.


Fry

Oh. you told me, yes—but now you have to tell it again [to record it on tape].


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How did you get the headquarters?


Paul

Well, they gave me a list of women's names in New York before I went—the New York people did in their headquarters before I went down. These were all Washington members and officers and supporters. And so I started out.

First thing I went to this little Friends boarding house which I think was the place that I went when I first went down to this convention that I had gone to when Taft was speaker. I learned about it anyway. It was in the Friend's Intelligence here (that's the Quaker paper), always advertised, so I knew about it and I went there. So then I started from there, with no headquarters, to go through the whole long list that they had given me of maybe forty or fifty names to ask each person if she would join in with this effort we were going to make to take up again Susan B. Anthony's work in a rigorous form to really get the Amendment through Congress. Because Mrs. Kent, and I don't know who was there before, but ever since the death of Miss Anthony the national board had put all its efforts in state referendum campaigns and had regarded the Washington work as something that had to be continued to the extent of having a speech made in Congress or something like that and having the Congressional Record containing the speech sent all over the country; but it was all secondary to the state campaign.

So when I went to these women I didn't go to Mrs. Kent right away, but I began on the list, maybe alphabetically as they gave it to me, I don't remember. But I found one person after another after another had died, and then I found one after another after another after another had moved away and nobody knew their present address. So it narrowed down to not having so many left to see.


Fry

My goodness, it must have been an old list.


Paul

It showed how feeble was the movement there, anyway.

And then I, among others, went to Miss Emma Gillette, who was the dean and one of the founders of the Washington College of Law which had been started as a college to enable women to study law, because at that time there was almost no place in the country you could be admitted as a student. Miss Gillette came from Pennsylvania and when she wanted to study law she came to Washington


67
thinking there was a law school here and it was the Negro school, Howard University. And that was the only place in the country she could find that would take her in, so she went to Howard University and graduated there.

Then when she graduated she joined forces with Ellen Spencer Mussey, who was the wife of a Washington lawyer and who had studied law herself in her husband's law office and passed the bar examination to become a lawyer. So there were two women lawyers in Washington, as far as' I know. One was Miss Gillette and one was Mrs. Mussey. And they had set up this little Washington College of Law, in order that the women would have a chance.

[Neighbor, Mrs. Scotty Reynolds, enters.]


Fry

Oh! Hi!


S.R.

Am I too early?


Paul

Oh, no.


S.R.

I'll put your groceries away, in here.


Paul

Lovely. [To Fry] Do you want to go and help her a minute? I'll remember where we left off.

[Recorder off]


Paul

—Forty or fifty people and almost everybody on the list had died or moved away.


Fry

And you were telling about Ellen Spencer Mussey—


Paul

Miss Gillette, who was the first person I met who was friendly and interested and still living. She was, my goodness, such a wonderful woman. So she had been with Mrs. Ellen Mussey. She had founded this Washington College of Law where I took my first law degree, founded in order that women might have a place to study law.


Fry

Did you say where you had taken your "first law degree"?


Paul

Yes, I took it there, after I got to know her long years after. I didn't dream of taking a law degree then, in 1912.

I met Miss Gillette and she had a little law office and real estate office in the basement of an office


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building between what is now the Willard Hotel and the Washington Hotel on F Street in Washington. Do you know Washington well enough to know where that is?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

So I went to see her in this little basement office, and she was enthusiastic about helping, so I told her we probably would get up a procession in Washington, that we would try to, the day before president-elect Wilson came, that this was our big plan, and that if we did, would she be our treasurer? And she said she would be very happy to do so.

She then said, "Now why don't you go next door and there's an office in the basement just like mine, one long room, very simple, unpretentious, and I know it's for rent; the people have moved out."

And I said, "Oh, no, we couldn't think of it, I know we could never afford a great big place like this."

She said, "Well just go in and try, and I think they will be glad to have you and will put [on] a price you can pay."

So I did go in and they said they would rent it to us for $60 a month. So I said, "Well then we will see if we can raise $60 a month, and if we can, we will take it."

So we got our office next door to her. And this Mrs. William Kent, whom at that time I hadn't met but I went to see later, she gave the first $5 and said, "I will give $5 every month." So then we thought, "Well, with $5 guaranteed, maybe we could raise the $55" because it had been so impressed upon us by the national headquarters that we couldn't let any unpaid bill ever go to them. So we didn't take [the office space] then, but we thought we probably would.

Then I went to see Mrs. Helen Gardner, who was on their list, and she was very cooperative. I think she was a writer of some type. I think she was very displeased that a young whippersnapper such as myself should be the chairman, because she talked about "Well they don't have much sense about who they put in charge" [laughter] and "all these undertakings which need great experience" and so on. I think she probably thought she should have been made the chairman, but nobody had


69
known I suppose that she would even think of it.

So we sat in this room and finally I said, "If we do start up this procession, since you are in the field of journalism, would you be willing to be our press chairman?"

And she said yes, she certainly would.



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The Committee's Inauguration Parade, March 3, 1913

figure
NAWSA Congressional Committee's Inauguration Parade, Washington, D.C., March 3, 1913

Paul

So we gradually got, this way, some people. Then I went to see the president of the little group in Washington, which was very tiny. Her name was Florence Etheridge. She was employed at the Indian Bureau in Washington, and I had met her at the national convention in Philadelphia because she had come down to represent her little D.C. group at that convention. She had known that up there we had talked about the possibility of having a procession the day before Wilson came in, and she wanted very much to do it.

But she said, "It is just impossible. We couldn't vote to do it at the convention because we had nobody to get it up and no money with which to get it up." So she said, "Well, I think it would be a good idea. I don't know whether it is possible."

So then she took me to see Mrs. William Kent, my predecessor. I had put her off because I wanted to get a little foothold before I went to her because she would be the most important. And there I found such a wonderful welcome and such a marvelous woman. Roger Kent's mother, you know. Beyond words, a wonderful person.

So she invited me immediately to come and have Christmas dinner with them and, knowing our possibility of getting a little headquarters, she said she would give $5 every month, and she was from that time on a steadfast supporter until she died. She was still a member of our board when she died, not so long ago.


Fry

That $5 a month started a tradition with her, didn't it, because I noticed—


Paul

She kept on and on, giving and giving.



71
Fry

Later she would have a "committee of a hundred" and a "committee of two hundred," always to pay your rent, as your houses got bigger and bigger and bigger.


Paul

Oh. it was wonderful what she did. Then we decided to have a meeting and launch it, the whole program. So we held a meeting on the second of January [1913], which is the first meeting we ever held in Washington. I suppose it was held in this new little headquarters, though I am not quite sure.

[Telephone rings.]

[Tape off]


Paul

All right. Now at this first meeting I presided and introduced the whole idea of a procession and so on, and I remember everybody there supported the idea and said they would turn in and help. And I remember among the people who were there was Miss Belva Lockwood, did you ever hear of her? I think she is the first woman in the country who ever ran seriously for the presidency. She was the woman who single-handed opened the Supreme Court to women. [Spelling] Belva Lockwood. She was one of the pioneers and she died of course a good many years ago. She was very nice. She came and she sort of gave us her blessing. And of course Mrs. William Kent came and Helen Gardner and all these few people we had gotten in touch with.

Among other people that I haven't told you about that I went to see, one after another, the one that I suppose was the most important that I went to see, but I didn't know them, was Elsie Hill. She was the daughter, as I told you, of Congressman Hill. She was on my list.


Fry

And he was Congressman Hill from what state?


Paul

From Connecticut and from the district we are sitting in now. Our district. He was nineteen years in Congress and on very important committees.

His daughter, who had graduated Vassar, had gone over and spent some time in France and knew evidently a little about French. So she wanted to stay on in Washington after she finished college to be with her family. She got a position to teach French in a high school in Washington, and when I got to her she was


72
teaching French, going off every morning and coming back about four or five in the afternoon. I guess. I remember so vividly going around—she had taken an apartment of her own and [pause] my goodness, I remember that interview so well. She was so lovely and so enthusiastic and said that she would bring her whole college suffrage league into our march. And very—I just—there was never a day from that time until she died that we didn't work together over something. Whatever we were working on, we worked together.

As I said, then she came in and stayed with me after my sister died up here. And all that china that you were asking about in the kitchen that's in the left hand side (we call it our [laughing] "common" cupboard),

17. Alice is referring to the cupboard of dishware for everyday use, as opposed to more elegant china.

she bought almost all that china. I paid for the things, but she went and bought them and stocked me with everything I needed to have.

And she got that little radio. A man stopped at the door, and I said, "I just think I can't afford another radio, I have this enormous one that's in here. Now it's not much good, sort of worn out."

She said, "I want one in my room that I can hear the news every morning when I waken up."

So I said, "All right, we'll buy that." And I remember so vividly—it was only I think $17, but we've had it every day, every day since she bought it. We've had it there in our little kitchen.

This was this first meeting. Then we had to get a permit and I told you this before [off tape]. We applied for a permit to have a procession, and the national headquarters had been kept informed up in New York about everything and they were very anxious for us to have it. They thought it was a very good thing to have this procession; it would have a good effect on the suffrage movement all over the country. But they were always harping on the fact that they couldn't afford to pay anything toward it. So then we were told by the chief of police, as I


73
told you, that they would give us a permit for 16th Street, which is perhaps a principal residence street and where all the embassies are, nearly, in Washington. And that that would be a suitable background for our procession. We had asked for Pennsylvania Avenue, having been told by almost everybody we asked that that was the critical avenue where you always had your processions, from the Capitol to the White House, and that no one would pay much attention if we went down 16th Street.

So we said, "We just must have Pennsylvania Avenue," and they said,

"Well that's fine, but we certainly won't let you have it. It's totally unsuitable for women to be marching down Pennsylvania Avenue."

And so then Elsie Hill asked her mother—since her father was in Congress and the Congress supports and gives the money for the District [of Columbia] police and everything else—she felt her mother maybe could do something. So her mother said she would go down and talk to this—what is the name of that man, was it Sylvester?


Fry

His name was not given in any of the references I read, but you mean whoever the contemporary police chief was at that time.


Paul

Whoever he was; I don't remember. But I remember so well Major Sylvester it is my impression that he was the one at that time. Anyway Mrs. Hill took Elsie Hill with her, and they came out of the interview with the permit for the Avenue.

So then we had something to work on, and we got up a committee which divided up into all the different groups. One was to get the nurses, one the doctors, one the lawyers, one the college graduates, and so on. I found here my photograph just from going through these things; I will show it to you. And I was in that procession.


Fry

Oh, you did? Good!


Paul

Just by chance I found it.

Is that somebody downstairs?



74
Fry

Yes, your tenants came in.


Paul

You will excuse me one minute. I'll ask her if she's the one that's so chilly.

[Interruption.]

[Tape off.]

Well, I was saying that we had these committees for every department, and we succeeded apparently, [to judge] from the results, in getting very good leaders for each one, because you see between the second of January and the third of March wasn't very long to get up a procession in a city where you weren't known and where you had no workers and where you had about every obstacle that you could have.


Fry

And you had just moved into your headquarters, I guess?


Paul

Well we hadn't, I guess, moved in. Well maybe we had just moved in. But anyway we had nothing , and we had to raise all the money and we had to get all the women to march and so we put somebody in charge of the costumes. This was Hazel McKaye; I don't know whether you ever heard of her.


Fry

Oh, yes, Benton McKaye's—


Paul

Benton McKaye is her brother but the other famous one was Percy McKaye, the poet. She was considered the foremost woman pageant producer, pageant worker in America. I remember that one day somebody who was working with us said "There is coming to Washington tomorrow the best woman in the field of pageantry in the country, and it would be a good thing to get her, if we can, to help."

So we went to her right away when she came. And then we became lifelong friends. Until her death she was always one of our supporters. And so she took over all the pageantry. She put on something on the treasury steps so that when the procession would go by, they would all see this beautiful pageant on the treasury steps being repeated and repeated. Elsie Hill was one of the dancers, I remember, in this pageant on the treasury steps. It seems to have been very beautiful.

And the whole procession was so colorful. We had one section followed by another section in another color


75
and another and another. I walked in the college section which Elsie Hill led. Each chairman got all her own people and she wanted me to walk in her section, so I did. So we each wore a cap and gown; ours was a dark, very dignified little section. The one who had the foreign section had very colorful costumes for women of different lands. They each one brought their own costume. So it was, I think, a very successful procession.


Fry

Who led the parade?


Paul

The national board of the National American [Woman's] Suffrage Association because it was under their auspices, you see. We were their committee. It started out that way.

Dr. [Anna Howard] Shaw I guess was the leading person on their board who walked at the head. I think that Mrs. Mary Ware Dennett and a few of the other people on the board—I don't remember who—were there. I remember the national treasurer was there, the one who [laughing] was always afraid of our sending the bills in. Her name was Mrs. Stanley McCormick. All these people walked at the head.

Well, we went out bright and early—I guess I told you this too before, how we made an arrangement with the people who were selling the tickets. I told you that, didn't I? Do you want me to tell you over again or no?


Fry

Yes, please tell me about that. We didn't have the recorder on before.


Paul

Some group had gotten a contract to put up the grandstands and sell all the tickets for [seats in] the grandstand. I don't know what their contract was like.


Fry

For Wilson's inaugural—


Paul

For the inaugural procession. And so then they came to us and asked, since they thought we were going to have a pretty interesting procession the preceding day, if they could make their ticket selling cover our day too, and they would give us a percentage of all the tickets they sold.

So we gave them a little tiny space in our little tiny office, and there they had somebody selling tickets all day long and all evening long until the day of the procession. And they took in a great deal of money, and


76
it was one of the big helps in enabling us to pay all the big bills we had from getting this up.

There had never been a procession of women for any corner of the world or in Washington, probably; at least nobody had ever seen it. [Faint noise and music in background begins.] Nobody ever dreamt that women—you were always seeing these Elks and people going around in processions—but they never thought of women doing such a thing. And so there really was a great interest in it. A great many tickets were being sold, to our astonishment. So we had a pretty good idea that there would be a great many people there, apart from the people who had written to us that they would come and be in the march. And we had floats, a great series of floats. Different towns and different sections of the suffrage movement over the country that we would write to would say that they would come and they would bring a float or pay for their own float. The floats were a very decorative part mixed in with this very great pageantry that Hazel McKay had produced.

So when the day came, almost time for the procession, we found that apparently the police were taking the matter very casually. They said, "Well maybe a handful of police could tend to it on the day before the inaugural." And that then they would concentrate all their force on taking care of the people at the inaugural.

We tried with not much success to get them to think we might have a big procession and that they had better be prepared. So then the night before, as I told you, Mrs. Stimson's sister, Mrs. John Rogers (Mrs. Rogers was the sister of Mrs. Stimson)—Mrs. Rogers said she would take me down—she was on our committee—and talk to her brother-in- law [Secretary of War Henry Lewis Stimson] and see if he couldn't be aroused into the fact that we really were in some doubt as to whether the police could handle the crowds. So we went to see him.

At the same time they were having a big mass meeting in I think Constitution Hall (you know, that's a D.A.R. [hall])—I'm not sure—but in one of the big theaters, big place in Washington. And Mrs. Catt, Carrie Chapman Catt [was there]. [Tape runs out.]


Tape 3, Side A
Well, I [inaudible] my first [inaudible] I remember going to see Mrs. Catt in New York when I came back,
77
and sometime in the period between when I came back [from England] and when I started this movement in Washington, I had one talk with Mrs. Catt. I remember she said to me, "I feel that I have enlisted for life. This is something that cannot be done, [we] cannot get this federal amendment, and I did this deliberately knowing that I was enlisting for life." And I am sure she did; she was a very devoted member of the whole movement.

So we asked her to come down and to speak at this mass meeting. It was the first time that we had any real contact with her. And she came and made a very powerful speech, people told me. I didn't go because I was out seeing Mr. Stimson at the moment.


Fry

[checks movement of tape.]


Paul

Do you want me to go on or is it stopping?


Fry

Yes, the recorder's doing fine.


Paul

So then Mr. Stimson said, "Why of course, if the police can't handle it, you can just count on me. I will send over our artillery" (from this place right outside of Washington where he was in charge of all the —) cavalry , I mean. He said, "I'll send over the cavalry. They will handle everything you need. Just call me up if you do have any difficulty." So that relieved our minds very much.

The next morning we went out early, very early, to try to begin to line the people up in all the different sections. We had a grand marshall who rode on horseback with several assistant marshalls on horseback, but they were more for publicity. The grand marshall was a Mrs. Burleson; you know at that time there was a Burleson in, I think, the cabinet of Mr. Wilson [Albert S. Burleson, Postmaster General]. Anyway she was a very prominent Texan family, Democratic family. I'm not absolutely sure what her relationship was to [Secretary] Burleson; her husband was an officer at Fort Meyer. So she came in and practiced and rehearsed and everything else and was an extremely decorative person on her horse.

But you couldn't do much because when we started out to form our people up, we had no place to form because the whole street was just—from one side to the other — was just filled with people. They were tourists, I


78
would say, who had all come to see the inaugural and gotten there the day before. They were there, mothers and fathers and children, just a great mass of people who had no interest except in trying to see a woman's march. They couldn't any longer buy tickets [for the grandstands] because they were almost all exhausted I guess.

So when we started out we had this mass of people and we didn't know how to get through; we tried to get through and we just saw it couldn't be done. We could never have this procession of maybe one thousand women or five thousand or ten thousand (whatever we had); we'd never get them through.

So we went to the phone to call Mr. [Secretary of War] Stimson, and he said—I don't know who went, probably I went but I don't remember—he said all right, he would do just as he had agreed the night before, and he'd have the cavalry there as fast as they could get there.

So they came all on their horses, prancing around, and of course they could easily open the way, which they did, so we could go a block maybe; and then the way was all closed again and they'd have to open the next block. So that, as I told you the other night, the march which was supposed to end at Constitution Hall at a certain hour, it was hours later before we even came in sight of Constitution Hall.

We had the meeting there all right but on the way, for instance, there was this pageant of Hazel McKay's, which we had spent a great deal of effort on and it was apparently going to be extremely beautiful. So these poor people [waiting to see] the pageant—they had a separate grandstand built [for that], the sellers of this whole thing. Normally processions would go around in front of the White House, but this time they went in back of it so as to be opposite the Treasury and enable all the people who paid extra to have extra good seats [laughing] to see the pageant [laughter], so all these people thought they were paying extra to be in this place of advantage to see the pageant on the Treasury steps.

We had gotten very good publicity all the time we were getting up this procession because this Mrs. Helen Gardner I had gone to see turned out to be a super-whiz at this. She would arrive in the early morning and stay all day long and never budge and certainly she was 100%


79
wonderful, I thought. Didn't see how anybody could have been better. Well then—


Fry

Both Washington papers were faced, I guess, with prospects of filling their space between the time of the election and the inauguration—


Paul

Maybe.


Fry

—So you had some good—


Paul

Luck [laughing].


Fry

Also you were given newspaper space.


Paul

You see, Mr. McLane [?], the owner of the Washington Post, gave us one million dollars and—

18. The gift from the editor of the Washington Post was $1,000. (Note by Ruth F. Claus)


Fry

Then?


Paul

I don't know whether he did it for that procession or just after the procession, but he gave it to us, so we had the good will of the Post . [pause.] That's the first big gift, I think, we got.

Well anyway we had the cavalry working as hard as they could and very faithfully. People have written it up and I would like to read again that [congressional] hearing [that took place later] because Mr. Gallagher tells me it is written up there that we were mobbed and people were very antagonistic and so on. But I didn't get that impression myself. My impression is of the police doing the best they could, having their leaders not providing enough policemen, and that they could not possibly, in any possible way, manage it.


Fry

Well, I have the reference on that Congressional hearing which followed.


Paul

Have you a copy of it?


Fry

I don't have a copy but Mabel Vernon has a copy.

19. Mabel Vernon's copy could not be located for the final printing of this transcript, nor could the exact reference of the Congressional hearing. See Sun article.


Paul

Has she? Well, I hope she will let me have it because


80
I had two copies and I left these in the library and as far as I know they have both disappeared.


Fry

Well Doris Stevens' account intimates some sort of—


Paul

Well, she wasn't here though.


Fry

—harassment and so does the Irwin account.


Paul

I know they do, but Mrs. Irwin wasn't even a member of ours at that time, nor was Doris Stevens. I don't think—


Fry

And of course the Suffragist wasn't being printed at that time, so we don't have that for a record.


Paul

The only place where I could see [a record is] what we testified, because I testified [in the Congressional hearing] and I'd like to see what we said in the testimony. Because as I look back on it now , my impression is that the police were valiant in their effort to try to keep order and just about as completely at a loss for what to do as we were. And nothing saved that procession but Secretary Stimson sending the cavalry. I'm sure of that.

I remember there were some protests from people thinking that the crowd had made remarks and so on they didn't like, but I don't know that there was anything worse than that. I remember Mr. Kent was one of those who wanted this investigation because his daughter, Elizabeth, a beautiful, lovely girl was on the float, (his and Mrs. Kent's daughter) and it seems that somebody had pulled her foot or done something like that from the crowd, something he thought was very insulting. So there were some people who seemed to think that the crowd had not behaved as they ought to behave, but I wasn't really conscious of it myself. I suppose I was so terribly busy trying to keep the people in line [laughing] and get them not to go home disheartened. and keep our own little army together. But anyway we finally emerged at Constitution Hall at the end and had this meeting.

Then immediately these Congressmen that somehow or other had been brought in touch with it—the one I remember the most was Mr. Kent—got this investigation started. And the chairman of it was the senator from Washington state. I guess his women had asked him to do it, because Washington had already become enfranchised,


81
you know. And I remember going down to see him in the morning and asking him about it and what we should do and everything.


Fry

(I think dinner is burning in the oven; let me go look.)

[Pause]


Paul

And he was really enthusiastic, I imagine, because of the women back home. So I went to see whom we should ask to be speakers and testify as witnesses and so on and what they should do and everything—the procedure. And then I remember saying, "Well, I'll have to come in and see you probably a good many times about this, and what time would you like me to come?"

I remember him saying, "Oh, I'm always beginning my work at seven in the morning; that's the time to come." [ Laughing] I got a very wonderful impression of Senators. I thought, "Here they are, all at work at seven in the morning. I have a hard time to get my eyes open at seven in the morning!" [Laughter.]

20. For conclusions on the March 3rd 1913 procession, see page 79.



82

Initial Organizing

The Press Department and Florence Brewer Boeckel

Paul

Well, we had this hearing. Then Mrs. Gardner, who had done such good press work, said to me that she wanted to withdraw from our campaign. She said, "You know, I did this press work on the impression that this was just to make good propaganda for the campaigns in the states . I don't believe in getting this federal amendment that Miss Anthony was working for and never have believed in it and don't want to have any connection with it. I see from the way you are acting—you have these banners saying 'We demand an amendment to the United States Constitution'— that you are actually talking about putting this amendment through. If I had known this I certainly wouldn't have had anything to do with it. So I want now to withdraw from all connection with it." So we said, well if that's the way she believes, we'd have to accept it. So we did. So we never heard anything more about her until the day of the ratification of the amendment, when it was given—what do you do?— proclaimed by the Secretary of State, I think it is.


Fry

Yes, a proclamation.


Paul

President Wilson gave the time of the proclamation. (I suppose it was issued in the White House, but I don't know where they give the proclamations from). Anyway, President Wilson invited a group of women to be there for this ceremony of the proclamation, and among others was this Mrs. Helen Gardner, whom we hadn't seen all these intervening years.

And then he promptly appointed her to the first position I guess he gave to any women, to be head (I don't know whether it was head, but a member) of the


83
civil service commission, which had never had a woman on it. So she was then Civil Service Commissioner and had a good salary and a fine position and so on [laughter]. And of all the people who were invited to this final ceremony, not one of us was invited, not one of the people who we thought had borne the burden of the campaign—anyway had strived to do something—not one of us was invited or recognized in any possible [way], but all these opponents, every person who was there [had been] an opponent! I suppose Wilson was still so strong on his states' rights idea that—I don't know why he did this. Maybe they were more important people politically, or something or other. But it was so amusing. This one lady's resignation really hurt us, because if she had kept on with the publicity, we would have been much better off.

So then we started to build up a little press department and—you may know all this. For about a year Elsie Hill and I, I guess, did all the publicity. I would write a little bulletin and Elsie Hill would come home from her school, and she would come in and take it around to the newspapers. She was full of enthusiasm and could get people all stirred up. So we continued to get, we thought, pretty good publicity, but it took a lot of our time and we wanted to get some one person to do it.

So then Elsie told me of somebody who had graduated from Vassar that she knew, and she said she had been on a paper for a little bit of work up in Poughkeepsie when she was in college, and then she had now come down to Baltimore to be on Vogue, the paper, Vogue . So then she said, "I think maybe we could persuade her to come over." So we both went over to see her in Baltimore, and from the first moment we were so congenial; we all were. She was so—just delighted to be invited to come and do our press work, and she had a little money so she said she could pay all her expenses—and she came. And her name was Florence [Brewer] Boeckel. (She died, last year I think; I went to the memorial service for her.) So for maybe a year or two years she did this just as a gift. She came down to our headquarters in the morning and worked all day, as though she had been a regularly paid person. Then she married this Mr. Boeckel—do you know who he was?


Fry

No.



84
Paul

He had for years—and I think it still continues probably under his name, but I don't believe he does the work any more—I think it was something like the editorial research service, or something like that. But they didn't send out news articles like newspapers and news bureaus; they sent out only editorials, and he would write editorials. He was apparently very gifted in that field. He would write editorials giving the situation of different bills before Congress that the whole country might be interested in, and this service was bought all over the country. So it was the way that Mr. and Mrs. Boeckel lived, supported themselves.

So then she had a little son born, so she said that she thought she couldn't any longer do it as a free gift, so we paid her from then on a small salary, and she built up a splendid press department. We gave her one room in the headquarters. (By this time we had a building and not just one room.) She got two assistants, whom we paid, whom she chose. One was good at writing and one was good at interviewing. Then she got several stenographers and typists and mimeograph workers and people who clipped everything for her and kept clipping books—she never had undertaken to do a news service; she just built it up without any experience. I would have thought she built up probably the best press service that I've ever known anybody to have for a volunteer organization in Washington. And she continued to our victory.


Fry

I've seen her name on the masthead of the Suffragist .


Paul

Yes, I'm sure you have. A great part of the time she didn't do the Suffragist, but toward the end she took over the Suffragist too. Well, that's just telling about the beginning. I don't know whether there is anything else to tell.


Fry

That's just the beginning.

The macaroni and cheese is done. Do you want a break and eat now?


Paul

Oh. Yes.

[Recorder off.]

[Background music ceases in subsequent taping.]



85

Field Organization and Mabel Vernon

Paul

[I've talked about] Lucy Burns, who came in our movement in England, really, and Mrs. Boeckel, so wonderful in the press,


Fry

Yes, we just finished Boeckel.


Paul

And Miss Gillette, this woman lawyer. So I thought I might tell sometime about how Mabel Vernon came in because I would like especially to put in the [two other] Swarthmore people, Mabel Vernon and Mrs. Walker.


Fry

Mabel Vernon came in in June of the year that we are now in, I believe, so maybe you could go into that.


Paul

The second year, 1914?


Fry

She came in 1913 didn't she?


Paul

No, I think 1914.


Fry

Well, we are now in 1913, according to my notes.


Paul

Did Mabel tell you she came in in 1913?


Fry

She told me you wrote to her, where she was teaching at Radnor, in the spring of 1913, asking her to join your efforts when the school year was out, in June.


Paul

Well, supposing I tell you right now about her, is that all right?


Fry

All right.


Paul

You see, when we began to think we would have to go out over the country and that we couldn't do this after we were severed from the National American and had no members and no branches of our own, we saw that we would have to form them to ever have any hope of influencing the congressmen. So we asked Mabel to become our first, what we called, organizer to go over the country. She was the first person we had outside of the few of us who were starting in Washington.

I went up to her school where she was teaching—she was teaching German I think, maybe she has told you this— in Pennsylvania and told her what our whole purpose was, to put this amendment into the Constitution.


86
And to do it we needed people who were good speakers and who could go over the country and help arouse the women, especially the women who were already voting, to use their power with their own congressmen.

So she said she believed thoroughly in every bit of it and that she would like to come down and help and would like to become a national organizer for that purpose. So she was our first national organizer. She accepted right away and she stayed of course till the campaign was over. And then when it was over she became the director of the whole campaign for the new [equal rights] amendment. Then, after a time, she stopped and formed her own People's Mandate, which was for peace.

And of course you know how absolutely invaluable, without words—we could never express what we owed to her. Every place she went in the states she made friends, and she could get up meetings with the greatest ease. She had this great, great gift of speaking so she could go in an unknown place and hold a meeting and just put the place on the map, as far as our campaign was concerned.


Financial Support for Workers

Fry

When she came, was she willing to live at her own expense at first?


Paul

No, she couldn't because she was earning her living as a school teacher, and we started by paying, I think, when we began to pay anybody we started with one salary for everybody that we paid, and that was $200 a month. And at that time people could live on $200 a month.


Fry

Oh, yes. What about yourself, did you—


Paul

And then after we got a headquarters, she—I don't know whether she stayed in the headquarters or not but she probably did because almost everybody who was campaigning stayed there—and then we never charged any of the people [for board and room] who were doing this campaigning.

And about myself: When I started in the beginning, the national [NAWSA] board, when they appointed Miss Burns and myself, said they would of course pay no


87
salary to anybody. And we said, "Well, we don't want to have a salary, but we would like to be reimbursed, not by you, but if there is enough strength in the movement, we would like to be reimbursed for any expenses we incur if we go on trips or whatever we may do that would have expenses." So they said, "All right, just provided you raise the money."

So that's the way we did. Both Miss Burns and I were the only two people in the beginning, you see, and we both had our families back of us. You see, we were still almost in the college age where your parents would be looking after you. I remember Miss Burns' father had been sending her the money to stay over at the University of Bonn in Germany, and then he just continued it. Every month he sent her a check down to continue the work here, because he was backing her up.

And then my mother just did the same with me. She gave us the money with which we started. If I went on trips and so on I turned in an expense account and was reimbursed; but otherwise in the beginning we practically paid all our own expenses, our families did, I mean. But don't put this in your story.


Fry

But this is something that's good to know, that you did go down on your own expense. I think it shows a dedication not only of just you, but of your parents, too.


Paul

Then later on, when Mrs. [0. H. P.] Belmont came into the movement and was so very wealthy, she announced to me that she was going to give me a salary of $1,000 a month. [This was during the Equal Rights campaign in the twenties, probably.] I told her that I didn't want to be in that position at all. I certainly didn't. So anyway she did, she gave the check. So then I turned the check over to the Woman's Party. I gave them for the one year $12,000 that she gave to me.


Fry

That was a lot of money because she came into the movement, when? About 1916?


Paul

She came in 1914. Our first year when we were put out by the old National American she joined—she left them and joined us.


Fry

So wasn't that a pretty big monthly salary in those days?


Paul

It was, but I mean she had enough money, and I was only


88
explaining that I did have a salary, but I didn't keep the salary. I turned it over in full.


Fry

Well, that's important to know. Sometime somebody will be going through the party business records in the Library of Congress and they will come across an item of your big salary [laughter] and it's good to have an explanation.


Paul

At the same time they will come across my $12,000 donation in Equal Rights magazine. (I think it was after we started on the new Equal Rights campaign that she did this, because we made her president). She said, "Now I am president. I can't do the work, and you are doing the work and I think you should be vice-president and I should pay you what I would be spending on it." That's when she gave me this money which I just said I didn't in any way want to be in this position. So then I turned it in. It was reported in our weekly magazine, donation from me, $12,000.


Fry

I'm glad we got that explained.


Paul

You see, I feel I owe a great deal really to my family. I must say that. They did always stand back of me. My mother did, my father did, and it was the money that my father made and that my grandfather made, which I inherited, partly, which enabled me to do it. It is a great asset, you know, to have a little money of your own you can fall back on.


Fry

Or even like this when you want to get something started, you don't have to worry about how you are going to eat for those first months before you get the organization set up.


Paul

Yes, and you don't know [whether] an unpopular measure—and this was a very unpopular measure at the time—whether it will ever get much support. So it gave me—I feel I never could have done this, and Lucy Burns of course never could either, if we hadn't both had families that were willing to back us.


Fry

The question about that March 3 procession was whether the chief of police was removed or not, as is written up in these other books.


Paul

Well, I have told you all I know about that.


Fry

You told me that you doubted that he was removed. Then


89
I found another reference that said that at a later date he quietly retired to private life; so whether this was connected with the investigation or not remains a question, and we ought to point that out.


Paul

We ought to get that report that was made—you say Mabel Vernon has a copy of it. See what their recommendation was after all this testimony was in. But that's my impression, strong impression. I know that I never opposed this man in any way because I knew better; I knew perfectly well that he was in a hopeless thing for him to try with his inadequate force. That would be perhaps lack of foresight on his part or maybe it would have been impossible for him to get the extra money [for additional men], and therefore we would have never gone in to get him removed.

Anyway, we never did go in to get anybody removed. For anything.


Presidential Delegations Begin

Fry

That procession was March 3. Now on March 17 my notes say that you and three others went in to talk to President Wilson. He had called a special session of the sixty-third Congress for April 7. Do you remember anything about talking to him?


Paul

Yes, I led the delegation and I remember everything about it, I think. And one woman who went with us—does it give their names? Where did you get this from?


Fry

I think these notes came from Up the Hill, the second edition of Irwin's book.


Paul

I think if you look in this folder that you are in now for the 1914—I will tell you what I can remember and then you can look later—


Fry

It's right here. I think I've got it marked in the volume. [Names of other women are not given in Irwin's account.]

21.  Irwin, Inez Haynes. Uphill with Banners Flying, Traversity Press, Penobscot, Maine, 1964 . This is a second edition of the 1922 book, History of the Woman's Party .



90
Paul

One woman who went with us was Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, who was the historian, you know, of the suffrage movement, if I remember rightly. And one was the wife of a congressman from Illinois, I don't remember who. She wasn't there long; her husband wasn't re-elected. And myself. I don't know who the fourth one was.


Fry

You see, this was before the Suffragist began coming out.


Paul

Oh, no, no. The Suffragist began November 15, 1913.


Fry

Yes, and you went in to see President Wilson on March 17, 1913.

[Discussion of date of first Suffragist .]


Paul

Yes, I remember it now because I know it was the end of our first year that we began the Suffragist ], and our first year was 1913. So maybe it wouldn't have given there the names of those people.


Fry

There's a report of the NAWSA congressional committee which was "Congressional Union" by the time the first issue came out—that summarizes what it had done through the year. But it does not mention who went on that delegation; it just mentions that that delegation occurred, and that's all. So we don't know who went with you.


Paul

I know two of the people who went. One was, as I say, Mrs. Harper, who was this link with the old National American Woman Suffrage Association, and one was this wife of a congressman from Illinois, whose name I could look up of course, but he wasn't re-elected and I don't remember who he was. And there was a fourth one I think.

Anyway, I introduced them and made the main presentation, and Wilson was as he always was, you know: he gave the impression of being very scholarly, very tolerant and very respectful and completely in accord with the idea that women should vote. He explained how, as governor of New Jersey, he had supported it, how they had had a referendum and he had voted for it in New Jersey himself. And as a states' righter from Virginia, believing in all the states' rights traditions, he felt that that was the way to proceed, and he did not feel inclined to press for action by Congress. So we gave our point of view to him and we didn't, I think, change him at all; but he couldn't have been more courteous


91
and more considerate and more deliberate in giving us all the time in the world to say what we wanted to say.


Fry

As a resident of his own state, could you talk to him at this point as someone who had supported him in his recent campaign.


Paul

No, I didn't support him. I didn't support anybody in that campaign. I didn't have anything to do with that campaign. Women were not voting. I [resided] then in New Jersey and women were not voting in New Jersey. I mean when I did get to vote, I voted in New Jersey, but at the time of this campaign, I couldn't vote. So I didn't support him, I didn't have anything to do with the campaign.

I just talked to him about the rightness of the cause, I suppose. I can only imagine that's what I would have talked about, and the importance of not wasting the lives of generations of women on these referendums—to the male voters of a state. It seemed so unfair and unjust to have to go forth and convert a majority of the male voters of a state to something, for the women who had the necessity of converting the majority of the men of a state.

Well, he said there are two ways to get this, one by a federal amendment and one by the states' amendment.

You know, I knew his daughter and I have a photograph of his daughter right here in this house, his daughter Jessie.


Fry

How did you come to know her?


Paul

I met her in one of the settlement houses in Pennsylvania, the Lighthouse Settlement. I used to go there a great deal because the head of it, Mrs. Bradford, was one of our members and she was the sister of Mrs. Lawrence, who was our national treasurer. So they gave a great deal of help. And Jessie Wilson was living for a time at that college settlement. I remember she was living there and I talked to her there when the New Jersey referendum was on, and she told me about the support from her father. She herself helped us when he became President down in Washington.


Fry

What did she do?


Paul

Well, for instance, we had a reception one night, just


92
across, at our headquarters, which was across the street, you know, from where President Wilson was. She and her sister came over and received for us. She was completely and absolutely, I think, sympathetic to us. She perhaps didn't differentiate between getting a state campaign through and a national [amendment]; I don't know. Anyway we telephoned over and asked her if she would receive and she came.

I thought this first interview with Wilson was more or less the same as we had every time afterwards. One thing he was always saying, "You'll have to convert public opinion, get enough public opinion in the country back of this. At the present time there would be no use of trying to get Congress to do this," and so on. I had a great respect for Wilson, great respect for him. And he was a nice type of man to have as your adversary because you could be pretty certain of what he would do in a certain situation.


Fry

At least he was consistent and forthright, is that what you mean?


Paul

Well, I mean he had the kind of a mind that you could—you know some people you deal with you can't imagine why they do the things they do. But [with Wilson], I would feel [laughing] that we always knew beforehand. If we planned a campaign, we would be pretty sure to know what the reaction of Wilson would be to that kind of campaign. I think he was a very great man, a very, very great man. I was always so moved at the League of Nations when I would walk down the street and see this tiny little, maybe this long [measuring with her hands], inscription to Woodrow Wilson—in French it was—"To Woodrow Wilson, founder of the League of Nations." I thought he did a marvelous thing in that.


Fry

Well, the next thing in my notes was that there was another deputation to see him, that I think was led by Elsie Hill, just a couple of weeks later.


Paul

There was a long series of them. It went on and on and on through that whole year. Let's see that was 1913. They went on through 1913, [pause] and 1914 and 1915, and 1916 I guess we kept up these delegations. I'm not sure when we stopped. Finally the President—it is my recollection, vague recollection—he was getting mixed up with the international situation, and the war seemed to be in the offing, and he said he could not take the time to see [the women] anymore, that they all said the


93
same thing and he said the same thing. And so then we said, "We will have a perpetual delegation right in front of the White House." That's when we began our picketing.


Fry

Yes, that was right after he was re-elected. Well, we will get to that.


Paul

Let me see when that was. That was 1917. January 10, I think we started them.


Fry

[Laughing] That's just the date that I have, January 10, 1917, and then the war broke out in April.


Paul

And we picketed with no interference from anybody January, February, March and April. [The picketing] was led by Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch, who had been on our own national board because after the victory of the New York campaign and referendum, her New York Women's Political Union (I think it was called, whatever it was in New York) voted to amalgamate with the Woman's Party. And when they voted to amalgamate with the Woman's Party, we asked Mrs. Blatch to go on our national board. She was one of the people, when we started on this picketing campaign, who was most ardent for us to do it.

Then to our great astonishment, we got a roundrobin led by and initiated apparently and mainly due to Mrs. Blatch, urging in the name of all American women and so on, that we stop our picketing because of the war. She had married a British man, Englishman, and she was very pro-English. They got an enormous roundrobin that they sent to us, and a great many people felt the same way and fell away from us, you know.

The old National American—you probably know all this—officers, the leading ones, took positions in the defense department of the government and moved down to Washington, not to work on the suffrage amendment, but to work in the defense movement, under whoever was Secretary of War. Dr. Shaw took such a position and I think practically everyone did.


Fry

Well, wasn't Harriot Stanton Blatch one of the leading officers of the National American Woman Suffrage Association?


Paul

No, she wasn't in it at all.


Fry

She had never been in that?



94
Paul

Never. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who had been one of the founders of it, but [Harriot] founded one of her own and it was modeled very much after the British one. I think she called it the Women's Political Union.

And all their membership was handed over to us. They just formally amalgamated. It was a help to us, of course. The reason they did it I think was that so many of their board members [advocated it]. This Mrs. Rogers, who, I told you, took me to see Secretary Stimson, was on her board, and Mrs. Rogers had always stayed with us, although she was always on the board of Mrs. Blatch's, too. And there were a lot of their women the same way, their leading women, who were also supporters of us. So when they won the referendum, they said, "There's nothing more we can do up in New York; we'd better turn in and help the National."



95

The Changing Relations with the National American Woman Suffrage Association

The Congressional Union Evolves

Fry

During this period, in 1913, were you aware that the National American officers, like Dr. Shaw and so forth, did not want all this effort put out for a national amendment, that they wanted more state-by-state campaigns?


Paul

Well, I don't think that they did. I think that they were in back of us.


Fry

Well, they were back of you up to a point, and I was just trying to fix in time where that point was.


Paul

For instance, we had first of all, in [March, in] our first big procession, they headed it. Then our subsequent processions they—I don't know whether they came down physically or not—but I think that as far as I know we had their backing. Then that first year we had a meeting, I remember, in a theater in Washington, and Dr. Shaw came down and was the principal speaker at that meeting; it was in the summer.


Fry

Oh, in the summer? There was a—


Paul

The Columbia Theater, I think we had—


Fry

National Council of Women Voters on August 13 in the District of Columbia.


Paul

No, that was not it, that was totally different. That's something we formed on our own.


Fry

Well, they had a meeting in the Columbia Theater in December.



96
Paul

No, but that's their convention.

We got up that convention and we paid $1,000—I never shall forget—ourselves; we had to raise the money for the hall in which it was held. I [had been] invited out to Dr. Shaw's home in Pennsylvania when they were planning the convention, and I said that I thought it would be helpful to have the national convention in Washington because we wanted to direct as much attention as we could to the federal amendment. The convention could go to see the President and it would be helpful to us, I thought. And—they were always this way—they said if we would get up the convention and would pay all the bills for the convention, they would come to Washington. So Dr. Shaw was heartily in favor of what we were doing up to that point.


Fry

Why wouldn't they share some of the responsibility for financing it with you?


Paul

Well, it's common in most women's organizations that the local place that has the convention—I suppose all groups, the American Legion, everybody else, do it that way—that the local people entertain and they bear the expense. Since their local [in Washington] was such a tiny little group that couldn't do anything, I suppose that it was natural [that] they wanted us to do [it], which we did.

The first whisper of protest that I ever heard—there may have been whispers going on that I didn't hear about; I do think we made one mistake, which was that we didn't keep in constant—say almost every other day—connection, correspondence, by telephone or by letter or by going up personally—to make reports to the national leaders who were up there in the New York headquarters. I think if we had done so, we would have perhaps never had to have the two groups, because—[But] we were working so hard and had so little money and so little thought of anything but what to do the next morning, how we were to get through with the things we [laughing] had undertaken, that we just proceeded as though we were doing it—which we were—and that we would have the backing of everybody. But by the time of the convention, the national treasurer—her name was Mrs. Stanley McCormick—and Mrs. [Carrie Chapman] Catt made a protest at the convention against what we were doing, which is the first time that I realized it. Perhaps it was dumb not to realize it before, but I didn't.



97
Fry

That was the convention in Washington in December, 1913.


Paul

The one that we had gotten up. I remember our desire to save money, so we asked Mrs. Kent if she would entertain all the National board. She had a big house and was the wife of a congressman and was very, very, very, very wealthy. So she said she would.


Fry

Well, she had been a member for a long time, hadn't she, of NAWSA? She was on their congressional committee before you were.


Paul

Well, there was no division then. Anyway this convention was coming, and I asked her, since we had the responsibility of financing it, including the entertaining of all members of the National board, would she entertain them at her home? So that we wouldn't have to pay an immense hotel bill. She said she would, gladly. And then I remember they sent us word that they couldn't go to a private home, that they had to meet constantly, every moment almost, [and they could not be in any situation where their time might be required for social niceties].


Tape 3, Side B

Are you taking this down?


Fry

Yes


Paul

I figured it worked out all right, but we had to pay [even] another bill, you see. So I had been thinking we were on very good terms with the National; I didn't realize that any rifts had occurred.

But at the convention Mrs. Catt (who had made one big speech for us, as I told you, in the theater the night before our first procession in Washington), she got up on the floor, and of course she was a very influential person, a hundred times more influential than any of us were, and she—

I think I'd had to make the report [to the convention] for the congressional committee, and so I made the report saying we had this big procession and we had had so many smaller processions, and we'd had so many deputations to the President, and we raised so much money, which I think was $27,000 if I remember rightly, not very much but still a lot for us, and we had started a weekly


98
paper, which we had started just before the convention so people would see what could be done in the congressional field. We'd started it with no dire, sinister purpose but just to have a paper we could show at the convention of how needful it was to have some paper giving the congressional reports.

So Mrs. Catt said, "I want to inquire what has happened to the National American Woman Suffrage Association. It seems to me that there is something called the Congressional Union which is running the whole campaign on Congress," [tape volume decreases but words remain clear] and that we were—what did they say—that they were the dogs and we were the little tail that was being wagged, or something like that. [Slight laughter] I remember it very vividly.


Fry

The tail is wagging the dog?


Paul

Yes, the tail is wagging the dog. We were the tail and we were wagging the dog. Is that the way it goes? Well, anyway, that was the simile she used. [Laughter.]

And she said, "Here they are even getting out a paper ! Imagine such a thing!" And we thought oh we would get so much more support from our paper. We were very much astonished at this speech.

And then Mrs. Stanley McCormick, this very, very, very wealthy woman, I was told she was, from Boston, the treasurer, got up and said that not one penny of all this money, the $27,000 or whatever it was we raised, had come into her national treasury, and she thought that this was a situation that could not be tolerated that a committee—just a committee—should raise the money and keep the money.

So we saw something was not right. But I didn't suspect it before. And I don't think anybody else in our group suspected it.

Then Miss Jane Addams got up and she said, "I want to say that I do not agree with Mrs. Stanley McCormick" (you know these are not exactly their words of course, but this was their idea) "I don't agree with Mrs. Stanley McCormick at all. I made the resolution asking Miss Paul and Miss Burns to go down to Washington and start this work, and we made this condition, that they should raise all the money [standard volume returns on tape] in any way connected with the campaign and pay


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all the expenses. I think they have carried out this arrangement with the greatest possible honor and conscientiousness. They have never turned in a bill for even a 25 cents expenditure, and they have paid all the bills and they have no debts to come back to the National American. Every bill is paid that they have ever incurred. Since this is what we asked them to do, I don't see why we now turn around and criticize it." That was her point. And of course she was a very influential member of the National board.

And then Miss Gillette [got up], this lawyer whom we had gotten to help us in the very beginning, who became the treasurer of our first committee. It may be we raised $27,000 for that procession and more later. I remember $27,000 was raised for something.


Fry

There was a $27,000 total figure of funds raised up through November of that year that I saw in a treasurer's report. I think you had given that figure because you had eleven months of the year totalled for the published report in the Suffragist .


Paul

Whatever it was, it was the $27,000 that the treasurer was having all this dispute about. So whatever the sum was.

So then Miss Gillette got up and she said, "I was treasurer for the movement here in Washington from the beginning, from the first penny that was raised until this procession was finished, then another treasurer succeeded me. And I want to say from my experience that phenomenal frugality was displayed, it seemed to me, by the people who were running this campaign." She spoke in general approval, and she was an important woman, a very important woman because [she was] the dean of the only woman's law school in the country. So she spoke for us.

And then we saw there was a ripple of—some people weren't our friends, we could see that. So then when the convention was over they asked me, this board, if I would continue for another year, but sever my relations with the Congressional Union, which they thought was the one that was wagging the dog or wagging the tail or whatever the thing is. [Laughter.] The group that was wagging them anyway had gotten out the paper, the Congressional Union's paper, and by this time we were using the name Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage.


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The way that happened that we got a Congressional Union was, that when we began to see how much it was going to cost us to get up a procession—we had never gotten up one, we didn't know what the thing would cost—we did proceed I think with great frugality, but still we did have certainly a tremendous number of bills.

I remember Miss Gillette coming to me and saying, really in terror, "I just can't stand for these bills that you are bringing in to me every single day. We never, never, never can pay them." And then in a little while she came and said,

"Well, I see. I don't understand how it is done, but you are getting in a sufficient amount of money always to cover your bills. And so I withdraw my objection. You evidently know what you are about." And so she supported us very loyally at the convention.

Well, when we discovered that if we wrote to somebody in a state, the state treasurer [for National American] would write back and say, "You have taken away one of my chief financial supporters and I have to do my best to win the referendum and I need every penny I can get," when we got protests from any place [where] we tried to get any money, we thought, "Well, we will form a little group who won't be involved in a state referendum campaign and who can do everything they can to help us by supplying members for our lobbying work, and for our deputations and for our fundraising and so on.

Well now the National American had a series of branches you could belong to. I remember that one of them [requirements] required you to have three hundred members before you could be a branch, in that category. and you [the branch] had to pay so much—whatever the sum was, I don't remember the sum—to the National every year. So we applied to be affiliated with them National American in this class, and we were accepted [as a branch]. This was when we first began, probably April or May of the first year, 1913.

Then it became a question of what we would—we thought maybe we would get three hundred people and ask them each one to give a part of whatever the sum was we had to give, we'll say $10 each or something like that. We called people on the phone and we got enough to satisfy this requirement and the money requirement and then applied to be an affiliated branch. At the very beginning, when we were first formed, this was.


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So then we didn't know what to call ourselves, and I remember that Mrs. Dennett, who was national secretar, proposed this name—Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. I didn't think and I still don't think it was very much of a name, but still, since she had proposed it and was the national secretary, we thought it would be a good thing to take it, so we did. We called ourselves Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage.

And I remember we discussed it so much. We said, "We don't know whether we have the right to say congressional union; we are not connected in any way with Congress." And I remember Mrs. Kent saying, "Oh, that will be all right, we have a congressional boot"—what do you say, the person who shines your boots?


Fry

Bootblack.


Paul

Bootblack is it? [Laughter.] "We have a congressional bootblack and we have a congressional this, that and the other. Why can't we have a congressional union for woman suffrage?"

So we said, "All right. If you think the congressmen won't object, we will call it that." So we did.

Well then it had raised—at least through the efforts of this group—we had raised the money we had gotten in; and we had gotten the people through the efforts of this group who had gone on all our delegations and all our processions and they were sort of our backbone. They were almost all D.C. [District of Columbia] people who had almost no connection with the old National American, never had had, so there was no defection from them. And they had no state referendum campaigns to be diverting them, so it seemed to be working all right. We didn't expand it or try to make it any bigger. We just tried to get the number we were required by their regulations to have, which was only, I think, about three hundred.

So then [when the convention was over, the board] said, "Now if you continue as chairman you have to have undivided loyalty and it must be to the National association and their national committee and not divide it with the Congressional Union."

We said, "Well, the Congressional Union's only purpose is to raise money and get members to finance the congressional committee's campaign." So we didn't


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see any conflict at all. But I said I didn't think I could function without some kind of a group to help us. And so I [told them I] don't want to take it; I don't want to disown the group that I have created and has given us such enormous support. So I said then I just wouldn't be [committee] chairman if that was the requirement. First of all I had gone down [to Washington] to be chairman only for a year and it had been a pretty big personal expense to my family and to me, [pause] as well as taking every moment of your time and your strength and everything else, so I just said I had better not do it then.

And they said, "All right, then we'd like you to go on the committee all the same, but we don't want you to be chairman."

So I said, "That's all right. I will certainly be glad to continue on the committee."

Then they said, "Now we will ask Lucy Burns [to be chairman]." Lucy Burns said about the same thing I said. I don't know whether they put her on the committee, but anyway they asked her to be chairman. She said no, she wouldn't be chairman.

So then we had a period with no chairman.

Then they announced one day that they had decided on Mrs. Medill McCormick, and she had agreed to be the chairman. We were very delighted because when we [had] started our first little effort, I remember, getting up the procession. She was one of the first people from over the country who without any solicitation sent us $100 to help with our first procession. And she had always helped, always . And at the time of this national convention in Washington—the delegation which we had organized and planned way back when I had gone up to see Dr. Shaw at her home in Pennsylvania—a delegation that had requested an interview with the President [in December of 1913]. Dr. Shaw of course led it as the president, and I stood right beside her, I presume at her request (I certainly wouldn't have done so otherwise) and listened to this wonderful speech she made to the President [Wilson]. Mrs. Medill McCormick was one of those who helped me to get up this delegation to the President. And we had gone to see various people—newspaper people, all kinds of people, when we were trying to get the appointment, which we hadn't gotten too easily.



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[Discussion of which presidential delegation this was.]

Congress Faces Two Amendments: March 2, 1914

Paul

So we thought this was a very wise appointment, and we were very happy over it. Mrs. Medill McCormick immediately asked me to be a member of her committee—well, I had already been appointed by the National board—and I asked her to be a member of our Congressional Union committee and she accepted right away. So we said, now we will have complete harmony because I will be on their board and she will be on our board and there won't be any possibility of conflict. So it seemed to me very good.

By this time I decided I would take a little rest, [laughing] now that we had gotten the whole Congressional committee fixed up and the Congressional Union going forward, and although I had agreed and expected to go home at the end of the first year, I still didn't see exactly how I could go. So anyway I decided to go home, to my own home in Moorestown, New Jersey, and just rest for a time.

[Discussion of time frame of previous story.]

So then I went home and Lucy Burns took over the responsibility of the Washington work. And almost the first thing that happened was that I got a letter from her saying that the most unbelievable thing had occurred. That Mrs. Medill McCormick, without consultation with anybody as far as we knew, had introduced a new amendment to the Constitution. Senator Shafroth from Colorado was putting it in the Senate and Mitchell Palmer of Pennsylvania putting it in the House, both of whom were our very good supporters, exceptionally good supporters. And that this amendment was one that would divide the whole of Congress into two groups, those who supported the one and those that supported the other, because one was to give women the vote and the other was to give women the right to a referendum on the subject, to the male voters of the state on the collection of a sufficient number of signatures, which seemed to us almost unthinkable. Well, Mrs. Medill McCormick took the position when we got back and we [looked] into these things—you know she was the daughter of Mark Hanna. You know who he was?



104
Fry

Oh, he was the big power, in Cleveland, Ohio?


Paul

Yes. I don't know if it was Cleveland, but in Ohio. He was one of the political bosses of the Republican party, national. And it was a great political power. And she was surrounded—she had married Medill McCormick up in Chicago—she was really surrounded by her father's, among other people, co-workers and they had convinced her that, as you looked over the world there was almost no place where women could vote; there were a few western states in our union at that time, but there weren't very many you know: Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, a small group. And in Russia, Finland was a province of Russia and they could vote there, and—I'm not quite clear, I don't exactly remember at this moment what the situation was in New Zealand and Australia but I think it was in some provinces. But if you looked over the whole world, these were the only places women were voting, and they convinced her it was an impossible thing to take a great nation like the United States and go out of step with the rest of the world. She was thoroughly convinced of it. If by getting the referendum on [the ballot] in each state, maybe that state could be built up and it could be done, but the main thing to do was to get the possibility of these state referendums.

Well, we told her we didn't agree with that at all.


Fry

When had you come back to Washington?


Paul

I came back right away when I got the message of this terrible thing. [Laughter.]

By this time we had our paper [the Suffragist ], and I think you will find in it, these volumes that you have, the editorials that we began to put out, week after week. Our editorials on this Shafroth-Palmer [bill]. That was a big division.

Then the little woman's Congressional Union met together, the leaders anyway, to decide what to do. A great many of them said, "Well, we think we had better disband. You can't fight this great National American." (Well it wasn't a very big one, still it was so big compared to us.) And they said, "Just the few of us, we can't go forth and try to put the [suffrage] amendment through, if they [in National American] all want this, they voted this—

So we said, "Well, we will go up and talk to the


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National board about this and see if we can't change their point of view."


Fry

Was Lucy Burns one who said it was too much to fight?


Paul

Oh, no, no. She was always a very belligerent person. She was always quite ready for a fight.

So we went up to the National board, made an appointment to meet with them and I think all of our leading people on our committee [went up]. I know Mrs. William Kent went up; Mrs. Lawrence Lewis went. I went.


Fry

Was Maud Wood Park—


Paul

No, she wasn't in the picture then; I had never heard of her at that time.

Then their national board met—Miss Jane Addams came from Chicago, and Dr. Shaw and Mrs. Dennett and their national treasurer. And I remember the national treasurer sat there, this Mrs. Stanley McCormick, at the meeting, and she took her chair and placed it so her back was to the group and she sat there throughout, us seeing only her back, to show her complete severing of herself from everything that was going on. She wouldn't have even had a conversation with us, I guess.

Of course Miss Addams was always very pacific, and we were very pacific, and it seemed to us—I didn't see how anybody could, it seemed to me just betray this movement that had begun so many, many, many years before [with Susan B. Anthony].

The Amendment before Congress at this time that we were working for, you know that came up when we first began [work on] our first procession: what amendment we would work for. The whole National American didn't even have any idea what they wanted to work for. So I appointed a committee and asked them to draw up the right amendment for us to work for when we were having our first procession. We demanded "an amendment to the United States Constitution enfranchising women," but we didn't know what amendment or how to draw it up or anything about it.

Mary Beard took the chairmanship and she came in a few days—do you know who she was, Mary Beard?


Fry

[Laughing.] Oh yes, the historian.



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Paul

Yes, and Charlie Beard's wife. And she was on our first board when we formed our Congressional Union. So Mrs. Beard came back and she said (she got people to be on the [amendment committee] board who were competent to judge this ) what we should —You see we didn't have any idea that there could be any dispute ; we just took for granted that what Miss Anthony had put in was the thing that they had always worked for and Mrs. Kent had worked for and we would just keep on. But when this question arose, what would we work for, we then appointed this committee to see what we'd better work for. So Mrs. Beard made the report from her committee that we ought to stick to this Susan B. Anthony original amendment.

So here we were. We were the only group sticking to the one that had been introduced year after year and we didn't see how we could make it better and we didn't want to start and work for just the right to have a referendum to the men of a state. No woman would be enfranchised by that .

So we came back defeated from the National board. They didn't seem to have any good reason, but they said they'd appointed this committee and their committee [chairman Mrs. Medill McCormick had vast political experience and great political wisdom at her command through her father's affiliations, and it seemed the wise thing to do and they stuck to it—although they hadn't been consulted by Mrs. McCormick and hadn't known she was going to do it. It was a strange attitude for them to take. And maybe, again, if we had kept in more daily contact with them we could have averted it. But, that's the way it was.


The Separation from NAWSA

Paul

So we very seriously considered whether we hadn't better just give it up and disband and go home, and let them go ahead and do the best they could. But we finally, all of us, agreed that—everyone of us came to the same conclusion—that we had better turn in and try to make another organization, because then we were only an affiliate ourselves you know of the old National American. And it would be pretty hard for the National American to be trying to put one measure through Congress and have one of their affiliates trying to put another through.


107

So we said the only thing to do is to make ourselves a completely separate organization. And I think they came to the same conclusion, because we got a letter from them asking that—or suggesting—that since we were paying a rather high amount of money to them we could change into a category where we would pay less . You probably know all this.


Fry

No.


Paul

So they said, "You just send in your resignation as a whatever affiliate [chapter] you are, and then send at the same time an application to be in another [type of] group, and we will just transfer you." So we sent in the resignation and the request for membership in another classification where the expense wouldn't be so great, and they accepted our resignation but they didn't accept our application for the new one. So we were out, you see. We were just put out by this device.


Fry

Had you already decided that you wanted to be completely separate?


Paul

No, we had really expected to continue. We wanted to have unity in the movement, but we had expected to go our way and continue to work for our old Amendment. We decided to do it, but it was rather a hard decision to make because we didn't have any money, and our individual people didn't have any money, and we were all exhausted [laughing] by one vigorous campaign. It had gone at a terrific pace.

So anyway we voted [to be separate]. All of our old congressional committee stood with us. Mrs. Kent went with us, and everybody who had been on the old committee, every single person, stayed with us. And so we then were the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage as a new independent organization, not affiliated with anybody. That was I think in the late spring of '14.

Then we had this constant conflict because we would use the "we demand an amendment to the United States Constitution enfranchising women," and they would say, "We demand the passage of the Shafroth-Palmer giving women the right to referendum " and so on, on this subject. It was the acme of the complicated for the congressmen and for the women of the country.

So then they held what they called the Mississippi Conference, which was I guess an annual conference that


108
they had at that time. It was a conference of all the states around the Mississippi [valley]. It was held in Iowa.


Fry

And this was NAWSA?


Paul

Yes. Well, this Mississippi Conference was under the auspices of the states in the Mississippi region belonging to the old National, because nobody belonged to anything else. There wasn't any other thing to belong to.

I went out to the conference to try to get this conference to endorse the old Susan B. Anthony Amendment. And I remember on the way out, I went with Mrs. Glendower Evan who was a very, very, very prominent woman in Boston belonging to the old National American, and she was passionate for continuing the old Amendment campaign. So she wanted very much to go to Iowa, and I went with her or she went with me, however it may be.


Fry

What was her name, Alice?


Paul

Her name? G-l-e-n-d-o-w-e-r Evans. She lived in Boston. She was a prominent member of the old National American.

Well, we stopped in Hull House [in Chicago] on the way out because Mrs. Evans was a great personal friend of Miss Jane Addams. And she was passionate about demanding the old Susan B. Anthony Amendment. So we explained it to Miss Addams that night—which is what you have to do all the time, explaining to the people who are important; that's what takes so much time, but we did do it With Miss Addams to keep her informed. We were her guests that night, and she devoted all her time to looking into it. And I don't think she took any active part; she was on the National board and so she was sort of bound to what they were doing. But we had a feeling that she was very sympathetic with what we were doing. So then we went on to the Mississippi Conference.

We met in the rooms of the different people during the conference where all the delegations from one state would meet. And I would go up and talk to a delegation, and somebody would go up and talk on the other side about the two amendments. I was trying to influence people as much as we could to stick by the old Amendment.


109

Well, then when it came to the floor of the conference, somebody got up and said, "We would like Miss Paul to explain to us what this"—because I wasn't on the program—" what this whole mix-up's about," and so on. And up got one of the officers of the Mississippi Conference and said, "Well, Miss Paul has been very ill and we don't want to tax her by making her make a report," or something. So I sat and listened in great astonishment at this, but I didn't say anything.


Fry

Had you been ill at all?


Paul

This time that I went up to—I think when I went up to [New Jersey] to take a rest, I think I went to the hospital, and there was some kind of an intestinal trouble I had gotten by eating some kind of apples or something. So my mother arranged for me to go into the hospital and try to get this thing cleared up, which they did, whatever it was. I wasn't very seriously sick. And I believe I did that during the time I was going to take this rest. I had sort of forgotten anything [about it] when I heard I was very ill. [Laughter.] I didn't say anything and they went on with all their reasons for the Shafroth-Palmer. And they got up a woman from Minnesota named Mrs. Alden Potter. I had gone out to Minnesota and spoken before their branch. (We had started in to go over the country and speak before every branch in the country if we could, and I had spoken there before the Minnesota one.) Mrs. Potter invited me to be her guest at her home—she was a Christian Scientist, very devout one, and gave me a Christian Science—what's the thing called, Mrs. Eddy's book whatever it is— Science and Health . We became very good friends by staying there, and so she said she would leave the old National American, that she would never work for this new thing. And a large section of their Minnesota people joined us in our campaign for the old Amendment; I guess almost everybody did.

And Mrs. Potter got up and said, "Well, Miss Paul is sitting here and she doesn't seem to me too ill to explain things to us," or something [laughter]. I wasn't a member you see; I wasn't from the Mississippi region and I don't know that I was [invited]. I rather think that I just went. I can't remember that I had an invitation to go; I don't believe I would have had.

So I did try to explain it, and I think then Mrs. Potter said, "Well, the Minnesota people, their board


110
and practically the whole group were all for continuing with the old Amendment." So there was not any unanimous support, I think, from Mississippi. There certainly wasn't any for our point of view and I don't think there was for any point of view. They heard it all and they disbanded.

But anyway I was regarded as a sort of pariah, an outcast in every possible way, at this convention. So everybody went back to Chicago, in order to get back to their respective places, and everybody stayed at the same hotel there—I mean most of the people I think—just for convenience. Whatever the hotel was, it was recommended to us. I remember going down in the morning for breakfast, and here were all these people from all the different states in the union, and I remember not one human being spoke to me. I just felt such an outcast, and for a long time we were regarded in that way. [Pause.]

Howsoever, people like this Minnesota group and like Mrs. Donald Hooker—Katherine Hepburn you know, is her niece—Mrs. Hooker was the sister of Mrs. Hepburn up here in Connecticut and was a leader of the suffrage movement up here, and Mrs. Hooker was a leader of the suffrage movement in Maryland. They all belonged to the old National American. So Mrs. Hooker's group [formally withdrew], and of course that was because of this personal contact we had; we were so close in Washington that we went over to see Mrs. Hooker many times and she invited us often to spend the weekend or spend Sunday or something over there. So finally her whole branch formally withdrew from the old National American over the question of what we would fight for, and joined us. And then this New York one, as I told you, joined us, amalgamated with us when they gave up their own, just dissolved and recommended every member to transfer membership to us.


An Organization Emerges

Paul

So we gradually got support, sometimes whole states and sometimes parts of states. But from that year we spent—I spoke in a great many places over the country just to the local boards—we'd ask them if they would let me come and explain this. I remember going to Ohio, and that very foremost woman lawyer (Do you


111
remember who she is out in Ohio? one of the first women ever to hold high judgeship position?) Judge Florence Allen was her name. You probably know who she was out in Ohio. She was on this board and I think she was on the court of appeals of Ohio, a federal judgeship. She had, I guess, the highest position in the legal field that any woman had ever held in the country. I remember she was at this meeting. And I tried my best to explain it to them, and I remember at the end someone said (I guess it was the president, whoever it was) she said, "I think it has been very interesting to hear all this, and I think that we all feel that we had better stick to our knitting." [Laughing.] I remember her words so well, which meant to stick to what they were doing. And even Judge Allen didn't speak up for us.


Fry

She meant stick to the Shafroth-Palmer Amendment.


Paul

Yes. So as we went over the country, we got to know the women. In every place we got some friends I think. So gradually, to our amazement, while we hadn't expected to get another [organization]. We thought we'd be another group that would independently work for this Amendment. We hadn't started out to build an organization, because that is a hard thing to do. And when you get it, a hard thing to manage, and we really didn't want one. We wanted to get the existing National American to stop supporting the Shafroth-Palmer.

But oddly the only result was that our own organization suddenly began to be an organization. So that was, say, up to 1915. Then in 1915 Doris Stevens went across the country speaking in place after place, and Mabel Vernon had been going and I had been going, and we had gotten branches in one state. We had been down to Texas and got this Rena Maverick Green and got this Clara Snell Wolfe, who became one of the greatest supporters we ever, have ever had. She was the wife of a professor of economics in the [University] at Austin, Texas. And it is beyond words what she did. It is just impossible to estimate the value of her work. She was a very intellectual type. So then her husband (this is just a diversion) was transferred up to the University of Ohio, as professor of economics, head of the economics department. So she went up to the University of Ohio. In the meantime, she decided that she would teach herself. She had no children and she was extremely intellectual type of a person, so she had studied I have forgotten what, something, and took her doctor's degree in it and then got a position to teach in a college in


112
Ohio but not the same college as her husband. (But they seem to have all been in the same organization.) So then came the Depression and she was dropped on the ground that they couldn't afford in the Depression to employ two people in the same family, and she was married and she was married to this professor and so she was dropped. Happened all over the country, you know, at that moment, I don't know how many places that happened. So she then just turned in and devoted herself to the Woman's Party and did up to her death. She died about two years ago, I guess. One of the greatest blows we ever had when she died.

But these groups brought in, you see, people so that gradually when the local wouldn't support the equal suffrage amendment, then we got a group of our own, until we formed branches in almost all the states.


Fry

Some of your organization started in 1913 because it is mentioned here [the Suffragist ] that you had had mailings to suffragists all over the United States about the suffrage amendment that you were going to submit, and they responded. By the time Congress opened, which was in April of 1913, you had one woman from every congressional district in the United States on hand to give a petition to her congressman.


Paul

Yes we did, I know.


Fry

Goodness, how did you do all that?


Paul

That's what I said, we were so exhausted [laughter].

Well, now you had better ask me some questions.


Fry

Let me go over this covering the years that you have just talked about and see if I have any mopping up questions.


Paul

Is this light good enough for you?


Fry

Yes, it's fine.

Now, your amendment was introduced the opening day of Congress, April, 1913, by Representative Mondell, who was a Republican of Wyoming in the House, and Senator George E. Chamberlain of Oregon in the Senate. I think he was a Democrat.


Paul

Well, that was one year.



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Fry

That was that year, 1913. So that the fight between the two amendments became known as the fight between the Shafroth-Palmer Amendment and the Mondell amendment.


Paul

We always called it the Bristow -Mondell amendment. I don't remember Chamberlain.


Fry

Yes, I wonder. Of Oregon.


Paul

Bristow was from Kansas, I think.


Fry

Well, his must have been the name finally assigned it, as the prominent one.


Paul

Maybe it was afterwards. It was usually known through the years, you will find it in almost everything, as the Bristow-Mondell amendment.

You see, the confusion was so immense, confusion among the women and the confusion in Congress as to why these two [suffrage] groups coming up with two bills. (Of course it didn't last very long because, as I said, as soon as the war came on these other people [NAWSA] all deserted and went into the war effort and we had the field all to ourselves. That was '17 and '18 and maybe part of '19 that they weren't there—till the war came to an end—they weren't there.) But when this confusion was so terrific, we decided we'd have to change the name of the Bristow-Mondell and call it something that would have some propaganda value, and that's when we decided to call it the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, because she had been one of the most prominent women in having it drafted and introduced.

And then to do that, we got up a pageant in Washington which Hazel McKaye came down and did for us. I remember going up to see her in Shirley, Massachusetts, the coldest little place that you ever saw, where she was living with her mother. I asked her if she would come down and put on a pageant to make people know who Susan B. Anthony was so we could call this the Susan B. Anthony Amendment and people would know something about it.

So she did come down and we had in a very big hall in Washington a very beautiful pageant that she put on honoring Susan B. Anthony. And from that time on we did it again and again, and again, and again. And we got a Susan B. Anthony stamp, you know, and we did everything to make people know who Susan B. Anthony was.



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Fry

Oh, I didn't know you got a Susan B. Anthony stamp.


Paul

So then we called it the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, as against the Shafroth-Palmer. And it was just a device to simplify this campaign and make it easier for congressmen and easier for the women to know what they were backing.


Other 1913 Activities

Fry

You had problems getting it out of the House committee, in that Congress.


Paul

Well, we always had—we never in the beginning had any strength in Congress.


Fry

But you did get it reported out in the Senate. That was the first favorable report in twenty-one years, I think. It came out in June, and in June and July, CU— the Congressional Union—had petitions circulated in every state. Then on July 31, when they arrived at the Capitol, you had another great big demonstration, with a motorcade—


Paul

What year are you talking about now?


Fry

1913 still. There was a big motorcade to the Capitol that started at Hyattsville and came down to the Capitol with all of these petitions for the Amendment.


Paul

That's our first year, you mean?


Fry

Yes, this is 1913, your first full year. With a big demonstration of delegates. And you met with the members of the Senate committee, who made some speeches.


Paul

Where was this?


Fry

In Hyattsville, on the "village green."


Paul

Well, that wasn't anything very much.


Fry

But they had a big motorcade down to the Capitol.


Paul

Yes. That was gotten up; we created something, at least tried to—



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Fry

It looks very big in the Suffragist .


Paul

Anyway, the thing wasn't one of ours, you know. In an effort to try to get women from the suffrage states, which we were then beginning, there was a Dr. Cora Smith King who had been a prominent member in winning the suffrage in the state of Washington. She had transferred her practice to Washington, D.C. from Washington state, and she was an officer of the Washington state branch of, I suppose, the National American. Anyway, whatever group [it was]. She organized as well as she could, getting some women from every suffrage state to come or send a representative for a delegation they were going to take down to the Congress. Well, that was this one that she organized. She lived in Hyattsville and she organized it out there and she brought it in. It was very effective because these congressmen that they were going to see were their own congressmen and they were, themselves, voters.


Fry

I was amazed that you could get everything organized all over the United State. How did you locate all these women?


Paul

Well, we turned it over to Dr. King; she said she would do it. She got in touch with women in their own state and they authorized her to represent them, and she got in touch with women in other states where women had the vote.


Fry

One thing that interested me was that Mary Ware Dennett accepted the key to the town of Hyattsville from the mayor, so she must have been in on this. Isn't she on the board of the National American?


Paul

Yes. In the beginning we worked, you see, much more closely together than we did later on. This was the first year before the separation had become quite so definite. You see there were only a few people, like Mrs. Catt, who seemed to have her heart very much in any animosity.


Fry

Then the next month, August 13 (that was just two weeks later) was this National Council of Women Voters, which was made up of women voters from the suffrage states.



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Paul

That's what I am telling you about.


Fry

That's what you organized?


Paul

No, I wouldn't say we. We arranged through Mrs. King to get it organized—Dr. King.


Fry

Well, it seemed to have a president—Emma Smith Devoe.


Paul

That's right.


Fry

Jane Addams became the national vice-president?


Paul

Because they just got the presidential vote out in Illinois.


Fry

They had a mass meeting in the Belasco Theater. It was "hot and crowded." [Laughing.]


Paul

Well, we really got up all these things and did all this organization work. But we were helped by the fact that we would send out the letters in Dr. King's name and Mrs. Devoe's—Mrs. Devoe Smith I think her name was.


Fry

Then I have another note here that in November, on November 17, a delegation of seventy-three New Jersey women came in to see the President.


Paul

Yes, that was Mrs. [Pikehurt? (inaudible)]. That's one of the things that Mr. Gallagher asked me about. I wonder where they get all that?


Fry

I think it's written up in one of the early books,

22.  Irwin, Inez Haynes Up Hill With Banners Flying, pp. 41-42 .

and it's kind of amusing because you couldn't get an appointment with the President but you went on over anyway.


Paul

I didn't go but they did. But they came down—we had asked them to come down [to Washington] because they were from the President's state. You know we kept these deputations [to President Wilson] with anybody we could think of that might be a new group. We thought well, his own state women might be good, so we asked Mrs. [Pikehurt?]. She was a member of the old National American; this was the first year when everybody was a member of the old


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National American, the whole branch was. Anyway I asked her—I remember it all very vividly—asked her to come down and she came. Then when they were there [in the headquarters], I called up the White House for them to announce that they had arrived and would like to see the President, and I was told that it was impossible because he was occupied and so on. And then we said, "Well, they would go over anyway and wait until he could see them." So then when they went he did receive them. It was just one of repeated deputations.

By the time we got through all these deputations he certainly knew that there was a widespread interest in the country. What he had asked us to do—to concert public opinion—we were trying to do . That was our point.


Fry

Another question I have is, would you want to tell anything about the problems of getting a suffrage committee in the House? The Senate had formed a suffrage committee; but the House continued to operate without one, and they made you work through the sub-committee of the Judiciary Committee.


Paul

There isn't much to say. I think that we thought it might be a good thing to have a special committee, but it of course didn't make much difference, just so we got it done. As far as I remember, we never did get a suffrage committee in the House, did we?


Fry

Well, you may have, along about 1917 or so.


Paul

I don't remember whether we ever did or not.


Fry

Seems like I remember that from my reading.

23. The House created a Suffrage Committee September 24, 1917.


Paul

You do a lot of things just in order to keep the subject going, and of course I never thought it made much difference which particular committee through all the years. But if you could make an agitation about a committee, you sometimes get to know friends and get new friends and so on. While we might not have been so anxious to get a report and have suffrage put in the Constitution, they might think, well, why shouldn't they have a committee? So we had all these little


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devices, not that they were so important, but it was a sort of device to keep the thing alive.


The Suffrage School

Fry

Another thing that you did later on is that you had a suffrage school; I thought that looked pretty impressive.


Paul

Yes, I remember all about it.


Fry

It's on page forty-two of December 20, 1913 Suffragist and there's a class in parliamentary law, by Mrs. Nanette Paul, L.L.D.


Paul

Yes, I remember it all very well.


Fry

Elsie Hill.


Paul

These were all devices to keep the subject before the women of the country and to get them more informed, you know.


Fry

This went on for several days.


Paul

I know it did.


Fry

It looks like an awfully good training curriculum for anybody working in political organization work. You even have parliamentary law and a class in vocal culture and public speaking and one in press work.


Paul

We didn't devote—I don't know that we ever had another session of it; we may have had. But we only did this, again, in the way of keeping this before the women because I know perfectly well you can't stop and devote yourself to the physical culture of your speakers, studying parliamentary law and so on. You just have to spend most of your time in the actual work before you. Of course each one of these schools cost us a lot of time to make it a real success. It was a good success. It was very, very successful.


Fry

Well, you must have gotten new workers out of it.


Paul

Maybe one or two. Not much.


Fry

Did you have very many of the schools?



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Paul

I don't remember how big a school—it wasn't supposed to be a big school. At that minute they were having these suffrage schools all over the country. We weren't, but people were.



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1914—The Formative Year

Nationwide Demonstration May 2

Fry

Now in 1914 the Suffragist in the April 11 issue talks about the nationwide demonstration to demand Passage by Congress of the Bristow-Mondell suffrage bill. So if you can remember anything about the planning on that and how it was pulled off, it would be interesting.


Paul

Which one was that?


Fry

This was in April of 1914, and you wanted a demonstration in every state on May 2. Did you get one?


Paul

Oh, we certainly did. Crystal Eastman, who had come on our national board, went all over the United States (not all, but a considerable section) getting people to hold processions and meetings, whatever they could, for the original Susan B. Anthony Amendment, and then to send people to Washington on May 2 to have a big demonstration there, which they did. The second one was very big and you will surely come across it here.


Fry

[Checking Suffragist .] Yes, there are quite a few pictures in the May 9, 1914 issue.


Paul

May 2 have you gotten to?


Fry

Yes, here's May 2.

"From Ocean to Ocean Suffragists Celebrate Great Day. Women from every congressional district to carry resolution to Washington on May 9. Plans for procession to the Capitol."

Suffragist, May 2


Paul

Yes, that's right. That's when we had one woman, I think, from every district. That's when the police—I told you the other night—when the police had more policemen out, the paper said, than we had marchers,


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[laughter] because we had it limited to one person to every district, and they had a tremendous number trying to make a good reputation for the police department.


Fry

It says here you sold your Suffragist in cities all over the country; sales were most gratifying. Here's a song, “March of the Women, ” that someone wrote—Ethel Smith.


Paul

You know what that is, don't you?


Fry

I've heard it.


Paul

Do you know what it is?


Fry

No.


Paul

Well, when the women were imprisoned in England, Dame Ethel Smith, who was given her title of Dame because of her reputation in the field of music, wrote this “March of the Women,” wrote the music for “March of the Women,” and wrote the words for the “March of the Women.” And from that time on it was sung in every—it was sung, I think, when I was back in England, in the suffrage days over there. It was sung always in prison by all of the suffragists and everywhere at every meeting and so on.

So then I knew about it, having been over there, so we brought it over here and had it sung at our meetings. And we still do. And the words are wonderful, you know. "Life, strife, these two are one." The words are superb in that. I think. And the music is stirring.


Fry

Yes, it is. I think Consuelo Reyes [companion of Mabel Vernon] has recorded that.


Paul

Yes, she's used it.


Fry

Here's a picture on the front of your May 16 issue of the front of the Congressional Union procession to the Capitol on May 9. So May was certainly your month. Here's this enormous, enormous crowd in front of the Capitol.


Paul

You see why we were so exhausted. You see why I have a "block" on my heart, the doctor says. [Laughter.]



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Policy of Holding Party in Power Responsible

Fry

I can see why your heart is tired.

But 1914 seems to me to be an important year because that was when you really started working holding the party in power responsible and you began to influence the elections.


Paul

Well, it is the first election campaign that occurred after we [the Congressional Union] were created. We couldn't do it before.


Fry

Did you have any opposition to that idea?


Paul

Yes, tremendous. We had opposition to everything we did. Everything.


Fry

I meant within your own councils, when you were planning it.


Paul

No, our own people, we were the same type of people; we got on all right. We didn't ever have any opposition or anything. We adopted this program at this meeting up at Mrs. Belmont's, you know.


Fry

Oh, yes, at Marble House in Newport?


Paul

Yes. We called this meeting—it was a meeting of our, I think, of our executive board and our national advisory council, I think. And we laid before the women—I presided at the meeting—and gave the outline of what we wanted to do, and Lucy Burns, who had been doing most of the congressional work, made the splendid speech showing how the Democrats had caucused against us as a whole body, and we couldn't start and support individual Democratic candidates even though they were for us, when they belonged to a caucus that had taken the action against us, and so on. So this vote went unanimously through.

We had a great many people there who were from the old National American. For instance, Mrs. Hepburn,

24. The actress Katherine Hepburn's mother and aunt were both active in the suffrage movement.


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although their branch didn't do what her sister's branch did—withdraw from the National American. She went to this conference and voted for this, and I remember she wrote me afterwards and said, "The way you and Lucy Burns with your program swept us all completely into this movement is something I was very much impressed by" or something like that. So she was wholeheartedly—and she was a great power up in the state. So they had this dissension of course all the time in the old National American, with so many women trying to get the National American to stand with us, which they didn't succeed in doing.


Fry

National American had promised cooperation in this nationwide demonstration in May, 1914. Did they cooperate?


Paul

Well, I remember when we had this they had some kind of a float (maybe it shows in one of the pictures, I don't know) showing their support of the Shafroth-Palmer.


Fry

Oh. [Laughing.]


Paul

Putting it in ou r demonstration.


Fry

That wasn't quite what you had in mind, was it?


Paul

Well, most of the people that looked on had no idea what was the "Shafroth-Palmer." [Laughter.] It didn't make much difference. We didn't worry about it. It got us some more people.


Fry

At this Newport meeting at Mrs. Belmont's Marble House, my notes mention also that there was $7,000 raised.


Paul

Mrs. Belmont gave $5,000. After we had announced our program and so on, she got up and offered $5,000, which she paid.


Fry

May I ask you one more question that isn't quite clear to me?


Paul

Have you gone all through these records in the Suffragist for the things you are asking me about, have you gone through?


Fry

I have read the Suffragist .


Paul

The questions you are asking me, is that the period you have covered [in your research, so far]?



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Fry

Yes. And there's one other thing that I want to ask you. The Suffragist said that on this May 9 mass meeting an so forth in Washington, 531 delegates from various states presented resolutions to the committee of senators and congressmen,

"which then were introduced on the floor of each house." This was the first time that suffrage had been up for debate on the floor of the House, although "Congressman Henry would not let the Rules Committee meet on it at first."

Suffragist

Is that the right impression, that the petitions were presented to the senators and congressmen and then immediately introduced as bills into each House? Or was it?


Paul

Well, I think the petitions were presented in support. Usually you get your resolution introduced at the beginning of each Congress, and I imagine we did.


Fry

The purpose of this May march—


Paul

—was to back it up.


Fry

Was to back it up and make a demonstration in support of the bill?


Paul

That's right. All of our demonstrations were for that purpose. The only thing we changed in that was that finally we gave up Bristow-Mondell's name and put in Susan B. Anthony. In our demonstrations.


Fry

I wanted to ask you about the formation of an advisory council.


Paul

What year was that?


Fry

This was 1914. Harriot Stanton Blatch joined it in September; you had a lot of famous women on it from all over the nation. So I wonder if this was an effort on your part to get a wider base of support.


Paul

Yes. Of course. Mrs. Blatch may have founded it, but the principal person—


Fry

No, I didn't say that she founded it. I just know that she joined it in September.


Paul

Oh, she joined it. Well, the person who was the chairman, [pause] and I thought she was always the chairman, (maybe she wasn't in the beginning) was a Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers, the one I told you went with me to Secretary Stimson. She worked always as the chairman


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of our advisory council. Everything we did, we would have the advisory council there.


Fry

In getting an advisory council like that together it takes a great amount of contacting women, and I noticed they were from all different walks of life. Could you give us any idea of how on earth you would go about something like that?


Paul

Well we got a chairman, the one that we wanted to be a chairman (and I think it was Mrs. Rogers; I don't remember any other chairman). Then she of course would write to people she knew. She was very well known; her family, Secretary of War Stimson, was very well known. She had many connections. She got it together herself. And if anybody heard of somebody she thought would be nice to get as a member but would not be likely to do much work—say some writer, some woman physician, or something, somebody who was well known but she didn't believe she would do very much work, then we would ask her to go on the advisory council.


Fry

So how did you use this council then, just as names for—


Paul

No. I just recall—I am almost sure they were at this meeting at Newport, and I think they were at every meeting we ever had.


Fry

So that they really did participate and gave ideas.


Paul

Yes. And they were willing to do that, you see, to come to a meeting where a decision was to be made. It was a very useful organization.


Fry

Well, the other thing that I would just like to hear you talk about is how you handled the Democratic women in trying to get them to campaign against their Democratic candidates, in holding the party in power responsible.


Paul

You mean in the suffrage states?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

Well, we just used the same argument that we did with all women: that women who had the vote now had the obligation we thought—anyway they had the opportunity—more than anybody else, to enfranchise the rest of the women in the country. And we would appeal to them to use their votes in a way that would help, and we'd point


126
out that the administration was formally against the enfranchisement of women, and if they voted for that administration they were voting against the freedom of women. That's all there was to it.

You see, in each one of these election campaigns, we got women to go into every state, who believed this and who could get up and say it, and that way, I guess, we turned a great many votes. We didn't have to turn enough [votes] to defeat a man; if he just felt there was an unrest among his women on the subject, then it would be probable that when he came back he would use his influence in his party to stop this opposition, which was the case—that did happen.


Fry

Did you run into the stickly problem of having to campaign against Democrats who had worked hard for the Amendment?


Paul

Well, I don't know anybody who ever worked hard .


Fry

Or who had supported you in Congress?


Paul

But of course we did in the suffrage states because everybody was supporting us in Congress from the suffrage states.


Fry

Did you lose any friends in Congress?


Paul

I don't think we did. It made people [candidates] very angry, but I think they—of course they were angry when we diminished their support in their own states. But still they would probably always keep on being for the Amendment because the women were voting and very few men wanted to go against the votes for women in a state where women were voting. Of course in the Senate, Senator Borah [of Idaho] did vote against us. I think he was the only senator from a suffrage state that did.


Fry

Why did he? Do you know?


Paul

I don't know why he did. What he said publicly was that he was for it, and he thought people should get it the same way Idaho did, by their state referendum.


Fry

Oh, the same states' rights thing.


Paul

What he said was a defense. As to why he really was against it, I don't know. We had an organizer, Margaret Widemore [?] who went up to the state of Idaho, and I


127
remember she went down to the capitol where you could look at—in that state—the signatures of the men who were running and see what they had put themselves down as supporting. In Idaho they did this. He'd put himself down as supporting the national suffrage amendment.

He came to see me personally in our headquarters in Washington and said the same thing, that he was supporting us, and he wanted us to know and to not continue any opposition, which we were having in the beginning, against him. He came into our office [in 1918] and sat down, in a long talk, telling me this. And he told the senators this.

And when this measure came up for a vote in the Senate, when we were almost at the point we thought of winning (and that must have been 1918 I guess; I think it was in the winter), Maud Younger and I sat up—she was our congressional chairman you know and a wonderful chairman—we sat up together in the gallery. We thought the vote was going to be taken in the Senate. We thought we had the votes exactly, but not one over. And she knew every man so intimately, she made that her business, just to know them thoroughly and personally and socially and their wives and everything. And so, on the strength of her report and our own general information, we thought we could risk the vote. And from all over the country women came, packed and jammed with people from great distances who came for this first vote in the Senate on the equal suffrage amendment. Maybe there had been earlier ones where it wasn't really going to be passed, but this was the first one when it looked as though it would go through.

So finally when all these speeches went on and on and on and on and on, and no vote was being taken, Maud Younger went down to see what the cause of it was. And we went up to Senator Curtis, who was the Republican Whip from Kansas, (later the Vice-President under Hoover) and Senator Gallinger from New Hampshire who was a Republican leader of the Senate (this was when the Republicans were in control). We went up to them and there they were, each one standing side-by-side with a tally sheet in their hands, and we said, "Why in the world don't you vote? All these women are assembled to hear the vote and it's going on and on."

And they said, "Well, Borah has left us."


128

We said, "We think we have the votes." And they said, "We think you have the votes too. We thought you had the votes and we knew you had the votes. And we were planning to take the vote. But when Borah told us that he had decided to vote against it, we knew we couldn't carry it because we would be one vote short. And so," he said, "we have instructed all our leaders on the floor of the Senate to just keep on talking, get as much enthusiasm for it as they can, and then the time will be up and they will move to adjourn, because we don't want to be voted down, which would be very harmful to you and to the Republican party. We don't want that to happen." So we agreed with them that was the best thing to do and the only thing to do.

So nobody really knows what happened to Borah because we had had his pledge when he came to this office personally—he took the trouble to come to an unimportant group and sit down and tell their chairman that he was going to vote for this measure, and please not to make any more trouble in his state. And he went down and signed it, and this Miss Widemore, I am sure, was correct when she said she read it and saw his name signed to things he would support. And then he told his own Republican Whip and his own Republican leader, Gallinger, because they said he told them he would vote for it. And he didn't. So that postponed our Senate victory for maybe half a year.

I guess you haven't come to that yet in the Suffragist .


Fry

Not yet.

After you had campaigned against the Democrats in 1914, the Amendment, which had been bottled up in Congressman Henry's Rules Committee all that year, was suddenly voted out, without recommendation, to the House; he let it come to a vote in the committee.


Paul

Well, of course the purpose was to start to speed it up.


Fry

Do you see that as a direct result of your work?


Paul

Well, we knew it was, of course. Because if you get on the Rules Committee, there were a good many men—Republicans and Democrats—and if they see signs of their women wanting something and expressing it in their votes, you see some of the senators and congressmen did have


129
their votes diminished—I don't know whether any of them were defeated because of this, but anyway their strength—and they knew it, they always said so, they blamed it on us—Mr. Gallagher read me something I hadn't known and I don't know where he got it from, in one of these books probably. A statement by Mr. Taggart of Kansas, and you will come across it.


Fry

In the hearing?


Paul

On the result of the election, Mr. Taggart made these furious statements against us and oh, violent statements against us, that we had gone in and poisoned the minds of the women in his state and so on and so on. (He was from Kansas.) But then as far as I know—


Fry

He raked you over the coals pretty hard in a hearing; I don't know whether you remember it or not. And the transcript of the hearing was reprinted in the Suffragist . It was after the 1914 elections.

25. Partial transcript is also in Irwin, Inez Haynes Up Hill With Banners Flying, pp. 119-124 . The hearing was in December, 1915.


Paul

Yes, because we felt—


Fry

He was really upset about it.


Paul

—it was good evidence (we put it in to encourage the women) it was good evidence to show that when they defected on this subject, it was making a congressman give real serious attention to the subject.

[Discussion of date of hearing.]


Paul

We kept up the policy till the end, you see. And I am sure it was a very effective policy because it was an appeal to the solidarity of women, through all the highest motives they could have in voting, and it lifted the whole thing up to where they were standing for a great principle; we thought anyway, and they thought so too, evidently, so that they would put this principle above their party and everything else.



130

Opposition

Paul

It was inevitable that it would have an effect on the congressmen. We didn't care very much whether we defeated them or didn't defeat them. We knew anyway, whichever we did, they would still probably vote as the women of the state wanted, which would be for it. I don't remember any man from the suffrage states who voted against it excepting Borah. And he made it clear that he wasn't voting against us, he was only voting for state referendum [slight laughter], to get it the same way Idaho had gotten it. But I think he must have had some other motive.


Fry

There must be a story there that we don't know.

I thought that I detected, as I read through The Suffragist, every time a southern chapter was formed or something good would happen in the southern states, a little note of "Look, the South is coming around," if I read between the lines correctly. I wanted to check with you on this. Was the South a bit more difficult than other areas to get woman suffrage established, because of the race question?


Paul

Well, I don't think the race question would have come into it. Maybe the general conservatism of the South.


Fry

Well, there was an editorial in the Suffragist about how national suffrage would not affect white supremacy in the political world in the South, and I thought maybe that editorial wouldn't have been necessary if this hadn't been a problem.


Paul

Maybe, but it wasn't anything that was very serious. We just knew we had to go everywhere, and if we went to one state there would be some difficulties, and in another state another difficulty.


131

Now, I went down myself and formed a branch in Florida. We got one of the best members we ever had in the whole Woman's Party history, and that was Helen West, who later became the editor of our Equal Rights magazine. (We got an Equal Rights magazine after the Suffragist .) And at that same meeting we got somebody [from Florida] to come up [to Washington]; she was the oldest picket, and she was arrested and imprisoned.


Fry

Oh, yes.


Paul

And I remember when I went myself to Texas and formed that branch, and we got one of the strongest branches in the country through this Mrs. Clara Snell Wolfe, and she brought all these Maverick people in, Lola Maverick Lloyd and all these people whose children are still helping us. And South Carolina, we—by correspondence, not even going there—we got Anita Pollitzer, who just became the backbone almost of our movement. She came, you know, from Charleston.

figure
“Anita Pollitzer, Suffragist, Dies, ” ( New York Times, 5 July 1975)


Fry

Well, it seemed that there might be too—


Paul

And from Tennessee, for instance, (excuse me one word, one minute) we got Sue White. One of our members went, I think Maud Younger went down there and had a meeting and got Sue White to come up and stay at the headquarters and give up all her work. She had been a court stenographer and she came up and she just devoted herself to the campaign. She was one of those who burned the President's words in front of the White House, which was one of the hardest things anybody could have done. And she was from Tennessee, another southern state, you see. So I could go through all those southern states and tell of the very strong supporters we had.


Fry

Well, I thought that there might have been two other issues that kept impinging on the suffrage issue. One of them was the southern issues of states' rights and race relations, and the other one was the prohibition issue—liquor.


Paul

Well, the liquor interests were always considered, and many people still believe it is the main source of opposition. I don't know very much about the liquor interests, but they always had a formal representative, publicly representing them, speaking against the Amendment in every hearing as far as I can recall. And of course many people thought it was a very powerful opposition. I don't know that it was so much. They thought women


132
would be the temperate half of the world, you know, and they didn't want to give them more power.

And then this other one, about states' rights, there was no question that the states' rights movement—of course it was embodied in the old National American woman suffrage position. The women themselves were divided. I told you about how Mrs. Helen Gardner withdrew publicly from us and personally from us on the grounds that she discovered that we were really in earnest about putting the Amendment in the Constitution. And didn't appear again until the vote was won, when she appeared at the meeting giving them the pens I believe, for the proclamation. I told you all that.

There is no question about that opposition; it was the voice of the President himself.


Fry

What do you mean, "giving them the pens"?


Paul

I told you how President Wilson assembled a group of people the night before the proclamation was issued and you know, they always sign it and then they give the pens, one pen to one person, one to another, then everybody goes away with a pen signed to some important document. So the people he assembled there were states' rights women who had opposed us. I don't know whether all of them were states' rights people, but probably they all were. Those I knew about were.

And the other thing you said about the racial [issue]—. I want to tell you there was formed, and you probably know this, sometime while we were having the suffrage campaign I guess, a—let's see—National Association of Colored Women was its name (I guess you know all this) by Mary Church Terrell, who was the first Negro woman ever to graduate from a college, and she graduated from Oberlin. She married a judge in Washington, appointed by one of the presidents, a Negro judge. She got together a group of women that is still the largest and most important group of colored women in the country, called the National Association of Colored Women. Well, they supported us always.

In our first procession we had a group from Howard University which Elsie Hill organized. She went over there and spoke to them and got these colored women to come. At that first—I guess I've told you this—it was the only thing that brought dissension in our first procession. Have I told you about it?



133
Fry

No.


Paul

Well, she went there and organized these women and got them to come and—not this National Association of Colored Women, but just the women in Howard. She was having this [parade] section herself of college women, so she did that in connection with this, invited the college women in Howard to come, all of whom were Negroes.

So they accepted and became one of the groups getting this up, and when this became public I began to receive letters from many, many, many, many splendid supporters we had, saying, "This is unheard of. We are certainly not going to come up and march in a procession where you have colored women marching." It reached the newspapers and they played it up to the utmost, to get dissension sowed in our ranks. It was quite a problem. It was extremely difficult because we had so many women saying, "There will be nobody from our town, there will be nobody from our state to do this," then lots coming forth in the newspapers inflaming everybody about the subject. [Laughs.] It was a very difficult situation.

And so I remember how we finally solved it. We had—as I recall rightly, and I would have to check this—I think we had a men's section in this first procession, and I think these men were gathered together by a Quaker man whom I knew, whom I think was a distant relative of mine, named Mr.—I won't put his name, because I might be mistaken. This man said, "Well now, our group could be placed right next to the colored women because we have no objection whatsoever. We don't think anything at all about this fuss over this colored women's delegation."

So it is my dim recollection—if only Elsie Hill were living I could ask her all these thing that I don't remember. I think in her college section—which is my section as I told you, walking—that we had this colored group, and it is possible that they had a whole separate section of colored women. But I think they were in the college section. I'm not sure about that, but there was a colored section anyway, a section of colored women. And so we put this men's group next to them, and the men's group were perfectly polite. Finally everybody calmed down and accepted it, so it was this men's group that really saved the day for us.

And I want to tell you, this National Association


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of Colored Women that Mrs. Mary Church Terrell formed came in during the course of our suffrage fight, came in later than this first procession, but from the time they came in as supporters they have always stood by us, up to the present time.


Fry

I saw your problem not as being one of lack of support by the blacks but as one of—


Paul

Oh, it wasn't that. It was lack of support by the white women.


Fry

Yes, because they didn't want any more blacks voting in the South.


Paul

No, it wasn't ever that. I never heard of that before. First time I have ever heard anybody say that . There were not so many black people voting anyway because they had this grandfather's clause and various things, you know. They didn't worry about that at all. What they were worried about was being personally associated in any way with these colored women. On that ground they left us— they never finally left but they threatened to leave.


Fry

You mean in the organization?


Paul

Well, it came up about our first procession—they weren't parts of our organization.


Fry

But after that—


Paul

The white women were parts of our organization but the colored women who were coming in were not a part.


Fry

Judging from the Suffragist, apparently your workers in the South were finding that the opposition there was saying that if the woman suffrage amendment passed, it might increase the number of Negro voters in the South. The editorial that I read in the The Suffragist, which is in the November 14, 1914 issue, page three, pointed out that the white women voters in Dixie will outnumber Negro women two-to-one; and besides that, the property and literacy tests rule out Negro voters anyway, usually; and in states where there are more Negroes than whites,

"white supremacy could be continued to be maintained by the same means as now prevails in these states."

Suffragist, November 14, 1914, p. 3

Therefore the Amendment would not alter the proportions of the black-white vote.



135
Paul

I think I probably wrote that editorial because I wrote almost all the editorials in the first few years of our magazine.


Fry

And it has a little chart to illustrate these points.


Paul

But I don't think I ever personally thought that this was a serious matter. Somebody was always thinking up some dread thing you had to answer.


Fry

I have some notes here on the opposition and I thought maybe you could fill out the picture. There was an opposition paper called the “Woman Patriot, ” which was financed by a rich man named Wadsworth, and somewhere I picked up a note that this was a part of the Alice Longworth crowd.


Paul

[James Wolcott] Wadsworth [Jr.], you know, was the state senator [assemblyman] from New York, and then later defeated the congressman from New York [and became U.S. Senator], one of the most powerful men in Congress. And his wife, Mrs. James Wadsworth was the president of the association against votes for women. They appeared at every hearing, they were powerful women, wealthy women, and a powerful organization, and all over the country they had these branches. You know it was a very big force we were up against. And this was the leading, the crystallization, of the opposition by the leaders of this group all over the country.


Fry

Did this hit its peak in 1914, '15 and '16?


Paul

I should say it had its peak when the vote was taken in the House of Representatives [in 1919].


Tape 4, Side B

It was always apparently well-financed and extremely active and led by very prominent women who sincerely believed it was for the benefit of the country not to have the vote for women. Now what happened was they withdrew from the campaign, and I hope you read this when you get to the—it will be in the 1919 issues—have you read that yet?


Fry

I did, but it has been years ago, Alice.


Paul

You haven't read it right now, since you have been here.



136
Fry

I have read a few pages in it; but go ahead, what were you going to say?


Paul

Well, when the vote was taken in the House of Representatives the first time, it was taken twice. The first time was I think in the spring of 1919, but you can find it there in the Suffragist .

26. The Amendment first passed in the House January 10, 1918, by a vote of 274 to 136—one vote to spare.

In order to defeat the Amendment, a man from Ohio who was considered an opponent, named—I think his name was [Hamilton] Gard, G-a-r-d [Democrat], but I would have to verify these things; I think it was that. Congressman Gard got up and offered an amendment to the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, which was before them for a vote, you see. (Maybe you saw this.) His amendment was to require ratification within seven years. And the reason for this was that the prohibition amendment had gone through with that addition. But there had never been one before; that was put in by the saloon keepers and so on to try to get the prohibition amendment defeated. So the anti-suffrage movement then adopted the same tactics and tried to put this seven-year amendment through.

And all over the hall cries came up of "Shame." They knew what he was doing, trying to defeat us by this. And so this amendment of Mr. Gard's was voted on and turned down, defeated. So then they had the original amendment, "The right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex," with no limitation on it in any way.

And then (I think I told you all this before) then Mrs. Wadsworth—and you will find this in the Suffragist because I looked it up in our recent fight to keep the seven years out [of the Equal Rights Amendment].

27. The ERA was up for ratification at the time of the interview. A seven-year clause was added to it before passage by Congress.

I looked it up to check on what had happened—and Mrs. Wadsworth issued a statement right after the defeat of this measure to put the seven years on, saying that, "We realize that it is useless to go on any longer in opposing the equal suffrage amendment, now that the seven-year clause has been omitted, because without the seven-year clause, the women, if they don't win this year, they could go on next year, and next year and next
137
year until they do win. There is no question it will go into the Constitution. So we have decided to withdraw from the campaign against it."

And so it was very wonderful for us because throughout this whole ratification campaign we never had a whisper from any of these powerful women and the well- financed, organization of the league against votes for women, because of Mrs. Wadsworth's withdrawal of the whole organization from any further opposition. She said, "It's useless, essentially useless. They have won by defeating that seven-year [clause]."

I couldn't seem to get that over to any of our women [last year]—that by putting the seven-year [clause on the Equal Rights Amendment], they were doing exactly what our opponents were trying to do in vain back in the suffrage campaign, and the leader of the campaign against votes for women was much more powerful than any leader we have now, but she withdrew and said, "We will give up the battle now. We won't go into any campaign." And we went through all these states and we never had anybody opposing. Other people opposed as individuals, but we never had a group of women opposing, which was our most formidable opposition.


Fry

And that seven-year clause now just gives hope to the opponents of the ERA?


Paul

Well, it would give hope to anybody that has to try to put something over that is difficult to put over. If you limit the time in which you can oppose you limit yourself, you see.


Fry

Did you ever have any indications that some of the money for these antis [anti-suffragists] came from liquor interests? Maybe some of the money in the Wadsworth crowd, do you think?


Paul

We don't know where they got it from. They were all wealthy women, that type of women.


Fry

They had money anyway?


Paul

I don't know. We had no idea. But the liquor interests were totally different. They had a personal motive: they thought that women would be so given to temperance that their own business interests would be destroyed.


Fry

There is one more opposition factor. That's some of the


138
newspapers. The New York Times : did you have trouble with the The New York Times and Adolph Backs? [Ochs]


Paul

Who was he supposed to be?


Fry

Apparently he was a writer or an editor on the The New York Times and was bitterly opposed to suffrage.


Paul

Yes, I think the The New York Times was opposed. I don't recall it was ever for us.


Fry

And there was a newspaper in Louisville that was opposed.


Paul

I think a great many papers—I don't think we had very much support from the press.


Fry

Oh, you didn't?


Paul

No.


Fry

Well, what I have been reading in the Suffragist are the quotes from newspapers that did support you, so I think that might give a kind of a skewed impression of the support you got from the press.


Paul

When you say the [The New York Evening] Post, do you mean the The New York Evening Post ? Did you say the [The New York Evening] Post


Fry

No. I said the Louisville paper, and I don't know which one.


Paul

Oh, Louisville paper.


Fry

It's referred to as "Waterson's paper," and I don't know which one Waterson had. We'd have to look that up. But I wondered if you remembered.


Paul

Well, as a whole, we had this wonderful person who did all the press work for us and kept all the press work for us, kept all the clippings and so on. We have the clippings down there, a great many of them, in Washington; you could go through and see. But my impression was that we weren't getting much support from the press. I know that we got support from a few, and we always recognized it and knew who they were. One of them was a paper up in Boston which was edited by Mr. Greuning; you know, Senator Greuning. You know who he is.


Fry

Yes.



139
Paul

Did he die, by any chance? Do you know whether he died?


Fry

It seems to me he did.


Paul

Because in the middle of this election campaign, you know, he was the chief speaker for McGovern [in the campaign this year] , his number one speaker. And his wife is a member of our national board, Dorothy Greuning. He went all over the United States speaking for McGovern, and then I heard over the television one day during the midst of the campaign that he was very, very, very ill and [it was] not known whether he would recover, and I never heard a thing about his death. so I didn't know whether he survived or not.

Anyway [I was at his house and he] told me the other day himself that in looking through the papers for his memoirs which he was writing then, that he had found a letter from me, as national chairman of the Woman's Party, to him thanking him for the great help he had given in winning the vote for women, and he said he had kept it all these years and was putting it in his memoirs. Well, there were individual cases where people did go all out and help us. When we were picketing up in Boston, when the women were arrested on Boston Common all these times, he came to our aid.



140

Discussion: Sources for History of the National Woman's Party

Fry

Do you have the newspaper clippings in scrapbooks?


Paul

We have volumes of them.


Fry

Where?


Paul

In the National Woman's Party headquarters.


Fry

Oh. But not in the Library of Congress?


Paul

No, I hope they are not. Mrs. Belmont, before she became interested in our [campaign] and joined us, when she first became interested in suffrage in general and was financial contributor to the old National American Suffrage Association, she bought a house on the corner of, in New York City. I don't know which exact corner but just right there, that neighborhood, a whole building. She established a society called—I think she called it—the Political Equality Association, and she made herself the president, and she started in to try to work any way she could.

Then when the National American practically threw us out, you know when they told us to resign and try for a membership in another form, she was their principal financial backer then. So she withdrew from them completely in indignation and joined us.


Fry

Oh, so that's why she entered the scene right then. I wondered what prompted her to do that.


Paul

We had gone to see her and gotten her interested a little bit, and she approved of everything we were doing. Then she was outraged when the National American acted this way toward us. It was in the spring of 1914,


141
when we were at our lowest ebb, when she joined us. She had already bought this house and she had on the ground floor a little office. Later on she gave this office to us, and it was the New York City office of the National Woman's Party. And she went, you know, on our board, after about a year.

So in her office she employed a girl, a Jewish girl, to search all the newspapers in the country that she could search, and find any article about votes for women and paste in her scrapbooks. They were about this thick, and I don't know how many volumes of them, several shelves of them. So I imagine that all these people writing books come down there; they always go through these press clippings.


Fry

Are those at Belmont House in Washington?


Paul

Yes, they are there. And I hope when you go down you will go and see all these things.


141a

[ Closed to research until 1 January 1978]


Paul

I am pretty much worried, I am very worried, because we have a new chairman, and I think she is well-meaning but I don't think she knows very much about the campaign, or is at all the type of the women who built the organization up. She was in the Bureau of Internal Revenue for years, she had some subordinate position there:

28. She had been with Bache & Company in New York—before the Internal Revenue. - Donald Paul.

now she's resigned from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and has come down and taken our biggest room in the headquarters, that no chairman has ever taken before, and filled it with her own possessions and just taken over the whole headquarters and all the money and everything else. And to my great alarm, just before I came up [here to live, this year] she came to me and she said, "I have made the most wonderful arrangement I have gotten $10,000 for the Woman's Party. And you know what I have done? I am giving [the Library of Congress] all the records of the Woman's Party and they have agreed to put the whole staff of girls on sorting all our records and our filing cases and so on, and putting them all in the congressional library, as a gift to the Library."

And I said, "But you haven't any right to do that. A great part of those letters are my personal letters that I have written over the country hither and yon, and Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller has written a great many of these letters, and "—you know who she was, don't you?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

"Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles has written a great many of them; there are volumes and volumes and volumes of letters in these filing cases, and without the consent of these women, you haven't any right to do this." And I said, "All kinds of personal letters are mixed in there, and it would be a great violation of the understanding on which these people came and wrote their letters here for us."

But I don't know that I stopped her; I am not sure. And I am so terribly afraid that I am going to learn that [she has done it]; she makes everything seem very plausible—so.


142

Mrs. Butler Franklin, do you know her?


Fry

No.


Paul

Well, she is our first vice-chairman, and she is an extremely fine woman, very fine woman. She is a second cousin of Mrs. Belmont, lives out in Virginia close to Washington and comes in quite often. Well, she called me up and she said, "We are going to have a board meeting and the subject is what to do with all the Woman's Party documents."

I said to her just what I am saying to you. "These must not be given away, and I think it would be absolutely dishonest to do such a thing, and when the whole campaign is over, we ought to do as we did when the whole suffrage campaign was over: put some very responsible person in charge of sorting the papers and discarding what should be discarded and classifying them and cataloguing them and then giving what we want to give to the congressional library. But not just turn over to these dozen young colored girls (what they have now, almost nothing else in the congressional library) to come in harum-scarum. No telling what we'd find left in the papers in the congressional library. It would be a terrible, terrible thing."

So I was going to say, if you get a chance to impress upon this Mrs. Chittick—in case any papers are left—the sacred duty that we have to preserve them and not give them out to the world to people who know nothing about their value, or what should be said or not said.


Fry

Well, something like that needs to be gone over by someone familiar with the Party first, I guess.


Paul

Yes, but if they get over to the congressional library and these colored girls start—they will send everything down and it's going to be in the manuscript department. I remember when a man—maybe I told you this—came in to see me who was writing the life of Jeannette Rankin, did I tell you about that? And he came across a letter from Mrs. Catt.


Fry

Oh, yes.


Paul

Well, we don't want that sort of thing to happen. If Mrs. Miller has written a letter to somebody saying, "Well, I think Miss Vernon is a not a very competent


143
person" (or something. She never would write such a letter, but supposing something like that) such injurious letters might happen to be left there by chance. I think it is a dreadful thing.


Fry

Well, my experience at Belmont House last week was that nothing is available to anybody, at least right now. I couldn't even look at a copy of Irwin's book.


Paul

Well, maybe she didn't have one to show you.


Fry

Yes, she said she had several.


Paul

Well, why wouldn't she let you look at it?


Fry

She said she had no facilities to handle people like me who come in wanting to see a copy of the Suffragist or a book. I explained to her that I couldn't carry all these things from Berkeley with me out here.


Paul

Did you tell her that you were coming up here?


Fry

No, I was trying to tape record Mabel Vernon in Washington, which is what I told her I was about to do at that time.


Paul

Well, that is absolutely outrageous!


Fry

There was just no way that I could come in and use anything. So I don't think any materials are available, right now at least.


Paul

Well, I am so afraid it is all going to go to the congressional library; I am so terribly afraid of it.


Fry

Does she want to move that entire library over to the Library of Congress?


Paul

No, she wants to take all these filing cases [of papers] like my filing cases up here. I brought a few up [to Connecticut] with me, which are my own letters. If I had known what sort of person she was, I would have brought them all up, while I had a chance. I had a mover bring them up. It was very expensive, but when I got this idea that she was going to put them over in the congressional library and have them start to sort and analyze and see what they'd keep and what not, I was horrified. All my expressions of anxiety didn't seem to have the slightest effect on her.


144

And then I thought it had; for a while I didn't think she would do it. Then I got this telephone call up here from Mrs. Butler Franklin, first vice-chairman, and she said the subject was coming up and will you tell me what you think we ought to do about it, and I told her.

And so then she called me after the meeting and she said, "Well, we voted to have a committee, and the chairman of the committee is somebody who has never been in our movement."


Fry

Oh, Chittick said to me that there was some professor, a woman, who was going to take over the handling of writing the history and get a grant to catalogue everything in the library. Maybe that's this person who's head of the committee, do you think?


Paul

I don't know, but this was a woman, and Mrs. Franklin said Mrs. Chittick seemed to have everything in hand and know just what ought to be done. And she said this was a wonderful arrangement she had made with the Congressional library, and "I am sure you will think so too." Well, [laughing] I couldn't have thought so less , but I didn't know what I could do way up here. The meeting was over and they had voted it. They put it in the hands of this unknown woman, totally unknown, I don't know anything about her. She is chairman of the committee to dispose of all our records, all our tremendous effort through all these years is to be—


Fry

Well, I hope she doesn't dispose of anything that is valuable.


Paul

Well she will dispose of all the records. Records are very valuable. Everything, she says, is now in the hands of this woman. I hesitate to go down there. I don't want to have a blow-up over it.


Fry

What had you given to to the Library of Congress before? I remember going through quite a few boxes there.


Paul

I told you what we had given. At the end of the suffrage campaign I told you this Miss Mary Fillbrook [sp?], a lawyer and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and very used to doing research, and one of our own members. She was the one who opened the bar to women in New Jersey. She was a young girl about nineteen when she studied law in her father's office and then wanted to practice and discovered that no woman could


145
practice in New Jersey. So she went down, this young girl, and single-handed got the bill through to open the bar to women in New Jersey. She has always been a very good, wonderful feminist. (And she died recently too.) So at the end of the last world war or whenever it was that the Depression came, before the war or after the war—I have forgotten when it came [laughing].


Fry

Before World War II while you were in Europe.


Paul

Whenever it was, she told me that she couldn't really continue to practice in New Jersey because the Italians had taken over all northern New Jersey, and they had Italian judges, Italian court officials, and she said that first of all there is a prejudice against a woman, and then there is a prejudice against an American, and she said, "I can't get any case because the people trust me, but they know that when I go into court, I will have the court against me, against them." So she said, "I just can't get any cases." And so she said she was going to apply, if we approved, for a grant from this WPA, I think the thing was called, to catalogue all the records of the suffrage campaign.

Well, we were very happy because I knew she would be the absolutely perfect person. Reliable and conscientious, thorough and knowing everything about it, as much as I knew about the campaign; she would know everything . She would know what to be preserved and what to be discarded and how to classify it and so on.

So she got the grant herself. She went forth and did it. The grant was for two years, if I remember rightly— this might not be correct, but it is my impression—and she was to employ as big a staff as she could on this amount of money they gave her. And I think—again I may be mistaken in the number but I think she employed twelve women, and she took the whole responsibility. We took one room in our headquarters and Mrs. Fillbrook had it wired all over with chicken wire so that nobody could possibly get in there to run off with any papers or anything. And there for about two years she worked. She had this staff, she directed the whole thing, and she saw exactly what they did, and then when it was finished we had an exhibit over in that great big lobby, you know in the front of the congressional library when you go up the steps, in that great big one. We had an exhibit of photographs from the beginning to the end of the suffrage campaign and of everything that made a good showing in the exhibit. Everything was


146
labeled by one of our members who was a librarian, a very impressive exhibit I thought. So then the congressional library asked if we would give all our archives that Mrs. Fillbrook had gathered together of the suffrage campaign to the congressional library. And we said that we would loan them and we would be grateful if they would protect them, because we didn't have any paid librarian and we didn't have any fireproof building and we didn't feel we were as well equipped as they were.

So they said all right, they would take it as a loan. And every year they sent us a letter saying would we like to convert it into a gift, and we would always say no, we think we ought to keep title to these possessions. (And we do.) And that we hope someday that we could have a headquarters in which they could be taken care of with a professional staff and so on. We have had very good relationships with the Library.

Well now, building on that good relationship, she is apparently trying to dispose of all the rest that we have, just turn it over to them, not turn it over to somebody who would do it for us.

And I wish very much, but I can't do anything with her, that Mabel Vernon could be gotten to take a little responsibility. We put her on this national board, and while I am up here she could do everything that I could do [there in Washington, things] I know she knows and could do so well. But is she too old to do anything?


Fry

Well, it is hard for Mabel to get around.


Paul

I know, but when she does get around, can't she—I can't see how she can let Mrs. Chittick do these terrible things.


Fry

Mabel could do a lot by telephone, I think.


Paul

Or she could go up in a taxi. Consuelo always takes her everywhere and helps her downstairs into a taxi, helps her get over to our headquarters. And when I came up here for the summer, that's the way it was always, she came up quite often. But she couldn't have come without Consuelo.

But I never could get Mabel to—I don't know why, whether she has gotten too fatigued, or too bored by it, or—I say, "Won't you do this, this is such a crisis,"


147
and so on. Just as if I had been in Washington, I certainly would have done something about seeing that you got that material. I can't see why Mabel wouldn't do those things. She is on the board and can cast a vote.


Fry

Well, she sees it as a very big problem. That's all I know. Maybe if you called her—


Paul

She sees what as a problem?


Fry

Well, Miss Chittick.


Paul

I thought she was supporting Mrs. Chittick in every way. She certainly was when I was down there. Of course she doesn't like to—nobody else does either—to get in any fight with anybody, but she is in a position really to save our records.


Fry

Maybe if you call Mabel, it would help.


Paul

I had planned, you know, to go down to Philadelphia and then I planned to go on to Washington. And then when I discovered that I would have to pay $20 a day to go into a hotel (I was afraid Mrs. Chittick wouldn't allow me to [stay at] the headquarters), I thought well, I will spend a lot of money and in that short time I can't help Consuelo [with her audio-visual history], which was my main purpose in going—I would need more time, I was afraid. But I think maybe this [recording we are doing] will do what she wants.


Fry

I hope so, yes, I think so.


Paul

I don't know what to make of Mrs. Chittick, really I don't know what to make of her.

[Tape off.]



148

1915 A Year of Field Work

Fry

In 1915, you were organizing a lot in the individual states, right?


Paul

Yes. And then we were making it all point up to the meeting in California, where we were going to concentrate on organizing as much support as we could from the women voters.


Fry

My notes here say, "On March 31 at an advisory council meeting Alice Paul announced plans to hold a convention in each state, and to elect a state chairman," and to make an organization in each state, and then send a delegate to San Francisco during the Panama-Pacific Exposition.


Paul

And that's what we did. You mean each suffrage state, it was.


Fry

Maybe so. Is that what it was, only each suffrage state?


Paul

Yes, I think so. Because we were concentrating on trying to get the women voters together, you see. Was this 1915? Yes, I am sure that is what it was.


Fry

Yes. Then in September you had the women voters' convention, in San Francisco. That must have been the suffrage states only.


Paul

Yes, that's what we were doing.


Fry

In the meantime you had had a couple more suffrage states come in in 1914, Nevada and Montana was it?


Paul

Yes, they both came in. They came in by state referendum. I don't really remember which year it was.



149
Fry

It was 1914.


Paul

In San Francisco—you know all about it from Sara Bard Field of course—we had this booth and so on, got up the big petition.


Fry

With Sara and—


Paul

She and Miss Joliffe were to carry it across the country [ to Washington]. And Sara carried it [by car] with these two Swedish women; then Miss Joliffe came by train, I think. I think you ought to do this part extremely well because of the fact that you have done so much recording with Sara. She was such a big part of it.


Fry

I think it will be helpful to have Sara's manuscript deposited there with yours, so that both of them can be used together.

I guess the only thing I wanted to ask you about 1915, to complement what Sara has told, is how the idea ever came up of having women make a coast-to-coast automobile campaign in 1915?


Paul

Well, when we got this enormous petition, we wanted to get it to Washington and—I don't know much about an "idea"; it seems to me it would be a normal thing to think of.


Fry

You had had petitions brought to Washington before with—


Paul

This was the biggest one we'd ever had, and we wanted to get all the drama out of it we could.


Fry

And Mabel Vernon went ahead of them by train and—


Paul

She went ahead and arranged everything.


Fry

Each city.


Paul

Yes. Mabel has given you so much. Are we duplicating what she gave you?


Fry

No, not at all.

There's one little note here. When Sara arrived in Washington there was a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, with Congressman Taggert chastising you for your Democratic party opposition. Sara was


150
there and spoke; this was in late December, after Sara arrived. (That's the date on that Taggert tirade.) This was a hearing to get the bill reported out, and it was reported out and it was voted on in January and it lost in the House. That would be January of 1916. But it got a lot of debate on the floor of the house. Then—


Paul

I think you are doing this very thoroughly and very well, and I can't tell you how I rejoice over it.


Fry

Well, I am glad you are able to tie it all together like this. You can see how distorted it can be when we just take little bits and try to put them together. We still don't know what the full story is.


Paul

And how anybody at our national headquarters could refuse to cooperate with you is incredible!


Fry

Maybe I wasn't very good at explaining to her what I wanted, who I was, and what I was doing.

I want to ask you some California questions. You had some problems along here with William Jennings Bryan.


Paul

When was that?


Fry

Well, in July, 1915 in California, William Jennings Bryan was there, and Sara had a conversation with him. He was just furious over the opposition from the Woman's Party.


Paul

Is that so?


Fry

Yes. And this is a marvelous conversation that is reported on page five of the July 17, 1915 Suffragist .

Then there was another one. Sara was a leader of a four-hundred-woman deputation to Senator Phelan in California.


Paul

Senator who?


Fry

Senator James D. Phelan, a Democrat. I am kind of interested in whatever you can tell me of his attitude in this particular deputation. The Suffragist reports that he said that you shouldn't have campaigned against him just because he was on the Democratic side, and that you shouldn't go into other states to try to


151
influence elections. I think Charlotte Anita Whitney was head of that deputation to him. Sara was one of the other leaders. At any rate, can you tell me anything about Phelan's attitude?


Paul

No, I don't remember anything. Of course he wasn't ever any conspicuous person in our campaign.


Fry

I noticed that Joe Knowland, who is another Californian, made a marvelous speech on your behalf a couple of years before this, when he was in Congress.


Paul

That was later on, of course.


Fry

No, that was before , when he was in Congress, I think.


Paul

Yes. Senator Knowland I don't think was there in the suffrage days, was he?


Fry

This wasn't Senator Bill Knowland; I meant Congressman Knowland, Joe, the father. He was in one of his last terms in the House when he made this statement. He was a Republican, incidentally.


Paul

I think this will be so valuable too for things like this that you bring in. All the people who were associated in any way with these individual congressmen will be so interested in this.


Fry

We are always interested in California's congressmen and any new information we can get on them to round out their papers. [Pause.] Well, we will go breezing on into 1916 then. In April—


Paul

Of course, that was one of the very big things that we did, this women voters [convention] and having that booth and getting that petition presented with such an enormous number of people.


Fry

How do you rate what that accomplished?


Paul

Well, I think it accomplished everything we wanted. It was one of the big outstanding things I think that we did. The first convention ever held by women voters, you see. And getting them as far as we could get them lined up for this policy opposing the party in power as long as it continued to oppose us. And then getting it dramatized by going across the country so the whole world—the whole country would know about it. I think it was very effective and very useful.



152

1916: The National Woman's Party is Formed

Working for the Endorsement from the Democrats, Republicans, and Progressives

Fry

Well, you followed that up in April of 1916 with that big meeting—


Paul

That's the one in Chicago.


Fry

Not yet, I don't believe [Reading.] This was the conference on April 8 and 9 in Washington that included members of an advisory committee representing thirty-six unenfranchised states. And the Congressional Union was "ready to undertake its most pretentious election campaign" and Alice Paul called for "an independent political party." There was a big procession connected with all of this gathering of women too. (I'm sure you never missed a chance to have a procession.)


Paul

That's when we decided to have what we called a National Woman's Party. Is that it?


Fry

Yes, I think so. And then you held your big gathering of the women—just before the other parties' conventions.


Paul

In Chicago [June 5-6-7, 1916]. But you see, it was made up only of women who could vote, and we elected Mrs. Anne Martin president in Chicago.


Fry

And you had a train that went from the East to the West to invite everybody, around the end of April. It went all around the suffrage states.


Paul

Well, we had three special trains. One was the Suffrage Special, we called it, and it went all around the country. Then we followed it later by one called the Prison Special, where all the people who went were


153
ex-prisoners.


Fry

That was not in this campaign though; that was later.


Paul

Later yes, that's right.

But you see at that meeting at Chicago we voted to carry this campaign in the coming election into all the states where women were voting. Just concentrate on that.


Fry

As you had done in 1914?


Paul

Only we did it on a much bigger scale.


Fry

Bigger because you had more states , or because you used more women?


Paul

No, bigger because we had just grown stronger. We had more women we could send out to campaigns, we had—we started off with this big convention in Chicago. Mrs. Belmont, I remember, got up and pledged, I think it was $50,000—the Suffragist will tell what it was—to defeat every Democrat. She didn't actually give the money later on. I don't know what happened to her. But she often—We got to know her through the years. She was very often full of enthusiasm and said, "I'll pay for this"—you know there are lots of people like that—and then when the time comes they think, well, they guess they'd rather not. [Laughter.] So she didn't give us anything like $50,000 but I think anyway she got up and announced it at this great big meeting, do you have a Blackstone Theater, or something like that in Chicago?


Fry

Yes. That's right.


Paul

In Chicago. And that's where we had all these men come from the different parties and say what they would do.


Fry

Oh, yes. Now tell about that.


Paul

It's all there in the Suffragist . You can look through it.


Fry

You had the candidates coming to you. All the Suffragist says is that representatives from each party did come and did try to woo you to their cause and their party.


Paul

And I remember particularly well Dudley Field Malone,


154
who came for the Democrats. First time we had ever met him. And he was of course an eloquent speaker. And he became absolutely furious, [laughing] furious that we would dream of opposing the Democrats. And he wasn't able to give any real satisfactory pledge that they would help us.

I think we had everybody come, every party.


Theodore Roosevelt

Paul

And at that time I think the Roosevelt party, which had dwindled to a very little one, gave us an endorsement, and the Prohibition party, and the Socialist party.


Fry

Yes, I have here that even before this happened, I think about in May, Teddy Roosevelt announced in favor of the suffrage movement.


Paul

Yes, but then at this time, his party did.


Fry

I thought maybe you would know what brought Roosevelt around or who brought him around.


Paul

What date are you on now?


Fry

Well, this was in May just before you met in Chicago in June for your first national convention.


Paul

There was a suffrage meeting held in New York—not by us, I don't know who, but probably by Mrs. Blatch's society, but some suffrage meeting—and I went up to it just to be present, and Mr. Roosevelt was supposed to be the principal speaker. I remember going with Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, our national treasurer, after the meeting was over, around up to the platform to thank Mr. Roosevelt for the wonderful speech he'd made for suffrage. Now perhaps that's the time that you have that he came out.


Fry

Oh, may be.


Paul

But he did. Then I remember that we always regarded him as an ally, always. And I think that this meeting out in Chicago when his party—no, he had two conventions, the first one in 1912 when they formed this Bull Moose Party, and I think that was the one when he


155
ran against Wilson and Wilson got in because there were so many candidates; the Republicans were divided between Roosevelt and whoever the other candidate was.


Fry

Taft.


Paul

I guess so. So then, he wasn't deeply interested but we regarded him as a friend. And when Hughes was finally nominated for the Republicans at that convention you know in Chicago [in 1916], we tried of course to get every candidate to come out—just as we tried this year to get McGovern—we're [laughing] still doing the same old thing.

Well, we couldn't get Hughes. Miss Alice Carpenter was one of the leading Republican women in New York and a personal friend of Roosevelt, and whom I had asked to try to get Roosevelt to use his influence with Hughes. We were getting everybody to go to Hughes to say, "Don't be such a fool. Do come out for this measure," and so on. So Miss Carpenter said, "I think that we had better go out and see Mr. Roosevelt," and she said, "I know him and I know he will make an appointment to see me, and if you will come along with me, because you perhaps know more about what's going on." So I said I would.

So we went out together to Oyster Bay and made an appointment to see him. I remember this so vividly. So when we went in he was all alone waiting for us, in a sort of library, I guess it was.

He said, "Well now, the great trouble is, in politics, that people don't seem ever to quite master this thought, that you not only have to be right, but you have to be right in time ." And he said, "Hughes is undoubtedly some day going to come out for this measure. I don't think I can get him to come out now; he has to consider so much and take so long. He just hasn't mastered the idea if he should be president—he thinks this is right, apparently—that he must be right in time and let the world know." So he said, "I don't know whether I can do one single thing with him, but of course I think you are on the right track," and so on.

So then Mr. Hughes started on his campaign across the country. We had sent quite a good many delegations to Hughes himself and he was always saying this would require quite a lot of thought, and the idea of the state referendums and everything had to be carefully weighed and so on. So nobody had ever been able to get


156
him to say anything. So he started on his campaign, and he first spoke in Wyoming, the first suffrage state. He wouldn't commit himself in any way on the subject of the Amendment.

And then he went on through the suffrage states, down through California and so on, never committing himself at all on the suffrage amendment in spite of constant requests sent to him.

When he got back to New York, where they did not have the vote, then , in a great speech that he made, his final speech, he came out for the suffrage amendment. It was just a perfect example of doing what Roosevelt had said he would do. If he had timed himself to be for it in all those suffrage states, he would have won so much more support, and if he had kept silent, if he had to keep silent, in New York—it was not a popular measure there at that time—he would have been much wiser.

So he finally did come out.


Fry

The Woman's Party had a hearing also before the resolutions committee of each national party, to try to get the Amendment in the party platforms.


Paul

Yes, we did.


Fry

For the first time, suffrage was put in party platforms although not the constitutional amendment. Can you tell anything about what went on in those hearings?


Paul

Yes, I have already, I think, told you about that.

This was 1916, and when you were telling me that the National American had rescinded its support of the [rival] Shafroth-Palmer [bill], and I said it is hard for me to believe that they did that in 1915 because I can remember the tremendous opposition to us when we asked for the federal suffrage amendment at this hearing in Chicago.

I told you all that before.


Fry

Would you mind repeating it now?


Paul

Do you remember anything about what I told you?


Fry

Mmm—



157
Paul

Don't you remember what I told you?


Fry

[Laughing.] I remember. But I want you to tell it to me as though I don't so I can get it all down on tape.


Paul

All right. As I said, I would have to look this up and see about that rescinding of the support of the Shafroth-Palmer bill, because when we went in 1916 to Chicago there seemed to be the greatest schism in there between the people who were working for the Shafroth-Palmer and the people who were working for the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.

Then to show you how it was, I said that we wanted to get first of all a headquarters to work from, and I appointed a Miss Sarah Chapman—


Tape 5, Side A

I had asked Miss Chapman to go out and find a headquarters for us. At that time the different stores were giving their show windows to different groups of women, I suppose helping them in advertising, they thought. So Miss Chapman secured a shop in a very good location, with big show windows, and we were to have that for our headquarters throughout this campaign with the Republican and Democratic and all the other candidates.


Fry

[Labelling tape.]


Paul

Are you listening to me?


Fry

Yes! I am.


Paul

So then in a short time we received word from the owners of this business house that had the show windows that they had learned that we were not a group in good standing and so on, and that they were withdrawing their offer of the headquarters. So then we had to go forth and get another, which we did.

The chairman of the whole group out there that were getting up a parade through the streets of Chicago asked us to come in and join with them. They said they would like very much to have us do so because we had been getting up a lot of things with lots of people, and they thought we could help them. So we said we would be delighted to, and I went over to see her and


158
told her that what we always carried in our processions was "We demand an Amendment to the United States Constitution Enfranchising Women"—remember? I told you all this.

She said, "Oh well then, we won't allow you to come in our procession because we couldn't possibly, possibly put such a banner as that up. We are just saying that we believe in suffrage and we are asking the party to come out for suffrage for women."

So then we didn't go, and they went alone. A day of terrible storms.

Then they went in and we went in, separately, to the platform committee: two different groups with two different amendments. I am not sure exactly what they did get. They may have gotten an expression of approval of suffrage, I guess—maybe they did by that time. They did not get anything about, and we did not get anything for the suffrage amendment. So we were two groups. They were refusing to let us walk with them if we mentioned this enfranchisement of women by a federal suffrage amendment.

So it seems to me it is very hard to understand how they could nationally be taking this stand against any mention of this subject [the federal amendment]. And they didn't mention it at all in their presentation to the committees. But we did. I think we got only the Socialist, Prohibition, and the third party, Roosevelt's party—


Fry

Progressive.


Paul

But I remember later on in Congress, before Mrs. St. George became our leader for the Equal Rights Amendment, the congressman who had been leading the fight for [our Equal Rights Amendment] died or was defeated—was no longer there. So we had to get a new leader. I remember going to see Congressman [John Marshall] Robsion of Kentucky, a Republican, and asking him if he would become our chief sponsor. I remember his saying to me, "Well, you perhaps don't remember me but I remember you very well. I was on that platform committee in Chicago in 1916, and I remember you all coming in bedraggled, wanting to have the suffrage amendment before Congress approved by our platform committee. And we didn't approve it." But he said, "It made a very deep impression on me, and I am personally supporting it and I will


159
be glad to be your chief sponsor."

So I remember these very, very well—that hearing that we had there. Again it was the two groups of women, [and one] still asking for the Shafroth-Palmer as far as could see, and [one] asking for the full amendment.


Fry

Well, at least suffrage did become a part of the platform in each of the major parties.


Paul

Just general suffrage, but not the federal suffrage amendment.


Fry

I think that was the first time that any kind of suffrage had been mentioned, but I wondered if it was more the National American's idea. I copied down what the Resolutions Committee of the Democrats said. Let's see, the Democrats recommended "the extension of the franchise to the women of the country by the states upon the same terms as men."


Paul

Yes, that's the state referendum.


Fry

And the Republicans said "Each state is to settle this question for itself."


Paul

You see, that was the position that the National American was taking.

So after all those years of Miss Anthony going to these conventions and so on, and working all by herself— you see, it made me feel very sad to think that the women themselves would consent to work against themselves, but they did.

Now, what's the next question?


Fry

Well, I have that Wilson is still standing on states' rights and—


Paul

Yes, he was.


Fry

—he spoke to the Atlantic City convention of NAWSA. I think that was some time in the summer, when he spoke to them. And I wondered if this made hearts sink in the National Woman's Party?


Paul

Well, that was his position. There was not anything unusual about that. It wasn't very much of an event.


160
That's what he always said.


Fry

Then on August 10, 11, and 12—


Paul

You see, the thing that was bad about it all was that a suffrage organization that had had the tradition of working for many many years, before we were even born, for this federal suffrage amendment, that they would have at their national convention an address by a person who said he was against it! It gave support to our not getting it.


Fry

And just further divided everyone, I guess.


The Campaign, 1916

Fry

It looks like you had a planning conference at Colorado Springs. This was August 10, 11, 12, and again—


Paul

What year was that?


Fry

That's in the same campaign, 1916. You had representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties come to plead with you there. That's where you planned your big campaign and the organizers' work and so forth.


Paul

No, no, no. It wasn't. We planned all that up in Chicago.


Fry

Oh. Well, it says that there you were going to plan the protest campaign against the Democrats.


Paul

Well, maybe the protest campaign for Colorado. We had planned the protest campaign against the Democrats up in Chicago, when we elected Anne Martin to be the president of the National Woman's Party, made up only of women from the suffrage states.


Fry

Except that was before you definitely had word that the Democrats were not going to include it in their platform that year. You didn't know that until after you had your convention.


Paul

Well, I wouldn't say that. We knew when we went out there. The person who came to speak for the Democrats—I told you how Dudley Field Malone who afterwards married Doris Stevens, stood there and argued on that


161
platform, I remember, until finally I guess the people who owned the hotel or the hall came and put down the curtain to send him home. He was in such a towering rage. When Mrs. Belmont got up and pledged $50,000 to defeat the Democrats, there was never any doubt in our minds up to that moment they were opposing us. The person they sent couldn't say anything that they were going to change their policy. That was the reason he was so angry. I don't see what we would do out in—I remember very well that meeting out in Colorado, but it was totally different from what you say.


Fry

Maybe it was just for Colorado then.


Paul

That was the meeting. I was there at that meeting. What date was it again?


Fry

August 10 to 12.


Paul

I remember that Hazel Hunkins—and I have told you about her over in Europe, I think, and how I went up with her to see Jeannette Rankin—this girl from Montana—to try to get Jeannette Rankin to vote against war, just unofficially, from ourselves. We had never seen her, but she came down from Montana. In fact you can probably find all this out in the Katzenstein book because Miss Katzenstein had gone out as our organizer to Montana in that campaign, and she had gotten this Hazel Hunkins interested. When we had our meeting down in Colorado Springs, Hazel came down. First time we ever met her.

She wanted to throw in her life work with us, which she did. She went on with us down to Washington and remained one of our workers until suffrage was won, and went to prison with us. We have some pictures of her heading the suffrage procession; she was going out to. the White House to picket. She was a very lovely girl.

I don't remember it as being anything but just one of the organizing meetings that we had there. It certainly wasn't going to plan our policy because our policy had been planned and we had elected a committee headed by Miss Martin to carry it out.


Fry

So, in the big 1916 campaign, everybody went out and pitched in in the suffrage states, but we need a picture of how this was organized and how you—



162
Paul

Yes, it was all organized from Chicago,

29. See Appendix

and I was there and stayed through the whole campaign organizing it. I didn't go into any of the states, except I did go down to Colorado for that meeting. For instance, in Chicago, we had a big banner across the street: "Vote Against the Democratic Party," and so on (I don't know exactly what it said, but that was its idea) because they were against the enfranchisement of women was the idea. And we did it in all the states, had these big banners, because we had so little time and money, and one great banner gave your message pretty well to each big city. We had somebody in every one of these suffrage states. We usually sent two or three together.

We did just the ordinary things you always do. For instance in Chicago I remember that the person named Matilda Hall Gardner, who came from Chicago, came out to help us. Her husband was the NEA representative in—you know what the NEA is? National Enterprise—a great newspaper [association].


Fry

Oh, yes. The newspaper association.


Paul

Well, her husband was the head of the NEA bureau in Washington. She came to Chicago to help because she had grown up in Chicago and knew a great many people there. She took over, I remember, the question of getting up parlor meetings, and she had little parlor meetings every day practically to which we would send somebody to speak trying to turn votes in that little district. We just did the way anybody conducts a campaign. The way the Republicans did and the Democrats did—only they did it on a bigger and vaster scale than we were able to do.

Then we took deputations.


Fry

To candidates?


Paul

[Pause.] I don't know whether any candidates came or not, but if they did we would take deputations to them. We had a great many street meetings in Chicago. We just tried to put the question on the map and turn as many women as we could. I remember one woman—you perhaps know who she is and know her. She died two or three years ago, Mrs. Avery Coonley; Did you ever know her?


Fry

No.


Paul

She and her sister were very wealthy women who had


163
inherited quite a fortune from their father, who came from Michigan. They were very public spirited. For instance, they gave the alumni house at Vassar, gave the whole building. They did a great many things. Her husband was in charge of the information service for the Christian Science Church. She was a very devout Christian Scientist, and somehow or other Elsie Hill had gotten to know her, I don't remember how. Elsie Hill was out there in Chicago with me, just speaking all the time. Of course she was a very good speaker, just never ended speaking. We were trying to change votes, as many votes as we could. We had a very prominent woman as our state chairman out there in Chicago and Mrs. Julius Rosenwald— did you ever hear of them?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

She went on our board out there. And I remember that simplified everything for us because anything that we would want, almost, by using Mrs. Rosenwald's name, it made it much easier for us to get. For instance, we didn't have to establish a big bank account or anything, because they knew Mrs. Rosenwald was on our board. It helped us a great deal. So we got very influential women out there in Chicago, I think, to help.

But, among others, Elsie Hill got to know Mrs. Avery Coonley, who was interested in progressive education and had started a kind of a school out there which she financed. Elsie, I guess, was interested in that and got to know her that way. Probably she got to know her through Vassar because they were both Vassar graduates.

She took me one day out to see Mrs. Coonley. We thought she would have a big circle, and if we would get these prominent women, each one would have a big circle, and it might be an easier way to get votes for what we wanted. I remember asking her if she wouldn't just not vote for Wilson, and not vote for any Democrats. She said she would have to think about this and so on. Anyway from that interview she became a warm friend and continued until her death.

I went out after the campaign was over (and Wilson had been reelected, of course; that's when we had all this campaign to get Hughes and didn't succeed) I went to see her to ask her for money then. I remember she gave about $750 or something. She said, "Now I want you to go to my sister, Mrs. Hooker, because we try to


164
make our gifts together, and if she knows I have given to the Woman's Party she will give to the Woman's Party. Probably the same amount."

So I said, "How did you vote?" She said, "I voted just as you asked me to vote. I voted for the prohibition ticket, all the way down the line." So we knew we were turning a great many votes. I don't—I suppose you were too young to know anything about the campaign when it came to California.


Fry

I have read about it.


Paul

Well, I think that's all I know about it.


Fry

Something kind of intrigued me, and I don't know whether you can throw any light on this or not, but according to the Suffragist, you had a very good kind of reporting system set up so that you were able to warn certain Republicans when you felt they were going to lose in certain districts in the West. The Suffragist intimates that you kind of established a reputation for knowing what the political winds were in each district around the West.


Paul

Well of course we did. We had to.


Fry

—That you had a better system operating than either major political party did.


Paul

Well, I don't know about that, but we always had in every state a group of women who kept us informed of what the situation was. You see, most of these men in the suffrage states all—in fact it was unanimous among them to support the federal suffrage amendment. So we were not out [to elect Republicans]. We were out to defeat all Democrats because they had caucused and were in power and could do it and wouldn't do it. But we were not out of course to elect Republicans. We didn't go out to do that, go out to do any party. We didn't care whether they voted like Mrs. Coonley, whether they voted Prohibition, Socialist, or Republican, whatever they wanted, [as long as it wasn't Democratic].

I have always thought it was one of the most powerful instruments that we could find and that we did use to change the Democratic party and change President Wilson, because of course, you know, it wasn't so long after that that he did change.



165
Fry

Yes, and Vance McCormick was the man who was chairman of the Democratic party for that campaign. I believe that after the campaign was over, he made a public statement that by the next election, in 1918, the weak places in the Democratic party must be patched up. One of the weak places, he said, was suffrage, and the Democrats should be doing something about suffrage before then. Do you remember that?


Paul

No, but I am glad to know it. [Laughter.]


Fry

In your own evaluation do you feel you were more successful in your 1919 efforts than you had been in your 1914 efforts?


Paul

Well, of course; we did it on a much bigger scale. We had ourselves become much larger, stronger. We had more women to go out to the different states. We tried to send somebody, and I guess we did send somebody, from Washington to every state. Those people who went in with nothing to do but defeat the Democrats, could accomplish more than getting some local committee [made up of local people] that were doing like myself [now]—having storm windows put on [laughing] and being diverted by everything else.


Fry

Oh, I see. It really worked better if you sent someone out into the state.


Paul

That's the reason we always did.


Fry

I should think that you also stood the chance of a local person getting diverted into another campaign that was going on there.


Paul

By sending somebody out, she had the one task of—if there wasn't a good local committee—building it up and guiding them. The whole thing, I think, worked very well.



166

1917: The Final Phase Begins

Suffrage Banner Sneaked into Congress

Fry

Then the Presidenttook office. Did you have any doubt that he was going to omit the Amendment again from his address to Congress—as he did?


Paul

That would be 1916. We took it for granted he would. He had never changed his position that we knew of, at that time.


Fry

That was when Mabelunfurled her banner from the congressional gallery. In the middle of his address.


Paul

No. She unfurled that banner, as I remember, on a speech that he was making for the, I think it was the Puerto Ricans or some group.


Fry

You are right in that it was his message to Congress on what he wanted to do with legislation for that year, in January of 1917. Wilsonhad gone on eloquently about the suffrage that had been granted and the freedom given to the Philippines—meaning Filippino men.


Paul

Seemed to me—was this Filippinos? I thought it was Puerto Ricans or somebody.


Fry

Filippinos. And that was the moment that Mabelchose to unfurl her large banner from the balcony, which she has told me about in her interview.


Paul

Yes. There were others there, you know. It wasn't just Mabel.


Fry

Yes, there were five.


Paul

The way we got it done was through Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers,


167
the one I have told you so much about. Mrs. Rogers' husbandwas the greatest authority probably in the United States on goiters I guess you know that. People went from all over the country to him. We have her painting now on the wall in the headquarters.


Fry

How did she help with this?


Paul

When she was a young and very beautiful girl apparently, the daughter, I think, of a judge, anyway an eminent, distinguished lawyer up in New Haven, and Dr. Rogerswas a medical student there, they became engaged to be married. Suddenly she developed a goiter, and so he said that he was going to devote all his time [to this] because she would no longer marry him. She said, "A goiter is incurable and I am not going to be your wife and have this disfigurement," and also it had other effects I guess on your body. So she said she wouldn't marry him. And he said, "Well then, I am going to drop everything else and find out how to cure goiters."

So he concentrated as a young medical student, and he did discover a cure for goiters, which was the first time it ever happened. So he cured Mrs. Rogers, and she became his bride after that and married him. He therefore, having for his own interest in curing Mrs. Rogers, become an authority in this field of not only goiters but everything connected with the thyroid and so on, and so people came from all over the country.

I nearly always stayed with Mrs. Rogerswhen I went up to New Yorkinstead of going to a hotel. She always invited me to come, and to save expense I always went. And also because I wanted to always be with her as much as possible. And I remember when I would go in the front door—it was one of the houses in New Yorkwhere you have on the ground floor your dining room, then a steep stairway and then upstairs, sort of living quarters. Well, I would walk up the stairs and it was almost impossible to walk up because every single step was covered by women seated there or men seated there waiting to see Dr. Rogersbecause of their thyroid or glands or something.

And finally, it got to be so that he would never make an appointment. He took anybody who came and he charged them all the same—I think $2 a visit. It was almost a miracle the way they were cured. I remember so vividly when I would go up. Mrs. Rogers, I would find had [finally] been driven up to the top floor of


168
this big house—the only place she could sit or receive her friends anywhere, because the whole second floor, where he had his office was just filled with some more of these people.

Then he would never send a bill. But he had a secretary. Mrs. Rogersand the secretary together would contrive to send out the $2 bills to people. He was just a marvelous man in being unselfish—completely unselfish type, I thought.

So one day I happened to be there when this occurred: He came in and he told us—at the dining room table, all of us—that one of his Yaleclassmates had brought his wife to see him that day, and this Yaleclassmate had a wife who had shingles. Do you know what shingles are?


Fry

It's a rash, isn't it?


Paul

Something that goes all around your waist, I think. And [his classmate] was a member of Congress, and he was a very wealthy man, so he had taken his wife to Austriaand all places in the world where they were supposed to be great experts on health measures to try to have the shingles cured. (It goes all the way around and I don't know what consequences it has.) He never could get any relief for his wife. [The congressman] said that people had been saying to him, "Why don't you take your wife to Dr. Rogers, why do you go all over the world?" And he said, " Dr. Rogers? I never would go to him; I was on the crew with him in Yale. He doesn't know one single thing about it. This man, all he could do was to be a good person in our Yaleraces," and so on. Finally, when he grew so desperate (and his wife was always getting worse and he was definitely very devoted to her) he said all right, he would swallow his prejudice against his fellow crewmate and go and see him. So Dr. Rogerstold me that this day he has come with this wife.

And he said, "I saw in a minute what was the matter with her. It was very simple. I knew exactly what to do. I gave her some pills to take," and he said, "The whole thing disappeared; she is completely cured. There was no reason at all for all these years of hesitation. Very simple to anybody who is familiar now with all these glands."

So then this man talked to Mrs. Rogersand said, "You know, Dr. Rogerswon't allow me to pay him anything,


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and I can , because the only thing I have is quite a good deal of money. I would like to pay him. He won't allow me to give him a single ten-cent piece, and I feel so indebted. This has transformed our lives, what he has done for us." And he said, "If you ever need anything in Congress, come to me. No matter what it is, I will get it done for you because it will be a little way I might repay Dr. Rogers."

So [later], when we decided we would have a banner put out, when we knew this—you say Filippinos, whoever it was—was going to come up, we could point out that he was so solicitous for equality for other people and not for people at home—just the same way we did when we were burning his words, you know, later on. So Mrs. Rogerssaid, "Now I think I have never asked Mr. So-and-so for anything," this congressman, and she said it was an impossible time to get a ticket to the gallery; it always was these times the Presidentspoke. There were only a few tickets and they were given out to the wives and so on and the diplomats. You couldn't. I've never gotten a ticket; I've never asked for one because I didn't like to be under obligation to anybody; but I have never gotten a ticket to anything since I first went up to Congress; to this day I have never gotten a ticket. And we knew it was almost impossible. Mrs. Rogersknew it was almost impossible.

So when we planned this idea of dropping the banner on this subject, she said, "Now I will see if I can get the tickets." So she wrote to this [congressman] and asked him, since he told her always to ask for anything that she wanted. She said, "One thing I would like to do would be to have a ticket for myself and some of my friends to go in for this opening speech of the President," on—you say Philippines—whatever it was [laughing]. So she got the tickets and she came down to Washingtonwith the tickets, and so she gave one ticket to Miss Vernon, apparently. I didn't remember whom she did give them to. But she kept one ticket for herself. A little group of four or five I think went in with their banners concealed somewhere about their person. And then when this moment came, I think they all put out their banners. Or one long banner.


Fry

It was one big banner which Mabellaid down at their feet once they got in, Mabelsaid.


Paul

Yes, I think they all put down the same banner.



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Fry

And they all had a string then that they held it by.


Paul

So anyway Mrs. Rogers—it's not that I don't think Mabeldid everything, because she undoubtedly did—but I just remember Mrs. Rogersthen because that was the end that I was familiar with, of getting them in. And so they did. And then they were all asked to leave, as you know.

But it was very effective, very effective, written up in the papers, and I thought it was a very effective thing to do. But it was all due to this curing [laughing]. It couldn't have been done if we couldn't have gotten the banner in, and couldn't have gotten in—I don't know that we could have gotten in if it hadn't have been for this man's feeling of obligation to Dr. Rogers.


Fry

And that was just a little while before your picketing began.


The Death and Memorial of Inez Milholland

Fry

Now in the meantime you had the Inez Milhollandmemorial service.


Paul

Yes, and you know all about that I am sure.


Fry

You brought Sara Bard Fieldout from the West Coastto give a speech there.


Paul

No, we brought Sarafor the presentation of the statues at the end of the campaign. I told you about the statues, do you remember, this morning.


Fry

Yes, she came out for that too. Okay, maybe she didn't come out for the Inez Milhollandmemorial service.

30.  Field's speech was the presentation of the memorial resolution to President Wilson following the service for Inez Milholland .


Paul

No, she didn't. Because the principal speech was made by Maud Younger. I remember this Mr. Gallagher(who interviewed me last week) said, "Well, I read that you told somebody that the way to speak was to read Lincoln'sGettysburg Address and then make the same kind of a


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speech." And I remembered it too. It was what I told Maud Youngerwhen she said, "I don't know how I can speak in this tribute to Inez Milholland, or what to say." And so I remember she was the person who made the speech there.


Fry

We haven't mentioned Inez Milhollandand her work on that 1916campaign, or any of her other work.


Paul

Yes, do you want me to? I think I told you about it the other night. [Tape recorder not turned on then.]


Fry

Yes, you did. Of course there is quite a lot written about her as a result of her death. So you don't have to say very much now.


Paul

I will tell it if you want me to.

She had graduated, you know, from Vassar, and she'd become well-known because she was the person who organized this meeting in the [adjoining] graveyard at Vassar when the [college] president forbade—called her before him and told her that the board of trustees were not willing to have the college have this suffrage meeting. So then she got the same group she had gathered for the meeting (and who had arranged to have three speakers come) and took them out to the wall outside the college which separated the college from the graveyard. They all hopped over this wall, you may remember, and I don't know how she got her speakers in, but she got her speakers there too, somehow or other. So they held this meeting. It was such good publicity that people sort of remembered Inez Milholland as a result.

She then—I suppose she was about twenty-eight or something like that and she was already married and she had already studied law. She tried to study law at Yale and various good places, but they wouldn't take her because she was a woman. So she went to New York University, which then didn't have much of a reputation, and got a law degree there. Then she offered to come into our campaign, and she rode at the head of some of our processions, one at least. We have this photograph on many of our letterheads, you know, of her in that procession.


Fry

On the horse?


Paul

Yes.


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She offered to go over the country and try to arouse women to vote against the Democrats, and her father, Don Milholland, didn't want her to go alone, so he said, "Well, I will pay all the expenses of my other daughter, Vida, and have her accompany Inez." Vida had a very beautiful voice, so it was arranged that she would sing suffrage songs or things related to it at every meeting and then Inez would appeal to people not to vote for the Democrats.

I remember that she said to me, "I want to make one condition: at every meeting, I am the only speaker. The reason is that I am very timid and have no self-confidence and I think maybe I could appeal to women and get them to change their votes. But if there were another speaker there, I know myself that I won't be able to open my mouth. I will think she is so much better a speaker so I will say to her, "You go ahead and speak." I know that I can't do it unless I am left alone and I will have to do it."

So she started out and, I think, was very effective. The meetings, it seemed to me, were very effective as far as we could hear. She was an extra beautiful girl and extra, sort of, well [pause] she just was so beaming with her belief in what she was doing. So extremely sincere. And she was doing it against quite a great deal of personal diffidence, as she said. So as the meetings went on, one by one by one, they seemed to me to be bringing in very good results. And then when she got to this meeting in Los Angeles and was speaking, she just fell to the floor and collapsed and she never regained consciousness. You know all that.


Fry

I didn't know that she never regained consciousness.


Paul

Nobody ever spoke to her or heard anything from her since.


Fry

Was it a stroke?


Paul

Well, I don't know whether you can have a stroke when you are twenty-eight, can you?


Fry

I don't know.


Paul

What the doctors out there said was that she had pernicious anemia and that she had not known she had it, and she had worked so extremely hard and just worn herself out and—it wasn't a stroke; it might have been


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a heart attack—they said it was caused by pernicious anemia, whatever it was. So they sent her body back in a coffin to New York, because she was buried up at her family home up at Westport, New York.

And then immediately, in a very short time, in about a week—we got up this memorial meeting in the capitol and sent a message from the memorial meeting to President Wilson urging that no more sacrifices like this be made necessary in the effort to get the enfranchisement of women. And Mrs. William Kent offered the resolution, which was good because she was a congressman's wife. We had the ceremony up in the Statuary Hall, and then she took it down with a delegation to the President.

31. Sara Bard Field's address to the President is on p. 192, Irwin, Inez Haynes Up Hill With Banners Flying .

[Inez Milholland] was one of the very wonderful women we had. Very tragic to lose her so young and so soon. On her first speaking trip. Well, now what's the next one you have to ask?


Fry

It seems that Wilson's response was another one of "I can't as the leader of my party do anything that my party doesn't want me to do or take any stand that my party doesn't want me to take." The accounts I read emphasize the extreme disappointment of the women after this meeting as they filed back across the street to suffrage headquarters. They were gloomy and rather silent. Do you remember?


Paul

The only thing that I remember was that somewhere along there, I don't know which day, but somewhere along in this time—he said that he had received so many delegations and they said the same thing and he said the same thing and he now had the great world responsibilities because of the threat of war and he couldn't see any more delegations. That's my recollection. And so we then said, "All right, we will send this perpetual delegation. And you won't have to see it; we will just hold up banners reminding you."



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The Decision to Picket the White House

Fry

At the meeting that was scheduled to be held at your headquarters right after their deputation to Wilson, was it a new decision then to start the picketing, the direct result of Wilson's response to your delegation? [January 9, 1917.]


Paul

No, I think it was the general situation of not being able to go with any more delegations to him. That he had announced. I don't know when he announced it but somewhere around that period. I always supposed it was because he was getting so involved. There was a very great threat of war, you know, and we might get in it, and it seemed very natural.

We had quite a long discussion—I guess many days and weeks, maybe—before we decided to start any pickets. When you start you have to be prepared to come through for a long time or it is ineffective. So we finally decided to do it. Then we started it, whatever day we did start it, in January—[January 10, 1917.]


Fry

Do you remember anything about the pros and cons of picketing that were discussed at the time?


Paul

No, I don't. I think that just as if you and I should decide whether we should go out and picket somebody today, it would be about the same thing. Would it be useful? Would it be possible to carry it out? Could we get enough people to carry it out—because you can't possibly do anything effectively unless you have it over a long stretch; we knew that. I don't know. Women volunteered to go right away. You see it is like everything when you mull over what will you do. I think it is always the same. There are lots of pros and cons on any step that you take.


Jeannette Rankin Votes Against War

Fry

Then in April, war was declared.


Paul

Yes, April 7.


Fry

Could you relate to me again—for the tape recorder—the incident of Jeannette Rankin?



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Paul

Oh yes. I can.

We had known Jeannette Rankin, not intimately, but known her because the first year we went down in 1913, when we were a committee of the old National American, the National American had sent Jeannette Rankin down to be what they called an organizer to work with us. So we had gotten to know her. She was mainly on the legislative work, going up and seeing congressmen, but we didn't get to know her too well. Then she disappeared, and I don't know exactly what she was doing all that time.

Then she suddenly appeared [as a congresswoman] in this victorious campaign in Montana, the time that Hazel Hunkins came down; she had worked for her, you see, up in Montana. We got up a meeting in conjunction with the National American to welcome the first woman member to Congress and held it in one of the hotels in Washington. Jeannette Rankin spoke and I spoke and I don't know who spoke for the other group.

So then we didn't see her again until this vote on war was to come pretty soon. Hazel Hunkins by that time, as I said, had come down, and was working in our Washington headquarters, and was our only real Montana connection with Jeannette Rankin, so she and I went up together that night when she was to vote. We said, "The Woman's Party welcomes all women who work for equality for women, whatever they think about war. And we have in our picket line women who are strong supporters of the war and people who are strong opponents of the war. We don't take any stand on this as an organization.

But both of us take a stand as individual women, and we wanted to tell you how we feel, just so we could feel that we had said this to you, whether it meant anything to you or not." And so we told her we thought it would be a tragedy for the first woman ever in Congress to vote for war, that the one thing that seemed to us so clear was that the women were the peace-loving half of the world and that by giving power to women we would diminish the possibilities of war—


Tape 5, Side B

[Sounds begin from a radio in background, dimly.]


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—the only place we would go I presume that night. She came upstairs to see us and talk to us up in the gallery.

Then she went down, you know, and the first time around that her name was called, she didn't answer. And the second time when they went around to all the people who didn't answer, you remember, she said—I think these were her words, I remember it very, very clearly—she said,

"I want to stand by my country but I cannot vote for war."

And now this man from this University of Georgia is writing her life. I told you he has been up [to Washington] quite a number of times and stayed at our headquarters. (I don't know, if Miss Chittick won't let people in the library, what anybody will do [now], because he has come in there and gotten so much material for her life.) And had so many talks with me about her [Jeannette Rankin], telling him all these things that he doesn't know. He always comes and stays with us, and pays for his room upstairs so he can work there.

So I was talking about him to Jeannette, the last time she was there at our headquarters (she almost always stays with us when she goes to Washington) I told her that I had told him about this time we went up to see her, and I said, "I don't know whether you remember it but I remember it very well." And she said,

"Oh, I do remember it very well, because it was about the only support I received from women in my vote." And she said, "The most enormous pressure that you possibly can conceive was brought to bear upon me by the suffrage leaders on the ground that I would put back the suffrage cause if I voted opposing the war." So she said, "I was invited up to the home of Mrs. James Lee Laidlaw"—you probably don't know her but she was a very well-known woman then in the suffrage movement in New York, and a lovely woman, a wealthy woman and very, very lovely woman. And she said, "I wouldn't have believed Mrs. Laidlaw would have done this thing, but," she said, "Well, Mrs. Laidlaw invited me up, she had people came to see me, she entertained me, there was no kind of pressure that she didn't bring to bear, as did the other suffrage leaders, to get me to vote for the war."


177

And then you know I told you that this man who is writing her biography came in and told me that he found this letter from Mrs. [Carrie Chapman] Catt, written to a personal friend. (And probably Mrs. Catt doesn't know it is in the congressional library—and that's the harm of getting these letters put in without people classifying them and going through them.) Mrs. Catt just let herself loose against Jeannette Rankin in this letter, and said, "It is impossible to say how much I detest"—and so on—"Miss Jeannette Rankin"—I am not saying the words, of course I don't know the words because I didn't see the letter—"how terrible had been the action of Miss Rankin, in casting that vote against war. It has put the suffrage amendment maybe back years and years and years and years, what she has done." So this man who was writing her biography [laughing] came across it and then told me about what it said.

I knew that's what was happening, that that was their attitude. So I was very proud of her [Jeannette]. I think she was superb.

So when Congress came along to our measure, of course she was extremely helpful. She spoke for it, helped in every way because she was on the inside and could do what we couldn't do. And in all the speeches, she tells me, she always said, "I am the only woman in the country who ever voted or who ever will vote or who ever can vote for the enfranchisement of American women," because the day that she voted it went through, of course it was no longer to be voted on. They got it.



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Details and Descriptions of the Woman's Party and its Operations

Working on the Suffragist

Fry

The only other questions, before we get into the new section on the suffrage campaign picketing, have to do with the administration of the National Woman's Party, just little things, I might just run through them to see if you can tell anything.


Paul

Do, please.


Fry

Did you write a lot of the articles in the Suffragist ?


Paul

I wrote a lot of the editorials. I didn't write anything else excepting whenever we didn't have an editor. For instance during the period that we were having our 1916 election campaign, we had nobody at that moment who was editing the paper. I remember that I did it from Chicago, and I had to not only write the editorials but I had to assemble and so on all the material. I remember I just didn't see how I could do it. I decided that I would stay up all night every other night; one night I would go to sleep, and the next night—because all through the day you were having telephone [calls], you were having people, and you couldn't do anything—so at night when everybody had gone and the charwomen came in to clean the building and so on [I would work on the Suffragist ]. We had this big room down on the street, as I told you, with big show windows, and it was very safe because you were exposed through every window. Nothing really could happen I think in the light. You just would seem to be one of the late workers in the office. So every other night I took up the Suffragist problem, and we got it out all through the election campaign. That's the only time that I took the whole responsibility of the paper.



179
Fry

How long did that keep up? I don't see how your health held up, missing your sleep every other night.


Paul

Well, as I tell you, that's what this doctor says, I have a heart block. [Laughing.] I don't know whether I have or not.


Fry

You are still one of the most active and brightest people I know your age.


Classes of Woman's Party Members

Fry

I thought you might like to give a few statements on the types of women that were in this campaign. For instance, it wasn't a lower class working women's campaign, was it? It was primarily handled by women who had independent means or who had time to do this and who were in a position of influence and power. These were the women who really seemed to do the work. Is this impression right?


Paul

Well, see, when we went to prison, the woman who was in the same room with me in the psychopathic ward was Rose Winslow and she was, as far as I know, I think she was a Polish immigrant. Completely what you would call the working class.


Fry

I know that you did have some labor womm.


Paul

Then we had Nina Saboroden who was the one who gave us our suffrage song because in prison she would always sing this haunting melody which we adopted as the Woman's Party song. “The Walls That Hold Us, ” you remember [hearing Consuelo's recording of] that song in our words. But she of course sang it in Russian; she was a Russian immigrant. Her father, we will say, was a tailor or something like that. We had, it seemed to me, every kind of—from the beginning to the end—every kind of woman.


Fry

Yes, you did, Alice. But I mean in your general profile. You know, there are different kinds of campaigns. Some campaigns just start with organizing masses and masses of people, which you did not have the time or funds to do, you told me a while ago. So it seemed to me that what you had done was choose women who were in strategically important positions.



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Paul

I think more that we chose anybody who would come. We sort of put up a banner when we began to work for this Amendment all alone, about fifteen of us you see, the start of the little group, after the National American cast us out and put in another amendment. That's the reason we didn't know whether we could survive or whether we ought to do it or try to do it even; and so all we did was to put up this banner of what we stood for. The women would come. Wherever you went, women would come. And whoever came, we welcomed. Whoever she might be.


Fry

In your positions of leadership, did you have a preponderance of college-educated women?


Paul

No, we never thought about it.


Fry

It appeared to me that you did.


Paul

Well, we didn't. It is very likely that—I remember that in this campaign—not this campaign but the Equal Rights Amendment campaign, that the AAUW, American Association of University Women, of which I was a member then (almost all college women joined it) and it had its headquarters in Washington—they sent a letter to every member of Congress signed by their executive director of their national headquarters, opposing the Equal Rights Amendment for women. I went over there to see Miss M. Carey Thomas of Bryn Mawr [president, 1894-1922], who had been a strong supporter always of ours, and asked if she would come down to their coming convention in Washington of this association [AAUW] and try to stop this opposition. She said she would.

Mrs. Lawrence Lewis and I—Mrs. Lewis was always our strongest woman in Philadelphia—we went out together to see her [Miss Thomas], and she said she would and she did. She came [to the AAUW convention]. Immediately she tried to use her great influence as the foremost woman college president in the United States, the foremost woman educator, perhaps (and I think the greatest woman in the field of education we ever had in America). She had a great deal of prestige we thought. She proposed that [AAUW] take up this whole subject and study it and immediately rescind this action that they had taken, and she carried it.

As a result of that meeting in Washington this


181
executive director was probably dismissed, or anyway she disappeared, the one who had sent out this letter—her name was Mina Kerr from the University of Wisconsin who had been employed as their executive director. She didn't get a wholesale endorsement of the Equal Rights Amendment, but she got the endorsement of having nothing to do with this letter that was going to every member of Congress, disowning it.

Then they sent out a letter to every member of the AAUW giving the pros and cons on this amendment, and Miss Thomas wrote the pros and sent it around the country and so for a time we heard nothing more in the way of opposition from the AAUW.

Then came their meeting out in Oregon, and by some trick, it seemed to us—because people didn't know it was coming up—they brought this subject up and voted to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment. They had withdrawn their opposition some years before. So I went up to see Miss Thomas again. By this time she had retired as being president, but I met her at some relatives' home in Maryland, in Baltimore, and told her this whole tale.

She said, "Well, I have decided never to go to another convention of the AAUW or have anything further to do with them. I have done the best I could; I created the organization." She said, "College women today are so different from the college women in the early pioneer days when every woman was a personality. Now they all do what the popular thing is." And that has been my experience with these college women too. They haven't been much of a help to us.


Fry

In the days of the suffrage movement were they more individualistic? Is that what she meant?


Paul

No, she meant back in the early days when they were beginning to—early days of college education for women. Her early days when she became president of Bryn Mawr and started something unheard of, which was a girls' college with equal academic standing to the men's colleges. You know Woodrow Wilson was one of her professors. And she went forth and she had a doctor's degree from Zurich herself and was a highly educated woman. She was a Quaker, by the way. And she got up a group of people, of professors, that were equal to those in the men's colleges. She lifted up college education for women to where it had never been before.


182

And I had the same feeling about these college women. You see, in our own college, Swarthmore, which Lucretia (Coffin) Mott helped to form, only Mabel Vernon and Amelia Walker and Martha Moore ever stood with us. I don't think we had much support from college women as college women. Our members might have gone to college or they might not.


Fry

Well, the reason that I brought that up was that I have run into this as a complaint I've received in my own work for the Equal Rights Amendments that it's an elitist movement. I wondered if this had been true of the women's suffrage movement. And if you had that as an issue. Probably wasn't an issue then .


Paul

Well, I don't think it is an issue now either. I never heard anybody raise that idea before, that we gave preference to college women.


Fry

Oh really? It isn't that you give preference to them; it is that they are the ones who are interested in it and the implication is that—


Paul

Yes, but do you know that of all the women's organizations in the United States, the AAUW was the next to the last to support the Equal Rights Amendment. When we tried to get the Equal Rights Amendment endorsed at the first hearing in Congress, you know everybody spoke against it but ourselves at that first hearing; no one else said a word for the amendment. Then we started out on this campaign to go to all women's conventions to try to change the thought of American women—not to change Congress, because there was no use changing Congress if you couldn't change the thought of American women, because the women would dictate what Congress would do, now that they had the vote. So we stopped much work with Congress and went off to try to change women's attitude on this subject. And of all these organizations which have come, one by one by one by one till now we have practically every one in America, the last one to come in was the University Women last summer in Houston [Dallas?]—next to the last one. The last one was the League of Women Voters. They came in this very year in the autumn.


Fry

Was that your old NAWSA grudge that has kept the League out for so long?


Paul

Well, it might have been in the beginning, but I think at present very few of them ever heard of it.



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Fry

Yes, I should think most of them wouldn't care about it.


Paul

Didn't know anything about it.

I don't know why. They were just all out for protective labor laws, that was all there was to it. So I feel very proud of our organization, I mean of our women in our group as a type of woman, because you know women of every experience and every walk of life you find have this same feeling for building up respect for their own sex, power for their own sex, and lifting it up out of a place where there is contempt for women in general.

I always feel, always I think, when I go into a little group, I don't know whether a single woman will respond, but very often one woman at least responds. You don't know who it's going to be.


Fry

There was no prototype that you could always be sure of, a type of person who would always be a pro-suffrage person?


Paul

No. No.


Fry

Okay.

The other question that I have on administration is on the inner workings of the Party. It was prompted by a note in the Suffragist in June, 1914, that Mary Marsh Lockwood had to resign as treasurer, and that from May, 1913, to June, 1914, the treasurer's task had grown from one desk to seven large departments, each one equipped with officers and stenographers. That was the first time I got a glimpse of how rapid your growth had been, and how enormous—


Paul

What is that? I don't understand what you are talking about.


Fry

There wag a very nice thank-you article written for her in the Suffragist, and it mentioned that when she first started there was one space in the office at 1420 F Street designated for the treasurer's desk. It told how she went ahead and worked at her job there even though all the distractions were around.


Paul

That's right.


Fry

Then by June of 1914 it had grown to seven departments, each one equipped with offices and stenographers.



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Paul

Well, that must have been when we moved over—I don't remember when we did move over from our little basement room to the Cameron House, the Dolly Madison House. Then we had a whole building, of course.


Fry

Yes, this was after you moved.


Paul

I don't remember when we moved, but we must have moved before June, then. When we rented this building known as the Dolly Madison House and out in the back of it—I think this was this building—No, I don't believe it was though. It must have been later when we were put out of the Dolly Madison House and had to go across to the house that had been William Randolph Hearst's. I think that's the one that had this great big building, sort of an annex. And we had a carpenter cut it up into a lot of little offices, so that the Suffragist could have one office and the treasurer, one office, and so on and so on and so on. But if it was 1914 we hadn't done that yet.

I suppose that's just taking all the space that we had in the building.


Fry

Well at any rate it sounded like you had a pretty complicated organization and that just keeping things going from the standpoint of the treasurer and getting the Suffragist out and these routine things that had to be done all the time was quite a challenge.


Paul

Well, it certainly was.


Fry

I don't know how you did it. You must not have slept much then either.


Paul

Now my dear, I think you are getting sleepy. And I think I'm getting sleepy. Shall we go to bed and get up in the morning?


Fry

[Laughing.] Yes, that's a good idea.

[Tape off.]

What about representation on your board?


Paul

When any group in our organization didn't seem to have very many members, much representation, then we tried to put one woman from that group on our board, so that everybody would, in the direction of the movement, would have, people would feel they had a part in it.



185
Fry

Was this from any interest group or from any social class?


Paul

For instance, we didn't have very many Negroes in our group, although the National Association of Colored Women, as always, worked very closely with us. So we put one Negro woman, who is one of our ablest and best members, on our national board and she is there now, you see. I remember we had one woman of the Farmer Labor Party—out in Minnesota. She certainly was not a person who had any college education, didn't have any of these things you are talking about, any wealth or any social position or anything. But we put her on our national board. That was back in the suffrage days. And then she finally became our state chairman because she was so extra good. So we have had all types for state chairmen in different states. We only judged them by whether they wanted to help and were eager to help and were really helping.


Fry

Well, last night we—


Paul

And secondly, did you have enough breakfast?


Fry

Oh, absolutely.

[Conversation about the milk.]


Paul

Are you finding much or not finding much?


Fry

Oh I found so much in this 1917 Suffragist, Alice, I hardly know where to start.


Paul

Now this [taping] will be very helpful, I think for Consuelo [Reyes].


Fry

To review, we ended last night with the memorial service on Inez Milholland, and then you talked about Jeannette Rankin and her vote against war—


Paul

She came into our campaign you know, so completely—we should point out that we had this welcome meeting for her—you probably found it in there. And then we had her vote so she was a big feature, I think. She ought to have a photograph and such in Consuelo's [audiovisual] list, don't you think so?


Fry

Yes, I do think so.


Paul

The first woman who ever voted, the only woman, as she


186
always says, who ever voted or who ever will vote for the enfranchisement of women in Congress.


Fry

She was one of the sponsors, too, of the [suffrage] bill in that war session that followed. That was one of the things I wanted to ask you—


Paul

The session that it went through was 1918 wasn't it, is that what you are talking about?


Fry

Well, right now I am talking about the 1917 session in which it did not go through.


Paul

No, but the 1917 was on war when she cast her vote—


Fry

Yes, but right now I am talking—


Paul

She cast her vote on the enfranchisement of women in 1918. Is that right?


Fry

That's right. What I am talking about is the 1917 war session when she couldn't vote on it because it never got to the floor.


Paul

I mean it wasn't there for a vote.


Fry

No, it was not there for a vote, but do you know what she did specifically to try to get it to the floor, because it was, as usual, in the House Judiciary Committee.


Paul

Are you asking me?


Fry

I am asking you, because it says that she was the "sponsor" of it, but I guess it had a lot of sponsors.


Paul

Well she was of course committed to it. When they say a "sponsor," probably—at that time we didn't have an official list of sponsors—she was committed to vote for it and support it and of course she did. We kept in pretty close contact with her, and whatever she could do which wasn't much because everything was turning around the war then. Even all the women's suffrage groups, as I say, were turning, working for the war. So it wasn't before Congress and it wasn't coming before Congress; and then as I recall, in 1918 they had first one vote. Then in 1919 they had a second vote. Or else they had them both in 1919—there were two votes, I know, in the House.



187
Fry

Yes, I don't have that chronology right here before me.


Paul

You haven't gotten to it yet, I guess.

That's the time that she cast her vote for us anyway. It must have been in 1919 vote in the House. And it was the previous one, then, when they voted down the seven years. That's the reason we paid so much attention to that one because it resulted in our not having to bother with the people working against uis.

I think when you go through all this, it is—from Consuelo's point of view—it will be very helpful because it gives a pretty vivid idea of what drudgery was in it. Doing it over and over and over again. Just as when you showed me the [story about our banner to the] Russians' [delegation to President Wilson], you know. I said, well we had this problem: how can we make it interesting and exciting and dramatic, on and on and on and on, the same plea, the same women (an organization of the same women although different women), and the same plan standing at the White House gate. Naturally it would get completely dull unless we could think up a new one.

So when these Russian people came (I had forgotten all about it) we immediately seized it as something different.


Fry

That was when you had the banner—


Paul

Not only that, but over and over again you notice how we changed what we were doing. We would have women from some one state come, or women from some one profession come.

It was another thing—this is just apart, not to be put in your record at all—when you asked me if we didn't—are you taking this down?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

Could we stop it right now? I just want to tell you something about what we brought up last night.


Fry

Okay. Well, go ahead and we will just make a note here to the typist to not transcribe it.



188
Paul

All right. I don't object to it being transcribed, but it's not pertinent to what we are talking about now .

Last night you said to me that there was a general idea that college women were the women who were conducting this campaign, and I said it was such a new idea to me. I thought about it after I went to bed and I was thinking, well maybe in our present campaign. Of course in our first campaign not every woman went to college. Today almost every woman—it is hard to find one of the most obscure and the most impoverished that doesn't go to college. It doesn't mean much.

But in our present campaign, most women have gone to college as far as I know. Mrs. Chittick, our national chairman, I have never heard of her having gone to college; she has never mentioned it. No one has ever heard of it. She may have gone but she has not revealed it to anyone that I know of. Normally you talk about, "when I was at Vassar, when I was at whatever." Which was your college? You told me but I have forgotten.


Fry

Well, I have three.


Paul

Well, all right. [Laughter.] Anyway, if Mrs. Chittick had ever been to college, she would certainly meet somebody who was from a college and somehow or other we would have heard of her college, but we never have in connection with her. Our first vice-chairman and one of the most powerful people now on our board, Mrs. Butler Franklin, the cousin of Mrs. Belmont, I am absolutely positive has never been to college. So there is our first vice- chairman and our national chairman, and I could start and go down the list and think of a lot of people, I am sure, that even in our today's group have never gone to college.

I think if you are in any kind of a campaign for anything, anything under the sun, whether reform or not, you naturally tend I guess to attract to yourself (if you are trying to do something, you want people's help) people who are somewhat akin to you in beliefs and experiences and so on. I don't think I have ever attracted more college women than any other because I don't have much interest in college. I know it takes a large slice out of your life that, in my opinion, you could use better if you hadn't gone to college. So I never even inquire whether a person has gone to college if they want to come into our group. I don't care. I


189
think that it would probably be better if they hadn't been, because they will have a little more originality, perhaps, and independence.

[Background radio sound stops.]

So I thought you might try to somehow or other get that idea across—that this was a classless movement . I always felt you go into a crowd and you get up and you make an appeal and somebody comes to you, like Helen Hunt West came up to me, and from that time she never faltered. She just dedicated her life to this campaign. Well, it just struck a kindred note in her. And I found out afterwards that she had Quaker forebears; [Laughing] maybe that had something to do with it. Some little time before. But she just was a born feminist . When somebody presented a way to expedite this, she gave up everything else and threw herself into it. Then you don't ever think, have you been to college or not. You just think well, here is a kindred soul; she feels just the same way.


Fry

Yes, I think it is clear, too, from the examples that you have given of getting specific women to come to work, that your concern was not whether or not they had been to college, but what particular talents they possessed that the party needed at the time. In most cases your—


Paul

Well, I never cared much what talents they possessed. We tried to get—and I suppose Mabel Vernon did and all the other people who were trying to get people—we tried to get people who were enthusiastic, because there is nothing in the world that is more important than that, enthusiastic and eager and consecrated in their feeling about the movement. Anybody could be of service, you see. There was always something she could do.


Ages of Members

Fry

Well, this brings up another characteristic. Let me try this idea out on you. It seems that this was a young women's movement; although you had a few old women in it, it was the youth and vitality of it that distinguished it.


Paul

No, I don't think that's true at all , and I very much


190
oppose people saying that because it was so totally untrue. I think that the people today make a great mistake in putting so much emphasis on youth, because we didn't do that at all . I can remember when Lucy Burns and I went down to Washington, and we were certainly, we would say, young women, and we were always being more or less criticized as taking—pretending to take—a position of leadership when we were so young and inexperienced and everything else. It was only the fact I guess that we had been in prison and had some experience that people overlooked [laughing] our being so young.

But most of the women who came in were not of our age at all. For instance—I told you Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, who was one of the very greatest workers we ever had. She was a mother and had three grown-up sons, one grown-up daughter; her son was a physician and the other son was a lawyer and the third daughter was living at this Lighthouse Settlement I told you, where I met Jessie Wilson, President Wilson's daughter. Then one of our greatest helpers was Miss Lavinia Dock, did you ever know who she was?


Fry

No, how old was she?


Paul

She was an older woman. She was one of the first people who was ever arrested and, I don't know, she might have been sixty-five or something. I got to know her when I went to the School of Social Work as they call it now, the School of Philanthropy we called it. She was one of the distinguished lecturers who came there. She was a great world authority, more or less—she was a nurse and her field was everything to do with these things what they call venereal disease and things like that. And she lived at the nurses' settlement in New York which was just around the corner from us. So I just got to know her as a humble little pupil of hers in this School of Social Work.

So when we began to try to gather a group together in Washington, all these people I had ever met or knew I would telephone to or go to see and ask if they would help us. So she came right down. She was the founder of the International Nurses' Association. (When this visiting nurse of mine came here [this year], I said, "Did you ever know of Lavinia Dock?" She said, "Of course, we all studied her textbooks. She is one of the greatest, greatest women ever in the field of nursing.") And when we started to have the picketing


191
and being arrested, she was one of the first group, I am almost certain. If she wasn't the first, almost the first. And no one could possibly say she was young. And here she was, a professor; all these younger people were still going to school to people of the age of Miss Lavinia Dock.

And then there was another one who founded the nursing school at Yale, and I will look up her name. She was about the same age, of course, as Miss Dock. And she was very cultured and what one would call an upper class person. She went into nursing and she was very shocked to find—I won't say shocked, but she was distressed to find—that the women in the nursing field were, she thought, not very suitable to be nurses. She thought maybe they had had nursing training, but they hadn't had anything else. So she went to Yale and persuaded them to open a school of nursing and make it a regular school like medicine or law or anything else, of the university, on the same scale, the same standing. And it was set up. Women students then did start to go in and become nurses, who never would have had a chance to have that training before. Do you want me to go on?


Fry

[Looking out the window.] Yes, go ahead.


Paul

I thought you were looking at something.


Fry

I was watching your—your tenant is leaving, and I thought you might want to know.


Paul

Yes, because [laughter] now we can turn the thermostat [more laughter]—as soon as she gets out of the way safely.

Well then she was one of our pillars. She got this great National Association of Nurses to endorse and support us and work with us. She was certainly not a young woman at all.

And then, of course, Mrs. Belmont was not a young woman. One time in Washington Mrs. Belmont conceived the idea that she might give a dinner at the Willard Hotel where she always went, where she had been a patron for years, to sort of try to move into the social world, to try to attract some people who might not come otherwise. She gave this dinner and she told us to invite whom we wanted, all our national board, all our state chairmen, everybody that had been important in our movement. We would have maybe, I should think, about


192
six hundred or something like that. Maybe one thousand. Enormous, enormous dinner. And I remember this person from Yale (whose name I can easily find I'm sure in the Suffragist ) she was one of the—well, we say one of the leaders that we naturally invited.

Then there was this other, Izetta Jewel Miller. Do you know anything about her?


Fry

Yes, I know that she is a Californian.


Paul

She is a Californian now; she never was before.


Fry

She was from Virginia?


Paul

West Virginia. Well, when I went to Washington, she was in what they called the stock company of Washington, and she was a most admired and beloved, and most beautiful, and most successful young woman actress that there was. She then married Congressman Brown, and she was the first woman in the country that ever presided at a national Democratic convention, after we got the vote. It never had happened before. And she brought her little daughter June up [in the Woman's Party]. I would say June would have been a young worker, but the one who was really the person who was always working and doing everything was the mother. We have paintings of both of them in the headquarters, down in the living room. You may remember.


Fry

I do.


Paul

Now this was Izetta Jewel. You couldn't think of the Woman's Party without thinking of Izetta Jewel. You see, none of these women were young. At this time, after she married Congressman Brown, she took over the state chairmanship of West Virginia, which her mother had had, and was all through this period coming up to our meetings in Washington as a state chairman of West Virginia.


Fry

Was that through the suffrage period?


Paul

Yes, through the suffrage period. I remember her saying to me one time, when I was perhaps impatient I guess, or something, about people asking so many questions, she said "But you know, I have taken this long trip up from West Virginia just to ask you these questions [laughing] so I'll know what to do." I remember so vividly.


193

So when you think of the people who put through that campaign—Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles you can never call a young woman; she was one of the most active people and of course she was grown up with a grown-up daughter at the time we first met her and a sister of a United States senator; she was about the age of the senators and so on.

Well, I can just go on and on and on. Mary Beard, who became the chairman of our committee to decide on what amendment we should work for: well, she was certainly not a young woman. Her husband was already, and she was already [herself] established. I knew all about them when she told me her name was Mary Beard. I said, "Well, are you related to Charles Beard?" And she said, "Yes, I am his wife." Well, everybody knew about them. She had had time to make fame for herself and her husband in these books she was writing. So you did not have much feeling that we tried to get young women, or old women; we took any women that we could get, of course. I would not say that our movement was a young women's movement at all.


Fry

Well, I think I have read this statement made by people who were contrasting the advent of the Congressional Union with the leadership in the National American Woman Suffrage Association. That here was Alice Paul who was under thirty, I guess, weren't you in 1914?


Paul

I am almost sure that the year I went down I was twenty-seven, because I had just taken my doctor's degree and I think I was twenty-seven.


Fry

And Lucy Burns—


Paul

—was about two years older, I guess.


Fry

Who were the young and vital leaders, and that that gave the campaign a character. Now I know—


Paul

But that wasn't true , you see. Now for instance, Mrs. Richard Wainwright (here was her husband who was the admiral, you know). She was our house chairman and she got us this new headquarters when we moved from this little basement place. All these people—Mrs. William Kent; there was never anybody who was more active every single day than Mrs. Kent. So we didn't really have any such feeling at all, at all , that we were immature and all the things that they were trying to say we were. They were really trying to say I was,


194
you see. And that Lucy Burns was perhaps. But anyway they certainly had it out for me. [Laughing.] They thought that I was immature and I didn't know what I was doing, I was unreliable and I didn't know what were good things to do and what were bad things to do in the campaign and all.


Fry

Well, now when people look back on this, I think they tend to see your youth as an advantage instead of a disadvantage, to the movement.


Paul

But that's what I want to avoid, their thinking so, because it wasn't true. It was a very stable group of women from the very beginning. You can tell from all these people I am telling you about—these are a few that just cross my mind. Now Mrs. Robert Baker—if you look in this magazine, and Maud Younger. They were not young—Mrs. Baker was our political chairman all through the suffrage campaign. She had one desk and one room all to herself. She was the one who went to see all these senators and governors and everybody. She was the wife of a physician and she had three sons; I think one son was still in Harvard and the other two sons were out in the world; I think one of them was in the army. Anyway, you couldn't possibly say she was a very young person. And then this Mrs. [Forest?] who got up most of our pageants and all that sort of thing, she was not young at all. So the people that we got in who were young, when we started to do it—I think—for instance, I remember Anne Martin—you couldn't possibly call her young. She wasn't old either. She was—you wouldn't have thought her a particularly young woman. She's the one who ran you know for Senate [in Nevada. And do you know Betty Gram Swing?]



Tape 6, Side A
Fry

Yes, I do. Is this the same Betty Gram who right now puts out the Congressional Digest ?


Paul

Yes, but now, of course, she is retired more or less. Her son does it. Anne Martin went, among many other people, over the country to try to explain the picketing and make people sympathetic to it and so on, and she stopped in the University of Oregon. There two young girls were thrilled at the idea of being invited town to Washington to participate, and they came.


195

I remember so vividly when they came. People went to me and said, "You must quickly see these two girls and see that they don't go back to Oregon because they will be of such tremendous help to us." One was Betty, who became Betty Gram Swing, you know. She married Raymond Swing, remember. She was young; she was still in college. The sister Alice was in college with her.

So we enlisted them right away and they turned in and we gave them small little salaries to pay their expenses so they could stay on. And they did stay on; they stayed to the very end, I think.


Fry

But that was the exception rather than the rule in age?


Paul

No, I wouldn't say it was the exception . I just—till you told me of it, I never heard or had given much thought to this view. I know that you go out now to the [1972] Democratic convention we are told, this is all youth, wanting what they want. You know they even call and say we are standing for this minority and that minority— women and youth. And you can't fail to realize it over the television sets, what they are emphasizing, the great beauty of the youth. (You must know that.)


Fry

But that's even younger, and that's in a different context from what I am talking about in 1914 and '15.


Paul

Oh, it is the same thing.


Fry

These people are even younger I think than the young ones in your movement.


Paul

Well, those I met haven't been any younger. In this liberation movement.


Fry

Eighteen to twenty-two year olds. And I am talking about those who were in their late twenties, for the most part, who came to your movement. At any rate, you have convinced me that it was a multi-aged movement.


Paul

When you say, about this "women's liberation"—I haven't met very many, but those I have met—for instance, when I was in this hospital in the spring, somebody came in to see me, and she said she was a nurse down the hall for some man who was very, very ill and had a terminal disease. I think she came from Austria. (I have


196
forgotten where she came from, but it was some foreign country.) She was all ablaze with this woman's liberation, and she brought me in a paper to read, all about homosexuality and so on. I didn't think much of this person. I certainly didn't.

But you wouldn't have said she was so young . She was old enough to have come from another country and gotten an education and spoke English and everything in this country. Now she was a professional nurse earning an enormous salary by going and being a nurse for these people with great wealth in the hospital in addition to their hospital nurse.

I have met just a few of them. Now there is one of them called Gloria Steinem. I have never met her but this magazine that the girl brought in was this Gloria Steinem's magazine.


Fry

Is that the one called Ms. ?


Paul

I don't know what it was called, I don't remember. I gave it back to the girl, she wanted it back; I just glanced at it and I didn't read it.

But this Gloria Steinem I saw over the television at the Democratic National Convention. We had been trying, as you know, to get our Equal Rights plank in, and we had an extremely difficult time, extremely difficult, because all the women's liberation wanting to put in all these other things. So here I saw this Gloria Steinem get up and make a speech for all the things that they wanted. Other girls—other women—I'd say women —they didn't give the appearance of being teenagers at all—


Fry

No, they are not.


Paul

I think that these teenagers you talk about are people— they are not, I don't think, the leaders who are guiding these movements.


Fry

No, they are the new voters who were just enfranchised.


Paul

Yes, I think that's what they are.

Anyway, I wanted to say this.



197

Comparisons with Women's Liberation

Fry

Is there any way, Alice, that you could characterize the women in this movement? Is there any trait or characteristic that any of them had in common?


Paul

Yes, I always thought there was one thing that they all had in common, which I presume you have. (I don't know [laughing]; I think you have.) It was a feeling of loyalty to our own sex and an enthusiasm to have every degradation that was put upon our sex removed. That's what I had anyway. It was just a principle that I—if I belonged to any group and that group was regarded with contempt, given no power, and handicapped in every possible way it seemed to me, I'd have an impulse to—for instance, if I had been in India when they were fighting for the freedom of India, if I had been in Ireland when they were fighting for the freedom of Ireland, I can't imagine not [helping out]. Just as when I went as a student to England, I just couldn't dream of sitting down and seeing these women having such a hard fight—which was also, I thought, the universal fight of women—and not wanting to share in it.

As I say, when Alice Morgan Wright got up and left her sculpture work in Paris—she was very successful—and came over, we just became sisters right away. We just felt the same way, although I didn't meet her over there—not till after she came back to this country.

It seems to me that's been the only thing that united us. So many women think, "What's the difference" and, as you know, through the suffrage campaign, we didn't have very much support from the women of the country; we had this big and powerful organization against suffrage for women, and almost no group as a group came in to help us. You just had to go forth and get individual women to do it.

I think it is the same feeling that Margaret [Webb? inaudible] must have had, I've always felt, and Abigail Adams and so on down, and Lucretia Mott, and I know, I just feel I know that they had that feeling. They never talked about [personal] advantages. These people talk now about equality for women, liberation of women, they are always talking about advantages to women—how you will get promoted, and how you will get more pay,


198
and so on, and so on, and so—which is such a different feeling from the dignity of your sex that you are trying to get, and the freedom. So I think if we get freedom for women, then they probably are going to do a lot of things that I would wish they wouldn't do; but it seems to me that isn't our business to say what they should do with it. It is our business to see that they are free. Just as each country, when it gets freedom, then you don't [tell it what to do]. George Washington, after he got it, didn't start in and try to tell the Americans how they must live and what they must do and so on. I feel our duty the same way. Now. [Laughs.]


Born Feminists

Paul

Well, do you agree with that, or not?


Fry

I do agree with it. Sure I do.


Paul

Because I thought, I suspected—I haven't asked you anything, but I took for granted that you were of this point of view.


Fry

Yes, well, I am, and when we have lunch or dinner, why I can tell you more about it. I just don't want to take up our time right now to fill this with my experiences.


Paul

But I mean if you tell me you agree with it, that's all, I would be sorry if you didn't. [Laughter.] I meet so many people, and it's rather rare to meet somebody who does feel this way.


Fry

Is it rare?


Paul

Yes, very rare. You can see from what people do with their lives. Here was a great national campaign [last year] where this ERA measure was one of the measures in their platform. Well, even the women in [George] McGovern's own staff, even the women in our group, like Mrs. Colby, who could say, "Oh, well, we telephoned down to Mr. [Frank] Mankiewicz" [ head of the McGovern campaign]. It is not anything that they think is a burning need for the country.

There are just a few people over the country and now I try to keep in touch with them by telephone, like


199
this [Ohio chairman] Mary Kennedy. Well, they are born feminists and they cannot help themselves; that's the way they were born, that's all there is to it. And this Georgia Lloyd, who just called me up from Illinois. [Vacuum cleaner noise begins.] One here and one there in the different states saying, "Now this ratification campaign is on, what shall I do?" But about one, you see, out of the millions of women there must be in Illinois, is all on fire over this. And usually they are so much on fire that they transform their states.


Fry

And you work through these that are really on fire in the various states, from your telephone here?


Paul

That's the only way. I remember once asking Helen Hunt West [down in Florida?] to do something. She said, "You know , till the end of my life you may know that this is the only thing I am going to do, so don't worry about me. I am always going to be here to do the next thing that has to be done."


Fry

Real commitment. Let me test this tape recorder and see if it's coming across with the vacuum cleaner on.


Paul

How is my voice? Am I speaking too loud or too low?


Fry

It sounds perfect to me. Just fine.


Paul

Because it is only for you to get the notes from.


Fry

Comes across loud and clear, fortunately.


Paul

Well, now let's go back to your [outline].



200

Continuing Relations with NAWSA

Loss of Woman's Journal

Fry

Well, 1917 was a year of all the arrest—


Paul

And 1918 was. It began, I remember, when we entered the war in 1917.


Fry

Just before we went to war.


Paul

Do you remember who the chief of police was there?


Fry

Yes, I took his name down [searching for notes]—


Paul

Is it Sylvester?


Fry

Yes, he was the first, and then there was a Major something-or-other [Pullman] later on that year. Sylvester was the first one.


Paul

You know, I was telling you before that when I thought back to who was chief of police, I could only think of Major Sylvester. I wondered if he had been on as early as our first procession [in 1913]. I didn't know whether he was the same one or not.


Fry

I don't know about 1913, but in 1917 he is named as the chief in charge.

There were a few things going on in the background. Can we cover them before we get to the picketing and the arrests?


Paul

All right.


Fry

These are factors that might or might not have influenced the movement. I wondered if you were able at all to


201
profit from the one million dollars that was willed for suffrage propaganda to Carrie Chapman Catt by Mrs. Frank Leslie.

[Vacuum cleaner noise stops.]


Paul

No.


Fry

Was any of that helpful?


Paul

No, we never had one single dollar, of course, of it.


Fry

I knew you didn't have any money from it, but I thought maybe their propaganda campaign might have helped yours.

[Vacuum cleaner noise starts again.]


Paul

No, no, no, no. Their propaganda campaign was against what we were for. You see, Mrs. Catt used it to establish a magazine and that magazine replaced the old Woman's Journal, which had been supporting us. And this new one didn't support us, at all.


Fry

I noticed that a magazine was established.


Paul

That's the main thing that they put their money into as far as I know. Let me see. Frank Stevens—I don't know whether you know who he is; he is the president of our Men's League for the Equal Rights Amendment—and he was not the president, but he was a member of the Men's League for Woman Suffrage in the suffrage days. When he was a young boy, just graduated from Dartmouth, he went up—he told me this and I know him quite well—he went up to Boston to find some work, after he graduated from college. By chance, he got a position in the circulation department, the business end, of the Woman's Journal . (You know what the Woman's Journal was through all these years.) And so he told me so much about how they sympathized with us and helped us, and I knew they had. I had gone up to see Alice Stone Blackwell who was the editor, the daughter of Lucy Stone. So then he told me how they finally gave up their paper when Mrs. Catt got this enormous bequest which enabled her to start one on a far bigger scale than theirs. The Woman's Journal was given up and was replaced by this one of Mrs. Catt's. Of course, I told you how hostile Mrs. Catt was to us.



202

Effort to Re-unite

Paul

I don't know whether I did tell you—that—now what's that person's name out in Wisconsin—that woman writer—


Fry

Oh, in Wisconsin?


Paul

Yes, she was a very well-known woman writer.

32. Probably Zona Gale

[Pause.] Well, I thought you just might know her as a writer. But I will go on and tell you about her and I will think about her name.

At all events, this young woman out there—I guess she was young, about thirty or forty—anyway she was a very prominent woman in the United States in the field of authorship, and so she was a member of our organization in Wisconsin, also a member of the old National American, as nearly everybody was of that type. She conceived the idea that she would unite us—have I told you this?


Fry

No.


Paul

And so she called me up and said, "I am going to arrange a meeting at the Willard and will you come and bring anybody you want to bring to it to meet with Mrs. Catt, whom I am going to ask and insist that she come because I am a member of her organization, to stop this constant friction between these two groups, which is so bad for the women's movement and so bad for our ever getting the vote."

I said, "Yes of course, we will." Lucy Burns, I know, went, and we took one secretary to take down everything. That's all we took. Mrs. Catt came.


Fry

May I ask you a question? Was this the meeting with Maud Wood Park?


Paul

Oh, mercy no.


Fry

Okay.


Paul

You will know this woman, I am sure. [Pause.] I just can't remember what it [the name] is.


Fry

It will pop into your mind.


Paul

I haven't thought of her since all these years and


203
years.

Well, at all events, Mrs. Catt arrived with some people on her side and I think Mrs. "Whoevershewas" said now she had brought us together thinking that we could solve whatever difficulties we had and so on. She told what she thought we ought to do and I said, "We certainly, for our group I knew, would do every one of these things, be glad to." We didn't want to have this continuing friction.

Then she turned to Mrs. Catt and Mrs. Catt said, "I want to say that I will fight you to the last bit ." That's the last word she ever said that I ever heard from her in my life, and she got up and walked out with her little group. So her paper was used that same way.


Fry

That was after the Woman's Journal changed to a thing called the Suffrage News ?


Paul

Was it?


Fry

That was the name of this new magazine that was put out with the one million dollars.

[Vacuum noise stops.]


Paul

I don't know what it was called. But it was a loss to us when we lost the Woman's Journal . When you just asked me that question, did we profit by this bequest, well we certainly didn't. And then Mrs. Catt used this money always—and I suppose she was very conscientious and thought she was doing the right thing.


The Retracted Invitation to the International Suffrage Alliance

Paul

But then when suffrage was won, I went over [to Europe], just sort of to—rest and so on, I guess. I was invited by Mrs. Belmont, anyway, to come over and stay with her a little while. I went over and stayed in England and met the president of the—what was it called—International Suffrage Alliance. That's the International to which the National American was affiliated. And her name was Mrs. Corbett Ashby. I telephoned to her and made an appointment, and went out to see her and she invited me out to lunch at her home.


204

I remember she said to me, "Now we would like very much to have the Woman's Party join us. [Vacuum noise starts again.] Of course we have the National American Woman Suffrage Association and we would also like to have the Woman's Party affiliate with the International." She was the International president. I said, yes, of course, we would like to. Naturally we would like to affiliate; now that we are through with our own campaign for getting the vote, we would like to affiliate with the women who are doing the international work, which really had been started largely by Susan B. Anthony, this international movement which Mrs. Corbett [Ashby] actually then inherited.

She said, "I am going to write you a formal invitation to affiliate with us."

I said, "All right, and we will accept it I know, because I know without asking that all our people would be in favor of doing this." Mrs. Belmont by that time had become very fervent in her work for this and she had moved over to live permanently in France to be with her daughter, Madame Belzan, as you know—Belzan had been the Duchess of Marlborough. So they were both living in France. So we accepted.

When Mrs. Belmont knew we were coming, she said she wanted to make quite a large gift to the International. Of course, she was primarily interested in the International. She said she would entertain the International and do all the things that she could do and would also make a financial gift to them. So we chose a group of people to go over, most of whom paid their own expenses, and we put in a few people who couldn't pay their own expenses. It was a very great, very big and I thought, very good delegation. Maybe twenty people or thirty people perhaps. For instance Elsie Hill went and she spoke French and had been teaching French. And Mabel Vernon went and Doris Stevens went, all of them. So it was a good group.

Before, I think before they left, they received word from Mrs. Ashby that they wished to withdraw their invitation to us, because Mrs. Catt who had been the International president before Mrs. Ashby, had felt that we were not a desirable group to have in the International and had said that she would give no more money to the International from her Leslie fund if they allowed us to become members.


205

So I wrote back to Mrs. Ashby. I think you will find all this in the Suffragist, probably. It ought to be in the Suffragist right at the end of the suffrage campaign. I said well we have had the invitation, we have made the plans, the people were all ready and prepared to go and probably whatever differences there might be could be ironed out at the convention. If there is anything in our program that is not in harmony with their program, we could settle it maybe at the convention itself. All the people who went on the delegation were in accord with that. They all felt—Mrs. Belmont was in accord—they all thought we don't want to be suddenly told by Mrs. Catt whether we can go or we can't go to an International convention when we have been asked by the International president and when we had certainly won the vote in our country. We shouldn't be put in this position. So they went.

Lady Rhondda went over, whom we had gotten to know very well, from England; you have heard of her I think. She was the head of what we called the Six Point Group, a group which belonged to the International and was very up-and-coming and forward-looking. So when they got there, Lady Rhondda was so incensed at what was going on that she rose and withdrew all her delegates and would have nothing further to do with the convention. I don't know at what state of the proceedings she did this, but she did withdraw, I guess her whole organization, as far as I know. [Vacuum cleaner noise diminishes.]

We had asked Mabel Vernon to make the main speech for us, because of all the people who were there, we thought she was our best speaker; she was in my opinion, without any question, obviously. People have often said it is a pity Mabel Vernon didn't die after that speech because it was the most wonderful speech that could ever have been made by a human being. [Laughter.] Everybody, everybody said this to me, who ever made any report about the convention. They said this was the high point of her life, it was such an amazing speech. The point had come up of whether [our American delegation] should be seated or not seated, that was what it was. She made the speech.

I think it was after that speech, maybe, that Lady Rhondda said, "Now if you don't seat them, I withdraw." Of course she was a powerful person too. But the whole thing, the only thing that came up was well, they couldn't afford to lose the Leslie money. I mean that wasn't put in the speeches , but that's what the whole thing was more or less about. Mrs. Catt was insisting


206
upon this. I don't think Mrs. Catt was there. I am sure she wasn't.

Mrs. Belmont was like Lady Rhondda. She [Belmont] was aroused to such a point —oh my goodness. So she said that she cancelled all her promises to give the International all this money, which would have been a great deal if she had continued, and she was going to give it to the local suffrage organizations in France, which she did, which more or less put them on their feet. But they were not connected, I guess, in any way with the International. So we were voted down.

I think that the point on which we were voted down was—of course they didn't [mention] the money part, but I knew from my letter from Mrs. Ashby what the point was. What they said was, if I remember rightly—Mabel will remember better than I, I am sure, this whole meeting because she led the fight there. But what they said was, if I remember rightly, that they couldn't have two organizations from the same country that had different policies. We had the policy of complete equality and they had the policy of protection of women. I remember somebody later from Holland who came over to our country and she said, "You know, I think that the death, really of the International took place at that meeting, because after all, most of us do stand for complete equality." And I found they did when I went over [later] and became a member of the International Committee on Law, I think they called it, of the International Council of Women. I discovered it was true. Those women over there were all pioneer women, you see, that were in the women's movement in Europe. Thet were not like the great mass of, as you say, [laughing] college women, that are flooding the marketplaces now and don't have any particular pioneer spirit. They were still in that pioneer stage over there when I went over later, and I don't know that I ever met a person that wanted protection. So this was not a—well, it was something that could have been solved at that convention. They certainly were not obliged to put people out because they stood for complete equality. These were the people who said, "Oh no, all these poor working girls and working women who work at night," and all that, you know?


Fry

What was the name of Catt's organization at this time? Was it still the NAWSA?


Paul

Well, it was not her organization. She belonged to it


207
and was a leader in it. They never changed their name until suffrage was won, you know.


Fry

I thought this was after our suffrage was won.


Paul

Yes, but it was almost immediately. I wouldn't know about that point. I don't know what day they changed their name.


Fry

The other thing I was wondering, Alice: Do you happen to know where the papers are, or the proceedings of this meeting? [Vacuum cleaner noise stops.] It would be nice to have a copy of Mabel Vernon's speech.


Paul

It certainly would. I doubt if they kept such good records as that.


Fry

You don't know if there are any proceedings. If they are, they might be where, in England?


Paul

I haven't the faintest idea who is the International president now. You see, we never became members of it. When they refused to take us, we were invited by the International Council of Women, which was the one which was founded in 1888 in Washington by Susan B. Anthony and all our women, you know—Frances Willard, all those people, you know about that I am sure. Well, they invited us to become members and we accepted, so we have always belonged to that group. But the others have an organization, I am sure, and a headquarters somewhere in the world—the International Suffrage Alliance. Now let's get back to your questions.


Fry

Back to the United States. That was a marvelous answer to that question about the one million dollars from Mrs. Frank Leslie.


Paul

I wouldn't put it, ever, in your records, you know. I don't like to have attacks on anybody going down in history.


Fry

Well, you will get this back, and if you would like for the typist to leave that out—


Paul

Well, you can just judge yourself. I don't want this to be something that is going to be a source of friction and so on down through the ages.


Fry

I wouldn't either. [Laughing.] Its time should have run out by now, as far as the friction is concerned.


208

There were also food riots. Five thousand women in New York were demanding government action to bring down the cost of food. Did this displeasure on the part of women and their frustration at not being a part of the political establishment for such actions as this, was this useful to you, do you remember?


Paul

Do you remember in reading whether that's the one that Mrs. Belmont participated in?


Fry

Let me see. [Reads.] No. It's just a little item here on page 4 of the March 3 Suffragist, 1917. The mass meeting was the culmination of rioting in many sections of the city.


Paul

What was the mass meeting?


Fry

It was this five thousand women who

"met in and outside of Forward Hall in New York City last week." They passed a resolution to the President demanding government action to bring down the high cost of food. It refers to "vigorous action of women in New York and Philadelphia and other eastern cities."

Suffragist, March 3 1917, page 4


Paul

I know there was a period there where people were opening all kinds of soup kitchens and so on. Mrs. Belmont was one of the people who did it. All the people of a philanthropic nature who were sort of expected to do these things, were doing them. But it didn't cross our path, one way or the other. I wouldn't have known it excepting for having known Mrs. Belmont was doing it all the time.


Fry

This may be something different because in this President Wilson backed an appropriation of $400,000 to inquire into the food situation.


Paul

Yes, I just remember that this was going on. Women were—not only women—everybody was having [to struggle]. It was one of those economic crises, but they came and they went, you know, all the time.



209

The Turning Point: Militancy

Unifying the Part

Fry

On March of that year [1917], you held simultaneous conventions of the Congressional Union and the Woman's Party, and they voted to unite into one organization.


Paul

What? [Fry repeats the question.]

Yes. Well, it wasn't exactly a convention. That was just a group, I think, of the leaders. You see, we had formed the Woman's Party of the members of the Congressional Union in the suffrage states and called it the Woman's Party for political reasons. Then we were confronted with two. We had all the women in the nonsuffrage states who were Congressional Union, and the women in the suffrage states calling themselves the Woman's Party.

I remember the person who did most of this business was Mrs. Belmont because she liked the name, National Woman's Party, and she was of course very influential in our board because she was giving us so much financial help and was also so much help in every possible way. So I don't know whether people thought the Woman's Party name was so wonderful, but we knew we had to have the same name. Our members in Nevada, for instance, who were members of this national headquarters in Washington, even though they called themselves Woman's Party members, were on the same relationship to the national board as the women, we will say, in Kentucky, who were in the non-suffrage states.

I remember our meeting together and I think Anne Martin and a few people who had been elected out of that meeting nationally, and probably our national board, I don't know that it was a real convention, but does it


210
say it was a big convention? It was just an agreement to change our name, and make the name National Woman's Party for all the women, all Congressional Union members wherever they were.


Fry

It is called the "union convention," in the write-up here.


Paul

Say anything about it particularly?


Fry

Oh, it has a long article on it, the essence of which is that this will unite the two organizations and it will culminate in picketing of the White House, and it also culminated in women trying to get in to see the President, who, on March 4, had just taken his oath of office for his second term. And he refused to see them.


Paul

And who led that delegation, does it say?


Fry

Let's see. There were nearly a thousand women. (That will be in the next issue here, March 10.) It says here,

"Even the women's personal cards with the resolutions to be presented were refused transmission to the President."

Suffragist, March 10


Paul

Didn't say who? In the photographs, does it say who?


Fry

[Reads.]

"The leaders of the delegation were Miss Anne Martin of Nevada, Mrs. William Kent of California, Mrs. Darrell Wieble of North Dakota—

Suffragist, March 10


Paul

I don't remember her.


Fry

"Miss Mary Patterson of Ohio, Elinor Barker of Indiana, Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins of New Jersey".

Suffragist, March 10


Paul

Oh, yes. She is one of our very important women.


Fry

And Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles of Delaware.


Paul

I see what we did. Mrs. Hilles was in the non-suffrage states just as an example and Mrs. Hopkins was in a non-suffrage state, and Mrs. Kent was in a suffrage state, and Miss Anne Martin was. As I recall—I remember very, very, very, very vividly—I remember we met and we agreed and said we could go forth now as one group—


Fry

It was a drenching rain.



211
Paul

Was there? [Laughter.] I remember the only point that I think maybe there was some [question of who should be the leaders]. This is March 7, 1917, was it? Just before we entered the war?


Fry

March 4, just before we went into the war.


Paul

We went to war April 17. All right. But this is the only thing, that there was a difficulty was who would be the board and who would be the leaders of this [united] group. I think Miss Martin, perhaps—Mabel would know much more about this than I—I think that Miss Martin and some of the people felt she had been elected at the convention in Chicago [in 1916] and she should be the new chairman. Anyway I remember talking to her about it. It either had to be Miss Martin as the chairman or I as the chairman because I was of one group and she was the other, you see. And so I told Miss Martin that I wished she would become the chairman and take it over. I had done it, I thought, maybe long enough. And that I would become a vice-chairman and work for them. She said no, she would rather have me continue and that she would be vice-president. I don't know whether that's how we settled it or not, but I think we did.


Fry

[Searching Suffragist ] I am trying to see. Oh, "Officers were elected unanimously at the morning session. Chair Alice Paul, vice-chairman Anne Martin, secretary Mabel Vernon."


Paul

Yes, that is what I have been thinking.


Fry

And then Lucy Bums and Mrs. Belmont and Mrs. Brannan were all on the executive board. Mrs. Gilson Gardner, Mrs. Robert Baker, Mrs. William Kent, Miss Maud Younger—


Paul

You see, none of those were such young women—


Fry

—and Doris Stevens, Florence Bayard Hilles, Mrs. Donald Hooker, Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins, and Mrs. Lawrence Lewis. All those now were on the new executive board.


Paul

Well, that was a magnificent group of women. I want to point out that, with the exception of Doris Stevens, none of them could possibly be called young.


Fry

[Laughter.] All right.


Paul

But I was much younger than most of them, except Anne


212
Martin. But we didn't have any real friction. I don't—I always felt that she really didn't think it was quite right that she was replaced, but it was done without any apparent friction


Fry

And yet she did not want—she wanted you to be the head, you said.


Paul

I really think she didn't , is what I mean. But anyway, when I asked her to take it, she said, and I said I would be just as happy to be vice-chairman, maybe happier. Anyway she wouldn't. Whether she thought the financial responsibility was too great, or having to come to Washington and having to spend every minute of her time. But she didn't.

So from that time we were the National Woman's Party, you see. We had been incorporated—let's see, we were incorporated in 1918, the next year. We had never been incorporated.


Fry

Well, this was an enormous demonstration with women from nearly every state and each one carried her state banner and so forth.


Paul

Well, that delegation to the President—does it say who took the delegation? Miss Martin, I guess.


Fry

Yes, I think so.


Paul

Oh, well, that's one of the biggest we ever got up. I know that was a day that it was drenching, drenching rain.


Fry

Yes, and around and around and around. It was Inauguration Day. All during this time there was no problem of violence or outward crowd hostility, apparently.


Paul

You see, we were never arrested until the war had been declared and we kept on [picketing]. That's when I told you we got this round robin headed by Mrs. Harriot Stanton Blatch, urging us— our own women you see, began to revolt against us because we wanted to go on with the picketing and they wanted us to stop the picketing. The whole National American was solidly against us because they wanted to go right into the war, and wanted to push Jeannette Rankin and everybody else into the war.


Fry

And then we did get into the war.



213
Paul

And we got into the war on April 7.


Fry

And on April 14—you may have forgotten this, I thought it was worthy of note—the first war losses were mostly women. It was a munitions factory explosion in Chester, Pennsylvania. One hundred eighteen were reported killed with more expected to die.


Moment of Decision

Paul

I remember at the time that I was called up by this Major Sylvester [on the Washington police force],

33.  Doris Stevenssays it was Major Pullman, in Stevens' Jailed for Freedom, Boni and Liveright, New York, 1920, pp. 93-4 .

and he said that they had decided that they could not permit this picketing any longer in view of the war and so on. And that he wanted to warn us that if anybody did go out again on the picket line, it would be their duty to arrest us. And we said, "Well, we think it is our duty to continue to go out," so we did.

From that time on, while they were arresting the women, of course, that sort of [laughing] inspired the crowd I think to great excitement.


Fry

Yes, when you carried that famous "Russian banner," your first arrests came.


Paul

Yes, it was later on.


Fry

That was in June of 1917.


Paul

We began to be arrested pretty soon, I think. You can find an account of the first arrests that were made, I think you will find there this Lavinia Dock I have been telling you about. I think in this first group that were ever arrested was Katherine Morey, one of our very wonderful Massachusetts women.

[Break for lunch.] [Tape off.]

—when we'd be arrested. That was really a big highlight [in Woman's Party history].



214
Fry

Didn't you get that message from the police after they had already arrested you a few times?


Paul

No. He sent a formal [message]. I received it and I remember it very well. And then we didn't know exactly what to do, and various women, among them Katherine Morey I can remember, said, "All right, then we will have to have people willing to be arrested, and I will come down and I will be one." So she came down from Boston and she was one. And Lavinia Dock, it is my recollection, was the second one.

I am sure you will find them there [in the Suffragist ].


Fry

Their names should be right here because here is the story.


Paul

That is after it got going. This wasn't the first arrest at all, [in that issue you have] now. We didn't have any of that excitement or violence or anything.


Fry

No.


Paul

I might have been in the first group, but I don't think I was.


Fry

[Reading.] Katherine Morey?


Paul

Morey, that's one. She was.


Fry

And Lavinia Dock?


Paul

Lavinia Dock, yes she was. Have you any other—Is that table clean enough?

[Tape off momentarily.]


Fry

Which was the turning point?


Paul

When people were willing to continue with that picketing when [they knew they would be arrested]. There was a big division in the women's movement, you see, when they sent this round robin from so many influential women headed by Mrs. Blatch to demand that we stop the picketing, and the White House had the chief of police call us up. So it was really a big turning point. That's when our militancy really began. This going out and standing there with our beautiful banners wasn't anything very militant. But this really was, I would say, the beginning of the militancy. Have you any other names? I was sure


215
I was right in Morey and Lavinia Dock. They must record that people went out that first time and were arrested.


Fry

Well, there is a good chronology of all the arrests in the July 21 issue.


Paul

No, but I—oh, no, no, but right here when we were first arrested we had to put it in [the Suffragist ]. Because— my goodness! I want to tell you one thing, may I? We were—a meeting was being held over in Pennsylvania somewhere and one of our well-known women, Mrs. Frederick Howe, was chief speaker there, and in the midst of the meeting, the press called up and said so many women had been arrested in Washington, and people were dumbfounded at this meeting, that we were all being arrested and well, it was just, the whole country was just all—



Tape 6, Side B
Fry

"...Lucy Burns, and I"—and "I" is Katherine Morey because she is writing this article.


Paul

Were they imprisoned this time? I presume they were but I don't remember.


Fry

[Reading.] Here is an account of the chief of police telephoning you. It was after the pickets had greeted the Russian mission at the gates of the White House with your famous Russian banner, and—


Paul

Oh, but that wasn't the Kaiser Wilhelm banner.


Fry

No. this was the one that said,

"PRESIDENT WILSON AND ENVOY ROOT ARE DECEIVING RUSSIA. THEY SAY WE ARE A DEMOCRACY. HELP US WIN A WORLD WAR SO THAT DEMOCRACIES MAY SURVIVE... "


Paul

That's right.


Fry

—And so forth. Then, in this story by Katherine Morey, she tells that when she arrived in Washington on receipt of a telegram from you she found a tense situation. That two women had the day before greeted the Russian Mission at the gates of the White House with that Russian banner and a mob had torn it down. That mob action had sent


216
the story of the banner with its inscription all over the country and into the capitals of Europe as well.

Then Tuesday morning, Lucy Burns and she carried a similar banner over the lower White House gate but a few boys had destroyed it with the police "looking placidly on." One of the banners said "Democracy should begin at home." And a great crowd began to surge up and down the street and they "stood motionless." And then when she was in having lunch at the headquarters, another mob charged upon other pickets and tore their banners to shreds. The police warded off that mob and protected the pickets , and then that evening the chief of police telephoned that the Woman's Party could not again hold banners of any kind before the White House.


Paul

Is that all they said?


Fry

Well, she says that you were "amazed."


Paul

But he did say, in phoning, he said, "We have to say to you, if you do persist in going, and we hope you won't, that we have no alternative except to arrest you. These are our instructions." Something like that. And I said, "Well I think that we feel that we ought to continue and I feel that we will continue."


The First Arrests

Paul

Then I probably notified people and said—because people were coming all the time and offering to stand [and picket] before the White House—and I said, "If you come now, you will have to be prepared for arrest. You will have to." I remember Katherine Morey saying, "Well, I am willing to be," and I remember Miss Dock, and the reason I remember both of them so well is that they did say they were willing.

But I would like to know who the others were who went out that day, and were arrested. And also I would like to know whether they were imprisoned. Because this event is one of the things Consuelo [Reyes] ought to concentrate on [in her audio-visual history].



217
Fry

There's a good editorial in the next issue of the Suffragist which I guess you wrote, and that's the July 7 issue—


Paul

That's a long time—July—I think the arrests began long before that.


Fry

—It says here six suffragists are tried, and the ones who were tried were Katherine Morey, Leah Neil—


Paul

Who?


Fry

L-e-a-h N-e-i-l.


Paul

I don't remember her.


Fry

And Mabel Vernon, Lavinia Dock, Maud Jamison, and Virginia Arnold. That was from the June 27 incident when "six American women for the first time in the history of this country defended their right peacefully to promote suffrage." They were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic.


Paul

How long were they sentenced for? You know, you should get Mabel Vernon to tell you this. She was in this group.


Fry

I think she did, in our interview.

34.  Vernon, Mabel, The Suffrage Campaign, Peace and International Relations, Regional Oral History Office, 1976.


Paul

She probably remembers the names of the people who were arrested with her. I would like to get in touch with those women who were first arrested if any of them are living.


Fry

Well, those are the ones, apparently.


Paul

The one you call Neil, I don't know who she was. I know who Virginia Arnold was; I know she was from North Carolina; and I know who Maud Jamison was.


Fry

[Reading.] Well, the judge found them guilty as charged, of obstructing the highway in violation of the police regulations and the act of Congress, and he imposed a fine of $25 in each case, or, in default of that, three


218
days' imprisonment. So they were each sentenced to three days in the district jail because they refused to pay the fine.


Paul

And did they go to the district jail?


Fry

Yes, they stayed in three days.


Paul

And that was the first time, in July—


Fry

No, it was written up in July and the trial was in July, but they were arrested in June 27.

35. The very first arrests were on Friday, June 22, of only two women, according to Irwin.


Paul

June 27 [22]? Well, that's the big day I'd mark in your book as the beginning of the real militancy.

I remember this meeting now, out in Pennsylvania. It was Mrs. Frederick Howe. Did you ever hear of Frederick Howe?


Fry

No.


Paul

He was a government official, [Commissioner of Immigration; Port of New York] and Mrs. Frederick Howe—what was her name—I remember she was a speaker at this meeting, and she was one of our most distinguished women—when they got this news that electrified them all. Horrified them all. And it led to many resignations from our ranks, you see. They didn't want to have anything like this happening. So we sort of emerged from all this with, maybe, the sturdier feminists, people who wanted to continue anyway.


Fry

Yes, it would certainly be a purge of the faint-hearted.


Paul

Not so much the faint-hearted, but the people who didn't think it was important enough to upset the country about.


Fry

It is kind of interesting that on July 19, then, Wilson unconditionally pardoned sixteen women who had been sentenced to serve sixty days in the workhouse at Occoquan.


Paul

Well, that was natural in the beginning.



219
Fry

No one asked him to pardon them.


Paul

Who were they?


Fry

[Looks through Suffragist .]


Paul

I think this is the one led by Mrs. Hopkins of New Jersey.

You see how valuable it is to have a record like this. It's one of the things that upsets me so terribly: we are having just as many things happening today but we have no record being made. We have no paper [published now].


Fry

I know; and that's also why we need to tape record more people.


Paul

We need a paper so desperately.


Fry

We might note that there is a record of the arrests from June 20 on a good chronology here on page 7 of the July 21 issue. [Pause.] It helps to straighten out that date of the first arrests and the first convictions.


Paul

You know, we always marched out with a little group. It is my impression that a little group in which Miss Lavinia Dock was one, and so on (I didn't remember Mrs. Lewis was in the first group) but at all events, I know Miss Morey and Miss Dock were, and they marched out just as we did each morning, without any particular banner. That was the time they were arrested, because they had gone out in defiance and absolute noncompliance with this order from this Major Pullman. But we don't seem to find anything in there about it.


Fry

There is a story on that day's arrest. You are talking about June 25 Monday—


Paul

Yes, but that was of two people who were going out with a particular banner which was inflammatory, but I don't think that that was exactly—well, it is not what I have remembered. I just remember having a long consultation, "well, what shall we do?" when we had gotten this order. You know, I couldn't arbitrarily change the whole policy of the Woman's Party. Everybody there talked it over and communicated with people like Miss Morey, who was one of our leading women in another state, and so on, who had always said that if they ever did start in to


220
stop us picketing, we could always call on her. And then I think we got in consultation with these people, and then we had lots of serious discussion naturally, because if we embarked on something we knew we embarked on, we had to stick by it, which was going to be pretty difficult. We didn't know whether we would get anybody but ourselves that would be willing to be arrested, which might have crushed the whole thing. So when we thought we had consulted enough people, then we just deliberately took about six women—about that number—that were willing to be arrested and who wouldn't cave in if they were arrested. And they started out. But there is no indication in the Suffragist of anything like this having occurred. All we started in with was this inflammatory banner, [according to the Suffragist ]


Fry

No, that was five days before , when the inflammatory banner was carried.


Paul

Oh, it was. I thought you read that they had gone out with that inflammatory banner on this particular day and that these two people had been arrested.


Fry

A quotation from the President and one from Susan B. Anthony was carried on this particular day (June 25, Monday) with fifteen suffrage flags and they were displayed on the picket line—


Paul

Oh, then we had fifteen people. That was splendid.


Fry

Or maybe seventeen. Five of them were arrested, surrendering their banners, twelve were arrested and ordered to appear for trial when summoned. That episode was on Monday, June 25. Then two days later, they were sentenced.


Paul

That was after the Major Pullman had sent his ultimatum, was it?


Fry

Yes, it was.

I think the very first arrests were on Friday, June 22, which was three days before.


Paul

Would it be too much for you to look up in Miss Katzenstein's book

36.  Katzenstein, Carolyn, Lifting the Curtain, The State and National Women's Suffrage Campaigns in Pennsylvania as I Saw Them . Dorrance and Company, 1955.

and see what she says, because she, I
221
think, went into all of this with the greatest thoroughness when she wrote this book.


Fry

She has some dates. [Reading.] It looks like it was Sunday, June 24, when the police major called you and warmed you.


Paul

It was Sunday, anyway. You got the day, it was Sunday?


Fry

Yes, it was June 24. And on Monday, June 25, quite a few women went out and were arrested, Miss Burns and Miss Morey. Their case had not been called.


Paul

It never was.


Fry

I don't know—I am only reading this—as of July 21 it had not been called. But those who were arrested—


Paul

And you gave me last night the names of about six people who were arrested and I know you had somebody named Neil whom I never heard of. And then we had Maud Jamison and Virginia Arnold and Mabel Vernon and Miss Lavinia Dock, and Miss Morey.


Fry

But you think the real red-letter day, Alice, is the day of the very first arrest? Or the day the first women went to prison?


Paul

No, I think the first arrest, because if you decided to be willing to be arrested, you change our policy, you see.


Fry

Well, that was June 22, and then June 27 was the day of the first sentencing.


Paul

So I think the day of the first arrest would be the turning point. (Excuse me a minute, I am going in to get my check for Mrs. Dolley [housekeeper].)

Well, now I think that's very important that we got through that period.


Fry

Yes, the first—


Paul

And then she gives those little summaries that you could use, that there were all together what number arrested and what number imprisoned.

I told you in the very beginning of that book, she tells about how we held our first open air meeting in


222
Philadelphia, in the opening part of the book.


Fry

Yes. On page 206 Katzenstein sums up, [telephone ring interferes]

"More than five hundred were arrested during the agitation over the whole campaign, and out of these 168 served prison terms, some of them several terms."

Katzenstein, Carolyn, Lifting the Curtain, The State and National Women's Suffrage Campaigns in Pennsylvania as I Saw Them . Dorrance and Company, 1955, p. 206

That's a big number of women, five hundred.


Paul

It's really quite amazing. Because you see it wasn't at all—today it's sort of commonplace to be arrested, but it was certainly extremely [laughing] unusual at that time.


Fry

Especially for women who were very cultured and, as you were pointing out, who absolutely would never think of even picketing in any other circumstance.

[Tape off.]


Paul

The first women who did it gave it such a good start because the women were of such prestige. For instance this Miss Morey was of a very distinguished family up in Massachusetts. There is a statue to one of her ancestors as you go out to Brookline. I used to go up and stay with her mother up in Brookline. Her mother was our state chairman. Every day we would drive home from our little headquarters on—what is that great park you always speak in in Boston—Boston Common, wasn't it—right there on the Boston Common we would drive home to the Morey house. There we always passed a statue of her great grandfather. It was a very well-known family.

So these people kind of gave it a standing; it wasn't quite so hard to get the others to follow, I think.


Fry

Well, [reading] I notice here in this court case, the names listed are the United States vs. Mrs. Julia Hurlburt of New Jersey, Mrs. J. A. H. Hopkins of New Jersey, Mrs. Minnie D. Abbot of New Jersey, Mrs. B. R. Kincaid of California, Mrs. Paul Reyneau of Michigan, Miss Anne Martin of Nevada, Mrs. Amelia Himes Walker of Maryland, Mrs. Florence Bayard Hilles of Delaware, Miss Janet Fotheringham of New York, Mrs. Gilson Gardner of Washington D.C., Miss Doris Stevens of Nebraska, Mrs. John Winters Brannan of New York, Miss Mary H. Ingham of Pennsylvania—


Paul

She was a very distinguished woman. Every one of these people was very well-known.



223
Fry

Mrs. John Rogers, Jr. of New York.


Paul

That's the one I was telling you was such a chum from the very beginning. She was [Secretary] Stimson's sister-in-law.


Fry

Mrs. Rogers?


Paul

Yes. Secretary of War Stimson.


Fry

And Miss Eleanor Calnan of Massachusetts and Mrs. Louise P. Mayo of Massachusetts.


Paul

Is that the end?


Fry

That's the end of those listed in that litigation.


Paul

Yes, so there was a very—my recollection is that Dudley Field Malone, who was a very close friend and associate of Mr. [Woodrow] Wilson, and campaigned with him and had been given by him the position of Collector of the Port of New York. He was then married to one of the big Democratic political families in New York—I have forgotten what her name was. He showed every sign of being quite infatuated by Doris Stevens. I guess he was. You said twenty-six—[Tape off momentarily.] I am sure he got those women out, that's all I am trying to say.


The Presidential Pardon

Fry

Out of jail and pardoned? Wasn't that later on?


Paul

He knew Wilson so well.

[Interruption, housekeeper.]


Fry

This was July 19 when the President unconditionally pardoned sixteen women who had been sentenced on a technical charge to serve sixty days in a government work house at Occoquan. Everyone seemed to feel that the pardon was what we would today call a "cop-out" by President Wilson. (There is a good write-up here on the trial on page 7 of the Suffragist .)


Paul

Anyway Mrs. Hopkins, I think, took a very good position. She said they hadn't done anything they shouldn't have


224
done, and they didn't want to be pardoned by the government for something that they considered was right and proper that they had done. So all by herself, she wouldn't accept the pardon.


Fry

And the very next day she went out and picketed and—I suppose was arrested?


Paul

No, she wasn't arrested.


Fry

Oh, there was a time right after that pardon when they didn't arrest anyone.


Paul

The only one who wasn't arrested that I know of was Mrs. Hopkins when she went out. Nothing would induce them to arrest her [laughter], because it brought up the whole question of whether Wilson did have the right to pardon them, you see.


Fry

Which was a legal question they didn't want to get into.


Paul

They certainly didn't want to. Her position was quite right. You can't pardon a person for something that you are not in position to be giving a pardon. I thought it was very gallant what she did. Then we went on with our regular picketing, and we were regularly arrested, as far as I can recall.


Fry

Things got livelier and livelier, it seems, as the summer wears on. The Suffragist carries comments of the police encouraging the attacks of hoodlums, and in one of them in August there is a note that you were knocked down three times and a sailor dragged you clear across the sidewalk trying to tear off your suffrage sash for a souvenir. And there were no police around.


Paul

Does it say that in there? That's another question [Mr. Gallagher asked]. I don't know where this man got all these things.


Fry

That's August 15.


Paul

And I said, "I don't think I have ever heard of it or remember a single thing about it—ever being thrown down—and I don't see how I could be thrown down and not remember."


Fry

Don't you remember even being kind of frightened by all these crowds around you?



225
Paul

No. I don't remember. Maybe I was was I was more sensitive I think, not to any of these crowds and that sort of thing, but to the general feeling over the whole country that you were the scum of the earth and all that.

Charlie—[tape off while Miss Paul talks to carpenter.]


Fry

The thing we haven't brought out here is that most of your banners were not inflammatory, that you were quoting President Wilson's own words, back to him. [Laughing.] I think we kind of missed that point here.


Other Consequences

Paul

Of course, really you know, we weren't addressing President Wilson, we just were addressing the people of the country.


Fry

Yes.


Paul

To try to get those words over to the country.


Fry

Well, you had another big one on Bastille Day and then on through August, and in the meantime, in September, there was a so-called investigation of Occoquan Workhouse.


Paul

By some member of Congress?


Fry

No. This was the one written up in the Suffragist as just a whitewash. Dudley Field Malone was ready to be your counsel for it because in the meantime he had resigned [from Port of New York] in protest.


Paul

Yes, but who was conducting it?


Fry

The investigation was called by the District of Columbia commissioners? There was a hearing which was secret.


Paul

Was Dudley Field Malone conducting the investigation for us? Representing us?


Fry

He was representing the women who had been in Occoquan and some of the men too. He was prepared, but when he got up there, the Suffragist say that this hearing was secret and Malone refused to take part in a secret hearing; he wanted a public hearing.



226
Paul

Oh. yes. And he couldn't get it.


Fry

He couldn't get it. And what happened was that the board of charities gave a whitewashed report and Superintendent Whittaker was reinstated. By that time it was October 2. A lot of other women were in. There was a period there where they began to not send suffragists to the workhouse but kept them in the jail.


Paul

Yes, I thought in the beginning, they went to jail and only afterwards to Occoquan.


Fry

It seems to go back and forth. During this investigation they didn't send—


Paul

It seems to me that I was in prison toward the beginning, I know I was in with Mary Winsor and Lucy Branham I remember, and we were in the district jail.


Fry

This says on October 20 you were arrested.


Paul

October? No, but I think I was arrested before that. When was the time when I went in the psychopathic ward? I think that was the first time.


Fry

Well, I missed it if it was earlier than October 20.


Paul

Because this man [who interviewed me last week], Mr. Gallagher, told me all about that. And all about how this newspaperman who was close to the President came out to interview me and how they put me in the psychopathic ward and the head of St. Elizabeth's came to interview me. He must have gotten that all from the Suffragist . You haven't come across any of that?


Fry

That's in Jailed for Freedom

37.  Doris Stevens Jailed for Freedom

and yes, I have come across it.


Paul

You haven't come across it here in the Suffragist ?


Fry

Not yet. But you had been sentenced to seven months in jail.


Paul

No, but that wasn't the first time. That was the second time.


227

[Discussion of succession of jail terms.]

The first time, as I say, I remember, was in the [summer in the] very beginning of our going to prison, and Mrs. Lewis had gone up to see Mrs. Dora Hazard in Syracuse, who was the wife of that great man up there in Syracuse who had the Eastman Kodak Company and all those things, I think; she was on our advisory board, or something, or the New York City board, or something. Mrs. Lewis went up to see if she would advance the money [because] this was the time that we were put out of our old headquarters. You know, I told you about how the man came and said they couldn't have people going to prison—


Fry

Did he really put you out ?


Paul

Yes, I told you all that.


Fry

You said, off the tape, that your landlords were unhappy. I didn't realize that they really put you out of your headquarters.


Paul

Well, maybe we could have resisted, but we didn't. He came in, I remember so vividly, and I was in bed. I guess I was just lying down for a rest or something. And he came in and sat down, very courteous, a lawyer, I presume he was, and said that the estate he was representing would like to request us to leave as soon as we possibly could. It was embarrassing to them to have people going to prison from this building and connected with this whole affair.

So I said, all right, how much time would they give us and so on and we would go and immediately try to find another place and go as soon as we could. So we were , really, just put out.

Then we had the problem of finding a place and we couldn't find a place right away, so Mr. Dash—Herman Dash—you have probably come across him many times; he was a real estate man who was also a very good personal friend. He found a place just across the street on Lafayette Square, but just a little tiny—apartment more or less. So we transferred ourselves across there and put things in storage I guess somewhere—I don't know what else we did with our possessions. Maybe we left them in the Cameron House until we could really find a place.

Then we did find that the owners of this building that I think


228
is now occupied by the Brookings Institute, just right across from Cameron House, said that it was for rent. Whoever had been there had left; it was empty, I believe. I think this Mr. Dash, this real estate man, found it for us. They said they would rent it to us if we could pay $1,000 a month and one year in advance or something like that. And just almost that very day we got that ultimatum I was sentenced to prison and the only two I can remember being in with me were Mary Winsor because she made a daily prayer for all the prisoners [laughter] and Lucy Branham because she was in the cell next to me and she was always telling me how to eat, saying, "Now, shut your eyes tight, and just take a bite, and then you will have it down." [Laughter.] This was because the food was so bad we really couldn't look at it. And I never shall forget her. She was such a courageous girl. She instructed me so much on how in the world we could ever swallow the slice of bread that was given us [laughing]. But I don't remember anyone else.

But I remember Mr. Dash coming and saying, "Well, Mrs. Lewis has returned." She was our treasurer. I would love, in these things, to get some honor paid to all these wonderful women. So Mrs. Lewis [had] said she would go up and try to do the terrible thing of raising this sum of money. And she went up to see this Mrs. Hazard. Mr. Dash came down and asked if he could see me as a client of his—I don't know whether you say "client"; we were a real estate, not a law client or whatever you are.

So he came in and came up to my little row of cells and was assigned to a seat, and I think I went out and sat down beside him and he said, "Well, Mrs. Lewis has come back with the $8,000 we had to raise." I think it was $8,000 she raised, in addition to what we already had. So he said, "Now I can make out the check and we will take over the building." And that is when we moved into—not our present but our last headquarters.


Fry

That was where?


Paul

Just about where the Brookings is. Do you know where the Brookings is? Right down on Lafayette Square, about two doors down from the White House.


Fry

Oh, I see; well, Brookings has now moved to Massachusetts Avenue.



229
Paul

Did they. I didn't know that. It used to be the William Randolph Hearst residence. It was owned by his estate, I guess, or by somebody who had inherited it from him. And they asked this enormous rent and we raised it, and paid it. By the time we came out, we could go into our own headquarters where we stayed until the campaign was over. But that was very early in this campaign.


Attack on Headquarters

Fry

And it was after a crowd had tried to attack your previous house, too. Could you tell us anything about that? The night that a mob surged across Lafayette Square and—


Paul

Yes, but did you find that in here?


Fry

It is mentioned.


Paul

Well, what does it say there?


Fry

It will take me so long to find it; I don't know the exact date.

38. August 14, 1917.


Paul

Oh. it will?


Fry

Yes, but it mentioned that there was a pistol shot or some kind of a shot that went into the window—


Paul

That was very early in the period you have been going over. It was very early.


Fry

It sounded like it was fairly scary.


Paul

Well, I can remember that there was an actual invasion of our headquarters. The only time it ever happened. They did fire shots; some shots went, I think, through the windows there. I don't know that there was anything more than that.


Fry

It was shortly after the police chief had issued his ultimatum to you. It was within a little while after that.



230
Paul

Yes, I thought it was a little way after that. I remember when—very well—one of our members, who had been chairman of one of our committees—and these people were all assembling around there [outside] and there was lots of noise and so on. Without a word, I saw her get up and go out the door, and she never came back. [Laughter.] It was a very alarming thing, and people didn't want to be in any way associated, so it was, "Well, now, this is the limit. I am not going to be here any longer."

But I don't think any great violence was done to the building. People were very terrified, that was all.

figure
House Resolution 171 by Representative Jeannette Rankin, October 5, 1917, as reprinted in Doris Steven's Jailed for Freedom Boni and Liveright, New York, 1929, p. 352-3


Alice in Prison

Fry

The other thing I wanted to ask you about was your hunger strike. By November 24, you had gone thirty days without food. There's a note about that. And there's a lot in the Suffragist about the leader being imprisoned. You managed to smuggle out notes some way.


Paul

I guess this time I was in the psychopathic ward, wasn't I?


Fry

It doesn't say that yet, but you were smuggling out notes.


Paul

Well, I don't remember anything about smuggling out notes.


Fry

You don't? Well, they printed one from you in the Suffragist, and a lot of times your notes were things like telling people what to do to get ready for the December convention; in other words, business of the party.

And then suddenly, everybody was released. This time they were released on a writ of habeas corpusin a U.S. District Court in Virginia. This was by action of Dudley Field Malone, because he alleged that when you had been transferred to Occoquan, it was illegal.


Paul

I wasn't [transferred] to Occoquan, I was [transferred] to the psychopathic ward.


Fry

But a lot of the prisoners had been taken to Occoquan.


231
Do you remember the immigrant Polish girl, Rose Winslow? She was in jail with you.


Paul

Yes, she was also in the psychopathic ward with me. The only person who was transferred to the psychopathic ward, but this was toward the end of the whole campaign. I think if I look in Mrs. Irwin's book, I can probably find this, easily.


Fry

We should mention in the record about this long quotation from you that Doris Stevens put in her book.

39.  Doris Stevens Jailed for Freedom, Boni and Liveright, New York, 1920.

It starts on page 215 and it is on your experience in prison and in the psychopathic ward. It ends on page 228. It includes the visit from the journalist, David Lawrence.


Paul

Read that to me, please.

[Tape off. Fry reads the passage.]

I certainly owed a lot to that Dr. White because it would have been so very easy for him to have given an adverse decision and I might still at this moment be in the St. Elizabeth [psychopathic ward].


Fry

That's right! That's a chilling thought.


Paul

And all that, I owe to Dr. [William A.] White.


Fry

We might point out that he is the one who first interviewed you, the "alienist."


Paul

Yes, but he was the head of St. Elizabeth's [Insane Asylum], you see, and I know that he gave an absolute, absolute statement [for my release] because he came up to see us later in the headquarters when I was there, and we got to know him fairly well. And he just completely, he said, would have nothing to do with it. He wouldn't in any way consent to have me transferred to St. Elizabeth. And he had the final say as the head of St. Elizabeth. So I have always felt the greatest sense of indebtedness to him. And so I am afraid [I might have stayed there forever—like many, many, many, many, many women over the country.]


Women in Mental Hospitals

Paul

All the time you were reading this I was thinking of a


232
woman who called me up I guess the day before Thanksgiving it was. From Washington. She said just about everything I said. She was the wife of a judge in the court of Appeals in Illinois, and he had gotten a divorce from her and married somebody else and the home that they had she felt she had built up equally with him which they had lived in for maybe fifteen or twenty years, and suddenly she was put out and this other woman was put in. She tried through all the ordinary ways of protesting, getting a lawyer, and no lawyer would take her case because he wouldn't take a case against a judge of the court of appeals. It would be a difficult thing for him ever to survive as a lawyer, perhaps, in Illinois.

She had come down to Washington about two years ago while I was there in Washington and I was called up—(Do you want to hear this or not? Maybe I am diverting you too much—I will say it very fast.) Well, she came to me (not that I think you can do anything about it but it is so typical of what is happening to thousands of women is what I mean). I was called up by the Annapolis Hotel and they said, "Somebody has arrived from Chicago and she wants very much to see you." And I said, "All right, please send her up." And it was quite early morning, and I said, "I will have breakfast for her and invite her as my guest." So she came up and then she told me this tale and that she had come to Washington because she could get no justice out in Illinois. Her husband when he divorced her had given her a very tiny little alimony on which she couldn't survive, and she was so harassed by being constantly threatened that they would put her in an insane asylum if she made any trouble for this judge. So she thought she would come to ask for help.

So I said, all right, first of all I would give her a little money; she said she had none at all, just enough to pay her bus fare down to Washington. So I did, a tiny little sum. Then I said we would entertain her for a while at the headquarters and not charge her anything and she could have her room and her meals there while she was looking around to see what she could do in Washington.

She wanted to go to her congressman and her senator. So I called up the congressman, Senator Percy's office, and made arrangements for her to go see both of those offices and be received; otherwise, I guess, she never could have gotten in. She did get in very easily in the congressman's office, and I think Senator Percy's


233
office she didn't because they said she had already been there and there was nothing they could do for her or something like that.

This all happened this previous time; we did everything. Absolutely everything that I could think of to do for a person to—but we didn't have much—you couldn't hold her down. She was fluttering here and fluttering there, and going hither and yon. She went over to the Supreme Court and wanted to speak to the chief justice and things like that. She went down to the attorney general's office and wanted to speak to the attorney general and she was each time being turned away as perhaps out of her mind.

So finally, one day, after about a week or ten days, something like that, she just announced she was going back to Illinois because her case was coming up. And I said, "I don't advise you to go back, because if you get into this court, they may put you in an institution." But she went anyway. And right away you forget these people, so I had forgotten even her name when she called me up just now.

She said, "Now I am back in Washington and I went up to the headquarters and the person who is there, who is named Miss Chittick, wouldn't have anything to do with me and just swept me out of the house. So I found a little colored maid there and she told me your telephone number and so I telephoned you on the long distance. I have rented a little tiny room out in the suburbs, from—" some name, sounded like a Polish name, long—long involved, lot of consonants thrown together—and she said, "They just want to get a little money so they let me come in for a week, but I have to pay this rent or I can't be even here. So now I want to come right up to see you."

And I said, "Well, I don't know that there is a single thing I can do from here, but if you will give me your number and so on I am going to see what I can do and I will try to." But you just come up against this helplessness of people, men as well as women, I am sure, who are being sentenced to these institutions. You know even our Mrs. Hilles, our wonderful Mrs. Hilles, died in some kind of an institution, and her daughter, probably it was money, I don't know what else. One only child was a daughter. Her husband had died, her daughter married a Catholic man.


234


Tape 7, Side A
Fry

Your position as leader of the National Woman's Party meant that if you had gone into St. Elizabeth Insane Asylum that you would have stayed there? It seems to me that surely they could have gotten you out.


Paul

Well, people are so apt to say, "Well, this lady unfortunately was very good in her way, but she was mentally unbalanced." People are apt to believe it, I am afraid. I know that there was absolutely nothing the matter with Mrs. Hilles, and I think the cruelty of her daughter's doing a thing like this, probably under the influence of her husband, and maybe under the influence of the church at this time, to get possession of her fortune—we don't know what motive animated them. You wouldn't think that it was possible when you know the record and type of Mrs. Hilles, that she could die in this institution. So I could have died in this institution, and be there this moment. So I think it was Heaven protecting me, I guess.


The Campaigning Goes On

Fry

Should we go on to some of the things that were going on outside of the prisons at that time?


Paul

Whatever you want.


Fry

You did have speakers going around all over the country. Wasn't there a train for suffrage?


Paul

Yes, we had two trains. The first was the Suffrage Special and then there was the Prison Special. The Suffrage Special was a group of women I think we took one car on a train, and we sent [women] like Mabel Vernon the same way she [had] organized for Sara [Bard Field in 1915], we had people in every state where the Suffrage Special would stop get up a big meeting. And you will find all that, of course, in the Suffragist . It was just to spread—another way of doing something different so as to perhaps get a little publicity on it.


Fry

And you had a very dramatic story to tell at this time.


Paul

And then came the next one, which was the Prison Special, in which we took the women who had been in prison. They


235
went in their prison costumes and they got out and they spoke at these great, great meetings in their prison costumes. It was all, you know, general propaganda to hold the Democrats up to a bad light and so on


Fry

When you look at the chronology you can jump to the conclusion that your picketing was very effective because just right after your picketing got started Mr. J. A. H. Hopkins tells about talking with President Wilson [about July 18, 1917], and Wilson asked him what he thinks he should do about the suffragists and finally asks him if he think—


Paul

It was his wife, you know, who wouldn't accept a pardon. My, what a wonderful woman.


Fry

Wilson was considering making suffrage a war measure at that time. And he asked Hopkins if he could find out about what would happen if he decided to put in suffrage as a war measure and would he please find out how it would be received by both the Senate and the House. And then right during this time the House Judiciary Committee voted that only war emergency measures should be considered.

Let me run down the chronology for this period. The Senate, which had voted out the suffrage bill on May 15, finally reported it out again with a favorable report on September 15. But before that, on July 19, Wilson unconditionally pardoned the sixteen women. In the meantime the state of Maine lost its suffrage referendum something like two to one.

Back on the Hill on September 22 the House finally created a Suffrage Committee. That happened on September 22 from Chairman Pou. How did you pronounce that?


Paul

[Phonetically] Pew.


Fry

And this was interesting because President Wilson had finally asked Chairman Pou to consider his request to establish a suffrage committee just a few weeks earlier, after your picketing began. Then on October 6 the war session adjourned. (And that was also when you were first arrested.) It adjourned without suffrage being considered.

On October 25, Ohio loses a suffrage referendum. Women continue to be arrested. On November 12 there were forty- one arrested. (At least it is talked about in the November 12 issue; that may not be the exact date.)


236
And then right after November 24, I am not sure of the exact day here, all suffrage prisoners were released on the writ of habeas corpus. It looks as if when Congress closed the suffrage newsletters sound optimistic.


Paul

That was the end of '17.


Fry

That was the end of '17. Then in December, I guess, you had your big meeting of the National Woman's Party.


Paul

Wilson made the announcement that he would support the Amendment. He went up to the Senate, you know, and made this—


Fry

That was the next December, you know. That was in 1918.


Paul

1919 was it?

[Tape off to straighten out chronology.]

—and constant insistence through the picketing were the two methods that we used.


Fry

And one was constantly opposing the Democrats, you were saying?


Paul

Well, the policy of opposing all the Democratic candidates, in all the suffrage states, I mean, using the votes of women to win it for us. We couldn't have made it political issue by opposing it in any of these other states which weren't even for it. I think that was the more important thing that we used, and because we had a constant supply of support from behind at home in the Senate and the House. Because as I said, I don't think anyone but [Senator] Borah ever opposed us, or ever voted against us. I don't remember anyone else from the suffrage state.


Fry

When Maine lost the suffrage referendum in September—


Paul

So many of these lost. Pennsylvania lost and New Jersey lost it. You had so many of these go against us.


Catt Backs the Federal Amendment, September, 1917

Fry

In the suffrage magazine of September 15, Carrie Chapman Catt says, in response to the Maine loss, that all


237
suffrage forces of the nation will unite in the near future and concentrate in Washington for a drive on the federal amendment.


Paul

That's wonderful. Now when did she say that?


Fry

That was in September of 1917, after Maine lost but before the New York referendum.


Paul

That's simply amazing that, she finally did come out for it.


Fry

And I think England, at that point, had finally won equal suffrage; Russia had it and Canada was about to have it.


Paul

I know, but Mrs. Catt had opposed us for so long that I don't remember that [laughing] she ever did come out. That was 1917? Really? In the midst of war.


Fry

Well, I wonder if she ever really did?


Paul

Well, you say she said so.


Fry

[Reading.] She says that " in the near future " that they would do this. Maybe they never did?


Paul

I think at that time they were all working in the defense [effort] and maybe they thought that they could make some kind of a bargain about that. My goodness, as you recall all this, I realize what a very great resistance Mr. Wilson put up to something that he said he believed in.


Fry

[Laughter.]


Paul

Almost impossible to believe.


Fry

I wonder what he did with things that he opposed ?


Paul

Yes. Exactly. [Laughter.]


Fry

Well, later on Jeannette Rankin performed another service. She got the House to pass a resolution appointing a committee of seven to investigate Occoquan just at the end of the session, so I guess that that investigation came up—


Paul

And then, you know, the only member of Congress that


238
came out—actually came, ever, to visit any prison to see what was happening, was the father of Lindberg, did you know that?


Fry

Oh, I thought—well, Jeannette Rankin visited it a couple of times, according to the Suffragist .


Paul

I don't think so, because I asked her about it the other day and she said, "No, I never went out there."


Fry

Oh, really? Well, there is a profile of her given in the Suffragist sometime in the fall of 1917, one of those issues, and it mentions in there that she had visited the women, either in jail or in Occoquan.


Paul

Well, then, of course, if it is in the Suffragist I am sure it is true, but she had evidently forgotten it the way [laughing] I have forgotten being thrown down. Because she told me that. She said she was sorry she never went but she never did. But I do remember Lindberg (we didn't know the famous son then) because he was a member of Congress, and he was the only one that I ever recall that went out to really see what was going on in the prison when all this fuss was being made.


President Wilson Comes Around

Fry

[Reading.] Well, I do have a date to announce: that on October 25 Wilson publicly endorsed suffrage as a war measure.


Paul

When did he do that, in a speech to Congress or what?


Fry

I don't know how he did it, but it could not have been in a speech to Congress if Congress had adjourned its war session; I don't think there was anything going on.


Paul

I would consider that you would maybe mark that as one of the high points for Consuelo.


Fry

Do you remember that great day?


Paul

No, I don't remember it at all. We knew that he was coming along but I don't recall any one day when something happened.


Fry

Well, I guess there were a lot of indications by that


239
time, that he was on the verge of coming out.


Paul

Yes. But which particular day—the time that he made it public to the world was when he went up to the Senate and made this appeal. Of course that was almost the end of the campaign.

That was a great speech. We have had it mimeographed and all through our present [Equal Rights Amendment] campaign we have been circulating it, to show what one President did for equality for women, to try to encourage the others.


Fry

[Searching.] Here it is on page 6 of the Suffragist, Saturday, November 3.


Paul

He made the speech before the Senate?


Fry

No, he did not. You were in prison, incommunicado. On October 25, 1917. That's why you weren't in on it.


Paul

I wasn't in prison when he made that speech though.


Fry

President Wilson was speaking to a delegation of New York women who asked him to encourage the voters of New York state. (Oh, this isn't the Amendment.) He endorsed suffrage "for the women of this nation as a war measure." He stated clearly that "the war burdening the country cannot excuse the leaders of any party in neglecting the question women are pressing upon them." And he says, "The world has witnessed the slow political reconstruction and men have generally been obliged to be satisfied with the slowness of the process, but I believe that this war is going to so quicken the convictions and the consciousness of mankind with regard to political questions that the speed of reconstruction will be greatly increased, and I believe that just because we are quickened by the questions of this war we ought to be quickened to give this question of woman's suffrage our immediate consideration."

Now he knew that legislation (the article goes on to point out) in New York state lies outside of his power. He knew too that "millions of women and men who demand that he pass a federal amendment in the next session were listening to him." So he "set out the case for national suffrage like a political leader who sees the side he must take on a national issue while at the same time he bade godspeed to the New York election, required by the occasion. His statement assures suffragists of


240
action from the administration that has kept women disenfranchised. Already there have been clear indices that he planned at last to act. The reporting out of a long- buried amendment in the Senate at the end of the war session and the creation of the Suffrage Committee in the House prove that the pressure of women's agitation had forced the Democratic leader to turn from his obstinate stand against national suffrage." It ends by saying, "It is no longer safe to oppose federal suffrage. The President comes all the way to endorse it. President Wilson has learned his lesson. The National Woman's Party will hold him now to action in the December session of Congress."


Paul

Well, then in the December session, he probably made this appeal, the speech I remember.

[Tape off.]


Fry

This particular volume of the Suffragist has a lot of the first-hand notes from women in prison and we can encourage people who use your manuscript to look it up here. I noticed here some prison notes of Rose Winslow, and here are some by Mrs. Mary A. Knowland describing that "night of terror," which was November 14.


Paul

Oh, she would be a very good person. I told you—remember— that when I went to Florida, when I was talking about age— that the oldest picket was the one who came up and volunteered. That's that Mrs. Knowland.

We used to have so many pictures. We [released] the photograph of the oldest and the youngest picket.


Fry

Did somebody in National Woman's Party know Mr. Joseph— how do you pronounce his name—Tumulty?—


Paul

Tumuolty. Frye —who was private secretary to Woodrow Wilson?

Yes, what about him?


Fry

Well, apparently he told members of the National Woman's Party in December, "Of course I am with you" and promised to speak to the President about the federal amendment.


Paul

No, but—I know he was Wilson's secretary—Tumulty was [also] the personal lawyer for our Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller and her family, you know. Senator Guffey of


241
Pennsylvania, of course, a very prominent Democrat. Tumulty the senior, when he left when Wilson went out, he started a law office, and then we inherited the son, so we have Tumulty the son now as our attorney.


Fry

Well, apparently somebody was able to arrange a deputation to Tumulty, senior.


Paul

December 26.


Fry

What year?


Paul

Let's see. [Reading from Irwin, Inez Haynes Up Hill With Banners Flying ] What year? [Laughter.] Too bad that they don't put the date of the year on the top of each page or something. Well, let me see if I can find the year [tape off] the Senate passed the suffrage amendment. But what [ever] year it is, I have the date, and it was, if you look, September 26 it was.


Fry

Well, the Amendment passed the House January 10, 1918. So maybe that was in September of 1918.


Paul

But in the Suffragist, could you see the year you are on?


Fry

The President's speech there just before the Senate almost passed it, is on page 7 of the October 12, 1918, issue.


Paul

Well, I think you ought to mark that for Consuelo. Another highlight.

It lost by two votes.


Fry

After five days of debate?


Paul

Yes, is that it?


Fry

And this eleventh hour appeal by the President.


Paul

That was an eloquent and marvelous speech. As I say, we had it so many times mimeographed and sent over the country as far as we could. That was really the culmination of the battle.



242

The Finale

The Battle in the Senate

Paul

I notice in this book it says that hereafter, having gotten the President, we turned our picketing to the Senate because that was our next obstacle.

We were two votes short. The President first went up and made the speech, and then over in Versailles he cabled back here for the last vote, Senator Harris of Georgia.


Fry

Yes, for the final vote. All this time you were continuing your—


Paul

We continued to picket now the Senate because the President was no longer—we had no longer any enemy there.


Fry

Did you move the locale of your picketing over to the Capitol or to the Senate Office Building?


Paul

No, we just picketed on the steps of the Senate Office Building.


Fry

Right up to the time that the President made his speech, you were burning his words in the park. Did you personally participate in any of that?


Paul

No, but I—we had a very beautiful picket line and I showed you the photograph of it. We went out from our headquarters to hold one of these speeches and on Lafayette Statue we began, "Lafayette we are here!" [Laughter.] And each time that a person got out "Lafayette we are here," she was promptly arrested. I was, I suppose, managing it, seeing they got there and everything, but I wasn't up making a speech. It was


243
very beautiful, these girls that made these speeches. So suddenly I was just arrested, because some policeman came along and just arrested me because I was obviously engineering this outrageous affair. There they were, you see, [showing a picture] each one holding up the President's words.


Fry

Oh, that's beautiful. [Laughter.]


Paul

Putting a little flame and "Lafayette we are here!" [Laughing.] Then she was pulled down.


Fry

Yes, I see. She is holding it up very much like pictures of boys burning their draft cards today—hold it up high and put a match to it. But these are all dressed in white flowing gowns. It is the beautiful pageantry of it that is different from our protests today.


Paul

That really is lovely, don't you think? I mean it sounds sort of violent, " burning the President's words," but you see [laughing] it is not particularly so.


Fry

And there is not a big mob, they are all evenly spaced, much as they might be in a pageant.


Paul

But I remember I was way far out and suddenly was arrested.

I think maybe that's the time we were taken to the old abandoned workhouse [Occoquan].


Fry

Oh, were you arrested more than twice? I mean more than two or three times?


Paul

I think I was arrested three times, and the one you read about to me I think was the last. And I remember this one, which I hadn't gone out to be arrested, but I was. And I was imprisoned, I think. Of course, I remember being in the old abandoned workhouse. Elsie Hill was in that prison with me and also Hazel Hunkins. And then I think the first time [I was arrested] was when I was in with Mary Winsor, as I said, who made the prayer. I thought it was Lucy Branham, but you read she was in with me the last time.

Well, now we have gotten that date fixed and Wilson's speech. Now the only remaining thing is the two votes.


244

I know when the [successful] vote was, in the Senate—I know exactly where to look—the vote in the Senate was in June

40. June 4, 1919.

—because that sent it on to the states for ratification—so we all know that. That was June, 1919.


Fry

To get this chronology straight, the Amendment first passed the House, January 10, 1918, by a vote of 274 to 136, a two-thirds majority with one vote to spare. Exactly forty years to a day from the time the suffrage amendment was first introduced into Congress. That was the session that the Senate failed to pass it by two votes.


Paul

That was January, yes. Well, then the House met again and passed it in the spring of 1919, I think.


Fry

Yes, the House passed it again May 21, 1919, 304 to 89. And on June 4 it passed the Senate and was up for ratification.


Paul

I think the House voted on it twice that spring.


Supporters William Boise Thompson and William Randolph Hearst

Fry

You had a mass meeting in Palm Beach, Florida. Do you remember Colonel William Boise Thompson who was chairman of the Ways and Means of the Republican National Committee?


Paul

I certainly do. He gave us $10,000.


Fry

Yes, and he said that "the story of the brutal imprisonment in Washington of women advocating suffrage is shocking and almost incredible. I became accustomed in Russia"—let's see, he had been a member of the United States Red Cross Mission in Russia—"to the stories of men and women who served terms of imprisonment under the czar" and so forth. And he says, "I wish now to contribute $10,000 to the campaign for the passage of the suffrage amendment through the Senate. One hundred


245
dollars for each of the pickets."


Paul

Yes, indeed, I will never forget it. And they telephoned up and said, "How many pickets had there been?" Because he was giving a hundred dollars for every picket who was imprisoned.


Fry

They telephoned to you?


Paul

I don't know whether it was to me, but anyway to the headquarters.


Fry

Did you know right off the top of your head, how many there had been?


Paul

No, we had to scurry around and find out how much it was. [Laughing.] This was Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, who was our national treasurer, you know. She organized the meeting down in Palm Beach, and didn't know Mr. William Boise Thompson at all, but he walked into the meeting. And then she telephoned up—I suppose it was she because she got up the meeting—and asked us to find out quickly. (We didn't know, I believe,) how many people had ever been in prison. So we quickly got the number and phoned down to her. And then she went to Mr. Thompson and said this is the number so then it came to $10,000.


Fry

I see you had the support of William Randolph Hearst in editorials calling for suffrage.


Paul

Oh, always from William Randolph Hearst, always. Always, never failed. You know his mother, Phoebe Hearst, was one of the greatest women of the country and was a great leader in the suffrage campaign. When we formed our little branch out in California she was a friend of Mrs. William Kent and helped with forming our Woman's Party branch.


Fry

Yes, that makes sense.


Paul

And you know that set of furniture we have down there was given by Mr. Hearst, you know that don't you?


Fry

Where, Belmont House?


Paul

Yes. It was made by slaves down on a plantation in Louisiana. Mrs. Hilles had always been in political life because her father had been such a great secretary of state, Senator Bayard, you know. Secretary of State Bayard. One of the greatest secretaries of state we


246
have ever had because of building up a friendship with Latin America. And so she grew up in that political atmosphere, and so did William Randolph Hearst. And so she had known him since childhood. So when she became a national chairman of the Woman's Party, he gave her a check one day, I think it was $1500. Anyway quite a large check. He said, "Now I wish you would put something in your new headquarters that you are getting"—(this one up on Capitol Hill—that was our original one; we bought it. The old brick capitol)—"in memory of my mother, Phoebe Hearst." So Mrs. Hilles went down to Louisiana and she bought the set of furniture that is [now] there in the living room—two sofas and big chairs and little chairs and so on. And she got a set of furniture that had been made by the slaves on one of the plantations down there.

We have had it re-covered twice. When we were re- covering it the last time, Mrs. Longwell—and I think you must know all this—wrote to Mr. Hearst and went personally to his office in New York to say that since this is a set that your father (the present William Randolph Hearst) gave in memory of your grandmother and it is getting pretty dilapidated, and we would like, if we could get a modest estimate for putting it back in shape, if you would be willing to pay for it.

And she thinks that—she was under the impression that the answer was yes, find out what it would cost and so on. I don't think she ever saw him personally, but I think this was the reply she got from his office. So then she got an estimate and sent it up and the reply came back very cold, everything connected with donations from the Hearst family is in the hands of a Hearst Foundation or something. And no interest was manifested at all. So finally Mrs. Longwell and her friends, Wanona McGuire and some others, Wanona McGuire's sister, mainly, I think, paid for it themselves.

But he was always—the Hearst paper always helped us. And Mrs. Hearst was always a member—that is Mrs. William Randolph Hearst.


The Last Votes

Fry

To go back a moment, I think I have found that first


247
attempt to force a vote in the Senate that you spoke of. It occurred on May 19, 1918, and this was when friends interceded when it was shown that not enough votes were pledged to secure passage. So they postponed it.


Paul

That's the time I told you about when Maud Younger and I went and talked to these two men, Curtis and Gallinger, that's right.


Fry

Yes, it says the Republicans, led by Senator Gallinger, provided skirmishes from time to time. And the administration was accused on the floor of blocking action. Alice, did you think there were two votes lacking when it was up for the next vote October 1 of 1918, after the President's address to the Senate?


Paul

Well, of course, I guess everybody knew there wasn't.


Fry

Why couldn't you have postponed the vote that time too? [It lost, 62 to 34—two votes short.]


Paul

Well, we didn't postpone it the first time. The Republicans thought it was better and they postponed it.


Fry

Then on February 10, 1919, it was introduced in the Senate and it lost by one vote. So it was reintroduced, and in the meantime Woodrow Wilson came back from Europe.

What I wanted to get down, Alice, was the way that apparently they changed the wording a little bit to get the vote of Senator Gay of Louisiana, in February of 1919 I think.


Paul

I know. They did, you see. It was on states' rights, you see, again.


Fry

And the National Woman's Party—


Paul

—would have nothing to do with it.


Fry

So it never came to a vote, because Senator Weeks of Massachusetts, who was a Republican anti-suffragist, objected. And then Senator Sherman of Illinois, a Republican suffragist, objected. And then the session was closed so it did not pass the Senate.

figure
Telegram from Alice Paul to Anne Martin



248

The Battle in the House

Paul

I want the Suffragist .


Fry

The 1919 Suffragist ? I am going to read from your editorial that says on January 10, 1918, the vote on the suffrage amendment in the House of Representatives was 274 to 136, only one vote more than required. And on May 21, 1919, it was 304 to 89, 42 more than the required two-thirds. Again the greatest support for the Amendment is from the West.


Paul

Well, in that article, then, they must give an account of it.


Fry

Do you want me to go ahead and read it?


Paul

Not the editorial.


Fry

Here is a mention of the introduction of the Amendment. It was introduced by six members in the House—


Paul

No, I don't mean that. Is that when it passed?


Fry

Yes. It tells about it being referred to the Woman Suffrage Committee. You are particularly interested in the House?


Paul

I'm very interested in the House because that is when they struck out the seven years, you see.

41. A seven-year deadline for ratification. This limitation had been added also to the Equal Rights Amendment when it passed Congress just before this interview—over strong objections from Alice Paul.

Is Mr. Gard [mentioned) there? Because I know it was at the bottom of the first column.


Fry

[Searching.] See, this article says that in the House there were no hearings. On Tuesday morning, May 10, the first meeting of the committee was held and it was decided to report it favorably. [Pause.] It doesn't mention [a seven-year clause].


Paul

You haven't the article I am talking about.

[Tape off.]


Fry

Why don't you just go ahead and tell what happened.


249

Don't you want to go into that seven-year clause that was attempted?


Paul

I was just going to show it to you, try to show it to you [laughing], but it doesn't seem to be in this issue.


Fry

So I think you ought to tell it to me and let me get it down on tape because it is something that needs to be hunted up later. We need to have a record of it here.


Paul

Well, I will tell you all I can remember. That when it did come up—whatever date, and I don't know when the date was. I rather thought it came up twice in the House—


Fry

In May

42. January 10, 1918, and May 21, 1919.


Paul

It was the first time that it came up after a new session began you know, with the Republicans, and the prohibition amendment having just had the seven years put in. Mr. Gard of Ohio arose and just moved the addition of the words "provided that it is ratified within seven years." And the whole chamber resounded with cries of "Shame!" And it was voted down.

And then on the next page was a little statement that we had in—I don't see why I can't find it here—by Mrs. Wadsworth—it was the top of the next page. (And I had it copied so many times, is the reason I remember, in Washington to use it with people I couldn't seem to move very well.) At the top of the next page was a statement by Mrs. Wadsworth [head of the anti-suffragists] withdrawing all sort of efforts to defeat the Amendment, having lost the seven years. Because, as she said, "With no time limit, the women would keep on and on and on until they will undoubtedly ratify this. There is nothing further we can do. We have lost our campaign." Later I used her statement trying to try to show these women how they were misjudging the importance of the seven years they were trying to put on.


Fry

Later on in the ERA.


Paul

How these present women were trying to put it on [the ERA] and how they were making a mistake. Perhaps they


250
would realize, if they saw how the leader of the opposition withdrew all opposition, so we didn't have to meet any opponents at all from this organization against the votes for women, when we tried to ratify. That's all there was to that.


Fry

Okay. And now—


Paul

Now ratification—we went along fairly quickly, I think. We began immediately, the very next day, and appointed a committee headed by Mrs. Lawrence Lewis to head the ratification campaign. The states that we had to go to we went to, from the national headquarters.

[We didn't go to] the states where the campaign was very easy, such as, I remember, Iowa, where Senator Cummins of Iowa said he would give me one postage stamp, and "That's all the campaign would cost you, because I will"—he was a very powerful man in the state of Iowa apparently and powerful politically, and so he said, "I will have this brought immediately before the legislature and you won't have anything to do." So we didn't go into Iowa. Iowa ratified right away. If I remember, Wisconsin was the first state to ratify, I think it was. The father of the president of the suffrage organization came down— his name was James—came down to Washington with the ratification to get it in number one.

And so it went along pretty happily. We lost, for instance, in some states, and finally when—we lost in Connecticut, we lost in Virginia, we lost in Maryland, we lost in Delaware.


Fry

That Delaware battle was quite a long heart-breaking one because there for about three or four weeks, it looked like Delaware was going to be the state that would have the distinction of being the final state to ratify and put it into effect. And then it fell through.


Paul

Well, when we were getting down to the very end, of course, it dragged along, because we finally got it as you know through President Wilson conferring with the governor of Tennessee and asking him—as a fellow Democrat—to call the legislature. And then that was a long and very dramatic campaign—I think maybe Mrs. Irwin gave an account of it in this book

43.  Irwin, Inez Haynes Up Hill With Banners Flying

—in Tennessee where,
251
if I remember rightly, they did not pass it in the beginning, and then reassembled and did pass it. August 28.

Well, that's about the essence of the ratification campaign. It was August 28, 1920, and it was submitted to the states in June, 1919. So it took us from June 1919 to August, very little over a year.


Fry

And that was just in time for the women to vote in the presidential election of 1920.


Paul

It was between Harding and Cox, of course. Harding was the Republican candidate. So we went out and had deputations to him, deputations to Cox and all those things.


Fry

Well, let's see. How many states was it? Thirty-six?


Paul

Thirty-eight.


Fry

Thirty-eight that was required, and you—


Paul

It took thirty-six then, thirty-eight it takes now.


Fry

You got thirty-five fairly rapidly. Why did it take so long to get that last state? Was there more resistance?


Paul

I wouldn't say that it went so rapidly. It went along, but we tried in a good many states to finally consummate it when we got up to thirty-five. Of course, that was the place—that's exactly what the seven years can do to us, you see—they could hold you off and get enough counter states to defeat you.


Fry

In the ERA, exactly.


Paul

I do want to have that preserved about that vote, and when we are through all this, I will take it and try to see, if my eyes are a little less fatigued. Maybe I could find it.


Fry

Well, there's a chance that it might be in that first vote in the House, which was—


Paul

No, it wasn't.


Fry

The first time it passed the House?


Paul

No, no, no, no, no. It was the vote that was taken in


252
1919.


Fry

It wasn't the 1918 vote?


Paul

No, the 1919 vote because it was then that they withdrew. This was the last vote before we went to the states for ratification, and the organization against votes for women withdrew from the campaign then, at the beginning of the ratification campaign, because they said, "We are now defeated. We can never, never defeat this unless we have that seven years' limitation." It was clearly true that if we were defeated in seven years, we would have tried eight years, nine years, and ten years. And they said that is something that the [suffragist] women will accomplish.


Ratification

Fry

What sort of campaign organization did you have for ratification? Did you just continue with your same organization?


Paul

Yes.


Fry

Did people tend to zero in on states like Delaware and Tennessee that were the hoped-for final states?


Paul

Well, Delaware wasn't exactly the hoped-for final state in my opinion. It was— any state. We were hoping to get Connecticut. I remember the same time we worked in Delaware because it was a little state and it was Mrs. Hilles' own state, you see, and her brother was a senator and her father had been secretary of state from there and it was a powerful political party. We had all the women's organizations there back of us. I went up there and stayed through most of the campaign in Delaware and the DuPont family were backing us. Nearly every DuPont woman was on our board up there. And there was a Senator Al Lee.



Tape 7, Side B
Fry

Mabel Vernon doesn't remember the Delaware campaign for ratification, but the Suffragist shows that she did work


253
in it.


Paul

She didn't ? Yes, she was the key to it.


Fry

You will have to tell about that, [laughing] because she didn't remember it.


Paul

How extraordinary. I don't see what she could remember if she couldn't remember Delaware.


Fry

She remembered the suffrage campaign but not ratification.


Paul

You see, Mrs. Hilles was state chairman and she conducted the campaign in Delaware. And I know that Mabel went up to help her and went over the state, and Betty Gram Swing went up and went all over the state. I went up, and Mrs. Lawrence Lewis went up, a great many of us because it was a small state and we thought it wouldn't be difficult. And the National American Woman Suffrage Association there worked in complete—completely with us. There was no conflict at all. We knew the president very well and she worked just as harmoniously as anybody else. But we lost it anyway. They didn't vote us down, they just didn't act.

They just had so many problems about their orchards and their pruning of their [laughing] trees and their peach trees and so on. We went almost all over the state into every little village and it seemed to me we talked to almost every woman in the state, but they were absorbed in their own agricultural problems and such things.


Fry

The Suffragist mentions that there was an argument going on in Delaware between the head of the Republican party there and the Republican governor. There were two factions in the party. The governor was very strong for suffrage, and the chairman of the state Republican committee was determined to fight the governor on every issue, and so he fought ratification.


Paul

Does it say that in the Suffragist ?


Fry

Yes, I think it was one of your editorials in the Suffragist . I wondered if you might remember that.


Paul

I don't see how that could be—


Fry

Dan Layton, state chairman of the Republican party in Delaware, was opposing the suffrage amendment because


254
he was having a factional fight with the governor. This was just briefly explained in the Suffragist .


Paul

Yes, I didn't realize that there was a—I hardly see how that could have been; and I don't think I wrote an editorial to that effect. Somebody else must have written it. Because I think the DuPont family were all Republicans and that was a very powerful family; and this Al Lee family were all Democrats and that was the other great political family. And I remember talking to the governor myself. I think he was a Republican.


Fry

Yes, and he was all for it.


Paul

I know he was.


Fry

And even the national Republican committee held a meeting and passed a resolution for the Delaware state committee to get behind suffrage, and they still wouldn't do it. But the governor continued in his support.


Paul

As I say, as I recall, they didn't vote. They just let time slip by with their agitation over other subjects.


Fry

Yes. Then on June 23 President Wilson appealed to Tennessee in a telegram to Governor Roberts.


Paul

That's right.


Fry

I wanted to ask you, were you very worried about all the matters that were going through the courts at this time? There was a question that came up of whether women could be allowed to vote in the election because the states hadn't had time to pass their election qualification laws to cover women, like the poll tax and the literacy test.


Paul

Well, you see, it was put in the Amendment itself, "Congress shall have the power to enforce this by appropriate legislation" or something like that. We went to see Senator Walsh of Montana, who was supposed to be the greatest constitutional lawyer, and we asked him what should we do to provide for what you are talking about. And he said, "Oh, you do nothing. There is no question about this at all, this will go. We don't have to consider this. Congress is not going to take any action directing the states what to do, they will do what they want—each state do what it wants." So we never had any trouble about that.



255
Fry

The Supreme Court did rule in your favor in one state—I think it might have been Ohio, if I remember. And it ruled in your favor before the election.


Paul

There was some technical point, and in that case Mrs. Lawrence Lewis got her son, who was this young lawyer as I told you, if not in the firm, he knew very well William Draper Lewis, who was the dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a great constitutional lawyer. So Mr. William Draper Lewis and his son, Shippen Lewis, and I think they got a third lawyer, they just handled that Ohio case for us so we didn't bother with it.


Fry

The thing I noticed was that you had said, in the Suffragist that you'd better get two more states, just in case the ratification in these states [are invalidated by the courts].


Paul

Well, we did. We got one more and that was Connecticut.


Fry

After Tennessee, right.


Paul

Well now it seems to me that as far as your thing, that you really have covered the whole field pretty well from the beginning to the end.



256

What Next?

Alternatives

Fry

Well, I notice that right after it was ratified there was a series of articles and meetings called "What Next?" in the Suffragist, talking about what to do.


Paul

Then, you see, what we had to consider was, should we dissolve because we had been formed just for this [suffrage], or should we continue. And we really—I think I would have dissolved it because you just reach a point of such extreme fatigue you can hardly go any [laughing] longer, you know. Anyway I didn't want to go ahead and take the responsibility of raising any more money, and I had the responsibility, I thought, of paying up all our bills at the end of the suffrage campaign because we had about $10,000 of bills we had to pay.

So Maud Younger and I took a tiny apartment together and we started out. She didn't try to raise the money, but she started to help so we could have a little place to live and try to get the new organization started. Elsie Hill was made the new chairman, you know. I didn't even go on their new board because I wanted to be so free. So that took about half a year, of just raising the money to get the bills paid. Maybe a year, I don't remember exactly how long it took us to pay it all off. But we did.

And during that period we tried to find a permanent headquarters where we didn't have to be subject to our landlords putting us out and also having to pay such an immense amount for rent as we had been paying—$1,000 a month you know, for some period. At the beginning of this period, when we were raising this money and so on, we started in on putting the suffrage statue in the


257
Capitol and having our final convention to wind up everything, which we held in February 15, 1921: Susan B. Anthony's birthday, our final convention.

At that convention, many people came. For instance I remember Miss Jane Addams came, and she said, "We hope you will just merge in with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and devote all your time now to peace." And a great many of our members wanted us to go into the peace movement.

A great many members, for instance Lucy Burns, she just said, "I don't want to do anything more, I don't want to be on any board or any committee or have anything more to do, because I think we have done all this for women and we have sacrificed everything we possessed for them and now let them—They say they want all these things, better salaries and better positions, and married women the right to work and married women the right to have their own earnings and married women the right to be employed by the government even if their husbands are employed,"—she said, "let them fight for it now. I am not going to fight for these married women any more." And she didn't. She never—I don't know if she even came to our final convention. From that time on she never gave any help, and she was a very devout Catholic, and I think she devoted herself entirely to her family and her church, until about a year ago, she died.

So at this last meeting perhaps the person who did the most to get us to continue was Mrs. Donald Hooker, our state chairman in Maryland. She was very eager to go on. She said the Woman's Party was a peculiar type of women that, if they should all disband, we'd lost that type of women who is so devoted to building up a respect and so on and a belief in the power of women. We can't afford to lose it. So Elsie Hill was made the first chairman, and Mrs. Hooker pretty soon was made the national chairman.


Fry

Let's see, was Mabel Vernon the secretary at that point? No, Mabel went to Europe at this point and then she didn't come back until about 1924 or '25 and at that point she became secretary of the Party.


Paul

Did she?


Fry

[The masthead of Equal Rights shows her as secretary]


258
for about four years, 1924-1929, something like that.

In the meantime, Alice, was there ever any thought given to joining with NAWSA, now that the vote was won, in the League of Women Voters that they were forming?


Paul

Oh, no. You see, almost immediately we went to this meeting in Paris that I told you about,

44. See above.

the meeting of the International [Suffrage Alliance]. I went over as I told you, to visit with Mrs. Belmont and consult with her about how much she would do if we went on in this new organization, what we should do. And I told you I went over and saw Mrs. Corbett Ashby and then had this invitation. And I remember Mabel going over for that meeting. I didn't know she stayed four years.


Fry

She didn't stay that long, but she did go for a little while.


Paul

The only time I knew of her going was for this meeting in Paris where she made this remarkably wonderful and moving speech.

Well, we could hardly think of merging with this group that was keeping us out of the international world, and if we hadn't been asked by the International Council of Women we wouldn't have been in the international movement at all, unless we'd formed our own group. And here we were being kept out of this organization on the grounds that we were standing for complete equality while they stood for protective labor legislation and protection of women in all fields. Well, we could never merge with them. So I never heard of anybody proposing that.

But I should say that the biggest movement was to have us disband—the people who said they were too tired to go on themselves and they didn't know anybody else who would take up such a big burden (that was Lucy Burns' idea as I said)—and the people who were determined to have us go into the peace movement which was a very, very big movement. I mean not the peace movement was such a big movement, the desire to substitute peace for equality was a big movement in our group.



259
Fry

Yes, I think that's where Sara Bard Field left your group.


Paul

Well, she never formally left it.


Fry

Not formally


Paul

You see she had never been in the—every time we asked her to do anything [special] she would do it, but I don't think that she ever was one who took any responsibility, other than that. I never was conscious of her leaving because she was always, we supposed, still—just as when we went to her at the time of the founding of the United Nations and took for granted that she would of course be with us, and she was. She agreed right away to do everything; she always agreed to do whatever we asked her to do. But we never had her go forth, we'll say, like Maud Younger on her own initiative into taking any leadership.


Fry

She was kind of your special speaker and person who—


Paul

She was somebody who believed in us and supported us and every time we needed her help and asked for it she gave it. And her greatest gift in our movement was her speaking ability.

So we had all these little meetings of the branches and then we had the convention. At the convention I remember Miss Jane Addams getting up and from the floor saying, "I hope you will all decide to join in with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, make that your future." And Crystal Eastman went with a very involved feminist program. I don't know whether she went to the convention, but she drew it up beforehand, to be presented to the convention, which she felt was an extremely good one. But it was—well, we didn't give a second thought to it. It was more embracing everything that Russia was doing and taking in all kinds of things that we didn't expect to take in at all. [Pause.]


Debts and Transition

Paul

I think Mrs. Belmont wanted us to continue. When we finally decided and voted that we would continue (she wasn't at the convention) and that we would get a headquarters, then we signed all these notes for the


260
headquarters, over years and years in which we would be given time to pay.

I told you that we had this meeting in New York beginning to raise money again—this awful raising of money, such an awful task. I was staying with [Mrs. Belmont] on Long Island that day, and we drove in together to the meeting in the home of Mrs. Havemeyer, who was a very wealthy woman, very wealthy, and one of our members, had gone to prison with us. So then Mrs. Belmont got up and said, "I will pay off all the notes." You know that; I have told you that before.


Fry

Is that the $10,000 that you were talking about that you owed?


Paul

Oh, no, no. This was the $155,000 that we signed for to pay for the new headquarters.


Fry

Where?


Paul

The headquarters that was the old brick capitol. You see, prior to that we had rented the headquarters down on Lafayette Square. And the moment that we were through, the February 15 meeting, had had our convention, we moved out. I remember that I spent the last night in the headquarters with Katherine Morey. There was nobody left but Katherine Morey and myself as far as I can remember. And we were packing and moving everything that we could.

We first had a sale at the headquarters and Mabel Vernon I think was the auctioneer. Of course she was always our best speaker at everything I think. So we auctioned off everything that we owned because we didn't know whether we could get another headquarters or afford it or anything because then we were faced with paying off all our debts. I was faced with it anyway. So I remember our kitchen, which was well-equipped—are you taking all this down or not?


Fry

Yee?


Paul

—because we had had a regular lunchroom and dining room where we'd served lunch and dinners, I think. And breakfast too I imagine. And it was very successful from the point of view of having very many people come to it. And this Lucy Branham's mother started it. I know she said, "Well, there is not one single thing I can do to help in this campaign, my daughter is so


261
active and so eager. The only thing I know how to do is to keep house." And she was a very distinguished Baltimore family, Mrs. Lucy Branham and her mother. So she said, "I would like to come over and open a dining room for you and see if I can't make some money for you because I have no money to give—make some money by having a nice dining room."

So she opened one and it was a tremendous success because it was right on Lafayette Square, right by the White House. All the newspaper people, with the Bureau of Information for the government were in the neighboring building. So they all came in and had their lunch there. Practically all the newspaper people in the United States, it seemed to me, who were in Washington for the war, came in to our lunchroom.

So when we got to auction it off, I remember we got $1,000 for their dining room equipment, and its good will. So that is one of the ways we paid off our debts in the beginning.

Then still perhaps with $10,000 left to pay after we had paid off all these things, we just started in this tedious work of dollar by dollar, ten dollars by ten dollars, a hundred by a hundred, getting enough in to pay it all, which we did. And that went up until almost the time for—[pause] yes, that was after our convention because we had our convention at that headquarters, I remember. It was right after the convention we did that.

There was a unanimous vote at the convention when we finally took the vote, because people had talked it over so long and it was clear that so many people wanted to continue. So we felt, well, so many people want to continue. There was only one thing if we were going to continue: it was perfectly clear we never would, never would have it continue for anything excepting complete equality, to try to follow up the whole emancipation program of 1848 [Seneca Falls resolutions] and bring it to a conclusion. So that we were all agreed on at that convention.

Then there was the question of whether anybody would undertake it. And finally Elsie Hill said she would undertake it. And she took the chairmanship, and I stayed on and helped her until we paid off all the money and until we raised the money for the new headquarters. Then, since I wasn't on the board, I then stopped, more or less.



262
Fry

Could you tell again how you discovered the new headquarters and how you finally bought it, because that wasn't taken down [on tape] when you told me before.


Paul

The new headquarters? [Pause.] Before I leave the other point about selling the things: you see, a few things like the Susan B. Anthony desk that had been given to me in the beginning, and just a few of these things plus our records, was all that we moved out of the old headquarters. Everything else in the old headquarters—if it had been loaned, we returned it to the person; if it had been bought, we sold it. So we started almost over again without anything. The new little committee under Elsie Hill rented, I think, one or two very tiny offices— maybe one room or two rooms, I'm not sure—and just went on with the work in a formal way, not anything excepting answering the mail and doing the things you had to do, while I was raising the money to pay off all the old debt.

And all this period we felt if we were going to continue at all, we had to have a headquarters again. And we didn't want to continue with a thousand-dollar-a-month place we were in that was costing so much. So, we thought this new equality campaign would be pretty much centered on Congress rather than one specific thing that would be centered on the President. So we looked up around Capitol Hill and we found this building, which was quite a dilapidated building, which had been the home of Congress, as I told you, in the time of President Monroe who was inaugurated there, right after our capitol was burned down by the British.

Then it had been used as a prison for the officers and important prisoners in the time of the Civil War. Mrs. Serat [?] had been a prisoner there and it was wellknown as the prison where important prisoners were placed. Then it was used as a home by different people, the last one being Justice Field of the Supreme Court. His niece was Mrs. Charlotte Anita Whitney; it belonged to his estate. So she helped and cooperated with us in making the arrangements for buying it. And this same Herman Dash, who had come to see me that time in prison—I told you how Mrs. Lewis got $8,000 to complete the amount due on taking the place when we were put out of Dolly Madison House; I told you how we had to, and the only place we could find was this William Randolph Hearst place which some estate was renting for $1,000 a month; and I told you how Mr. Dash, when I was in prison (that must have been one of these earlier imprisonments) came


263
to see me and said, "Well, Mrs. Lewis has gotten the money and now you can move out everything you have into this new headquarters," which was our final headquarters. Well, getting this up on Capitol Hill, the same Mr. Dash again arranged everything for us. At that time the Capitol Hill building was owned by three different owners, I think. It was owned anyway by more than one because we first bought one of the three—it was three buildings joined together you see—we first rented one of them and then we bought all three and had it all joined and it was one big building. Through Mrs Belmont's help, you see, we paid off all the notes, she paid off all the notes, and we had it without any mortgage or encumbrance at all. We got it in 1922, I think, and we sold it in 1929 to the government.


Fry

And that's where the present Supreme Court is, did you tell me?


Paul

Yes.


Fry

It was built in the 1930s—


Paul

It was destroyed to make way for the Supreme Court, this old building, which was a very sad thing to happen. You never can restore a building with that history. I remember one night some people came to stay at the headquarters and we put them upstairs in one of the rooms that we didn't use very often, and they came down in the middle of the night it seems, and slept out in the garden or something like that, and they said, [laughing] "What is the matter with that room that you put us in? All night we seemed to have some kind of ghosts or spirits talking about the Civil War and so on."

We had at that moment staying in our headquarters a person who was always herself—Edith Ames, she was then our national treasurer—seeing people and having them speak to her—what they called extra-sensory, isn't it? She was a perfectly normal person as far as anybody could see, but she would say, "Somebody did come and stand by my bed last night and they said this and this and this." There was—well, these people said, "There was not any question, that somebody came here and talked to us for hours about the Civil War."

We said, "Well, it was a prison in the Civil War and the prisoners from the South were imprisoned in


264
that room where you were."

They said, "Well, they are certainly still imprisoned in that room, and we are not going back in that room again." [Laughter.] It was an extraordinarily interesting headquarters with all this—it was so full of the traditions of the time of the British coming and burning down our capitol and the congressmen being suddenly pushed out in the cold and having to go over there and Monroe had to be inaugurated in front of this old whatever it had been—an old tavern, I suppose, in the. beginning.


Fry

That's really fascinating in view of the renewed interest now in the extra-sensory world. Did this other couple know it was supposed to be haunted by ghosts?


Paul

Oh, no. They didn't know anything about it. I don't know— it was a couple—who they were, but I just remember some people. We might have had several rooms upstairs in that place, but they all had the same experience whoever the people were. [Laughing.] So it was an extremely interesting building anyway, when we sold it.

But I wouldn't put any of this, I think, in our present one [manuscript] because it seems to me [enough] if we end up with the ratification having gone through and the aid that the President did hold true to his statement that he would help us and see it through. He certainly did. I think made that ratification possible, and it was a hard fight, the ratification. It was a very, very, very, very, very hard fight.

And then [you can] state what we agreed to do, which was to adopt the old program of 1848. We had taken up one plank only, which was suffrage. Can you imagine how these women felt when we had these resolutions? You know, there are two pages of [Seneca Falls] resolutions of things they would work for in 1848. Well, the people [in our suffrage campaign] had pretty nearly killed themselves, had no money left and no strength left and no health left or anything, [laughing] like Lucy Burns more or less, to think up all these other things of 1848. It was, "Let those other women take up something, I am not going to take up any more." [Laughter.]



265

Equal Rights Amendment at Seneca Falls in 1923

Fry

Was this at your Seneca Falls meeting? You had another meeting at Seneca Falls like the original one [in July of 1923].


Paul

No, that Seneca Falls meeting was just to commemorate Seneca Falls. It was the seventy-fifth anniversary.


Fry

But you did submit an equal rights amendment wording.


Paul

Yes by that time I think I had gotten all my awful bills [laughing] out of the way and paid. It is just amazing that you can have a—I always sympathize at the end of these Republican campaigns, Democrat campaigns, because I know that somebody is being left with these awful bills. Because you really would have thought, with wealthy women like Mrs. Belmont and so on that, while certainly one couldn't be too grateful for all she did, after all they all sailed away on their own lives. Suffrage was won and now the thing is over. We certainly had a hard time then.

But I would end up, it seems to me, by saying that when the ratification was over, we celebrated by putting in the Capitol the statues of the great pioneers who in large measure had started the modern campaign at Seneca Falls [in 1848]. It was one of the really big things we did, because it was starting women to have a feeling of respect for women and by putting statues of women in the Capitol when it had always been a Capitol of men. Until Jeannette Rankin no woman was venturing into the—like you say venturing into the Cosmos Club. And that then when we had a convention on and presented the statue to the Capitol, the last thing that we did in the suffrage campaign was that we voted to go on. Elsie Hill was very gallant and courageous and took the leadership.

Well then by the end of two years had gone by, we sort of I guess [laughing] gathered up some more strength. And this was a really very wonderful meeting up at Seneca Falls. There we proposed not only would we work for equality but we would work for an equal rights amendment to the Constitution. And we started on that campaign. That's enough to finish up with.


Fry

And you did submit a wording of the amendment, which is in that issue of the Suffragist (or I guess, maybe it


266
was called the Equal Rights by that time).


Paul

The amendment read—I made the speech, you know, presenting this [amendment]. Of course, by this time I had recovered enough strength [laughing] I think to feel convinced that we ought to go ahead with the campaign and we ought to do it in the form of another amendment to have complete emancipation as our goal. So the amendment that I proposed—and I said, "This is just a tentative proposal because we have asked a good many lawyers to work on the form and so on, and the wording doesn't make much difference if we agree on what we want." So I presented this:

"Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction."

That said it all, and I said, "That's what we want, let's say what we want, and if they can find—"

That's when I started in to study law because I thought, "I can't do anything without knowing as much as the people who will be our opponents. I don't know anything whatsoever about law."

So I then went up and lived at the headquarters and early morning about six I went to the American University and enrolled in the law department, and I got my bachelor's degree in law,

And then I thought, "I really don't know much, I must say, still about law, as far as being able to cope with the people who say you can't have any such amendment as that." So you see we went around from person to person who was supposed to be a great authority I went up myself to see Dean Pound at Harvard, who was supposed to be the greatest authority on constitutional law in the country, and Mrs. Lewis had her son work on it, and Elsie Hill met her husband when she and I went down to see him in the George Washington University law school to ask him to work on some kind of an amendment to the Constitution.


Fry

You mean, a man she later married?


Paul

Yes, her later husband. That's where she met him. Everybody drew up things, and we knew they wouldn't do. But I thought I wasn't very well-equipped to be


267
making judgments on this subject, so then I went on and took a master's degree in law at the American University. And then I thought, "Still I really don't know very much about this—it is such a vast subject"—we had to study Roman law and all kinds of laws of all— things like that, quite a lot to do. So I then took the doctor of law. By that time I felt really I could talk to people on this subject, because I knew that they didn't know very much either. My feeling of complete ignorance they seemed pretty much to share.

So then the Judiciary Committee of the Senate paid no attention to us at all. We went to all the national conventions of the Republican party and the Democratic party that intervened, and the first hearing we had in 19—this is just for your information you know, not for this article—but 1923 was the first hearing on the subject of the new amendment, and the amendment was "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction."

Well, at that hearing—and this seems almost impossible to believe—all the women's organizations that came now with the votes in their hands so they counted for something (while before nobody paid much attention to us or to anybody else when we went to hearings because we were all voteless) now became a great power, even more power in the minds of the congressmen and the senators than they really had, because they didn't have back of themselves any united, strong group that would always stand together on this subject. But they got up and spoke and the congressmen certainly felt they had power then. All of them spoke I think against the Equal Rights Amendment. And if they didn't speak against us they remained silent. They didn't speak for us. So we were the only group that spoke for the Equal Rights Amendment when it was first put in.


The Biggest Obstacles

Paul

Then we saw just what Lucy Burns and all these people thought we would find. Our problem would not be the Senate and Congress and the President, because now we were voters and had this power; but it would be changing the thought of American women because more than half the country were now new voters, and if the new voters through


268
their own organizations went up and said, "Please don't have a thing to do with this, we don't want women working at night, we don't want women standing up to work and we don't want women to lose their alimony and we don't want married women working when their husbands are working," and all these things that they said. ( You know what they say.) Well, we said, "Now we have a wholly different task, which is to change the thought of American women, really.

So we started then to one convention after another after another and kept it up until this year. We are still keeping it up, the last one being the League of Women Voters and the one before that the AAUW [American Association of University Women]. I have told you all this, I think, before.


Fry

Well, yes, and I remember myself taking long lists of women's organizations to use with congressmen for you. By 1971 huge numbers had gotten behind the Amendment.


Paul

I know, but you see our task through these years was this monotonous one of getting these women to change their minds to make them see what this principle meant and so on. So that's what has taken, more or less, all these years to do.

Well now, we went to convention after convention of the political parties. It was in 1940—this is just in case you are interested, all for your own information.


Fry

This is marvelous, Alice, to give me a good overview of this.


Paul

Well, in 1940 for the first time we got in the Republican platform. Then in 1944 we got it in the Democratic one. That was a very hard-fought fight. Then we had it in both. Well, by that time Congress began to—


Fry

When did Republicans—?


Paul

1940. 1944—Democrats. And that's when we finally began to work with Mrs. Emma Guffey Miller because she was so prominent in the Democratic party. She came in and joined us then and laid our fight before the Democratic National Convention to put it in the platform, and we got it in.



269

Wording the Amendment

Paul

Well, then Congress began to pay more attention to us. It was in the political party platforms, and the Judiciary Committee of the Senate began seriously to consider the wording.

I remember going myself to—while I was not national chairman I went down whenever I could to try to help—I went in to see Senator Burton, I remember, from Ohio, who was on the Supreme Court later. At that time he was on the Senate Judiciary Committee. I went to talk about how it could be worded. I remember him saying, "Well, Senator Austin of Vermont, who is perhaps the most concerned man on the Judiciary Committee, and I have worked and worked and worked and worked and we still cannot find the wording that we think will express what you want."

So this went on. We had asked Dean Pound, and the versions that everybody had given us we knew enough at least about law to know we didn't want it. A great deal of this responsibility fell on me because I was now beginning to know a little bit about law, you see. So I think it was in 1943 that finally we took a draft to— Mrs. Broy went with me; she didn't know very much about it but she was our political chairman so she went with me—to see Senator Austin. We handed him a draft, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged"

45. The Amendment read, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress and the several states shall have the power, within their respective jurisdictions, to enforce this article by appropriate legislation..." It was to take effect five years after ratification.

—what we now have, you see, the one that is now through Congress. So he studied it for a time and then he said, "Well, I really think perhaps this is just exactly right. I don't see anything the matter with it. And I think it will probably give you just what we all have in mind. But I wouldn't want to do it without Senator [Joseph Christopher] O'Mahoney of Wyoming who, on the Democratic side, is the chief person working for this measure."

So Mrs Broy and I then went up to Senator O'Mahoney's office. He was just departing for Wyoming where he lived,


270
but he studied it and he said, "Well, you can go back and tell the senator that you just left that I will be, anyway, the second senator and I will support it, so you will have probably the man who is most concerned on the Republican side and the man who is the most concerned on the Democratic side." So we did.

Then we were asked to make sure that the women of the country who had already (in a few cases, not many, but a few organizations had) endorsed the old amendment, "Men and women shall have equal rights," these two men said, "We don't want to put this in and then find that the women won't stand back of us. So will you get the signature of the responsible person in every woman's organization that has endorsed the old amendment ('Men and women shall have equal rights') saying that they approve of the new amendment." So that's what we started and did.

We drew up a paper with the new proposed amendment addressed to the Senate Judiciary and called up each women's organization or had them come to see us, or in some form or other had them consider it, and we got a page of signatures of all these different women's groups. None of them knew enough to have any objection! Especially when we said we thought we could get the Senate Judiciary to support this. You see, the difference was, the old one said, "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction." They took the position that while they personally were for equal rights throughout the United States, they didn't think Congress had the right to interfere so much in the lives of individual people; they thought it ought to deal with the government ; the government should not deny equal rights. So when we changed it to saying, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex,"


Tape 8, Side A

then they all signed, they all signed their approval of the new one.


Fry

That fixed that.


Paul

And so we went down to the Judiciary meeting the next time it was held and—I remember this so very vividly—I


271
remember one of our members said, "It is so useless to do this. You know that Judiciary Committee; they will never do this. They won't listen to us. They won't even read it, they won't care, they don't care anything, they are just against us."

This was one of our officers from Virginia, a very fine member. And you know you are so pulled down by this defeatist attitude and discouragement. (Of course you have been through all that; you know what it is.) Anyway we did. And quite a group of maybe forty or fifty women assembled in the hall outside the Judiciary Committee, and I had the paper there, full of joy myself, with all these people saying, "You are just wasting your time. That committee will never care twopence about it, will never look at it; we can be sure of that."

So anyway I sent the guard in to tell the senator that I was out there, as he had asked, with the paper. He came out and took it in and presented it to the Committee. Senator O'Mahoney was there and gave his report as he had promised to give and the whole Committee voted—I think the whole Committee voted unanimously, but I am not absolutely positive about that—anyway the majority voted to report out this new version.

46. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted it out 9 to 3 on May 11, 1942. The House Judiciary Committee voted it out 9 to 7 on July 22, 1942.

So from that time on we had this one that we now have before Congress, which is more limited because when it says, "shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state " it is only a prohibition on the goverment of the country. An individual family, such as you and your husband, can have inequality with you the head of the family or he the head of the family or anything you want to do. It is not interfering with any private business or anything excepting where the government has some regulation on the subject, which I think is the right thing myself. So, from then on there was never any deviation, until this new thing that has now been sent on to all the states for ratification.

47. Paul is referring to two changes in the Amendment: (1) putting a seven-year deadline on ratification, and (2) in the enforcement provision, leaving in "Congress" but omitting "the several states" as enforcer. Both were strongly objected to by Paul.


272

Now this campaign in a very different one from the other campaign because the other one concentrated on the President. Suffrage was something that we thought was sufficiently in existence because we already had a number of states where it was in existence, and there was not any conceivable reason why it should not become universal for our country. But this one, you couldn't possibly start out to put something in the Constitution that all—practically all—women of the country who were supposed to benefit from it were opposed to. And that is what we were confronted by, which was a very hard thing to be confronted by.

When you think of the long hold-out by the AAUW— imagine taking all these years, and this very great educator I told you about, M. Carey Thomas, coming down and succeeding in having AAUW's name at least deleted from the letter sent to every member of Congress saying we are opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment. (They wouldn't support us; they just agreed not to fight us.) See what we were up against was about unbelievable.


Fry

You were starting from scratch like Susan B. Anthony, I guess, did in the very early days of suffrage, or would it be even worse than that?


Paul

I think as far as law and government, the Amendment won't do away with all the innumerable phases of the subjection of women; but as far as government , it seems to me, it completes the emancipation of women as far as can see.

Now the thing that I think is before us next is to work with the women of other countries where we have almost all gotten the vote now and try to make the power of women so clear and recognized that we can really make the world according to the ideals of women as well as the ideals of men.

I don't think we can do it all alone in our country. We've got to do it with the women of all countries because so much is being done through the United Nations now and it increasingly will be. While I am not very keen on our meddling in other countries, still we seem to be involved to do it, so when we meddle, it will be, I think, essential to have the power of women guiding that meddling—if we can't keep them from meddling.

I really think, if we can concentrate now on the thing that you are preparing for your library, that we


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really have covered the suffrage field.


Fry

Yes, you have.


Later Leadership in the National Woman's Party

Fry

There is one thing I need to know later on if I go into some research preparations for this ERA section. Can you tell me when you were in Europe and who ran the ERA campaign while you were working in Europe.


Paul

Well, you see, I have never run the ERA campaign since I went out as the national chairman. I have never been national chairman excepting about two years which was in the last World War, when I came back and was living up in Vermont in this little cottage I had up there, on the lake there at East Charleston. It seemed that nobody would go on with the campaign. They hadn't at that time agreed even on the amendment, because they were having all the opposition in the Judiciary Committee and it was before this new amendment was put before them.

Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley was the national chairman and she didn't want to run again although she was honored and beloved by everybody. But she just felt she couldn't do it any more. (She got out this Equal Rights magazine for part of that time.) So then I was elected at this Philadelphia convention in 1942.

I came down and took over the campaign all through '43 and '44 and '45 I think, and during that period we sent women out and got the equal rights clause in the United Nations Charter you know, in San Francisco. That was '45. That was perhaps the biggest thing we accomplished in that period. But anyway that is the only time I have had the financial responsibility and the real responsibility for the campaign. And then Anita Pollitzer was elected in the next convention, which I guess was in the autumn of I don't exactly know when.


Fry

Is Anita Pollitzer still alive?


Paul

Oh, yes. She is the one, I think I told you, I talked to her the other day over the telephone—and she says that she has very much upon her heart, if she can recover her strength. She has been very ill, because


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her husband died, as you know, and they had been such a devoted couple. She had for him one of these nurses from Jamaica, one of these colored women, and I think had a night nurse and a day nurse. And then he died. She was so exhausted at the end with perhaps the terrific campaign of taking care of him, she had an operation. They took out almost all the interior of her body and didn't know exactly what was the matter with her although she has had the—you know her uncle. I think I have told you that before—was one of the great surgeons and doctors of America. Ginsberg, I think his name was. But anyway, whatever his name was, he was one of the great Jewish doctors of the country and her brother and her nephew are all doctors and are all devoted to Anita. She has had a great, great, great deal of medical help but she has not gotten anywhere. I drove into New York to see her not very long ago, and she said that she can't walk, even in the little apartment she has, she can't even walk to the door. Somebody has to walk with her or she will fall. And her voice seems almost to have gone. Did you know her at all?


Fry

No, I never did, Alice.


Paul

Well, she was one of our most, most wonderful workers, so I hope everything you write will pay real tribute to her. She was the most remarkable person. She had the most beautiful speaking voice and she could have been a great actress, I think. She is Jewish, you know, and had all the things that the Jewish have with all the great talents, and she just had a flair for knowing what to do always. And in the suffrage days she had been down in South Carolina and teaching up in the University of Virginia.

She lived in South Carolina, in Charleston. And she was teaching at the University of Virginia in the art department. And so when somehow or other at some meeting we had enlisted her interest, she started every weekend to save all the money she was earning to come up to Washington to help us. And then she would go back and do her teaching every week and then come back again. That's the way we got to know her.

From that day on she has just been a pillar. So for a time she was our national chairman and now at this very moment she is down in South Carolina with her family and she is thinking—at least I proposed it to her and I think she is thinking about it—if she can get


275
her strength back, she is going to write the history of the Woman's Party herself. And she would do it marvelously. She writes so well and with so much—she just has a great gift for writing and for everything like that.

And she has a sister, Mabel Pollitzer, who is our state chairman in South Carolina and whom I have talked to over the phone many times about this ratification. (And you know South Carolina has just turned us down.) So I think if her sister would help her, because her sister is perfectly well and strong apparently, that maybe Anita could do this. Because she has all the records through the years up in her little apartment. She told me she was going down, she would have to take the colored maid on the train because she couldn't go alone.


Fry

To South Carolina?


Paul

Yes. And she would stay there two weeks and then come back. Because all her papers and all her husband's papers—a tremendous volume of them are all in their apartment. It's worse than mine as far as papers and books go, I am afraid.

The people who now engage in writing or think about writing about the history of the Woman's Party in book form really, seriously devoting themselves—when I asked Anita if she wouldn't do it, I know she would do it well , if her sister could help her enough through all the mechanical parts, save her strength. Another one is this Mr. Fox who I think I told you is coming to see me in the Christmas vacation from Kansas University. He is writing his book, not on the Woman's Party but on the women's movement, and he seems to want to put quite a great deal of emphasis on the Woman's Party part of it. Another one is Dr. Dorothy Rogers you know, up in Oswego. I think I told you about her. I just got the letter from her saying would I cooperate with helping her if she would come down here. So her mind was set on doing this. She has brought out several books which are travel books and then she has brought out quite a number of books on psychology, and they are, she says, bringing her in a very big income. She is herself professor of psychology up in Oswego University or College, whatever it is, and this is a textbook which has received enough support from college professors over the country so all the poor students are supposed to buy one of Dr. Rogers' books. So she says it has turned out to be extremely


276
profitable, textbooks. She wrote me and I will show you her letter. She said would I cooperate with her and help her put out this history. I don't think she knows much about it.

Another one is Ernestine Breisch Powell. I don't know whether you know her. She is our leading member in Ohio, a woman lawyer, I told you, who had been the tax lawyer with her husband. She has been through the campaign, and if she does it, she would bring out a solid book like that Susan B. Anthony book, a big. thick book which would be absolutely carefully done and accurate. The trouble is that her husband just died of a heart attack, suddenly, and she is left with this enormous law firm responsibility and is trying to get her young son trained in so that he can maybe handle it.

Then there is a woman out in Los Angeles who wants to write a doctor's thesis—her name is Baker—on the Woman's Party, who has written to me for help. So I can see it is becoming enough in people's minds now so that it would be a right time to have this written. Of course they could write all of it—not bring it out till the ratification had occurred, so that could be included, too.


Fry

When you said that you had only been head of the equal rights movement for two years—


Paul

Chairman of the National Council, we call it. You see, according to our constitution—and I had better give you a constitution so you will have it, just as a supporting document—according to our constitution, every chairman, on ceasing to be a chairman becomes an honorary chairman. We are supposed to have an election at least in every four years—the same time as for the president. The chairman can go out if she wants to before, just as Mrs. Longwell did, but she cannot stay in more than four years. Of course in the suffrage campaign I stayed in from the beginning to the end. Then we made this constitution that the time for any chairman would not exceed four years, and every outgoing chairman, if the convention lets her, becomes an honorary chairman. And we have always elected all the outgoing chairmen as honorary chairmen excepting one, and there wasn't enough support for her so she wasn't elected. So I am an honorary chairman, and in that capacity I have gone down and tried to help each chairman when she wanted some help.


Fry

Well Alice, I have the distinct impression, though, that


277
you were the continuous leader and spirit and energy behind this campaign.


Paul

Well, I wasn't supposed to be, but you can't always— even if you don't have officially the responsibility, if you care very much about something you do your very best, to help. Each chairman who has come along almost has been less able to give her time and less able to take responsibility almost, even though she is chairman, than I have been. For instance, our previous chairman (I don't know the new chairman at all, Mrs. Chittick, I don't know anything much about her, and what she is like or anything) but the previous chairman was Mrs. Longwell. Mrs. Longwell was out in California a great part of the time, and you know these things are happening in the capital and it's hard to do it. So I stayed on a good part of the time while she was chairman, trying to help. Just as when you came down, you know, I think she was out in California. The time that I sent you to help with [Congressman] Don Edwards.


Fry

Well, you sent me to help with Don Edwards both times— she was there once.


Paul

No, but what I really sent for you for was when Edwards was chairman of the House subcommittee and everything was depending upon him, and we weren't having very good access to him. That's when I really sent for you and you came.


Fry

No, she wasn't there then.


Paul

That's what I thought. She wasn't. Well, it was situations like that: I would try to help because she wasn't there.

Well, then the chairman before that was Mrs. Brookhead: she came over just as regularly as anything, as though she lived in Washington, and often she would come over and stay for weeks and weeks and sometimes for months. But her husband suddenly had a stroke of paralysis and she just couldn't leave him. She had to give him medicine every hour and that sort of thing, and she didn't have enough money to pay for a good nurse. So then although I was only honorary chairman (I got on very well with her, we were very sympathetic with each other) I stayed on and helped a great part of her regime. And of course Elsie Hill and I were always so close together that when she was struggling along I always tried to help her. So I don't—I think it is better for every


278
movement of course to go out and get new leaders, and that is what we keep trying to do.


Fry

But this one was so discouraging at first, it required somebody who had a commitment for a long-term effort.


Paul

Which was so discouraging?


Fry

ERA. When all the other women in the country were so against it. My thesis is that if there hadn't been someone like you, who had an idea of a long-term effort over a long period of time and a real commitment to it, that it could have just fallen by the wayside.


Paul

Well, of course it could. But that's all any campaign needs, isn't it?


Fry

No, but you were really starting from scratch.


Paul

I mean a campaign that's involved as much in the changing of the thought of the country as this did. I guess they are always about like this. Probably Frances Willard and her temperance, and all these people have all faced the same thing I guess.


Fry

What I am groping for is the sense of what to research to trace the history of ERA, and I wanted to be sure that I had an accurate impression that even though other women had been chairman, you were in there and fighting for ERA all the time, except when you were busy in Europe with equal rights.


Paul

You see, if you are an honorary chairman, the way we put it in our constitution is that all honorary chairmen are supposed, if they possibly can, to continue to help the movement in any way they can. That's the way we created it so that we wouldn't be left always with the new chairman and she might be good or she might not be good. She might start us off on some strange course, but it wouldn't make any difference—all the past chairmen can assemble and try to keep it on the right track. I just don't really know whether—we now have a new chairman— how she is going to turn out, whether it will be helpful or not helpful to try to help her; I don't know.


Fry

I can't tell. Let me turn this off.



279

Thoughts about Quaker Forebears

Paul

Of course, you have all kinds of ancestors. Probably there are some that are very much—to be proud of these people, I have the same reverence for religious freedom and for every kind of freedom that they had. So I am proud that they took the stand. But now this Grateful Penn—


Fry

on your mother's side—


Paul

—was the sister of Admiral Penn, who was the father of William Penn so when the King of England was in great debt and wanted money very much, you know he borrowed money—at least I believe in all history books they say this—from Admiral Penn, who was an admiral in the British navy. He repaid his debt by giving this land over in America to William Penn. Well then Ann married and I will have to look it up in my chart to see what was the name of the person she married, but her son, or grandson, one or the other—I guess it would be her son—was the first cousin of William Penn. He made this ancestor of mine, and I think his name was Crispin, the first chief justice of Pennsylvania and a member of the governor's council (whatever that was called) that set up the government of Pennsylvania. (I think this is it, but I have this in my chart, so I can verify these points.)

So then when this chief justice started over to America he took his daughter with him, who had married a John—if I can remember this rightly, I think his name was Blackpan—but anyway the man that she married was in prison as a Quaker leader and I believe died in prison, I think so. So then the father took the young widow with him over to America.

The father was to be the chief justice and one of the three commissioners to set up the colony. By the way, I


280
just met somebody down in Washington whom I had gone to Swarthmore with, and she was telling me that her great, great and-so-on grandfather was one of the three commissioners appointed by William Penn, I guess, to set up the colony; and I said, "Oh, so was one of mine," and so we found that we were cousins. And this person I think was somebody who comes down to see Mabel Vernon all the time, let me see, quite often.

But on the way over, anyway, this chief justice died, so this young widow—


Fry

Before he ever got to Pennsylvania?


Paul

Yes. So the young widow—and of course the only reason he was ever appointed, I think, was because he was the first cousin of William Penn. The young widow arrived, and so William Penn asked her to come and stay with him. And so she did. She lived and brought up her young son in his home, which is one of the historic places they always show you in Philadelphia, a little bit out in the country. I have been there and visited it.

Then for one or two generations, and I have forgotten just how they go, but I do have it in my chart I think, emerged this lady whose portrait is hanging here up on the mantelpiece, who was my great-grandmother. Her name was Letitia Penn Smith. She was a direct descendant of the widow that was living in the home of William Penn. And she married my great-grandfather, a Parry.

In the meantime I was invited to join the—what are these things called?—Magna Carta Dames. That's the people who they think can prove are descendants of the people who drew up the Magna Carta. It seems that I qualify through this sister of Admiral Penn, and I will find out what her name is from my chart; he was the descendant of one of the groups that drew up the Magna Carta. So there is a Magna Carta Dames up here in Connecticut, and so they invited me to become a member so they have traced the whole thing, so I am perfectly sure it is correct.

Well, I think it makes no difference to anybody, because you can be a disgrace to your ancestors. It is also, I think, in our movement a strength to show you have deep roots in the country and your ancestors helped to build it up and so on, and I feel sure your Roberts is one of the early Quakers.



281
Fry

I hope so. I feel inspired to go back and look up my genealogy charts to see if I really had one.


Paul

Well, I am going to look up your Roberts here in mine.


Fry

To tie this up, when Letitia married your great- grandfather, who was your grandfather?


Paul

My grandmother was Alice Stokes. So Letitia had to be my great-grandmother. Oh, then this so [gesturing to picture on the wall] must have been the son of Letitia. I am sure now, what it was.


Fry

And what was his name?


Paul

His name was William Parry.


Fry

That is where the Parry's enter.


Paul

Yes.


Fry

So did Letitia marry a Parry?


Paul

Yes, but I will have to get out my chart and show you because I really can't remember. But I thought while I was up here I would get some genealogist to take my chart and finish it out.


Fry

[Reading book.] On your father's side, this starts with the Winthrops of Massachusetts, the governor's sister, Jane, who married Thomas Gostlin. Her daughter was Anne who married Thomas Fones, and Anne lived from 1586 to 1619 and they had a child named Elizabeth who was born in 1610. And there is a book on her—


Paul

Did you ever hear of Ernest Thompson Seton?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

This book was written by his daughter.


Fry

Anya Seton. And the name of this is The Winthrop Woman, in case anybody should want to refer to it. Now the heroine Elizabeth's brother from a second marriage is Robert Feake.


Paul

Yes, I want to tell you that she first married her first cousin, who was the son of the governor, and came with him and the governor when he set out for America to start the little colony that he became the head of.



282
Fry

Oh, that was—she married Henry Winthrop.


Paul

So she set out with her father-in-law who was Governor Winthrop, you see, and her husband, John Winthrop—


Fry

Henry.


Paul

Was it Henry? And arrived here anyway in Massachusetts. The day that they landed, or the week anyway that the landed (and I think it tells it all in this book here), there was a terrible storm, and he was swimming, a great swimmer apparently, and in the Massachusetts Bay somewhere up there where they were landing he was drowned. So she suddenly lost her young husband. Then she married this Robert Feake. He was the lieutenant governor under Governor Winthrop and he was a very prominent member of the colony. He was the one who got the grant of land down here in Connecticut. One thing I wanted to look up and see was if by any chance she owned all around Greenwich—the whole of that territory, which is right close to here, to see if my little cottage by any chance is on that original land, because it would be very nice.


Fry

Wouldn't that be something.


Paul

I would feel so much more at home. I don't know how you got me started looking up this because I've really never done it.


Fry

That's a very decorative coat of arms, Alice. You should have some jewelry made up with the rabbit on top and the lion underneath. Well, at any rate, to carry that down from Feake, Elizabeth and Feake were married—


Paul

I read you the dates. That's on the back page of the book, inside. It's halfway down the page, I think. "Were duly married and became famous and persecuted Quakers." Did you find it?


Fry

"Elizabeth's daughters," let's see, "Hannah Feake and John Baum," that's the one.


Paul

She is the one that became the Quaker minister. First time that we had any Quaker in that family. They were all Puritans.


Fry

Now, what's the relation of Hannah to Elizabeth?



283
Paul

That was her daughter. The reason that I took an interest in this book when Elsie Hill told me about it was because this told me my great-grandmother. beyond the Feake period.


Fry

And Hannah Feake married John Baum in 1656 and their biographies are readily available because he is the one who kept holding the illegal Quaker meetings and was finally banished to Holland where he got the—the King?—


Paul

He got the Estates General to direct Governor Stuyvesant to stop this interference with religious freedom.


Fry

And that is known as the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657?


Paul

Well, now that remonstrance, I don't remember from the dates whether it was before or after he went over to Holland, but it was a very famous document which was sent, I suppose, to Governor Stuyvesant—maybe it was sent to the Estates General: I don't know where it was sent.


Fry

From John Baum?


Paul

No, from all the people that he gathered together. There were a good many people who signed this remonstrance.


Fry

Like a petition.


Paul

And that's what the stamp was about, to celebrate the birth—one of the births—of religious freedom in this country, the issuing of this remonstrance.

It tells you if you want to read it right in the front: [Interruption: books dropped on tape recorder.] Elizabeth, the heroine in this book, stood by Anne Hutchison; you know she was expelled for her religious views. I am almost sure it says [Elizabeth] took this stand in the colony where her former stepfather was the governor. She was rather prominent in the colony and she took this stand against the way they were expelling Anne Hutchison, I think.


Fry

And also against a determined army captain bent on the massacre of her friends the Savinoy [?] Indians.


Paul

So she was a rebellious type.


Fry

She is the one whom Governor John Winthrop came to refer


284
to as his "unregenerate" niece. That's a good family tree [laughter].


Paul

I think your genealogy's real experience is very exciting. Everybody's is.


Fry

We don't all have such distinguished people on our family trees, Alice.



285

Equal Rights in the United Nations Charter

figure
Charter of the United Nations—Provisions on Equality for Women

Fry

Tell what you know about getting the equal rights clause put into the United Nations Charter.


Paul

Just what I have already told you, I guess.


Fry

Yes, that was our first evening together when we were talking about what we were going to talk about. I didn't really get it down at that time; I didn't take any notes on it or tape it.


Paul

Well, I told you, you know, that after the suffrage campaign I was only one-time national chairman after I was not re-elected after the suffrage campaign, I just stopped everything. And then I was asked to come down and actually elected and asked to come down when the World War [II] broke out, and I came back for that reason from Geneva, where I had been, you know. I came back in 1941. Are you talking about this period?


Fry

Yes.


Paul

Well, I came back in 1941 in the spring and felt that there was no possibility of going on with the work in Geneva, when from all indications we would very soon be engaged in the war ourselves. So when I came back I found that there was nobody here who wanted to go on with our own campaign, which was very exacting in the way of requiring raising money and spending all your time in Washington. Everybody was engaged either for the war or against the war or some kind of war activities. So I was asked to come down and take over the chairmanship. Which I did. I came down in 1941. Is that the year we went in the war? In the late autumn, about December, I guess.

I was elected as chairman at the national convention held in Philadelphia in the preceding November, and


286
during the period that I was chairman, one of the most important things that we ever did was to help in getting equality for women written into the United Nations Charter. That we did by sending out a delegation of women for that one and only purpose to San Francisco to try to have it put in the charter, in as many places in the charter as possible, covering every aspect it was possible to cover. So there was pending before the United Nations the resolution introduced by [Field Marshall Jan Christian] Smuts of South Africa conveying the same idea that we were trying to express: complete equality in every field of endeavor that the United Nations would take up. Finally it was placed in the charter in the opening sentence reading something like this (and before you go I will try to look up the exact words): "Reaffirming faith in the worth and dignity of the human person, the equal rights of men and women and nations great and small," then it goes on, "we hereby establish the United Nations."

48. 

"...to reaffirm faith in the fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations great and small... do here establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations."

From the preamble to the Charter of the United Nations

. So it was saying exactly what we were trying to put in our own national constitution and in the very words that we would want, so we gave it all possible backing.

The United States delegation however, was very powerful of course, in this first opening meeting to found the United Nations, and there was one woman only in our delegation—Dr. Gildersleeve—dean of women at Barnard College. She objected very much to this statement submitted by Smuts and largely on its English; we couldn't comprehend [her objection] at all. So one of our members who was out there representing the National Woman's Party, Anita Pollitzer, had been in touch with Sara Bard Field at Los Gatos, California, because Sara Bard Field was one of our honored and beloved members in California and she had been seeing her just personally. Anita informed us in Washington that Sara Bard Field was entertaining Archibald MacLeish, a member of the United States delegation, the next day in her home for dinner. She thought that if Sara would take up with MacLeish the importance of having this in the charter, maybe she could get him to use his influence to bring this to pass. So Anita Pollitzer then went back to —


287

Tape 8, Side B

ask Sara if she would do this, take this matter up with Mr. MacLeish when he came to visit her for dinner and see if he could possibly save the Smuts declaration by removing the opposition of the American delegation, and she said she would do her best.

Then Mrs. Pollitzer telephoned to us that this interview with MacLeish had occurred at Sara's home at the time of this dinner she had arranged and that MacLeish had said he would certainly make a supreme effort to bring this to pass and that he now reported that the American delegation had agreed to support it.

It was put in, and not only put in the preamble in the opening of the whole charter, just as we had wanted and Smuts had wanted, but it was amplified in a good many sections making it specific with regard to other specific points. Is that all right?


Fry

That's fine.


Paul

One of the very biggest achievements that it [the Woman's Party] helped to bring to pass.



288

After-Dinner Conversations

Susan B. Anthony's Desks

Paul

The other thing you asked me to tell you about when we got the tape, I think, was about the Susan B. Anthony desk.


Fry

Oh, yes. Do you have time to tell me about that tonight?


Paul

I have time to tell you about anything because this is my last chance, you see.


Fry

Well, all right, but you could tell me in the morning.


Paul

No, I'd rather tell you now.


Fry

You look so bright-eyed right now, you might as well go ahead.


Paul

I think in the morning, if you are going on a plane, you have a lot to do.

When the National American Woman Suffrage board, acting upon the request and suggestion of Miss Jane Addams, appointed Lucy Burns and myself as members of their congressional committee to go down to Washington and do what we could for the passage of the federal suffrage amendment, which Miss Anthony worked for so long, we had no office to begin with and no place from which to work. The first thing we did was to put a little notice in the newspapers saying that we were coming down to take up the work that Miss Anthony had laid down "When she had to give up going to Washington, and we were going to open an office and start a procession, if we were able, through the streets of Washington, to occur the day before the inauguration of the new President, Wilson.


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When this notice was read by Miss Anthony's former secretary, named Rachael Brill Ezekiel, Mrs. Ezekiel telephoned to me that when Miss Anthony left Washington she expected to come back again but she did not because of her death. Mrs. Ezekiel was in possession of her desk that she had left behind. She said that, having read in the paper about our trying to go on with the work of Miss Anthony, she felt that she ought to turn the desk over to those who were going on with Miss Anthony's work. And so she had called me to say she had the desk, what should she do with it, would I like to have it?

I said, of course, we would like to have it; we had not yet even gotten an office, much less a desk. We were getting an office in this little basement on 1420 F Street, so she said she would have the desk brought down to us. And she did.

The desk arrived, and we opened our office with only one piece of furniture, the Susan B. Anthony desk. We continued to use this desk all through the suffrage campaign and all through the following campaign for complete equality for women, and it is still at the headquarters of the National Woman's Party in Washington.