Top image is Jessie Hardy Stubbs, a prominent suffragist and peace advocate, wearing “short-brimmed hat, gloves, plaid suit with sailor-style blouse and necktie, carrying briefcase under left arm.” In August 1914 at a meeting of the Congressional Union’s Advisory Committee in Newport at Alva Belmont’s mansion, over which flew the purple, white and gold banners, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns proposed a pioneering and controversial tactic. Since, the United States Congress and the presidency were under Democratic control, reasoned Alice Paul, the Democratic Party was “responsible for the non-passage” of a federal woman suffrage amendment. The question, she said, was “how shall the enemy be attacked?” The answer was to send fifteen organizers to the “field of battle”—the nine equal suffrage states with four million women voters (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Arizona, Kansas, Oregon) where they would campaign against every Democratic candidate, even pro-suffrage ones on the ballot in the November election. WAR ON CONGRESSMEN, trumpeted a headline in a Washington, D.C. newspaper. Jessie Hardy Stubbs and Virginia Arnold were assigned to Oregon: Here we are—all bound for the field of battle, Stubbs reported from on board the North Coast Limited. We have put up signs in each car that there will be a meeting tonight in the observation car. Media-savvy Alice Paul provided press releases and photographs such as the middle image that appeared in various newspapers, including The Rock Island
In 1914, suffragists launched all-out campaigns in a record number of seven states with a wo
The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight is available in trade paperback and eBook.