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Epigraphs: The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight, Part VI, Chapter 19

Where was my Uncle Sam. This statement by Louisine Havemeyer, is the epigraph for The Vote: Women’s Fierce Fight, Chapter 19, Escalation: January-March 1919

“No picketing and no prison for me, I don’t like the thought of either one,” Louisine

While leading a demonstration on January 9, 1919, Louisine Havemeyer was arrested along with thirty-nine other women. The next day, while the women waited in a jail attached to the courthouse for their trial, the U.S. Senate once again defeated the federal woman suffrage amendment, one vote shy of victory.  Soon after the vote, the judge sentenced the women to a five-dollar fine or five days in jail. They chose jail. Much to their disbelief they were taken to the condemned jail where previous suffrage prisoners had suffered from breathing fumes of poisonous gases. Entering the “pestilential jail,” Havemeyer reported: “My very heart stood still for an instant and then bounded beneath my ribs and crackled as the sparks of indignation snapped within. Where was my Uncle Sam? Where was the liberty my fathers fought for? Where was the democracy our boys were fighting for?”


Image from top to bottom: Louisine Havemeyer with the Suffrage Torch (the chains holding the mobile speaker’s platform on the suffrage van are visible in the picture); an advertisement in a Chattanooga, Tennessee newspaper, The Chattanooga News  (1/19/1919, p. 6) for the “Prison Special” that made fourteen stops during a three-week transcontinental train trip; a “Watchfire of Freedom” ablaze in front of the White House. (Click on image to enlarge.)


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