Alice Paul (1885-1977) was arrested seven times, jailed on trumped up charges, and force fed in prison—all for having the audacity to fight for women to be enfranchised. She was in relentless pursuit of a federal amendment to the constitution that would grant women the right to vote. Her story is one of trial and triumph, as she continued to fight for equality for women even after the Nineteenth Amendment was passed on August 20, 1920. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
|November 9, 1909||Alice Paul arrested in London for smashing a window during a suffragette protest—sentenced to one month hard labor.|
|December 10, 1909||Paul returns home and tells harrowing story of hunger strike and force feeding in London prison.|
|March 3, 1913||The National American Women’s Suffrage Association marches on Washington in pageant fashion, planned by Paul.|
|June 30, 1914||Paul and other suffragists meet with President Wilson; he says suffrage is a state issue and refuses to support an amendment.|
|June 7, 1916||The National Woman’s Party is formed at a convention in Chicago, Paul is named national chairman.|
|January 10, 1917||Suffragists, organized by Paul, begin silent picketing in front of the White House.|
|November 9, 1917||Paul and Rose Winslow go on a hunger strike in workhouse and are force fed after being jailed for obstructing traffic while picketing.|
|January 10, 1918||Susan B Anthony suffrage amendment passes in the House of Representatives; President Wilson finally gives his full support.|
|June 5, 1919||Susan B Anthony amendment passes in the senate, final campaign for ratification in the states begins, and Paul declares that women will vote in the 1920 election.|
|August 26, 1920||After a long campaign to get states to ratify the amendment, Tennessee ratifies, making the amendment official.|
|1921||Paul begins fight to pass equal rights bills in states and will push for federal amendment if states take too long.|