PRESIDENT WILSON CONSIDERS SUFFRAGE AS A WAR MEASURE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago tonight, July 18, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson was considering "the advisability of asking Congress to submit to the states a national woman suffrage amendment to the Constitution as a part of his program of war legislation."
The President's "closest advisers" feel the imprisonment of women suffrage pickets to be a violation of the right of petition and "will tend to make the (Wilson) administration unpopular."
J.A.H. Hopkins of New Jersey, a progressive whose wife is one of the imprisoned pickets, came away from a visit with the President at the White House believing Mr. Wilson is impressed with the idea of a suffrage amendment as a war measure.
The suffrage pickets began a 60 day sentence at the District of Columbia workhouse at Occoquan, Virginia* on July 17, 1917.
*The Women's Workhouse was located at Lorton, Virginia on 3200 acres of land on the Occoquan River. On July 14, sixteen upper class women were arrested & sent to serve 2 month sentences here. The conditions were described as deplorable with other prisoners being prostitutes & drunks.
"President For Suffrage As War Measure," The Chicago Daily Tribune, July 19, 1917.
"Workhouse Prison Museum at Lorton," www.workhousemuseum.org/
J.A.H. Hopkins of New Jersey
Harris & Ewing (1917)
Library of Congress Image